Leigh reinstated into Co-operative Championship
The RFL Board of Directors has reinstated Leigh Centurions into the Co-operative Championship for 2010.
Leigh will kick off next season in the Championship as part of a restructuring process which will also see a newly-formed Gateshead Thunder start life in Co-operative Championship One.
Both clubs finished the 2009 Co-operative Championship season on 32 points but Leigh were relegated on points-scoring difference.
The RFL Board took the decision to reinstate Leigh after Gateshead Thunder’s chairman Steve Garside wound up the company that ran the old Gateshead Thunder club, Gateshead and Newcastle Rugby Ltd
Gateshead’s new parent company, Thunder Rugby Ltd, were given the green light to begin preparing for 2010 in Championship One at a specially-convened meeting of the RFL Board of Directors. However the new club will start the 2010 season with minus six points.
RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood said: “It was clear that Gateshead were in no position to continue as they were and the Board felt it was right and proper for the new club to start life in Co-operative Championship One.
“The decision to impose a six-point tariff reflects how seriously the Board regards the events at Gateshead.
“This could have been an opportunity to make the Championship a 10-team competition but the Board believe that would not have been fair on Leigh Centurions and we look forward to them making a strong contribution in the Co-operative Championship next year.”
Gateshead Thunder will operate as a community club with a community board which will be assembled in the next few weeks.