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Super League clubs planning ‘major revolt’ against IMG over ‘lack of effort’, claims ex-commentator

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The 2024 season was advertised at year zero for Super League, as the competition looked to grow its presence once again. Rugby League in the UK had appeared to be withering on the vine for a number of years, as in-person attendance, viewing figures and the revenues from the once lucrative TV deal with Sky all continued to shrink. 

The clubs, therefore, voted through a series of reforms, through their partnership with IMG, to usher in the most significant restructuring of the game in a decade. The reforms would see clubs assessed versus a number of criteria beyond results on the field to determine which league they would play in.

Whilst controversial with some clubs lower in the pyramid, such as the Keighley Cougars, the reforms were eventually passed by a club vote, with 32 clubs voting for the proposal and seven opposing.

The 2025 season will see the new structure come into place in earnest, with the London Broncos likely to be relegated from Super League, regardless of their league position.

Now, a former commentator has revealed that Super League clubs are planning a revolt against IMG for their handling of the game.

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Super League clubs in revolt over lack of effort

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Credit: Imago Images

Speaking on the Eddie and Stevo podcast, former Sky Sports pundit, Mike Stephenson revealed that there are several Super League clubs who are not happy with the way that IMG are handling the game currently.

According to Stephenson, the director responsible for the relationship with Rugby League is also committed to a number of other sports. For Stephenson, this is unacceptable. He belives the sport deserves someone who is dedicated full-time. He believes that several clubs share his belief:

“Now, I know that this week the clubs are getting together because there’s a little bit of rumours suggesting they’re not happy with the way that the future is being structured by IMG.” Stephenson said.

“I want to know what the future is going to be like. I want to know what are they doing now? I mean there’s rumours about that whoever’s in charge of the rugby league section at IMG is also head of two more different sports.

“So that means that as far as I’m concerned, I don’t know whether it’s true, but the word is out that he only gives about 15-20% of his time to doing the contract. And I’m thinking, Hang on, our game needs someone that’s giving 100%.

“Now, if someone out there can tell me that I’m wrong, I’ll accept it, but we don’t hear anything.”

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Jaybs

    June 23, 2024 at 10:46 am

    With IMG we have No Future, they do not have a Clue, about rugby league and it shows! a poor contract with Sky Sports, no idea about how important a London Club is to the game? And we are PAYING THEM?

    Time for IMG to GO NOW! Before they destroy our sport completely!

    When will Super League & The RFL wake up? IMG are making Rugby League look a complete JOKE!

  2. Tony Salisbury

    June 23, 2024 at 12:22 pm

    Given IMG take control of rugby league in 2025, has anybody seen the so called 5 year business plan and the fall back plan if it fails. Basic business overview
    There needs to be a place for the genuine rugby league supporters to voice the opinions and ideas going forward.
    In particular the magic weekend fixture, or is the Elland Road fixture the final selection for IMG to kick it out.
    Has anybody seen the financial cost of IMG for them to run this rugby future plan

  3. Andy D

    June 26, 2024 at 1:37 pm

    It’s a sport, so success or lack of it should determine your position, London were relegated before the kick off. Other clubs took advantage to field pathetic squads to save money, look how many fans have deserted Hull FC because of the lack of quality there.
    Put the rugby first, stop pandering to the club owners and self interest.

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