Government backing for Rugby League in Coronavirus crisis

The RFL has secured significant Government support to help the sport and its clubs through the unprecedented financial challenges caused by the current public health emergency.

The Government has announced an emergency loan of £16 million to be administered by the RFL, in partnership with Sport England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

In their announcement, DCMS highlighted Rugby League’s importance to the communities in which it is established, and the boost that will be provided to the sport and the North by staging three World Cups – Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair – in the autumn of 2021. The Government’s manifesto included a commitment to delivering a successful tournament, with significant financial support already provided.

Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said:

“This is a massive shot in the arm to secure the survival of Rugby League.

“We recognise that many RFL clubs operate on very tight financial margins. Without their ability to stage matches with spectators and despite the Government’s extensive economic package, the professional game has come very close to collapsing.

“From my first sports visit as Secretary of State to Leigh Centurions, I could see how important these clubs are to the communities they serve. They are the beating heart of their towns and cities, and their impact goes far beyond what happens on the pitch.

“Sports across the board are facing unprecedented pressures, and we are supporting them through wider Government measures. In this case we are intervening as an exception, not to save an individual business or organisation, but to protect an entire sport, the community it supports, the World Cup held here next year and its legacy for generations to come.”

Steve Barclay, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“Rugby League is a sport that makes a significant social impact in the communities it serves, which is even more important now as we respond to the economic pressures resulting from Covid-19.

“The timing of the Rugby League World Cup next year will also be a fantastic opportunity to build on the sport’s strong track record within these communities, and is an opportunity that this Government’s support will ensure is delivered.”

Ralph Rimmer, Chief Executive of the Rugby Football League, said:

“The RFL is grateful to the Government for understanding and acting on the case for the whole sport.

“In these very tough times for the country and huge demands on Government, this is confirmation of why Rugby League is important – our USP – the sport’s significant social impact in Northern communities in particular.

“Rugby League is not a wealthy sport but is rich in the things that matter most – outstanding sporting and life chances in often disadvantaged communities. The effects of lockdown at the start of our season genuinely threatened the survival of our clubs at all levels and their ability to continue delivering those positive social and economic impacts.

“This support has been achieved as a result of the whole sport working together; a credit to all the clubs, and to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Rugby League and many other supporters of our sport. It enables the sport to survive, to reshape and to be ready to restart in this our 125th year. And to look to a home World Cup next year and a legacy for our communities.

“Watching and playing sport together, including Rugby League, has a role to play in the nation’s recovery. We are part of that national sporting landscape. In the meantime, we continue to work at the heart of our communities, helping wherever we can.”

All Betfred Super League, Championship and League 1 clubs based in England are eligible to apply for funding. Further details on when the fund will open and how clubs can apply will be announced by the RFL in due course.



Club Cash Lottery

In challenging times for businesses we are again stressing our urgent need for more financial support via the Club Cash lottery from both existing and new members.

With door-to-door collections temporarily abandoned, some have paid up front to cover a few weeks; moved to direct debit; or completed a bank transfer but the overall result has seen a drop in lottery income of nearly 50 per cent.

This trend is hitting all clubs and organisations and we have had to temporarily modify the weekly prize structure in line with the number of people taking part.

We still have a weekly first prize of £1,000 and other prizes of £100, £50 and £25 plus some £10 consolation prizes and we urgently and seriously need people to help us on this.

One way is to download a direct debit form here and follow the instructions.

Download Standing Order Application Form

OUR PARTNERS
Shire Self Storage
1895 Sports
H Mullaney & Son
CDX Security
Donkeystone Brewery Co
Purpose Business and Marketing
Oldham Reporter
The Property Buying Company
Swans Travel
Premier Kia
The Oldham Times
University of Salford
Betfred
Spindles Town Square
ORSA
Bamford Print
Space
RFL