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Adam Pearson interview in the Guardian
Post Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:58 pm
Posted by Mrs Barista on Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:58 pm
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https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/ ... are_btn_tw

Super League clubs to be transformed to compete with rugby union, says Pearson
• Hull owner believes significant changes possible in the sport
• ‘We are no longer prepared to be accepted as a poor relation’

Exclusive by Aaron Bower

Sun 7 Jan ‘18 16.28 GMT

The Hull owner, Adam Pearson, has said that Super League clubs are set to approve some major changes in the coming months which will transform the sport’s mainstream profile in this country and allow it to properly compete with rugby union.

The 12 Super League clubs recently ratified changes to the competition’s board which led to the Rugby Football League’s chief executive, Nigel Wood, resigning as a director, with the 12 CEOs instead appointed as directors to allow them to have a more definitive say in the competition’s direction.

Pearson, speaking exclusively to the Guardian, believes that extra power for the clubs will now create the possibility for significant changes in the sport. He said: “I think you’ll find that over the next three months, there will be some significant changes to the game in this country. We’re no longer prepared to be accepted as a poor relation; we’re fed up of being downtrodden as a code just because we’re on the M62 compared to the M5.

“We need to start getting some due recognition and you’ll see some major changes in the coming months. We feel we can manage the sport in a more professional manner that appeals to more people and more sponsors. I think there’s a collective feeling in the sport that over the next six months with the way we’re going, we can become a real threat to rugby union in this country.”

While Pearson would not divulge information on the changes in closer detail, one such matter could be the approval of more fixtures being taken overseas. Hull are due to play Wigan in Wollongong in February, the first time a Super League game has been played outside Europe. The proposed New York franchise – who want to enter the RFL in 2019 – will almost certainly host a Super League fixture in the US later this year if they enter, too.

When asked if their fixture could be the catalyst for more on-the-road games, Pearson said: “If it works, then very possibly. We’re meeting Toronto [Wolfpack] next week and if they’re serious about coming into Super League and adding new broadcast rights and franchises, then we truly have a global game once the Americans get involved, too. The athletes in our sport are just as good as in union, and someone will eventually catch on that inflated wages going into tighthead props that can play 30 minutes in the other code can be spent just as well in rugby league. Someone will wise up to it.”

As part of the sport’s expansion plans England are also hoping to play New Zealand in Denver this year, and Pearson insists that is a concept that Hull support. “Yes, certainly. We think that to get into a North American market for the sport is well worth a go, so let’s have a look. Why not? It will be an interesting proposition but we need the help of the NRL.”

The RFL is welcoming applications to become the sport’s new chief executive in this country following the announcement Wood would leave this month. He is expected to become the new head of the Rugby League International Federation, with a number of high-profile names linked as his replacement including the Everton CEO, Rob Elstone.

Elstone was a member of the board at the Super League side Castleford before moving into football, though it is unclear whether he would be interested in returning to league. The former Super League general manager Blake Solly is unlikely to apply. Solly is understood to be settled in his role as the chief executive of the NRL club South Sydney.
Posted by ccs on Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:06 pm
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While Pearson would not divulge information on the changes in closer detail, one such matter could be the approval of more fixtures being taken overseas
Wonderful.
Posted by Mrs Barista on Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:15 pm
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The sport needs to dream big; in its current guise struggling for sponsorship and reliant for the most part on benefactor chairmen to underwrite losses we're at risk of dropping further down the sporting profile pecking order. Boundaries need to be pushed IMO.
Posted by DABHAND on Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:55 pm
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About time we started thinking big.Let's showcase our great game and start telling the world what a great product rugby league is.
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Posted by The Dentist Wilf on Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:17 pm
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It looks like Toronto will be in Super League by 2019. Their ability to generate more franchises across America and attract more broadcasting rights and sponsorship seems to be a big drawing card. Adam seems to be taking a much higher profile role in the game and particularly Super League these days. It seems like the clubs and the owners are moving to take the game back and drive it forward. We might not like all of it but the chance to move the game forward by pushing the envelope a bit is obviously there and its the entrepreneurs owners and backers of the Clubs who are probably a lot closer to the customers than the RL are that are best positioned to do it!
Last edited by The Dentist Wilf on Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Posted by Mrs Barista on Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:22 pm
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The Dentist Wilf wrote:
It looks like Toronto will be in Super League by 2019. Their ability to generate and generate more broadcasting rights and the sponsorship they can attract across North America seems to be a big drawing card.

Certainly seems like it. Fascinating times ahead, good to see the Hull FC chairman as a vocal advocate for the sport and its ambition.
Posted by Irregular Hoops on Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:04 pm
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It looks like Hulls recent rise has also strengthened APs profile within the game.
He's also originally from outside the game, so their is value in that.
Interesting times. Can't see the the profile of the game changing without a North American influence, which is risky.

http://www.totalrl.com/whats-inside-lea ... h-edition/
Posted by Mrs Barista on Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:38 pm
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Irregular Hoops wrote:
It looks like Hulls recent rise has also strengthened APs profile within the game.
He's also originally from outside the game, so their is value in that.
Interesting times. Can't see the the profile of the game changing without a North American influence, which is risky.

http://www.totalrl.com/whats-inside-lea ... h-edition/

AP interview is the most viewed Guardian Sport article of the day according to the writer. Can't do any harm. :wink:
Re: Adam Pearson interview in the Guardian
Post Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:16 pm
Posted by the artist on Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:16 pm
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since nigel wood has been forced out of the superleague board, it is the chairmen of the 12 clubs who are now running the game. i can see AP rising to lead this group in the not too distant future
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Re: Adam Pearson interview in the Guardian
Post Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:45 pm
Posted by Mrs Barista on Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:45 pm
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the artist wrote:
since nigel wood has been forced out of the superleague board, it is the chairmen of the 12 clubs who are now running the game. i can see AP rising to lead this group in the not too distant future

It’s certainly a possibility. In addition to the Guardian article there’s a double spread Q&A with him in the League Express this week covering numerous FC and RL topics, worth a read.
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