York coach Ford proposes radical idea to decide League 1 title race

York City Knights coach James Ford believes a play-off showdown between his side and Bradford could be the best way to settle automatic promotion should the proposed new league structure not be adopted.

That would mean only the leaders go straight up, with the runners-up heading into a four-team play-off competition, rather than the two who would be automatically promoted under the proposed new system, which has three clubs going into the Championship.

Bradford and York have picked up a win against each other this season, and Ford would be in favour of a third match to decide who goes up automatically.

“We’ve got some challenging games to come, win or lose. It could come down to points difference, and who can beat the lesser sides by the most, which isn’t great,” he said.

“I want Rugby League to grow, and beating teams by 100-odd points isn’t helping them develop. I’d much rather say now that the league is decided by a third game between the two of us, with the winner going up and the loser going into the play-offs – that would sit better with me.

“We’ve had two great games and I’ve really enjoyed being involved in them. We’ve performed very well in both and there’s an argument that we could have won both.

“The first one they won right at the end and fair play to them, and they nearly did it again at their place. We were in a commanding situation and they showed they’ve got a lot of character and nearly pinched it.

“It would be great to have another one and I’m sure the supporters would love another.”