Rugby league has hit the headlines for the wrong reasons in months gone by, with claims that the sport is stagnating on and off the field.
But, former chairman of the now defunct Chorley Borough club and ardent Warrington fan Sir Lindsay Hoyle – who is also the current Speaker in the House of Commons – has called for an independent review into the state of the sport.
“I think we’re at a crossroads and the pandemic hasn’t helped the situation,” Hoyle said.
“Rugby league without doubt is a game you can get so much out of, but how do you sell this sport? Communication going forward is important, it needs to be brought together.
“The amateur game needs to be grown in different parts of the UK and we need to make it a game that isn’t just watched in the north.
The Speaker has also called for the inclusion of more voices to set out a brighter future for the game.
“We’ve got to reinvent the passion for the game, but also sell it broader than what we do,” he said.
“I think it’s always worth listening to other people.
“I think an independent review does no harm. No-one has got all the ideas, I think there are many ideas that can come out by working together. And you need the best of those ideas to take the sport forward.
“We’re not the top game in this country, but we do have the best game in this country.
“So how do we get that higher level of support and higher level of commitment?
“Let’s listen to different people. Let’s get different people focusing, putting their mind to it, and coming out with the best ideas.”