The Pros And Cons Of Relegation


In recent weeks there has been calls to scrap relegation, as it is deemed damning to many clubs, down to the fact the clubs believe losing their Super League status would be enough to finish off a club.

Yes relegation can be cruel, but it has undoubtedly improved the standard of the English game in recent years. Growing up watching Super League as a franchise, it began to turn the competition stagnant, it appeared that teams were just happy to be there, wouldn't really apply themselves, and it was always the usual suspects that weren't making a push to make the Play Offs.

The likes of; London, Widnes and Salford, all just seemed to be making up the numbers for a long time, no real ambition, no real money spent, it was starting to look a lot like being comfortable was killing the game off, this was until 2014, the reintroduction of relegation.

Suddenly the teams that were happy sitting outside the 8, became a little more twitchy at the thought of losing Super League status, teams began investing more, trying harder and were substantially better than the sides they were in previous years, nobody wanted to be involved in the nail-biting Million Pound Game.

The effect that promotion and relegation had, didn't just stop at Super League, suddenly Championship sides were filled with the belief that they could too reach the English top flight. Leigh, Featherstone, Halifax and many more, would invest in their clubs, subsequently improving the standard of the Championship, in hopes they would prevail in the Qualifiers and guide themselves into the Super League.

The teams that have most heavily opposed relegation from Super League, are the ones that fear it the most, the clubs that realize they could be in line for the drop next season. In my honest opinion, if a team in the Championship is; playing at a better standard, with bigger attendance figures, then why don't they deserve to be a Super League club?

I get that a side can finish 9th in the Super League table, have a couple of bad games and then end up in the Championship off the back of that, which is the massive drawback of the system in place, however Hull KR are proof that relegation is not a death sentence for a club. The Robins were relegated back in 2016 after a thrilling close to the Million Pound Game, with Gareth O'brien hitting a near 50 metre drop goal in Golden Point, to send the Robins to the Championship.

Hull KR then back through the system in 2017, gained promotion and now return to Super League for the 2018 season. Yes relegation is unpleasant, yes it can be damning to clubs, but one thing is for sure, it has boosted the standard of the game from bottom tier to the top and brought a sense of excitement back to the game.

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