‘Weakest-performing’ clubs allowed to dictate rugby league, says Wilkin

Jon Wilkin has questioned why rugby league allows the sport’s smaller clubs dictate its future.

Wilkin, who was part of Toronto Wolfpack before their expulsion from Super League, believes the sport is being held back due to its administrative process.

In an eye-catching attack on the system, Wilkin cited how clubs who fall short of standards are given influence on the running of the game.

“We’re constantly looking to our weakest-performing members to make decisions on the game,” he said.

“What other organisation would do that? This democratic vote in Super League should be weighted on your investment into the game. Eamonn McManus’ vote should be weighted more than someone who hasn’t put any money into the game. As a professional player, go and get changed at Castleford and see how special you feel, or Wakefield. The fact those facilities still exist in that form is an indictment on the game itself.

“The guys at the top are getting their legs blown off by the teams at the bottom. If you had money, why would you invest in rugby league? You’re not welcomed, you’re restricted by a salary cap and there’s no ambition to move anything forward. How are we going to attract money into our sport other than the wallets of our supporters?”

Wilkin also believes the independent report into the commercial viability of Toronto and Canada to Super League was anything but.

What you tend to do in business or life is to commission a report to find the evidence that suits the view you have.

“From my experience of this, the game became obsessed with proving a point that Toronto wasn’t viable, and your ego gets wrapped around that view.

If Robert Elstone and the game have decided that Toronto isn’t viable, and have commissioned a report to find out whether it is, the framing of that whole report will be based around that. My question to the game is were they trying to find these green shoots, or were they simply looking to quash the expansion into North America?

“I think Robert Elstone is a traditionalist at heart.”