Promotion set to return in Super League revamp
Two leagues may be split into three in mid-season in RFL restructuring proposals
Saturday 11 May 2013
The Rugby Football League has revealed details of a proposed radical shake-up of the game, including the return of automatic promotion and relegation.
The most eye-catching of a series of proposals to reorganise the structure of the Super League and the Championships is a plan for two leagues of 12 teams, which would be divided into three divisions of eight halfway through the season.
RFL chief executive Nigel Wood put the proposals to Super League club representatives 10 days ago as part of a consultation process and made a presentation to the Championship clubs in Coventry on Wednesday.
A vote on the shake-up will take place later this year but no change can be introduced until the end of the current licensing period, in time for the start of the 2015 season.
Wood has been reacting to a growing clamour for the scrapping of the licensing system, which was introduced in 2009 to guarantee clubs the stability of three years’ membership of Super League. Clubs have also been pushing for a return of regular promotion and relegation in order to reduce the number of meaningless matches and provide incentives for ambitious clubs outside Super League.
Clubs rejected a proposal to maintain the status quo and will instead vote on three alternatives as follows:
Option 1 – Super League reverts to a 12-team competition (from 14) and a 10 or 12-team Championship, with one club promoted and relegated each year;
Option 2 – A two-division Super League with each division comprising 10 teams;
Option 3 – Two divisions of 12 in Super League, with teams playing each other once to provide 11 fixtures before splitting into three groups of eight in mid-season and then playing each other home and away to provide 14 more matches.
Under the third option, each of the three groups would conclude with a play-off series and climax in a Grand Final or play-off final with final standings at the end of the regular season determining the make-up of the two 12-team divisions for the following season.
The third option, which would mean two teams being relegated from Super League at the end of next season, would facilitate a return of promotion and relegation but in a more managed way.
Wood said: “The interest already shown in these ideas has been very encouraging and I believe these new proposals will produce positive change and innovation across the whole sport. I do believe that we need to create a pathway into Super League but it is essential that we are mindful of the challenges that a straight re-introduction of promotion and relegation between part-time and full-time leagues would create.”
The RFL, which tapped into research carried out by sports industry financial experts KPMG before coming up with its proposals, says it will now undertake further consultation before agreeing the way forward.
Wood added: “I look forward to further detailed discussions with people across the game as we finalise our proposals in the weeks ahead.”
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Best memes as Twitter reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal joins Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Sami Khedira
Sami Khedira to Arsenal? Arsene Wenger reveals Gunners are still in the market for defensive midfielder
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Risky business to think Balotelli can replace Luis Suarez
Malky Mackay texts: Harry Redknapp defends former Cardiff City manger - 'he hasn't raped anyone and he is not a paedophile'
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 3 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile