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Revealed: Two clubs appealed IMG gradings

A lot has been made of Castleford Tigers and the situation around their IMG grade and what this could mean for the Leigh Leopards after their appeal.

You will know by now that the Tigers appealed their grade from IMG due to a sequence of errors between the Tigers and the RFL.

But what you may not know is that they were not the only come appealing the decision. Though all those appeals have now concluded as confirmed by the RFL and IMG, two clubs appealed before they were published which fed into the saga around the Tigers as Mark Grattan revealed on the COYF Podcast.

“We knew that a couple of clubs had appealed,” he said, “We all talk as clubs, so we knew roughly the decisions of most people, about one or two, and we knew, you know, what people were appealing for from this, you know, this match at the points here and there, that we would probably still stay in in 11th.

“So, being 13 in the afternoon, we’d written this story, we were planning to get it put into the media database to go out at 4.10 this morning. So I thought I’d just check, I rang Tony Sutton just to make sure there’d been no changes and 3.30 didn’t answer the phone.”

This led to a wider saga with Grattan trying to contact the powers that be to resolve the matter and get a grade that they felt reflected the truth:

“So I sent a text message to, I thought Rhodri Jones might know, at Rugby League Commercial, sent a text message to Rhodri again, just asking for any changes, because I’m trying to schedule this story. Didn’t get a reply from that, so I’m just presuming. Obviously, very busy guys, so if they’re not getting back to me, there’s probably nothing to concern myself about. So, then goes home, making a couple of calls in the evening, put my phone down to see I’ve got a missed call from Tony Stoke, the CEO of the RFL.

“I’ve been calling him, speaking to Tony, he said ‘I’m really sorry, the RFL have made a mistake on the grading’. So I said ‘right, OK, well what’s the mistake?’ So he said ‘well, we’ve graded you 0.5 too much on one category of finance, so your actual grade is 12.16, which means you move from 11 to 13’.  That instantly rang alarm bells to me, and I said ‘but Tony, we believe that the score is roundabout correct. We believe our finance score is around about correct, maybe 0.2 out either way, but not to that extent’.

“I said ‘I asked for the detail on Monday on a text message’ and he said ‘oh yeah, I did reply to that text message. just hang on a minute, then he said, oh sorry, the message didn’t send’. So we didn’t get the detail.”

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