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Rugby League in Britain has turned the corner and will start 2004 completely debt free, putting it in a far greater position to truly push the greatest game of all to the English public. Richard Lewis, who took over the position as executive chairman in March 2002 incurred a ?1.9m debt which was party made up from the loss from the 2000 Rugby League World Cup which lost ?700,000, as well as previous debts the RFL have been paying back for the last 15 years.
Successful domestic seasons, together with financially prosperous tours by the Kiwis and Kangaroos in the past few years have allowed Lewis to pay back the accounts, and has put the RFL in the position where it is now seriously considering incorporating, and forming a limited liability company.
The guaranteed income that will come from the planned ?63m deal with the BBC and BSkyB for new broadcast contracts covering the Tetley's Super League, the Powergen Challenge Cup and the international game for the next five years, as well as the guaranteed Sports England funding for the next four years further helps the game in its quests to move forward.
The Television contract, as well as whether the RFL will pursue the option of becoming incorporated will be discussed in the next Rugby League Council meeting in Janurary. The Salary Cap issue in Britain will also be brought up.