Eagles support Championships review
Sheffield Eagles Chief Executive Mark Aston has given his support to the review into Rugby League’s divisional structure below Super League level which aims to provide a massive boost to the sport across the country.
The RFL is currently looking to expand the Co-operative Championships and Aston believes the results could see more people playing Rugby League throughout the UK in a more competitive structure.
“I think it’s a good step and I think it’s right for the competition to set some criteria for the clubs to adhere to.” said Aston. “We have a minimum criteria for Super League clubs so why not have the same system in place down through the divisions.
“It encourages clubs to develop a strong business plan, to develop their stadiums and their fan base and to improve all aspects of their game, both on and off the field. Clubs need to have grounds that match a standard and that sort of requirement will help the game go forward because everyone will know that they will need to have the ability to back up what they say.”
Aston also believes the new structure could result in the competitions leagues becoming even more competitive, which will also see more players making the grade for Super League clubs.
“The Championship standard is currently very high and if the review can help make the competition even better then it is definitely the way forward.
“We’ve seen some good players leave the championship and go on to Super League clubs and I think people buy into the fact that the competition is already very competitive and making it even better will help produce more talented players.
“We’ve seen players like Kyle Wood and Andy Raleigh drop down from Super League sides and re-establish themselves in the Championship before being signed back by Super League clubs and enjoying success.
“But the most important thing is that the clubs involved are all viable and have good business plans. As long as a club is able to bring something to the competition and are able to sustain themselves then they deserve an opportunity. We saw York bring in a crowd of 2,000 last week against us and that’s the kind of support that all the club should be aiming for.”
Expressions of interest are currently being sought by the RFL from any clubs in the UK that are interested in joining the Co-operative Championships between 2012 and 2015.
The RFL has announced that it intends to further expand the Co-operative Championships during this period and the initial deadline for expression of interest submissions from clubs is 12.00pm on April 11.
Clubs are asked to express their interest by April 11 by e-mailing Chris Thair in the RFL’s Club Support Unit, email@example.com.
Submissions should consist of no more than three pages of information which include when they wish to enter, why they would add value to the competition and details about their infrastructure including standard of home ground.
Each club will be contacted within 10 days of their submission and a meeting arranged to progress matters and all submissions will be kept in confidence unless instructed otherwise.
Should any club have a query on this please contact firstname.lastname@example.org