League One club face race against time to secure survival

The goal of every club is to join the likes of Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves, St Helens and co in the Betfred Super League – the top table of European rugby league.

However, the route to the top table is now radically different to years previously for one major reason: IMG.

They have introduced a grading system which will determine who will take on the Super League spots moving forward with Grade A clubs like Leeds, Wigan, Warrington, St Helens, Hull FC, Hull KR and Catalans Dragons guaranteed a spot in Super League.

However, the way to Super League could still be changed with doubts over the structure of the Championship in 2024 and moving forward. This is because of the situation regarding League One.

This is because London Skolars withdrew from the league and were followed by Newcastle Thunder who made the decision due to financial issues. There has been a suggestion that this could see the Championship and League One combined and then split into a East and West conference.

Last week, Serious About Rugby League exclusively revealed that a decision was likely to be made in the next seven days. There should be more clarity on the 2024 structure by end of this week or at the latest early next week.

In terms of what to expect, it is likely the existing 14 team Championship will remain and hopefully we will see a 9-team League One. There is also set to be help for League One clubs with regards to playing more high profile games against appealing opposition with League One clubs set to participate in a new look 1895 Cup which would then be an opportunity to secure additional home games for League One clubs.

A lot of this depends on the situation with Newcastle. They are working hard to maintain their existence in the sport. If they can ensure they can participate in League One in 2024, then we will get a 9-team League One next year.

This means they are facing a race against time because if they cannot secure their future soon, they will miss out on League One in 2024 and would leave League One in massive doubt.