League13 makes donations

League13’s assets have been donated to Rugby League Cares and the RFL Archive following the closure of the former players’ association.

The donations the first four inductees into League13’s Hall of Honour – Steve Prescott plus three rugby league players that were awarded the Victoria Cross for their great acts of bravery in the Great War – Jack Harrison VC (Hull FC), Thomas Bryan VC (Castleford) and Thomas Steele VC (Broughton Rangers).

Those caps remain on display at Headingley, in the Carnegie Cafe, and are set to move to the recently commissioned RL Museum in Bradford.

League13’s remaining balance of £1,336.33 has been gifted to the RL Benevolent Fund.

The former CEO of League13 Ernie Benbow saidL “It is sad to report that I have just concluded the final detail of the closure of League 13.

“The concluding final account balance of £1336 has been donated to the RL Benevolent Fund in accordance with the wishes of the Management Committee.

“On behalf of League 13 I have donated the  Association’s Hall of Honour framed cap collection to RL Cares. I can think of no more fitting ownership than the heritage arm of rugby league.

“I believe League 13 has left a sound legacy especially on our efforts on matters of player transition and have left for the good of the game some excellent League 13 short films with the help of Tom Maynard Trust funding.

“Our suite of transition and other material is available for use.

“It has been interesting to note that since our closure individual players have been read and heard commenting on the need to increase the salary cap, transitions issues, appropriate game time for fringe players and most recently the impact on Super League players of relegation from a salary and mental health perspective.

“These are matters that we as a collective voice campaigned about vigorously and regularly. Our archive material evidences our efforts on all these matters.

“At the time of restructuring we made the case to the RFL that we believed that that if change was essential it would be prudent to consider the potential for reserve grade teams of clubs (assuming affordability and subject to conditions) to play in the league structures. 

“We campaigned against the current structure as it gave us severe concerns with regard to player safety and welfare.

“We also raised concerns about the financial, psychological and wellbeing impact on families and on Super League players faced with relegation.

“The preferred option of the Executive arm of the RFL contained a requirement for players to play more games. We raised our concerns.

“We asked what research had the game conducted into the potential implications of more games? We asked the RFL to undertake a thorough piece of research on the impact of increased workload on players.

“The players are doing their job and believe the commercial side of the game needs to catch up with performance.

“We told the RFL that we reserved the right to consult the relevant statutory body about these safety/health matters should our concerns not be appropriately considered.

“Sadly, individual players trying to effect change by writing or speaking in isolation will effect no change.

“It is the whole hearted, constant support for change through their own collective body that is the only mechanism for delivering effective and sustained beneficial change.

“Lone voices in the corners of dressing rooms doesn’t work.”

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