Welcome to the new-look Total Rugby League website. We've revamped the main homepage to give more prominence to the latest news and features, made the online shop easier to navigate and streamlined the forums to make them work faster and look smarter. We hope you like it!
Hemel Stags have not been consulted on this and we expect to be playing at the International Stadium on Sunday at 3pm. The International Stadium have confirmed they have a booking from Thunder for this Sunday.
The view that the RFL have not put any money into London is a little off the mark. At the peak of Sport England funding to the RFL there were 29 fulltime rugby league development people employed in London & the South East who were largely responsible for the creation of a player production line for the benefit of the Super League club and the generation of greater interest in the sport. In financial terms there was probably around £1 million pa being spent on salaries in London. Those development posts could have been allocated elsewhere in the country by the RFL, but were not.
In respect to the RFL funding stadiums I don't know the financial arrangements concerning Odsal stadium. However, a glance at the annual accounts of the RFL will show that while it is a profitable organisation it is not a cash-rich organisation partly because it tends to distribute all it surplus fund to its member clubs. If it was to, say, halve its distribution to clubs there would be some funds available for capital projects but there is little chance of that happening for obvious reasons.
Unless a club has ownership of an existing stadium which can be sold to enable a new stadium to be built there is little prospect of new stadiums arriving unless there is someone who has a big pot of personal money to invest. The other alternative is to try and build a ground from grassroots up - no easy task as the people at Hemel can confirm.
Rubber particles are an integral part of a 4G pitch. During winter it's necessary to maintain the pitch by spreading fine salt on it to prevent the rubber from freezing - much like roads are gritted.
The Hemel Stags pitch - which is only 7 - a - side - has been a boom for the club both financially and during the current very wet pre-season when we have been able to maintain quality training sessions.
Although we paid cash for our pitch, after four years we have already recovered all the cost with that money having been ploughed into other facilities at Pennine Way including the new grandstand.