The reigning Challenge Cup holders, Catalans Dragons, might not participate in this year’s competition after asking the RFL to reconsider its demand for a €550,000 deposit in order to play in 2019.
Les Dracs have reportedly followed in the footsteps of Toronto Wolfpack and Toulouse Olympique and refused to pay the bond demanded of non-English clubs to feature in the illustrious competition.
The RFL asked all three clubs to pay the fee to cover any reductions in revenue due to their potential involvement in the latter stages of the competition. Last year’s final, which saw Steve McNamara’s side defeat Warrington at Wembley, drew a crowd of 50,672, the lowest attendance for a Wembley final since 1937.
As a result, the RFL missed out on a lot of projected revenue and made the decision to request a bond from the three non member clubs in order to cover their finances moving forward.
However, Toronto and Toulouse immediately refused the demands and therefore will not be playing in the competition, and now the reigning holders could follow suit, according to L’Indépendant.
The RFL has been contacted for comment.
Given that the three overseas clubs are not full members of the RFL, they are invited to play in the competition, as opposed to full member clubs whose participation is compulsory. However, given that, full member clubs have not been asked for a deposit despite many of those involved drawing smaller gates than the three overseas clubs.