THE CHAMPIONSHIP and League 1 Advisory Group say some of its clubs have been “bullied” by Super League and the RFL has operated in an “underhand” way ahead of Friday’s crucial vote.
Members will vote on an RFL/Super League proposal regarding a new game structure plus funding plans based beyond the end of 2021 at an EGM in Salford.
Any majority will see the proposal – which sees a return to one-up, one-down promotion and relegation – passed as long as at least four Championship and/or League 1 clubs vote in favour.
The Advisory Group said it “overwhelmingly” intends to vote “no” as they say the financial proposal is “unviable” and they prefer the chance to potentially see two clubs promoted.
But Batley Bulldogs chairman Kevin Nicholas also revealed: “One Championship club has been told if they don’t vote in favour there will be no dual-registration next year, they will not be able to use or share training facilities and there will be no planned friendly for them.
“That is bullying. Our sport has always stood together but I find this disgusting. I’ve been involved in the sport for 21 years and, to me, we’ve hit a low point with this.”
Our sport has always stood together but I find this disgusting. I’ve been involved in the sport for 21 years and, to me, we’ve hit a low point with this.Batley Bulldogs’ chairman, Kevin Nicholas
The Advisory Group also claim that, despite continued requests, they have not once been able to hold talks with RFL executive chairman Brian Barwick.
Indeed, when asked if the sport can be reunited after Friday’s vote, Featherstone Rovers chairman Mark Campbell added: “A lot rests on what the RFL do.
“They need to stand up and be the governing body; they’ve sat on the fence and worked with Super League underhandedly in cajoling clubs to vote one way or another.”
The Advisory group also expressed its surprise that the governing body – which made a loss last year – was willing to put forward a proposal that could see itself receive less money.
The current broadcast deal is worth £40m per year with Super League claiming £30m and the RFL, Championship and League 1 clubs taking £10m.
But the proposal reduces to £7.75m if the new deal stays the same and drops to zero if the next contract is £30m – with Super League no worse off.