“We need to be brave and dare to be different” - Fax coach Grix on club’s decision to change their name to Halifax Panthers
Fax boss Simon Grix says he is “excited” at the direction the club is heading after their name change to Halifax Panthers was announced.
Grix has signed eight new players ahead of next year’s Championship season, and his new-look squad will now be matched by the new-look club.
“I’m excited by it,” he said. “The stark reality is, if you don’t change with the times you get left behind, and I think you can probably argue that rugby league as a sport falls into that category.
“It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I think we were due some sort of change to rejuvenate us, and hopefully get more interest from a younger audience.
“We’re still Halifax, we’re not throwing the Hall of Fame in the bin and getting rid of all our history, we’re very proud of that.
“But we need to look to the future and you need to stand out to get noticed I suppose. This gives us an opportunity to do that with a more marketable brand than we’ve had previously.”
Grix says the name change will have “zero” impact on his role.
“The lads are playing for Halifax, whether it’s Panthers or RLFC,” he said. “If anything, it could probably help down the track, if we’re more marketable and a commercially attractive brand, it could lead to more investment which then can better the club in many ways, not only the playing squad.”
Grix says the name change is part of the club having one eye on a return to Super League in the future.
“If you’re not looking to get better, what are you doing?” he said.
“Super League will probably seem very far-fetched and a mile off to anyone who reads this, and to be fair, it is in the distance.
“It’s not something we’re on the cusp of right now, but I think if we don’t have the ambition to get there, we never will.
“You’ve seen it with Wigan just recently, who’ve changed their badge and it sounds like for very similar reasons to us.
“We’re still Halifax, but just with a little bit of a twist.
“I think we’ve got some new and active board members who, rather than bobbing along like a cork in the ocean, which I think it’d be fair to say we have for quite a while, are trying to push things forward on all fronts and make things better.
“Hopefully that brings more to us and it has a knock-on effect into other areas.”
Grix says it is a bold move by the club, but is supportive of the decision.
He added: “It’s been well documented in rugby league in general that crowds are dropping and so on, so if we remain the same and do what we’ve always done, we’ll get what we’ve always got.
“So I think it’s a really good opportunity. It’s a brave thing to do because obviously you’ll have people who object or don’t like it.
“But tradition unfortunately doesn’t pay the bills.
“We need to be brave and dare to be different.”
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