Radford questions RFL’s financial strategy

Hull FC coach Lee Radford believes that the demise of Bradford Bulls has revealed some serious management weaknesses in how rugby league operates in the UK.

The Bulls are the latest example of how a formerly great club can go off the financial rails, having been liquidated last week.

Radford, a former Bradford player, believes that the time has come to properly question the decisions that are made as to how precious financial resources are allocated, after the demise of Bradford.

“It’s got to be a slap in the face for the sport,” he told Love Rugby League.

“We’re now giving 40 percent of the Sky TV money to Championship and League 1 clubs, because of the new format, the Super Eights.

“Now, within the last 12 months, just what I know of, we’ve had Bradford go bust, Sheffield on the verge of going bust, Workington Town finished the season with 14 players – they had one player on the bench because they didn’t have anymore players in the squad.

“Halifax had to ask their players to take a pay reduction throughout the season, and York almost went as well.

“We’re not a club flush with money – we have to make a pound go as far as it possibly can.

“So we’re getting auditors to come out and tell us how good our academy is, and I don’t know what the cost of that is.

“Well, surely if we’ve given half a million pounds to a club, we can send out an auditor to make sure that that money is not being chucked up against a wall? Or is being spent unwisely.

“And if it is, you do something about it.

“We’re not doing that as a sport. We’re giving more money away, and then saying ‘That’s bad management by that club.’

“Well, take some resonsibility for that.”

Radford feels that the misallocation of resources was epitomised by the recent planned England squad camp in Dubai, which was scheduled for January but then cancelled.

The Hull coach saw the idea as misguided, not least because it drained cash away from the sport which could have been used for development work, something he sees rugby league as desperately needing.

“Just the funding of it – I’ve been to Dubai a couple of times, and I know how expensive it is there,” he said.

“The fee that was going to be paid to each individual club – around 200 grand I would imagine, when 20 squad members go out.

“That’s plus flights, accommodation, food and the rest.

“Again, I’m not telling people how to do their jobs, but if you’re going to spend half a million pounds, build an indoor dome for kids to play in, in one of the rugby league cities or towns.

“Then we can entice more kids to come and play the game.”




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