Bobbie Goulding reveals his blue print for Super League

Former Great Britain international Bobbie Goulding has come up with a plan to take Super League global and to a wider audience.

The 48-year-old had an illustrious playing career at the highest level, enjoying spells at Wigan, Leeds, Widnes and St Helens among others while representing Great Britain and England internationally.

And with the game currently struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic, Goulding has suggested it should go part-time or follow through with his blue print.

Goulding said: “Firstly, a new broadcasting deal. This would have to be financially far in excess of what it is today and club owners would have to be owners of blue chip companies or even royalty.

“Secondly, I would run a 13-team competition with home and away fixtures being played on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday only, with teams playing every six days at a maximum due to player welfare and one team every week having a weekend off.

“The top four would play-off in a semi-final, with the winners going through to the final – and the top two would play an end-of-season World Club Challenge against the NRL’s top two.

“There would be no relegation for five years, so clubs could get financially secure. There would be Leagues 1 and 2 at a semi-professional level running as well.

“The Challenge Cup would run throughout the season alongside the other leagues but no other games would be played while Challenge Cup games are played and the final would be at Wembley.

“This would be to grow the sport like never before and get coverage similar to football, cricket, tennis and rugby union.”

Goulding’s 13-team Super League

1 Newcastle

2 Cumbria

3 One team from Hull

4 West Yorkshire

5 Leeds

6 Manchester

7 Liverpool

8 Birmingham

9 London

10 Catalans

11 Toulouse

12 Toronto

13 One of the following with the best bid – Ottawa, New York, Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh or UAE.

Goulding added: “This is my dream to see my sport of rugby league be successful on a worldwide stage.”

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  1. Goulding was an accomplished player but that doesn’t make him a good strategist. There are many holes to pick in his plan but the biggest is Toronto. I’m all in favour of expansion but to rely on a club with no historic roots to carry the flag long-term is risky in the extreme.

  2. While there is some merit in the blue print. There will be no appetite for trans Atlantic travel for the foreseeable future.i am afraid the North American part of the plan is unsustainable

  3. What utter nonsense.
    Rugby League has proven that on the whole teams cannot just be manufactured. There has to be a base in the community. To simply pluck teams out of the air is stupidity. West Yorkshire AND Leeds? Why. If you want to create super teams, why base it on who is currently successful? When the super league was first being discussed we had the merging teams ideas – which included Hull Kingston Rovers and Hull FC, but not Wigan and St Helens or Widnes or, geographically more sensible. Wigan and Leigh, simply based on the success at that time. If the same discussion had taken place 20 years earlier, there would have been no thought to merge Rovers and Hull – who were the two most successful and best supported teams at the time, but Wigan actually spent time in the second diivision.
    So, firstly, you have to do the hard work and build interest at grass roots and then you can look at a more prominent team – witness the emergence of Newcastle over the last couple of seasons.
    Secondly, if you are going to adopt this noddy idea of “super teams”, you have to ignore the relative appeal at any given time and look at potential in a given area, so NOT Leeds And West Yorkshire.
    But it won’t work. I have been a Hull KR supporter for over half a century. If you merge Rovers with Hull FC (or anyone else), that doesn’t become my new team. My team have simply ceased to exist.
    So ill thought out I hesitate to use the word “thought” at all.

  4. What’s the obsession with global RL at the expense of what’s already here . Leeds is in West Yorkshire, try telling St. Helens , Wigan and Warrington there gonna be a mix of Liverpool.
    Bobby Goulding keep dreaming my friend, it will never happen.

  5. I like it. If there are 2 teams in NA, then the UK team could play home on Friday night, fly over for 2 games, Saturday and Friday, then have the next weekend off. The NA teams would play 2 home and 2 away. With the last away game on Friday.

  6. The expansion of superleague goes some of the way to making that element of the sport more saleable to a wider audience. The expansion of the sport into new territories seems to be at the expense of the foundations of the sport, the current clubs and fans. If expansion geographically is ever going to happen then it needs to be on the back of solid rugby roots where the amateur game goes hand in hand with some ambitions of super league or other international competition recognition. Yes, rugby league is the ultimate team sport. It just needs to have the best the sport can offer, on and off the field, to freely be made available to the rest of the planet. I’m loving watching old NRL games at the moment. Its just a pity RFL & Sky aren’t putting as much effort into maintaining its RL audience and taking the opportunity to entice the general sporting audiences who are currently in lock down all around the world. Please use this time effectively to expand our sport to wider audiences.

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