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Controversial restructuring of British Rugby League revealed with a number of clubs set to be forced out

Rugby League is said to be at a crossroads with the game struggling, both on and off the field.

But former board member of Super League Shane Richardson has come up with some radical ideas in order to change the direction in which the game is heading.

The document includes details from a private letter that had been submitted to NRL CEO Andrew Abdo in order to give as much as information as possible to Australasian authorities about investment in Super League.

“We have many quality people investing in the game but they, as business operators, must understand that creating a plan for the WHOLE of the game is crucial for investors, players and most importantly supporters,” Richardson wrote.

“That is why an independent commision (IC) similar to the ARLC needs to be set up as a matter of urgency.”

Richardson has also called for the complete overhaul of Super League.

“The next step is a business plan based around a competition which is sustainable to attract media and business investment. The next step would be to get rid of the toxic Super League name – a fresh start.

“The game cannot sustain more than 10 teams at this stage. To create this 10 team competition, eight should come from outside England and two external. The French sides are obvious but other expansion sides may come, in the future, but conditional on being from financially reputable organisations who can see the value of our three/five year business plan. Expansion for expansion sake is a recipe for disaster.

“I am sure that with two teams from France, and with the assistance of the ARLC, that we could broker a much better deal with the French media.”

Richardson has stressed that tough decisions will need to be made.

“In my opinion there are only five clubs that are automatic in the eight from England. Wigan, Saints, Warrington, Leeds one team from Hull. The other three clubs should be beneficial to the growth of the game and the value of the business.

“Areas such as Newcastle, York, Wales and London stand out BUT this is for the IC to decide. Tough fair decisions will have to be made, but the supporters must feel that the decisions are for the betterment of the game, not for the political and vested interests of the past.

“In the beginning there has to be a two year moratorium on promotion and relegation to allow the competition to become embedded. One team promotion and relegation will start from the end of year three. Any team that is promoted, must meet strict criteria to show they value add to the game – Finance / Participation Growth / Stadia etc.

“The second tier or championship as it is called should be a MAXIMUM of 12 teams – a semi pro competition without promotion or relegation. If you are unable to survive, then expressions of interest can be called for to replace them. The third tier should be an amateur competition.

“There are so many well run amateur clubs in England who should be encouraged to invest in participation and pathways. The investment in the improvement of the amateur game needs to soak up this third tier and should be funded accordingly.”



  1. dean elliott

    July 13, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    another idiot involved in the game bet he supports one of the big five ,how can you expand the game by getting shut of clubs wales has failed london failed

  2. richard huddart

    July 13, 2021 at 3:29 pm

    not a mention about Cumbria how many top grade players have came out of Cumbria. think about the sport not the money

  3. Alan Malone

    July 14, 2021 at 3:02 am

    What a load of BOLLOCKS. The teams playing now are keeping the game going and if no promotion and relegation what be the point. If wanting new teams in top league make sure the budget is good and if a team is good enough they earn the top league position not handed on a plate

    • Todney Roberts

      July 16, 2021 at 3:14 am

      Bring some suggestions to the table…..

  4. Suchy77

    July 14, 2021 at 11:10 am

    What an idiotic idea getting rid of clubs already established. The problem with rugby league at the moment is its currently run by idiots who are so far out of touch with what the supporters want its laughable! A bit like your plan really!

  5. Tony Bolton

    July 14, 2021 at 1:19 pm

    Before we sort out the world game, why dont we in the UK sort our own problems first, amalgamate the amateur clubs, championship clubs and super league under one governing body to remove any negativity I’m all for debate but let us become the British Rugby League (BRL) we could still have area and county games to encourage the next generation of budding stars for the future to participate in their search to become a professional sportsman

  6. david verity

    July 15, 2021 at 3:44 pm

    We missed a trick in name Super League. Should have been Super Rugby give indication we weren’t netball,cricket et al. Every sport coming up with SL in their title.
    How can two clubs from Hull one of which is in the process of purchasing the ground an surrounding land and already made great strides be denied because of their geographic location.We had this with licensing several years ago.Parameters were set but not upheld.That might be a good starting point again

  7. Brian lawless

    July 15, 2021 at 6:11 pm

    Sack richardsoon hes ideas are rubbish

    • Todney Roberts

      July 16, 2021 at 3:15 am

      ^^^^clueless muffoon

  8. Todney Roberts

    July 16, 2021 at 3:13 am

    BRITISH game not ‘English’!
    Salford or a Manchester club must be included!

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