“No commercial value” – Derek Beaumont has his say on Huddersfield-Catalans row about value of French clubs

Last night after a hard fought victory against Huddersfield to claim third place from the Giants, Catalans Dragons boss Steve McNamara made some strange comments.

He accused Huddersfield of having no respect for the Dragons and suggested the Giants had said the French clubs add no value to the competition in a meeting with IMG who are looking to revolutionise the competition.

He said: “It was a real gritty performance against a team that I think don’t give us any respect at all.

“There is talk this week of Huddersfield saying French teams give nothing to the game in talks with IMG and that French teams should not be in the Super League competition, which is an absolute disgrace.

“What the Catalans have brought to this competition in 16, 17 seasons is on a par with what some of those clubs have brought in 100 years. It’s a terrible attitude towards our game and one aspect of the disrespect their club has shown us over a number of times recently, their opinion and attitude towards expansion and French teams in the competition.

“I hope IMG gets hold of this and look at it from a really broad perspective and do what is right for this game so that we aren’t an M62 corridor game in a 100 years’ time or that there isn’t a game, and don’t listen to small-minded people that have their own self-interest at heart.”

It’s a debate that goes back to the frequent discussion about whether and to where the game should expand.

That said, Huddersfield’s Chief Executive Richard Thewlis has hit back at the comments saying he had “no idea” where they came from.

He told the PA Media: “I have no idea how the Catalan coach would know what I have said to IMG, given I only met them for the first time last week in a group Super League meeting.

“How their Catalans representative interpreted the feelings of the confidential meeting is his prerogative.

“But I would suggest it is better these discussions remain private and we allow all to give their views honestly and we allow IMG to formulate their recommendations having taken soundings from all stakeholders which I am sure they will.”

Despite the suggestion that these discussions should remain private now every major publication in the league has caught wind of what might have been said in this meeting following McNamara’s statement from Love Rugby League to Sky Sports.

This has prompted Leigh Centurions owner Derek Beaumont to open the door more on the discussions which took place with IMG stating that only one person saw commercial value in the French clubs.

He took to Twitter to confirm his stance on the matter saying: “Wasn’t only Huddersfield. I was vocal as always and all bar 1 in the room I was in saw no COMMERCIAL value from all those years! 1 person aptly pointed out we give £4m to 2 French clubs and only £2m to the whole of champ and champ1! Which contributes most back to the game?”

Beaumont has been out spoken about this issue in the past and has seen his club lose it’s Super League status to Catalans in the past such as in the 2017 Million Pound Game.

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