RFL and Super League recommend rugby clubs support governance realignment
It is hoped the proposal will result in reshaping rugby league’s business and governance model to maximize future opportunities.
A new joint venture is about to be created which will work closely together but separately from the RFL’s governing body function. A five-member board would be appointed, independent of club links, two by the RFL, two by the Super League with a jointly appointed chairman.
According to the recommendations, the RFL would also remain responsible for community play as well as elite performance across English teams, while continuing to work closely with Sport England.
The Super League, meanwhile, would focus on delivering the best sporting action and entertainment on the pitch, while working closely with the RFL and the new commercial joint venture.
The Sportcity complex at the Etihad Manchester campus is set to become the sport’s new headquarters later this year, where all staff for the RFL and the new joint venture will be based.
The composition of the RFL board is also set to change and the governing body has opted to seek a direct mandate from members at an EGM on March 22 with “the desire for the sport to move forward confidently and collectively”.
Respective Super League and RFL chairman Ken Davy and Simon Johnson said in a joint statement: “Like all sports, rugby league has faced unprecedented challenges over the past two years in due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It has focused our minds on the opportunities ahead and has led to detailed negotiations over the past few months with the aim of ensuring that the sport reemerges into a better and more sustainable future.
“We are confident that this recommendation, with the introduction of a new company and a clear separation of RFL governance responsibilities, is the right model for our sport.
“The new company will maximize the value of rugby league by bringing together all commercial, event and media rights, for negotiations with potential commercial partners – and in turn, maximizing distributable profits and therefore returns to clubs and in the game at large.
“Everyone from RFL, SLE and the new company will therefore be able to focus on what they do best for the general good of rugby league at all levels.
“With an integrated distribution of profits between the leagues and the RFL, it also provides long-term financial clarity for member clubs.”