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Current RFL CEO explains reasoning behind Ralph Rimmer’s £245,000 payoff

The news broke last week that former Rugby Football League Chief Executive Officer, Ralph Rimmer, and the RFL’s Chief Regulatory Officer, Karen Moorhouse, received “director renumeration” totalling £245,000.

That information came as part of the RFL’s yearly report for 2022 which was headed up by a statement from current RFL Chief Executive Officer, the man who replaced Rimmer, in Tony Sutton.

Financial details of the year were revealed as well as what had happened on the field with key figures such as broadcasting numbers and participation noted, with a key focus on the 2021 World Cup which was delayed and held in the autumn of 2022 across England.

Within that report though are crucial figures such as the financial review and accounts section of the document, which has been made available to download and read via the RFL website.

Those finances disclose that the fee the RFL paid for “director renumeration” to both Rimmer and Moorhouse was £245,000, with the quote from the report stating as follows.

“Director remuneration increased from £455k in 2021 to £787k in 2022. It should be noted that this total includes a provision of £245k for the compensation for loss of office for the former Chief Executive Officer and Chief Regulatory Officer.”

Understandably that got fans of the sport questioning why exactly should Rimmer and Moorehouse receive such a substantial payout, which Tony Sutton has now answered.

Sutton was speaking on BBC Sport Manchester in a live Question and Answer with questions free to send in from anyone, and when asked ‘can we afford the massive payout to Ralph Rimmer’, Sutton responded in kind.

“Well a couple of things on that and I’ll give a little bit of background if that’s okay. So we knew from probably mid 2021 that we would need to downsize senior management at the RFL.

“We knew realignment of the sport was coming and we were starting to plan towards that.

“In fact, Ralph particularly was pretty open about that, and I remember him mentioning in more than one meeting that we’d probably go from our four most senior staff down to probably one, and that’s actually what’s happened, and that one being me.

“So this is something that we knew was coming and something that we’d planned for both in that 2021 result that I’ve mentioned and knowing that 2022 would be a different financial position.”

Whilst Sutton said a lot of words he seemed to artfully dodge the meat of the question, which was ‘can the RFL afford such a payout’.

It’s unclear how much of the payout went to Rimmer and how much to Moorhouse but seemingly the RFL had made plans that such a large fee would be allotted to their 2022 budget based on what Sutton said.

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