Keighley owner takes swipe at Catalans Dragons amid IMG proposals

Josh McAllister
Keighley Cougars, SWPix

Picture by Olly Hassell/

Keighley Cougars owner Kaue Garcia has taken a swipe at Catalans on social media amid IMG’s re-imagining rugby league proposals.

The Championship outfit released a video on social media on Monday against the latest proposals, with clubs set to vote on Wednesday at the John Smith’s Stadium.

The video sparked debate in the replies, with Garcia joining in to take a swipe at Super League side Catalans, pointing out the attendance for the 2018 Challenge Cup final, as the Dragons defeated Warrington 20-14.

Keighley owners have made no secret of their views against IMG’s proposals, while the board of the Rugby League Commercial have urged clubs to back the vote.

Been there, done that

Catalans head coach Steve McNamara reacted to alleged comments made by Huddersfield just last year that French teams “bring nothing to the game”.

After learning of the alleged comments, McNamara said: “There is talk of Huddersfield saying French teams give nothing to the game and should not be in Super League which is an absolute disgrace. People talk about the game being together but it’s b******t.”

Huddersfield managing director Richard Thewlis questioned how McNamara would know what was said at the time and insisted discussions were better being kept private. 

England captain and Catalans full-back Sam Tomkins supported his head coach following the comments made.

Speaking on the Love Rugby League Podcast, Tomkins says McNamara was entirely within his rights to defend his club.

“The first I heard of it was when I read the comments from Steve,” said Tomkins.

“Steve doesn’t say things out of anger or emotion. We can take a tough loss or a great win and Steve isn’t doing cartwheels or crying at either of those.

“Steve will think about what he is going to say. He doesn’t get too high or too low and that is the consistency you want from your coach.

“So the comments regarding Huddersfield won’t have just been blurted out, they will have been thought through. I would back everything that he is saying.

“I think it is a terrible attitude to have. We clearly add to what Super League has got so I would back Steve’s comments. He would have thought that through and known exactly what has gone on before coming out with that.”

Keighley opposing IMG proposals

After making the most of multiple media appearances recently, Keighley’s attention turned to lobbying local MPs to raise the issue.

Keighley’s Conservative MP, Robbie Moore, wrote an open letter to all rugby league clubs.

The aim of the letter was to lobby clubs to gain support in opposing IMG’s proposals.

However, there’s confidence that the proposals – which will see a return to a form of licensing in a new grading criteria based on five pillars – will be passed on Wednesday.

Wakefield chief executive Michael Carter revealed at the weekend that Trinity will be voting against the proposals, while Batley head coach Craig Lingard wrote in his Forty-20 Magazine column about how the criteria is much more favourable for clubs already in Super League.  

The RFL board is urging clubs to vote for IMG’s re-imagining rugby league proposals.

Frank Slevin, Chair of RL Commercial, said: “As a Board, we are unanimous in offering the Club Grading model our full backing.

“We are all excited by the potential of this first recommendation, which is truly innovative in the changes it would make to the landscape of Rugby League’s competition structure – while ensuring that all clubs can thrive in that structure.”

More on IMG’s re-imagining rugby league proposals

IMG reveal grading criteria with five key areas highlighted

Trust the process: Only those on the inside can judge on category grading

Fans will become ‘completely disenfranchised’ – MP lobbies clubs to oppose IMG

‘Fake expansion’ and ‘spreadsheet grading’ will ‘kill’ rugby league