Dewsbury Rams chairman Mark Sawyer pulled no punches as he gave an honest and frank assessment of the season to supporters at Wednesday’s Fans Forum.
Mr Sawyer spoke of the ongoing difficulties most Championship clubs face to survive and outlined Dewsbury’s plans for next season and beyond.
Addressing the audience, Mr Sawyer said: “It has been frustrating for most of the season. We have been really good in some games but others have seen us drop off and it has been very inconsistent.
“We had unprecedented injuries to key players but losing the Reserve team was a big set back to us.
“Glenn (Morrison) invested part of his first team budget into the Reserves but the competition folded, leaving them without any games and the second team folded due to actions of other clubs.
“Ben Reynolds being recalled to Leigh did us no favours either and he would have been the main part of a balanced team.
“I think our overall position of eighth, with our budget in this division, is where would expect to be but we now have to look at a sensible was of moving forward and have decided to take the dual registration route.”
Dewsbury will form links with Super League neighbours Wakefield Trinity next season, while League One side Hemel Stags will use Tetley’s Stadium as their training base at certain times during the week.
Dewsbury’s fringe players will train and play with Hemel with a view to keeping match fit and forcing their way into Rams first team reckoning, while promising amateurs from the Heavy Woollen area, who have ambition of making it into the professional game, could also train with the Stags.
Karl Pryce, who has announced his retirement from playing, is being retained on the Rams coaching staff and will also work closely with Hemel.
Mr Sawyer added: “There is no point burying our heads in the sand. We will have a lower playing budget next season and will have 10 or 11 bodies less with the squad.
“Dual registration means our fringe players have the chance to play each week and force their way into the first team.
“Glenn has every confidence that the senior players in the team can compete with sides in this division and we have renewed contracts with several players.”
Mr Sawyer stated that falling attendances were a concern but has vowed to do everything to entice supporters to Tetley’s stadium.
He has frozen season ticket prices for the 2017 season and in a terrific gesture, the Rams will continue the scheme where juniors will receive free season tickets.
The only change will be that next season’s Summer Bash will be classed as a home game in the season ticket package for Championship clubs.
Fans who purchase a season ticket, will be charged an additional £15 on this season’s prices, to cover the cost of a Summer Bash ticket.
Mr Sawyer announced that Dewsbury will also play Super League bound Leigh Centurions away and Wakefield Trinity at home in pre-season friendlies next season, with the Rams to keep gate receipts from both fixtures.