Ken Davy confirms Super League to begin talks with RFL over realignment

The elite clubs took the decision to break away from the governing body in 2017 after claiming their interests were not being best served by it.

They created their own executive under Robert Elstone in 2018 with the primary aim of controlling their own destiny and secured a hold of the purse strings by taking over the negotiations for the next television contract.

Elstone resigned in March, just before the conclusion of a reduced television deal with Sky, and Davy stepped in on a temporary basis.

Davy, Huddersfield’s long-serving chairman, said on his election his aim was to bring the two bodies back together and, at a media briefing on Monday, he announced the talks are about to begin.

“The negotiations will be starting probably a week today, certainly early July,” Davy said.

“It’s impossible to say with certainty but I’m working towards a late August conclusion.

“I hope we can advance discussions fairly rapidly – I know (chairman) Simon Johnson and (chief executive) Ralph Rimmer at the RFL are also keen to progress them.”

Davy says Super League clubs voted unanimously to start discussions on a realignment after expressing a willingness to compromise.

He says the RFL has changed “very significantly” over the last four years and believes the separation has also enabled Super League clubs to develop their strengths.

“I think there’s a recognition that together we can be stronger,” Davy said. “To realign and go forward as a united game, you don’t have to destroy what already exists, nor does it mean going back to the previous arrangement with the RFL.

“You try and build on what you already have, the best of Super League and the best of RFL and moving on with a stronger foundation.

“We’re talking about negotiations with the RFL to find a solution that works for the game as a whole. It will almost certainly involve compromise from everyone.”

Davy says the negotiations will include the distribution of the new broadcast deal and how much of that money will be given to the governing body and clubs outside the top tier.

“I’m sure that will form part of the discussions we’re going to have,” he said. “The reality is that amount of money available has gone down significantly and that’s going to impact the game as a whole, which can’t be avoided.

“I also believe the RFL, as well as Super League, benefits from the existence of Championship and League 1. We go into those talks with an open mind and trying to find a solution that works.”

Davy, who says he is aware of a proposal from former Hull chief executive Shane Richardson for a shake-up of the British game with independent governance at the heart of it, envisages a smaller board of directors with more independence.

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1 Comment

  1. Go cap n hand to Sydney, beg them to take over the global running of the sport. Every last facet of the sport to be controlled by them. They’re not in thrall to the Establishment, not cowed by the RFU, they succeed on their own merits. Carry on as we are the game continues to die at the hands of vested interests. Look back to the 1990-1995 period, the sport was stronger, more competitive, gained media attention, could pack out major stadiums for an Aussie tour, now dwindling attendances, narrow focus on development, spit in the faces of academy, youth, and amateur development. Change, radical change, is needed, we’ll never get that as things stand.

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