It has been an interesting week in the world of rugby league, particularly in the UK with IMG proposing their recommendations for the reimagining of the sport in the years to come.
The most talked about part of their proposed changes was a new grading system, which would see promotion and relegation scrapped in favour of positioning clubs in relevant divisions based on gradings.
Much similar to the infamous licensing system Super League once adopted, the grading system will factor in matters both on and off the field, with club’s having to have an A grade to be in the top-flight.
This has resulted in much talk around many clubs currently in Super League, with more than half of the 12-team league currently falling short of that required grading due to poor facilities, attendances or academies.
Eyes are now on the teams below Super League and who could potentially step up, with rugby league agent Craig Harrison of Show Me The Money UK backing James Ford’s York City Knights as the frontrunners.
Speaking on the SMTMUK podcast, he said: “You look at York historically now, me and Fordy (James Ford) were talking, and I said to him that you’re in a good position here James.
“He questioned me, and I said to him that you have ticked every box (of the grading system), you’ve also got a top five Championship squad, probably a top four squad historically over the last three years.
“I told him you don’t lose many players, but you just keep adding a little more quality on each year. So, when you say who are the favourites to win that league next year? You would put York in the top three favourites.
“York, near enough, are the favourites in every area to get to Super League, both on the field and off the field.”
The Knights were bought at the start of this season by Clint Goodchild, who purchased the North Yorkshire club from previous long-serving owner Jon Flatman.
And Harrison continued stating that Goodchild may have pulled off a masterstroke if York do get granted Super League status under the new system.
He added: “When Clint bought the club for reputedly, a figure, well he’s probably been the clever one. If York get Super League then he’s got the club for cheaper than the price [it’s going to be worth].“