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“A loss-making third-rate football comp” – Aussie radio host rips into Super League

NRL champions Penrith Panthers will take on Wigan Warriors

The host of an Australian radio station has called the Super League a ‘third-rate’ competition while questioning the NRL’s reported interest in buying it.

Talk of this becoming a reality has been going on for a number of years, with similar reports coming in 2020.

Speaking on SENQ, host Ben Davis discussed recent reports that the top-tier of Australian rugby is interested in buying its rival competition.

“Why would you buy a loss-making third-rate football comp in England? What would that achieve?”

These comments came shortly after Wigan Warriors beat NRL champions Penrith Panthers to win the World Club Challenge, and a year after St Helens beat them at Penrith Stadium to win the 2023 edition.

“Why shouldn’t it be the UK Super League? Quick Google search will answer those questions for you.

“September last year, they posted, every single club in Super League, deficits. They were making financial losses, not a single club made a profit.

“Those losses totalled £12.3 million… Why would the NRL be investing in this?”

He admitted that many clubs in the NRL also fail to make a profit, but noted that the RFL, which posted losses of almost £1 million in 2022, was in stark contrast to the NRL’s £30 million operating surplus.

“They’ve had to enlist IMG, the global marketing giant, to come in and run the commercial side of the game in the UK. SO why is the NRL even looking at this?”

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Super League champions Wigan Warriors

On the same show, Gary Belcher, who played over 200 games in Australia and briefly played for Castleford Tigers, had a contrasting take.

He said: “I think it’s so important to us that they make sure that the UK Super League survives. It just has to, at least we’ve got one other strong competition.

“We’ve got all these other national teams that are going well, New Zealand, and Samoa and Tonga and Papua New Guinea, but their competitions aren’t very strong.

“I think it’s super important that the NRL makes sure that the UK Super League is strong.”

He also noted that money isn’t necessarily everything, and outlined why the NRL needs Super League to keep going.

He added: “Perhaps they know more about the game at an international level than we do, it might not be as financially robust as we like to think is is.

“Maybe they need to just get involved at some level, whether it’s buying them out totally or investing in them, just to make sure it keeps going.

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