IAN Lenagan believes changes are needed to how Super League is managed after executive chairman Robert Elstone’s departure.
And he has backed up his claims there were ‘no casualties’ in the pandemic, because Toronto’s bid to stay in was ‘rubbish.’
He also feels the sport may have short-changed itself when it came to getting Government money
Elstone’s departure came after a £65 million private equity deal was rejected because not all of the 12 clubs voted for it.
That has led to calls to get back in bed fully with the Rugby Football League after a split, but other chiefs feel they should stay independent.
And Wigan owner Lenagan feels changes may be needed rather than a reunification.
He said: “It was very difficult for Robert but you don’t have to have bad governance to get better. You can have good governance and make it even better.
“There’s room for improvement. I’m not sure 12 chairmen meeting every three weeks and trying to tell a chief executive what to do is necessarily the right thing.
“I and a number of chairmen don’t like clubs voting on something that affects them.
“We’re in discussions that say, ‘How do we manage better to make it more realistic for the executive to make decisions and do it and you can’t have clubs voting on things.’
“Having an independent element is better governance.”
Lenagan raised eyebrows when he said there were no casualties from the Covid-19 pandemic, even though Toronto Wolfpack pulled out and were then voted out.
But he has highlighted just why the Canadian side was not allowed back in, adding: “The way in which Toronto did business was very unprofessional.
“I’ve seldom seen such an appalling presentation as their prospective buyer made to the board of Super League.
“I’ve seldom seen such a rubbish document put forward. It’s time someone said, ‘If you actually knew the appalling nature of the proposals that were put forward, you wouldn’t keep coming back to the Toronto issue.’
Rugby league received a £16 million loan from the Government because of the coronavirus crisis, which threatened to scupper many clubs.
Wigan themselves have received about £1 million of the funding and will get more when a second sum becomes available.
But hearing what near neighbours Sale Sharks RU received – believed to be in the region of £6 million – showed to him how little the 13-a-side code received.
He said: “I’m not criticising the RFL but when the numbers came out that rugby union got and the recent stuff on cricket, you look at it objectively and say, ‘Did we undersell ourselves?’ The answer to that is probably yes.’”
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