Castleford Tigers were, this afternoon, hit with the news that they would be fined £35,000 for breaching RFL Operational Rules.
The Tigers have been fined that hefty sum for failing to fulfil a Betfred Super League fixture against St Helens on 30 June and for breaching Covid protocols on the return coach journey from the Betfred Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium in July.
A subsequent Covid outbreak at the club, resulting from a lack of social distancing on the coach, led to the postponement of additional Betfred Super League fixtures against Catalans Dragons (Saturday 24 July) and Leigh Centurions (Thursday 29 July).
The Castleford club released their own statement in response:
“Castleford Tigers are disappointed but ultimately accept the RFL’s decision to fine the club, following the extenuating circumstances which led to the Tigers’ Betfred Super League match against St Helens not being fulfilled on the 30th of June.
As was stated to both the RFL and St Helens, Castleford Tigers had just fourteen First Team players available due to injuries, and Covid-19 protocols being followed meant that the Club could not call upon its Academy or young players. Further details about that can be found in our original statement from June, which you can read here.
Castleford Tigers could not postpone the fixture on the 30th of June due to the number of players outside of the Club’s top 25 earners not being affected at that time by Covid protocols. Every effort was made by Castleford Tigers to field a team for the match until it was ultimately too late, and the game needed to be cancelled, much to the Club’s disappointment.
Castleford Tigers did however field a team for the match against Huddersfield Giants on 2nd August, despite meeting the RFL’s framework for a postponement due to player availability for Covid related reasons.”