The spotlight has fallen firmly on Ben Cockayne this week in the build-up to the Million Pound Game, with his comments that the structure is a “disgrace”.
“I think the concept is a disgrace, to be honest,” he said. “On Sunday morning there will be a group of people without a job, that’s the top and bottom of it – and I’m not just talking about playing staff.”
However, Cockayne isn’t the first person to use the word “disgrace” in assessment of the Million Pound Game. 12 months ago, after defeat to Wakefield, James Lowes held a passionate interview with Sky Sports in the aftermath of the 24-16 loss.
Lowes’ interview may be chiefly remembered for his unhappiness at some key refereeing decisions he felt lost Bradford the game: but he also took aim at the structure and Million Pound Game concept.
He said: “I’m devastated. We shouldn’t have been in this situation to start with; I’m sick of it and I know I’ll get in trouble for this but this shouldn’t be how it happens.
“It’s a disgrace. It’s an embarrassment to our sport, this game. It benefits this game with no consequences at all – there’s nothing to gain from it, so why are we doing it? Why are we putting these boys under so much pressure? I’m sick of it.”
So Cockayne isn’t alone..