Clubs prepare to extend Super League season which would see crowds return

Super League chief executive Robert Elstone says clubs are doing everything they can to play games in front of fans as part of an extended season.

All levels of rugby league have been suspended since March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic – but the government has stated that sport could return behind closed doors from June 1, providing that targets are met.

Super League is expected to be played behind closed doors upon its return – but top flight clubs are hoping that fans will be able to attend matches before the end of the season.

The Grand Final date of October 10 is expected to be pushed back now, leaving England’s Ashes series against Australia this autumn in serious doubt.

A Super League statement said that ‘supporters are still very much at the forefront of discussions’ as clubs continue to explore scenarios for the resumption of the season.

Elstone said: “The health of the public remains our number one priority – but we welcome the positive messages from the government regarding the resumption of sport.

“Clearly, this is an important first step in getting us back playing again – but this is also the first step in a complex process that will require more of the game-wide collaboration evident to date, as we look to find solutions, and deal with uncertainties.

“We share with our fans, players, broadcast and commercial partners the desire to get back on the field as soon as possible, in line with government advice on protecting everyone involved with our sport and the wider community we serve.

“Potential season start dates are all being considered as part of the extensive work going into fixtures scheduling and, whilst health remains paramount, we are committed to exploring all opportunities to deliver live rugby league in front of crowds.”

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