All views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the site.
As a spokesman for 1eagu3 Jamie Peacock has come out in the press and said that Super League would be better if we reduced the competition from 14 to 10 teams. This is a quite radical idea and is unlikely to happen in the near future. In my opinion the only way this would be feasible was if teams played each other 3 times instead of twice and we reverted back to a 5 team play off. This proposal has many positives but does have some negatives as well.
The positives are:
It would increase the intensity of SL as teams would be playing the best sides more regularly.
There would be less one sided results and hopefully more games like the Leeds v Warrington game in the play offs.
As a result of this it should benefit the National team as players will become more used to playing at a higher standard every week.
Average attendances would increase because of this. They could even overtake our Union counterparts (only at club level obviously), that would be a major positive for the game.
Due to higher attendances SL could warrant bigger sponsorship deals and attract offers from blue chip companies.
Clubs would bring in more money as a result of increased attendances leading to the possibility of increasing the salary cap, in an effort to keep the likes of Sam Tomkins,Ryan Hall and Johnny Lomax and not see them move to rugby union.
It would create a stronger and more intense second tier as 4 current SL teams would drop down a division.
Less sub standard players playing regualrly in SL. (I'm sure Ian Kirke will still somehow get a game).
Promotion and relegation would be restored as there would be at least 4 clubs in the 2nd second tier who have passed the SL criteria.
Every team would have something to play for. The top 7 clubs would be targeting play off positions and the bottom 3 clubs would be fighting relegation.
There will be more matches like the Castleford v Wakefield game of a few years ago when the winners stayed in SL and losers got relegated to the Championship. |
The negatives are:
Less players playing top level Rugby League
Teams could end up playing each other too often.
There would be a big drop in income for the 4 teams relegated from SL.
There is a chance teams such as London and Salford could go out of business if they drop out of Super League.
Teams could place too much emphasis on immediate success and not enough on youth development. However regulations could be put in place to stop this from happening such as you must have a minimum of 4 academy trained players in a matchday 17, or something along those lines.
Some historic rivalries could be lost if one of the 2 teams gets relegated. Cas v Wakey, Warrington v Widnes maybe even Leeds v Bradford..
This system may not be perfect but I believe something has to be done to achieve the positives I have predicted from this proposal. Ideally Super League would have 16 teams all of a decent standard all with realistic ambitions of the play offs and 6 teams with realistic ambitions of winning the League Leaders. This is would be ideal, however I believe we may have to take 1 step back before going 4 steps forward.
Over time the number of clubs in the league could be increased by possibly relegating 1 team but promoting 2. This would only be done if it was realistic that the 2 promoted teams were of suitable standard.
The top 2 Leagues could be something like this:
|Super League||Super League 2 / Championship|
|St Helens||London Broncos|
I seriously think that the average attendance in SL could be up around 14k, which would be incredible considering its below 10k now. Especially if you consider the fact that Wigan could play Warrington and St Helens at home twice, thats 4 games each getting over 20k. Attendances at clubs such as Salford, London, Wakefield and Widnes would fall but the other 6 teams in SL2 would attendances increase.
I hope this raises a healthy debate and as it is my first column not ridiculed and laughed at.