Lee Radford demands answers over central contracts

Unhappy: Hull FC coach Lee Radford
Unhappy: Hull FC coach Lee Radford
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HULL FC coach Lee Radford says he is in the dark about the RFL’s central contracts policy and is worried bigger clubs could become even more powerful if it is not operated carefully.

It emerged this week that St Helens’ England full-back Jonny Lomax had agreed a new deal with the club but also signed with the governing body in a deal to help “promote” the sport.

Keen to retain the best talent in light of advances from the NRL and rugby union, the RFL has said it will look to recruit a number of players on central contracts.

It is believed England squad players including Warrington Wolves’ Ben Currie and Daryl Clark, Wigan Warriors’ George Williams plus Lomax, will receive around an extra £25,000 per year but still no firm details about the process have yet been divulged.

Radford insisted: “I’ve had no information regards it (central contracts). If you are going to give it out then make it even and either one or two per club as, at the moment, we have two at one club, one at another, some haven’t any. What’s the criteria, who selects?

“I’ve read Castleford are looking to extend (England second-row) Mike McMeeken’s contract.

“He’s already under contract coincidentally so that tells me there’s going to be some central funding towards that...

“It’s a great opportunity to say ‘let’s renew him, let’s lengthen him and let’s get 25k from the RFL. We’ll split it with you – we’ll knock 12-and-a-half of your contract and you can have the rest.’ Genius. If so, can we do Danny Houghton, Jamie Shaul and Scott Taylor and get some money for them? That would be nice.

“If it keeps players from going to the NRL or rugby union and we can get our players more money then brilliant. But I do believe we can’t just be sporadic – ‘you get one but not you’. The clubs that have been given them are powerful clubs. Is it not just making them more powerful and does it not hurt the likes of Wakefield and lesser-financially secure clubs?”