Premiership could be set for expansion
April 25, 2010
Mark McCafferty believes that we could see an expanded Guinness Premiership © Getty Images
The Guinness Premiership could be set to expand to 14 teams, according to Premier Rugby chief Mark McCafferty.
Following recent meetings between the clubs and Premier Rugby, McCafferty confirmed that there was a desire from leading stakeholders to take the plunge with a 14-team league. With an increase in TV revenue set to boost the competition in 2012, there is scope for all clubs to be satisfied by the financial impact of expansion.
"There was a general consensus that we should look properly at expanding to 14 teams," McCafferty he told The Sunday Telegraph. "In 2012 we hope to secure a big increase in TV revenue, which will remove some of the obstacles to expansion where people are worried they will get less money because there would be 14 mouths to feed rather than 12. My view is that we can solve the financial issues and get the jam, if you like, spread thickly enough for everyone to be happy."
Such a move would likely mean the suspension of promotion and relegation and also potentially the scrapping of the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
"We are exploring all the issues but we are conscious of the need to protect the integrity of the competition," McCafferty said."By going up to 14 teams you increase the number of games that overlap with internationals and therefore you have more occasions when elite players are absent from their clubs.
"There is also a choice to be made between having two competitions - an expanded Premiership and Europe - or retaining the Anglo-Welsh Cup, which provides breathing space and offers a chance to test different players."
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