Statement following today’s decision to restart the season in August, with club CEO James Clark reacting to the positive news.
Super League can announce that the sport’s flagship competition will return on Sunday August 2, with three games live and exclusive on Sky Sports.
After significant and ongoing work prioritising public health and the safety of players, officials and club staff, the season will recommence behind closed doors at a single venue with the following games:
Hull Kingston Rovers v Toronto Wolfpack (1pm KO)
St Helens v Catalans Dragons (4:15pm KO)
Huddersfield Giants v Leeds Rhinos (6:30pm KO)
The following weekend (August 8/9) will see all clubs return to action when a full round of Betfred Super League fixtures will take place.
During a Super League Board meeting it was decided that the revised season will comprise of a further 15 rounds of action followed by a Top Four semi-final play-off. The winners of the semi-finals will contest the Betfred Super League Grand Final, taking place towards the end of November 2020.
Clubs also considered the impact of finishing the 2020 season almost two months later than scheduled and agreed to kick-off the 2021 season at a later date than the traditional opening weekend of February.
At the moment, and until government directives change, Betfred Super League fixtures will take place behind closed doors at a small number of neutral venues that meet the stringent guidance from both Government and the Game’s clinical advisory group. Super League is also closely monitoring government directives in both France and Canada.
Hull FC’s Chief Executive, James Clark, said:
“This is an encouraging announcement for everyone involved with our club and exciting knowing that Super League isn’t far away.
“There is still an incredible amount of work to do over the coming weeks in preparation for training, safe environments for matches, provision for fans and critical planning in terms of finances and logistics, but this news allows us to plan ahead with a bit more certainty for our players, staff, supporters and corporate partners.
“We will continue to work closely with Super League and the RFL over the coming days to build a clearer picture of what this announcement means for our club – specifically our members and corporate partners – and we aim to provide a more detailed update in the near future when we have clarity on fixtures and venues.
He added, “As a sport we still face a multi-million pound challenge, with some clubs projecting losses of upwards of £4 million, so we are extremely grateful for the ongoing support of everyone involved with our club.
“I’d particularly like to thank all those members who continue to support us by maintaining their membership payments and our partners who have invested so much in this season.
“It has been heartening to receive many letters, emails and social media messages from fans and partners offering their support and best wishes.
“It is particularly humbling when recognising the wide affect Covid-19 has also had on everyone’s families, friends, health and livelihoods.
“The unconditional commitment of our supporters, the incredible generosity of our partners and the unwavering loyalty of our players and staff is what continues to motivate Adam, myself and all across our club as we all work tirelessly to return the club back to some sense of normality as soon as possible.”
Super League Executive Chairman, Robert Elstone said:
“We are delighted to confirm Betfred Super League will be returning in just a few weeks’ time on Sunday August 2, live on Sky Sports.”
“We are in the final stages of confirming where the games will be played, and we continue to work closely with Sky Sports to deliver the best possible broadcast schedule for our fans. Further details of this will be confirmed over the coming weeks.”
“Above all we know that fans want to get back into grounds to support their teams. We will continue to follow government advice and work alongside the RFL, clinical advisors and ground safety personnel to ensure that when that time comes, Super League is ready to welcome back its fans at the first opportunity.”
“Whilst the recent government announcements underline increasing optimism, the pandemic remains unpredictable. Our final fixture schedule needs to respond to opportunities that will unfold over the coming weeks and accordingly, full details of fixtures, venues and season structure will be confirmed as they become known”.
“I would like to express my gratitude for the understanding and patience shown by Sky Sports, Betfred, and our other valued commercial partners, as we have navigated through this difficult time.”
“Finally, I would like to thank the fans and players for their patience, positivity and desire to see Super League back up and running post-Covid-19.”