Wakefield Trinity Wildcats are to go into administration to avoid a winding-up petition brought by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. The club are thought to owe more than £300,000 in unpaid tax and, despite talks with four potential buyers, no deal has been reached.
The Wildcats are the second Super League club to go into administration in a the last two months And they will almost certainly start the new season with an automatic six-point penalty.That is the statutory punishment, under Rugby Football League rules, for any club entering administration.
But Super League rivals Crusaders received only a four-point penalty when they sought protection from creditors in November, as they agreed to take on some of their existing debt. This is the third time that the Wildcats have averted a winding-up order in the last two years.
An appeal to fans to raise half a million pounds by the end of January fell well short of the target.
Thus ahead of Wednesday’s deadline, a Wakefield club statement read: (quote) We have not been able to secure the funds necessary to pay the amounts due to HMRC. We have no choice but to seek the appointment of an administrator. We are working with a number of parties who have already expressed an interest in securing the future of the club. (end quote)
The appointment of Peter O’Hara as administrator is expected to be confirmed next Monday (7 February), just five days before the start of the new Super League season.