It looks inevitable that licensing is to be introduced in to the Championships (or National Leagues 1 & 2 as it seems they are reverting back to those names) and clubs who will play in the Championship (National League 1) will have to have a ground capacity of 3,000 with 500 seats and floodlight capacity of "300 Lux", suitable for showing televised matches. Championship 1 (National League 2) clubs base requuirement is for to provide 200 seats and floodlight at a 200 Lux standard.
Depending on the outcome of the next Sky TV contract at the end of this season, Championship clubs will receive twice as much as Championship 1 clubs but becuase of new clubs that could be introduced in to Championship 1 ( possibly Coventry & Hemel Hempstead) as well as Gateshead, London, etc, all Championship 1 clubs will have their travel expenses paid by the RFL.
There will be no relegation from Championship 1 for an initial 3 years but promotion and relegation from and to the Conference leagues would be considered from the 2015 season. The bottom club in the Championship will be relegated to the Championship 1 and the second bottom Championship club will take part in the Championship 1 play-offs but as the lowest placed team. One proposal for the clubs meeting this week is that Championship 1 clubs who can't fulfil the criteria for Championship will not compete in the play-offs. If, say only 3 clubs in the play off places mneet the criteria then the play-off will be between those 3 teams. The top club in Championship 1 will be promoted automatically if they fit the criteria.
They are looking for a Championship of 12 - 14 teams and a Championship 1 of 10 - 12 teams. The season will start a little later with league matches kicking it off and the NR Cup and possibly a new National League Cup will be incorporated in to the season.
Clubs therefore have 12 months in which to get things in order and it certainly makes the job of our new commercial manager that much more important. Some clubs, Oldham for instance, with a ground capacity of 1,500, will have to go some to get their capacity increased and it will make the planners of Haven's new stadium have a re-think about their 390 seats.
I don't know whether this new system will give clubs the more meaningful fixtures that they need but I think the club should embrace this new set-up and start working on these lines staright away.
Another proposal in the review is an attempt to get neighbouring clubs to merge!!! Any two clubs that merge in to one club then the one new club will receive double money for 3 years. Food for thought , or not???
Edited by Keith T, 31 January 2011 - 03:50 PM.