WARRINGTON South MP Andy Carter is urging the government to help ensure Rugby League Clubs can survive during the Coronavirus crisis.
As Vice-Chair of the APPG for Rugby League he has written to Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Oliver Dowden MP urging to investigate what support can be given to keep the sport afloat.
Mr Carter says players and staff in Warrington have been out supporting the community doing a great job to help NHS staff and playing their part in the national effort.
In his letter he says: “My constituency is home to Warrington Wolves, one of the leading Rugby League teams in the country and they, along with many others, are worried about the economic impact that coronavirus will have on their ability to operate.
“Teams like Warrington Wolves do not have the economic security and investment, as say a Premier League football team would have. If we lose these clubs, our towns and cities in the North lose a major part of their identity and we all lose forces for good in our communities. I truly believe that investment into Rugby League in the North should be part of the levelling up agenda that I know yourself and colleagues are working hard to deliver on.
“I welcome the announcements already made to support business, including the job-retention scheme which is being accessed by Rugby League players and staff, but a further package is needed to enable the sport to weather the short and medium-term huge impacts of the curtailment of regular games and events. The two key asks as detailed by Rugby League England are:
• £19.45m is required to meet game-wide loss of revenues net of Government business reliefs over a projected 12-week shut down of the sport
• Withdrawal of the RFL underwrite on RLWC 2021
“Clubs and the RFL rely on ticket sales and reinvest these revenues in sporting and large-scale community activity such as ‘Live life the Wolves Way’ in Warrington. The money requested is to support clubs, the RFL and SLE across twelve weeks during which they are unable to complete fixtures which for many is their main source of revenue.
“With this additional support the sport could avoid the very real danger of a wave of instability – and impacts on commercial and broadcast arrangements – a domino effect leaving the sport damaged. In my capacity as Vice-Chair of the APPG for Rugby League, I would ask that you work with the Treasury to investigate what support could be available to help keep the sport afloat.”