It’s been almost a week since it was confirmed Wakefield will be leaving Belle Vue at the end of the year, and a lot of people are still uncomfortable with the idea.
Wakefield have been forced to find new facilities for 2018 following a lack of development at their current home of 122 years, which means the ground will not pass the new minimum ground standards that will be introduced next year.
The revelation from the club’s chairman, Michael Carter, has left some questioning whether Wakefield should be punished for the quality of their facilities. But what do you think should happen to clubs using facilities below the minimum standard? Here are the options, don’t forget to cast your vote at the bottom.
Nothing, the quality of the stadium shouldn’t matter
Traditionally, sport is, after all, decided by results on the field, not how pretty your terraces look. Wakefield are currently one of the top 12 clubs in the current structure, regardless of the state of their stadium. Some believe that is all that matters.
At the same time, other clubs have helped improve the appeal of the sport with new grounds, and some believe others should do the same.
It should be allowed to remain in its current home, but receive a lower distribution of central funds
Similar to the way organisations such as Sport England spread out funds to various sports, the same could perhaps apply in central funding.
Sports must fit certain criteria to get the highest possible allocation of funding, and that could perhaps be implemented into the distribution of central funding within Rugby League.
One potential issue with this, however, is that the stadium isn’t owned by the club, as is the case with Wakefield, and they don’t have the power to make the necessary renovations.
It should be forced to move to a neighbouring town into a stadium the satisfies Super League criteria
This option would give a club in Wakefield’s situation possibilities, but like all the other options, it has its drawbacks.
The positives would include the ability to move somewhere local for a year, and give the owners of the stadium time to make the required improvements.
At the same time, the disruption of leaving their current home, and the money needed to play somewhere else, would come at a hefty cost that could damage a club’s finances.
It should be allowed to move to a different part of the country
Perhaps the most controversial option would be this.
League Express recently revealed that the sport had received expressions of interest from a number of cities to try and entice existing clubs away from their current locations.
In doing so, there would be the inevitable controversy that would follow. But could it be an option for a club in Wakefield’s situation?
The club should be relegated from Super League
The ultimate punishment.
Whether this would be fair comes down to opinion, but if the standards are to be enforced long-term, making this the penalty would make clubs ensure their facilities are up to scratch.
Cast your vote here