Steele: Super League reforms will be finalised soon

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Halifax chairman Michael Steele has said the club expect a final decision on the sport’s blueprint for 2015 and beyond by early next month.

It is already certain that promotion and relegation between the Championship and Super League will begin again, six years after it was ditched in favour of the discredited licensing system.

But the finer details are yet to be determined after a walkout among Super League clubs - led by the Wigan chief Ian Lenagan - blocked the Rugby Football League’s innovative plans for two divisions of 12, followed by three play-off leagues of eight teams which would determine starting positions and funding for the following year.

That plan is now apparently one of three options on the table, with the alternatives being a straight two up, two down set up, with either a 12 or 14 team top flight.

Super League clubs were meeting today to discuss Lenagan’s concerns over the competition’s governance and finances, with a second gathering scheduled for Friday, at which a decision is expected to be made to stick with 14 teams or cut to 12.

Once that choice is made, the RFL’s board of directors will unveil what should be the final structure.

“We plainly we need to know what we are aiming for,” said Steele, who revealed that final league positions in this year’s Championship - rather than play off results - were likely to determine any funding handout, which could be as much as £400k for the top two clubs, in 2015.

“We have been assured that it will be resolved by the end of January or early February.

“We still believe the two leagues of 12, followed by the leagues of eight, provides the best mechanism for clubs to progress.

“Straight promotion and relegation would have the same issues it has always had; the potential insolvency of the relegated clubs and the impracticality of turning a part-time Championship club into a full-time Super League club in the space of three months.”