VETERAN forward Brendon Rawlins says players are “lied to continually” by crisis-torn Keighley Cougars’ owners and fears the club will not recover from its latest financial mess.
The League 1 outfit has been put into ‘special measures’ by the RFL after it missed Tuesday’s deadline to settle unpaid wages of staff and players, some of which date as far back as August.
Head coach Craig Lingard quit in protest last week and some players have moved elsewhere amid the dire circumstances.
Austria Holdings, represented by Shane Spencer, took over in July as new majority shareholders but disgruntled players and staff have taken to social media to report payments not being made.
Australian prop Rawlins, 32, told The Yorkshire Post: “I’ve been working nights and waking up to about 200 messages from the lads every morning.
“Personally, it’s more frustrating as I’ve been at Keighley Cougars for 12 years.
“It’s more the end of the track for me as I’d not even been approached by the club to re-sign; for Shane Spencer to come in and just do that is disappointing.
“Most clubs struggle at this level and in the past Gary Fawcett (previous chairman) would ring me and ask if he could pay me a couple of weeks later. I’d have no worries and tell him to pay some of the younger lads first.
“He did then pay me but Spencer (Austria Holdings’ representative) has been lying to my face saying the money will be there only for it to not be paid again and again.
“There’s not one bit of honesty at the club at the moment; I’m about £900 down but some lads are owed a couple of grand. I can’t see the club getting out of this.
“We were supposed to start training last week but haven’t and there’s only five or six players left. Scott Law – one of the lads who grew up with me here – has just signed for Oldham. It’s sad to see and we just don’t know what or who to believe any more.”
Spencer was contacted for comment but did not respond.
The League 1 fixtures are published on Monday.