Wakefield Wildcats: Carter blasts decision to delay crucial RFL meeting

DELAY: Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan.
DELAY: Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan.
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Wakefield Wildcats chairman Michael Carter has blasted the decision to delay a crucial meeting organised to determine the future of the game.

The Rugby Football League (RFL) was due to hold talks with representatives from clubs in Super League and the Kingstone Press Championships in Leeds on Wednesday.

But a club revolt, led by Wigan Warriors chairman Ian Lenagan (pictured), forced the postponement of the meeting until after the forthcoming Rugby League World Cup.

Some clubs were concerned with the RFL’s preferred restructuring proposal, which would see two divisions of 12 split into three divisions of eight from 2015, with the return of promotion and relegation.

But Carter was keen for the meeting to go ahead and says any concerns should have been aired behind closed doors rather than through the press.

“I’ve taken a bit of a dim view of the whole thing,” he said.

“There may be issues that need looking at but if clubs had any problems then the meeting was the ideal time to air them.

“There have been investigations into restructuring for 12 months and now this happens just before the meeting and just before the World Cup. It could have been handled better.”

Carter was due to attend the meeting with consultant chief executive Kath Hetherington and says they were not dead set on being for or against the new structure.

“We were going there with an open mind,” he said.

“There are parts of the proposals that interest me but I’m not saying there were no negatives about them, that’s what we were all gathering to discuss.

“From a selfish point of view it could be seen that staying with 14 clubs next season would beneficial for us but now we’re waiting for a decision which is no good for anybody, it needs to be sorted soon.”

An RFL statement said: “A majority of Super League clubs have indicated an interest in further consultation on the detail of the proposals in order to reach the best solution.

“These discussions will continue to positively progress but all parties involved are unanimous in their belief that the key focus for Rugby League at this moment is staging a successful World Cup and this should be the focus of the sport.”