Tigers rule out ground share

Castleford Tigers chief executive Steve Gill mixes with fans.
Castleford Tigers chief executive Steve Gill mixes with fans.

Castleford Tigers have ruled out a possible ground share with Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.

But the Tigers want their rivals to remain in the city.

Wildcats chairman Michael Carter announced last week the club is serving its six months notice to leave Belle Vue, which is owned by the Bank of Ireland.

He said the amount they are paying in rent is “unsustainable”, though they are willing to stay if it can be renegotiated.

The club is now considering moving to an alternative venue outside of the city.

And the decision has left fans to speculate where the Wildcats will play their home games next year.

But Tigers chief executive Steve Gill has ruled out a possible ground merger between the two clubs.

He said: “I have got a great relationship with Michael Carter but no discussions have taken place about a ground share.

“They have their own plans and we have ours.

“Fans have been on the forums saying a merger is imminent and some have become quite aggressive over it.

“I want to assure them that is not the case and we are moving forward with our own plans.”

Both clubs have plans to move to new stadiums.

The Tiger’s new 10,000-capacity facility will be part of the £135 million Five Towns Park scheme.

The plans were sent to the Department for Communities and Local Government following approval by Wakefield Council in February.

But a decision on the Glasshoughton development has yet to be made after the Government delayed it until after the general election.

And the Wildcats had hoped to move to a new 12,000 stadium as part of a new 100-acre business park on Newmarket Lane in Stanley.

But a crash in the economy sidelined the plans and no work has since been done on the proposed stadium.

The club were also in talks with developer Yorkcourt Properties to redevelop Belle Vue but an agreement has yet to be reached.

Mr Gill said he hoped the Wildcats could find an alternative venue in the district.

He said: “Both clubs are really important to the area and it is a friendly rivalry which gives people bragging rights depending on who has won.

“Without a doubt Wakefield is one of the first games we look for when the fixtures are released and we always get three great games a year.

“Wakefield will not go down. I am convinced of that as they are strong enough to stay up. I hope they can stay in the city.”