Following the hard-fought campaign, the Government today have announced a significant package of support for rugby league. Many clubs have faced such financial difficulty as to put their survival under threat, but the £16M emergency loan to the Rugby Football League will help secure the game’s future.
I am absolutely delighted that the Government have listened to what I and many others have been calling for over the past two months.
Despite the struggle to make it happen, I’m glad that they’ve recognised rugby league as a unique sport in not only its financial situation, but in its service to the local community and unparalleled relationship with its fans.
Rugby league clubs, as I see constantly in my own city of Hull, are not only at the very core of our local identity, but are absolutely vital to our community, as we’ve seen throughout this awful crisis.
Rugby league might have tight profit margins, but it has clubs with incredibly rich histories – I’ve been calling on the Government to step in and make sure that fans can look forward to a future as rich for their club as its past. They’ve done that in good faith, but the next fight is to make sure this vital support gets to where it’s needed is not clawed back by unscrupulous broadcasters.
Whilst this is incredibly positive news for the sport, it comes at the most tragic of times for the game in Hull following the sudden passing of Jordan Cox. My thoughts and condolences are with his loved ones, family and friends at this terrible time.