Leigh Leopards owner Derek Beaumont fined for controversial comments

DEREK BEAUMONT has been slapped with a £2,000 fine for his outspoken comments following the final game of the regular Super League season.

The Leigh owner was found to have breached four sections of the RFL’s operational rules for his conduct after the Leopards’ loss to Wigan in September, which handed their local rivals the League Leaders’ Shield.

Half of the fine has been suspended until the end of the 2024 season.

His comments came after Leigh were denied what could have been a decisive try by a controversial obstruction call.

In a speech to hospitality guests, Beaumont said: “I’ve told the RFL clean and square. They are all in my box, all with the presentation party, the trophy’s already in the stadium and all the boards are sat here and waiting. 

“It’s impossible to move it from here to St Helens, and then that gets dealt with by a decision from the referee who’s appointed by the people who are running the game that decide what goes on.”

Oliver Gildart, the ‘scorer’ of the disallowed try in question in that game, has also been fined £1,000, half of it suspended, for his criticism of match officials in comments to the media in the aftermath.

Beaumont was not the only club official to be fined for public comments.

Bradford chief executive Jason Hirst has been fined £1,000 (half suspended) for “inaccuracies” in a statement related to the suspension of Bulls player Jorge Taufua in August.

Salford chairman Paul King has been fined £2,000 (half suspended) for “misleading” media comments about the match review panel in September.

And Warrington chairman Stuart Middleton has been fined £1,500 (half suspended) for comments in an open letter in September, related to the suspension of the Wolves’ Paul Vaughan, which had “a detrimental impact to the game”.

All four were found to have breached multiple sections of the operational rules, including one which refers to the behaviour of club officials.

“No director of a club, or other senior personnel, shall act in a manner unbefitting of the position which they hold,” it says.

“The RFL expect such individuals to uphold the standards of the game and to set an example to other participants. 

“By virtue of their position, such individuals will be held to a higher standard of behaviour than other persons subject to the operational rules.”

England international Gildart, who has since left Leigh to join Hull KR, was also found to have breached the RFL’s Respect policy with his comments.