Catalans refusing to pay to enter 2019 Challenge Cup

Catalans owner Bernard Guasch has asked the RFL for clarification on their entry to the Challenge Cup, saying he will refuse to pay the bond requested.

There was controversy ahead of the recent first round draw when it was revealed that Toronto and Toulouse would not be entering the 2019 competition having refused to pay a speculated £700,000 bond.

The bond was requested as insurance against reduced ticket sales should either side reach the final, with last season’s final involving Catalans attracting just over 50,000 at Wembley.

The assumption was that the current holders, Catalans, would be entering despite the requests, however comments in the French press appear to suggest otherwise.

Guasch told L’Independant: “In December, we learned that we would have to pay a deposit of €550,000 to participate in the cup.

“It would be irresponsible on my part for the club to pay such a sum.

“It is their (RFL) responsibility and if we do not make the cup, they will have to explain why.

“We have sent a letter to the RFL on Wednesday asking them to review their position.”

The first round draw was made in December, involving 52 clubs, including Red Star Belgrade.

Currently, Catalans are scheduled to enter in round six, the last 16 of the competition.

On Catalans’ involvement regarding the Challenge Cup next year, an RFL spokesperson commented: “We have been surprised and disappointed by the uncertainty over the Catalans Dragons participation in the 2019 Challenge Cup, which surfaced just before Christmas.

“We have been in discussions with the club since then, and will continue those discussions to search for a solution.”

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