RFL hand out fine to Argyle for racist comments

The RFL have concluded their investigation into former Toronto chairman David Argyle’s racist comments towards Swinton Lions’ Jose Kenga, imposing a £7,500 fine on the Wolfpack owner.

Argyle admitted to using inappropriate language towards Kenga when the Lions met Toronto at Lamport Stadium earlier this year and profusely apologised to the player, stepping down from his active position at the Championship league leaders shortly after.

However, the RFL stepped in to conduct an official investigation and found the Wolfpack owner guilty of breaching operational rules.


The statement reads as follows:

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The Rugby Football League have fined David Argyle £7,500 for his use of unacceptable language in his role as chairman of Toronto Wolfpack after their Betfred Championship fixture against Swinton Lions on 28th April.

Following a compliance investigation, Mr Argyle was found to have breached four of the RFL’s Operational Rules (details below).

The RFL takes a zero-tolerance approach to the use of any unacceptable language based on someone’s race. The sanction reflects this and the relevant mitigating factors relating to this matter.  These include that Mr Argyle admitted the charge, has apologised publicly to the Swinton player Jose Kenga, has made strong statements denouncing the language and has stepped down from his roles as Chairman and CEO.

The RFL is fully committed to ensuring that Rugby League is an inclusive sport accessible and enjoyed by all.  As such it will ringfence a proportion of the imposed fine for the Enjoy the Game Campaign, specifically regarding the inclusion of BAME individuals in Rugby League. The RFL will work with Swinton Lions and/or Jose Kenga on how the funds can best be utilised for this.

Notes to Editors

  1. Operational Rule D1.1 (b) (Improper Conduct)

Engages in conduct which is prejudicial to the interests of the Game or which is improper conduct

  1. Operational Rule C2.10 (Behaviour Standards)

In accordance with Operational Rule D1:1(b), no Person Subject to the Operational Rules shall engage in conduct which is prejudicial to the interests of the Game, brings the Game into disrepute or which is improper conduct.  In addition, no director of Club or other senior personnel shall act in a manner unbefitting of the position which they hold. The RFL expect such individuals to uphold the standards of the game and to set an example to other participants. By virtue of their position, such individuals will be held to a higher standard of behaviour than other Persons subject to the Operational Rules.

  1. Operational Rule C2.11 (Unacceptable Language)

Each Person Subject to the Operational Rules shall ensure that they do not engage in any Unacceptable Behaviour or Language. The Compliance Manager and the Operational Rules Tribunal shall apply Zero Tolerance when dealing with cases of Unacceptable Behaviour and/or Language.

  1. Operational Rule C2:6 (Codes of Conduct)

Each Person Subject to the Operational Rules agrees to be bound by and observe all other codes of conduct, regulations, rules and policies published by the RFL from time to time including, but not limited to:

(f)          the Respect Policy

(g)         the Equity Statement

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