COUGARS are to appoint up to four new directors to the club’s board after chairman Gary Fawcett admitted it was time to move on from their dispute with the RFL.

Following the governing body’s AGM last week, Fawcett confirmed the club would not be pursuing compensation over their relegation via an extraordinary general meeting resolution.

He said all energies would now be focused on ensuring Paul March’s squad make an immediate return to the Championship.

And with the majority of players from last season having been retained, Fawcett has moved to strengthen the club’s off-field team.

He said each new board member would provide Cougars with a financial injection and added: “Most clubs have got far more directors than ourselves.

“At Cougars there is myself, Neil Cullen and Pete Spencer from Select Group on the board but other clubs have at least double that, so we have decided we’re going to appoint another three or four directors.

“They will put money in but will also be skilled business people too, which will make the club stronger.

“We can’t do it all ourselves so we are currently talking to three potential new directors and there could also be a fourth.

“We need more expert resource and investment to drive the club to where it should be.

“These four directors will work with us all to deliver the success our club deserves so I am hoping to begin making announcements in the new year.”

Cougars have decided to draw a line under their row with the RFL concerning the overturning of a points penalty relating to ineligible dual-registered players, which led to Keighley being relegated.

Fawcett admits he remains bitterly frustrated at the club’s demotion in the wake of the saga – but he hopes it will be prompt genuine change for the future.

The RFL included the issue on the agenda at its AGM last Thursday and committed to reviewing its disciplinary process with some form of external arbitration, which Fawcett had been campaigning strongly for.

The Cougars chief said: “At the AGM, the RFL Board apologised to all the member clubs present, and especially to Keighley Cougars and Sheffield Eagles, for the decision the appeals panel made on August 28 (returning the previously docked points to Batley and Doncaster).

“Further, they then committed to reviewing the disciplinary system with a view to incorporating some form of external arbitration if the reformed disciplinary system still threw out disputable decisions.

“In my view, this is a very positive step and should prevent the predicament that the Cougars and Eagles found themselves in.”

Fawcett said the club would be better served spending their money on players rather than a legal action they could lose.

He added: “Litigation against the RFL, indeed anyone, is expensive and success is not certain so wasting money on this is not an option.

“There are better things the club can spend its money on such as paying the players on time.

“An EGM resolution is problematic. Although we got five clubs to support us it was for differing resolutions and even those five were not necessarily going to vote for the resolutions, most of them simply wanted to debate the issue.

“On top of this the League One clubs were not going to vote for Keighley Cougars getting compensation, because it would have reduced their chances of promotion, the Super League clubs were completely non-committal (which is very disappointing) other than Wakefield and what of the Championship clubs? The only thing I know is that two clubs would have definitely voted against any resolution concerning this.

“Given that almost half the clubs didn’t turn up to the AGM, which surprised me, I think the chances of an EGM being quorate (validly held) would be remote as, I suspect, only one Super League club would turn up.

“We need to move on and ensure we get promotion back into the Championship next season.

“We will rely on the RFL Board reforming the disciplinary processes so that this issue never happens again.

“Twice events have contrived against our club when a major re-structuring of the leagues has occurred. All parties need to ensure that this does not happen a third time.”

Meanwhile, Cougars will face Championship outfit Leigh Centurions in a pre-season friendly at the Leigh Sports Village on Sunday, February 1 (3pm).

Paul Rowley’s side have gone full-time as they gear up for a promotion challenge from the Championship next term.

Fawcett added: “It will be a great test for us and will be interesting to see how Leigh have advanced having gone full-time.

“There is also the small matter of Fuifui Moimoi in their ranks, so it’s certainly a game to look forward to for our players, staff and supporters.”

Cougars also face League One rivals Swinton Lions on Sunday, February 8 and Gateshead Thunder on Sunday, February 22.

Both games will take place at Cougar Park with a 3pm kick-off.

Cougars will also visit Barrow on Sunday, January 25 in a 2pm kick-off at Craven Park.