Eamonn McManus backs IMG proposal and thinks the game should “buy into this”

As Chairman for one of the most successful clubs in British rugby league, Eamonn McManus has a good understanding on how to run a club.

With St Helens continuously getting it right on and off the pitch, with a new stadium owned by the club and an outstanding academy.

McManus has helped build Saints into a sustainable club who under IMGs recent proposals, will definitely be one of the clubs who are handed an “A” license.

He is a firm believer that the recent proposals are for the betterment of the competition and believes the concept of promotion and relegation ultimately doesn’t work in our sport.

Speaking on BBC’s The Sports Desk, McManus explained his reasoning for being supportive of IMG’s proposals.

“In Rugby League in the last 8 years, 7 of the 8 teams who got promoted have been immediately relegated and when they are relegated they are not just back where they started, they’re ruined,” McManus explained. “The downside of promotion and relegation in rugby league and that does illustrate our commercial weakness, it doesn’t work.

“What IMG have independently come up with, the game will buy into this.

“It’s not a closed shop, there will be a limited number of clubs who will have the first tier license. Its gives the ability to those in the second tier to attain to aspire to it, which means long term investment, the improvement of infrastructure and their academy system.

“Once we have 12 A licenses, it’s still open because we can go to 14 or 16. It’s a gradual and long term process and it’s a very good compromise for our sport as to where we stand in this point in time.”

He also believes supporters of all clubs should be backing the proposal as it encourages their clubs to invest more.

“I don’t see how anyone can be against it because no one is worse off as a result of it.

“If in some point in the future you invest you will be protected from relegation and if you don’t you are subject to it.

“There is only upside for fans in this, what fans want to see across our sport is long term investment in their clubs. An improvement in quality both of the clubs, the management, the infrastructure and a like improvement in the sport itself.

“These propositions and recommendations go a long way to achieving that.”

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