SAINTS Chairman Eamonn McManus today announced the completion of improvement works on the futuristic and highly impressive new Langtree Park ahead of it hosting the exciting World Cup fixture between Australia and Fiji on Saturday, November 2 at 8pm.
“St.Helens as a town is privileged to host such a prestigious fixture and to play our part in what will undoubtedly be the most successful Rugby League World Cup todate. I have never been so optimistic about the game’s potential to grow and improve as I am today.
“We have a mouth-watering time ahead of us with some of the greatest rugby league players in history from all over the world gracing our stadia and opening the eyes of a new British sporting audience, as well appealing to existing fans.
“It’s going to be a great and enjoyable time for the sport and I’m sure we’ll all be giving it our full backing as well as simply enjoying the great games we will be treated to.
“Just as importantly, the platform laid by the World Cup will be followed up by a restructuring of the fixture format of the leagues in 2015 which I believe will reignite Super League and the Championship as well as strengthening and improving the Challenge Cup.
“It will produce a season where every game every week at every level will count and be competitive. It will be compelling to spectators, sponsors and the TV alike and will produce a virtuous circle commercially both centrally and for the individual clubs.
“All the Super League Clubs were in favour of this at the last Super League meeting and there was unanimous agreement that this was a hugely positive and necessary step which must be adopted in the wider interests of the game.
“It must be our priority objective to compete commercially, and therefore in playing standards, with the NRL in Australia and New Zealand and to produce a financially vibrant sport: the new league formula will provide a great platform for this and I’m really excited about the prospect, as is everyone I speak to who has meaningful commercial input into the sport.
“It is also a great and opportune time to have a newly appointed RFL and Super League Chairman in Brian Barwick, whose highest level background in media and in professional sport can assist rugby league greatly in its strategic direction and commercial strengthening. He deserves our full and unqualified backing as we seek to strengthen for the benefit of all.
“There may be some areas of corporate governance and representation which need to be separately addressed and improved (from the current system which, ironically, was enthusiastically constructed and endorsed by Super League Clubs only five years ago) and I have no doubt that these can be rationally and sensibly resolved.
“The main issues of the day are good and positive only in their substance and outlook and I am more enthusiastic than I have ever been about our future and about our prospects.”