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Chamber chief labels league leader’s shield a disgrace

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A BUSINESS leader has urged the Rugby League to place greater emphasis recognizing the achievement of the team finishing top of the Super League table and is now urging clubs and fans to lobby the RFL HQ.
Labeling the League Leaders Shield a “disgrace” Warrington Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Colin Daniels was also shocked to discover that players didn’t receive any recognition for their achievement in the way of a winners medal.
He was further shocked to discover the original Championship trophy, which be believed would be a much more fitting reward, was now on permanent display at Wigan!
In a letter to Rugby league Chief Executive Nigel Wood, Mr Daniels (pictured right) said: “We are delighted that Warrington RLFC have won the league this season, for any winner of the league the achievement should not be underestimated.
“The manner of Warrington’s success in terms of points for versus points against clearly adds to our delight and also most rugby fans who follow the sport.
“Our concern going forward is on the obvious emphasis that you place on the end of season knockout competition and clearly not on the league winners in what must be one of the most competitive leagues in any sport.
“The emphasis even applies to the quality of the “trophy” that the league winners receive. I have seen better trophies awarded in school competitions. Frankly having handled the trophy at a recent chamber event, it is a disgrace and clearly fails to acknowledge the massive achievement of any team winning the “Super League”, with the added insult of no medals being awarded to the players.”
He went on to add: “Where is the old Rugby League Championship Cup, a trophy more fitting and a real acknowledgment of the achievement by the League winner measured over a season and not an end of season knockout competition.”
In response to Mr Daniels, Mr Wood said: “You will no doubt be aware that for 14 out of 16 years that the Super League has been contested, the league fixtures have not been a straight home and away formula as used in some other leagues.
“Therefore, the Super League Champions are the team that wins the Grand Final and they receive the appropriate trophy at Old Trafford. The League Leaders Shield was introduced some years ago and I would agree is modest and somewhat understated, certainly by reference to the Super League Trophy, which it was intended not to usurp.
“There has been recent discussion amongst the Super League clubs as to how the equity and recognition of the League Leaders Award can be increased and this has resulted in significantly increased prize money. It may well be that the clubs may be receptive to the idea of further improving the status of the League Leaders Award.”
He added that the Rugby league Championship Cup was located at Wigan in a gesture made by a previous administration of the RFL.
A Super League spokesman said: “Contrary to what Mr Daniels states, a suitable trophy is awarded to the team that ‘wins Super League’: this was presented to Leeds Rhinos following their Grand Final victory over St Helens at Old Trafford.
“The Leeds players involved also received winners’ rings, as has been the case since the first Super League Grand Final was played in 1998.”
Mr Daniels said he was “flabberghasted” by the Rugby League’s response and is now urging clubs and fans to lobby the Rugby League HQ at Red Hall and call for greater recognition for the team finishing top of the table.
“Finishing top of the table in any sport should be the ultimate prize – not a glorified knock out competition,” he added.


Pictures show Adrian Morley with the League Leader’s Shield and the Warrington team celebrating their triumph.






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Experienced journalist for more than 30 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC and current director. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management

18 Comments

  1. I agree. Fair play to Leeds they played on the day but to finish 5th in the league and be crowned champions is a joke.

    Next year Wire, rest your players take it easy and finish 8th, because all that matters are the play offs. Bring everyone back at the end of the season and become champions.

    That is what other teams will now do next year if the RFL don’t sort it out.

  2. The team who finsihes top should be crowned the Super League champions as they are the best team the whole year round, and i also believe that relagation and promotion should be re-introduced, and if the RFL dont believe the season is long enough why not just add a further 2 teams to the league to extend it by 4 weeks ???

  3. The current format is a joke. Under the current format is it possible that a team can win all 27 weekly rounds and the first play off game but still not get to Old Trafford. It is also possible that a team could lose 13 games of the regular season (Hull FC this year) and still reach Old Trafford.

    Only in Superleague where the administration a joke is it possible that you can have a competition where a team could lose one game in a season and not reach the final , but the team losing 13 games could?

    Sort it out RFL, You expect the fans to tun up in numbers every week to watch the first 27 rounds, and then tell us it effectively counts for nothing.

  4. I totally agree with everything that has been said regarding the stupid system in Rugby League however it is no good coming from the team that won the league but not the play offs as it just looks like sour grapes.

    As I said I totally agree with you all and it would be good to get Rhino’s fans in on the argument as I bet they do not feel the same until it happens to them.

    I am a Widnes fan and although it kills me to say it I believe as do everyone else I have spoken to that Warrington and Wigan are the two best teams in Super league by far and should be the true champions (until next season obviously)

  5. I wouldn’t call it sour grapes Kemik – I would say you only realise how unfair the system is when you actually win it. I certainly didn’t have a clue that players didn’t even get a medal or anything for winning the league until I spoke to them after the event.

    Warrington’s greatest achievement since the 50s and you get a polished hub cap!

  6. This is complete rubbish. I’m a big Wire fan but all the clubs know the rules. The Warrington club accepted defeat to Leeds gracefully, Leeds deserved to win the GF. Do something better with your time instead of embarrassing the town.

  7. Look we all know the system and agree to it. I feel winning the league is nice, a minor prize to win inorder to give yourself the best chance of being champions! and should be treated that way. Wire should stop moaning. Sometimes the system works for you and others it doesn’t.

    Wigan finished top in 1998 and 2000 and recieved nothing for the feat, not even a crappy shield, we didn’t moan. Wire should accept the fact they failed to win the important games and move on or the same will happen next season!

  8. Can someone please drag Mr Daniels into the 21st Century? He is making himself look silly. Whilst many may not agree with the format of the play off system, the final three games of the season proved why Super League has a such a system of deciding the champions. Warrington/Leeds, St Helens/Wigan and the Grand Final provided unrivalled sporting entertainment, capturing the drama of rugby league with the very best teams in the country. On the back of a play off system the Grand Final has, for the past 14 years, been proved to be one of the highlights of the British sporting calendar. To get rid after unqualified success for over a decade would be bizarre.

  9. I think everyone agrees finishing top should get more reward (possibly straight to the grand final) but come on and get a grip, stamping your feet and spitting your dummy out now just makes you look like a sore looser! I’m a Saints fan so arguable we have been the worst club done to for those years we came top and didn’t win the grand final, I didn’t hear you lobbying a complaint then! Your motives are 100% right, but your timing and bias just discredits them unfortunately!

  10. No one is saying get rid of the Grand Final – just to give proper recongnition and a decent trophy/medals for winning the league – which is actually the toughest task of all!

  11. You only actually become fully aware of the failings of the system when you win the league – No one is stamping feet and spitting dummies – the league leader’s shield is a very poor trophy for such a prestigious prize and the players deserve a medal.

    I don’t think any one can argue that .

  12. Now that you say you have become aware of the injustice perhaps you could have a more balanced point if you argued that Wigan received NOTHING for finishing top in 1998 and 2000. At least Wire won a polished hubcap!

  13. ABSOLUTELY – you only become aware of the situation when you actually finish top of the table. But at least Wigan got to keep the original Championship Trophy! Now lets see them hand it back to make it a worthwhile trophy for winning the league!

  14. Why should Wigan give the old Championship Trophy back just because Warrington choked? What a joke! Wigan was awarded that for being the last team to win it or because they had won more times than anyone else. If anything it should be in the Steveo Museum in Huddersfield!

    You Wire fans needs to get a grip, Wigan never recieved a dot in 1998 and 2000 but at least we acted with diginity instead of this shambles!

    If Warrington fans continue with this nonsense it will do nothing but serve to make you look even dafter than you do now!

    Don’t agree to the rules then complain when it doesnt work out for you, would this debate even happen if Wire had made the GF or would you have been this vocal had you won the GF 2 / 3 years ago when you where a below average team?

    GET A GRIP!

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