Flanagan supports summer switch

Saddleworth Rangers Chairman Terry Flanagan has backed the community game’s switch to a March–November playing season which he is confident will bring a whole host of benefits to clubs, players and the sport as a whole.

The former Great Britain International believes that aligning the professional and community playing seasons will strengthen the sport in terms of national recognition and finance, increase participation and greatly improve the Rugby League experience.

Flanagan said: “The move to summer rugby is necessary in the view of our club and a massive opportunity to take the game to a different level and resolve different issues.

“There is a long list of benefits which include commercial and economic advantages for clubs as costs will decrease and the income generated from events will be greater. According to our model there will be a 50 per cent increase for our club finances.

“We will see an even larger game event with more matches on and more activity in and around the game as well as more spectators.

“Playing standards will increase and looking long term there will be better quality, more able younger players produced.

“It will result in a better Rugby League experience for all and increase participation because it’s more attractive to players.

“Aligning the professional and amateur games and having a joined up season for the internationals and events will provide numerous benefits for both compared to the current situation.

“We will be more compelling as a sport when we stand together. The game will be seen for its true strength in terms of attracting sponsors and national recognition.

“We see this as a platform for great improvement all round and growth in every aspect including all round enjoyment of the sport. We are right behind summer and we want all of the NCL and BARLA to embrace it.”

For more information on the new league structure which will kick off in March 2012 visit www.therfl.co.uk/community_board/new_structure

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