So what are peoples hopes and expectations surrounding the licenses and lack of promotion/relegation? Is the ultimate aim to have 14 teams capable of winning the league within a 3 year timescale? Will we eventually end up with a situation like in Australia where its pretty much a closed shop where teams may get in but only if they prove to be a viable and exceptional club but no clubs will ever be replaced unless they go bust? To be honest im split on this. On one hand it might not be too bad a situation for clubs outside the top league to know they have no reason to overspend trying to get promotion, a know your place sort of situation. But to remove and chance of progression could be massively negative.
It is easy to sympathise with the thoughts, moans and groans of rugby League fans as regards licensing/franchising. There is always a decent point in the opinions that are made.
But too many facts are ignored. The first fact we have to face is that since the free gangway came about in 1996 RL has to try to expand - it does not have the option to stay still because no business or sport can stand still.
The second fact is that the difference between the games biggest club and a club seven or eight places down SL is very big indeed.The difference between a club another seven or eight places down the pecking order i.e. into NL1 is also very big indeed.
The third fact is we are competing with RU and soccer and have to set standards largely above what most of our clubs can manage.
There are very hard decisions to be made about the game and they conflict badly with keeping a sense of fairness towards many of those clubs who have being THE GAME for over 100 years.
Licensing is first and foremost in place to stop expansion clubs being relegated - that was exactly it's purpose when London was effectively franchised, followed by Catalans.
In short Rugby League can't afford the strength of the small town M62 clubs destroying the fledgling big clubs of the future.
Hence the unfairness and nastiness that results.