Clubs ponder 13 teams and no relegation
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.