Posted 01 December 2009 - 02:21 PM
I have made noises many times about the unfair advantages given to expansion teams , one thing to note is even though I have strong feelings about this, had the RFL decided that two clubs would be promoted to Super League 2009 and no Super league team relegated, then Celtic would have qualified. The thing that is galling, however, is the fact that they did so by playing players on a tourist or visitors visas. If for instance a club spends more money than it should have, even by accident, they would be punished, possibly by a points deduction. The process of deciding the fate of Crusaders is now down to the long winded outcome from the U.K Border agency and until that is concluded, it is difficult for the RFL to act. They must, however, act when the decision is known and be decisive in their actions. We are already hearing mutterings about yet another Paris team being brought into Super League another French team in the Championship. All this is taking money out of the game in G.B. and sending it back to the Antipodes as there is a distinct lack of up and coming talent to sustain the French leagues. Yes many fans who visited France enjoyed the experience, but how much did it cost the RFL ? each team is allowed, I believe a squad of 25 players ,coaches ,medical staff I expect that there would not be much change out of £5,000 per game multiply that by 10 and that's £50,000 per annum, double it as Toulouse have to play away as well then that becomes £100,000 per season. So if we took the logic and said each Championship club and Championship 1 were given an equal share each club could have £5,000 towards improving standards for spectators, helping youngsters take up the game or whatever apart from paying wages or debts. I stated the case of a French club, but of course there are two French clubs plus three in the challenge cup bringing the total per season to a quarter of a million pounds. Or 1£million pounds over four years, where is this money coming from ? How much does it cost the RFL to assist the Expansion teams including London Harlequins and Crusaders ? My guess is they don't worry enough about OUR gras root levels starting with out very junior teams in the amateur game through to the professional game. The restrictions placed on Championship clubs who wish to run at under 18 level make it impossible for them to operate teams at that level ( A cost of £40,000 per season is estimated) that means there is no worthwhile competition outside Super League for up and coming youngsters. That's where the money should go not some pipe dream about a week end in Paris, Spain or Wrexham.
To be a ROVER is a privilege not to be taken lightly, with fans like ours, we will always be honoured.