Championship clubs extend their debate

The latest forum for Championship and League 1 clubs will take place on June 25th with clubs set to discuss the practical issues of a return to action.

All clubs will attend to discuss the findings of the working groups that have been meeting over several weeks to work out the costs and logistics of a return, as well as ways to offset the costs.

Last week, Leigh and Featherstone chiefs Derek Beaumont and Mark Campbell expressed their dismay at the RFL’s inability to provide what they deemed as a meaningful season, which would allow promotion at the end of the season.

That is set to be discussed at the forum, as well as a variety of other topics, ahead of the next RFL board meeting at the start of July, where a final decision on the future of the competitions is likely to be made.

The working groups have introduced new officials in recent weeks as the topic of socially distant crowds was introduced to discussions. Ground safety officers across the competitions held a meeting last week to discuss the logistics of making that possible.

When contacted by League Express, an RFL spokesperson said: “The working groups considering the issues around returning to training and playing for Betfred Championship and League 1 had initially been set up specifically to discuss stages two, three and four of the DCMS guidance for the return of elite sport, relating to training, and playing behind closed doors, with stage four including cross-border fixtures.

“Given the importance to all clubs of being able to stage fixtures with crowds, and the growing information and discussion around stage five of the DCMS guidance, that has been added to the agenda for the next meeting of the Broadcast and Media (Revenue) Working Group, so it can be considered before both working groups report back to the Championship and League 1 Forum later this month.

“On that basis all clubs were given a further opportunity last week to join one or both of the working groups, and as previously, this offer met with a positive response.”