Chairman slams RFL ‘contempt’ against his club in expansion decision

The latest expansion side has been announced: Cornwall RLFC.

It was a decision that took many people by surprise following the decision that the Ottawa Aces would no longer be joining League 1 in 2022.

Instead, a team on the south-west coast of England has been chosen to fly the flag for expansion.

It’s not exactly the decision to expand down there that has rankled a number of clubs, it is the fact that they were not involved in discussions – as Rochdale Hornets chairman Andy Mazey points out.

“Firstly I’m not against expansion. Expansion done correctly as Catalan, Toulouse and Newcastle are proving with credible people and long term sustainable vision is to be backed and applauded,” Mazey said.

“What i am against is the contempt the RFL treat League 1 clubs with and the way this whole thing has played out.

“No communication about any of the Ottawa statement the other week and now we find out five minutes before it hits social media and the public domain last night it’s Cornwall.”

Mazey also pointed to the severe cut in funding that will plague League 1 clubs from 2022 onwards, with the Cornwall decision now adding to their woes.

“Central funding and travel grants have been cut by circa 80% yet we will now be expected to travel to Cornwall and this has been sanctioned without any form of consultation with the clubs which is a disgrace.

“This is not in my view a strategic move or part of any blue print for sustainable expansion, it’s another poorly thought out manoeuvre which impacts the games stakeholders and ultimately the credibility of the sport.”

Championship and League 1 clubs are meeting with the Rugby Football League (RFL) today in a bid for greater understanding of the project, but, the fallout is likely to continue.

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