Sky driving RFL restructure

Sky Sports is the driving force behind the proposal by the RFL to reorganise Super League from next season, League Express understands.

The broadcaster, which earlier this year agreed to continue screening Super League matches for the next two seasons, has apparently expressed its dissatisfaction with the quality of some games it has broadcast this season.

It has told the RFL that it now has two years to get its house in order, or risk losing a Sky broadcasting contract altogether.

Those facts were put before separate meetings of the Super League and Championship clubs last Friday, with the RFL proposing a new Super League format of ten clubs in the elite competition, with ten clubs in a second tier that would be given the title ‘Super League 2’, while the other 16 clubs would play together in a third-tier competition.

But that structure would commence in 2023.

In 2022 there would be 14 clubs in Super League, with no relegation this year and the top two clubs from the Championship promoted into the competition.

But at the end of the 2022 season, four clubs would be relegated from Super League into Super League 2.

In addition, the RFL is to investigate setting up new properties, such as a regular Nines competition that would involve Super League and perhaps some other clubs.

No one from the RFL was prepared to comment on the proposals, but League Express understands that the proposed restructuring had a broad measure of support on Friday, but that it was by no means unanimous.

The RFL is also proposing to examine whether it should set up a new independent commission to run the game more effectively, bringing in sporting expertise from outside Rugby League to give a fresh perspective on how the sport needs to be organised.

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