At a special meeting held in Salford, the RFL announced that backing has been given by the Championship and League 1 clubs, to applications to join League 1 for the 2020 season, from two non-heartland clubs: one in New York (USA) and one in Ottawa (Canada).
After presentations by Eric Perez (for Ottawa – pictured) and Ricky Wilby (for New York) the RFL issued this official statement:
“A special meeting of Championship and League One clubs in Salford today has agreed to the Rugby Football League continuing investigation into the feasibility of two separate bids from two clubs based in North America.
“The clubs heard presentations from one consortium aiming to relocate Hemel Stags to Ottawa in Canada, and a separate consortium intending to launch a new club in New York.
“The final decision on each of the bids will be made by the Board of the Rugby Football League.
“The RFL convened the meeting to assess the mood of the clubs, as had been done before Toronto Wolfpack were admitted to join League One in 2017. Super League clubs were also invited to attend, although not to participate in the indicative vote that was held at the end of the meeting.”
Simon Johnson, the RFL’s Senior Non-Executive Director who chairs the Championship and League One forum, said: “The clubs were in principle supportive, by a comfortable majority, of the proposals for both Ottawa and New York to join the competitions, and for the RFL Board to continue to exercise its discretion to negotiate with both clubs, and to make a decision in due course.”