Championship club blast RFL following meeting

Leading Championship club Featherstone has hit out after the recent meeting of Championship and League 1 clubs, saying they are ‘planning for the unknown’ after a session that produced ‘plenty of talk but very little else’.

Their general manager, Davide Longo, has said that there are still many questions to be answered by the RFL following the meeting, and he admits his club is worried about the lack of clarity as to where the sport is heading.

He said: “We still aren’t sure how Super League, the Championship or League 1 will shape up next season and, given the fact there is less than three months of the current campaign remaining, that is a tad worrying.

“Are clubs going to be relegated from Super League or the Championship this year? If we find ourselves in a dream position, would we be granted a place in the top flight?

“Although, in theory, nothing has changed, we feel it very well might in the coming weeks and months and all of this potentially weakens our position.”

He continued: “From a Featherstone perspective, we are having to attempt to plan for the unknown. In terms of budgeting for 2018, we are treading carefully on the premise that we become more than self-sustainable, regardless of any central funding provided.

“There is talk of Super League and Championship expansion in the media, but where will the extra funding come from? Will promotion and relegation remain? It is unclear at the moment.

“If funds are shared out further, what does that mean for the second-tier clubs already sailing far too close to the wind?

“Sporting success stories often come on the back of long-term planning and a vision. We just want to be able to have things laid out, so we know what that will look like for us as a club.

“We can work within any structure, but certain aspects are crucial from a Featherstone perspective and we feel, frustratingly, that plenty remains undecided.
“I cannot think of one example, in any walk of life, where uncertainty has resulted in genuine growth, which Rugby League badly needs from top to bottom.”