'It's not right' Derek Beaumont accuses Hull FC of 'clearing the decks' amid IMG curtain

Leigh Leopards owner Derek Beaumont has accused Hull FC of 'clearing the decks' this year in the knowledge that they are exempt from relegation from Super League regardless of their on-field performance.

The Black and Whites have already released five players this season, bringing in two new domestic arrivals in Tom Briscoe and Yusuf Aydin amid a season-long loan for Ben Reynolds. However, as it stands, they are still to fill the two quota spots following the departures of Tex Hoy and Fa'amanu Brown back in April, although Hull Live's understanding is that their search for new overseas talent has now intensified with John Cartwright confirmed as their new head coach.

Beaumont, meanwhile, believes Hull, who are currently sat in 11th place on the table amid an 11-game losing streak, are prioritising other elements in the IMG era as one of seven provisional Grade A clubs who are all but guaranteed a place in the topflight next year. The Leythers owner, who has been vocal in his opinions on the Black and Whites this season, says Hull's approach isn't 'right' and that they should be relegated if they finish bottom. He even suggested that he would take voluntary relegation should Leigh ever end up in a similar situation.

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Speaking on Leigh's YouTube channel, Beaumont said: "If we were to finish bottom of Super League, then I would be saying I'd like to go back to the Championship, as that's where I think we should be. If we finish bottom, and London finished above us, it wouldn't be morally right for me to stay up and watch them get relegated.

"I wouldn't do it. That might be a brave comment, and our fans might not like hearing it, but we'll do what we can, fight, and bring players in to not finish bottom while working on our off-field points for IMG.

"I don't think what Hull FC are doing this year is right. That's nothing to do with John Asiata or any other players that they may or may not have signed from us, but to clear all your decks out and be interested in making a profit and not being bothered because there's no relegation, that, for me, is not sport. It's not right, and it shouldn't be rewarded."

Beaumont went on to reference London Broncos, who beat Hull last month and are fighting to avoid the wooden spoon, as a reason why the current IMG system, in his view, doesn't work, with the wrong 'messages' given out.

He continued: "On the opposite end of the spectrum, you've got London, who came in under certain circumstances and knew that they'd have no hope, but they beat Hull, and they're trying not to finish bottom. I just think that's one element of why no relegation doesn't work.

"Whether other clubs would do that or not—I'm not just trying to single Hull FC out—but no one else has done it. Sport is about winning, and it's about competing. We didn't try to get to 15 points and then not bother signing Matt Moylan. There will also be a signing announced this week that will hopefully arrive on Friday.

"You could argue we don't need to do that; it all comes at a cost, and I'm putting money in monthly now, but I'm looking at what we need to do to get in the play-offs, not what we need to do to not finish bottom or get relegated. Whether or not this system remains but gets some tweaks, I don't know, but collectively, as a group of owners in Super League and the wider council members, I think we need to actually look at whether this is right in its current form and if it is giving out the right messages and the right solutions. Personally, I don't think it does."

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