KEIGHLEY Cougars chairman Mick O’Neill has moved to reassure fans that everything is “cosy” at the club, with no prospect of another financial crisis.

The coronavirus pandemic has postponed rugby league matches for the foreseeable future, but O’Neill said Cougars have a plan in place and are “well ahead of the game”.

He praised volunteers for helping Keighley out when his consortium first took over, saying it eased a massive financial burden, which is proving handy now.

O’Neill also told the Keighley News that he would be against a move behind closed doors, as the “fans come first”.

Discussing the potential financial impact the coronavirus situation could have on Cougars, O’Neill said: “We’ve got a good business plan in place and we’re keeping to it.

“We’ve not got any problems and we’re ahead of the game (in dealing with the situation).

“We’re working on getting the players their money on time and they’re contracted to that (like most clubs, Cougars are in discussion with the Government and Rugby Football League about salaries).

“We’ve spoken to them all individually and they’re all happy about it, even if they’re not happy about not playing.”

But Cougars is about far more than just the players.

O’Neill said: “We are solvent and doing well and I’ve got to thank the volunteers at the club especially.

“They helped get the club up and running again when we took over and I have to thank them enormously because they saved us money that we didn’t want to have to use, because we needed to spend it elsewhere (players etc).

“That worked out well and it now means we’ve got a good plan in place among all the directors.

“I can’t get back to Australia at the moment but that gives me chance to sit and work out what will bring money into Cougars.

“I’m not happy being confined to a room but we’ll get through this.

“I’m in touch with (head coach) Rhys Lovegrove and the players. Everything’s cosy and we’ve got no money troubles.

“Everyone’s happy and getting looked after at the club and that’s our main concern.”

As chairman of the club during the famous Cougarmania days in the 1990s too, O’Neill has always talked up the impact of the fans.

So when asked whether he’d be happy for Keighley to potentially play matches behind closed doors, he unsurprisingly said: “I think we need the fans there.

“Australia tried it behind closed doors but it didn’t work and they’ve suspended it (the NRL season).

“It didn’t work over there and it won’t work here. Rugby league is like a community sport at Cougars and we put the fans first.

“If the RFL demanded it, then we’d have to play behind closed doors, but I wouldn’t be in favour of it, no.”