Sheffield Eagles chairman outlines club’s stance on possible resumption

Sheffield Eagles chairman Chris Noble remains open to the possibility of resuming the season.

Friday, 26th June 2020, 3:22 pm
Eagles' season came to an abrupt halt in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

But he says the club’s stance will be swayed by player safety and safeguarding Eagles’ future.

Noble said in a statement: “The question on everyone’s lips is if or when will we be playing again? We have a Director sat on both working groups and a great deal of work is being done by those groups to look at the feasibility of the Championship and League One returning.

“It remains to be seen if the 2020 season will be back and if it is, it will certainly be a different experience to the one we left behind in March.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“The Championship has a multitude of challenges some of which that are not faced by the other divisions. We have a mixture of part and full-time teams and with that comes different trials and tribulations we must overcome and unique and varying business models across the league.

“Several teams have invested significantly for promotion and I fully understand and sympathise with those clubs and whilst we have face difficulties like all, I certainly do not envy their predicament.

“Government guidelines may change in the future but as thing stand, we would have to carry out a considerable amount of work at a substantial cost to the club for both returning to training and then subsequently playing matches.

“We remain open to all scenarios and continue to engage with the RFL, working groups meetings and other discussions as they occur but our stance will be led by ensuring player and staff welfare is fully covered and a viable, secure future will be met for the club.”

He added: “Whilst the future remains somewhat uncertain, we are working hard so we can, where possible, control our own destiny forecasting how we continue through 2020 and then prepare for next season and beyond.

“2021 is set to be a huge for the sport with the Rugby League World Cup taking place in England towards the end of the year. It was announced last week that the Steel City will be hosting Greece men’s side along with the Wales, Scotland, USA & France wheelchair sides. It will be fantastic to have them based in Sheffield and I am sure they will enjoy their stay immensely.”