Another former Featherstone player breaks silence on pay problems

Aaron Bower
Mark Kheirallah Toulouse Olympique Alamy

Former Featherstone Rovers player Mark Kheirallah has become the latest player associated with the Championship club’s pay problems to break his silence on the matter.

Kheirallah left Featherstone at the end of last season, but in light of their statement on Monday confirming they were still yet to resolve outstanding salaries from the 2023 campaign, the fullback has hit out, saying he still has no guarantees over when he will receive the remainder of the money he is owed.

He wrote on X: “Unfortunately there is a dark saying when you’re a foreigner playing in the Northern hemisphere and that is “If you’re a foreigner and off contract, make sure you remain in the country until all your contract is paid”.

“Since 1st November 2023 a surprisingly large group of players (both foreigners and locals) have been in a battle to receive what was rightfully owed. Results or not.

We were given numerous deadlines that were not met over the course of the past 5 months and it has only been recently that majority of the group have received what was owed. Still to this day there is more than 8.5k remaining! With no promise or gaurantee (sic) of when the FULL payments will be made.”

Kheirallah also called on the Rugby Football League to implement stronger rules that would prevent a repeat of this situation happening in the future: questioning the validity of their special measures procedure – something Featherstone have not been placed under despite the pay problems.

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He continued: “The rep from @GMB_union has done what they can to resovle this issue as quickly as possible but they have been up against a system that requires a serious overhaul! How can clubs not pay players but sign others? Makes no sense!

“If you take a risk and invest heavily into a team to win the comp and it doesn’t. That issue is not the fault of the players and their families. That is sport!! The @theRFL needs to start taking this seriously and implement rules that do not allow clubs to take such a risk!

“What’s the point of having ‘special measures’ if the clubs don’t get placed into them when it is required? (Maybe they don’t do it to save them from having egg on their face, I don’t know)

“If a club does not pay their contractual duties, harsh punishments should be what follows, no? If points where stripped for the following year or not being able to recruit. I gaurantee this situation would not incur in the future!

“Now I want to clarify, that I have been given majority of what I’m owed as of last week. However, their is still some remaining and I want this put to bed, so everyone can move on.

“This post is to bring awareness to a silent problem that affects amatuer clubs, every year! I want rugby league to succeed. I want fans to continue going to games and young kids wanting to grow up a be like their favourite players. I love this game!”

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