IT is with disappointment that I have just heard the decision of the Super League clubs to deny the re-entry of Toronto to Super League.

Toronto has been a success story in bringing rugby league to a new market and there were many things that the British clubs could learn from them in terms of the match day experience and the promotion of their games to go from a standing start in a few years to getting close to five figure crowds that were still growing.

Who knows where those crowds would have ended and what commercial deals would have been secured if they had been allowed their chance to flourish?

The counter argument of course will be that Toronto failed to pay players and left unpaid debts and I am not privy to that information but I do know there was a promise to repay the wages and debts and every single Super League club has reneged on their player contracts by virtue of negotiation of reductions.

2020 has been a year like no other and the absolute best, most established businesses have suffered tremendously.

I think it was time to cut some slack to an operation that would have faced enormous challenges even in a normal year. I fear that the commercial and broadcast deals will never come the way of a sport that is so regionalised.

We may as well play Gaelic Football, a great game by all accounts, but never on the global stage.

The Super League clubs hold all the power in the game, and you suspect that self-interest has played a massive part in the decision.

Let us see if they compound that decision by sticking with an eleven club Super League so they all get a fatter slice of the pie. From a Barrow Raiders perspective that decision on whether to increase the teams from 11 to 12 teams has a big bearing on our short-term future.

There has already been a decision reached by the RFL that the Championship would be evened up and that would present a promotion opportunity to one of the League One clubs.

To me that would represent a straight gun fight between ourselves, as the last relegated team, and Newcastle, as the 2019 play-off loser.

Newcastle have made a lot of noises about their community development and growth of the game in the North East but, in reality, they are still a long way behind our established area. We have literally hundreds of kids on our pitches every Sunday morning and there is a real pathway to our professional team via the JETS and Furness Raiders.

Add to the mix those players that prove good enough to go direct to Super League like Morgan Knowles and Brad Singleton and you can see that our conveyor belt of talent is moving at a faster pace. All the professional Cumbrian clubs are also with players originating from the Barrow and District League.

The town is also well represented by our ladies team and we have introduced sessions for girls’ rugby that is attracting ever increasing numbers and let’s not forget Masters that is probably the biggest growth area in terms of participation.

Add in our fanbase, financial solvency and the fact that I’m convinced that our team is more than capable of competing in the Championship then I am sure that we are the right choice.