In light of the crippling financial effects of coronavirus, there have been discussions between the dozen clubs about temporarily reducing the cap from £2.1m to £1.8m for 2021.
It is understood the six Yorkshire clubs – Hull, Hull KR, Leeds Rhinos, Wakefield Trinity, Castleford Tigers and Huddersfield Giants – are all in favour but the rest oppose the idea.
Granted, no firm proposal is yet on the table but that could easily change in the weeks ahead as the sport – still shut down due to the pandemic – faces the prospect of playing behind closed doors upon its return.
If the competition is split 6-6, the Rugby Football League would get the deciding vote.
Pearson, whose Hull club are one of those who do spend up to the full limit, told The Yorkshire Post: “My view is that the timing is right to do it (reduce the cap).
“We’ve been asked to get our house in order and there’s various things going on with regard loss of revenue streams for the club over a concerted period. It would send out the right signals and be the right thing to do from the long-term point of view. We need to react to what the financial position and the financial dangers to the game are at the moment and they are significant.
“There’s a lot of threats and not many solutions coming towards the sport so I think we need to be aware and discuss all potential ways in which we can safeguard the game.”
Warrington Wolves – traditionally a big spender – are one of those hoping to ensure there is no reduction.
As if to illustrate the point, they shocked the rugby league world yesterday by announcing a deal to bring Kangaroos legend Greg Inglis out of retirement to play in Super League in 2021.
Those in favour of maintaining the cap as it is – Wigan Warriors, St Helens and Catalans Dragons are all in that camp – would argue there would be no future for the competition being able to attract such superstars if the amount of spend did shrink.
But Pearson countered: “Warrington is unique. It’s made up of local businessmen who have done extremely well and are in extremely strong positions financially; they can take more risk as they can afford to take more risks than other boards.
“Certainly at Hull we need to be aware of market conditions, more so than the board they have at Warrington. But these are just discussions at the moment.”
Meanwhile, the RFL confirmed yesterday that the Coral Challenge Cup final at Wembley, scheduled for July 18, has been postponed. However, the governing body still remains hopeful of staging the competition this year and playing the final at the national stadium, even if it is behind closed doors.
The sixth-round, quarter-finals and semi-finals have all been postponed so there is a possibility the competition will have to be reformatted and redrawn. Of the 16 teams left, five are from the Championship and League One, with no guarantee yet that either of those competitions will be restarted this year.
The AB Sundecks 1895 Cup final has also been postponed.
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