Rams coach Kelly calls for change in funding allocation policy

Dewsbury Rams head coach Neil Kelly believes the current distribution of funding is restricting clubs from progressing.

The Rams are looking to build on last year’s eight-placed finish in what will be Kelly’s first full season in charge of the club.

To do so, however, Dewsbury will have to defy the odds as they look to compete against sides who have received significantly more funding than themselves.

Leigh have received an additional £500,000 parachute payment following relegation to the Championship on top of their initial funding, a figure which is drastically higher than the fee the Rams have received.

The likes of London, Featherstone and Halifax have all attracted more luxurious prize pots for making the top four.

Although Kelly believes clubs should be rewarded for success, he claims the current regime restricts clubs from moving up the table and progressing towards their long-term targets.

“It is a bugbear and something that needs looking at,” he said.

“If we’re giving a club significantly more money for what they did the previous year that can perpetuate the fact they’re spending the most or least. We’re effectively dictating the league positions before we’ve even kicked a ball.

“I’ve always said this wherever I’ve been working. If you’ve got the biggest budget, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll finish top, but you’ll finish in the top three.

“If you have the worst budget, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll finish bottom, but it does mean you’ll finish in the bottom three.

“We need to find a more balanced way of saying you’ve done really well, but not so much so that it has an effect next year. The rewards are too great between league positions. I’ve no problem with financial rewards, but not to the point you’re influencing positions the year after.”

Despite that, Kelly has targeted an improvement on last year’s eighth-placed finish after keeping the Rams up last season.

“We’ve got a goal and that is to graduate to the next quality level in our division.

“That means competing around teams like Featherstone, London, Halifax and dare I say it, Batley.

“We’re all starting off the season wanting to win the Championship, but common sense tells us that’s not possible, but we can progress.

“If we can progress to that fourth, fifth, sixth or seventh position, then that would be progress.”