Just come across this article on the possibility of promotion & relegation. Would it work??? Link has been hidden. Please Register to view. to view. How promotion & relegation can transform the NRL By Mickey O’Donovan August 17, 2016 PROMOTION and relegation. Let’s talk about it. Now you’ve played grassroots sport, right? So you’re accustomed to your team and/or your club shifting divisions (even leagues), depending on performance. Play crap, finish bottom, go down one rung. Kill it, win your grade/division and you’re up one. It’s simple, everyone understands it and it renews competitions. But at the elite level? Yeah … nah. Not going to happen. Not in the NRL or the AFL or The Big Bash or Super rugby or even in the bloody A-League. But given the moon-and-back gap between the best and worst in the NRL this season, we really need to consider whether there’s a better way. In a salary-capped league that prides itself on cut-throat competition and giving the fans value for their ticket, why should a club running so, SO far off the pace be guaranteed a place next season? Maybe it’s time we were all a little more open-minded because, you know, it could be a way of re-connecting the game with its suburban roots. Giving it some soul. Plenty of you like the English Premier League. But would it be the world’s second-biggest sporting competition if the bottom-two knew they’d be there next year, no matter how poorly they performed? The EPL has 20 teams, only four more than our great game. And all season, there are two key storylines: who’s going to win it … and who’s going to get relegated. Which means the next league down, the Championship, is boosted because the top two go up every year. The EPL, and therefore the clubs, are underwritten by a massive TV deal (sound familiar?), and the clubs supplement this with fat sponsorships and rich merchandise sales. So making it into the EPL automatically guarantees the promoted clubs a bucket of cash to spend. Now stay with me on this. Promotion and relegation for the NRL could create a genuine, vibrant second-tier competition. The Championship in the UK has come on massively in the past 10 years, benefiting from the development of the EPL. Why can’t the NSW and QLD Cup merge and become part of the NRL economy? Then they’ll be much more than a feeder competition, but a league with valuable TV rights and increasing crowds because they’re hard-wired to the NRL. How about having the Newtown Jets back at the big dance? The North Sydney Bears? Wynnum Manly and Ipswich? And why not the PNG Hunters? At a time when the game needs to show its fans that it belongs to them and not the corporate suits, this mightn’t be such a dumb idea after all. Yep, there are plenty of obstacles. Plenty. How do you fund this? What happens to the relegated clubs? But hey – that’s what smart people are paid to sort out. And they can, if they really want to. I just ask this question: who wants to see the Newtown Jets play the Broncos at Henson Park? House full. Mad atmosphere. NRL talking directly with the fans again … no brainer. Link has been hidden. Please Register to view.