Leigh say they have just nine fit players for Sunday’s Championship Shield Final at Featherstone and have been told by the Rugby Football League (RFL) they will be charged with misconduct if they fail to fulfil the fixture.
The Centurions were relegated from Super League at the end of last season and their failure to win their place back this time resulted in a major cost-cutting exercise after club owner Derek Beaumont served notice to end his funding.
The club found new homes for a raft of players which left them with a reduced squad and, coupled with a glut of injuries, were unable to field any substitutes for last Sunday’s final league game at Dewsbury, which they lost 52-6.
Leigh say their situation has now worsened and, of the nine definitely available for the Featherstone game, two are amateur players, although another three are facing fitness tests on Saturday.
“To this end the club has sought clarification from the governing body and has been advised that, if it doesn’t fulfil the fixture with its nine available players, it will face a misconduct charge,” a statement said.
“The club cannot put itself in a position of facing a misconduct charge and the potential of a significant financial penalty so finds itself in between a rock and a hard place.”
Leigh say they have yet to receive any offers of new investment and reveal that six of the players who have so far refused to accept new terms have not yet been paid their latest wages.
The club also say that two players who did receive their payments in full have left the country.
The RFL has yet to comment but is thought to be working behind the scenes to ensure Sunday’s game goes ahead.