RFL set to reveal reasons for points deduction u-turn

The RFL are to reveal the reasons they overturned the points deductions handed to Batley and Doncaster for fielding ineligible players on Wednesday.

Keighley are currently threatening the governing body with legal action after they were relegated from the Championship as a result of Batley’s reprieve.

Both the Bulldogs and Doncaster had been given three point deductions for fielding Jacob Fairbank and Ben Crooks respectively on dual-registration, when they hadn’t appeared in the sufficient number of games prior to the Championship player registration deadline.

The two clubs were deducted points on August 15, but within two weeks, had had them re-instated on appeal, although no reasons were given.

The Cougars have been critical of the RFL’s response so far, despite presenting a number of possible solutions to the issue. 

Keighley’s legal challenge is also being backed by Championship rivals Sheffield, who are claiming lost prize money having finished below Doncaster in the league table.

Thousands have also signed a petition in aid of the campaign.

However, the implication of other clubs in what is becoming a player ineligibility row has caused some unfortunate disruption, and Keighley have now moved to re-assure rival clubs that their issue is with the RFL, and not them.

Chairman Gary Fawcett said: “As things stand the RFL’s lawyers have stated that they will send through the reasons for the disciplinary and appeal panel decisions on 1st October. 

“They specifically have stated that it will only be the reasons not the minutes of the meeting. Given that the meeting took place on 28th August this represents an inordinate length of time to get this far with the documents.

“The Cougars has a number of options to either solve the situation or pressure the RFL into solving it. One option is a High Court Injunction on the fixtures next year. However, many people will remember that we did that 20 years ago and the strategy backfired as it alienated the other clubs to our cause. 

“Probably the best option whilst the litigation process is moving forward is to call an EGM of member clubs to solve the problem. Whereas this might be a slowish process there are no guarantees that litigation would be any quicker. 

On top of this we have multiple activities designed to put ever increasing pressure on the RFL and the All Party Parliamentary Committee for Rugby Leagie has written to the RFL requesting some answers.”

 

Despite the uncertainty of what division the club is to play in next season, Keighley have signed several of their current squad for 2015, including player-coach Paul March and top try scorer Paul White.

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