Exclusive: Lower-league boss demands inquiry into RFL and claims clubs have ‘had enough’

A growing number of lower-league clubs have ‘had enough’ with the situation concerning Bradford Bulls: with a number of senior figures at boardroom level in the sport under ‘great pressure’ to sanction an independent inquiry into the sport’s history with the club according to one lower-league boss.

As reported by League Express elsewhere this week, there is still no clarity about the full ownership model at Bradford following the takeover of the club, led predominantly by former RFL chief executive Wood and his family.

A mysterious company called ‘BBBBB Ltd’ is now in majority control of the club, though Wood and several members of his family – as well as at least two former RFL employees – are listed as shareholders.

But it seems as though the situation has reached boiling point for a number of Championship and League 1 clubs. One lower-league boss – who did not wish to be named in order to protect his identity – has issued a scathing statement to League Express, demanding that there is an inquiry and thorough investigation into the governance of the sport’s governing body.

They said: “A large number of Championship and League 1 club bosses have had enough, and are incredulous at the damage being done to the game and resistance by the RFL board and executive to open themselves to an external audit and inquiry.

”Clubs are trying to sell the sport to their local communities and local clubs and have been given challenging return on investment KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators, on which central funding is awarded) to meet in order to receive their full funding allocation.

“They are frustrated that the questions and conjecture around the governance and integrity of the governing body continue to hamper clubs in their efforts to go about their business free of the negative stigma that is attached to the sport as a result of the lack of transparency around issues such as Bradford Bulls, Odsal and internal executive and succession appointments.

“Ralph Rimmer, Simon Johnson and Karen Moorhouse – along with Nigel Wood’s position as chief executive of the International Rugby League – are under scrutiny and all are under great pressure to appoint an independent inquiry and investigation into the governance of the RFL board and executive over a period of time.”