Steele: Fax back 12s-into-eights league plan

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Halifax chairman Michael Steele has said the club will back proposals to restructure the English game around two top divisions of 12 teams, that would then split into three leagues of eight midway through the season.

The Rugby Football League have remained tightlipped over the innovative plans - which were exclusively revealed by Courier Sport last month - with a final decision now believed to be due in early August.

The concept has attracted both criticism and scepticism, but Steele said Fax favoured the scheme over the likely alternative, which would involve a more conventional four-leagues-of-10 format.

“Looking at the economics of it, this proposal is the way forward,” he said.

“It avoids the hazards of the team promoted not being able to succeed in the higher division and the team relegated being in such a financial mess that they are in danger of going bust.

“Everybody recognises that the decision made now has to last a long time.

“The RFL are trying to get a structure that will work no matter how good the television funding package proves to be.

“Our understanding is that other clubs in our position agree this approach, but it is very much under discussion, and the final decisions are yet to be made.”