Daryl Powell poised to take over at Wakefield Trinity as prospective new owner outlines intentions

Daryl Powell is set to return to coaching with Wakefield. (Photo: Ed Sykes/
Daryl Powell is set to return to coaching with Wakefield. (Photo: Ed Sykes/

Trinity announced on Saturday that an agreement has been reached with the millionaire owner of DIY Kitchens, subject to legal completion.

Ellis, who started supporting Wakefield in 1999, has outlined his intentions for the club, including the appointment of Powell on an initial four-year contract.

The former Castleford Tigers boss has been out of work since his departure from Warrington Wolves in July.

Powell's arrival would signal the end of Mark Applegarth's time in charge of Wakefield.

The 38-year-old became Super League's youngest head coach when he replaced Willie Poching last September but was unable to keep Trinity in Super League in his first season in charge.

"I have been working with (chief executive) Michael (Carter) and (chairman) John (Minards) over the past few months regarding the takeover of the club and now terms have been agreed and the deal is at the final stage, I feel it is appropriate to write a statement to our loyal supporters," said Ellis.

"I am sure just like myself and everyone associated with the club you are feeling deeply saddened by the club ultimately failing to maintain Super League status for the first time since 1999.

Mark Applegarth applauds the fans after the defeat to Hull KR. (Photo: John Clifton/
Mark Applegarth applauds the fans after the defeat to Hull KR. (Photo: John Clifton/

"This is not through a lack of effort from Mark Applegarth but ultimately we haven’t been good enough.

"We now need to move on to the next chapter in the club’s history. It is my intention to complete the takeover of the club in the next 14 days."

Ellis has vowed to maintain a full-time playing squad in the Championship with the ultimate aim of transforming Wakefield into a top-six Super League club.

A recruitment and salary cap manager will be appointed to "ensure we have fully researched every new player signing for the club".

Trinity will start next season in the Championship. (Photo: Bruce Rollinson)
Trinity will start next season in the Championship. (Photo: Bruce Rollinson)

Ellis is determined to improve Trinity on and off the field in pursuit of Category A status under IMG's new grading system.

"I love a challenge and whilst relegation is not what anyone wants, we can turn it into an adventure," he said.

"Let’s get the feel-good factor back at the club whilst going to visit some grounds we haven’t been to for many a year. Let’s prove to everyone in the Championship what a big club we are and support the team in numbers home and away.

"Daryl will put together a team that will give its all and make you proud. We will organise a fans forum with myself and Daryl once the deal is completed and we will be announcing new signings in the coming weeks/months.

"Finally, your support this season has been immense. It's the best atmosphere anywhere in rugby league in the North Stand, especially for that Wigan game. Onwards and upwards for the Trin."

Wakefield's relegation was confirmed in the penultimate round and they ended their 24-year stay in Super League with a 56-12 hammering at the hands of Hull KR.

Trinity finished the season four points adrift of nearest rivals Castleford after winning just four games all year.

Minards, who recently stated he would like to stay on under the new ownership, is convinced brighter days are ahead for Trinity.

“I am delighted that we have reached agreement with Matt for this deal to go through following months of discussions and working together through what has been a very difficult time on the field," he said.

"Please join me in welcoming Matt and his family as the next custodians of the institution that is Wakefield Trinity.

"Despite the disappointment of relegation, the club is in a great position for success in the near term.

"The East Stand is almost open for business and its completion marks the end of a significant phase of our stadium redevelopment following the new floodlights, screen and playing surface as well as the rebuilding of the North Stand.

"In addition, our recent submission to the RFL in respect of grading contains very positive metrics, particularly in the areas of financial strength and fandom. Put together with the impact of the new facilities which will be included in 2024, we anticipate a very favourable outcome when grading comes in for the 2025 season.

"There are so many reasons to be positive and optimistic about the future of our great club."