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RFL set up group to look at how games can be played behind closed doors

Championship and League One clubs have set up a working group with the Rugby Football League to consider playing games behind closed doors.

A separate group will look at alternative means of raising revenue in the absence of gate receipts.

All levels of rugby league have been halted because of the government's coronavirus lockdown guidance.

Both groups will be chaired by RFL officials and will be "convened as soon as possible".

Last month the government approved a £16m loan to help rugby league cope with the financial impact of Covid-19 as incomes shrivelled during lockdown.

And clubs in the second and third tiers have also taken advantage of the extended Job Retention scheme, which has enabled them to furlough players and other staff.

"Playing matches behind closed doors, and before that the return to training that would be necessary, is clearly a complex option for all levels of our sport," RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer said.

"Any decisions will have an obvious implication on the structure of the competitions, and relationships between our different competitions. Decisions regarding promotion and relegation will be made by the RFL Board.

"Setting up these working groups will give the Championship and League One clubs the opportunities to address those considerations further.

"We also maintain regular dialogue with players and their repre­sen­ta­tives, and our broadcast and other commercial partners, as we remain focused on finding the best solution for the good of the sport."

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