RFL dismiss criticism
The Rugby Football League have responded to mounting criticism of their administration by claiming the Stobart Super League clubs have never enjoyed better financial support from the governing body.
Hull KR chairman Neil Hudgell ruffled a few feathers at Red Hall last week when he described the game as "bankrupt" while St Helens chairman Eamonn McManus insisted at the weekend that Super League is not strong enough to sustain 14 clubs.
Both men were speaking in the wake of the financial crisis that is threatening to engulf Bradford Bulls, who say they have run out of money and are only halfway towards reaching the £1million in pledges they need to survive.
"I've said for a number of years there is a systemic commercial weakness in the way rugby league is structured and governed," McManus said.
An RFL spokesman insisted the governing body were aware of the clubs' difficulties and revealed that, between them, they will receive more than £30million in central funding this year.
"The RFL is, and always has been, available to speak with all clubs about any issues they are facing," said the spokesman.
"The governing body is working hard to help all member clubs through what are difficult economic conditions for all businesses and has a strong record in generating income on the clubs' behalf.
"At no point in the history of the sport have the clubs benefited from as much financial support from the centre as they currently receive: last year the RFL distributed a record £29.6m to clubs, up from £11.3m in 2001. That figure will be even higher in 2012.
"Of course, we would like to increase those distributions even further and are more than willing to work with clubs on ways in which we can develop new income streams.
"The Super League clubs meet regularly to decide policy and share good practice and the RFL will continue to work with all clubs to ensure they contribute to the shared goal of making Super League the best domestic rugby league competition in the world."