Derek Beaumont reveals promotion system he thought was “better” as he has say on IMG’s approach

IMG are set to re-imagine rugby league and end the conventional use of promotion and relegation.

One man who has experienced just about every different form of promotion to Super League is Derek Beaumont.

The Leigh Leopards owner had his say on the return to licencing revealing that he enjoyed the controversial Middle Eights format that got Leigh promoted in 2016.

He said on Talksport: “I’m probably one of the best people to ask about this because I’ve experienced coming up to a Grand Final from a Championship standard in 2016, through the middle 8’s system. And that was actually a better system because you had to actually beat a Super League team and finish above them in a mini-table, which we did.

“We didn’t finish bottom in Super League so we proved it worked but we still got relegated through the playoffs and then in 2020 we got in through the infamous Super League bid, when Toronto came out of the competition.”

He also spoke about the difficulties of signing players when you’re pushing for promotion before settling on being in favour of IMG’s new structure:

“I’ve been there, you’re froze and cast in ice. You can’t recruit because you don’t know when you’re going to get relegated or if you’re going to get promoted. And you can never come up and stay up, that’s why nobody has ever done it.

“I put my neck on the block in May when everyone was recruiting and that’s when I said we were going to make it. This time we’ve got a very good chance.

“In terms of stability, and growing the game and getting better facilities, it’s the right way to be. Make everybody drive the standards to be a Class A club and if we’ve got 20 of them, we’ve got 20 teams in Super League. If we’ve only got 12 then we’ve only got 12.”

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