Bradford and Workington have fired shots at each other in separate statements over live streaming their League 1 clash on Sunday.
Proper Sport and BullsLive usually stream games LIVE on Facebook, but Workington have declined Bradford’s request to stream the game.
Town have also declined permission for the Bulls and Proper Sport to broadcast the game after kick-off. Town believe live streaming the game for free will affect attendance figures.
Andrew Chalmers, Bulls chairman, has released the following statement:
“The Workington Town board position is a shortsighted poor decision in not allowing BullsLive and ProperSport to live stream or even show ANY delayed coverage of the game.
“All rugby league fans including young and old fans and especially sick supporters and those who can’t make or afford the 7hr return trip are denied the opportunity to support enjoy and celebrate rugby league.
“Bigger principles are at stake here. Our great sport of Rugby League deserves to be showcased around the world by every club at every opportunity.
“Amateur and completely selfish is the only way I can truly describe this decision.
“I’m sure many rugby league fans will feel this damages Cumbrian desire for Super League inclusion.
I’m also sure all sports fans will be equally outraged and I encourage them to express their views openly.”
Workington have replied to Chalmers’ words with the following statement:
“The Workington Town board are surprised and very disappointed to see the statement issued by the Bradford Bulls Chairman this afternoon as it is inaccurate and inflammatory.
“We agree that our great sport should be seen by a wider audience so have found it strange over the last couple of weeks that the Bradford club have made very little effort to promote the game, particularly on social media. Two people from the Bradford media team turned up at Derwent Park after a brief telephone discussion with a club volunteer a couple of weeks ago to scope out for filming. However, since then, we have had no formal written request to allow filming at Derwent Park as per RFL rules. Mid this week we were in contact with Bradford and agreed that there would be no filming. We believe that live streaming for free could have an adverse effect on the attendance and that the request to stream afterwards at 6PM could have a similar effect.
“We do not see Bradford Bulls as a cash cow as some Bradford fans are accusing us. Our top price ticket is £15 and we allowed a discount for Bradford fans who purchased ahead of the match. We feel this is a suitable admission price for League 1 rugby. We understand our fans will pay quite a bit more at Odsal. Furthermore, to incite ‘sports fans to express their views openly’ has resulted in many offensive messages to the club on twitter and Facebook which is unnecessary and falls short of the standards we should uphold in our great game.
“We have been genuinely surprised at the arrogance that some Bradford staff have shown us this week. We were threatened with a bill for the film crew and that Bradford would withhold money from pre-match ticket sales. We will not be intimidated by any club and we will not bow to pressure because of a decision that we, as custodians of our club have made in the best interests of our club. Although some Bradford staff were unprofessional we had a frank and friendly conversation with a senior staff member on Friday who understood our decision and we finished the conversation amicably.
“We have kept silent until Mr Chalmers’ statement this afternoon because we are a club that tries to be professional and dignified at all times. We feel we must now reply to set matters straight as it is apparent that not everyone shares those values. To be called amateurish and selfish is a slur on the many people who give time, effort and financial input to our club.
“We look forward to welcoming everyone from Bradford Bulls to our great club tomorrow (Sunday).”