The Rugby League All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), the Board of the Rugby Football League and Supporters Direct oppose this recommendation. The RFL has given evidence to the Committee and responded to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to this effect. An Early Day Motion (EDM) has been tabled by Neil Turner MP as Secretary and the Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs who are Vice-Chairs of the Group, and we are seeking a debate in Parliament.
As a Rugby League Supporter, you can help ensure that this proposal is defeated, and that the Challenge Cup remains available to all supporters to see on free to view television.
Firstly as RL supporters, please write and encourage your local MP to sign the EDM (EDM48) to indicate their support for our view. To find your who your MP is and their contact details, check http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/. I should explain that only Back-bench MPs can sign EDMs, but your writing to your MP should they be a Government Minister or Opposition Spokesperson will show them the strength and depth of feeling on this issue within their constituency.
Secondly, please respond to the consultation by writing to DCMS and making your views known. The number of letters they receive will be a major factor in their accepting or rejecting the report’s recommendations. Once open, the consultation, and contact details for responses will be listed at http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/consultations/default.aspx.
I believe that we can overturn this recommendation, but only if we act collectively as Rugby League fans in the way I have suggested. I hope your Trust and its members will help, and we can keep the Challenge Cup on ‘free to air’ television, and allow all those many fans who cannot see regularly televised Super League games live to enjoy one of our games greatest spectacles, and top teams battle for one of our country’s oldest trophies.
Once the consultation period is open we will be posting details of who to contact at the DCMS and how to sign the petition, we will send to the DCMS.
Below is a sample email to send to your MP –
Dear (Insert Name of MP),
Davies Report and the RL Challenge Cup Final
I am sure you will be aware that the Davies Committee has recommended that the Challenge Cup should no longer be on the ‘A’ list of events free to view on terrestrial television.
The Rugby League All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), the Board of the Rugby Football League, Supporters Direct and the Rugby League Supporter Association oppose this recommendation. The RFL has given evidence to the Committee and responded to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to this effect. An Early Day Motion (EDM48) has been tabled by Neil Turner MP as Secretary and the Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs who are Vice-Chairs of the Group, and we are seeking a debate in Parliament.
As a Rugby League supporter, I would urge you to sign the EDM and show your support for this campaign. Rugby League is one of the fastest growing sports in the country at grass-roots level and this growth can only gained with continued exposure from free-to-air TV. The Rugby League Challenge Cup has provided some iconic moments in this country’s sporting history and will continue to do so in future as the country’s top teams battle for one of sports oldest trophies.