Following a remote meeting of the RFL and Betfred Championship and League 1 clubs this afternoon (Wednesday), two working groups have been set up to consider the issues surrounding the possible resumption of the sport at this level.
One of the groups will consider the costs and other logistics surrounding matches taking place behind closed doors for broadcast. The Government’s Covid-19 Recovery Strategy published earlier this week clarified that they would permit “cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed-doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact” to begin “no earlier than Monday 1 June.”
The other group will consider possible revenue opportunities to offset some of those costs.
Both will be chaired by the RFL, and convened as soon as possible.
The decision to form the working groups followed updates from the RFL to clubs on the Government funding secured for the sport earlier this month, and on the extension of the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme; and a detailed summary of the latest discussions between UK Sport and medical officers relating to the resumption of training and competition.
Ralph Rimmer, the RFL Chief Executive, said: “The meeting gave us the chance to update the clubs, and also for the clubs to share their views with us.
“Playing matches behind closed doors, and before that the return to training that would be necessary, is clearly a complex option for all levels of our sport – and any decisions will have an obvious implication on the structure of the competitions, and relationships between our different competitions. Decisions regarding promotion and relegation will be made by the RFL Board.
“Setting up these working groups will give the Betfred Championship and League 1 clubs the opportunities to address those considerations further. We also maintain regular dialogue with players and their representatives, and our broadcast and other commercial partners, as we remain focused on finding the best solution for the good of the sport.”