The year starts with over 10,000 Featherstone Rovers fans submitting a petition to the club against plans to share the newly named Calder Stadium at Glasshoughton with Castleford and Wakefield.
Wigan announce their continued investment in young British talent with an audacious attempt to sign All Black star Charlie McAllister.
Leeds claim the World Club Championship with a hard fought win over Melbourne Storm at Elland Road. Bradford Bulls chairman Peter Hood complains that his club feel “cheated” at the result and calls on Leeds to do the right thing and hand the trophy over to the Odsal club.
Featherstone Rovers open their Northern Rail Cup campaign in front of just 200 spectators. The club blames “Margaret Thatcher for shutting t’pits” for the poor turnout, although the presence of Chris Moyles in the stands did significantly reduce the capacity for everyone else. The local synagogue makes a generous offer of a loan to see the club through hard times.
John Kear is charged with misconduct after allegedly making defamatory and libellous remarks about the match officials, Stuart Cummings, Richard Lewis and a donkey in a post match press conference.
According to sources in the local media, Wigan withdraws its interest in signing Charlie McAllister due to what the club describes as “an administrative error”. Attention has now switched to former Canterbury threequarter Michael Phelps.
The RFL drop all charges against John Kear due to lack of evidence. When the tape recordings of the press conference made by various journalists were analysed, all that could be heard were some strange, amphibian “Ding” noises set to a dance music soundtrack.
A leaked press release confirming that franchises for 2009 onwards have been awarded to Salford City Reds and Celtic Crusaders is dismissed as an “April Fools” hoax by the RFL who state that no decision has yet been reached.
Bradford Bulls chairman Peter Hood is left distraught by his side’s second consecutive Millenium Magic defeat to Leeds Rhinos, claiming that the Rhinos cheated by “passing, tackling and even playing a Frenchman”. He announces a major recruitment drive by the Bulls in an effort to redress the imbalance between the local rivals, starting with the capture of world-renowned Harlequins winger Rikki Sheriffe.
Wigan prop Ifea…Ifaet…Feka (don’t even get me started on the surname) escapes a custodial sentence following an altercation with an off duty bus driver. The player is said to be hugely relieved, as he wasn’t sure he would be able to withstand the prospect of an hour each day in the exercise yard if he went to prison.
The RFL announce that the 12 current Super League clubs together with Salford City Reds and Celtic Crusaders have secured franchises from 2009. Unsuccessful bidders Widnes reacted calmly to the news, a spokesperson saying they knew they were a long shot but had been keeping all twelve fingers crossed.
Other clubs took the decision less well, with Leigh threatening to send a strongly worded objection to the RFL once the carrier pigeon had got back from dropping off that week’s Giros.