The games has lacked a leader for a number of years probably since Mr Lewis went Part time. The likes of Wood and Rimmer have constantly shown they simply are not the right people to lead the game forward on a number of points.You cant blame everything on the RFL as the Clubs themselves are often at fault with how they have done things. And some things are not that easy to fix. However Some areas that I do feel the RFL should do better on and especially Wood and Rimmer are such things as :
Super League should have minimum standards and clubs that fail to meet up to them should lose their spot. Super League should be about the best clubs pushing on and off the field. That has not happened for a good few years. Instead of the RFL setting and maintaining standards we see the standards on and off the field diluted. Instead of telling clubs that they have a responsibilty to not just keep standards, but to improve them, the RFL have allowed the clubs to push the game downhill. The Dual Regs, The failure of the U20s and clubs to take it seriously, The watering down of licence standards by allowing clubs to be run badly are good example. Now we have a situation, where for me, the product is weaker than it was 10 years ago. Clubs in debt, No U20s and uncertainty about the future of SL. SL is like a runaway train with nobody in control , but plenty of shouting and waving of arms. Why would a Sponsor want to get involved?
Alot of confusion about the system and how its supposed to work even now. Certain clubs have abused the system. And while in theory it has the potential to help clubs, it has caused anger and misunderstandings. Why did the RFL not set out clearly the rules of DRs? Having the likes of Morley, Briers, Achurch, Moore guesting was not what the DRs was originally about. It was promoted as helping younger players playing at a higher standard. And are Swinton and Hunslet that much better off this year? Not really despite a number of Championship 1 clubs being promoted. The rules are very unclear and the RFL just seem happy to allow things to continue so
The most important part of developing the game for me. But the RFL have allowed it to be neglegted and also allowed Pro Clubs to abuse it, seeing amateur clubs lose Youngsters for no reward. We have seen letters from amateur clubs going to players and Pro clubs telling kids to play or face the consequences. Often these youngsters dont make the grade and dont go back to the amateur club. We have seen Development Officers disappear and the good work done to rot away. We have Summer v Winter fights in the heartlands with a number of players trying to play both and clubs struggling to fulfill fixtures at times. Theres no real working in harmony between Barla and the RFL and the various leagues. We have a real mess both in and outside the heartlands. How can the game have a strong foundation and future, with the lack of Development officers and the infighting and no leadership?
NO SET SYSTEM
The RFL seem to keep changing systems every 3 years and fail to allow something to grow. The Licence standards keep getting watered down and things done behind closed doors allowing accusations to be shot at the RFL- Crusaders, London, Bradford etc. We see no belief or understanding of what the RFL hope to achieve with SL or other parts of the game due to the constant changes. Right now I personally do not see what the RFL and Clubs hope to achieve with the Proposals for the new League setup. What is its aims? And how long do we stick with it and go for the next system?
UNITY IN THE GAME
For me the RFL should be looking to unify the game. But from the people I know at amateur level and who follow various pro clubs thats not what is happening. We have the amateur and pro set up fighting each other for players. We have summer and winter sections fighting each other. We have SL v Championship. Are the likes of Castleford, Salford, Hull KR, London any better than clubs excluded from SL? We have the Bonus Point in the Championship but another points system for Super League. Why?
Personally I dont expect Wood, Rimmer and the RFL to be perfect or never to make mistakes. But I do expect to see some leadership and tell us what they are doing and why. I want to know how they intend to improve the game at various levels. I want to see a framework of how they intend to improve the development of the game at Grassroots level, Championship and Super League not just for the next 2 years but 5 and 10 years. I want to know how they intend to improve the game thats on its backside financially. I want to know what plans are to help improve the standards not just at SL but at Championship level as well as academy. Where exactly are Nigel Wood and Ralph Rimmer wanting our game to go ? Currently I see nothing and have seen nothing from either man, both at the RFL and when they was at SL clubs to suggest they are the right people to take the game forward. They simply are not the right people to lead the game forward in my opinion. But I cant see either man being man enough to say that and step down and allowing new faces in to run the game and push it forward