I write this article following our AGM when I was delighted that we were able to report a healthy profit in the financial year to November 2020.

The hard work and innovation shown by the board members was rewarded with an unprecedented profit number. This allowed us to make mid-season signings of real quality when we were up against it with injuries which took us to our objective of promotion as champions.

It also allowed us to invest heavily in the infrastructure of the ground with the addition of multiple bars and catering outlets as well as a pricey big screen.

I had to say that we weren’t as cash healthy today as we were at the end of the 2020 season, but we have put ourselves in a strong position to really stride forward in 2022.

The level of hard work ahead for the staff and board of directors cannot be underestimated. We have now set ourselves formidable income targets as we try to recruit a team worthy of challenging in the Championship.

I have to say that I am becoming excited at the squad we are assembling and as supporters we can look forward to seeing classic matches against the likes of Bradford, Widnes, Leigh, Halifax and Featherstone. It may be second tier rugby, but we have played all those clubs when we were at the top table, and it would be great to mix it with these teams with big crowds cheering us to victories.

I was asked a question about our free ticket offers from last season and I tried to explain the rationale around us trying to increase crowds. The free entry was aimed at children, early entrants and a distribution from our sponsors.

I made no apology for targeting youngsters as they are the players, supporters and sponsors of tomorrow. That investment is for the club for future years.

The early entrance freebie strategy was twofold; to allow a bigger crowd to become aware of and watching our ladies team but for us to be compensated by additional secondary spending in the bars and food outlets.

Thirdly, we allowed some sponsors to distribute tickets, both to help their sales but also to build relationships and with-it future deals. This was well received by sponsors so hopefully we see our loyalty rewarded.

There is also the question of funding from the RFL with greater funds distributed to those clubs with bigger crowds. Their objective is also to grow the game. Many of the tickets ended up in the hands of a new audience and we are hoping that they will return for the higher standard rugby next season.

I have spoke in the past about my childhood and being part of regular crowds around the 4-5,000 mark and I would love to think that we can grow our average of 2,002 to an average close to 3,000 with the odd game pushing those childhood averages.

When we get the big crowds in our ground with plenty of travelling support there really is a great atmosphere that can be totally addictive.

There will be no mass free entry next season except for children but we have tried to reward our season ticket holders with prices that I am sure are the most competitive in the league.

We make no apology for wanting as many people in the ground as possible. I spoke to Hakim Miloudi about the crowd at Barrow and the way they interact with the fans after the game and his response was “class”. Our fans are a big part of the reason why players want to come to our club.