Premiership to be ring-fenced?

Date published: February 27 2015

The Aviva Premiership could scrap promotion and relegation and become a ring-fenced league according to reports.

The Telegraph believes that the league is set to be bumped up to 14 teams before relegation is scrapped in 2016/17.

According to the report, the move has the support of the majority of Premiership chairmen, with the shareholders having met on Monday.

All 14 Premiership shareholders, including Championship sides Yorkshire Carnegie, Worcester and Bristol, would need to agree to a policy before it could be put before the RFU.

"There is real momentum behind this," one club source told the Telegraph

"This can be a watershed moment for the professional game. We are still at the early stages and there are a lot of hurdles to overcome, but if it comes off this would provide the platform for the top flight of ­English rugby to move to the next level. This is a now-or-never moment."

The move comes in the middle of a season where promoted side London Welsh have lost all 15 of their Premiership games and looking desperately overmatched in the top flight.

Part of the reason for that is the current funding system in the Premiership, with the Exiles receiving only £1.5 million compared to the £4 million that the rest of the Premiership sides get.

They are set to challenge that system in court, claiming the system is unfair on promoted sides.

This change in policy would be an attempt to improve the financial situation of the Premiership clubs, with most still losing money at present.