Wakefield’s Michael Carter, Leeds’ Richard Agar and Catalans’ Alex Chan have been fined for criticising the decisions of the Rugby Football League’s match review panel.
One of the players, Saints second rower Sione Mata’utia, was forced to miss the Challenge Cup final after being found guilty of a dangerous tackle.
Carter described the citings as “random charges” based on “one nameless person’s opinion on a Monday morning”.
He also claimed it was futile challenging the decisions because “it’s impossible to win an appeal unless you’ve enough evidence to free Ronnie Biggs”.
He was fined £2,000, with £750 suspended until the end of the 2022 season, while Leeds coach Agar was fined £1,000, half of it suspended until end of the 2021 campaign, and Chan was given a £500 fine, suspended until the end of the campaign.
The RFL says all three were found guilty of breaching its operational rules and the Respect Policy but have a right of appeal.
A statement said: “The RFL works constantly with clubs on the efficacy of the game’s disciplinary procedures. Those procedures include the right of appeal, and the opportunity for internal feedback.”
There has been some conjecture over whether the goal posts will once again be moved, including an erroneous report by the BBC on their live Challenge Cup final coverage that relegation will not take place this year.
But officials from the RFL and Super League have confirmed to us that there have been no formal discussions around removing relegation.
An RFL spokesperson said: “There is no change – it’s still one up, one down.
“There has been acknowledgement from Super League, and an emphasis from us, that Championship clubs can’t be blamed (for the impact of COVID) and that promotion can’t be affected.”