‘Today we have crossed the starting line’

‘Today we have crossed the starting line’

  • Chairman Ian Lenagan on today’s Super League proposals

  • “Important for Super League Club’s financial future” - Ian Lenagan

  • Wigan Chairman delighted to have two-thirds of clubs support

Wigan Warriors Chairman Ian Lenagan has hailed the decision to move forward with new proposal for Super League and the wider sport of rugby league.

Following today’s meeting of the RFL Council, a new proposal has been approved for Super League and the wider sport after a significant majority of stakeholders (67%) voted in favour of a new proposal for structuring the game following extensive and detailed discussions, with the competition format set to change from 2019.

Super League will continue as a twelve-team league, but will revert to a normal ‘one-up, one-down’ promotion & relegation system.

The Super 8s will also be replaced by a full 29-game season including 14 home games and a Magic fixture taken from the normal fixture list rather than from artificially-contrived local derbies. A five-team play-off series preferred by both broadcasters and sponsors will complete the end of the season.

Wigan Warriors Chairman, Ian Lenagan said: “The democratic process has spoken and we’re delighted with today’s outcome.

“Today we have crossed the starting line in terms of changing our sport for the better and we’ve done it formally and democratically. We came out of the meeting feeling motivated and optimistic about this great game of ours.

“In Robert Elstone we have a superb Executive Director for Super League and I now think he and we can get on with what we should to be doing - promoting Super League and the sport of rugby league properly.

“The fact that it was an overwhelming majority, two thirds to one third, surprised a lot of people but there’s a lot of sensible people in the sport of rugby league. They share our vision that Super League should get the promotion and profile that it deserves and that the Super 8s and the Qualifiers should be scrapped.

“From a Wigan viewpoint, we’ve been working on this for the best part of 18-months now, so there’s a natural sense of satisfaction with today’s outcome. It’s so important for Wigan and for other Super League club’s financial future.

“It’s good to have taken the lead along with other Super League clubs such as St Helens, Hull FC and Hull Kingston Rovers throughout this process. We’ve seen Super League lead and the rest of the game generally, including the RFL, follow. Now we can look forward to a proper, regular season with the number of games that we would expect and fixtures that have been decided at the beginning of the season.”

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