Mailbox: What to spend Elstone’s wages on if Super League merges back with the RFL

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Hi James,

Regarding Robert Elstone. Probably has been discussed regarding his pre covid salary of £400,000 however we were chatting at work and wondered if Super League did merge back to the RFL if this pot of money became available how could it be best spent.

One of the ideas that I think could work would to have RFL central development contracts.

In this you are looking for players for the future. Maybe a panel of coaches or England schoolboys identifies the players and you could pay up to 18 players £20,000 a year say on a 3 year deal with the rest (£40,000) for costs of scouting etc.

The idea of the contracts is the RFL has the contracted player and he is loaned back to his parent club (aimed at Championship/League 1) so rather than a player remaining part time he could earn a full time contract with their standard add ons paid by club win bonuses etc and develop which in turn would help his teammates get better raising the standard from the bottom up.

Stuart Morris

Editor’s comment: A merger seems unlikely, however turbulent the future of the game appears. All the breakaway of Super League appears to have done over the past couple of years is add to the game’s overheads, without much in return, which is far from what it needed. The picture remains unclear. The only possible ace up Robert Elstone’s sleeve will be the broadcast deal – if he can negotiate a deal that is perceived to be good value, that may be the saving grace for keeping Super League separate to the governing body.

Mailbox gives you the chance to get your voice heard and start the debate with the rugby league audience. Want to be featured? Email the editor:

About James Gordon 7067 Articles
Love Rugby League editor. Founded the website back in 2005. Worked with a range of clubs and sponsors during that time. Also commentates for BBC.


  1. IF anyone that needs to go is the CEO of The RFL! the problem with Super League is one owner and one CEO of Super League Clubs on a power trip! thinking they rule the roost, well the answer is No! to them. If Super League goes, I see The RFL dragging them down as they have with both referees and rules!

  2. I’d like to see the money. Spent on developing a professional team , either in Scotland or Ireland Even if was only at div one level for now . So the game can develop around the country before jumping the Atlantic Ocean

  3. The break away only happened due to how poorly run the RFL is.

    Im reality they should merge again with a clearout of the rfl side.

    But remember we have to keep big Gary at leeds happy

  4. I called for Rimmer and Elstone to resign months ago they are running the game into the ground . As for Elstone having an ace up his sleeve with the tv contract then don’t hold you’re breath any aces would surely have been played by now the game needs one leader with innovation and the ability to market the game to bring in the money it deserves a fresh start or the game is finished.

  5. I think Robert Elstone should go. He has shown himself to be ethically flexible with his handling of Toronto – the apparently biased and one sided hatchet job and the TV deal situation plus a potential sell out to an equity firm with no feeling for the game. Super League is showing itself to be greedy, short sighted and reductionist. This can only be disastrous for Rugby League in the long run and will result in more clubs going to the wall

  6. Maybe they can pay the Toronto players their wages, as he was one of the votes against them. Even the NRL on their latest show take the pop at Super League and rightly so. The Super League has done nothing for the sport with them bending over for Sky Sports on every occasion, to annoy loyal stadium fans, with date and time changes at whim.
    We have SL clubs that still play from undeveloped stadiums that Super league was meant to address? What an abysmal organisation along with the RFL executives they are only out for themselves. Lets get people in to these ranks that are passionate for the sport, don’t care on race, creed, sexual orientation etc, as long as they are right for the task to take RFL forward.

  7. How can superleague justify paying someone £400000 for what is effectively a part time job, when grass roots clubs are struggling to make ends meet, and on expansion, let’s get the game national to England before jumping across the Atlantic Ocean, teams from Cumbria,a heartland, haven’t had a team included during the super League era, it’s absolutely bonkers!

  8. Let’s Give It To Someone Thats Understands Rugby League And As Its Best Intrests At Heart This Is A Man Robert Elstone That Was A CEO At A Top Premiership Football Club And Didn’t Have A Clue Then We Are Know Rugby Starts At Grass Routes So Let’s Begin There And Go Back To Basics But To Stop The Prospect Of Not Letting Toronto Back In Is A Absolute Disgrace Another Man Just Lining Is Pockets Couldn’t Care Less About Super League Just Get Shut Of Him

  9. Where do we think our game will be in 10 yrs time if we habitually search for that goose that lays the golden egg in far flung parts of the world while neglecting the grass roots of our game here ? Getting kids interested in schools should be a given, to have any hope of a viable domestic product with a supporter base, and a talent pool of players, big enough to produce a league with competitive sides, each having a realistic hope of challenging for silverware.

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