Nigel Wood, Steven Broomhead & Andy Gatcliffe

This month we welcomed special guests Rugby Football League Chief Executive, Nigel Wood, Warrington Wolves Chief Executive, Andy Gatcliffe and Warrington Wolves Deputy Chairman Steven Broomhead.

Members were able to ask the panel about the new franchise awards and the impact this is likely to have on the Super League competition.

Members expressed concern at the number of away fans attending games. Friday night games involving clubs crossing the Pennines must affect attendance figures for all clubs.

Nigel Wood praised the RFL for being willing to try new innovations, for example Catalans in Super League, Millennium Magic, and the decision to have the on the road fixture at Murrayfield in 2009.

The salary cap was discussed and a decision on audit of Super League clubs 2007 accounts is imminent.

Fans expressed concerns about media coverage, particularly coverage and exposure given to the Challenge Cup. Also rugby league seems to take a back seat when the football season kicks off in August. Sky are not currently including rugby league as a star attraction in its autumn line up for example.

Warrington’s attendance figures are down on previous seasons and this was due to several factors – financial climate, changes of fixtures at short notice, games being televised on Sky. The club are always looking at ways to strengthen their links with local businesses. A review of some merchandise prices is being considered.