RFL consider behind closed doors games and alternative revenue streams

Championship and League 1 clubs - including Sheffield Eagles and Doncaster RLFC - are considering playing games behind closed doors.
RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer. Picture Bruce RollinsonRFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer. Picture Bruce Rollinson
RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer. Picture Bruce Rollinson

The RFL announced last week that a working group has been set up to explore playing opportunities in 2020.

Another working group is considering alternative revenue streams in the absence of gate receipts.

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All levels of rugby league in the UK have been suspended since March 16.

Last month the government pledged a £16m loan to the RFL to help ease the financial strain.

“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,” said RFL chief executive Ralph RImmer.

“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.

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“Setting up these working groups will give the 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.”

Doncaster had played two League One games – losing to Barrow before beating North Wales Crusaders – when the season was brought to a halt by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sheffield had lost four of their first five games in the Championship.