Former Leeds Rhinos man to invest in Featherstone Rovers as special measures situation revealed

Aaron Bower
The Millennium Stadium, Featherstone

The Millennium Stadium, the home of Featherstone Rovers

Former Leeds Rhinos man Paddy Handley is part of a group of individuals set to invest a significant sum into Featherstone Rovers in the immediate future – as Love Rugby League can reveal the Championship club are under an element of special measures. 

Rovers have been the subject of a number of off-field crises this year. A number of their former players have gone public in revealing they are still owed wages by the Championship club, with a process now underway to reclaim that money.

And this week, the Championship club were the subject of a winding-up order from Investec – though Featherstone are believed to be in the process of resolving that matter imminently.

Chairman Mark Campbell revealed in March he would step down once the club’s current cashflow issues have been resolved, and Love Rugby League has learned that Handley, who had a stint as a player at Featherstone in the late-1990s, is set to become a significant investor in the Championship club moving forwards.

Handley will be part of a group that take Featherstone forwards as Campbell steps to one side, with the immediate goal resolving a number of off-field issues that are circling around the club.

Love Rugby League has also learned that Rovers are under special measures – but not to the extent where they cannot sign new players. Rovers have added the likes of Greg Eden and Ben Nakubuwai to their squad in recent weeks as they look to make a push for the Championship play-offs this year.

However, there are various levels and components to a club being placed under special measures by the Rugby Football League. The more severe end of the scale – which Featherstone are not under – includes a blanket ban on signing players. But clubs may have to notify the governing body if they wish to sign a player if they are in special measures, a situation it is understood Featherstone are in.

The RFL declined to confirm whether or not Featherstone were in special measures when approached by Love Rugby League, saying: “The RFL doesn’t comment on whether clubs are in special measures. A range of special measures are available to the governing body when deemed necessary.”