Super League Europe and the Rugby Football League have confirmed initial details of the application procedure for the place in the 2021 Betfred Super League, which has become available following the decision not to reinstate Toronto Wolfpack.
Lord Jonathan Caine, a Conservative peer who is Vice Chair of Rugby League’s All-Party Parliamentary Group, will chair a seven-strong panel consisting of three members from each of the RFL and SLE. Lord Caine has been an adviser to six Secretaries of State for Northern Ireland, and is also a lifelong Rugby League supporter.
The full application process, and the criteria against which applications will be assessed, will be distributed to clubs and published on Thursday (November 12).
The deadline for applications is the morning of Monday November 30. The RFL and SLE are conscious of the limited period of time for the preparation of applications, but equally aware that the successful club will need time to prepare for the 2021 season. The application criteria will be aligned, where possible, with information and documentation already held by the RFL, or which applicant clubs should already have in existence.
A decision is scheduled to be made by Wednesday December 16, although that deadline could be extended in specific circumstances. A number of initial criteria for applicants have been agreed, including that the club must have been in the Betfred Super League, or have finished in the top six of the Betfred Championship, in either 2018 or 2019.
The RFL will communicate shortly with Betfred League 1 clubs about the implications of the vacancy created in the Betfred Championship – which will mean the 2021 season begins with two fewer clubs than previously expected outside the Betfred Super League, following the deferral of the entry of Ottawa Aces into League 1 until 2022.