Following various media reports and speculation that promoter Eddie Hearn was set to get involved with the running of rugby league, this week has seen RFL interim CEO Ralph Rimmer meet Hearn for a meeting.
While nothing formal is yet in place, Rimmer confirmed that the RFL is to take up an offer from the man marketing boxer Anthony Joshua to pass on ideas to improve the attraction and profile of the sport.
The interim CEO further suggested that talks may continue, possibly leading to a more formal role for Hearn in the organisation. Rimmer explained that “this was a preliminary conversation and it was just a very helpful and supportive one. That’s where we are at this moment in time, there were no promises made” with further suggestions that an improved social media presence.
Unsurprisingly, there has been both positive and negative responses to the prospect of the Hearns – both Eddie and his father, Barry – getting involved in rugby league but, due to their prior involvement with Leyton Orient Football Club, they aren’t strangers to dealing with team sports. Indeed, their time with the East Londoners saw the club get to a stage where they were one match from the sport’s second tier before they made the decision to sell the club.
It will be very interesting to see where both the RFL and Hearn go in terms of a future relationship but there can be no doubt that the sport needs better promotion and profile and, if Hearn can both offer and deliver this, who could possibly complain?