Hull KR, Cas, Bradford given 2 year elite academy licences. Possibly 180 young players told their academies, scholarships were being dumped only be told a week later that sorry just joking we didn’t really mean it.
Phil Finney gave as a major reason for scrapping our academy that we were told we would not get funding going forward. He said that we had been told that Super League would not fund elite academies outside of Super League in heartland areas. The RFL / Super League have obviously now gone back on that given the renewed Bradford licence. I guess RFL / Super League will just say tough look to Widnes and our young players.
Lets be frank these idiots RFL / Super League couldn’t run a piss up.
Some of those young players at Hull KR, Cas, Bradford will possibly already have been given the nod by other Super League Clubs. I guess those proposed moves will now not happen because transfer fees will be payable as per the RFL operational rules. A further lesson by the RFL in how too upset and unsettle young players for no discernible purpose.
There’s a lot wrong with the academies that they’ve backtracked on. There isn’t an even playing field, I know Cas don’t put £100k into their academy which is part of the criteria. It will be interesting what happens with those over the next 2 years, I believe they will be very heavily scrutinised – and rightly so.
The lack of scrutiny in Rugby League in the UK along with media coverage in general is a huge issue.
I don’t believe the RFL will be heavily scrutinised or held to account for their decisions. This has not been the case in the past and I don’t believe it will happen in this case or in the immediate future.
The elephant in the room is participation. It’s falling. In the fairly recent past you would have 11 under 11’s teams in Widnes. Now you have maximum 3. By the time you get to Under 14’s , 15’s you may have one team in Widnes (depending on the year) and possibly no Rugby Union team at that age either. This is a game wide issue throughout what were originally the heartlands. The RFL as do the Professional Clubs need to get its head out its bottom and work on this issue. This is the primary issue in the game (see Jamaican, West Indian cricket).
There will always be amateur clubs who do a brilliant job who can buck this trend especially at the younger age groups and people will highlight this. The good practice of these amateur clubs needs to be supported, extended and replicated.