Hard to see Super League resuming soon says Castleford Tigers boss

Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell admits it is “difficult” to see Betfred Super League returning any time soon.

Monday, 20th April 2020, 5:00 pm
Daryl Powell. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

The sport has been suspended since the middle of last month due to the coronavirus crisis and the government last week confirmed a national lockdown will continue for at least three more weeks.

Powell said he doesn’t have a plan for when the season will restart and stressed: “There are a lot of difficult permutations for the RFL and Super League to consider.”

He said: “I think there are all sorts of things that need to be thrown into the mix and discussed and decided.

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Gates at the Jungle are likely to remain closed for some time. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

“It is very difficult to think of getting playing again when there are so many external factors that need to be considered.”

Tigers’ players, along with other staff, have been placed on furlough, a form of paid leave under which the government will cover 80 per cent of employees’ wages, up to £2,500 per month,.

Castleford have not played since beating St Helens in Betfred Super League on March 15 and lockdown rules have also prevented the squad getting together for training. Powell believes the furlough scheme is a way of keeping the club afloat at a time when no income is being generated.

“It protects companies,” Powell said. “No business can get through a period like this when they are getting minimal income and then having to pay the staff. “It is a sensible decision. I thought it was an outstanding thing that the government did in regard to furlough and they showed their commitment to helping businesses and individuals.

“It is so important for everybody; you need money to live, more and more money to live nowadays with things being so expensive. It is important we look after everybody in the country and come out of this in a stronger position.”

Tigers’ employees, including players, are also understood to be facing wage cuts. A club spokesman said: “Financial matters between the club and its staff, including players, are private. Our aim during the lockdown is to make use of the government’s job retention scheme and to run the club on a cost neutral basis.”