Whaling unhappy with RFL

PA Sport
John Whaling believes South Yorkshire is being neglected by the RFL
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John Whaling believes South Yorkshire is being neglected by the RFL

A former president of the Rugby Football League has accused the governing body of neglecting the game in South Yorkshire.

John Whaling, a Sheffield Eagles director who was president of the RFL up to July, claims last month's unique Championship Grand-Final winning feats of both Sheffield and neighbouring Doncaster have not been recognised by Red Hall and is the latest snub to the game in south Yorkshire.

"I was disappointed when South Yorkshire was not awarded a game for the 2013 World Cup," Whaling said.

"We are the closest county to the heartland and I feel we don't always get the help we deserve to promote the game in South Yorkshire," he added.

"It is, therefore, doubling disappointing that South Yorkshire continues to be a forgotten land. What do we have to do to get recognition?

"The RFL have thrown money at expansion in Wales, London and France and yet the closest place to the heartland receives very little encouragement and no financial support to help expand.

"Both Sheffield and Doncaster have to battle against other sports, mainly soccer, but the potential in both areas is enormous.

"But we can't be expected to do everything ourselves when we are already struggling with finance due to a downturn in the corporate market.

"South Yorkshire has great potential for rugby league but we need help and investment from the centre to help us publicise the game and grow the crowds."

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