The RFL Board met on Monday evening to make decisions, as promised earlier this month, on the future of the Betfred Championship and League 1 competitions in 2020, and on promotion and relegation between those two competitions and also the Betfred Super League.
The Board also discussed the withdrawal of Toronto Wolfpack from the Betfred Super League for the rearranged 2020 season – with further discussions to follow with SLE, as per today’s statement.
The Board’s decisions this evening were as follows: 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.