No doubts over man behind Cornwall club being allowed to buy a licence

RUGBY league chiefs insist there was nothing wrong about how the man behind the new Cornwall club got hold of a club’s licence to play.

Eric Perez bought Hemel Stags’ golden ticket as he attempted to set up Ottawa Aces – who will now be Cornwall RLFC after attempts to keep them in Canada failed.

Some fellow League One sides, angry at not knowing part-time players face hours-long return trips until it was announced, questioned how the man who came up with Toronto Wolfpack has the ability to make such a switch.

But SunSport understands the Rugby Football League is adamant it acted by the book.

It is believed the move in 2019 occurred as a change of ownership of Hemel Stags RLFC (2016) Ltd, then a change of location.

Any club owner can sell shares to another individual but both those decisions fell to the RFL board under its articles and operational rules.

It checked the fit and proper person criteria were met and there were no red flags – Perez passed all known tests and the change went through.

Cornwall’s inclusion has raised many eyebrows but they pointed out they face the same travel issues as their League One opponents ten times over.

However, they left many questions unanswered when approached by SunSport, including on which day they would play, whether they would be full-time, part-time or operate a hybrid system and whether Laurent Frayssinous – previously named Ottawa boss – will stay.

Spokesman Rob Butland said: “This club is the result of months and years of hard work both previously as Ottawa but also on the back of the great development work done by Cornish community club the Cornish Rebels.

“Now drawing on the experience of both entities, we have brought about this new club for Cornwall and we couldn't be more excited to compete in Betfred League One in 2022.”

On fixtures, he added: “At the moment the fixtures are being finalised ahead of central release.”

On players, he would only commit to having a Cornish presence of, ‘as many as possible.’

He continued: “First and foremost this club is about Cornish people and Cornish potential.

“That starts with the athletes on the pitch. This is a hotbed of athletes and we look forward to showing Rugby League what Cornish athletes have to offer.”

But on whether they would be full or part-time, or whether they would help northern players relocate, he would not commit, insisting: “We are already building and we will be sharing news soon.

“Nothing is off the table, we will take each opportunity on its own circumstance and merit and make the decision on all personnel with the best interests of everyone in mind."

On Frayssinous’ future, he would only say: “We look forward to sharing announcements about players, staff and other news in the coming weeks and months.”

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