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Page last updated at 18:30 GMT, Thursday, 3 February 2011

Offer made for troubled Wakefield Trinity Wildcats


Spirit of 1873 Ltd, a group backed by Yorkshire businessman Andrew Glover, say they have made an offer to buy Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.

The Wildcats applied to go into administration on Tuesday to avoid a winding-up petition brought by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

"This is a serious and fully costed bid," said Glover.

However, a spokesman for potential administrators O'Hara & Co said: "We are not aware of any offers to date."

Four buyers are thought to be interested in making a bid for Wakefield, although Spirit of 1873 are so far the only suitors to claim to have made an offer.

It's a difficult time for the club but this draws a line underneath it and gives them an opportunity to develop themselves going forward

RFL chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer

"This bid is to take over Wakefield's number one sports team before the start of the new season," added Glover.

"We are looking forward to doing a deal quickly with the administrators to give us as much time as possible ahead of the first competitive game of the season.

"If successful, our first objectives will be to work closely with the RFL to negotiate as small a points penalty as possible as a result of the administration to participate in the new Super League season.

"The Wildcats belong in the Super League and I will be actively involved in seeing that the club stays there by ensuring that it is run on a proper commercial basis."

Glover, whose company are Wakefield's shirts sponsors for the 2011 season, said he has received approval from the Rugby Football League after passing a fit and proper person test.

He also confirmed that the Spirit of 1873 would push ahead with the club's bid to gain planning permission for a new 12,000-seat stadium at Newmarket.

Wakefield, one of the founder members of the Northern Union in 1895, were due to appear in the High Court on Wednesday over an unpaid tax bill thought to be in excess of £300,000.

However, that hearing was adjourned following their application to enter administration.

The Wildcats are hoping Batley-based insolvency experts O'Hara & Co, who guided Crusaders through administration in December, can effect a quick sale.

However, the administrators would not be able to take control of the club until Friday, 11 February, just 48 hours before Wakefield meet Castleford on the opening weekend of Super League XVI.


Spokesman Simon Weir said: "There is no guarantee we will be appointed as administrators and the earliest that can be done is a week on Friday, although in an ideal situation we would be able to conduct a sale pretty much the same day.

"We are looking at the club now but any offers at this stage need to be made through our lawyer."

Meanwhile, the Rugby Football League have pledged their support for the Wildcats.

RFL chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer said: "One way or another, there will be a great future for Wakefield. It's a fantastic club with a great history and I certainly feel they have a lot more great history to create yet.

"It's a difficult time for the club but this draws a line underneath it and gives them an opportunity to develop themselves going forward."

However, Rimmer admitted that Wakefield's hopes of obtaining a new Super League licence could be damaged by their financial plight.

Three-year licences that take effect from 2012 will be handed out in March, with clubs from the Championship guaranteed to be handed a place in the top flight.

"We have to be realistic," said Rimmer. "There is a weighting system attached to acts of insolvency. There are other aspects to licensing but certainly it is a consideration."

Rimmer also confirmed that the Wildcats will be deducted up to six Super League points for entering administration.

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