Rugby league is at something of a crossroads in 2022.
In the past few years, the sport has been in a decline – whether that is self-inflicted or down to environmental problems such as Covid-19 remains to be seen – but what is sure is that something needs to change.
And, that’s exactly what entertainment company IMG will do, with the date being revealed when clubs will see the system in all its glory.
“There’s a date, Monday 12 September. That’s the date IMG, RFL and Super League are working towards,” The Game Caller on The Full Eighty Minutes podcast said.
“That’s the date that clubs will be given the blueprint as to how rugby league will look like over the next 12 yers.
“It’s a 12 year-partnership with the RFL and Super League. Ralph Rimmer rightly or wrongly he has given full control to IMG and that the RFL will not stand in the way of what IMG proposes.
“Some might say that is an admission of failure from the RFL, but when you look at IMG’s experience, rock bottom would be not getting a sky deal and going back to part-time.
“Clubs are going to have to accept the deal that IMG come with on 12 September.
“I’m hearing that it might not be as drastic as first thought and it’s going to be a gradual transition to licensing.”
There has been murmurings over the past week or so that some clubs will be cut adrift as IMG looks to tinker with the professional game with the potential for two Super League divisions of ten or 12 teams mooted.
However, it appears as though it is not going to be as radical that – yet, anyway – but what is clear is that the sport is heading for a new era of licensing, almost ten years after it was scrapped.