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Automatic promotion and relegation is a myth in sport and this is key point for RFL

Yesterday, the IMG proposals were voted in but many are still concerned that they end traditional promotion and relegation.

Or does it?

Yesterday, after the vote, it was put to the member of the RFL Rhodri Jones that promotion and relegation by performance alone doesn’t exist.

In fact promotion and relegation in other sports isn’t always automatic. In Rugby Union they have turned teams down twice, whilst to get promoted from the National League in football there’s pretty strict ground criteria and it is the same in the Premier League.

In essence this is very similar to the IMG proposals and when asked if this was a point being made by the RFL and IMG, Jones said:

“It has, I think there’s also the other version which is if you look in the NRL then there’s 17 teams and they all aspire to be number one with the comfort that they’re in the 17. Equally if they drop off to a certain level they could get chopped as well.

“There’s lots of models around, I think this is pretty unique but again the amount of work that’s gone into it, the amount of data and the amount of consultation we’ve done and the recommendations from IMG are key in this. There’s a belief that this is the right way forward and today’s vote proves that really.”

Ultimately, promotion and relegation is the conversation that Jones, RFL CEO Tony Sutton and IMG are having the most at present:

“Probably one of the most common conversations we’ve had is ‘why is it not promotion and relegation’ and we allude to the fact that I think six of the last seven clubs have yo-yoed up and down. We’ve not had great experiences in all of that so there’s a desire and want to changes, but the question was whether people were keen for that change and todays result shows they were.”

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