Whitehaven’s opening-day fixture in League One, on February 17 against Keighley, is under threat again.

General manager Steve Gill, who had left the Cougars before returning with coach Craig Lingard, has now taken on a similar role with Featherstone Rovers.

Lingard has just announced that he is still owed seven months wages, although the players unpaid wages have been settled-up. He is desperate for the RFL to take the club out of special measures so that he can start to sign new players.

If those measures aren’t removed Lingard says he will have to cancel pre-season training because the limited number of players he is working with won’t have insurance cover against injury.

It has left him well behind in preparing for the season which is less than seven weeks away. No pre-season games have been arranged, and they still have to sort-out a kit.

But if that isn’t all, the Cougars delicate situation has even been raised in Parliament by local MP John Grogan who is urging the RFL to take firm action.

He puts the blame firmly at the door of the owners Austria Holdings, who took over the club in the summer.

But they appear to be in a mess as the original controlling individual Shane Spencer was not deemed to be a fit and proper person to run the club.

Since then it appears that Mr Spencer has appeared on bankruptcy charges at Wakefield Court and the case adjourned until Friday.

Even more concerning was that Austria Holdings gave up control of Keighley Cougars on December 11 and according to Companies House a Mrs Claire Auty took 75 per cent control. Nobody seems to know who Mrs Auty is and what her intentions are as far as Keighley Cougars is concerned.

Meanwhile, Whitehaven are hoping that Keighley survive these desperate times and are able to open the 2019 season at the Recreation Ground.