PLAYERS at Whitehaven RL are pleading with fans to show support as the club faces a desperate financial situation. 

The rugby league club has been struggling with its finances for a number of months and is asking the community to show their support.

The club now has the lowest budget in the Championship which is affecting the team's performance and almost every other aspect of how Whitehaven RL is operating.

In most home games the club is getting between 800 and 900 fans through the gates, but this isn't enough - to break even they will need around 1,200 each week.

RFL funding has majorly impacted Whitehaven as has this season's fixtures, with the club playing many away games.

The players are now asking for support from the fans, with one, James Newton, issuing a message on his Facebook page, which was shared across social media.

Mr Newton said: "We love playing for Whitehaven. It’s a brilliant community club. A proper family. Our supporters have always been first-class.

"But as everyone knows the last few months have been difficult.

"The reduction in RFL funding, the inflation of everything, the cost-of-living crisis, and overruns from previous years all add up and make it hard to run a competitive semi-professional rugby league club.

"That means the club is behind on paying wages, and traveling expenses and we haven’t had a recognised physio since April.

"Monthly outgoings to the players come in at £35,000 based on two wins two losses and a monthly.

"That’s without doctors, coaches, medical equipment."

A fan has set up a GoFundMe page with the message 'Please support our club.'

So far, the fundraiser has reached over £6,000 of its £12,000 target. 

Mr Newton continued: "It’s understandable that some players might want to leave the club and find employment elsewhere. They have families to feed and mortgages to pay.

"It’s no secret we have the lowest budget in the Championship, as it is.

"This message is to say that as a group we are proud to represent the town and its people and will fight to the end of the season.

"We will do everything we can to keep a team on the pitch.

"But we need your support. Please pass on the GoFundMe link, bring a mate to a match, pop in for a pint after the game, and have a think if you know anyone who might consider sponsoring the club.

"The club is a huge part of the town, and we all need to muck in together for the rest of the season."