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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 March, 2005, 08:46 GMT
Broncos battle raises more questions
Dave Woods
By Dave Woods
BBC Sport

London Broncos's Luke Dorn celebrates a try against Warrington in February.
Anyone with the game of rugby league at heart will have been relieved at London's survival.

As the only fully professional club outside the so-called heartland, their demise would have been a huge backward step for the game.

London represents a real battle ground and, with the Broncos there, League has a chance of winning important hearts and minds.

But there will be some disquiet over this affair that continues to linger for some time.

The first question to be asked is how did London build up 3m of debts in the first place?

Short-term, narrow-visioned thinking has got the game in so much trouble in the past

It presumably can't have been caused by players' wages, because under the stringent salary capping regulations clubs are protected from their own excesses.

So that means another area of the club activities is proving very expensive.

Administration? Ground rent? We can only wonder.

And there will be those disturbed by the fact that having running up an uncontrollable debt, the Broncos are allowed to simply ditch it and then start all over again with no penalty.

Fining the new company that has taken over the running of the club would have been an inappropriate gesture. But docking the new club points would have helped ease the conscience of the game.

Clubs have been docked points for over-spending on the salary cap, so surely a similar penalty would have been appropriate for a club that has overspent by 3m in other areas.

And the governance of the game also needs to be looked into.

The future of the Broncos was decided by the other 11 Super League clubs. Imagine if several of those clubs decided they would vote London out, simply to ensure that they themselves weren't relegated this season.

It's that potential for short-term, narrow-visioned thinking that has got the game in so much trouble in the past and needs to be addressed.

Thank heavens London Broncos have survived and their future is assured, but let's not think that is an end to the matter.



SEE ALSO
Broncos back from the brink
04 Mar 05 |  London


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