RFL CEO Nigel Wood has reaffirmed the sport’s commitment to playing by the rules following the relegation of Barrow Raiders and the barring of their club Chairman Des Johnston for an eight-year period by a RFL Operational Rules Tribunal.
Barrow and Johnston were found guilty of systemic breaches of Operational Rules over a four-year period by the Tribunal on Thursday evening, a verdict which follows a lengthy investigation by the RFL Compliance Department.
“Whilst it is unfortunate that Barrow sought to cheat in the way they did over such a sustained period of time, and went to such lengths to hide this behaviour, this action demonstrates that the investigative systems and checks we have in place do work,” said Wood.
“All the clubs are subjected to regular audits and we conduct frequent interviews with administrators and players to ensure the rules are applied.
“It became clear during our investigation of Barrow that some aspects of their business activity were remiss and we are still evaluating some of the information that was provided to us during that inquiry.
“The sanctions handed down by the Tribunal are entirely fair and should act as a deterrent to any club or individual who might consider breaching the rules.
“It is a fundamental role of the RFL to uphold the rules and regulations of the competitions that are devised in full consultation and agreement with the clubs and we remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting the integrity of all competitions and the sport itself.”