IMG vice president on why new Super League criteria will be different from licensing

RUGBY LEAGUE is set for a vital period in terms of restructure and where the sport is heading in the future.

After striking up a deal with major entertainment company, IMG, rugby league clubs are set to be assessed on a number of criteria to determine whether or not they will be deemed a Super League side.

IMG’s vice president of sports management, Matt Dwyer, was on hand answering questions from the media yesterday and he explained the differences to the previous rounds of licensing.

“I don’t think it’s similar at all (to licensing). We are not trying to find 15 clubs that fit into a league,” Dwyer said.

“It’s the criteria. From a learning one, the model that we created needs to be objective, transparent and clear to everyone and not subjective.

“It (licensing) was based on business plans rather than actuals. One of the challenges was that people weren’t sticking to those plans.

“We are looking at what you have actually done. It isn’t about planning to build a new stadium.”

Dwyer was also clear about the timeline facing clubs in terms of being given the appropriate criteria.

“We have been doing an enormous amount of work to gather the data we need for the criteria. We intend to show them in early February. That is the current timeline.

“We are looking at 2025 when this comes in. We are not running the game, we are part of the game.

“The key point is that they (rugby league) have asked us to be the independent people to help them grow the game. This is a collaborative process.”