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Saints chairman Eamonn McManus very positive about rugby league's future
9:38am Wednesday 16th October 2013 in Latest News
SAINTS Chairman Eamonn McManus says rugby league has plenty to look forward to ahead of a mouth-watering World Cup and beyond.
McManus was in bullish mood on the day improvement work on the new Langtree Park was completed leaving the club with “the best purpose built rugby stadium in the country.”
He also added his input publicly for the first time to debate about the future of the game following last week’s cancellation of the RFL extraordinary meeting.
In his statement McManus speaks positively about the changes needed in the game to re-invigorate it to fully take on and withstand the challenges it faces.
McManus stated: “I have never been so optimistic about the game’s potential to grow and improve as I am today.
“We have a mouth-watering time ahead of us with some of the greatest rugby league players in history from all over the world gracing our stadia and opening the eyes of a new British sporting audience, as well appealing to existing fans.
“It’s going to be a great and enjoyable time for the sport and I’m sure we’ll all be giving it our full backing as well as simply enjoying the great games we will be treated to.”
But turning his attention to the discussions about the format of the domestic professional rugby league, which will include dropping two teams from the Super League and taking on what he feels will be a more dynamic playing structure and no nonsense play-off format.
“The platform laid by the World Cup will be followed up by a restructuring of the fixture format of the leagues in 2015 which I believe will reignite Super League and the Championship as well as strengthening and improving the Challenge Cup,” McManus said.
“It will produce a season where every game every week at every level will count and be competitive. It will be compelling to spectators, sponsors and the TV alike and will produce a virtuous circle commercially both centrally and for the individual clubs.
“All the Super League Clubs were in favour of this at the last Super League meeting and there was unanimous agreement that this was a hugely positive and necessary step which must be adopted in the wider interests of the game.
“It must be our priority objective to compete commercially, and therefore in playing standards, with the NRL in Australia and New Zealand and to produce a financially vibrant sport: the new league formula will provide a great platform for this and I’m really excited about the prospect, as is everyone I speak to who has meaningful commercial input into the sport.
“There may be some areas of corporate governance and representation which need to be separately addressed and improved (from the current system which, ironically, was enthusiastically constructed and endorsed by Super League Clubs only five years ago) and I have no doubt that these can be rationally and sensibly resolved.
“The main issues of the day are good and positive only in their substance and outlook and I am more enthusiastic than I have ever been about our future and about our prospects.”
Super League clubs will meet again on Wednesday.