Ralph Rimmer is encouraged by talks he has held with the government as the sport aims to avoid financial problems while it remains suspended during the coronavirus pandemic.
Last month, the RFL asked the government for financial support as part of its business rescue package and chief executive Rimmer has been in regular contact with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Treasury and individual members of the cabinet.
No agreement has yet been reached but, speaking to the Golden Point Daily podcast, Rimmer praised the government for their level of engagement and is optimistic there will be a positive outcome.
“We’re facing something completely unprecedented – that’s not just in the sporting world, but as far as the nation is concerned,” Rimmer told Sky Sports.
“As a sport, clearly the first concern is the staff, the clubs and everyone who works for them, the volunteers and the communities they touch, and how we can keep that all ignited going forward and give it a future.
“We’ll see how it eventuates and I’m hopeful we’ll have a positive outcome, but the engagement so far has been fantastic. When we get out of this, it would be a partnership, I would hope.
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“I wouldn’t give a timetable on that, but the amount of government time we have has been extraordinary at all levels.”
As part of the RFL’s case for support, they have submitted documents which underline the benefits professional and amateur clubs at all levels have on the areas they are based in.
Citing Manchester University’s ‘The Rugby League Dividend’ study, Rimmer explained why clubs have such a big impact off the field as well as on it.
“The documents we have submitted to government – and there have been many, many documents submitted over the past few weeks – talks about the autism work at St Helens, the dementia work at Warrington, the work Leeds Rhinos do with local foodbanks and free sport at Barrow,” Rimmer said.
We’ll see how it eventuates and I’m hopeful we’ll have a positive outcome, but the engagement so far has been fantastic
“Or even down to Wath Brow, Stanningley and other community clubs, all of which lie at the heart of their communities and are embedded in them.
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