WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats are in danger of losing more of their star players unless Andrew Glover completes his takeover swiftly.
The club’s administrators sold half-back Sam Obst to Hull FC in a surprise move yesterday while the Yorkshire Post understands Huddersfield Giants have made a bid for Scotland international Dale Ferguson and Catalans Dragons, who host Wakefield on Saturday, are preparing a deal for Fiji international Daryl Millard.
Spirit of 1873, a consortium led by local businessman Glover, announced on Friday they had reached agreement to rescue debt-ridden Trinity. But last night joint-administrator Peter O’Hara maintained nothing had so far been completed.
“We are still waiting for Andrew Glover,” he said. “He’s telling everyone he has bought the club but he has yet to come up with a firm offer. He has changed funds with his solicitors and is showing good intentions but the solicitors haven’t met and are still sorting out some of the ground issues.
“While ever we’re in control of the club, if offers come in for players, we have to sell.
“It’s not great for the fans but looking at the wage bill and, knowing they have just one home match in the next month, it has to be done so the sooner he takes over the better.”
Wakefield coach John Kear admits he was surprised to hear Obst – who left for an undisclosed fee and signed a two-year deal with the Airlie Birds – had been sold as his understanding was O’Hara would not move any players out once the deal had been done, in principle, with Glover.
However, the financial troubles at the Super League club are significant and opportunistic rivals are beginning to gather.
Second row Ferguson, 22, scored two tries against Castleford at the weekend to enhance Huddersfield’s interest.
Wakefield could be further undermanned because homegrown full-back/centre Aaron Murphy, 22, is also said to be on the Giants’ radar.
He could be out of action for up to three games anyway as he faces a RFL disciplinary panel tonight after being charged with a dangerous throw on Castleford’s Nick Youngquest in Saturday’s Magic Weekend 40-20 defeat.
Tigers’ Steve Snitch will also appear following an alleged ‘chicken wing’ tackle on Paul Johnson.
Catalans coach Trent Robinson, meanwhile, is hoping to secure funds to pay a fee for Australian Millard, 25, who was Wakefield’s top try-scorer last season after joining from Canterbury Bulldogs.
He came off the bench against Castleford when Kear’s unfancied squad, amid all their off-field turmoil, showed admirable spirit and enterprise.
Australian Obst, 30, has been Trinity’s player of the year for each of the last two seasons and was their longest-serving having joined from Whitehaven in 2005.
Hull had been searching for an extra half-back since Shaun Berrigan returned to Australia at the end of last season and he could debut against Leeds Rhinos on Friday.
The Spirit of 1873 group was quick to maintain yesterday that the transfer was sanctioned before they had formally completed their takeover.
“The company wants all our loyal fans to understand that this transaction has taken place before we have been able to sign off on our ownership of the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and that the company is not a party to Sam’s sale,” read a statement.
“While we are sad to see Sam leave Wakefield, we’re proud of the service that he’s given to the club and wish him well.
“We also recognise that his leaving frees up a quota spot in the squad that will allow us, once we have full control of the club, to bring in a new front-row player.”
Trinity’s former Yorkshire and England centre, Don Froggett, has died at the age of 81.
During an exemplary 11-year stint at Belle Vue, starting in 1948, he played 219 games for the club.
Trinity legend Neil Fox paid tribute calling his former colleague a “great mentor” during his own early days with Wakefield.