HULL FC and Hull KR have warned Championship and League 1 clubs – and, indeed, the Rugby Football League – they could all be cut adrift financially if proposals for a new game structure are not voted through.
An RFL Council extraordinary general meeting will be held tomorrow morning to vote on proposals agreed between the RFL and a vast majority of Super League clubs to scrap the Super 8s/Qualifiers system.
It includes a return to one-up/one-down promotion and relegation in 2019, a plan that has faced opposition from plenty of Championship and League 1 clubs. There will also be a vote on new funding proposals, too, but it is the game’s format that is causing most consternation.
However, given the current television deal – which provides such significant funds for clubs and the governing body – is set to expire at the end of 2021, those set to vote against the proposals have been warned about the potential consequences.
In a joint-statement, Hull FC owner Adam Pearson and Hull KR chairman Neil Hudgell said: “Super League has listened. It is now time for the Championship and League 1 to listen and to understand what life might be like should Friday’s proposals not be approved.
“Much needed change cannot be held back by a Governing Body failing to discharge its game wide obligations or a handful of lower division clubs engaged in opportunism, mischief-making and narrow-mindedness.
“Beyond the end of the current television deal financial guarantees are difficult to give.
“It is hard to predict the landscape in 2022. Nothing will be certain. The only guarantee should the proposals be rejected, is that the RFL and the rest of the game will have to rely solely on its own properties – the Challenge Cup, a modest international calendar and the Championship and League 1 competitions to fund their respective futures.
“It would be a brave, and in our opinion foolish choice to make.”