Smith favours return to Super League licences

Tony Smith has reiterated his belief that Rugby League should return to some form of franchise or licensing system to determine which clubs should be in Super League.
The Hull KR head coach has, for many years, expressed his concern about the conventional promotion and relegation system currently in place.
The RFL and Super League are currently discussing the issue of promotion and relegation for next season, with a majority of Super League clubs keen to remove relegation from the current season.
However, Smith contends that they should instead consider a return to licensing, after having dropped it in 2014.
“I’ve never been against promotion and relegation,” he said.
“Never ever against it, but not just based on who comes last in the competition.
“If it were based on a lot of other criteria, which means if your business isn’t run well and is not up to standard in other areas then I believe you should be relegated if someone else is in a stronger position than you.
“It encourages good business and setups, but going up by spending up your budget in one season isn’t a good enough criterion, in my opinion.
“Would I shut up shop for clubs with good run businesses and good teams? No, I think they should be able to earn promotion. Expansion is also an option, because what a great asset it would be, for example, if Toulouse were to develop such a good organisation that they would bring something to our competition.
“But just because they spend a whole lot of money, I don’t think that’s great for promoting well-run, stable businesses. Who wants to put their money in something that may not survive?”
He continued: “I’ve said it many times, I’m a licensing person as long as they stick to the licensing process. We didn’t last time, when we were breaking the rules to keep Celtic Crusaders in and then we went back to a poor system.
“We blamed the system rather than the people running the system. It doesn’t matter what system you have, if the rules are bent or changed you normally have a poor outcome.”