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Statement from the Chairman:

At the moment, given the slowness of the RFL response, we have to assume we are in League 1 next season and must cut our cloth to fit. We are in talks with a number of players and hope to begin announcements soon of some new signings. If we get upside out of the process we are going through with the RFL, we will make even more signings.

Buster is a much loved member of the Keighley Cougars family. I know this decision will have been very difficult for him and I think the fans should support him in whatever he decides. Although his passion is the Cougars, playing is his job. Hunslet are currently in a position to offer Buster more money and playing in the Championship. We can do neither at the moment. We want to take this opportunity to thank him for the years he has been at the club and wish him good luck. We’ll miss him and hope to see him back. We did, however, sign David March to play alongside him.

However, moving on to Paul March first. It seems that some of the supporters are now beginning to blame him for the relegation. This is clearly not the case and I will spell out why.

There is a logical reason why we continued with Marchy. In the face of dual registration and with a lower budget than 2012, his team achieved the best win ratio and best bonus points ratio for any Cougars team since 1996. Our team last season achieved a better performance than the JD, Korky, Obst and Tadulala team of 2012, despite this season being a longer season by 8 games, and it is only a quirk of the re-structuring and other teams playing ineligible players that has led to the relegation. Let’s not forget the reason why we are where we are.

David March played very well at the Grand Final (probably the best player on the pitch when he switched to the back row) and the last time Paul March played with him he scored 27 tries in one season. Further, we have lost experience to the Championship teams, ironically mainly Batley and Hunslet, and we need to backfill with experience. David was available and can provide this much needed experience. Some of our players are young and potentially exciting for next year and they need some older heads to guide them on the field.

The squad for next year is gradually forming. Given the situation, I think we should all pull together and support the squad so we enter the season on a positive.

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6 Responses

  1. Lisa Haigh says:

    All the best to Keighley next season and hope to see you back the following season from a Batley Bulldog fan x

  2. Iain Hewitt says:

    I agree that we should pull together and get behind our club and our team. Our collective anger at what has gone on should provide the required determination to get back up where we should be. But, Gary, DO NOT let the RFL off the hook, they have been underhand in the extreme.

  3. John Fisher says:

    In many ways this whole situation saddens me, yes the RFL has been totally unprofessional and has treated the cougars in an off-hand and disrespectful way and deserve to be held to account.

    However the team should not have been in this position and with a few more wins under their belt would have been safe whatever the outcome. We seem to be moving backwards in loosing great players and even greater club-men to bring in older players with a disruptive history and a poor disciplinary lesson (what impact did the ground ban from our coach have on play and the team’s performance?).

    It is all very well the chairman asking us all to pull together and support the club (and I agree fully), however this is a two way street and the club needs to take a long hard look at what it can, and will, do to rectify the position we are now in with good players going and a coach who seems to struggle with keeping control on the pitch. Who will be the club conscience and who will take us forward? surely it is time to re-look at both the investment and the structure and question whether we have the coach, team, players and commitment to be a real force in any division let alone the new Championship.

  4. Aaron Wright says:

    Why Always us?

  5. S. Holt Mirfield. says:

    I agree to some extent with the previous comments. I think at the moment that the RFL with their devious and definitely underhand tactics have won the battle, up to press,I ask the chairman not to allow them to win the war.

    If the club does manage to obtain some compensation from the unmentionables it should be used wisely to sign players of a sufficient quality to ensure that the Cougars will be playing in the Championship in 2016.

    I have been a supporter for over 65 years.I hope I will be able to support them for a few more years yet.

  6. Alan Midgley says:

    The RFL are not fit for purpose. Over the years they have never, ever done Keighley any favours.
    I think rugby league is really struggling. Particularly in the Championship and Championship 1. They are responsible for our plight with their ill judged relegation/restructuring issues.
    Is the management of the RFL up to scratch? Do I feel that Brian Barwick the chief exec. really cares about RL?
    Well, he cares as much as Richard Lewis, the ex-tennis player did and in the end you have to ask are they serving rugby league, or themselves?
    The management of the game have ill-served the game for many years and in the end, they will probably ill-serve Keighley. Yet again.
    I hope I’m wrong. I have supported Keighley since 1956 and I’d love to see Keighley in Super League. With those monkeys at the RFL I fear it will not happen in my lifetime. It would be great to table a motion of ‘No Confidence’ in them.

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