The consequences of Sheffield Eagles’ cup exit could stretch beyond the disappointment of being out of the competition.
Eagles were defeated by Hull KR on Sunday. With the future of the club far from certain, every penny matters should prospective investment fall through.
Director Mark Aston has also been left to rue what could have been a financial windfall from Sunday’s game, with Rovers reducing advanced prices, something the Eagles chief fought against. “Hull KR slashing the cost of the tickets means we didn’t make as much as we could on this game,” Aston said.
“They suggested one thing, and we suggested another and the authorities went down on the side of Hull KR. Surprise, surprise.”
With Eagles coming close to extinction last year, all funds are vital to keep the club ticking over before their expected investment comes to fruition. Rules state that following a deduction to cover the home club’s match expenses, the rest of the gate receipts are to be divided equally between the two competing clubs. Aston said: “The Challenge Cup used to be about giving small teams an opportunity; there was a chance to make a few quid” Aston said. “We once made about £30,000 plus from one game. That kept us going for 12 months. It’s not the same anymore, we don’t get the luxury now as they’re chopping prices.”
Eagles return to league action this weekend against Swinton Lions at Heywood Road.