Super League: IMG announce updated plans to restructure English league system from the 2025 season

Proposed plans to restructure rugby league’s top divisions were presented to the RFL council today, with clubs potentially being assessed on a number of factors if they want to play in Super League from 2025.

The International Management Group [IMG], who are in charge of the ‘Reimagining Rugby League Consultation Project’, have said the criteria for whether sides can compete in the highest league with be based on both on-field and off-field matters.

The main criteria: the size of the fan base, on-field performances and the finances of the club.

This includes a grading system which has been released, meaning clubs will receive a score out of 20, with 15 or more needed to be able to obtain Category A status.

Being labelled as Category A would guarantee the team one of the 12 places in Super League, and make them exempt from relegation if they can retain the status.

Category B clubs would only be involved if places became available in the league, while a grade C would put teams in the Championship or League 1.

The breakdown of the points have been shown on the Sky Sports website as below:

Fandom (five points) – clubs’ fanbases would be assessed in areas such as match attendance, TV viewership, social media following and website visits.

On-field performance (five points) – clubs would be ranked on league position in the last three seasons with bonus points for winning the league and cup competitions.

Finance (five points) – clubs would be rewarded for profitability, financial stability and a diversification of revenue streams.

Stadium (three points) – each club’s stadium and facilities would need to reach minimum standards and “add value to broadcast and fan experience”. The availability of LED lighting and a big screen would earn points.

Catchment (two points) – in a bid to generate new fan bases, the population of a club’s local area would earn points but this score is reduced if there are lots of clubs in the same area.