Government close to revealing Rugby League’s calls for help

Rugby League is hoping to discover the extent of government funding it will receive this week.

The game’s leading officials are waiting to discover the outcome of the RFL’s submission for financial aid, before further plans are put in place to safeguard the future of the sport and its clubs.

RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer has maintained a positive stance on the sport’s plea for help since initially applying for support late last month.

While nothing is guaranteed, there is a feeling of optimism that the sport will receive assistance.

However, it remains to be seen to what level that will be, and to what level of the game it will be directed, given that the RFL has all levels of the sport to consider.

Clubs are waiting to discover the financial packages they will receive before remodelling their pay structures. All clubs have now furloughed their playing staff, although they have yet to start discussions with players and coaching staff regarding wage reductions once the furlough measures end.

It’s likely that all clubs will enforce pay reductions, however, but to what extent, and for how long, will depend largely on the funding they receive.

Clubs are already facing cash-flow problems, with many being wary what the money they will receive from the furloughing initiative may not arrive in time for their next salary payments to their staff.

Those negotiations will start in the days following the government’s response, with each club looking at its own distinct scheme, rather than having a game-wide reduction.

Rimmer has refused to reveal how much money the RFL has applied for to the government, but League Express understands it is an eight-figure sum.

Last week, the RFL provided the government with examples of the social impacts the sport has within its community, while the All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group were in parliament last week to stress the importance of the sport within its communities, with APPRLG head Judith Cummins and Lindsay Hoyle both coming to the sport’s aid.