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Keighley owners say IMG proposals are “sport by spreadsheet”

Keighley Cougars have been outspoken in their opposition of IMG’s re-imagining of rugby league.

Now, with the vote looming this month, owners Ryan O’Neill and Kaue Garcia have again underlined why they are against IMG’s recommendations.

They have stated that it is “sport by spreadsheet.”

They said on BBC Radio Leeds:

“There is a vote on the 19th April. If that vote goes in their favour, they will be in control of the sport for 12 years.

“Personally, I would never sign a contract longer than three to fives.

“Signing a 12 year contract giving control of the sport to a company based in New York who have no clue about it.

“Yes they have the data but it is sport by spreadsheet.

“They have never been to a game down at Cougar Park. The biggest of the Championship was us against Bradford the other week.

“Did they turn up? No. Have they got in touch? No. There has been no consultations, there has been nothing.

“They have gone and made this formula on a computer claiming its all data driven and it is totally ignoring the fact that sport is about fairness, competition and opportunity. They want to take it all a way.

“Why would we, when it comes into force, why would we invest in a squad and spend our money and stress about everything only for us to finish top and get a medal and then a slap on the back.

“It is pointless. It takes away all the enthusiasm and the drive to get to the top.

“We 100% agree that the sport needs to improve, what we have done since 2019 shows that, we have been one of the most progressive clubs since then.

“We don’t agree with this criteria because it is simply going to protect current 12 clubs who have failed the sport.

“The reason Sky money has gone down is because those 12 clubs haven’t been delivering the product and Sky want a change and this change they are proposing protects those 12 clubs.”

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