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Super League club being hurt by controversial IMG decision

London Broncos are back in Super League among the likes of Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves in 2024 but it is expected that their stay won’t be long.

Not only because they are expected to finish bottom but because of their IMG score which saw them awarded the worst Grade B score out of the 17 Grade B clubs and finish 24th in total out of all 35 clubs in the rankings.

However, it is believed that their IMG score has been held back by a somewhat unfair valuing of their catchment area. The Broncos were only given a score to reflect the Wimbledon area which is where their games are played but there are a vast majority of fans situated elsewhere in London.

This is holding back their score and could make a difference to their future hopes of being in Super League and repeating the amazing moment of their promotion in France against Toulouse Olympique.

It is now forty four years since the first Fulham R.L game against Wigan at Craven Cottage. London Broncos began the 2024 season back in Super League, probably one of the most unexpected promotions in the modern era as most clubs that have won promotion have had far bigger budgets and been expected to get promoted.

They started the season with four defeats in the first five games but ended it almost unbeatable losing only one game in the closing weeks. The Broncos took their time to get into the top six, a win against Toulouse at Ebbsfleet in July being the moment when the target looked likely and from then on, momentum built and belief grew.

The club’s history since 1980 has been one of peaks and troughs. Name changes, regular nomadic ground moves around London, near liquidation and constant doubts that the game can really ever establish itself in the capital, yet they are now unexpectedly back in Super League.

A part-time set up, unlike the last promoted side that won the million pound game in 2018, with no players born in the northern heartlands and a squad mixing academy produced Broncos, players from the south east and experienced southern hemisphere journeymen, the Broncos clicked into gear after an iffy start to the season and became the Betfred Championship’s form team. Marketing Championship rugby league is a lot harder than Super League and with every game next season being televised on Sky it means the media profile will be much bigger.

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