Decision week for the Championship

Super League could be set to provide Championship clubs with a windfall to incentivise the prospect of any revived domestic season in the lower-leagues should promotion and relegation, as expected, be cancelled in 2020.

Top-flight clubs are expecting confirmation this week that relegation will be completely off the table this year, owing to the plethora of circumstances clubs are facing up to as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Super League officials have been negotiating with RFL supremos Ralph Rimmer and Simon Johnson over a cash payment that could effectively act as prize money for the lower-league clubs.

It is still far from certain that Championship and League 1 will restart at any point this year, but if the Championship were to do so, then a six-figure sum would be provided by Super League to act as prize money for the second-tier, effectively giving them something to play for.

However, some lower-league chief executives have dismissed the notion of a cash payment acting as any sort of serious replacement for promotion to Super League, where the financial rewards are far more significant and worthwhile.

One called it “laughable” that there was serious talk of agreeing to remove relegation and instead have a figure in the region of £150,000 up for grabs – with it even being discussed at one stage whether that money should instead be shared among the clubs rather than acting as prize money.

But it now looks as though the priority will be for the money to be a reward for the Championship winners if the domestic season does restart at any stage this summer. That, however, looks far from certain at present. However, Super League clubs are likely to get their wish this week and have relegation removed from this season’s equation.

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