CHOMLEY CLUB ERIC: It’s not “small club syndrome”, it’s just RFL favouritism

Well they’ve finally gone and bloody done it. It wasn’t really news to be honest with you, as we’ve all known for years that the RFL have an uncanny favouritism when it comes to your Leeds’, Wigan’s and Warrington’s, as exposed brilliantly by those gents at Brighouse earlier this month.

See, they say for us small clubs (are Hull FC a small club?) that our outrage on these situations is what is known as “small club syndrome”. Pish posh. What that elates to is your ego and arrogance as Pies and Whinos followers is greater than the smug satisfaction on Shaun Wane’s face during a post-match win interview. “We was bustid and did well to tough it owt”. Yeah heard that one before.

Of course I’m referring to the outburst of the extra payments made to Sky Sports love fest material Sam Tomkins and other personal favourites of old bold men, ex-Wigan forwards, and of those at Redhall. I’m sure you don’t need names.

You see, for those players to earn extra money, and be exempt from the salary cap, is just wrong. It makes a mockery of it and therefore keeps those ‘big’ clubs like Wigan, Leeds and Warrington dubiously staying ‘under’ the cap – something we’ve had our suspicions about for years and years.

What does it say to your Wakefield’s, Huddersfield’s and even us at Hull FC? We know we won’t benefit from these international extra payments, as Wayne Bennett missed his Specsavers appointment late last year, selecting a bunch of has been’s in a squad that Australia and New Zealand dispatched of without getting out of first gear.

So as long as Leeds, Warrington and Wigan continue to make up the England squad, they will ‘cheat’ the cap and continue to have an advantage over lesser clubs.

These payments have been designed apparently to keep hold of our best talent, so Super League doesn’t lose out to the NRL or rugby union. I have a different view as it helps these big clubs have a boost on the cap if you like.

For the record I’ve never been an advocate of the salary cap. For me it holds back our elite clubs at the expense of tinpot sides like Hull Kingston Rovers etc etc. But rules are rules, and we have to obey them.

This is why these payment’s don’t bear fruit with me. Well nothing does, as the missus tells me when I grunt at her for getting the wrong bread loaf from Aldi—something she is making a habit of. You see it’s just wrong, like when Kieran Dixon pretends he is a rugby league player.

This fiasco with favouring these bigger clubs has been going on for years and years, ever since I started watching the game, and believe me that’s a bloody long time, but perhaps the best example is more recent in 2006. Wigan were rock bottom and looked absolutely certain to be relegated. That’s unthinkable right now but eleven years ago it nearly happened, and if did fall out I would have laughed my ruddy head off. They spent big money to stay up however, and yep you guessed it, were found guilty of breaching the cap the following year. Everyone knew it at the time, but what would Super League be without Wigan, and the RFL turned a blind eye, deducting them a measly two points for the 2007 season.

What these arrogant fans can’t understand is, and get their thick pastry filled brains around, is that they do get special treatment from the sports governing body. Wigan should have been made to rot that season and what happened was a disgrace. Look at Salford last year. Six points, NOT TWO, deducted and they were fighting for their lives in the Million Pound Game. Of course, what happened made my laughing chords go into overdrive and put Gareth O’Brien into legend status, but imagine if Koukash’s outfit did go down as a result of that deduction, when Wigan only got two. Again, big club favouritism.

What winds me up though is why this exists. It’s not ‘small club syndrome’ as those arrogant tossers from over the Pennines say, but more realism that our game is more corrupt than North Korea’s media department. We see it all the time with big game decisions. Referees give big calls to these sides. No-one knows why, but it’s ironic how loonies like Gary ‘Sidekick’ Hetherington and Ian Lenegan always seem to get what they want in the end. Gary has been rotten to his core for years, spits his dummy out at everything, and refuses to back anything that he didn’t preach or demand. Just look at the, or lack of, Reserves.

What makes this scenario lose any credibility is that even rat boy, aka Sam Tomkins, was included in the payments, despite not being an international since 2014, and forgive me, as I didn’t read much into it, and as usual I’ve ranted my thoughts out before thinking things through, these extra payments were for those in the international game Added to that they are also for promoting the sport, but last time I checked, rolling around on the floor like a five year girl, pointing and complaining at referees and refusing to run the ball back like a scared puppy weren’t traits to enhance our game, but the complete opposite.

What really makes me laugh though is that some clubs weren’t even aware of their players receiving these payments. Talk about a lack of professionalism. It all stinks to me and is morally wrong. I should probably buy League Express more often as it set me off big time and gave us Chomley boys something to complain about. Kudos to the guy who wrote the story, and it really highlights the misdealing’s of the RFL and confirmed what us “small club” fans having been saying for decades. How can you not be aware your marquee player, which is exactly what Sam Tomkins is, is earning extra money via a third party?

Add to that the reasoning clearly doesn’t fit together in Tomkins’ case and it gets the blood boiling. Of course though some of what was reported could be factually incorrect and this is just my opinion, and believe me, it’s an opinion most of the other lads share too. It’s how the shoe fits and this clearly suits the RFL’s agenda. I’m a simple gent who loves his rugby, but I can’t see a level playing field here when clubs are bending over backwards to fit their squads under the cap, and then some players from the ‘elite’ clubs are boosting their bank balances through other sources.

Favouritism or what.

Gerrum in!



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About Eric 30 Articles
Bingo playing, bus riding devotee of Hull FC. Old git who loves a moan, very opinionated and always right. Gerrum in!!!

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