Parkin looks to take on Wildcats

Steve Parkin
Steve Parkin

BRIGHOUSE businessman and multi-millionaire Steve Parkin is the big name in the frame to take over ailing Super League club Wakefield Wildcats.

The club was placed in administration last week to avoid being wound up for another outstanding debt of around £350,000 to HM Revenue and Customs.

Leading insolvency practioners O’Hara & Company of Birstall, who have been handling rugby league and football clubs in dire straights for the past several decades, were appointed as administrators.

Keen sportsman Parkin, who was 50 in December and is owner of the Clipper Group with its headquarters on the Armytage Road Industrial Estate, Brighouse, has thrown his cap in the ring.

Business-wise the family man from Middleton, near, Leeds, currently has a £200m a year turnover, which he wants to see rise to £500m, 28 distribution centres and 650 vehicles.

He has worked for some time for retail guru Sir Philip Green, Lewis’s and the Huddersfield-based Bon Marche Group of stores.

He is also tied in to the bonded warehousing side of the logistics industry and moving spirits the length and breadth of the country.

In 2005 he was courted by John Ryan, chairman of Doncaster Rovers to join his board, but his love of Leeds United won out and chairman Ken Bates was delighted with his acquisition, who has put a sizable seven figure amount into the Championship club.

Parkin, who also owns a private plane and a home in Spain and loves holidaying in the Caribbean, is the man behind the success of Blue Square Conference North Club Guiseley, who under manager Steve Kitterick is battling for promotion to the Conference Premier, one level below the Football League.

The RL forums have got wind of Parkin’s interest alongside those of Mike Yarlett of Yorkshire Windows who took Rotherham Titans into the National Leagues of rugby union and Andrew Glover of West Yorkshire Windows.

The engage Super League is due in the summer to announce the club losing its license and will admit a Championship club with Widnes Vikings favourites and Halifax now starting to press them hard,

Ahead of the Wakefield club going into administration, Crusaders, based at Wrexham, went in to administration and the criteria for a licence, plays heavily on the financial side of the club.

Wakefield have seen their planning application for a new ground in the Newmarket/Stanley area of the city referred to the Secretary of State in London after complaints from local residents and time will be a factor there before a decision is announced.

It is understood that Parkin, who employs 2,500, has engaged Richard Cramer of Cohen Cramer Solicitors, Leeds, to act for him.