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Betfred Championship and League 1 Targeting a March Return

The RFL and the Betfred Championship and League 1 clubs are targeting a return in 2021 well before Easter – even if crowds are not permitted until April.

The clubs met virtually today and debated a number of possible fixture schedules for 2021 – all of which involve some matches in March.

That is likely to involve the return of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup, possibly on a group basis in the early stages to allow the clubs to guarantee more home fixtures – and provide the realistic prospect of reaching a Wembley final next July.

The Easter weekend from April 2-5 will then provide the perfect opportunity to celebrate the end of the long Covid-19 exile by scheduling some of the derby matches that fans have missed so much in 2020.

The RFL will continue working on detailed competition structures and fixture schedules, which will be shared with clubs this month.

The clubs also agreed on the importance of working collectively to ensure that they are ready to host fixtures in 2021, if necessary Behind Closed Doors but crucially to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for spectators when crowds are permitted again.

The options around streaming matches for season ticket holders on the RFL’s Our League App and the introduction of games being available on a Pay Per View basis will also be pursued, building on the Betfred Super League games shown live on the Our League App since the resumption of the 2020 season in August.

Ralph Rimmer, the Chief Executive of the RFL, said:

“The Betfred Championship and League 1 clubs are eager to get back out on to the field after such a long and frustrating period of enforced inactivity.

“Today’s meeting was an opportunity for them to consider a number of possible fixture schedules for 2021 drawn up by the RFL, as well as to consider the practical factors that will almost certainly remain.

“The timing of the Easter weekend at the start of April, when we all fervently hope and expect crowds to be permitted back at our grounds, provides something for us all to anticipate with relish.

“There has also been support for the continuation of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup even in a shortened season, which will ensure that two clubs from outside the Betfred Super League reach Wembley in 2021.”



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AS lockdown restrictions start to ease, now is the time for everyone connected with Oldham RLFC to do all they can to help with getting income from our Club Cash lottery back to where it was before the pandemic started to bite.

This is vital for the club and its finances which, as you all know, have taken a massive hit in the past 12 months.

Collectors will be returning to door-to-door visits in the next few weeks and we hope people who suspended payments will pick up where they left off as we strive and work hard to get back to where we were before the pandemic caused us to lose 50 per cent of our lottery income.

Many of our regular punters, who would normally pay a collector, have answered our calls for help by finding other ways to pay and to retain their chances of winning prizes.

To those people we are very grateful and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them once again for their loyal and continued support.

The lottery, of course, is potentially one of our biggest fund-raisers and for as little as £1 a week — more if you wish — you can help the club immensely and at the same time have chances to win £1,000, £100, £50, £25 or one of ten consolation prizes of £10.

That’s the present prize structure. There’s every chance it will be increased once we are out of lockdown, door-to-door collections start again and we get back to some sort of normality.

In the meantime you can join, or start up again, by contacting the club on 07904 898177 or by email to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

For more information about the lottery, and for the “great opportunities” provided by our partnership with the National Youth and Community Development Association (NYCDA) go our Club Cash page.

There, you will find all the results and a detailed statement about getting back to normal with the help of our not-for-profit partners.

All proceeds from the partnership will continue to support the club and help us to meet the aims of our Club Cash activities, particularly in its aims and objectives to be an active stakeholder in the local community.

Download Application Form

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