Peacock: TV money not earned by RFL’s acumen

When Leeds Rhinos host Bradford Bulls on Sunday 25 January in Jamie Peacock’s testimonial game, it is likely to be the only time the two clubs meet in 2015.

And Peacock himself, who made his Super League debut with the Bulls in 1999 before moving to Leeds in 2006, admits it will be a special feeling, not least because it could be the last time he plays against his former club.

“Unless something unexpected happens and we draw Bradford in the Challenge Cup or we end up in the bottom four of Super League after 23 weeks, which I hope is unlikely, we will only play them once in 2015. So in that sense this game will be the fans’ only chance to see a traditional derby and my last chance to play against Bradford,” Peacock told League Express.

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“I played 200 games for them, so when their Chairman Marc Green agreed to have a derby to mark the 20th season of my career I was delighted, especially as it will be my last season.

“When you take a step back and realise your time may be coming to an end, you realise how much the game means to you.”

Meanwhile Peacock admits he supports the call of Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield for the Super League salary cap to be raised.

In a recent newspaper article Sinfield suggested that the salary cap should be raise from its present figure of £1.85 million to £2.5 million.

“I do agree with Kevin to a large degree,” said Peacock.

“Rugby League players have had to become more professional, because every year one club takes a step forward and the others have to follow them. In Rugby League, since I started, we have become incredibly professional.

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“Of course you judge success by your league position, and it is clear what success means. But off the field we can’t make a clear judgement about the people who run the game.”

“We get a lot of money from the TV deal, but that isn’t necessarily earned by the RFL’s acumen off the pitch.”

And Peacock admits he feels frustrated that Rugby League finds it difficult to attract more major companies as sponsors.

“The values of Rugby League are incredibly strong, and any company with a good corporate image should want to associate with us and sponsor us,” he added.

“Those values are what people admire about us. In my opinion Rugby League is like an uncut diamond.”