Championship and League 1 clubs insist they are prepared to fight for themselves against their Super League counterparts after they revealed their future plans for the sport.
A number of clubs have hit out at Super League after they revealed their wish for the Super 8s concept to be dumped and replaced by a more conventional one up, one down league structure.
All parties have not confirmed that the new league structure has yet to be finalised, but clubs in the lower leagues have been left angered by the actions of their top-flight counterparts, with some claiming it was an attempt to bully them into giving into their needs.
In the latest instalment of the back and forth counterarguments from both sides, the Championship and League 1’s advisory group have offered their stance on the matter, claiming they have yet to receive revised proposals that were promised from SUper League, after their initial proposal for the structure, which featured £1 million of funding being cut to the lower leagues, was rejected.
“The position of the Advisory Group has consistently been one whereby the best interests of rugby league must rank ahead of the needs of a few wealthy club owners,” the statement read.
“And that importantly a competition structure and format, with associated funding is in place until the end of 2021, and that any changes prior to 2021 would require the agreement of the Championship and League 1 Clubs, in consultation with the RFL and its broadcast partners. Otherwise no changes could be contemplated or sanctioned to the competition or funding structure prior to the expiry of the existing agreements which run until the end of 2021.”
It continued: “Championship and League 1 Clubs will continue to engage in respectful and appropriate discussion about the future of our sport, in accordance with the RFL constitution, which all UK clubs are bound by.
“Decisions about the leagues competition structure, which have profound implications for all clubs and all divisions are whole of game issues and require dialogue and consultation, with if necessary votes at the games supreme chamber, The RFL Council when all RFL members can express their view. It is not for a private company or a newly appointed executive who has not sought the views of the sport to simply state what the future structure and funding arrangements of the sport will be.
“Championship and League 1 clubs regret very much the current tactics and behaviour of some fellow RFL members which we believe is immensely damaging and undermining to all stakeholders, and puts at risk valuable assets and broadcast contracts both now and in the future.”