New breakaway league for Jersey Reds?
JERSEY REDS are believed to be discussing ‘revolutionary’ plans for a new breakaway Championship league.
A number of proposals have apparently been considered by the current stakeholders of the Championship, including the Reds, in a move to designed to boost competition outside of the Premiership.
According to The Rugby Paper, the proposals include the introduction of a new 16-team ‘Heartland’ Championship for the 2021-22 season, split into north and south regional conferences. At the end of the regular season, the top four from each conference will face each other in play-offs for a place in a ‘grand final’, while the bottom four will also face each other to avoid relegation.
Through these proposals, it is understood that clubs will seek a collective commercial agreement to attract new broadcasting and sponsorship deals.
Before the Covid-19 crisis took a hold, Championship clubs were already reeling from the decision of the English Rugby Football Union to cut funding, thus increasing the financial chasm between the second-tier Championship and the top-tier Premiership.
Officials at Championship clubs have grown increasingly weary of the gap between the second and top flights and have been looking at ways to address this problem, with suggestions that they breakaway from the current league structure and forge stronger links with the more traditional rugby community.
It is understood that Championship clubs will meet again this week to discuss their next move with the proposals.
Mark Morgan, the Reds’ chairman, declined to comment.
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