Super League wanted to slash £1m off lower league distribution claims Fax chairman Moore

Halifax chairman Mark Moore claims the Super League board wanted to take £1m of funding from Championship and League 1 clubs as part of the proposed new league structure.

Members of Super League, including Wigan and St Helens chairmen Ian Lenagan and Eamonn McManus, showed a presentation to their Championship and League 1 counterparts regarding the league structure they would like to come into effect next season several weeks ago.

Moore claims that the proposal included the funding to the lower leagues been slashed from the current figure, which is distributed between the 26 clubs.

The revelation comes after Lenagan claimed on Tuesday that they were fully committed to continuing funding the clubs below Super League until the end of the current broadcasting deal in 2021.

The proposal was outright rejected thereafter, and Moore is of the belief no further discussions have taken place since.

“We had a presentation from four Super League club chairmen which we all listened too and watched,” he said.

“Their presentation included the financial consequences that could occur and that is £1m would be taken away from Championship and League 1 clubs to fund these changes. That’s where the negotiations have to come in. In any partnership, it has to be two-way and at the moment we’ve only had it one-way, which was the presentation made to all clubs around four weeks ago.

“Our advisory group is trying to push the agenda further, but I believe it hasn’t got anywhere on that.”

Moore also joined others in hitting out at the Super League board for making their proposals public, despite an agreement on next year not being reached.

“It’s quite disappointing to say we’re professional people who are supposed to be negotiating changes to the game going forward.

“It’s my own personal opinion that this is potentially a way to try and bully us into accepting what they’re after, which doesn’t fit in comfortably with Halifax when you’re halfway through negotiations.

“In my eyes it’s trying to push us into a corner as they don’t want to negotiate with ourselves. They believe it is better for the game.

“One thing I support Gary (Hetherington) 100% is that we had four Super League chairman trying to dictate us on how the game should go forward, however only one of those clubs are making a profit. They should try and get their own house in order first before going out to say they can fix the sport.

“Not bragging about Halifax, but look what we’ve done this year on engagement, our gates are up, others are saying how fantastic we’re doing. It would be nice to see Super League clubs do what we’re doing.

“If a club like Halifax can move the goalposts, certainly those with the financial backings of Super League clubs should be able to do the same, then they wouldn’t need to have to come tapping into our purse strings.”

Moore is also of the belief that Super League clubs want the structure changing as they are becoming increasingly threatened by clubs in the Championship, and he claimed to change the structure would make things significantly harder for Championship clubs to compete on and off the field.

“The main issue here at the moment is the concept of the Super 8s, they probably didn’t see four Super League clubs be in the situation they’re in at the moment.

“Everyone knew from day one what the consequences of the Million Pound Game was going to be. The exposure we got in the eights last year, we’d never get that if it went back to old school. Yes, it needs some tinkering, but why are we changing things all over again.

“I believe it would be a harder sell if the sport continues to go down the international expansion route. If it’s true that new clubs are coming like New York who can chuck money at it, this will become a hard sell to board members, investors and more importantly, supporters.

“Even though it’s not a closed shop, it will all come down to money. I’m a believer it shouldn’t be that and I think Halifax are proof it doesn’t have to be as we’re fighting with clubs spending over £1m, but it’s getting harder and harder, and if it becomes one up, one down, and you have international teams coming through, it will be a hard product to sell. I thought the objective was to make it more entertaining and more competitive.”