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Beaumont's Stamina?

Noble Member

Just wonder how long Beaumont will manage to go on financing Leigh if the RFL/SL indications are that the SL doesn't really want M 62 clubs. You have to admire his determination with very little return so far.

Topic starter Posted : 03/09/2020 3:30 pm
Honorable Member

I am not a massive fan of Beaumont, I can see why Leigh fans adore him but fundamentally releasing the entire squad, asking fans to donate money to the club to sign players, a fake a financial crisis and then three months later carry on with this vanity project, the RFL should have made him sell.

How is that “fit and proper”? Also, I respect Leigh, having them and Widnes doing well in SL would be good for the comp, maybe not for the globalists.


Posted : 03/09/2020 5:02 pm
Noble Member

You have to admire Derek Beaumont for sticking to his commitment to Leigh, as a benefactor and supporter. I am sure that Widnes fans would welcome someone like Beaumont who would be prepared to invest in Widnes to the same extent.

The problem is that he is probably not in the same financial league as Moran, McManus and Lenagan, but like a punch drunk boxer keeps coming back for more in the hope of getting (and keeping) Leigh in SL. How long he can afford to  keep the club full-time has to be seen, but my guess if they are not promoted in 2021, Leigh will go part-time.

The problem that he faces is that if the RFL/SL pursue the big city international expansion, there is no place in SL for Leigh along with Salford, Swinton, Rochdale and Oldham in the future plans. The will be absorbed into a Manchester team based around Wigan - and the fans of those clubs will be lost to the game. The RFL/SL need to be honest and spell out their vision of the future for clubs like Leigh in the international super duper league - that is if they actually have a long term vision other than a few ideas on the back of a fag packet.

The problem Leigh had in 2018 when they failed to secure a return to SL was that they faced the prospect of their central funding reducing from £1.2m (including the parachute payment) to £200,000, which meant that without further substantial investment from Beaumont, they were unable to meet the contracted payments to players in the following year. Beaumont's mistake was banking everything on getting straight back to SL and brought in players on SL contracts and it all fell apart when they failed to get promotion.

This is a continuing problem for any team relegated from SL. The disparity in funding between SL and the Championship is far too big and makes it impossible to sustain a full-time squad without some outside investment. It is unlikely that SL will agree to a fairer distribution of funding and the RFL seem incapable of marketing the game below SL, so the answer may be to split SL from the rest of the game and let them go on their expansionist journey. It is likely that the super duper international league, will be run on a licensing basis, so those existing traditional RL clubs will have no place. In that case, RFL need to address the feasibility of creating a separate independent competition for those clubs not meeting the SL criteria.

Whether it will spell the end of the game in the UK, only time will tell, but I believe that there is still an appetite for rugby league at community level, probably played on a semi-professional basis, but it needs someone with the passion and ability to market the game. You never know, it may even expand the game within the UK. Hopefully, when the super duper international league falls apart, there will still be a game in the UK to which St Helens and Wigan can return.

Posted : 04/09/2020 7:38 am
Noble Member

Well said Frankg.

The fatal mistake was that rather than selling access to games for Sky to broadcast the game itself was sold to Sky to almost do as it liked with. A fatal error which gives Sky the power to pay us whatever it wishes, or discard the game as uncommercial for their purposes.

The sudden rush of funds encouraged, insisted, clubs to build much bigger empires than were required before. When funds drop those empires crumble, but it is this situation that has resulted in such wide disparity in running costs.

I don't know the detail of the Sky deal but I suppose that the whole game could have been sold which could make splitting a legal  nightmare. There will be a way, of course, but it could mean dropping out of the RFL and re-forming as a totally new game structure, as in 1895!

It would need bigger men than are around atm, unless someone like DrK was motivated. He would have the drive and nous to do battle.

Topic starter Posted : 04/09/2020 10:46 am