Hunslet chairman not ruling out possibility of not playing again in 2020

Drew Darbyshire

Hunslet chairman Kenny Sykes hasn’t ruled out the possibility of not playing again this season due to the coronavirus crisis.

All levels of rugby league in the UK have been suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic, with a return date yet to be announced.

Sykes says the club taking a pragmatic approach to tackling the crisis that has hit all clubs hard financially during these testing times.

He said: “There is no doubt that these are unique and trying times for everyone and there is no past experience we can learn from.

“A constant question on various rugby league forums is “will the season be abandoned?” and the real answer is that no-one knows.

“The RFL are working incredibly hard to get things up and running again and we, and other clubs, are supporting them in the best way we can.

“However, we cannot rule out the possibility that we will not play again this season. That is not a comment from a position of knowledge but more a pragmatic realism given what we are seeing and hearing daily from a variety of government sources.

“They are already openly discussing a phased return to normality and no doubt ‘events’ will be towards the back of that approach. We are not looking to set any hares running here but we feel it is important to manage expectations.”

Sykes is confident Hunslet can come out of the pandemic on the other side – and has urged the club’s fans to stick by them in their time of need.

He added: “Rugby league, in fact society as a whole, is facing great uncertainty and financial hurdles and Hunslet RLFC is of course not immune from this.

“The club, though, has a long, proud and probably unmatched history of overcoming major challenges – often crucially through the support of its fanbase and of the wider South Leeds community.

“We are confident that support will continue on and off the field in the testing days ahead. It’s important that collectively we do everything we can to ensure that our great club survives and lives up to our motto ‘And so we shall again’.”

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