Meet the Directors Evening
Sponsored by the Black Swan, Normanton.
Riverside signs and designs restaurant
MAH Jungle, Wheldon Road.
Guests, Directors, Ian Fulton, Steve Gill, Mark Grattan, Steve Vause, Dion Lowe, John Duff and Jon Wells.
Members of club staff, Michelle Cooper – media and marketing, Craig Jeffels – Commercial, Stuart Vause – Groundsman, Andy Lynch – Player welfare and Chris Powell- bars.
A full house for the 13th Meet the directors evening, after the introductions we welcomed Jon Wells back to the Tigers.
Steve Gill then explained his decision to stand down in May and become a director, he asked everyone if they had all viewed the interview he did for Radio Leeds. He was looking forward to watching Cas, without pressure and helping Jon Wells who he had known since Jon's junior days. Steve then wanted to set the record straight about various rumours, Daryl Powell signs all the players for the club, he had not had a fight with Daryl.
Mark Grattan then gave a summary of the 2017 financial results, Gates up 30%, advertising the same,income from bars up 60% which means
we can now afford to trade through a bad year without panicking. He went on to say that we have halved the turnover gap to the big 4 in 2017,the club is in a very good financial position, plan for the next 5 years, closing the financial gap on the top four clubs and the aim is to break into the top four.
We warmly welcomed Jon Wells back to the club.
He firstly thanked Steve Gill for doing a outstanding job for the club. He then went on to explain his role of Director of Rugby, he will work alongside Daryl Powell, Steve Gill and the board of directors at Castleford Tigers looking after football matters from the boot room right up to the boardroom, providing a vital link to identify players and assist with the transition of young players through the system. Jon stressed that winning silverware was a top priority and cementing our place has a top four club.
Jon went on to say that he wanted the Tigers to have a voice when changes to the game are discussed and was in favour of the club running a reserve team.
We then went to Chairman Ian Fulton who also thanked Steve Gill for carrying out a very difficult job with honesty and integrity. Ian then went on to welcome Jon Wells to the club and was sure that Jon would take the club to the next level.
The rest of the directors, Jon Duff, Steve Vause and Dion Lowe were asked for comments, all were happy with the position of the club and were looking forward to the future. Steve Vause commented about the abuse of club directors and their families on social media, saying it was disgusting and damaging to the club.
I said that regarding the CTSC facebook site that we had posting guidelines and banned anyone who did not follow the guidelines.
I then asked the following questions, any news on the new ground? Ian Fulton said all updates would be on the Axiom website and social media sites, the developer was in the process of signing up companies for the retail park and work on the site was due to start soon, everything was progressing well.
What was the latest on Zac Hardaker? Steve Gill answered, Zac has been dismissed by the club, a board decision, the club found him a job with a sponsor and in January offered him a new contract, Zac refused the offer and is now open to offers from other clubs. The club has now got to move on.
What is happening with youth development? Steve Gill answered, the 2 rising stars left the club recently, why? Both lads had good offers elsewhere, we felt we valued them correctly, but they left,we respected their decisions. Pete Riding is not being replaced at the moment, Darren Higgins is doing a similar role at the moment. Jon Wells has part of his role will be reviewing the Youth structure.
We then had a break,
We the reconvened, firstly we asked Chris Powell about is role at the club, he was in charge of all the bars at the ground, new dispensing systems had been installed in all bars by Carlsberg. Bottle bars have bottle cooling systems and a real ale bar with 2 guest beers is available at the back of the Tiger marquee. It was asked if the man of the match award could take place in the Tiger bar after the game.
Next was Michelle Cooper who deals with Media and marketing, Michelle is in charge of the website and social media, she said that announcements to the fans can only be released when everything is official and legal. Although the facebook and twitter pages are well subscribed it helps the club if fans 'like' and share items, doing this keeps facebook happy and information available. The club is soon to launch a TV channel, highlights and game streaming will be available.
Craig Jeffells commercial described his role, he deals with sponsorship and match day corporate hospitality. Craig had got a lot more local businesses involved with pitch side advertising, although he found it hard to attract multi national companies. He had talked to Xscape and built a good relationship which resulted in the new Tigers superstore. Axiom were getting involved with the new Tigers tv venture.
Andy Lynch is now the new Club Welfare Manager, is role covers all aspects of player welfare on and off the field. His main priority is to make sure the players are in the right state of mind to play this physically tough and mentally challenging game. After retiring from the game last season he said that he was really enjoying his new role at the club.
Groundsman of the year Stuart Vause was next up and he explained how different it was now at the club now compared to 13 years ago when he started. In those days the club didn't have any specialist equipment to care for both of the pitches, it is different now, Stuart has want he wants and this has helped improve the quality of the ground. At the moment with all the bad wet weather he has found it very difficult, spending days just replacing grass divots and getting rid of surface water. He was looking forward to warmer weather and a return seeing the pitches in better condition.
We then carried on with more questions, Why did we change to a card system for season tickets? The club had to change because of forgery of tickets and lapsed direct debits, both have been massively reduced with the new system. The head steward made some comments to the audience, he had experience of the new system and it would take time to bed in but if the fans followed advice from the stewards it would work well in the future.
The new shop at Xscape, how did it come about and how is it performing? Shop was set up in 9 days after talks with Xscape and sales are exceeding expectations. Very good feedback from Xscape on the shop opening launch, when players visited various outlets and promoted on the clubs social media. Praise was also given from the audience regarding the superstore opening and how professionally it was done.
How is hospitality performing? It is doing well but requires a lot of hard work, looking forward the picture is good.
Is sponsorship increasing? The club continues to talk to potential sponsors but not forgetting the long term sponsors who have sponsored the club in bad times. We are also talking to Axiom about new development and potential sponsors.
We have a ladies Super League now, should they be playing at the MAH Jungle? We are looking at a double header later in the season, the team also have a slot on the clubs website.
Speakers in the Jack Fulton stand (Princess street) not working correctly? The club are aware of the problem and were looking to fix it.
What about the state of the ladies toilets? No hot water, paper towels, flooding etc, Improvements have been made but the club are aware of the problem, it will be put on a improvement list.
Restructure of the Super League, what is the clubs view?
Awaiting proposals and a view will be taken then.
Robert Elstone to take SL CEO role, clubs thoughts?
General view was positive about the his possible appointment.
Possible signings, Liam Watts?
"Fantastic" prop, but wait for official announcements
Hull KR rearranged fixture?
Hull KR have been in touch and a date will be agreed and announced soon.
X blades have been a great supplier and far better than previous brand used by the club, they are strong favourites to continue the partnership.
That's it, thanks were given to all our guests and a standing ovation was given to Steve Gill.
On behalf of the CTSC I would like to thank, Directors, Steve, Ian, Steve V, Dion, Mark and John.
Club staff, Jon, Michelle,Craig,Chris,Stuart and Andy for your attendance.
I would also like to thank the 95 CTSC members who attended and supported the event.
Many thanks to Christine, Rachel, Derek and Keith the CTSC committee for all you hard work on the night.
We made a fantastic, £314.50 the on the night, thank you all very much.
Our next event is,
Ticket only event, open to non members.
Sponsored by Faye's Sandwich bar.
April Event The Great CTSC Race Night.
Friday 13th April
George V WMC
Tickets Adults £4, Under 16s £2.50, which includes pie and peas,
vegetarian pies available.
DOORS OPEN AT 7.00pm / FIRST RACE 7.45pm, LAST RACE 10pm.
64 horses, 9 races, 9 race prize winners.
Bets taken on all races, back yourself a winner.
One of our most popular events of the year.
The event is open to all, so come down and enjoy a fantastic evening.
Tigers players in attendance.
Tickets available, Tigers Den, Tigers Superstore Xscape, George V WMC, Tiger bar at Wigan and Warrington game.
Pictures by kind permission of Rachel Brocklehurst (CTSC)