Hogan backs RFL handling of crisis

Newcastle Thunder Managing Director Mick Hogan has praised the RFL’s handling of the current lockdown of the game amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

But he also admits that playing behind closed doors would be a very difficult option for his club and others in League 1.

A meeting between the RFL and Championship and League 1 clubs last week saw two working groups, both to be chaired by the RFL, set up to consider the issues surrounding the possible resumption of the sport below Super League.

One of the groups will consider the costs and other logistics surrounding matches taking place behind closed doors for broadcast, while the other will consider possible revenue opportunities to offset some of those costs.

But for Hogan any decision made needs to be the one that is best for the health of the general public as well as the sport as a whole.

“We still have time before we need to make any decision,” said Hogan.

“We can’t unilaterally decide as a sport what we’re going to do and how and when we’ll restart. Ultimately we have to be guided by the RFL, and they will be guided by the government.

“I have to say the RFL has been superb through all of this. Everyone is doing an incredible job behind the scenes and the work they did in securing the loan for the game was great.

“But in terms of a return to play, that will be led by the government. We’ll have to take their information and see how it applies to our sport, and even then it applies at different levels of the sport.

“The Super League clubs potentially do have the ability to play behind closed doors at a limited number of venues. But that option is far less likely at Championship and League 1 level, purely because of the costs involved.

“But any decisions that are made are based on what is known that day. That could change as soon as we’ve made it so that is a difficulty as well.

“The RFL has taken sensible approach based on solid facts and government advice.

“The great thing about the RFL is that they are continually updating everyone.”