Wakefield find new owners
Spirit of 1873 take over Wildcats on eve of new season
Last Updated: 11/02/11 8:53pm
Kear: Wakefield coach
Wakefield have reached an agreement with a group led by local businessman Andrew Glover to take over the troubled club.
Spirit of 1873 Ltd have agreed a deal to acquire the Wildcats, who applied to go into administration to avoid a winding-up petition brought by HM Revenue and Customs over an unpaid tax bill thought to be in excess of £300,000.
Yorkshire businessman Steve Parkin was thought to be leading the race to buy the Wildcats after they had been placed in administration.
However Parkin - who made an unsuccessful attempt to take over Leeds United Football Club six years ago - withdrew his bid on Friday morning.
A statement from the club read: "Spirit of 1873 Ltd is delighted to announce that it has today reached an agreement with O'Hara's, the administrators of Wakefield Trinity Rugby League Football Club Limited, to acquire the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
"The deal, which is subject to the RFL's final written confirmation that Andrew Glover passes their 'fit and proper person' test, will secure the Wildcats' long-term future and give this historic club a fresh start under Spirit of 1873's ownership.
"At the core of our plans is securing the financial stability which will allow us to support the team on the field and give our loyal fans the experience and success they deserve.
"A number of details still need to be finalised and we have a lot to do to get started but we will make further announcements shortly about the company and the way we are looking to run the club.
"We are looking forward to working closely with our club's famously loyal fans, the wider Wakefield community and all our sponsors and supporters to build a stable, commercially viable and successful future for this great club."
The announcement is a major boost for Wakefield on the eve of the new Super League season.
John Kear's side kick off their campaign with a clash against local rivals Castleford during Millennium Magic weekend in Cardiff.
The agreement between the new owners and the administrators is expected to be completed next week, when Glover will also seek the approval of the Rugby Football League (RFL) for the club to regain their membership of Super League.
That is expected to be a formality but the RFL's board of directors will then decide what penalty will be imposed on Wakefield for breaching their insolvency regulations.
Crusaders went into administration in December and were docked four points, though the Wildcats could be hit with a six-point penalty.