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“I’m really disappointed” – Featherstone Rovers Chairman Mark Campbell gives his opinion on the RFL’s realignment talks

Realignment talks between the RFL and Super League have been going on for a year, but Featherstone Rovers owner Mark Campbell finds no encouragement in them.

This was revealed at Featherstone’s Press Day this week in which the Rovers’ Chairman expressed his disappointment at the RFL for allowing the split from Super League in the first place as well as the lack of recognition they have given the Rovers in recent times.

When asked whether or not he was pleased with the realignment talks which are said to still be ongoing, Campbell said: “No I’m not [pleased with realignment talks] I’m really disappointed. It’s the same old line from Simon Johnson about ‘it’s progressing well.’

“These are the people at the RFL who allowed this split to happen they orchestrated that split, they were part of it. I’ve got no confidence in the board at the RFL in taking the game forward.

“If I was in Super League and we were realigning then one of the main criteria for me would be a completely new board at the RFL and start afresh with people with some insight into the game, with the drive and the ambition some owners have.

“I don’t see that on the Executive Board.”

The last two updates from Ken Davy, the Interim Chairman of Super League, have been that talks are progressing well however there seems no clear end point in sight at this moment in time no doubt compounding Campbell’s frustrations.

He also voiced his opinion that he felt the club were not getting the recognition they deserved from the RFL. Featherstone have made significant strides on and off the field recruiting Super League’s most successful coach in the shape of Brian McDermott, signing the likes of Joey Leluia and Ryley Jacks from down under and excelling off the field with an impressive Tackle It campaign and one of the strongest social media presences in the game ranking fifth ahead of plenty of Super League clubs.

Nonetheless, it is Campbell’s view that his team don’t get the recognition they deserve: “To get the players of the calibre we have shows how people see Featherstone in Australia and New Zealand.

“We’ve got lots of off-field things going on as well as the on-field. We’ve just got the £2 million resllience fund from the council which we’ve got a lot of exciting projects in the pipeline from medical rehab centres to enhancing the sporting centres not just for rugby league, but for Wakefield Football Club who are based here and the local Cricket Club and the bowling club.

“It goes to show that with a continued effort and investment where you can take a club. You don’t have to throw a load of money at it. I think at times Featherstone don’t get the recognition we should do for where we’ve brought the club and we’d like a bit more recognition and support from the RFL.”

That being said, the RFL did rule in Featherstone’s favour today as Dane Chisholm’s eight match ban was scrapped meaning he can star for the Rovers at the beginning of their promotion push.

In the coming weeks however he’ll have to prove he should be starting ahead if the likes of Tom Holmes, Morgan Smith and the incoming Ryley Jacks.

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