Licensing FAQ's

What period is the next licence for?

The next round of licences will be awarded for the period 2012 to 2014.

Who will decide which clubs obtain a licence for 2012 to 2014?

The independent RFL Board will determine who gains membership to the Super League in 2012.

Will a club from the Championship definitely be awarded a licence?

Yes, at least one Championship club will be awarded a Super League licence, provided it meets the minimum criteria.  The minimum criteria for a Championship club to be awarded a Super League licence are:

a. Club has reached a Championship Final or won the Northern Rail Cup in 2009 or 2010.
b. Club has a stadium with an operational capacity of 10,000.
c. Club has turnover of at least £1,000,000 in financial year ending 2009 or 2010 (turnover of charitable Foundation can be included in this figure).
d. Club has an average attendance of at least 2500 in 2009 or 2010.

Those applicant clubs from the Championship that meet the minimum criteria will then be assessed and the RFL will allocate a Super League licence to the most suitable club.

Will a Super League club be “displaced”?

At this stage the Super League will remain at 14 clubs in 2012.  If a Championship Club meets the minimum criteria and the Super League competition remains at 14 clubs, a Super League club will be displaced. 

When are the licence applications due to be submitted to the RFL and when will the successful clubs be announced?

Championship clubs applying for a Super League licence will submit their applications to the RFL in December 2010.  Provided one of the applications from the Championship clubs meets the minimum criteria, the successful Championship club receiving a Super League licence will be announced in March 2011.

Super League clubs intending to apply for a licence will submit their applications by April 2011.  The remaining clubs joining the initial successful Championship club in the Super League for 2012 will be announced in July 2011.

Why is there a difference between the Championship and Super League clubs?

The RFL believes that a Championship club who is awarded a licence will benefit from having a greater period of preparation before entry to the 2012 Super League.  On that basis it has been decided that the successful Championship club will have earned the opportunity to have this greater period of preparation, and announcing their licence in March 2011 allows them this time to prepare for the 2012 Super League season.

What happens if a Championship club meets the minimum criteria, but is not the successful club announced in March 2011?

Those Championship clubs that meet the minimum criteria but do not obtain a Super League licence in March 2011 still have a chance of obtaining a Super League licence.  These clubs will have their suitability for a licence assessed with the Super League clubs who submit applications in April 2011.

Has the assessment process changed from the last round of Super League licensing?

In the last round of licensing, clubs were initially assessed and awarded points on reaching minimum standards.  In this round of licensing, clubs will be assessed against A Grade criteria.  These criteria are designed to reflect the advancing standards within Super League, and take account of the feedback received from clubs following the last round of licensing.

How are the applications assessed?

Clubs are assessed on criteria in 5 key areas:

a. Commercial, Marketing, Media and Community.
b. Facilities.
c. Finance.
d. Governance and Business Management.
e. Playing Strength and Player Performance Strategy.

Clubs that meet all of the A Grade criteria across the 5 areas will be awarded an A Grade licence.  Clubs that materially meet all the A Grade criteria and/or satisfy the RFL that they will meet the criteria in the next round of licensing will be awarded a B Grade licence. 

The RFL will then allocate the remaining Super League licences to those existing Super League clubs and/or Championship clubs which applied for a licence and met the Championship Club Minimum Criteria.  The licenses will be allocated to those clubs that the RFL board believes are the most suitable, taking into account the:

a. Extent to which each club helps meet the SLE Strategy and the strategic aims and objectives of the Licensing process;
b. Historical activity of the clubs under consideration; and
c. RFL’s reasonable opinion as to future performance of the clubs under consideration.

How are clubs planning new or redeveloped stadia going to be assessed?

New stadiums or redevelopments of existing stadiums will only be taken into account if the RFL is satisfied that the stadium will be open or the redevelopment finished by the start of the 2012 season.


December 2010 – Championship club applications due to be submitted
March 2011 – Successful Championship club announced.
April 2011 – Super League club applications due to be submitted
July 2011 – Successful licensed clubs announced.