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How the biggest Super League clubs have been disadvantaged by IMG amendments

The amendments to IMG’s grading criteria were confirmed yesterday.

The main focus was community and a reduction in finances.

However, a small amendment was also made to the fandom pillar which was explained yesterday:

“A very small amendment is around the Fandom pillar and specifically looking at the score for digital fandom at 1.5 points.  The previous weighting was social following at 0.3, website visits and 0.6 and engagement at 0.6.

“However again through the consultation process, in particular with the Rugby League Commercial board members, we have decided to re-weight those three categories.

“Social following will now be 0.2, previously 0.3. Website visits will be o.5, previously 0.6 and total engagement will be 0.8 so a benefit of 0.2 there. The overall score is still 1.5 points for digital.”

But why has this been done?

It has been done to create a level playing field between the lower leagues and the biggest clubs.

RFL CEO Tony Sutton said:

“The digital amendment is done with this in mind. We’ve increased engagement over followers so that takes out how big a club you are, but talks about how good you are at engaging with your digital community and how you can bring people in through the activity that you do digitally.

“The thresholds that exist allow Championship and League One clubs to excel at digital and not be hampered by what we’d assume is a smaller audience than perhaps a Leeds or a St Helens.”

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