New look board
Whitehaven Rugby League Club have unveiled a new-look board with hopes for a bright future.
The club’s finances have been stabilised after a torrid season in which players’ wages being paid late led to some departures.
For the first time in a while, however, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel and they have had encouraging feedback from the Rugby Football League.
The new look board has been announced as the team prepares for a crucial end-of-season run-in to maintain their Championship status.
Barry Morgan, 67, who joined the board five months ago, is the new chief executive and this lifelong supporter and former Kells amateur, has been reflecting on what has been needed at the LEL Arena.
“I haven’t been rushing into anything but I saw my biggest task as getting everyone at the club onside. There have been so many different factions and not always pulling in the same direction.
“I think a lot of progress has been made there and hopefully we can start to see the benefits.
“Our financial problems have been well documented but we put our plans together for the RFL to consider and they are more than happy. The quote back was that they have more faith in the new board than they have had for some time, which is refreshing.
“We have new sponsors ready to come in next season and understandably they wanted any debt issues sorted before then. As we stand now we are fine to complete the season and then build afresh from there,” he says.
Barry’s father Richard actually played for Kells and England amateurs before signing for Workington Town in the early 1960s so he is well steeped in the game.
He’s also looking forward to retirement a week on Friday after 40 years as a mechanical engineer with Sellafield.
“I’ve put some of my own money into the club since getting involved, but nowhere near the amount that Gary Eilbeck has put in and he really has been a saviour for the club.
“We have a new board in place looking to take the club forward and I am optimistic about our future, as well as our chances of staying in the Championship,” he says.
Haven play Batley and Swinton away along with Toulouse at home.
The new chairman is 52-year-old Dennis Bullock who only started watching Haven as a steward seven years ago but has been an avid fan and worker since.
He said: “I’m certainly a hands-on chairman because I’m down every day just doing the jobs I have been involved in since I started. I think we have some good people on the board who can take the club forward.”
Making up the new board are: Les Messenger, Terry Barry, Barry Morgan, Dennis Bullock, Amanda Hewer, Gary Eilbeck, Grant Taylor, David Pennington and Alan Charlton (who was unable to attend the photo shoot).