As things stand, Castleford Tigers remain the Super League club most at risk of relegation – or demotion – with an appeal against their IMG grading rejected by the Rugby Football League.
Sat 13th on the list, the Tigers remain the lowest-ranked club currently in Super League according to IMG’s indicative gradings, handed a score of 12.16 out of a possible 20.
When those first gradings were announced by the global leader in sports management and marketing back in October, Cas submitted an appeal on the basis that some incorrect data had been submitted which – when corrected – would bolster their score to 12.91.
At present, a score of 12.91 would elevate them to 11th, with current Championship outfits Toulouse Olympique (10th) and Wakefield Trinity (12th) either side of them.
If that was the case, again as things stand, 2023 Challenge Cup winners Leigh Leopards would be the team to slip to 13th in the rankings, with that spot on the ladder not deemed Super League level.
For the time being however, the Leopards will remain above the Tigers in IMG’s eyes, with all clubs needing to utilise 2024 to ensure they don’t fall through the trap door.
Castleford Tigers remain at risk of Super League relegation as RFL reject appeal against IMG’s indicative grading
The RFL confirmed their decision not to alter the rankings via a statement published on their website. It read: “Castleford Tigers have been informed that their indicative grading score for 2024 will not be reconsidered.
“The club requested an exemption to resubmit their Data Capture Form, having discovered after their initial submission that it had not contained the correct data.
“While sympathetic to their position and recognising that the resubmission would lead to an increase in the club’s indicative grading score, the RFL Board have ruled that it would be unfair to other clubs – several of whom have also sought unsuccessfully to have data submitted after the deadline considered – to make changes after the indicative gradings have been published.
“This was one of the reasons the indicative grading process has been run in 2023 – as a dry run, with no bearing on teams’ positions for the 2024 season, but to give all clubs a clear idea of where they stand, and where they need to improve.”
Meanwhile, in a very brief response, the Fords – via their own website – made it clear that the RFL had agreed that their score should in fact have been 12.91, and accordingly, they could have been moved up the rankings.
Their response read: “As a club we are disappointed that the RFL will not change the gradings, however we are pleased to hear that they have agreed that our score would increase to 12.91.
“This gives us a great base to work from to push our score as high as we can in readiness for the 2025 gradings.”
The gradings will only count for real at the end of the upcoming season, with automatic promotion and relegation solely dependent on how teams perform on the field now scrapped.