Memorandum submitted by Hemel Hempstead
Rugby League Football Club
Hemel Hempstead was formed as an amateur club
in 1981 and has evolved from the London Amateur Rugby League to
currently be an Associate Member of the Rugby Football League
Since 1990 it has employed a full-time Youth
Since 1991 it has competed at Alliance (Reserve
team) level in the RFL and since 1997 at Academy (U19) level in
In partnership with Dacorum Borough Council,
the club is currently seeking to build a suitable stadium in Hemel
Hempstead to allow it to join the Northern Ford Premiership of
the RFL in 2001.
The club is unique in that it is attempting
to evolve as a professional club in a Rugby League development
area rather than be artificially implanted on the community.
2. ISSUE (A)
A salary cap should ensure stability if based
on realistic income projections.
In a development area of Rugby League the need
for overseas players and related work permits means an evolving
club such as Hemel Hempstead cannot afford such players based
on the current criteria.
These criteria allow only for either current
internationals or players who have played 50 per cent of National
Rugby League games in Australia.
The financial expectations of these players
make professional Rugby League difficult to sustain.
It is impossible to persuade players on the
M62 corridor to re-locate to the South East for what is, in effect,
semi-professional Rugby League.
Consequently the club finds it difficult to
The current work permit regulations in Rugby
League development areas neither protects local employment nor
3. ISSUE (B)
The current relationship is satisfactory and
a large improvement on the past.
4. ISSUE (C)
The current stadium project in Hemel Hempstead
is not eligible for National Lottery grants for spectator facilities.
Grants need to be available for spectator facilities
if linked with a club's proven track record of youth, schools
and amateur development in the community.
5. ISSUE (D)
If a professional club, as a focus of interest
in its service area, genuinely develops amateur, schools and youth
rugby this should be acknowledged in the area of work permits
for overseas players and facilities development.
6. ORAL EVIDENCE
As a unique Rugby League clubthe only
of its kindin the United Kingdom which is seeking to achieve
professional status we would welcome the opportunity to give oral
evidence to the Committee on the above issues.