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Rugby League

Challenge Cup fee could see holders out

4th January 2019, 18:46 by Aidan Perkins

Catalans Dragons owner Bernard Guasch is after "an answer as soon as possible" as the club mull over not defending the Challenge Cup.

The Challenge Cup holders are debating whether or not to take their place in the 2019 edition after being told they must pay a £500,000 deposit to enter this year.

The French club, who became the first team from outside England to win the famous trophy in August when they overcame Warrington Wolves, say they have approached the Rugby Football League and have asked the governing body to "reconsider its demand", which applies to all non-English teams.

Guasch said: "The players would be very frustrated not being able to defend their title and we hope that we'll have an answer as soon as possible."

The deposit is reportedly in place to help cover a loss in revenue raised from the cup and the fact only 50,672 fans were at Wembley for last year's final - the lowest Challenge Cup final crowd since World War Two - does not appear to have helped Catalans' cause.

The RFL said in a statement that the issue has been on the agenda since last month and all parties were working together to "search for a solution".

They said: "We have been surprised and disappointed by the uncertainty over the Catalans Dragons' participation in the 2019 Challenge Cup, which surfaced just before Christmas.

"We have been in discussions with the club since then and will continue those discussions to search for a solution."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Aidan Perkins is a senior journalist that specialises in football stories. Aidan, a Liverpool fan, also has a broad knowledge of several other sports.

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