Lindsay to resist 'knee-jerk' changes

Rugby League
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The Independent Online
The Super League chief executive, Maurice Lindsay, has appealed for clubs to give the new Super League format a chance and not to rush into another bout of restructuring.

The meeting of the Rugby League Council today is due to debate a proposal from Lindsay's old club, Wigan, for yet another new system, involving splitting the league into two sections after one home-and-away programme.

"Clubs will be putting forward ideas, but what we do not want is any knee-jerk proposals, based on short-term interests," Lindsay said.

The plan of Jack Robinson, the Wigan chairman, would give top clubs more games against each other, but Lindsay said that such suggestions were undermining the credibility of the competition in its first season.

In another dig at the club he brought to pre-eminence during the 1980s, Lindsay said that Wigan and Leeds had "lost the plot" during the inaugural season and that their falling crowds were pulling the averages down.

Despite that, the League released figures yesterday to show that attendances are running well ahead of most clubs' averages over the last 20 years.

Compared with the last complete winter season in 1994-95, however, seven Super League clubs and a majority in the lower divisions are showing a decrease, which suggests that the case for summer rugby remains unproven.

The Council will finally make a decision today on South Wales' application to be fast-tracked into Super League, but Huddersfield have asked for their application to be deferred.