I was surprised to learn ahead of FC Halifax Town’s 7-1 home shellacking by Cheltenham Town last Saturday that they only receive £41,000 from their National League via the Premier League, while Halifax RLFC after the restructuring of their Championship competition allied to Super League will receive for 2016 a staggering £787,000.
No wonder Town, while one by one clubs in their league do go full time, are remaining part time and, whatismore, I also learned that they train of an evening at Rothwell to the east of Leeds.
Now that can’t be cheap with new manager Darren Kelly looking at three nights and a possible fourth when they have no midweek game and you take into consideration expenses. I know when you get to Town’s level and higher players come from all over the place but surely they could find somewhere suitable in Calderdale. I am sure the supporters would like somewhere at hand as they like to watch their favourites put through their paces but are unlikely to want to traipse to the other side of Leeds.
I also learned that from next season Town will have to look at a bigger squad as the league are doing away with the loan system. That will be added expense and will also have to look to keep the players not being selected match fit and without a reserve team that means loaning them out lower down the pyramid while still paying their contracts.
That will be some financial task on 1,300 average gates and unless success comes quickly I can’t see them pushing over 2,000, which even then doesn’t really allow them to push on. No wonder Town’s board also point out that in League 2, one division above, clubs receive a £300,000 hand out while its nearer a million quid in League 1 and over £6 million in the Championship.
Summing all that up, rugby league clubs come out well compared to the lower three leagues in soccer, and 12 Super League clubs pull in near on £2m apiece.