Championship and League 1 clubs to explore possibilities of returning to the field

The Championship and League 1 seasons have not been declared null and void as clubs and the RFL explore ways for the competitions to return without crippling clubs financially.

A clubs meeting was held on Wednesday where the prospect of abandoning the seasons was discussed.

The majority of clubs believe it is not financially feasible for the competitions to return, with a return to play bringing costs that would be otherwise subsidised by spectators coming through the gates, though that would not be feasible due to government guidelines.

However, some clubs believe the leagues can be finished without putting clubs under a financial burden.

As a result, the RFL have set up two working groups to explore the possibility of playing behind closed doors. One will explore the costs and logistics behind returning, the other to look at ways to commercialise playing behind closed doors, and if it can offset costs.

In simpler terms, clubs are going to work out if they can get back on the field without it burdening clubs financially.

Ralph Rimmer, the RFL Chief Executive, said: “Playing matches behind closed doors, and before that the return to training that would be necessary, is clearly a complex option for all levels of our sport – and any decisions will have an obvious implication on the structure of the competitions, and relationships between our different competitions. Decisions regarding promotion and relegation will be made by the RFL Board.

“Setting up these working groups will give the Betfred Championship and League 1 clubs the opportunities to address those considerations further. We also maintain regular dialogue with players and their representatives, and our broadcast and other commercial partners, as we remain focused on finding the best solution for the good of the sport.”