Featherstone Rovers are battling to join the likes of Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves and St Helens in Super League next year.
For years, the Rovers have been battling for a spot in Super League and they seem like favourites to secure that spot.
However, the club have faced a setback with a substantial fine.
In fact, three clubs have been fined for breaches of the Operational Rules relating to the behaviour of their supporters during the 2023 season.
Featherstone Rovers have been fined £5,000 – half of it suspended until the end of the 2024 season – for the unacceptable behaviour and language of a small number of supporters at their Betfred Championship fixture against Bradford Bulls on March 6.
The RFL received complaints, supported by audio evidence, of racist chanting.
Featherstone’s punishment has been mitigated by their co-operation with the investigation, and their willingness to make a clear public statement condemning the behaviour, to provide specific training to stewards, and to review procedures.
Hull KR have been fined £4,000 – £2,000 of it suspended until the end of the 2024 season – following incidents in two separate matches at Headingley in July.
The first incident, during a Super League match against Leeds Rhinos on July 14, involved bottles being thrown on to the pitch by Hull KR supporters.
The second, following the Challenge Cup Semi Final against Wigan Warriors on July 23, related to several supporters entering the field of play.
Again, the punishment has been mitigated by the club’s co-operation with the investigation, their acceptance that the behaviour was unacceptable, and their undertaking to reinforce messages to their supporters.
Leigh Leopards have been fined £12,000 – £8,000 of it suspended until the end of the 2024 season – after a significantly larger number of their supporters entered the field of play following their Challenge Cup Semi Final against St Helens at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on July 22.
As with Featherstone and Hull KR, the club have co-operated with the investigation, recognised that the behaviour was unacceptable, and pledged to reinforce messages to their supporters.
The Rovers will soon host an exciting semi-final.
They should be commended for continually working with the RFL against these problems.