Just two years ago, London Broncos were a Super League side. They battled hard in the 2019 campaign and proved to be one of the very best promoted sides in Super League history.
By the end of the season, they were just 80 minutes away from survival as they journeyed to Wakefield for a do or die clash against Trinity. Unfortunately, it wasn’t their night and after a five way battle for survival and a season in which they beat eventual Champions St Helens twice, they were relegated much to the disappointment of many expansionists and today’s news will disappoint them even more.
Today the Broncos announced on their website that in 2022 their squad will become part time after a difficult campaign this season. They stated that the reason for this decision was the fact they’ve slipped behind a number of already part time clubs in the Championship as well as the fact their poor performances will result in a reduced central distribution next term.
In their official statement they said: “Following what has been a very disappointing season for the Club and its supporters in 2021 which has seen the Broncos fall way behind the pace set by other teams in the Betfred Championship, including several Part Time sides, it has been decided that in 2022 we will adjust our squad to that of a Part Time team as part of an overhaul of the First Team Squad.
“Financially, the club will be receiving a vastly reduced central distribution in 2022 and we have had to make changes to offset this reduction which has led to the decision that has been taken by the club.”
It’s not all doom and gloom in the capital however. The club have stated that as they overhaul the first team squad, they’ll be putting more money into the club’s academy and scholarship system as they look to restructure prior to their move to Plough Lane next season: “The London Broncos will increase the level of financial input into our highly successful Academy and Scholarship programme as well as work with the Community game in London and the South East to continue to develop professional Rugby League players as we take the opportunity to restructure the club ahead of our planned move to Plough Lane in 2022.”
Nonetheless, it’s disappointing to see a team who were once firmly associated with the top tier just 10 years ago now resigned to being a part time club. Moreover, it further damages any hope the sport has of expanding into the south of the country any time soon.
That said, if they can enhance their academy once more and produce players like Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook once again, then maybe soon the Broncos will be stronger than ever.