Leigh Centurions owner Derek Beaumont wants dramatic changes to Super League structure

Leigh Centurions owner Derek Beaumont is one of the most outspoken in rugby league.

An incredibly hard worker, a brilliant charity fundraiser and a successful businessman, Beaumont has built himself and his business up from nothing and he is now reaping the rewards.

In terms of rugby league, the Mancunian is desperate to see his beloved Leigh reach the highest echelon of the sport – Super League – and has bankrolled the Centurions to do just that.

Beaumont has already overseen an 1895 Cup win – named after his company, AB Sundecks – with Leigh sitting pretty at the top of the Championship.

But, Beaumont wants to see the whole structure of the sport altered to make the disparity between the first and second tiers a lot smaller and help bridge the financial gap.

“I was a firm believer of getting to two full time professional leagues of ten teams,” Beaumont told the Dockhouse Rugby Show.

“I’ve got into Super league by three routes; I’ve got in there through the conventional route of getting into Super League through the Grand Final.

“I’ve done it in the middle 8s, it was a competitive format because we were asked to play Super League teams before we got promoted.

“However that middle 8s meant four teams were struggling with recruitment as they didn’t know if players would come because of the risk so every format has its pros and cons.”

Leigh, of course, reached the top flight when Toronto Wolfpack withdrew, too, but Beaumont believes that bringing the top two leagues closer together will be beneficial.

“When you get relegated you get a parachute payment which creates an unfair disparity as you’re effectively a Super League side beating everyone in the Championship.

“You’re left then thinking do we have a competition with promotion and relegation? If we have a Super League 1 where we have a £1.5 million cap and a Super League 2 where we have a one million pound cap the cliff face isn’t that big.

“There’s maybe a £250k difference in the parachute payment as it softens the blow and you don’t have to get rid of contracts either. Then you have promotion and relegation.

“Then there would be a third division which would be part-time and a parachute payment there.”

“I don’t think we can go towards two tens now but we need to work towards that. It would be better to go to 14.”

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