Mailbox: Replace the play-offs with a World Club competition

Mailbox gives you the chance to get your voice heard and start the debate with the rugby league audience. Get your letters in now via email to: james@loverugbyleague.com

Dear editor,

Regards any restructuring I would have a 14 team Super League with two up and two down. I would have the top team as Champions with the play offs scrapped.

The play off structure just sees the leading clubs doing what they have to do in preparation for the play offs. Top team Champions leaves no margin for error.

In their place I suggest the top four could play the top four from Australia in a Super Cup prior to each season. Straight knockout over three weekends.

It may mean some clubs travelling across the World for one game but that happens now with the World Club Challenge. The battle for the top four would be akin to the battle for Champions League places in Football.

I would also take Super League off Sky and get it on BBC. It exists in an almost alternate universe at present and Sky use it as filler.

Look at the viewing figures for Sport on BBC and the extra interest it generates in other sports.

Steven Howard

Editor’s comment: I like the idea of a 14-team Super League with two-up, two-down as it encourages more movement between the leagues. For a game that spends its time obsessed with expanding, to still have a 12-team top flight after 25 years of significant investment from Sky is baffling. The play-off idea sounds good in theory, but good luck getting any buy in from the Australians! I think a more realistic change would be to revert back to the old Premiership format, so restoring top spot to being champions and then the play-offs being for a separate competition. Unfortunately, taking the game away from Sky would be catastrophic – they underpin everything financially, and while the exposure on BBC might be better (assuming BBC want to show it, of course), there’s a reason why virtually every sport has disappeared from free-to-air.

Mailbox gives you the chance to get your voice heard and start the debate with the rugby league audience. Get your letters in now via email to: james@loverugbyleague.com

4 Comments

  1. I like what your saying, but it wouldn’t work.

    You’ll have 2 clubs coming up every year offering daft money to those with super league experience on one year contracts?? How is a professional meant to get by in life on the basis of a 1year contract? Knowing full well the team maybe relegated and therefore have to look for another club?

    In my eyes, yes let’s have 14 team competition. Even a 16 team competition! Let’s give the teams 2 years to build their squads, develop their fan base, upgrade their stadiums. Every 2 years you 1 team relegated and 1 team promoted.

    I like the idea of the World Champions League. Again though, only every 2 years?

    1 year each premiership has their own play offs, the year after is made up of the top 6 from super league and NRL.

    1st place in both comps go through to semi’s. the other 4 teams are selected at random for their place in the quarter finals.

    To make it easier for all the clubs, one year England host the competitions then the next year Australia/NZ host the competition. All funded by the rfl/arlc

  2. A shocking number of commenters on this site want to scrap the playoffs. That’s be a huge backward step financially. Playoffs are the true money-makers when it comes to broadcast. That’s why American sports are constantly expanding their playoff structures. MLB has a 162 game regular season AND they are constantly talking about adding playoff teams. The NBA has 30 teams, of which 16 make the playoffs! A larger playoff field means more games matter. (If SL had no playoffs, this season could have ended as soon as Catalans wrapped up the Shield; instead, the last two rounds were full of interesting possibilities.) Moreover, knockout games are (obviously, I think) more interesting, especially to neutrals. If Super League doesn’t want another downgrade for the next TV deal, the playoffs must stay. (Not that Mr. Howard cares; he thinks SL should just give away the broadcast rights to the Beeb and the players can be paid in “exposure.”)

    • Promotion Relegation based on year to year on field results will always holds rugby league back.
      The game isn’t big enough.

      Teams Promotion needs to be based on.
      -Population
      -Growth Potential
      -Strategic Location
      -Commercial Plan and Viability
      -Business Structure
      -Pathway Plan

      Lift the salary cap and send the clubs that can’t grow and go with it back to part time championship.

  3. Promotion Relegation based on year to year on field results will always holds rugby league back.
    The game isn’t big enough.

    Teams Promotion needs to be based on.
    -Population
    -Growth Potential
    -Strategic Location
    -Commercial Plan and Viability
    -Business Structure
    -Pathway Plan

    Lift the salary cap and send the clubs that can’t grow and go with it back to part time championship.

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