RFL boss Ralph Rimmer says Government money will be spent wisely

By Jonathan Veal, PA
PA Media: Sport

Rugby Football League chief executive Ralph Rimmer has warned the Government’s £16million loan to the sport will not be a “gravy train” for clubs.

The RFL will receive an emergency cash boost to safeguard the immediate future of the sport as it deals with the financial impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The money will be sent to those clubs most in need and other factors, such as external investment and the use of the furloughing scheme, to be taken into account.

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“This is absolutely no gravy train,” Rimmer said.

“There are conditions and responsibilities attached to this money. We will use it wisely and we will use it to steer ourselves into a better place. That management and stewardship falls upon our shoulders.

“It won’t be equitable, it will be in relation to the intervention required for safe passage. The clubs will have to apply, they understand there will be a good degree of due diligence in any money that flows from us into the club. It won’t be a straight line.

“Some clubs have an ability to access other funds. Many of the club have benefited from the interventions that have already been put out front the government. We have been in regular contact with them all to contact exactly what those advantages are.”

The season is currently suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic, though the RFL were part of a multi-sport discussion with the Government on how to resume the action.

Rimmer has suggested that when the Super League can resume it would be behind closed doors, with the possibility of playing multiple games at a day at the same venue.

Champions St Helens are currently sidelined, along with the rest of the league (Martin Rickett/PA)
Champions St Helens are currently sidelined, along with the rest of the league (Martin Rickett/PA)

“Clearly we want to get on the field as soon as possible,” he said. “It is part of the recovery of the nation’s psyche to see sport again and we have a responsibility to to deliver it but I can’t deliver something that is out of my hands.

“But we do have models for every eventuality. It’s really important that we maintain our blue-ribboned events.

“Sky have been fantastically supportive so far. On the modelling aspects we have discussed with them how we can deliver in innovative ways the content they are looking for and hopefully in a very efficient way.

“Sky have been supportive and at the heart of how we might go forward, as have the BBC, they are both important partners to us.

“It depends on the length of lockdown but it certainly the possibility of playing multiple games at single venues is an option in how we re-emerge in the first instance.”

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