Wood: We’re not to blame for clubs going bust

Nigel Wood says it is club owners and directors, not the RFL, that are ultimately responsible for the financial state of their clubs.

Rugby league has been hit by a number of clubs in financial strife in 2016, including Bradford, Sheffield and York City.

Both Halifax and Workington have had to force pay cuts on their staff due to financial issues.

But Wood has defended the RFL’s role in the running of these struggling clubs.

“It feels like we’ve had a bad run,” he admitted.

“It feels like the clubs haven’t adjusted to the revenues coming in there. But what’s bizarre is that the more resource you kind of put in there, the more you have to go in and sort it out for them.

“We learnt a long time ago that you can hope and wish for really astute club management but fundamentally at the end of the day, these businesses are run by individuals and businessman who make decisions to run those clubs.

“As far as possible we try to put both the supportive and relegatory framework around them.

“But at the end of the day the peope that are answerable for the performances of those businesses are the chairman and chief executives and directors of the clubs.

“That’s the issue.”

Bradford is currently being run by administrators with a new owner expected to be announced soon.

The Bulls have gone into administration three times in the past four years.

“It’s a great shame isn’t it,” Wood said.

“When you look at the heights that club has been at in the recent past, and the heights that it’s capable of achieving, you’ve got to believe, even from a neutral perspective, that our sport would be bigger if Bradford was in better shape.

“We hope that this current difficulty is worked through and then diminished to history so the club can begin an upward trajectory, which is needed.”

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