RFL Championship and League 1 seasons null and void – Autumn invitational competition to take place

There will be no promotion and relegation from Super League after the RFL declared the Championship and League 1 null and void.

A decision was made by the RFL board after months of deliberation and debate among clubs, who have argued furiously for and against returning to the field.

The RFL board met on Monday evening and made a decision to call off the seasons as a result of crowds not being allowed back in until October. Many clubs have expressed grave reservations about the repercussions of not being able to play in front of crowds while having to bring players off furlough.

As a result, a decision on promotion and relegation was irrelevant, with no club being able to earn the right to go up.

It means promotion to will not be obtainable for Championship or League 1 clubs, but they will return to action this season with an Autumn competition set to take place with prize money at the end.

But clubs will be given the opportunity to play for a prize pot of £250,000 in an Autumn invitational competition, which the RFL say has been partially funded by Super League. Entry is not compulsory and there will be no promotion to Super League at the end of it.

An RFL statement explained: “The Betfred Championship and League 1 clubs will be invited to play in a competition this autumn, with a theme of celebrating the sport’s 125th anniversary – and with a prize pot of £250,000, thanks in part to financial support from the Betfred Super League clubs.

“Further details of this competition will follow this week – it will be voluntary, and there will be a detailed application process requiring clubs to prove their ability to meet the necessary protocols and medical standards. There will be no automatic promotion to the Betfred Super League from this competition.”