Super League’s proposal to end the season in November is the most supported by clubs, TotalRL understands.
Three alternative options with three different end dates have been tabled to clubs, with an August return pencilled in throughout the plans.
The first one, which would see the campaign end on Saturday, November 28th, is believed to be the most popular, ahead of the proposals to finish the season on December 12th and January 16th 2021.
However, the support is not unanimous, with some clubs in preference of the second and third options.
The January end date has been backed by Leeds chief Gary Hetherington but is thought to be the least popular, with many believing it has too great an impact on the following season. The 2021 World Cup starts on Friday, October 23rd while the Super League Grand Final normally takes place on the second Saturday of October.
A January finale would force the 2021 campaign to be pushed back and put pressure on organisers to get the competition finished in time for the World Cup, while also leaving players participating in the Autumn competition facing a gruelling schedule throughout 2021 and 2022.
Ending the season in November avoids the challenge of negotiating new deals with players who are off-contract at the end of the season. Contracts expire on November 30th.
However, a November climax would result in Super League ending as a 22-round competition, compared to 24 or 28 games in the other proposals. An earlier end date also reduces the chances of welcoming fans into stadiums before the end of the season.
Discussions are set to continue with a final decision set to be made this month.