Sawyer wants 'slice' of Batley's success

DEWSBURY chairman Mark Sawyer has revealed that the Rams made a loss last season, but has committed to freezing season ticket prices in 2017 as the club prepare to improve on a disappointing year.

The Rams finished eighth in the Championship and for the third year running suffered defeat in the Championship Shield play-off semi-final in what proved to be a very competitive league.

“It was frustrating to watch us last year and I know exactly how the fans feel,” said Sawyer.

“But I can promise them that everyone at the club is working hard to correct what we did wrong last season.

“We’ve signed five exciting new players and I expect we’ll be signing at least one more player in the coming weeks. We’ve also employed a new conditioner to help with injuries.

“We had no consistency last season and that was mainly down to the injuries. At one point Glenn (Morrison) had just 17 players to work with.

“But because we didn’t perform to the standards we had hoped for it doesn’t mean we should punish the fans by increasing season ticket prices.

“The fans are key to our success and I’m concerned about falling attendances.”

Fans will be charged £190 and £138 concessions for a seated season ticket in the North Stand, while a standing ticket will set fans back £175 and £123 concessions. Juniors go free.

Sawyer added: “Without solid home support clubs struggle.

“You’ve seen what has happened to Sheffield and York recently, both clubs are fighting for survival.

“It’s a fine balancing act running a club. You want to win trophies but to do that you must spend beyond your means which is dangerous.

“Player wage inflation has been a big reason why some clubs have struggled recently.

“But Batley proved that part-time teams can succeed on a low budget and it would be nice if we can get a slice of the action next season.

“We’ll aim for the top four and I firmly believe we are capable of achieving that. We will have a bigger budget to work with at the start of next season than Batley did at the beginning of last.”

Sawyer has also confirmed that Dewsbury will be going down the dual registration root next season, but hopes the club won’t have to rely on other teams’ players.

In other news the first of two all-weather pitches at Owl Lane will be completed in January.

It means Morrison’s men won’t have to rely on alternative venues to train over the winter. The pitches, when completed, will also be available to hire which will produce more revenue for the club.

In pre-season Dewsbury have confirmed three games so far, the first  against Batley on Boxing Day followed by fixtures away at Leigh Centurions and at home to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.

The Leigh fixture is a gesture of goodwill after the Centurions recalled half-back Ben Reynolds, having initially released him to Dewsbury on a season long loan in 2016.

Dewsbury will keep gate receipts from both the Leigh and Wakefield fixtures.

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