Derek Beaumont has revealed details of the plan to make Super League a 14-team league following the 2020 season, and how the U-turn on his proposal fuelled his drive to take Leigh back to the top table, and has now landed his Leigh Leopards side third in the table with a Wembley cup final on the horizon.
Speaking on the Super League YouTube Channel, Beaumont first explained his thoughts on the 2020 season as a whole, following his sides promotion via a bidding process.
“I didn’t think it was a bonefide season from which to promote and relegate,” he said.
“But I didn’t want to see Featherstone Rovers or Toulouse told they couldn’t come up. So it set us back and the irony was what really fuelled me and more so than any of the other things I’ve spoken to you about about being knocked down.
“I wasn’t going to be part of not promoting someone to save my own skin because that wasn’t right. So we came up with a proposal to change to 14 teams, which a lot of people think it should be.”
He went onto detail how he and others in a committee proposed a 14-team league, which was first accepted by some clubs before they eventually pulled the rug from under him.
He explained :”It costs every other club in Super League £35,000 with the other monies we have that gets put up, so if we go along those lines we can have a 14 team Super League.
“We all agreed that that was what we should put forward to the board. In between that these other clubs got a win or two and we didn’t and then when it got put to the vote they voted against their own proposal, and that made me see red.
“I stormed out of this particular room that we’re in from that table. I said, that’s me finished, ” he later explained. “Rest assured, rest assured, I will be back in 2023, 1 million percent with a team that sees one of you go at my expense. And when you want to go to 14, my answer will be no sees one of you go at my expense. And when you want to go to 14, my answer will be no.”
This turn of events has fuelled Derek’s drive to take Leigh to the top of Super League, and it has paid off for him as the Leopards sit firmly in the playoff places and have booked themselves a day out at Wembley as they will play in the Challenge Cup Final.