Clubs to debate a Bradford inquiry

THERE COULD be fireworks at a meeting of Championship and League 1 clubs this week after several clubs outside the top-flight were left unsatisfied by the RFL’s rejection of an independent inquiry into the governing body.
Ralph Rimmer, Karen Moorhouse and Tony Sutton were quizzed by the media last week (see pages 18 & 19). The subjects covered included growing talk of an inquiry into the RFL’s actions concerning Bradford Bulls and Odsal Stadium.
Many supporters and critics of the governing body feel a third-party inquiry is the only way to establish exactly what has gone on, despite the RFL briefing clubs last week in a document which shows the full timeline of events from 2012, when the lease of Odsal was purchased by the RFL, to the present day.
Rimmer appeared to dismiss any talk of an inquiry. He said: “We’ve got an independent board – that’s what they’re there for. What’s point of having inquiry into an independent board?
“They’re there to make decisions which are non-conflicting in best interests of the sport. The independent board is there to govern and if we have inquiries into them, where does it end? It could paralyse the sport completely.”
But that has only further served to stir up emotions among some Championship and League 1 clubs, who intend to air their views in a meeting of representatives from the two leagues on Thursday.
League Express is aware of at least three clubs who are now going door-to-door to other clubs trying to lobby support for an inquiry, with the view that if a large portion of clubs demand it, the weight of pressure on the governing body may be significant.
Those clubs are concerned that the doubt surrounding the RFL and Bradford is creating what has been described to League Express as a ‘terrible perception for our sport’, and they feel a third-party, full-scope inquiry is the only way to allay those fears.
But as things stand, Rimmer seems unlikely to sanction any such inquiry as he insists that the governing body has nothing to hide.