RFL Council Vote Brings Game To A Crossroads

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13 September 2018

An EGM of the RFL Council will decide tomorrow (Friday 14th) on the structure the Super League season in 2019 and beyond and whether to scrap the current Super 8 play-off system.

Two recent statements from either side of the divide succinctly sum up conflicting thoughts of eleven SL clubs (stand-alone Leeds Rhinos are arguing for more time for consultation and more pro-active management from the RFL) against those of what seems to be the majority Championship and League 1 clubs.

Chairman of Wigan, Ian Lenagan said:

“There is absolutely minimal interest nationally in the qualifiers and that amounts to terribly low attendances of under 2,000 and viewing figures around 80,000 which compares dramatically badly with 8,000 attendances and 200,000 viewing figures for regular Super League games. Is that the picture of rugby league that we want to project when attempting to negotiate the next television deal, vital to the funding of the whole game?”

While Championship club Batley Bulldogs’ Kevin Nicholls presented the counter argument:

“Our initial stance is that we believe the present Super 8’s should be maintained as the Middle 8’s in particular have been a competition that has created much interest and are a mechanism that ensures any club from the Championship that does manage to be promoted can compete against those SL clubs in the Middle 8’s and this season it appears even more competitive.

“Clearly no system designed to achieve a smooth and effective process of relegation/ promotion with full

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