Sport England has announced that they have slashed funding to the Rugby Football League due to a failure in reaching participation goals it has agree to with Sport England from 2009-2013.
Sport England was to have given the Rugby Football League £29,408,341 during that period. Instead the RFL will now recieve £27,563,684, a drop of over £2 million.
A Sport England survey found that the number of adults playing Rugby League had fallen from 82,000 in 2009 to just 44,000 at the time of the last review. A staggering fall and one that must have made some officials question the validity of the original statictics handed to them at the start of the funding period.
Rugby League in Great Britain is rapidly dying at every level. What we mostly see is the decay of the game at Super League level, simply because it is the most visible area of the game. This latest review shows that no area of the game is uneffected, that the entire game is slowly withering away.
Of course, a number of people will just react to this news. They will claim a bias against Rugby League and refuse to look at why funding was actually cut.
No one at the RFL will take a hit from this. No one will be made accountable for such a massive drop in participation rates.
At a time when clubs at every level are dying every few months, this news is not a hammer blow. It is more a sign of a much greater problem within Rugby League in Great Britain.
If something does not change soon, is the decay of the game is not slowed, Rugby League will end up being nothing more than a memory across small parts of Great Britain. It will become an odity, a training game used by Rugby Union players to lift their fitness levels before going and playing in Rugby Union competitions which you can find across Great Britain.
If you would like to read the official statement from Sport England click here: SportEngland.org