Wakefield’s Michael Carter sees ‘serious’ calls soon – after furloughing stars

MICHAEL Carter believes the time is coming for ‘serious’ decisions to be made to guarantee rugby league’s future – as the coronavirus shutdown could affect it for TWO YEARS.

Wakefield have placed players on furlough leave, where the government will pay 80 per cent of their salaries.

Michael Carter feels ‘serious’ decisions will need to be made next month

Coach Chris Chester and all his staff are in the same boat but everyone has been guaranteed their full salary for March.

However, Carter feels the clock is ticking before more has to be done to make sure the 13-a-side code comes through the uncertainty.

Even though this decision has saved Trinity in the region of £30,000, bigger obstacles lie ahead.

The chief executive said: “There’s certainly got to be serious decisions at some point next month. It’s not going to be a case of just getting back up and running.

“We’re not just looking at how things will be affected for the next three months, effects of this could be felt two years down the line.

Super League and the whole of rugby league has been suspended

“People are normally looking to get people to commit to shirt sponsorship for next year at about this time of year – with all this, that would be a really difficult conversation to have.

“And even if we get on the field by July 1 – although I think that’s optimistic – the revenue clubs get is not going to be the same as they thought they were going to get.

“Fans are struggling, sponsors are struggling and if we do go down the line of having midweek games, people aren’t going to be able to afford going to three a week.

“We’ve all got to look at reducing costs and the majority of those are salaries.

“That’s the main thing we’re going to look at, there’s no way of sugar coating it but I really hope we’re not going to be asking people to sacrifice their jobs.

“I hope it’s not the case that we lose anyone from either this club or the whole sport.”

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Carter revealed Wakefield’s players and coaches were told they were being placed on furlough leave on Wednesday.

And he admitted senior stars with families and mortgages to pay were the ones asking more questions than the younger ones.

However, he is adamant this decision is for the best as it can make sure there is a Wakefield Trinity in the future.

He added: “Furloughing all bar three people at the club has given me a bit of time. People were told as there’s barely any work for them.

“I’ve tried to do a cashflow until the end of November with what I think is coming in and primarily that’s broadcasting money – who knows what’s going to happen with that?

“If we can get games on in July, there’s no issue over that but it’s a case of, ‘How can we survive until the end of November?’ That applies to pretty much everyone in the sport.”

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