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London Broncos ‘putting proposal together’ to keep Super League status

London Broncos head coach Mike Eccles

London Broncos head coach Mike Eccles has revealed that his side are ‘putting a proposal together’ in an attempt to keep their Super League status beyond 2024.

While the Broncos have, statistically, the worst attack and defence in Super League this season, they managed their first win of the year against Hull FC at the weekend and have shown that they’re capable of competing in this league.

However, based on IMG’s provisional gradings released late in 2023, London Broncos are placed 24th, while just the top twelve sides at the end of the year in gradings will be able to compete in Super League next season, as it stands.

This put the Broncos in a terrible position: they were essentially relegated before the season, or pre-season, had begun.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ The Verdict, Eccles explained how hard the situation they’ve been put in is.

He said: “It took me a bit off-guard to be honest with you, surrounding the IMG stuff.

“We’ve kept people part-time this year. We know what 2025 will involve, we’re going to be relegated.

“It took the sporting element out of the season for us and the competition, which is disappointing.”

London Broncos found it hard to build a squad

London Broncos celebrate at Plough Lane, Wimbledon

Credit: Imago Images

It’s not easy to sign players when those players know your side won’t be playing at the highest level in a year’s time.

Therefore, the Broncos don’t have well-known Super League names in their side, instead largely having to work with what they already had.

He continued: “We took our time to digest that information and then trying to build a squad with limited time as well, with that knowledge and realisation that we probably can’t go full-time here.

“We had to go for a more hybrid approach just to keep some of our part-time players: A, because they were some of our best players and B, because the 2025 season was so insecure for us.

“Extremely difficult, and something I can’t pick up the phone and ask anybody for advice about because no-one’s ever been through this.”

London Broncos and Catalans Dragons players walk out at Plough Lane in Wimbledon for Super League action.

Credit: Imago Images

Despite it looking a certainty that they’ll be outside the Super League next year, Eccles did provide some hope to Broncos fans.

He revealed: “We’re getting on with it, the club is putting together a proposal of where we think we should go and hopefully give us a bit of an opportunity to stay in the competition.”

What this proposal could entail is unclear.

It could be that they’re asking for protection similar to what Catalans Dragons received when they first joined Super League, which protected them from relegation for three years (despite last-place finishes) and eventually allowed them to become the Super League heavyweights they are today.

Alternatively, it could be an expansion to fourteen teams, where all twelve current Super League teams remain in the competition alongside the two highest-ranked teams outside of it.

It’s all just speculation, but these words from Mike Eccles himself are incredibly interesting.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Jaybs

    May 16, 2024 at 10:16 am

    This is a major mistake by IMG, Catalan had a guarantee when they were promoted to Super League, looking at the way IMG decided the perimeters for London Broncos, is completely baffling, and why Super League never raised this with IMG is a serious error on their part, and still needs to be rectified.

    IF London Broncos are automatically relegated, is their a future in London and the south for RUGBY LEAGUE? Currently, is even stronger than many established Rugby League in the North.

    I have such respect for Mr David Hughes the investment he personally has put into London Broncos for so many years now, the current stadium is first class in Wimbledon, and attendances after such a difficult start to the season, when they had little time to put a squad together, are most encouraging, but IF IMG continue with their most questionable ruling, then perhaps they want a small time M62 corridor sport? can’t believe they are now talking about playing Super League Games in the USA? when they can’t even get Super League right!

  2. Jimmy

    May 16, 2024 at 10:27 pm

    Justin Morgan did the same with KR ,used players that had done to job to get them promoted. They have stay since. London have some players that are not up to it, but nothing a good coach couldn’t improve.

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