Warrington Wolves chairman Stuart Middleton brings us his latest column...

MAD March is certainly living up to its name.

After a relatively good start to the season, winning our first three games, this month has been a big disappointment, losing all three games albeit against some strong opposition.

The loss against Wakefield last weekend was hard to take. There’s no excuses for such a lacklustre performance. 

Everyone is accountable and needs to step up and take responsibility for their actions. Frustratingly, we know we are better than what is being dished up.

I want to see a positive reaction with a different performance against Wakefield when we face them again in the Challenge Cup on Sunday.

Steeped in history and tradition, the Challenge Cup is an important competition and holds a special place in this club. It would be great also to play at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in May.

I hope the fans will come along to The Halliwell Jones Stadium and support the team this weekend.

We need it more than ever. It does make a massive difference to have that vocal support and is greatly appreciated.

Another bit of madness is the interpretation of the rules issued by the governing body, brought about by the recent litigation from past players for head injuries. We are seeing many more cards being issued and players receiving bans.

As ever, player welfare must be at the heart of the decision-making process, however we need to be mindful that we want the sport to continue to be attractive to all its stakeholders and in particular its fans and viewers.

We must strike the right balance, one that protects the athletes, the clubs and the sport in an ever-changing landscape.

Pleasingly, dialogue is currently taking place with the regulatory groups and the clubs to discuss the current environment and concerns.

I am pleased that after extensive and detailed negotiations – challenging at times –  Super League Europe and the RFL have realigned for the good of the game, leading us to appoint a strategic partner to transform and grow the game over the next decade.

The role of Super League and all its clubs will continue to provide great sporting entertainment for our broadcast partners, sponsors and fans, whilst the focus of the RFL will be on the governance of the sport of rugby league at every level.

Commercially, we are creating a joint commercial enterprise which will bring together all the current and future assets of rugby league.

The sole objective of rugby league commercial will be to maximise the income from every asset and increase the profit available for distribution to the clubs whilst ensuring that the governing body has sufficient resource to do its job, including funding the lower leagues and community game.

Discussions regarding a strategic partner are advancing at a rapid pace. We’ve had dialogue with over two dozen potential partners and investors over the past six months and it’s pleasing to have such a high level of interest in our great game. 

We are now in exclusive discussions and detailed negotiations which is very exciting for our game.

I’ll see you at the weekend!