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.”