OLDHAM RLFC have slashed admission prices for Sunday’s third-round Coral Challenge Cup tie against community club Haydock in the hope it can whip up interest in a competition that could potentially provide a financial lifeline.

Roughyeds, and other Betfred League 1 clubs, are banking on a run to the later stages of the Challenge Cup, given the changes in central funding from the RFL and the fact each of the 11 clubs in the division have only 10 home league games.

Oldham have had two of them already, producing an average attendance of 655.

At a time of financial worries throughout the sport, the future of clubs like Oldham will inevitably depend on how many supporters pass through the turnstiles.

To encourage more Oldham people to support their Oldham team in Sunday’s cup tie, the club has slashed turnstile prices to £10 (£8 concessions) with a nominal £2 entry for under-16s. Junior season-ticket holders get in free for this round on production of their season ticket.

Chairman Chris Hamilton spelled out the reality of the financial challenges facing clubs when he and other members of his recently-formed managerial team met fans at an open forum at the Vestacare Stadium on Tuesday night.

Ahead of the meeting, he said: “We’ve cut admission prices to encourage more people to attend. Half the receipts will be going to Haydock and that’s all the more reason why we need a decent attendance.

“We’ve only 10 home league games all year so revenue from cup ties is vital. We seriously need people who care about the club and about the future of pro rugby in Oldham to support us at the turnstiles.

“We need to grow our fan base and one of the ways we can try to do that is to offer discounted admission prices at selected games, Sunday’s cup tie being the first.”

Slashing prices is one of several initiatives being launched by the new eight-strong managerial team, comprising the chairman, Anne Kearns, Roger Halstead, Dave Naylor, Dave Murgatroyd, John Davies, Ben Whisker and Julie Collins.

Its brief is to increase attendances, raise the club’s profile across the borough and build on what is already a thriving social media presence.

The chairman added: “It’s a team that will give everything it’s got for this club, but their efforts can only be successful with the backing of every supporter.

“We need each of you to be an ambassador for Oldham RLFC and to support the leadership in all its efforts and all its initiatives.”