Is it time for 14 teams in Super League?

Well not long now until survival day on Friday the 13th, but should any of our clubs be facing the horror of relegation?

It was always said that Super League went back from 14 to 12 clubs as the player pool is just too small to accommodate that many clubs. But surely now with clubs literally spread across the North Atlantic it’s time to think again?

More importantly we need to save London from being relegated. I don’t want to see any of the sides involved on Friday get relegated as they all add something to our great game. It wasn’t the same without the Hull derby when Rovers were relegated a few seasons ago, but we also need a team in the capital. We get more national media coverage when there is a team in London and it does make our comp look more nationwide instead of just the M62 corridor.

For me, this should have been announced a long time ago! I do get the argument that had Leeds finished bottom they would have to have gone for the sake of integrity. Even that’s not something I agree with though, I would have kept them up too, but I take the point. Another stumbling block to extending the league again is that clubs would have to divvy TV cash between 14 teams instead of 12, but that’s for them to work out – surely two extra teams would add value anyway?

Another added benefit would be the scrapping of the unpopular loop fixtures , 14 teams each play twice then magic ( well that’s an argument for another day ) .

It’s been great having the Broncos back this year and if Danny Ward manages to keep them up, surely it matches Ian Watson’s achievement at Salford? It really doesn’t seem right to send them packing after 12 months. It’s hard for the promoted side planning not knowing what league they will be in next year and there’s no doubt they need a new ground. Having the stability of knowing where they will be for the next few years will give them that opportunity to build, and any other side at the foot of the table for that matter.

I would scrap relegation for the next two years and promote the Championship Grand Final winners, but I can’t see a Super League with an odd number of sides working. With this it may be best to promote two this year and if that includes Toronto and Toulouse, maybe even look to 16 teams in 2021. Sounds a lot but that would still only be 12 clubs from the rugby league heartlands. A 16 team league is possible , it would though probably mean clubs not playing everyone twice , as I think 31 games would be too many .

Let’s give all clubs from next year at least three years stability and see where it gets us, and if they’re not viable by then we can look again. This gives all the clubs in the Championship a chance. I’m an advocate of licensing but this seems a good compromise. With expansion we can accommodate this many teams surely?

Toronto look like they may just make it to Super League this year, and if they don’t there’s a chance it could be Toulouse instead, though I’m sure York, Leigh and Featherstone may have something to say about that, so the net is widening. We need London though above all others. I wouldn’t wish relegation on any of the sides on Friday, and whoever finishes bottom (I think it will be who loses at Belle Vue) let’s give them a get out of jail free card.

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