RFL rejects talk of licensing

Karen Moorhouse (pictured) doesn’t believe licensing is set for a return to Rugby League, even though Leigh were promoted last week after a mini-licensing process.

Leigh Centurions were the successful party, a decision Moorhouse, the RFL’s chief regulatory officer, helped determine after sitting on the seven-person panel.

The process has resulted in some speculating that there could be a return to the system previously used between 2009 and 2014.

But Moorhouse said: “It is so instilled in the British psyche that you should get promotion or relegation based on how you perform on the field, rather than it being a bunch of people in suits in an office.

“And I think that’s right. That’s why we turn up to watch sport, isn’t it, to see that drama and know that results are meaningful and they are what counts.

“I can’t see us moving back to formal licensing where it’s all determined by that, but I’d be really supportive of funding being more determined by what’s happening off the field of play, as I think that’s what drives behaviours.”

Championship and League 1 clubs only receive full funding if they satisfy the standards imposed by the RFL, which relate to attendance, commercial and other factors.

Moorhouse would like to see that implemented at Super League level, too.

“What we already have in Championship and League 1 is what we call return on investment funding, which means that part of their funding is determined on finishing positions but, increasingly, part of it is what they contribute off the field of play. So looking at what their digital media footprint is, their attendances, governance structure, what they do around inclusion and diversity.

“Again, absolutely driving to make sure they’re not just running a team but running a business and rewarding those that are doing it best with more funding.

“The decision on Super League funding is one for Super League (Europe), but for any business it’s good practice to make sure you are going through that regular review, and to be clear in terms of your vision for your club and what your objectives are.”

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