Former Sky Sports commentator stands against IMG proposals likening them to European Super League debacle in football

This week the RFL gave IMG’s recommendations for the “reimagining of rugby league” glowing support.

37 of the 42 member clubs voted in favour of the recommendations which will see more focus on international rugby, a simplified calendar and the big one: the end of traditional relegation from Super League.

This is because clubs will be given a licence as either a Category A, B or C club with Category A clubs secure in Super League for as long as they hold that status much like NRL clubs presently are.

The rest of the league will be taken by Category B clubs who could very well lose their Super League status.

It is this which has prompted former Sky Sports commentator Rod Studd to speak out against it comparing the recommendations to the closed shop that was the European Super League proposed in football including the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool FC.

His comments come as he supported Keighley Cougars who were the only team to out right vote against the recommendations this week branding them as “unfair” and “anti-competitive” and supported by their local MP in doing so.

Studd backed the Cougars and believed the recommendations were no different from the European Super League in football which was designed to protect big clubs: “Keighley are quite right. IMG have taken the blueprint for the European super league football + applied it to rugby league. The same people who thought the former was a disgrace seem to think this is genius.”

There has been an argument brewing against such claims however. This is because the same safety would be afforded clubs who develop into Category A clubs.

So, should Keighley grow off the field as these recommendations will chase, it will enable them to achieve Super League status and maintain it again in a similar system to the NRL.

Thus, Super League would not be a closed shop but a growing league.

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