This week, League Express ran an exclusive Q&A with Hull KR chairman Neil Hudgell, after the club’s dramatic relegation to the Championship.
The full interview is still available to read in this week’s League Express – and if you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a taster of what it includes. To get access to the full interview, click the link and get League Express on your smart device or computer..
League Express: Teams have held something back financially for the Qualifiers – will you do the same?
Neil Hudgell: Yes. We’ve already committed we’re going to stay full-time, but the extent to which we invest in the squad will be determined by our commercial activity over the next couple of months. The strong part of the strategy is that we would hold something back in terms of spend. That’s the intention but the thing we can’t legislate for is what is available and what will be available. We’ve had messages of help from other clubs; they’ve said there will be players we can look to utilise.
LE: How much input have you had with Tim Sheens since relegation was confirmed?
NH: I’ve spoken to him every day. Tim is back on Tuesday so we’ll be sitting down over the course of the next week to discuss what he’s identified. He’s a man who has great attention to detail and he understands the situation and is keen to get started. He can see the potential in the club.
LE: On the financial front, what sort of a gap do you estimate you have to plug financially after relegation?
NH: The Sky money plummets by a million quid so it drops by a significant amount. Again, we will stay full-time but we’ve lost a million pound in Sky funding so we’re not quite sure how that will totally impact on the playing and off-field staff. I can confidently say we’ll run a full-time squad but what it looks like is unclear.
LE: You now turn your attention to putting your squad together; how big a boost was it having Shaun Lunt come out and make a statement of intent in saying he wants to stay?
NH: It’s a good start to get the guy that is the leading player in the club to commit. He plays in a crucial position, and there’s more good news on the way. However, there have been some difficult conversations along the way too with one or two players that we expected a bit more from. I believe that if you get us into this mess you need to help us get out of it but some of the lads have started to run for the hills and look for the biggest payday. We’ll see what transpires moving forward.