Outgoing Hull KR chairman Neil Hudgell hinted at a positive future for rugby league and hopes that the new TV deal will help entice new owners to the sport.
Hudgell announced that he would stand down at the end of the year after a reign that has seen Hull KR rise from the second tier to become an established Super League club, improve considerably their facilities at Craven Park, develop young players and grow crowds, as well as bouncing back from relegation in 2016.
Speaking to Sky Sports after watching the Robins go down to St Helens at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, he wouldn’t be drawn on comments made by coach Tony Smith last week that seemed to hint a reason for his stepping down from chairman was due to the ongoing saga and fall-out surrounding Toronto Wolfpack.
He said: “I didn’t say that directly (about Toronto), I think there’s a lot going on in the game at the moment. A lot of positive stuff, hopefully investment comes in to the game, there’s a new TV deal, so hopefully theres a new landscape that will also entice new potential owners.
“It’s not my decision (whether Toronto remain in Super League), and at end of the day, the game as a whole – the RFL and Super League – need to make the right decision for the competition.
“I’ve been around about 15 years longer than expected when I took the chair. I’m just tired. Came back after lockdown, not massively missed what was going on in and around the game, I just thought it needed someone with some energy to give it another go, and see if we can actually get back to the sport where we were when I first started supporting the club.
“I’m open minded, someone that comes in for the right reasons that loves the sport and wants to grow the club and sees the enormous ambition and potential that there is in Hull Kingston Rovers.”
Toronto’s proposed new ownership group is due to meet with Super League chief Robert Elstone on Tuesday to present itself for consideration to be included for the 2021 season.
A key discussion point of their proposal surrounds the receipt of central funding and what sanctions they are to face for their withdrawal from the current campaign – while it is believed that players and staff still haven’t been paid since May.