RUGBY league is perhaps at its most crucial stage of the summer game since its inception back in 1996.
The takeover of IMG – in a deal lasting 12 years – will see promotion and relegation transformed from one up, one down to a license-based structure that will still see shifting between divisions.
Thus, whilst those who will be awarded a ‘Category A’ license will be safe from relegation, those given a Category B one will not be.
And now Bradford Bulls-based reporter, The Game Caller, has revealed a conversation with IMG relating to how many Category A clubs there will be from 2024.
“Category A clubs will be guaranteed participation in the top tier,” The Game Caller said on Show Me The Money TV podcast.
“IMG told me that there are no more than five or six Category A clubs currently – that is what they are anticipating on their current grading criteria.
“They have run some early models and they are saying there are no more currently than five or six. That might change but they aren’t expecting it to change in the next 12 or 18 months.
“It is going to be the Category B clubs where the fun and drama is going to be because they will be assessed annually and it will be a grading system.
“Six Category A clubs, in 2024 means that when they do the grading, there will be six Category B clubs who will join them.”
The Game Caller was also keen to see clubs improve in order to get more Category A clubs in the game.
“The grading will give clubs a chance to improve because what IMG are saying currently is If they run the criteria and grading now then one Super League club would be out and one Championship club would be in.
“This is the warning shot to clubs to not rest on their laurels.