Clubs keen for summer Super League return - with crowds 'when safe'

Super League clubs have pledged to do "everything necessary" to be ready for staging matches this summer - and in front of fans as soon as it is safe.

Thursday, 14th May 2020, 9:16 pm
There has been no Betfred Super League action since Castleford Tigers' win over St Helens on March 15. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Representatives of all 12 clubs met via a video conference on Thursday to consider the implications of guidelines for staging behind closed doors games.

They also examined what might be a realistic expectation for when crowds are allowed to return.

The pre-arranged regulatory meeting with the Rugby Football League included detailed discussions regarding a safe and coordinated return of players to training.

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Fans celebrate with Tigers' Jake Trueman during the win against Saints. Clubs hope crowds will be allowed back into stadiums this year. Picture by Tony Johnson.

A statement from Betfred Super League said: "A group of nominated clubs continue to examine a number of scenarios for the resumption of the season, with supporters still very much at the forefront of those discussions.

"Those scenarios are likely to see fixtures rearranged to later in the year as part of an extended season."

There have been no Super League matches since March 15, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The government this week began lifting lockdown restrictions and has said sport may be allowed to resume in June, behind closed doors.

Super League executive chairman Robert Elstone. Picture by Tony Johnson.

Super League executive chairman Robert Elstone said: "The health of the public remains our number one priority, but we welcome the positive messages from the government regarding the resumption of sport.

"Clearly, this is an important first step in getting us back playing again, but this is also the first step in a complex process that will require more of the game-wide collaboration evident to date as we look to find solutions and deal with uncertainties."

He insisted: "We share with our fans, players, broadcast and commercial partners the desire to get back on the field as soon as possible, in line with government advice on protecting everyone involved with our sport and the wider community we serve.

"Potential season start dates are all being considered as part of the extensive work going into fixtures scheduling and, whilst health remains paramount, we are committed to exploring all opportunities to deliver live rugby league in front of crowds."