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Friday, August 14

Super League: RFL considers promotion and relegation conundrum


Leigh Centurions (right) were one of three Championship teams with 100% records when the season was suspended

The Rugby Football League says no decision has yet been taken on whether to rule out promotion and relegation this year.

But common sense would surely suggest that there cannot be any movement between Super League, Championship and League One in a season of such disruption.

With only a handful of games played pre-lockdown, and the likelihood that, at best, any return to action would be behind closed doors, and with Catalans and Toronto denied any home games, there is a general acceptance that it simply wouldn’t be fair to relegate anyone from the top flight.

Super League chief executive Robert Elstone has gone on record this week, on behalf of the top clubs, saying that relegation would “not be fair and equitable”.

He added: “Against that same backdrop, it would feel unreasonable and unfair to promote a team into Super League.”

But it is not in the gift of Super League clubs to decide on the mechanics of promotion and relegation – that is a decision for the Rugby Football League to take.

And a spokesman told the BBC: “The RFL board have been discussing for some time the implications of the season suspension, which include the impact on promotion and relegation between the Super League, Championship and League One competitions.

“These are board decisions, to be taken in the best interests of the sport.”

Toronto Wolfpack are bottom of Super League but still in the Challenge Cup

But there is a growing sense that this year no-one can go up, and no-one can go down.

That’s an incredibly tough reality for a handful of Championship clubs to accept – to rule that they can’t have a crack at making it into the top flight having invested heavily to achieve that prize.

They are saddled with wage bills that reflect those aspirations, and that financial commitment could now weigh heavily if the prize was denied them.

Down in League One,…

Rugby News

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