The Garry Schofield Column: What’s the point of London Skolars?

London Skolars - Friday Night Lights 2023

WHAT’S the point of London Skolars?

It’s been a dismal campaign for the capital’s ‘other’ club, compounded by their inability to fulfil their fixture at Rochdale last Wednesday.

What an embarrassment for a professional club and for the Rugby Football League!

Yes, it’s more difficult for part-time clubs to play in midweek, especially when they have to travel some distance, but sometimes rearrangements are necessary, and Skolars knew what they were signing up for when they joined the competition.

Workington managed to get to Oldham, almost as arduous a journey as London to Rochdale, for a rearranged match the same evening.

It meant Hornets lost one of what are already precious few home games, and this was a match which would have had a significant bearing on the play-off positions.

And while they have been awarded a 48-0 win, the cynics among us were left wondering if Rochdale had effectively lost out because they might have won by a higher margin had the game gone ahead.

Skolars had lost all their matches going into their final one at North Wales Crusaders, and you have to ask what they bring to professional Rugby League?

It was the same with West Wales Raiders, Oxford, Gloucestershire All Golds and Hemel Stags, all of whom have fallen by the wayside.

Will Skolars go the same way and can Cornwall, where Rochdale had to go for the final regular-season game, really succeed when they are so far off the beaten track?

The RFL have to take some responsibility, and I’d be interested to hear the governing body’s answer to the question ‘What’s the point of League One?’. It’s such a lopsided division, and makes life even harder for the bigger clubs who are in there.

Long term, I think it would be better to go back to two larger divisions, with the clubs who have shown no signs of realistic progress playing in more local competitions.

Expansion is all well and good, but semi-professional clubs need to be built on proper foundations, not sand, if they aren’t to be washed away.