We were invited to attend an RFL meeting last Friday to be briefed about the 125-year competition that League One and Championship clubs have been invited to enter.

Already, we are getting reports that several clubs have declined and having seen the rigorous criteria we can understand why.

There is £250,000 in prize money up for grabs, but I think the lower league clubs have been sold down the river with Super League pulling some strings.

This cup competition, and with it the removal of promotion and relegation, means that the Super League clubs will be able to share the Sky pot 11 ways, with Toronto not picking up their part of the pie.

There is a fair chance that Toronto will lose their place but still there is little prospect of a team being promoted as the main concern is finance, not the imbalance of teams.

The proposal on the table is that it is a nine-week competition that would begin October 3/4 and run to November 28/29. Initially, the RFL were hoping that 16 teams would enter, and they could be split in to East and West conferences. eight teams would produce seven games, playing each other once, and then a semi-final and final. If there were only eight teams entering, then it would have to be groups of four.

Clearly, the club has a lot to consider. For the players and staff to return to training, there needs to be weekly testing in place that will almost certainly come at a cost.

Staff will need to be removed from furlough and with it the risk there is a government policy change and crowds are not allowed to return as anticipated in October.

That prospect leaves us with no crowd income, not being allowed to return staff to their furloughed status and playing games with match bonuses to add to our expenditure.

We must appoint a Covid lead and ensure that all our essential staff, including players, opt in to return. The Covid lead must ensure that the staff and their families complete a daily symptom report and that a thorough risk assessment is produced with a screening questionnaire completed for every club visit.

We must contact our local authority and agree a reduced capacity. Clearly we have enough space to socially distance more than our average crowds but we must be mindful of exit capacity.

We must produce a seating plan that maintains social distancing and introduce the online ticketing to everyone unless we were to take names and contact details of every spectator at entry.

Hygiene is key and additional washing and sanitiser stations should be provided as well as lots of signage. Our beer garden has actually done us a lot of favours in getting ready and we have seen our customers be very sensible when queuing for food and drink and making use of our contactless payment options.

The points above are only the tip of the iceberg and it would be easy to throw in the towel as some clubs have done.

However, we feel we owe it to our fans to go through the criteria line by line and try to put steps in place to meet it and look at the cost implications before making a hasty decision.