Windfall to fund a Fax challenge for Super League

Middle Super 8s Bradford v Halifax
Middle Super 8s Bradford v Halifax
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Halifax director Ian Croad has said the £787,000 cash jackpot the club collected for finishing sixth in the Super 8s Qualifiers can provide the foundations for a sustainable challenge for Super League.

After thrashing Bradford 52-18 on Saturday - their biggest win at Odsal since the Second World War - Richard Marshall’s part-time outfit clinched sixth yesterday when rivals Leigh were hammered 50-6 at Widnes.

The Centurions finished bottom of the Qualifiers after Sheffield beat Wakefield, who face the Bulls in next weekend’s Million Pound promotion decider, 24-10 at Bramall Lane.

Croad told Courier Sport in August - after Fax guaranteed themselves a minimum £450,000 payout by grabbing a spot in the Qualifiers - that the extra cash would be spent on infrastructure rather than a full-time playing squad.

And while the Shay outfit will now bank close to double that, the plan remains the same, with the resurrection of a reserve side and further improvements to training facilities likely to be the most visible changes.

“Whatever we do has to be sustainable; you can’t go full time on the back of one good season,” said Croad.

“Saturday will probably allow Richard to bring in a little more quality if he wants to, but it’s not about banking the whole budget on players, that would be ludicrous.

“What that money allows us to do is take control of the business going forward.

“It gives us a platform to build a challenge for Super League from, not just next year, but beyond that.”

On the field, Fax have already confirmed the arrivals of Featherstone winger Will Sharp and Warrington’s Simon Grix, with Jacob Fairbank also making his move from Huddersfield permanent.

Beyond that, there seem unlikely to be wholesale changes with forward Jack Spencer the only confirmed departure.