Championship club slams “unfair” aspect of IMG

Yesterday IMG revealed the grading criteria that will determine their licencing of Super League sides in the future.

If voted in in April, a dummy grade will be awarded going into 2024 before the first proper grade at the end of 2024 going into 2025.

The five areas are:

Fandom (25%): encouraging clubs to attract more fans in stadia, at home and digitally, and to improve fan engagement, contributing to both club and central revenues.
Performance (25%): incentivising clubs to perform on the field and drive fan awareness and engagement. Teams will be ranked between 1 and 36 based on where they finish in the leagues for the previous three seasons. Bonus points will be awarded to teams who win league and cup competitions in the previous season.
Finances (25%): reflecting the success of fan engagement and business performance and rewarding sustainable investment, as well as diversified revenue streams and sound financial management.
Stadium (15%): based on a number of factors, including facilities and utilisation, which add value to the fan and broadcast or digital viewer experience, and match or exceed competition from other sports and events.
Catchment (10%): based on area population and the number of clubs in the area, with a view to maximising growth of the sport in the largest markets to generate new fan bases and incentivise investment.

One club have openly opposed this concept since it was pitched: the Keighley Cougars.

They were the only club to vote against it at the end of last year and have been vocal about their opposition since the meeting yesterday circulating a manifesto about the importance of promotion and relegation believing it to be creating an elite cartel.

Now they have highlighted the unfairness of the catchment aspect of the licensing saying on Twitter:

“IMG proposals means that London Skolars, Cornwall, Midlands Hurricanes, Broncos and Newcastle would each get 2 points.

“HEARTLAND clubs such Keighley, @OfficialBullsRL, @BatleyRLFC, @FevRoversRLFC, @HalifaxPanthers, @CTRLFC, @WidnesRL would get ZERO.


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