Roughyeds’ chairman Christopher Hamilton has welcomed news of the government’s £16-million loan to support rugby league and has also lauded the RFL’s excellent leadership during the Covid-19 crisis.
The whole sport had worked hard collectively to demonstrate the impact rugby league had on the fabric of its local communities — and government’s recognition of that was a key factor in the decision to loan the sport £16 million to see it through the world-wide financial crisis.
One of rugby league’s longest-serving club chiefs, spanning 22 years, and a former RFL president, Hamilton said:
“Without doubt this is exceptional news for the sport in unprecedented times. Potentially it could be a life-saver for clubs in the three professional divisions.
“Ralph Rimmer, his executive team and the RFL board deserve enormous credit for the stirring leadership they have demonstrated since day one of this crisis.
“Not only that, they have now secured this additional help from government at a time when we are desperately trying to keep clubs in business.
“The importance of clubs to their local communities, which reaches far beyond match days, has clearly resonated with our nation’s leaders and it also underlines the significant role clubs like Oldham play as part of the town’s fabric.
“As the first and possibly the only sport to gain such additional support the RFL can pride itself on a momentous achievement and one of which everybody connected with the game — our club in particular — should be very proud.
“This is not a cure-all solution though and we must all be on-alert to make sure we come out of this pandemic in as strong a position as possible.”
Rugby League is not a wealthy sport and it faced a genuine threat to its future.
These remain challenging times for everyone in the sport, but rugby league can now continue to showcase outstanding sport and continue to deliver positive social and economic impacts on our local communities.
Oldham RLFC is proud and privileged to be part of that.