Conflicting views over ringfencing
THE League does not respect anyone and with the Premiership being so competitive relegation can quickly become reality.
I have thought long and hard regarding the elegation debate. Should the Premiership be ringfenced? Originally, I was in the camp which wanted to keep relegation/promotion. But as professional rugby has developed there is only a small number of clubs that can sustain it. Wages are increasing, infrastructures are becoming more sophisticated, the quality of the player required has improved, as has the product’s quality. Rugby cannot become a southern-centric game - having a North East club like Newcastle will only help to spread the rugby message nationally.
Coupled with this Newcastle have invested in their own infrastructure, their supporter base has increased, the squad they have assembled is a quality outfit, they have been ravaged by long term injuries to key players this season.
To keep the promotion-relegation battle competitive I would have a play off, home and away, against the relegated club and the club that comes top of the Championship.
With all that said any club looking to come up will still have to meet the stringent rules regarding a business plan and infrastructure to make it into the top flight.
No relegation will also encourage owners of clubs to invest further, improving the product, which can only be good for the future of our sport.