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“It needs answering” – Wigan Warriors CEO poses huge question over Super League rivals

Wigan Warriors Chief Executive Officer Kris Radlinski has posed the question of why there has not been greater planning to ensure the success of London Broncos in Super League, something he believes could and should be happening to the levels of fellow none-heartlands side Catalans Dragons.

Catalans Dragons have been one of the great “success stories” in Super League in terms of expansion according to both Eddie Hemmings and Kris Radlinski, something that the pair discussed this week on Hemmings’ podcast The Eddie and Stevo Podcast.

The French side have won a Challenge Cup and made it to the Grand Final on two occasions, beaten by St Helens in 2021 and Radlinski’s Wigan Warriors in 2023. They’ve established themselves as one of Super League’s elite teams and that’s in part due to the support the club were offered upon entering the competition.

It’s now approaching almost 20 years since the club entered Super League but one team that has been around for just as long but failed to succeed in the same way is London Broncos. The club have had various names but in its current guise as London Broncos, they’ve failed to sustain a place in Super League for consecutive years since the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

Radlinski has now discussed the lack of planning to support the Broncos on The Eddie and Stevo Podcast.

QUIZ: Can you name the runners-up from every Super League Grand Final?

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Should London Broncos be protected in Super League?

London Broncos Super League

Credit: Imago Images

One of the major reasons for Catalans’ ultimate success was the fact that the French side was protected in their first three years of Super League, meaning that they couldn’t be relegated and have the project undone before it even started. Eddie Hemmings referenced this on his podcast, something that led to Radlinski questioning why London hasn’t been afforded a similar status.

Hemmings said: “If you remember Catalans Dragons when they came in they had a three-year moratorium. They finished bottom of the table, they weren’t going anywhere and they were allowed to build and look where they are now. One of the great success stories of the Super League.”

On that note, Radlinski responded: “Absolutely. He’s invested so much money, Bernard, and is still packing the stadium out and teams from over here are still taking loads of fans over there. So he’s been a real success story.

“But it doesn’t appear to have been thought through from the London point of view, which is surprising when you look at it as a key priority. France was another one, the women’s game was another one, London, they were the three. Why greater emphasis has not been put on what we do with London is it needs answering, to be honest.”

With IMG grading determining the composition of Super League in 2025, it seems almost certain that London Broncos will be relegated with the club ranked 24th in the preliminary grades when they were announced last year.

Radlinski had earlier argued that Rugby League in London must be protected and highlighted the club’s impending relegation for off-field reasons as a bad message for the game.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. William friar

    June 29, 2024 at 11:35 am

    The reason why they are doomed is because they are not wanted by the new regime coming to the rugby league next year. an average French championship side is being brought in even if they win nothing and another championship side also. which means unless the super league expands another super league side will be dumped also.alegedly with Hull and Castleford being told they are certain of a place next year I wonder who it will be.

  2. John

    June 30, 2024 at 7:26 pm

    They are going back to the championship because they are not good enough and would not be good enough even give a three year moratorium. The reason for that is the finances and infrastructure are just not there for them to build a team which could hold it’s own in the SL.
    That’s what IMG is all about.
    Let’s not create another PSG or Toronto. Back to the championship, get the finances right and the planning and infrastructure, then it’s time to look whether IMG admits them and if not, maybe we need to look again at some of the criteria.
    Don’t forget also, in those three years moratorium for Catalan Dragons, other teams who did not finish bottom were relegated. Nobody worried too much about them recovering from the drop to get back up.

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