Daily Mail

Clubs pon­der 13 teams and no rel­e­ga­tion

- By CHRIS FOY Rugby Cor­re­spon­dent Sports · Soccer · Soccer Business · Bath · Leicester City F.C. · Northampton Town F.C. · Northampton · London Irish RFC · London · Championship · Rugby Football Union · Twickenham

PREMIERSHI­P clubs have re-opened talks about in­creas­ing the league to 13 teams and scrap­ping rel­e­ga­tion, ap­par­ently driven by fears of los­ing a big-name mem­ber. Tra­di­tional pow­er­houses Bath, Le­ices­ter and Northamp­ton are all in the bot­tom seven — a group sep­a­rated by only four points. There has not been a spe­cific pro­posal put for­ward, but it is un­der­stood the sub­ject of do­ing away with rel­e­ga­tion is be­ing dis­cussed again. A unan­i­mous ver­dict is re­quired from the 13 share­holder clubs — the 12 cur­rently in the Premiershi­p plus Lon­don Ir­ish, who are top of the Cham­pi­onship af­ter be­ing rel­e­gated last sea­son. The RFU will wait to see if the clubs agree among them­selves and only then will the author­i­ties at Twick­en­ham have to con­sider whether to ap­prove a new sys­tem. As yet, the union have not had to adopt a stance on the mat­ter be­cause there has never been a con­sen­sus among the Premiershi­p share­hold­ers.

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