‘No sticking plaster solution’ – Ken Davy targeting serious Super League reform

Acting chairman Ken Davy has promised there will be no “sticking plaster” solution in his attempts to reorganise Super League.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 7:37 am
Updated Friday, 26th March 2021, 7:38 am
Ken Davy. Picture: SWPix

The veteran businessman was elected by the Super League clubs to take over from departed executive chairman Robert Elstone on a short-term basis and says his first job is to realign the body with the Rugby Football League.

The Huddersfield owner has given himself three months to complete the task before resuming the chairmanship of his club but insists the reforms must be long-lasting.

“We don’t want a sticking plaster solution,” Davy said. “We have got a new Sky contract being finalised and, after going through all the challenges of Covid, we’re at the start of an exciting new season.

“We’ve demonstrated our resilience and our flexibility and now we have an opportunity to take the game forward.”

Davy, who turns 80 in July, says he is happy to be described as an “honest broker” as he seeks to heal the wounds created by the split of 2018.

“I am going to need some diplomacy and I think there is a feeling in the Super League board that I have the necessary qualifications in terms of experience of various situations,” said Davy, who has been chairman of Huddersfield since the inaugural season of Super League in 1996.

“I’ve experienced promotion and suffered relegation so I’ve been through all the pain barriers and I’ll be bringing to the table an opportunity to use those skills for the good of Super League.”

Super League clubs broke away from the RFL three years ago after becoming dissatisfied with its running of the game and Davy says they must retain the right to determine their own future while sharing commercial best practice.

“My role is to set a discussion going on the future of Super League and how we can most effectively realign with the RFL while also ensuring that we maintain our independence and direction,” he said.

“That is not going to be an easy balance to achieve but I’ll be doing my best.

“The decision to break away was a very sound one. The RFL at that time was not giving the game the best opportunity to succeed.

“The RFL has now changed dramatically, with its organisation and the personnel involved and, while we absolutely can’t go back to where we were, there is an opportunity for a realignment and that is what the majority of clubs voted for.

“I believe there is a real desire and drive to achieve unity within the game and within Super League in particular.”

Davy says he wants to see more stories about the players than “men in suits” and believes Super League could do more to promote the game.

“As a game it’s something we have not been very good at,” he said. “We ought to be seeing rugby league players becoming much bigger personalities in the media and that’s our fault.

“I look forward to rugby league players on mainstream quiz programmes. Why is it so rare that we see a rugby league player on ‘A Question Of Sport’? We need to up our game in that way.”