Kelly Fearful Of Future For Rugby League

DEWSBURY Rams head coach Neil Kelly insists that a number of Betfred Championship clubs should be worried over the direction the RFL are moving and the depature of Nigel Wood from the organisation.

It has been suggested that a number of Super League sides want to take control over TV revenue and other decisions that will affect the way in which the game is run. Kelly believes that if this happens it could mean that the lower divisions of rugby league could be badly affected, and also says that it could lead to less money falling down the league structure.#

On the changes at the top of the sport Kelly told The Press: “Judging by some of the reports, a lot of people in our division and the division below are a little bit concerned. There is the concern about what direction the RFL are going to go in now that Nigel Wood isn’t there.

“Everybody at this level should be a little bit worried, there have been some press reports saying that there have been moves to try and take the finance away from the Championship. I think that would be detrimental, not only to our division, but to the game as a whole.

“The game needs a thriving level of competition below Super League, so it is worrying what direction the game is going to take.

“When I was at Dewsbury before, we lived through one period that was like the current situation, the game fought hard to stay together against some forces within that tried to break away.

“Now it seems that we are back to where we were then, hopefully that isn’t the case and we can look at ways to take the whole game forward. I’m as concerned as anybody else, as the noises coming out suggest we are going to be where we were 10 to 15 years ago.

“I think, overall, that Nigel Wood has done a good job, on the face of it he has been an advocate for this division.

“I have seen some of the names that people are pushing, for example Wigan, who seem to be at the front of the breakaway situation, promoting Phil Clarke and players who have played at Wigan.

“I can see there being a bit of a divide at Super League level with the clubs that are trying to take the money from us, and the ones who have developed the clubs to such an extent that they are independent, free-standing clubs that can survive without the extra money.

“I think that Kevin Sinfield has been touted for the position but I think it needs to be a neutral person who goes in there, rather than a significant player. It is better to take away the parochial side of the game and really look at getting an independent person in, who obviously has the capabilities but without close ties to any club.”

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