Troubled Crusaders make plea for help
Crusaders RL chief executive Rod Findlay has issued a passionate plea to the rest of Engage Super League to find jobs for players and support staff from his club following their shock withdrawal from the competition.
Most of the players at the Wrexham-based outfit are facing an uncertain future following the decision of the club owners to pull the plug after just two seasons at the Racecourse Ground.
Those include forward Shannan McPherson and centre Keith Senior, who had agreed to join them from South Sydney and Leeds Rhinos respectively.
Half-back Jarrod Sammut has already secured a move to Bradford Bulls, while forward Hep Cahill has been signed by Super League newcomers Widnes Vikings and captain Clinton Schifcofske is retiring.
The Rugby Football League acted quickly to assist the club in ensuring the staff were all paid on time and also offered overseas player and club trained dispensations to those displaced.
But Findlay, a former in-house lawyer for the RFL, wants to find new jobs for the rest of his staff.
“Rugby league rightly prides itself in being a family sport and I hope that other clubs are able to offer a lifeline to the players, coaching staff and off-field staff,” he said.
“I appreciate that every other club has its budgets to work within but I would hope they would consider the Crusaders players and staff first when looking to recruit.
“Crusaders have a really strong team - on and off the pitch - and it would be a shame to lose them from the sport. In a recession, jobs in other industries are limited.
“As a family sport, we have a moral obligation to minimise the human impact of the licensing decision. We should only look at bringing in new players once those expecting to play for Crusaders in 2012 have found a new home.
“If a club is looking to recruit a prop, assistant coach, physiotherapist or marketing staff, for example, I hope they think of the Crusaders staff first.
“I would vouch for all of them and I’ve already tried to help some players and staff.”
Crusaders’ demoralised players roused themselves to secure a stunning 40-4 victory at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats yesterday, and Findlay says ticket sales for the club’s final home game against Hull FC, which has been moved to Sunday, August 21, will go towards paying wages.