KEIGHLEY Cougars' past and present staff and players will receive their unpaid wages by today and the appointment of a new head coach is set to be announced, the Telegraph & Argus has been told.

Former director Simon Harrison says he has communicated with representatives of the club's majority shareholders, Austria Holdings, this week, who have said the outstanding payments were issued on Tuesday and would appear in bank accounts within the following 24 hours.

Cougars players and staff have claimed they were owed money, which includes wages and bonuses, going back to August.

But Austria Holdings have denied this and reassured RFL chiefs earlier this month that wages would be paid.

The T&A understands Austria Holdings will be making a statement later this week which will include the appointment of former head coach Craig Lingard's replacement, with other key positions set to be filled in due course.

In an exclusive interview, Harrison, who quit his post last month, said he held a positive meeting with Austria Holdings representatives on Saturday.

He added: "It's just been a tough three months and I just hope that things can be resolved and they can get a team out for next year. Let's see what happens next."

Harrison did not rule out making a return to the club, adding he first needs to take a break from the situation, but would be available in an advisory capacity.

It is the latest twist in a chaotic few weeks at Cougar Park. This has included general manager Steve Gill resigning, Austria Holdings stating they will continue, the club being placed back into special measures by the Rugby Football League (RFL) and Lingard confirming his departure in a heartfelt social media post.

Players have also continued to leave Cougars, with Emmerson Whittel joining fellow League One side Oldham Roughyeds.

The 24-year-old back rower, signed for Cougars in 2016, but had an unfortunate spell with injuries.

It was in one of his early games with Keighley in February 2017 that he got caught up in a brawl and suffered a broken jaw in a Challenge Cup third-round bruiser against Fryston Warriors at Post Office Road.

He was out for two-and-a-half months and then in only his ninth game back he tore an anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, which required a joint reconstruction and another long lay-off.

He joins Nathan Conroy and Scott Law out of the Cougars' exit door, after they joining fellow League One sides Coventry Bears and Oldham respectively.

Cougars are set to get their League One campaign under way at Whitehaven on Sunday, February 17.