After much debate the RFL, in dicussion with the clubs, have decided to abandon the 2020 season for the Championship and League 1.
The decision followed the withdrawal of Toronto Wolfpack from this year’s Super League and the decision to have no relegation from the top tier.
With no promotions or relegations and the financial cost of staging matches behind closed doors, it became inevitable.
The government has indicated that crowds may be allowed back in October and the RFL has proposed a tournament for Championship and League 1 clubs with a theme of celebrating the sport’s 125th anniversary, and with a prize pot of £250,000.
In a statement, Hunslet RLFC Chairman Ken Sykes said:
“Whilst we welcome the decision, and think its the right thing to do given the potential financial impact it’s obviously hugely disappointing for everyone connected with the sport.”
The RFL have created a one off Cup competition for clubs in the Championship and League 1, but Hunslet has decided not to enter on the grounds that it would not be financially viable for the club.
The club has also written to all season ticket holders offering a refund, but asking them to consider not taking it.
In the letter Ken Sykes says:
“Having already spoken to several supporters I am aware though that there will be a majority who are prepared to see their Season Ticket purchase as a donation to the Club.
“There is no doubt that these are exceedingly difficult times for all and if there is any way that individuals can pull together and support the Club by not seeking a refund that would be terrific. I do realise, however, that there may be some people who need their money returned.”
For those missing their Rugby League, the latest edition of the club’s magazine, South Of The River is available online for £3 here. Amongst other stories, New Hunslet’s historic first game at the Leeds Greyhound Stadium in August 1973 is remembered; and there’s a look-back to the visit of legendary BBC commentator Eddie Waring to Hunslet Carr school in the early 1960s, when the team was coached by Miss Adele Collinson, who was possibly the first female to take charge of a Rugby League side.
Photo: Keidan Hartley in action at Hunslet’s last match before lockdown at Featherstone Rovers in the Challenge Cup. Photo: Paul Johnson