Supporter-owned clubs go head-to-head for trophy

Two of the six supporter-owned rugby league clubs, Rochdale and Hunslet, will play each other for the Supporters Direct Rugby League Challenge Shield.

The match will be played at Spotland on Sunday February 8, kick-off at 3pm.

Supporters Direct CEO Robin Osterley, said: “We’re really pleased that both clubs have been able to accommodate this fixture in their busy pre-season calendar. It’s really important for us that we show the breadth of our work, and having two clubs so well placed in the game of Rugby League is a source of real pride for us.

“We’re hoping that this fixture can be a regular one between clubs owned by their supporters, and it will also raise the profile in the sport of the work that we do across supporters’ trusts both in Super League and in the Championship.” 

Hunslet Chairman Neil Hampshire said:  “It’s a real honour to be asked to contest the SD Supporters Trophy against our fellow supporter owned opponents Rochdale Hornets

“It will be a chance for us both to help SD promote supporter ownership across Rugby League. 

“We feel this is particularly important at a time when the sport is moving back to promotion and relegation throughout the professional game and Clubs need to learn very quickly to live within their means, guarding against the dangers of a ‘Boom and Bust’ approach.”

Hornets Director David Bulcock said: “It is a match we at Hornets feel privilege to have been invited to take part in along with our friends from fellow supporter ownedHunslet Hawks. 

“It highlights the fact that such clubs can work and prosper in the sporting world; that in the new era of Rugby League our two clubs can grow and be successful but still live within our means. This game will help to spread the word that supporters can get involved and own their clubs.”

Rugby league’s other supporter owned clubs are League One side Hemel Stags and community sides Bramley, Mancunians RL and Seaton Rangers.

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