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Eddie Hearn explains why he didn’t get involved in rugby league

Eddie Hearn previously was approached to get involved in rugby league but negotiations never got that far.

Speaking on the Good, The Bad and the Rugby Hearn explained why these discussions broke down.

He said:

“It’s all or nothing, that’s like the bit with League. ‘Can you come in and help?’ No, we run it because that’s what we did with snooker and darts.

“With darts we didn’t come in and say ‘what you need to do is’, no we’re not interested in getting a retainer. We own the sport and build the schedule, we build the foundations, we build the tours, the ranking systems, we build the players, we build the profiles and it’s ownership.”

Hearn also explained what he thinks is rugby league’s problem:

“Stars are the most important thing. We were close to doing something with rugby league a few years ago but it was all or nothing.

“They wanted us to come in and look at the Challenge Cup and a few different elements of the game and I said ‘no, we need to control the game’.

“It has to be built and the problem is that both codes aren’t delivering numbers. Away from the big international stuff and the Six Nations, stuff like that, the reality is that viewing figures are horrendous and the reason is because you don’t have any stars.

“The reason you don’t have any stars is one of two reasons, one because maybe there aren’t any characters or personalities around anymore or two, they’re not accessible.

“I would think that there has to be but also I’m a promoter of individuals really but to promote a sport essentially, you have to highlight those people and make them stars.

“I said to the rugby league guys ‘I couldn’t name you half a dozen players’ and actually even in rugby now. That’s frightening.

“I said to the rugby league guys ‘do you know when I think of rugby league I think of Ellery Hanley, maybe Jamie Peacock’ but that’s who I grew up with.”

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