Derek Beaumont explains Leigh’s parachute payment

Leigh owner Derek Beaumont used his programme notes over the weekend to explain the controversial parachute payment the club received in the off-season.

The Centurions were given £500,000 following their relegation from Super League, which received criticism from some quarters.

But Beaumont explained that this money was effectively “sponsored” by top flight clubs and wasn’t from RFL funding.

He wrote ahead of the game against Toronto Wolfpack: “The parachute payment was suggested in the early summer months along with the suggestions of a new structure. I won’t go on about it too much but it is important I make a few points.

“At the time we were looking as a group to get the game towards fourteen teams. Two clubs I won’t name stated that if relegated they felt it would be the death of them. Clearly that wasn’t desirable.

“Furthermore it was envisaged (Hull) KR would have issues of maintaining their challenge if they didn’t succeed at the first attempt.

“For the record I stated I would invest my money and Leigh would keep fighting. Maybe not the wisest words if you believe the save Catalan conspiracy theories!

“Anyway, well before it was known who was in the MPG it was agreed there would be a parachute between £500k and £800k, the exact amount and conditions to be decided at a later date and that this money would be under-pinned by the Super League clubs.

“That amount was decided as £500k and the conditions that the whole of the central funding had to be spent on players so £1.25m.

“I was very grateful of this situation and had no issue with the caveat.

“Now people have criticised that this money should have removed the clause on the players’ contracts but the reality is that it couldn’t as it was still £500k short of Super League funding, add to that sponsorship and gate receipts and a club could still be brought down without the clause.

“I fully understand other clubs’ feelings on this but the money is from the clubs of Super League, not the RFL, so in simple terms if they all want to sponsor another club it’s not really anyone else’s business and that’s what we have in principle.

“There is no way would Super League put more money into the Championship to be shared by all the clubs; the purpose was to keep the relegated club a Super League club in readiness for expansion of that was the decided route which is still unknown.

“I should also point out that as part of the termination clause players who hadn’t signed elsewhere were entitled to be paid three months’ notice, meaning I had to pay a new squad in December and a large number of my old squad which itself ate into the parachute.

“I would also bring to people’s attention that whilst we get more money this year, in 2016 when we got promoted we got £450k compared to London’s £500k, Halifax’s £787k and Bradford’s £788k by using my own money so it is possible to achieve promotion with a lower central funding.

“As I say I have empathy with the other clubs but what they should be thinking is there are four places up for grabs so it isn’t just Leigh they are competing with for a Super League place.

“This competition is going to be very hot indeed and I believe there is a good chance more than one team will make Super League at the end of it.”

1 Comment

  1. Nigel Wood always saw the jump from championship to Super league as massive. He then fought for significant funding increase to bridge the gap. He got the SL clubs to squeeze it through. The sole purpose was clearly stated as a way to help a newly promoted team to be more competitive. Certain clubs did they do that. No. Despite a massive funding increase paid debts and still needed to reduce payments to players. Why do you think structure announcement is slow. SL clubs feel this money has been wasted and will be trying to get it stopped. It is not so long ago we were all on 80k in the championship and I can see this returning

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