Dear Chancellor: Save Rugby League!

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Rugby league clubs have been the heart and soul of our communities since they were founded, many well over a century ago. But the impact of COVID-19 means they may not survive to have a future as rich as their past.

At a time like this, when so many are suffering so much, rugby may not be the first thing on our minds - the health of our loved ones and those giving everything on the frontline to fight the virus will rightly come first.

But when this crisis is over, and it will be, we need the game we love to still be there to return to. League teams, many of whom do not turn a regular profit, do not have the financial cushion to weather the storm, unlike some other sports clubs. If we  lose these clubs, our towns and cities in the North lose a major part of their identity and we all lose forces for good in our communities.

Current support for businesses from the Government just doesn't work for league clubs. Rugby league needs specific, tailored support to get through this challenge. We call on the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, and the Secretary of State for Sport Oliver Dowden, to act now before it is too late.