Fax: Lenagan’s rebels ‘self centred and wrong’

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Halifax have condemned the rebellion, led by Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan, against the proposed restructuring of Super League and the Championship as “self centred and wrong”.

Fax chairman Michael Steele met with other Championship clubs on Wednesday to consider their response to the Rugby Football League’s decision to postpone indefinitely Wednesday’s EGM, which had been expected to ratify far-reaching changes to the professional game.

Those plans, for two top leagues of 12 with a three-divisions-of-eight play off series and a redistribution of Sky TV funding, are now in question after Lenagan and a ‘majority’ of top flight clubs launched a searing attack on the RFL’s governance following a behind-closed-doors gathering on Monday.

But Steele, who had voiced his support for the plan, issued a statement claiming Lenagan had “little understanding” of what was right for the game as a whole.

“There is nothing in Mr Lenagan’s objections which leads us to alter our conclusion,” he said.

“Indeed, as a club, we find his analysis self centred and wrong.

“Contrary to his assertions, rugby league does not belong to a minority of successful Super League clubs, neither is the review over hasty or misdirected.

“It represents a genuine attempt to secure long term growth of the game to the benefit of all who play it, support it or watch it.

“We find it surprising that an active chairman of a leading club can have reached this point with as little understanding as Mr Lenagan claims.

“We look forward to the re-convening and successful conclusion of the EGM after the delivery of a memorable World Cup.”

Elsewhere, the lines of conflict were being drawn for what looks increasingly like a potential civil war between Lenagan and his supporters and the RFL.

Leeds boss Gary Hetherington, arguably the game’s most successful administrator, said today that he had expected the plans to be “rubber stamped” following earlier discussions between the Super League clubs.

But the players’ union League 13 issued a statement apparently siding with the rebels, citing the number of fixtures they would be asked to fulfil as a major objection.