Last month, the Rugby Football League was asked following a meeting of member clubs in Salford to conduct further due diligence on two overseas applications to play in Betfred League One from 2020 – one to relocate the Hemel Stags club to Ottawa in Canada, and the other for a new club in New York, USA.
The RFL Board today informed the member clubs, and the consortia behind the applications, of its decision. The application for Hemel Stags to be relocated to Ottawa has been accepted in principle – although both the RFL and the consortia have agreed that some further work is required before it can be confirmed that the Stags will be ready to start the 2020 season in Ottawa.
With regard to the New York bid, the RFL and the consortium have agreed that entry into League One in time for 2020 is not achievable without placing the club under undue pressure, because it is a start-up operation without the benefit of existing operations already being in place, and due to some change in the ownership structure during the process.
The RFL has therefore encouraged the club to work towards entry into League One in 2021.