The following decisions have been agreed, without the need for tribunal, following breaches of the Operational Rules during the 2023 season – for link to the Operational Rules, click here.
Jason Hirst, the Bradford Bulls chief executive, has been fined £1,000 for breaching three Operational Rules – D1.1(b), C2:6 and C2.10 – in a statement released on August 24, following the suspension of Jorge Taufua. Quotes attributed to Mr Hirst were found to have contained inaccuracies – most significantly around the burden of proof – which “diminished the integrity of and undermined public confidence in the RFL’s disciplinary process”. Half of the fine has been suspended until the end of the 2024 season.
Paul King, the Chair of Salford Red Devils, has been fined £2,000 for breaching four Operational Rules - D1.1(b), C2:6, C2.10 and C2.13 – in media comments about the Match Review Panel in September. The comments were found to have been misleading in terms of the functioning of the Panel, thereby having “a detrimental impact to the game and the Compliance function”. Half of the fine has been suspended until the end of the 2024 season.
Stuart Middleton, the Chair of Warrington Wolves, has been fined £1,500 for breaching four Operational Rules - D1.1(b), C2:6, C2.10 and C2.13 – in an open letter sent to the media following the suspension of Paul Vaughan in September. The letter was found to have contained comments with “a detrimental impact to the game and the Compliance function”. Half of the fine has been suspended until the end of the 2024 season.
Derek Beaumont, the owner of Leigh Leopards, has been fined £2,000 for his conduct after the Betfred Super League fixture against Wigan Warriors on September 22 – which was found to have breached Operational Rules D1.1(b), C2:6, C2.10 and C2.12. Half of the fine has been suspended until the end of the 2024 season.
Oliver Gildart has been fined £1,000, with half of it suspended, for his comments to the media following the same Leigh versus Wigan fixture – specifically his criticism of match officials, which was found to have breached Operational Rules D1.1(b), C2:6, C2.10 and C2.12, as well as the Respect policy.
Hull KR have committed to reviewing their stewarding arrangements following an incident in their home fixture against Catalans Dragons on September 1 when a spectator confronted an interchange official. The individual concerned has been banned indefinitely from Sewell Group Craven Park.
The club have also committed to ensuring their action plan extends towards their supporters behaviour at away fixtures in 2024, following damage to the seats at the John Smith’s Stadium during their game at Huddersfield Giants on September 8.
The RFL were satisfied that both Hull KR and Salford Red Devils had taken the necessary action following incidents at the fixture at Sewell Group Craven Park on September 16 – including the suspension of a number of supporters.