Social media has gone wild since the news broke that Challenge Cup holders Catalans would have to pay to compete in the competition this year.
Catalans owner Bernard Guasch has asked the RFL for clarification on their entry to the Challenge Cup, saying he will refuse to pay the bond requested.
There was controversy ahead of the recent first round draw when it was revealed that Toronto and Toulouse would not be entering the 2019 competition having refused to pay a speculated £700,000 bond.
The bond was requested as insurance against reduced ticket sales should either side reach the final, with last season’s final involving Catalans attracting just over 50,000 at Wembley.
The assumption was that the current holders, Catalans, would be entering despite the requests, however comments in the French press appear to suggest otherwise.
Here are how fans reacted to the question on Twitter:
No, the RFL couldn’t fill Wembley even with Hull v Wigan. The problem is the RFL
— The Flying Socialist ??? (@aftkiloalpha) January 4, 2019
The only thing the RFL can full is their wallets and bellies. I really hope all SL clubs stick behind Catalans if this stupidity is insisted. Quite happy if all clubs boycott the CC unless reversed as well as (Toronto and Toulouse) who have been told the same I understand.
— SE (@GreenbaySaint) January 4, 2019
That's the RFL job to fill the stadium not the club's, unbelievable decision.
— Shoulder Charge (@ShoulderChargeF) January 4, 2019
It's a poor state off affairs however when it came to scraping the massively successful Super 8s format the rhetoric from SL was "Sod the rest of you, give us what we want or we'll completely break away." Can't overly blame the RFL for taking the same approach.
— Thomas Mangnall (@TMangnall) January 4, 2019
No market the competition better, instead of relying on the best supported clubs to bank role through attendance
— Phil Atkinson (@phila27) January 4, 2019
No do amateur teams have to pay just in case they get to the final … the rfl are a joke and are quickly make our game a joke
— conners (@Dnc2010Stuart) January 4, 2019
Absolutely not. An abrogation of responsibility by our so-called governing body. Last year was a golden opportunity to attract the neutral sports fan in London to our sport. The RFL did nothing. Not fit for purpose
— Captain Chaos (@CaptainChaos5) January 4, 2019
Here's a really radical idea. Instead of blaming individual clubs for the shortfall in attendance at Wembley, how about the RFL start marketing the Challenge Cup to new fans, as an exciting can't-miss event?
— kittycatfish (@catfish8888) January 4, 2019
No. They should reinstate Toulouse and Toronto and publicly apologise. Then all resign. Clowns ?
— Keith Ratcliffe (@misterketch) January 4, 2019
Don't be silly.
— Paul sheehy (@Paulsheehy13) January 4, 2019