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Government sport strategy influences RFL restructure

By Matthew Campelli    29 Nov 2016
Nigel Wood said the RFL needed to look for alternative funding streams / Paul Harding/PA Archive/PA Images

An organisational restructure has been announced by the Rugby Football League (RFL), with a focus on diversifying revenue streams and developing its technological capabilities.

In a statement made by the body, the RFL claimed that the publication of the government’s Sporting Future sport strategy had been the catalyst behind the restructure.

It said: “Recent changes in the government’s sport strategy provided an opportunity for the RFL to reassess its priorities and following a review of the organisation, changes will now be implemented in the coming months that will see the governing body make the transformation needed for it to move on.”

Nigel Wood, chief executive of the RFL, added that while the organisation “appreciates” all of the public funding it receives, there was a need to “create new funding streams”.

To receive public money under the terms of the sport strategy, the RFL will have to demonstrate the sport’s effect on impacts such as mental and physical health, social cohesion, economic development and personal development.

It must also adhere to the recently-published UK Sport Governance Code, while stipulates, among other things, that 30 per of board members must be female. An increasing black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) presence must also be prevalent.

Only one member of the RFL board is female. The rest are white male.

Wood said the RFL would “focus on embracing new technologies” in an attempt to put “fans, players, and volunteers” at the heart of the organisation.

There is also a big imperative to increase participation numbers ahead of England hosting the 2021 World Cup.

“We will look to build on growth in participation numbers, strong league and competition management and improvements in player retention over recent year,” said Wood.

“With successful programmes already in place, such as our Sky Try campaign, which has committed £7m (US$8.7m, €8.2m) investment until 2021 and has seen 80,000 children play rugby league this year, we are in a good position to continue to grow this great sport.”

RFL  rugby league  technology  Sporting Future 
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