The RFL has revealed the Betfred Super League will feature 11 teams after Toronto Wolfpack withdrew from the competition with the revised league also featuring no promotion/relegation.
Additionally, the current Betfred Championship and League 1 campaigns will not resume with RFL explaining that the decision was made due to ongoing behind-closed-door regulations.
An RFL spokesperson stated: “There will be no relegation from the 11-team Betfred Super League in 2020 – for reasons of integrity, player welfare and also to protect the solvency of clubs.
“The Betfred Championship and League 1 seasons will not resume in 2020 – this follows the Government announcement last week identifying October as the earliest opportunity for the return of crowds to sport, and the finding of a survey of Betfred Championship and League 1 clubs that a majority in each competition would not support playing matches behind closed doors. Again, the issue of protecting the solvency of clubs informed this decision.”
Betfred Championship and League 1 sides will still have the opportunity to garner some revenue as RFL also announced that teams will be invited to play in a competition this autumn, with a theme of celebrating the sport’s 125th anniversary. The tournament will feature a prize pot of £250,000, partly due to financial support from the Betfred Super League clubs.
On the topic of Toronto Wolfpack’s decision to withdraw from the competition, the RFL has expressed its disappointment with the decision with the club’s place in the Super League coming into question. Toronto have cited ‘financial challenges to the Wolfpack organisation’ and loss of home matchday revenue caused by the COVID-19 crisis as an explanation to its withdrawal.
The RFL issued the following statement: “The club’s decision is especially disappointing given the imminent restart of the season.
“Our immediate focus is on getting the season back underway on August 2 and meeting the needs of our host broadcaster, Sky Sports.
“A discussion around the longer term consequences and the future of the Wolfpack in Super League will commence shortly.”
As RFL alluded to, attention will now turn to resuming its premier competition with the Betfred Super League slated to return August 2 after nearly a five month postponement.