Super League chief paints bleak picture of club finances

Interim Super League chairman Ken Davy talked to the media about the governing body’s aims in the near future, but also pointed to the fact that top-flight clubs are struggling.

However, Davy made it clear that Super League benefits from the lower tiers.

“The reality is that the amount of money available has gone down significantly and that is bound to impact on the game as a whole,” Davy said.

“I’ve also made clear that I believe Super League as well as the game in general gains from the existence of the Championship and League 1 so we go into the discussions with an open mind to find a solution that works.

“Super League clubs have massive financial commitments with players and the owners already make significant contributions to their clubs and that is a reality that we have to live with.”

Davy was keen to highlight the loss of revenue in the past year.

“It’s incredibly difficult to finance a rugby league club because in Super League you have ongoing contracts to players and you have large staffs.

“You can’t furlough your staff because you need everyone there to run your game.

“You look at a club like St Helens who have their own stadium and the impact of all the add-on income they generate from catering etc is massive.

“So it’s not just the fact that they’re not getting the spectators and generating the ticket revenue, they’re not generating any of the side revenues either.

“Super League has full-time players so the real pain is being felt by Super League.”

Davy, however, has distanced himself from potential private equity investment.

“It’s common knowledge that we turned down a private equity proposal for a number of reasons as private equity is not necessarily the solution.

“Their technique is to get on, get in and get out and you wouldn’t know who was running Super League in four, five or six years time as they could do anything with it if you gave them the sort of control they were looking for.

“You’d be giving the game away, but there are ways to bring external finance into the game and over time that will certainly happen.”

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