WOLVES’ chief executive Andy Gatcliffe is fighting to change the way Super League is run.
As rugby league in this country undergoes some of the most radical changes since the introduction of Super League in 1996, Gatcliffe believes now is the time to reconsider how the sport’s elite competition is managed.
“At the moment Brian Barwick, the chairman of the Rugby Football League, is also the chairman of Super League, while the CEO of the RFL, Nigel Wood, is also the CEO of the Super League,” he said.
“It is our club’s belief that they have a clash of roles.
“I believe we should have our own CEO and sales, marketing and financial officer who will represent only the Super League clubs.
“This duality of role that the CEO and chairman have in both the RFL and Super League, that is not working.”
Any time the RFL steers the game down a path against the wishes of the majority of Super League clubs, a huge conflict of interest arises.
This issue has been brought to the fore by the recent structure wrangling, but is by no means irrelevant now that the 3x8 league system has been ratified.
“One of the issues we have been kicking back against as a club is this ‘whole sport’ idea from the RFL,” he said.
“Bringing everybody from community game up to Super League under the RFL, all working together, helping each other and all being in the one pot (financially).
“Well I’m sorry, but life is not like that.
“In effect the RFL have this whole sport plan, which I agree with in principle, but they then want us as a club to start funding that.
“So I am saying ‘hang on a minute’ we need to look after those Super League clubs that have their own long-lasting financial issues first and foremost.
“Yes, Super League is the jewel in the crown of rugby league in this country and of course we have to respect all the others, professional or amateur.
“We can give them money, like we are now, but there is a limit to what we can give and that is another debate that needs to happen as well.”