Talking Rugby League: Time for new solution to Championship and League One issue

UNTIL recently I was reluctant to get involved in the discussion about the future of the Championship and League One.

I don’t believe in change for change’s sake and I was happy to see the second and third tier competitions continuing in their current form.

But when the third tier is reduced to eight clubs, I’m afraid that we need to have a rethink.

I don’t think that a competition with eight clubs will be viable and I have had discussions about this with some clubs and some leading members of the RFL.

Their reaction seems to have two elements to it.

The first is that some clubs were relegated from the Championship and promoted from League One and it would be wrong to cancel out those movements by abolishing the distinction between the two competitions.

And second, the Championship clubs don’t want to see any changes, so let’s keep things as they are.

But neither of those arguments now stands up to scrutiny.

The good of the game needs to be accepted as the major criterion.

And that means that we need to have a 22-team league outside Super League (or 23 teams if Newcastle can be rescued) with fixtures arranged in such a way that the best teams (Wakefield, Toulouse and Featherstone) can avoid the worst teams (Cornwall, Midlands Hurricanes and Rochdale Hornets) through a fixture list that grades a team’s fixtures against their finishing position in 2023.

I have already sent such a fixture system to the RFL and I would hope the governing body would accept it in order to give some hope to all its clubs outside Super League.

Later this week I will put my proposal on the website so that all can see it.