Well its just a matter of going from one farce to another when it comes to English Rugby League.
This week came news that Hull FC had fielded an ineligible player in their last two Challenge Cup Ties. Forward Jamie Thackery signed with Hull FC, from Leeds on March the 27th, two weeks after the deadline for players to be able to switch clubs and still be eligible to play in Challenge Cup ties.
Hull FC knew it, Jamie Thackery knew it, hell even their opponents the Widnes Vikings knew it!
Hull FC should have been kicked out of the Challenge Cup for this breach (And I say that as a Hull FC fan) as its one of the bedrock rules for a competition like the Challenge Cup.
However, this is British Rugby League, where rules don’t apply all the time, especially when they make things a little awkward.
The RFL came to the decision that yes, Hull FC has broken the rules, but because they have no set penalty for such a breach, they would just fine Hull FC and let them carry on their merry way.
What a farce!
To think that the integrity of one of the oldest sporting competitions in the world can be tossed aside so easily by the games administrators is disgusting. What would it actually take for a club to be kicked out of the competition, a salary cap breach? Oh, thats right, they just hand out fines and explain those away as well these days.
Unlike the game in Australia, the game in the UK is not accountable to the wider sporting public. Its issues don’t get talked about on the radio, on TV or written about in papers or magazines that are viewed by the majority of the population.
This means that the games administrators in the UK can basically do what they like.
In this case, kicking Hull FC out of the Challenge Cup would mean lower TV ratings, lower gate receipts and less interest in the competition from one of its key markets.
So stuff the rules, lets just follow the money trail and leave the games integrity behind.
Its very typical of the British game. No wonder its dying.