Featherstone chairman hits out at ‘self-interested’ clubs

Featherstone chairman Mark Campbell has accused Super League clubs of acting in self-interest over the decision to close the door to Toronto.

The Canadian club’s application to re-enter the league in 2021 was rejected by the Super League board on Monday after seven of the 11 clubs voted it down.

The Rugby Football League wanted to give the Wolfpack another chance but had only one vote which was effectively cancelled out by that of the Super League’s executive.

Campbell, whose side lost to Toronto in the Championship play-off promotion decider last October, says the decision represents a missed opportunity.

“Unfortunately, this outcome is the product of a self-interested league and a toothless governing body which is powered by the clubs within it,” Campbell said.

“I find it disturbing that the sport has found itself in a position where the the sport’s governing body has the same voting power as just one Super League club.

“How can the game grow with this unjustifiable system of clubs having the power to determine the other clubs’ futures and the format of our elite competition?”

READ: Robert Elstone on Super League’s decision to turn down Toronto Wolfpack

The RFL and Super League have been contacted by the PA news agency for a comment.

The Super League board was re-convening on Tuesday to consider whether to stick with 11 clubs in 2021 or seek a new 12th team and Campbell fears club representatives will choose the first option in order to secure a larger share of central distribution.

“The game needs to retain its integrity and ensure a 12-team Super League will start in 2021,” Campbell added.

“If the clubs vote for an 11-team competition, this will be another nail in the rugby league coffin, which will result in more and more supporters walking away from the game in a year we should all be looking forward to, especially with the UK hosting the upcoming World Cup.

“It seems that a majority of the current 11 Super League sides’ primary focus lies with safeguarding their own central distribution. If this is their priority, the game is at a very low point.

“We hope that the Super League sides, alongside the RFL, come up with the correct decision and show some leadership, by ensuring a 12th team competes in the 2021 Super League, whoever that may be.

“Promotion to Super League should be decided on the pitch and not in a boardroom. On that basis, Featherstone Rovers has earnt the right to be the 12th team in the 2021 Super League season.”

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2 Comments

  1. If they decide to run with a 12 team Super League next year by inviting a Championship club to enter that club should be exempt from relegation due to the lack of time for recruitment etc. Afterall if they stuck with 11 one of those 11 would be relegated anyway (unless they change the rules again: but they’d never do that would they?)

  2. I think the superleague place should be given to featherstone because Toronto beat them in the play off final to get promotion. If featherstone don’t want the super league place , give it to London as they got relegated from super league to make way for Toronto. Or have play off between featherstone and London winner gets the 12th spot , but this is why Toronto should not be in super league , poorly run , gone bust and as far as running a rugby club as a business totally clueless , I’m sorry for the Toronto fans and players and none playing staff , you’ve been cond by your old owner who couldn’t make a half decent deal to super league . He’s let you all down including this great sport of ours to the featherstone chairman I don’t understand your problem with Toronto not being allowed back in super league , I’ve a lot of respect for the club and supporters not many clubs can say the supporters built their own stand , your supporters deserve their chance in superleague, so if you think Toronto should of stayed in super league and you don’t want to take their place what the fcuk are the playing the sport for . Why are Toulouse bidding for super league it’s either yours or London . Toulouse didn’t finish in a position to get superleague you have keep safe everybody

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