EXPERIENCED head coach Mike Grady says he wants the Keighley Cougars job despite the continued crisis affecting the club.

As of yesterday afternoon, half of Cougars players and staff have now been paid, the Keighley News understands, after claiming they were owed money, including wages and bonuses, going back to August.

The club's majority shareholders, Austria Holdings, announced it would be paying the outstanding wages and naming a new head coach last week, but neither materialised.

An apparent wall of silence has been put in place at the club, as majority shareholders Austria Holdings have not made any public statements since November 22. No club representatives were available for comment when contacted by the Keighley News.

But now Grady, former head coach of fellow League One side North Wales Crusaders, has expressed his interest in replacing Craig Lingard in the Cougars' dugout.

Grady, who has been out of work since his sacking at Crusaders in March, says he is the man to turn Cougars' fortunes round.

But he said he would only join if the staff and players' unpaid wages were settled first.

He took charge of the Welsh club at the back end of the 2016 campaign and led them to the League Cup Final the following year, where they were beaten by Barrow Raiders.

In an exclusive interview, the 37-year-old, who also had a spell at Newcastle Thunder, said: "If they are still looking for someone to put a team together, I will put my name forward.

"It's a good club steeped in tradition, they have had some good days. They just missed out on the Super League when it came in. There is plenty of potential there.

"When I was at South Wales we were a club that didn't have much money. I had to put a squad together in the January before the season started in the February.

"I have had a few games against Keighley including a couple of losses. I have seen them a few times.

"I have plenty of experience, Keighley's current situation does not put me off. Money is tight in rugby league in general. There are still plenty of players knocking around at this time of year.

"There is some quality around National Conference sides.

"The fans and players just need some positive news at Keighley now. The fans are a good bunch and they always make plenty of noise.

"It would be nice to get the Keighley job. I have been out of work since March, so it would be nice to get back in.

"The ideal situation would be that all this is resolved at Keighley."

Grady also praised Lingard, who quit last month over the unpaid wages row, saying he would be a tough act to follow for anyone at Cougar Park, but would not stand in his way if he wished to make a return to the club.

The Rugby Football League (RFL) says it could not rule out taking further action against Cougars, but nothing of this nature was on the cards.

The RFL said earlier this week its stance on the club's situation had not changed since it said last month it was "concerned about and monitoring the situation at Keighley", was seeking clarity over its governance and the club has been placed into special measures. But the RFL has included Cougars in next year's League One fixtures list.

The club continues to be in crisis after Lingard resigned last month, general manager Steve Gill blamed 'broken promises' for his decision to quit and a number of players have moved on to other League One and Championship clubs.

But Austria Holdings have previously said it will continue to run the club, which still faces an uncertain future.