Leeds Rhinos huge sponsorship set to enable Brodie Croft transfer

Leeds Rhinos have been linked with a sensational move for Salford Red Devils star and Man of Steel Brodie Croft for the 2024 season.

Croft signed a huge eight year deal with Salford at the start of 2023 but the Rhinos are set to pay £300,000 to release him from his contract and facilitate a move to Headingley.

This move is likely to be enabled in part by the club’s new 15 year partnership with AMT.

Asked about transfer fees following the announcement, Gary Hetherington said:

“Yeah, we’ve always been prepared to do that if need be. There has been other occasions in the past and I mentioned one a little bit earlier which was Iestyn Harris, that’s quite a long time ago isn’t it?

“Iestyn came into the club and made a significant difference at the time and that’s what we’re looking to do, to make a difference.

“The squad that will take the field next year will be a very different looking squad to the win that finished last season. So yes we’re always prepared to invest if we believe that that’s right for the team and right for the squad. So yeah there’s always a preparedness to do that.”

Asked specifically about Croft, he added:

“Well I would normally say that we’re always interested in top quality players and certainly he is a top quality player. He’s the current Man of Steel and has had an outstanding time in England.

“So yes, we would be interested in such as him, and indeed a few more as well.”

Asked if the club were in talks, he said:

“Well, I think you know me well enough to know that I don’t divulge confidences, and so we don’t normally comment on speculation as well. But we are very active in the market, both at home and abroad and have been so for quite a number of months now in that respect.

“We’re quite close to actually putting together the squad that we believe will be an outstanding chance of succeeding next year.

“So yeah, there’s plenty going on, there’s plenty of plates that are spinning and to answer your question, Brodie Croft is a player that we’re showing an interest in.”

He also commented on how the money will finance Leeds further:

“Well it won’t increase the salary cap unfortunately because the salary cap is what it is and you can’t spend any more than that. But I think it’s a great statement for the game.

“I think all sports clubs are going through a tough time now. It’s a really challenging time with increased costs and income expectations as well. So I think this is a great boost for the game generally, for Super League as well.

“It’s certainly a great boost for us at Leeds Rhinos. I think when you are challenged like we are and everybody else is, there’s really two ways, there’s two options you’ve got.

“One is to contract into survival, and that’s a perfectly sensible move for any business to make. Alternatively, you can look to expand into success. And that’s very much our route.

“We believe that we’ve got massive potential here at Headingley. We believe that we’re on the crest of putting an outstanding team together, a team that will be very much Rohan Smith’s team, probably in 2024.

“Rohan came in last year and inherited a team, and that’s about to change now and I think we’ve got a really exciting time to look forward to and this sponsorship really does underpin everything that we’re doing. It’s a great boost for the club and indeed a boost for the game as well.

“So in answer to your question, yes we will be using the sponsorship resources to actually improve our whole operation.”