Campbell joins Beaumont in RFL criticism

Featherstone chairman Mark Campbell has become the latest to criticise the RFL as clubs attempt to get the Championship season back underway.

Campbell has joined Leigh owner Derek Beaumont in questioning why the governing body have been unable to outline what constitutes a ‘meaningful’ season.

Campbell and Beaumont did not attend the latest working group meeting as a result, with the groups in place to try and determine the costs and logistics, and how they can be offset.

However, the pair believe that it is irrelevant while the RFL are unable to define how the competition must look for promotion to be available at the end of the campaign.

“I’m extremely concerned about the future of the 2020 RFL Championship and League 1 campaigns,” Campbell said in a club statement.

“As the landscape changes constantly throughout this pandemic, we have to give ourselves the best chance possible in resuming the season.

“I have proposed what I believe to be a suitable start date, one which would give us the best possible chance of playing in front of crowds and limit the level of testing for players, staff and officials. Whilst others have explored the merits and disadvantages of playing behind closed doors.

“Unfortunately, after almost eight weeks of discussions we still haven’t agreed on what is deemed to be a ‘meaningful season’, this is something that can only come from the RFL. I don’t understand how we haven’t agreed on this yet, we need to work together to resolve this matter.

“Representatives of the RFL and its Clubs have created two working groups, one to investigate the financial costs of testing and playing without crowds, and the other to find solutions to explore potential income streams to help subsidize the costs.

“I haven’t been involved with the second group, so I can only comment on the financial costs of testing and playing behind closed doors, which to date, I still don’t know exactly how much this would amount to, despite numerous conference calls with League and Club officials.

“It appears that to some this issue is a mountain too steep to conquer, despite us not knowing how far we have to climb. We aren’t talking about tackling the issue today or tomorrow, we’re talking about months down the line.”

He continued: “You may also have seen the comments made by Leigh Centurions Chairman, Derek Beaumont on the situation regarding the working groups and I would like to express that I am fully behind Derek in his frustrations, we need the governing body to explore every positive outcome possible to help us achieve getting the season back-up and running.

Derek Beaumont accuses delay tactics being set to prevent Championship return

“It is important that the RFL and clubs work together to try and explore all potential solutions and not settle for a negative result until all avenues have been explored fully. If we have to be patient we will, but we don’t have to put the white flag up just yet.

“We will continue to work hard and explore as many avenues as possible to enable a positive outcome in these unprecedented times.

“As the government landscape changes from week to week, we will continue to look for a structure for our season that suits as many Clubs as possible, as we need all the clubs to have an appetite for returning.

“If it comes down to the decision that the season cannot resume until 2021, we will accept that, but only if it comes down to medical/safety reasons. We won’t give up on this season and won’t allow Super League to determine or influence our competition and hope that the RFL will work in everyone’s best interests.”