RFL chief defends decision delay on Championship & League 1

The Championship and League 1 remain in a state of limbo following the latest forum of the clubs in the two competitions.

As expected, the clubs could not come to an agreement on the resumption of the competitions when they met last Thursday.

There was optimism that a resolution would have drawn nearer, but instead there remains no end in sight.

The RFL has now told the clubs to give their feedback via a survey, which they have distributed, with the findings to be presented at an RFL board meeting next Monday, July 6th.

RFL Chief Commercial Officer Mark Foster has defended the decision to survey the clubs again.

“There are 25 clubs but less than ten are represented on the two working groups,” Foster told League Express.

“Last week’s meeting gave all those clubs the chance to voice their opinion, but not everybody does in that sort of environment. Even if we don’t learn anything, we’ve not lost anything and it is good practice to give those 25 clubs the opportunity to complete a survey that ties into the results going to the RFL board next Monday.”

But there is no guarantee that a firm decision will be made next Monday.

“I think it could go beyond then,” Foster said, when asked if a decision had to be made at the board meeting.

“If we were having this conversation six to eight weeks ago the thought of crowds returning seemed remote, but we’ve waited and listened to the guidance; the numbers are heading in the right direction and various measures are gradually getting relaxed.

“There is a benefit to waiting and seeing what happens. But at some point, a line has to be drawn because the longer-term picture is the World Cup next year, which happens in October, so you have to have a season in 2021 that finishes before that, but one that is still substantial in 2020.

“We understand it’s frustrating for clubs, fans and everyone who wants to get back, but it has to be done correctly.”