Future for Hull KR beyond 2020 remains unclear, admits owner Neil Hudgell

Drew Darbyshire

Hull KR owner Neill Hudgell says the strength of the club in 2021 will be determined by their actions in 2020.

Rugby league in the UK has been suspended at all levels since March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic – and clubs at all levels have taken a huge financial hit because there is no gate revenue.

Hudgell believes the Robins will make it through to the end of the season thanks to the job retention scheme that the government has put in place – but has admitted that their future beyond 2020 remains unclear.

He said: “The RFL have received a government loan of £16m. Whilst this is good news in one respect, it merely ‘kicks the can down the road’ in terms of delaying cash flow issues.

“The loan cannot be used to pay wages and is there for those clubs who need it to survive. Dialogue continues with the RFL on this matter as at this stage we do not know to what extent we will benefit.

“All players and staff have agreed to take pay cuts to help keep the club financially afloat. Everyone responded unanimously to help us through, which is testament to how much our players and staff love this club. I don’t underestimate the impact this will be having on their personal finances.

“I am confident that with the furlough scheme, government grants and loans, pay cuts for all staff and players, Sky, Super League, the RFL and your support that we can navigate through financially until the end of the season.  If any of those factors are compromised though the picture will change.

“What is more unclear is how this will impact on 2021 and what the club will look like at that time.

“Once the immediate government schemes end, bills need to be paid and possible refunds on membership, tickets, hospitality and sponsorship need issuing, we enter uncharted territory. The strength of the club in 2021 will be determined by all of our actions in 2020.”

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