Today IMG will present to clubs their grading criteria for the licencing system they want to introduce into Super League.
At the end of last year, almost every club voted to allow IMG to put forward these ideas.
However, one club voted against the “reimagining of rugby league” IMG are proposing which would see a greater focus on international rugby as well as the end of traditional relegation with the return of licencing set to return.
They have branded it as “unfair” and “anti-competition.”.
The club in question is the progressive Keighley Cougars who have underlined their potential with some impressive signings the latest of which was former Leigh man Mark Ioane.
However, their hopes of continuing their progress to Super League has taken a massive hit tonight with this vote but they vowed to keep fighting with the following statement on their website:
“At today’s RFL council meeting, Keighley Cougars were the only club to vote against the proposals by IMG to give relegation immunity to the elite clubs.
“Keighley Cougars take pride in promoting equality and fairness in all walks of life, both sporting and non-sporting.
“To give elite clubs immunity from relegation runs contrary to our values.
“Equality at Cougar Park means for people, society, and sport.
“To create a top division with elite clubs who can never face relegation is only in the self interests of those involved.
“It is unfair, it is anti-competition, and it isn’t sport.
“Our Managing Director, Kaue Garcia, spoke to the RFL council that elitism is not what sport is about, and that in the long term it will damage Rugby League.
“The Cougars are currently standing alone against the proposals, but we believe in our values and in the long term interests of our sport.
“Rugby League already has rules about standards that clubs need to attain to get into the top division of the sport. These rules are understandable, attainable and fair.
“What is not fair is for IMG to create a sport of elites to dominate and decimate the rest.
“The vote today was in favour of the equivalent of the failed European Super League in football.
“This was rejected at the highest level, with the then Prime Minister Boris Johnson commiting to legislate against it, citing a cartel and it being “against the basic principles of competition.”
“Keighley Cougars are committed to equality for all.
“Now we fight for the equality and fairness for our sport.”
Following this and ahead of today’s meeting, Keighley have re-iterated their stance against these proposals:
“We’re in Huddersfield today for the latest update on IMGs Reimagining Rugby League proposals.
“We will have updates throughout the day.
“We believe fair promotion and relegation is intrinsic to sport”