Yvette Coopers calls for government help to stop Castleford Tigers and other rugby league clubs going under in Covid crisis
Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper has met with the government's sports minister to call for additional support so no rugby league clubs go under as a result of coronavirus.
She told the Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston about the importance of rugby league to our towns and described the work Castleford Tigers does in the community.
And she warned of the that the crisis is having on clubs as fans cant yet go back but bills still have to be paid. She called on the minister to make sure that rugby league isn’t missed from support given to other sports or organisations and specifically called on the government to consider possibilities, including:
-additional grants and loans as other sports and industries have had;
-a VAT cut as pubs and restaurants have had - which would help with season tickets and merchandise sales
-business rates relief for grounds and shops as retailers had during lockdown
-covering the cost of Covid tests (currently costing clubs tens of thousands of pounds a month for players and key staff)
-a plan so that fans can safely return when the new season starts next year
Ms Cooper's petition for more support for rugby league clubs already has over 1,200 signatures and will be presented in Parliament later this week.
She said: "Thank you to the hundreds of local people who’ve backed my petition to show the Government how much we care about rugby league in or area.
"I met with the Sports Minister to press for support for rugby league clubs through the winter.
"The Government needs to understand how important Cas Tigers is to our community and our local economy, and how much support the club gives the town.
"From working with schools to helping people into jobs to supporting mental health - they support so much community work. You can’t replace that kind of thing. That’s why it’s so important we keep all our rugby clubs through difficult times. If you’ve not yet added your name, you can still do so via my Facebook page."
People can still add their names to the petition here or via Yvette’s Facebook page.