With the news that the RFL have allowed Serbian side Red Star Belgrade to enter this year’s Challenge Cup competition, while Championship sides Toulouse and Toronto Wolfpack had declined the invite to take part, there has been quiet a significant fall out in the Rugby League world now the reason two of the Championship top teams, who were both a game away from possibly playing in Super league this year had decided not to take part in the Sports biggest cup competition.
Over the past week rumours have been circulating that the Wolfpack, Toulouse and even the current holders Catalan were asked to pay a fee/bond in order to enter the competition. This is believed to cover the potential profit loss to the RFL should these teams reach the later stages of the competition, following low attendance numbers at this years Semi Finals and Final due to Catalan Dragons doing so well.
The situation with the clubs based over seas is that as all RFL member clubs are obliged to enter the Challenge Cup, as Catalan, Toulouse and Toronto are only invited as they are non-members.
Now originally the fans and reporters were happy to take a number of shots at the two clubs when the news they wouldn’t be involved was released, even through Toulouse declined thier invitation last season as well, when their was no Bond involved. This lead to a number of fans accusing the clubs of making the decision as a direct move to allow them a competitive advantage in the Championship has it would mean they would extra weeks off in the lead up to the busy Easter weekend schedule.
However, since the rumoured reason has become apparent and the fact that the Wolfpack would have entered until they were asked for a bond, fan have turned tail and now aimed their criticism at the sport’s governing body.
This buts the RFL in a no win position as were they are attempting to ensure their member clubs don’t lose money, they are in some ways contradicting themselves by allowing these non british sides to compete in our leagues but then charging them for the privilege just in case they actually do well!
- Toronto Wolfpack are back in the Challenge Cup.
- Catalans Dragons may not defend their title after RFL demand £500,000 deposit.
- Rugby Leagues Championships End of Year nominations relevealed.
- Wolfpack release big name trio on the eve of the season
- Salford Maintain 100% record, while Widnes look certain to be playing Championship rugby in 2019.