RFL rules NO Super League relegation and Championship and League 1 seasons cancelled

The RUGBY Football League has ruled there will be no relegation from the 11-team Super League this season - and the Championship and League 1 competitions will not resume in 2020.

Monday, 20th July 2020, 9:36 pm
Updated Monday, 20th July 2020, 9:38 pm
Hull KR in action against Leigh Centurions this season. (SWPIX)

The RFL Board met this evening to make decisions on the aforementioned matters.

It also discussed the withdrawal of Toronto Wolfpack from the Betfred Super League for the rearranged 2020 season after that revelation earlier this afternoon.

Although the governing body will meet with with Super League at a late date to discuss the Toronto issue, it did make some decisions this evening to finally bring an end to so much uncertainty across the sport.

Sign up to our daily Wakefield Express Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

A statement read: "There will be no relegation from the 11-team Betfred Super League in 2020 - for reasons of integrity, player welfare and also to protect the solvency of clubs.

"The Betfred Championship and League 1 seasons will not resume in 2020 – this follows the Government announcement last week identifying October as the earliest opportunity for the return of crowds to sport, and the finding of a survey of Betfred Championship and League 1 clubs that a majority in each competition would not support playing matches Behind Closed Doors.

"Again, the issue of protecting the solvency of clubs informed this decision.

"The Betfred Championship and League 1 clubs will be invited to play in a competition this autumn, with a theme of celebrating the sport’s 125th anniversary – and with a prize pot of £250,000, thanks in part to financial support from the Betfred Super League clubs.

"Further details of this competition will follow this week – it will be voluntary, and there will be a detailed application process requiring clubs to prove their ability to meet the necessary protocols and medical standards. There will be no automatic promotion to the Betfred Super League from this competition."

All rugby league has been shutdown since mid-March due to coronavirus and, though Super League will resume behind closed doors on August 2, there had been indecision about the lower leagues.

Some clubs, such as Featherstone Rovers, hoped to return to action but many feared the financial consequences of coming off furlough and playing to empty stadiums.

The news on no relegation from Super League will bring much relief to the likes of Hull KR, whose owner Neil Hudgell said he would not invest any more of his own money until he knew there would be a safety net this year.