Rugby League: Lindsay dismisses demand for World Cup accounts

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Legal proceedings have been instigated against the Rugby League and its chief executive, Maurice Lindsay, concerning the accounts for the World Cup tournament two years ago.

Solicitors acting for the Australian Rugby League set the wheels in motion yesterday by issuing a demand requiring the League to produce the accounts for the centenary tournament, held in England and Wales during October 1995.

Richard Cramer of the Leeds-based McCormick's solicitors firm said: "The ARL has reluctantly taken this course because they have been unable to obtain any accounts in respect of the Centenary World Cup, despite assurances from Mr Maurice Lindsay and the Rugby Football League that such would be forthcoming."

The World Cup was the last time that the ARL played against Great Britain, which is aligned with the Super League organisation with which the ARL remains at odds in the southern hemisphere.

The ARL's understanding is that any profit from the tournament should have been divided between the 10 participating nations. Gates rose to a peak of over 66,000 for the final between Great Britain and Australia at Wembley and there was also income from sponsorship and television.

"It's the biggest load of nonsense I've ever heard," Lindsay said. "There was a delay in the accounts, because of a dispute with the ticketing agency, but we advanced Australia $1m [pounds 645,000] and they have been over-paid by pounds 70,000.

"We were going to overlook that, but we will now be demanding it back."

Roy Waudby, the League's vice-chairman, is returning to his former role as the chairman of Hull, while Brett Goldspink, Oldham's Australian prop, is also on the move to St Helens.

-Dave Hadfield