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At least one Super League club to lose licence in 2011

By Radio 5 live's George Riley

Leeds Rhinos are the reigning Super League champions
Leeds Rhinos are the reigning Super League champions

At least one Super League club is set to lose its place in the top flight when the Rugby Football League (RFL) awards its 14 licences next year.

The RFL has confirmed that, subject to fulfilling their minimum criteria, at least one Championship club will be awarded a Super League spot next March.

The RFL has also confirmed Super League will stay at 14 clubs - leaving the current teams facing an anxious wait.

The next set of licences will run from 2012 to 2014.

The current licensing system saw the abolition of promotion and relegation two seasons ago, with clubs instead applying for one of 14 licences for a three-year stay in Super League.

These licences have one more season to run after this year and the new batch will be awarded next summer.

However, the lucky Championship side will discover their fate before that in March, with a December deadline for application, subject to meeting five criteria laid down by the RFL.

The criteria are:

1 Commercial, marketing, media and community.

2 Facilities.

3 Finance.

4 Governance and business management.

5 Playing strength and player performance strategy.

Before that any Championship side wishing to apply for a place in Super League has to meet the following minimum criteria before being allowed to try to win a place.


They are:

1 Club has reached a Championship final or won the Northern Rail Cup in 2009 or 2010.

2 Club has a stadium with an operational capacity of 10,000.

3 No insolvency event has occurred during the 2008, 2009 and 2010 seasons.

4 Club has turnover of at least £1,000,000 in financial year ending 2009 or 2010 (turnover of charitable foundation can be included in this figure).

5 Club has an average attendance of at least 2,500 in 2009 or 2010.

At present, only Widnes meet the criteria.

Current Super League sides Castleford and Wakefield were awarded licences in 2008 after agreeing to plans to move to new stadia, plans that have since stalled.

St Helens and Salford have also had to make plans to move to a bigger ground, to fulfil the licensing criteria for 2012.

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see also
Quins 'important' to Super League
11 Feb 10 |  Harlequins
Crusaders move to save Wrexham FC
11 Dec 09 |  Crusaders
St Helens 10-18 Leeds Rhinos
10 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Crusaders & Salford win licences
22 Jul 08 |  Rugby League
Super League's new clubs rejoice
22 Jul 08 |  Rugby League
Leigh rage over Super League snub
22 Jul 08 |  Rugby League

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