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2021 Season Update

The Betfred Championship and League 1 clubs considered a number of options for the 2021 season at a virtual meeting on Wednesday evening.

The consensus reached was that the Betfred Championship season could and should be delayed by several weeks from the scheduled start of late February, in recognition of the current public health situation and the likely implications on the return of fans to elite sport.

For similar reasons, the Betfred League 1 clubs were supportive of a longer delay to the start of their season, which will now begin later in the spring.

That will also allow a staggered return to training following the pause advised by the RFL last week in response to the latest Lockdown, which will also take into account the needs of players to prepare thoroughly after such a long lay-off.

Betfred Championship clubs have been cleared to return from this weekend (Saturday January 16), but initially only for “Stage 1 plus” – which permits socially distanced (non-contact) training outdoors – with the intention of moving to “Stage 2”, with contact training permitted, from February 1.

Betfred League 1 clubs will be cleared to begin a similar staged process in February – with all clubs at each level required to satisfy the RFL that that they are able to meet strict conditions regarding testing and biosecurity.

Discussions over a delayed return date for Academy and Scholarship programmes have also been held with the relevant Betfred Super League and Championship clubs this week, and all clubs, players and coaches will now be updated before an announcement in the next week.

England Women’s scheduled return to training this weekend has been postponed by a week, and further discussions will be held with Betfred Women’s Super League clubs this week about their pre-season training schedule.

Further details of the schedule for the 2021 Betfred Championship and League 1, including the early rounds of the Challenge Cup, will be published over the weekend, following further feedback from the clubs and consultation with the RFL Board – with fixture lists to follow.

Ralph Rimmer, the RFL Chief Executive, said:

“We have been grateful to our clubs throughout the last 10 months for their responsible and constructive approach to such a challenging period for all, and Wednesday’s meeting was another example of that.

“There remains a desire and determination, from the RFL as well as clubs, to get back on the field as soon as is safely possible. However there is also a recognition of the need to be responsible at this time.

“A staged return to pre-season training, after the short pause advised last week, followed by a staggered start to the Betfred Championship and League 1 seasons, represents the best way for us to combine this responsibility with other priorities of player welfare and the financial sustainability of our clubs.

“This approach extends to the Academy and Scholarship programmes, which are so important to the future health of the game as well as the mental health of the youngsters involved – and we will confirm shortly a similar approach for the Betfred Women’s Super League.”



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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.

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