RFL “no” to latest postponement

Date published: Wednesday, February 3, 2010

by Roger Halstead

The Rugby League have rejected a Roughyeds’ request to postpone Sunday’s home Northern Rail Cup clash with Hornets RL until next month.

Although not entirely happy, Hornets had reluctantly agreed to see the game rescheduled  for Wednesday night, March 3 because Oldham were not yet in a position to stage a game at their proposed new home in the borough.

Late last night, however, Roughyeds chairman Chris Hamilton received a text from the RFL to say the club’s request had been turned down.

A “devastated” Mr Hamilton said: “We will be working hard to try to find somewhere else to play this game. We’ll let the fans know as soon as we know.

“I am absolutely devastated because we thought we had put a good case, but the RFL said it was the club’s responsibility to have a ground available on the scheduled date.

“They said our request for a postponement was not fair to Rochdale and that it impacted on the integrity of the competition.

“My reaction is: ‘Okay, so let’s play another game out of town and blow our brains out financially.’

“Is it any wonder there is no queue of people wanting to run this club.”

Roughyeds said they had no option but to seek a postponement because they had been unable to secure their new home in time — due to delays outside their control — and a vital ingredient of the proposals was the plan to play all the club’s home games in the borough.

In a statement Mr Hamilton went on: “We had hoped to be able to make a formal announcement about the ground before now but unfortunately time has beaten us.

“This is not a negative reflection on what is happening behind the scenes. The fact is that negotiations are at a very delicate and advanced stage with all the parties involved and the correct procedures have to be followed or a great opportunity for the club could be missed.

“We are working extremely hard with all the other parties involved, including Oldham Council who are very supportive and pro-active in a bid to ensure that everything comes to fruition as soon as possible.

“We are keen to stress once again that we are very close to securing something that will be a milestone in the new club’s history.

“We apologise once again to fans for the current inconvenience and uncertainty, but it is as frustrating for us as it is for everyone else.

“As soon as we are able we will make the announcement — and following on from that we will look forward to giving all sections of our support the opportunity to discuss in person with the club its plans for this season as well as its plans for the medium and long term.

“We were all encouraged by the team’s performance at Leigh last Sunday. We have a fully committed group of coaching staff and players, together with a hard-working and loyal staff who are all striving to take the club forward.

“Fans can rest assured that we are continuing to work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that the next scheduled home game against Sheffield Eagles on February 21 will take place at our new home venue.”