Hull caught in middle of political battle

Plans to rescue one of rugby league's most famous clubs from the threat of extinction could be wrecked by political in-fighting.

Plans to rescue one of rugby league's most famous clubs from the threat of extinction could be wrecked by political in-fighting.

Brian Johnson, chief executive of the beleaguered Hull Sharks, fears the growing split between Super League and the Association of Premiership Clubs (APC) will jeopardise proposals to safeguard the future of the East Yorkshire club.

Debt-ridden Hull want to join forces with Gateshead Thunder, a move which would trigger a £1.25million 'merger' payment from Super League.

The controversial plan has received the blessing of fellow Super League clubs but the plan is subject to Hull being allowed to drop into the Northern Ford Premiership (NFP) and so far the APC have refused to comply.

The matter is set to come to a head at a potentially stormy special general meeting of all clubs in Leeds this afternoon.

Block votes will decide the issue and both bodies will hold separate meetings this morning to determine their course of action.

"Politics are going to decide this, not common sense," said Johnson. "The antagonism that has built up between Super League and the First Division clubs is now manifesting itself."

APC chairman Bob McDermott argues that, with the new NFP season getting under way on Boxing Day, there is no time to reorganise the league and that the admission of Hull on the condition that the club is barred from gaining promotion for three years would devalue the competition.

There is also some resentment in APC circles that Super League appear to be dictating to the lower-division clubs.

The APC, who flexed their muscles last month when refusing Huddersfield permission to operate a team in the NFP following their merger with Sheffield, are also unhappy at the refusal to promote NFP champions Hunslet into Super League, although that decision was taken by an independent franchise panel.

Hull are caught in the middle, with Johnson admitting that closure is a very real threat if the vote goes against his club today.

"The whole scenario is worrying to say the least," he said. "We have a huge debt that has to be financed. If the APC clubs maintain their present stance, (owner) David Lloyd could allow the club to go bust.

"The worry is that West Hull will become disenfranchised and that would be a disaster not only for the area but for the game."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Lawyer - Cheshire

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CHESHIRE MARKET TOWN - An exciting and rare o...

Austen Lloyd: Residential Property Solicitor - Hampshire

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...

Recruitment Genius: Gas Installation Engineer

£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor

£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty