Featherstone back “option 3” for Super League

Featherstone Rovers chairman Mark Campbell has called for all Rugby League fans to recognise the exciting opportunities the sport has been presented with by the proposed radical restructuring of the league system.

The RFL last week revealed three options for the future of Super League and the Championship for 2015 and beyond, including one option that would create two 12-team competitions which would split into three groups of eight in mid-season.

The plans were recently presented to over 300 Rovers fans at a forum at Big Fellas Stadium and Campbell is urging everyone to embrace the changes.

Campbell said: “As a fan, sponsor and chairman I am extremely excited by these proposals because I think they will reinvigorate not only the game but more importantly the fans, sponsors , club owners and broadcasting partners which will allow the game to grow and prosper.

“There are just so many positive aspects to all this that I can’t wait for 2015 my only regret is that this couldn’t happen in 2014!

“For one thing it gives ambitious clubs like Featherstone a route map to get all the way to the top in a manageable fashion: every club should and will know exactly what it has to do to make the necessary steps to seize these exciting opportunities

“That is good from the point of view of growing the business; it’s good from the perspective of sponsors because they will want to be part of something that’s really exciting; and it’s great for the fans in all competitions because it makes every match meaningful.

“I’m a club chairman and a businessman but at the end of the day I’m also a Rugby League fan and in the last few years I think things have become a bit stale.

“Licensing hasn’t worked like it was meant to and there are too many meaningless games which are seeing clubs selling their best players in mid-season because they have nothing to play for.

“That wouldn’t be the case if clubs were vying for places in the new 12 and eight-team divisions, which is a breath of fresh air.

“I can understand why some people are against these plans because change is never easy but those people who are doing all they can to shoot down what has been proposed need to put their own short-term self interest to one side and realise we all need to take bold decisions to keep the Rugby League in this country at or near the top of the pile especially with the threats from the NRL and Rugby Union 

“We are still in the consultation process and we all have a chance to determine how the changes will come about. Yes, there are complications over how the funds are distributed amongst all the clubs but our ambitions won’t be capped like they are now.

“People have to realise that at the end of the day we are a spectator sport and in the entertainment industry and should be doing all we can to attract more people to our sport.

“I think these proposals will allow us to do that and I applaud the RFL for pushing for change.”

The other two options are to cut Super League to 12 teams, and re-introduce promotion and relegation, or introduce two Super League divisions of ten teams.

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