The big push back against IMG’s proposal has of course been about the end of traditional promotion and relegation.
This is one of the reasons why Keighley Cougars have been so openly against the proposals.
Also, the performance criteria has been heavily criticised given that clubs are ranked on where they finish out of the 36 clubs so clubs in the Championship would always be below Super League.
However, speaking today after the amendments of the criteria have been shared, RFL CEO Tony Sutton has explained how Championship clubs can still earn their place in Super League revealing why the argument that Super League would become a closed shop is false:
“The basic principle of the grading criteria is that the top 12 highest ranked clubs play in the top division. We’ve been really clear that the ability to play into the top division is based on all of those grading criteria.
“A deeper point here in terms of the breadth of work carried out by IMG is to ensure that there should be no intent for an over degree of churn, in terms off too many clubs being promoted or relegated under this model.
“Equally and very importantly there is the ability for clubs that wish to become a high B grade club and progress to be an A grade club absolutely can play in the top division under this model.
“The performance pillar and the ability to achieve ranking points through league position, when added to with the bonus that would come from winning the Championship or the 1895 Cup. If you look at the mechanic of that it’s embedded in the model that those clubs would achieve more highly than clubs at the bottom of Super League in that pillar.
“There are areas in this model where Championship clubs can absolutely score more highly than Super League clubs and that’s how the model can generate movement between divisions. The aim overall if course is raising standards and the growth of the number of A grade clubs.