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SBD Global/October 8, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Wigan Warriors Chairman Leads Rebellion Against Rugby Football League Restructuring

The Rugby League World Cup, which kicks off on Oct. 26, is "proving a hard enough sell without an internecine battle," which brought about "a scrapping of a highly controversial overhaul of the structure of the domestic leagues" beginning in '15, according to Christopher Irvine of the LONDON TIMES. With at least half of the 14 Super League clubs "threatening to reject" the Rugby Football League’s "radical proposals" for two divisions of 12 teams, splitting two thirds the way through the season into three leagues of eight, an extraordinary general meeting of the Rugby League Council due to take place Tuesday "was abandoned." An "embarrassing climbdown" by the RFL hierarchy, which had championed the changes, "followed an effective vote of no confidence" in the governing body’s board of directors by Wigan Warriors Chair Ian Lenagan, who had urged other clubs to "reject the proposals contained in a policy review document drawn up by the League." In a letter to the clubs, Lenagan wrote: "Many Super League clubs believe that the financial pressure on Super League clubs has been made much worse, rather than improved by the RFL board members, by the failure to deliver on marketing, sponsorship, media coverage and major events for Super League clubs, and that this central failure is as much a major contributor to the failure of Super League clubs as the clubs’ own deficiencies" (LONDON TIMES, 10/7).
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