Rochdale Hornets coach Alan Kilshaw has offered a damning verdict on the RFL’s disciplinary procedures after Lewis Galbraith was cleared of a verbal abuse charge on appeal.
The Hornets ace was initially handed an eight-match ban after being found guilty of verbally abusing Oldham’s Sam Gee by an independent Operational Rules Tribunal last week.
However, 23-year-old Galbraith was cleared of the charge earlier this week after being cleared of any wrongdoing.
Kilshaw was inevitably relieved by the verdict of the appeal, which will allow Galbraith to return to action in this weekend’s fixture with London.
However, the Rochdale chief believes the matter wasn’t handled effectively.
“It should have never gone as far as it did,” he told TotalRL.
“The first issue is that it went on for far too long. The game against Oldham was at the Summer Bash seven weeks ago.
“We talk about player welfare, well he’s had this hanging over him all that time and that can’t be good for him.
“Additionally, the Oldham Chronicle ran an article about the matter the day before the trial. He is an Oldham lad and his mum works in Oldham and she’s had people saying things to her which aren’t pleasant.
“Even now that he’s been cleared, he was still forced to miss the game against Swinton last week which was a massive game for us. We ultimately won the game but if we had lost the game without Lewis by two points there would be questions asked.”
Even though Kilshaw was happy to see Galbraith finally cleared, he claims the fact that he was found guilty in the first place was a serious injustice.
“I don’t want to get into a slanging match with Oldham, but their evidence was inconsistent and yet he was still found guilty.
“The permutations of Lewis being found guilty would have been massive on him with regards to getting a job and his reputation overall. I’ve coached him for three years and he just wouldn’t say what he was accused of.
“We have a diverse group at Rochdale and what he was accused of saying wouldn’t be accepted by me, the players or the club. So for him to be found guilty in the manner he was, I think the RFL need to take a look at that.”
Kilshaw’s latest comments are not the first time he has voiced his concerns at the RFL’s disciplinary procedures, having previously claimed they need overhauling.