Rugby League: Super League delays decision on TV deal
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
Thursday 25 June 1998
"News want a decision sooner rather than later," Neil Tunnicliffe, the Rugby League's chief executive, said. "But as debate progressed it became clear that people were not clear in their own minds about which direction we should take."
A decision is now expected at a special meeting on 15 July, at which the League will argue strongly that it should regain secondary TV rights for international matches and that the door to Super League should remain open for First Division clubs who meet the relevant criteria. "To take that right away from them would be a betrayal," Sir Rodney Walker, the League's chairman, said.
Two decisions that were made were to move to a Bosman-style transfer system, with no fees for players over 24, and to move disciplinary hearings involving Super League players from Thursday to Tuesday, so that coaches know earlier which players will be available at weekends.
London Broncos were last night contacting Bradford to make an offer for Shaun Edwards. Bradford are dispensing with Edwards, but the sticking point could be the fee, as they want to recoup the pounds 40,000 they paid for him. Salford have also expressed an interest.
Bradford's players have taken the unusual step of issuing a public apology to their supporters for their recent performances. The champions have lost their last three games and the statement promises to "do everything humanly possible to restore the faith and pride that all concerned with this great club deserve."
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