Mailbox: There are more downsides to scrapping relegation

James Cunningham. Wakefield Trinity 19 v. London Broncos 10 - Betfred Super League XXIV Round 29 - 13th September 2019

Mailbox gives you the chance to get your voice heard and start the debate with the rugby league audience. Want to be featured? Email the editor:

Dear Editor,

I’ve just read (last week’s) mailbox about the promotion/ relegation topic whilst shaking my head the whole way through it in total disagreement.

Try telling the Widnes / Fev / Halifax / Bradford etc … fans , coaching staff and anyone associated to these clubs, who’ve been playing the game for over a hundred years that they’ll never get into the top flight ever again and wait for the response you get.

Promotion and relegation are part of the most exciting things of the season in most sports. Remember the Cas v Wakey game last game of the season years ago.

The whole end of season phase would be completely pointless with a few games left and the bottom two or three clubs nothing to play for and no relegation to worry about. I could go on and on but i won’t.

Scrapping promotion & relegation would kill the game completely. It will be interesting to see the response you get taking into consideration which supporters of which club respond. Don’t put too much money on Leigh going down, I’m not.

Steve Johnson

Editor’s comment: I think it’s fair to say that given the amount of changes to the “structure” in the past 15 years, the game has probably alienated more fans than it has gained. There are pros and cons to licensing and to promotion and relegation; rugby league’s problem seems to have been trying to find a hybrid of both, which clearly doesn’t work. If it wants “franchises”, then it needs to see it through properly and not accommodate the chosen ones that are there now, who actually wouldn’t tick the boxes that a “franchise” league would be created to fulfil. You’re exactly right about the removal of promotion and relegation being a complete killer to fans of those who aren’t in the chosen group.

Mailbox gives you the chance to get your voice heard and start the debate with the rugby league audience. Want to be featured? Email the editor:

About James Gordon 7304 Articles
Love Rugby League editor. Founded the website back in 2005. Worked with a range of clubs and sponsors during that time. Also commentates for BBC.


  1. I agree 100%. There will be some very lacklustre games towards the end of the season. As we all know RL is a very competitive sport, especially when everyone has something to play for.

  2. This once again is greedy super league owners wanting to have total control if they do not want to be Rfl members and abide by the rules of the game then cut them off completely negotiate a deal with all the championship clubs and change the name to premier league

  3. Here we go again with relegation promotion, we are not Australia there system works for them but not us,why don’t they expand super league to 14 to 16 clubs with 2 up 2 down this would help with expansion

  4. As a Widnes fan what a load of rubbish to get rid of promotions and relegations never heard so much shit3 I my life , you tried this before and it didn’t work then . So why do you keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again , the championship and div 1 should just brake away from super league and form our compilation and concentrate on ourselves for a change

    • Alex, I’ve been saying this for years. SL couldn’t give a toss about the rest of us, and their great ideas for the game have taken it backwards not forwards. SL greed has turned 50% of RL fans against the game. Look at the Challenge Cup and international crowds for the proof. Toronto, York, Newcastle and of course London are the new teachers pets. Why? because they have the deluded belief that sponsorship will increase with these and similar teams in SL. What bollox. Sponsorship increases when the quality increases. Look at your team Widnes in the 80s. Some amazing players, many of which are still tv personalities today. My team Fev, along with many outside SL have provided many of the greats who did fill stadiums. In the SL era Featherstone has seen the likes of Newlove, Hardcastle and Rob Burrows learning their trade in the town, and there are many many more in SL from our shitty little pit village. We have also provided many international players going back many years. As have Widnes, Halifax, Bradford and many many more teams outside of utopia.
      If they decide to go franchise then we should do a Kerry Packer and form a breakaway set up.

    • Yes Andrew I agree I have a lot or respect for featherstone not many fans can say they have built their own stand at their ground . Should just brake away from Super League and go on our own . If it went to licensing do the likes of wakefield Castleford get kicked out pitch because their grounds are shit holes and have been since super league . I have played for the Royal Air Force at featherstone and I’ve played for Scotland v Cook Islands at castleford and I know which club had the better facilities and it wasn’t the super league club by a very long way

  5. Can we please get a body that mirrors the opinions of RL fans before our game goes the way of the Dodo . Too many business ideas ! We are a sport and sport is something that lifts the heart not the bank balance.

  6. All the most memorable games in all sport are based on the “ David v Goliath” premise. Long live relegation battles . Super league is boring now and I personally would watch a televised championship game before a Wigan , saints for the 4th time in a season .

  7. Expand to 14 or 16 teams, with 1 team promoted and relegated each season. Simple

    Also introduce strict transfer/ loan windows to avoid overspending and unfair advantages near the end of the season

  8. As a supporter of a team who were relegated just prior to the advent of Super League, and then trapped in a lower division for three seasons, finishing top for two of the three, with no hope of promotion; not having an end result to that “success” (forgive me, but the “plate” we used to compete for as an end of season trophy was a pointless exercise devalues the entire season and as many have pointed out, playing out the season at the botom of the SL table with no relegation is just fulfilling fixtures.
    I would favour the option (or should I say return) of a 14 team Super League with one team promoted/ relegated. Maybe a mini league of bottom SL club and top three championship clubs to decide who goes up, but I’m not set on that, just gives more Championship sides something to play for.
    What happens to the make up of the Championship and Division 1 would need some thought if we take two more teams into the SL.
    I can’t see a 16 team SL ever happening unless Sky or another sponsor were to put up a lot more money. Convincing 12 teams to take a smaller share with a 14 team league will be a difficult enough task.

  9. It’s all very Well Being in Favour of Promotion and Relegation But what purpose will a Season in the SuperLeague with a Couple of Decent Away games and A few memorable home wins That won’t have any baring on the Predictable Relegation straight back down to the Championship
    Which Leigh are about to experience for the Third time.

  10. The End of the World theme here is typical of the passion in the sport. The fans of those not included will not be happy is another. Both are reasons why fans base their opinions but they’re not arguments for or against. RL fans are never happy about anything P&R or not P&R will not end the sport nor will either ever make them happy. Making a decision on fans being peeved is silly.

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