Finally confirmation has come through that Super League version nineteen would be the last competition played with fourteen teams.
The restructure will see a top-tier competition featuring twelve teams, and a Championship level with twelve teams. It’s likely that teams within each tier will play each other twice, before all teams combine to play in three groups of eight. It also means a return to the promotion and relegation that was used last between 2002 and 2008.
“I would like to thank the clubs for their contribution to what was a very fruitful and positive meeting.”, Super League Chairman Brian Barwick said.
“The clubs were virtually unanimous in their view that Super League should become a 12-team competition from 2015 and that there should be meaningful movement between Super League and the Championship.
“The Super League clubs’ decision will now go before the RFL’s independent Board of Directors for ratification next week.”
It’s being reported that some Super League clubs are against plans of increased funding to Championship sides, and want a bigger say in the running of the game. It makes sense that Championship sides require more funding to be competitive under the new plan. But it will need the convincing of fans that this is the right way forward.
It’s a bold move for rugby league in England to take this path at a time where top flight clubs are struggling to keep their head above water. Bradford have their own internal problems with their ownership. London Broncos received a lifeline through an agreement to ground share with non-league FA club Barnet FC otherwise their future was doomed.
First and foremost each of the fourteen Super League clubs will be throwing everything at staying in the top flight for 2015. Based on 2013 table finishes, both Salford and London Broncos would be playing in the Championship.
However Salford have bought exceptionally well under owner Marwan Koukash splashing out on quality players like Rangi Chase, veteran Tony Puletua and Gareth Hock.