No protection for London and Catalan in league changes

RFL chief executive Nigel Wood says that London and Catalan won’t be afforded any special treatment when it comes to re-structuring the game in 2015.

Wood and colleague Ralph Rimmer have been answering questions from fans via Twitter about the RFL’s Policy Review, which is currently proposing changes to Super League and the Championship.

The most favoured option is believed to be “option 3”, which would see two leagues of 12 split in to three leagues of eight.

It is likely that club’s finishing positions in 2014 will determine the set-up of the two leagues, meaning that two existing Super League clubs will find themselves relegated to the second tier for 2015.

Catalan were previously exempt from relegation for three years when they joined the league in 2006, and relegation was scrapped after that three-year period.

In answer to a question from a fan, Wood said: “In discussing the options including the 12 x 12 and 3 x 8’s option, top 12 at the end of the 2014 season would be the final league standing – with no club within it receiving any protection.”

The pair answered several questions in two hours, with both hinting that “option 3” is their favoured option.

Wood highlighted the difference between the full-time set-up of Super League and the part-time Championship as an issue for the implementation of straight promotion and relegation, saying that the transition between the two leagues would be a huge challenge for any promoted club.

He said: “This option of 2×12 and 3×8 offers a new approach and potentially a situation where every match matters and a sustainable pathway for clubs to reach Super League and grow successfully as they play more often against well matched sides in the 3×8 divisions.

Wood also admitted that issues relating to the salary cap, dual-registration and season tickets still need to be ironed out under the proposed new structure.

Scottish Football recently rejected a similar proposal, and Wood said that 10 of the 12 clubs actually voted in favour, but their system meant that two member clubs could veto any changes.

When asked about the lack of sponsors, Rimmer said that the policy review is about maximising revenue for the sport, to help develop more commercial relationships and provide a more exciting product.

To view all the questions and answers from the session, visit: http://www.therfl.co.uk/policyreview

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