Skolars Propose Simplified Rugby League Structure

4th July 2013

As part of the RFL Policy Review, and the subsequent proposal to restructure the league, London Skolars have debated at length each proposal and, whilst focusing on the central aim of the policy review – a whole game solution. Skolars Chairman Terry Browne is convinced the latest version of one of the RFL supported options is flawed. “We are unconvinced we need major surgery here. The issue seems to be that the sport needs to generate more money. We don’t buy the argument that preparation for promotion is the issue. How can we go from thinking this was killing the game before licensing and now think it will save the game, especially when we are now in a deep recession?”

Browne feels that a far less radical proposal should be considered “in the first instance keep the three division structure of Super League and Championship divisions one and two and adopt for Super League the same points system, 3 for a win, 2 for a draw and 1 for a loss by less than 12 that have been embedded seamlessly into the two Championship divisions. To meet the demands for a reduction in the playing schedule of the top teams SL would be reduced to 12 teams, as would Championship 1, with Championship 2 being made up of the rest of the professional teams, resulting in some 13 or 14 teams in this division. I believe a two up two down promotion and relegation system between all divisions should be implemented, as this will ease the reduction of the existing Super League and maximise competition at all levels of the professional game.”

“Strikingly, most of the proposals we have seen thus far do not look at a whole game solution – they focus on the top two tiers of the sport – we must create a structure that will without any doubt encourage other clubs like Skolars to grow our audience, our income and our value as a sport. With the successful integration of three new teams this season and the probability of whatever proposal is finally adopted adding to the number of fine traditional clubs, such as Oldham and Rochdale, in the second division of the championship it is critical that future plans provide the best opportunity for clubs in this division to flourish. Many will be from the very heartland of rugby league.”

With the Rugby League World Cup imminent and the opportunity this brings, Browne is convinced that the sport must make the most of the opportunities that the sport has in the capital and the south of England: “Investment and visibility are vital – the impact the sport has in London is rarely noticed – as most folk tend to focus on the headlines. If we crack London – the world of rugby league benefits.”

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