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RFL clubs give "strong support" to protecting top clubs from relegation

Rugby Football League member clubs have backed proposals to 'reimagine' the sport including scrapping relegation for top Super League sides.

There was "strong support" for the proposals made last month by sports management company IMG at a meeting of the Rugby League Council.

There would be a special 'Category A' created, for clubs whose place in Super League would be assured.

On and off-field criteria would then have to be met to guarantee their spot.

Not all of the clubs involved in Super League would necessarily be Category A graded, with highest-ranked Category B clubs making up the division.

Those clubs' performances would be monitored on a yearly basis to decide which made up the elite Super League, as it is presently known.

The remaining clubs would fill the second and third divisions, currently the Championship and League One - with clubs continuing to move between those leagues.

The other proposals recommended by IMG include:

§  A joined-up calendar with an international window in October and a mid-season international.

§  A strategy to boost the women's and girls' game.

§  The number of clubs outside the UK to be capped and standards imposed to support growth domestically.

§  A repositioned calendar which optimises flow, narrative and engagement, incorporating regular 'peaks' of interest and a compelling season climax.

§  Operations to be centralised where this can maximise efficiencies and drive incremental revenue (e.g. ticketing and digital infrastructure). A new brand strategy to be introduced and aligned with the above commercial strategy.

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