Channel 4 has ignored Yorkshire's rugby league culture - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Martyn Sadler, Managing Editor, League Express.

The Majestic in Leeds, where Channel 4 is based. Picture: James Hardisty.

I’M sure there are arguments both in favour and against any decision to sell off Channel 4 to the private sector, given that at the moment it is publicly owned but not publicly financed.

Channel 4’s decision to come to Leeds was a strategy of devolution that had been encouraged by the Government’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ initiative.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

It was reflected by a large banner appearing on the Majestic building in Leeds in October 2019 announcing: “Didn’t think Channel 4 knew there was life outside the M25”.

Channel 4 claimed that it wanted to reflect the cultural landscape in Leeds upon its arrival. One aspect of our Yorkshire culture, however, that Channel 4 seems to have ignored completely is the sport of rugby league. Instead it covers Formula 1 and rugby union, but evinces no interest whatsoever in a sport that has thousands of adherents in its adopted home city.

As well as Leeds Rhinos, there are 31 community Rugby League clubs in the Leeds Metropolitan District, as well as many more in other parts of West Yorkshire.

Many of those clubs are in strongly diverse areas of the city, which reflect rugby league’s proud history of inclusion.

That makes it look to me as though Channel 4 is just another elitist metropolitan interloper, mouthing platitudes about cultural diversity but not taking them seriously.

From: Bob Swallow, Townhead Avenue, Settle.

RE letters (The Yorkshire Post, July 20) critical of the Channel Four sell-off: ‘If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it’.