The Championship and League 1 competitions will not resume in 2020, the RFL have confirmed.
The RFL Board met on Monday evening to make their decision over the future of the competitions at the end of a turbulent day for rugby league that saw the withdrawal of Toronto Wolfpack from this season’s Super League.
As a result, there will be no relegation from Super League in 2020.
However, Championship and League 1 clubs will be invited to play in a competition this autumn, with a theme of celebrating the sport’s 125th anniversary, and with a prize pot of £250,000.
The prize pot is thanks in part to financial support from Super League clubs.
Rugby league’s mad Monday
A statement said: “There will be no relegation from the 11-team Betfred Super League in 2020 – for reasons of integrity, player welfare and also to protect the solvency of clubs.
“The Betfred Championship and League 1 seasons will not resume in 2020 – this follows the Government announcement last week identifying October as the earliest opportunity for the return of crowds to sport, and the finding of a survey of Betfred Championship and League 1 clubs that a majority in each competition would not support playing matches Behind Closed Doors. Again, the issue of protecting the solvency of clubs informed this decision.
“Further details of this competition will follow this week – it will be voluntary, and there will be a detailed application process requiring clubs to prove their ability to meet the necessary protocols and medical standards. There will be no automatic promotion to the Betfred Super League from this competition.”
The RFL say they will hold further discussions with Super League following the withdrawal of Toronto.