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CEO slams ‘farcical’ proposals ahead of restructure

The Rugby Football League is currently in discussions about the restructuring of the sport, but Whitehaven RL CEO Andrew Canavan has slammed the quality of rugby league, outlining that it “has been in decline for quite a long time,” he told the News and Star.

It’s been one of the major focuses of the rugby league fraternity in the past few months ever since it was announced that the sport would be set for yet another restructure, but not everyone is convinced that the new plans in the pipeline would benefit rugby league.

Reports have suggested that Sky are pressuring the RFL to go ahead with a format that would see a two-tier system – Super League and Super League 22 – with just ten teams in both competitions.

That format would come into being in 2023, with 14 clubs in the top-flight next season and then four relegated in time for the new system.

But, all this tinkering has rankled some of the clubs’ leaders, with Canavan – in particular – attacking the “farcical” proposals.

Canavan said: “The game, in my opinion, has been in decline for quite a long time. I feel the constant tinkering to it has been one of a number of reasons for the decline.

“How many of the other top five sports have seen the same amount of restructuring to its main show piece as we have seen in rugby league? Is yet another change to the structure of the game the answer to the problem?

“Some may say it is, likely those who will benefit from it, while others who will be a loser in any potential restructuring would say no.

“There are pro’s and con’s to every scenario I have seen brought to the table, some I could agree to others are nothing short of protectionist and farcical.

“I obviously cannot get into the detail of what are sensitive and confidential discussion, despite others happily leaking things to their favoured members of the press, but the sport is heading, very quickly, into a decision that will either make or break the sport.”

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