IMG have stated that London Broncos have plenty of things to improve on after being graded a lowly 24th out of the 35 British and French rugby league clubs.
London will play in Super League next year after winning promotion. But they will not be in the top flight in 2025 unless they improve their ranking, after receiving just 8.07 points out of a possible 20 from IMG.
“There’s a lot that still needs to be done to be able to grow and have a strong presence and a strong team in London,” Matt Dwyer, vice president of sports management at IMG, said.
“There will be some very clear outlines on what they need to improve to increase their score, and they’re obviously going to benefit from a year or potentially longer in Super League.
“They should be highly motivated to perform the best they can. It reflects the challenge that we do have in London, and I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone [their poor grading].
“There’s a lot that needs to be done.”
IMG have previously said that the London market is a key area for English rugby league.
Asked whether it will be impossible for the Broncos to stay in Super League in 2025 under the new structure, Dwyer said: “It depends on what all the other clubs do as well, but we can see their current grading level is towards the bottom end of the B and there’s obviously a lot of work to be done here.
“Across all categories London needs to be improving, across all the five. There’s plenty of room and potential for them to improve.
“Interest and participation is quite high in London. So it still has the base for growth. But the challenge is there. It’s a hard market to crack.
“It has the right ingredients to be a large market for the sport, but we need to put all the ingredients together. There’s a lot of work that has to be done.”
London and Castleford were the only current Super League clubs graded outside of the top 12 by IMG.
Leeds finished top, followed by Wigan, St Helens, Catalans, Warrington, Hull KR, Hull FC, Salford, Huddersfield, Toulouse, Wakefield and Leigh.
Speaking on the results of the review, London Broncos Chairman David Hughes said: “Whilst accepting the score given, we will now look to work together as a club to improve on this score with the long-term ambition of achieving an A grade.
“Following the magnificent success of securing promotion from the Championship last season the club now looks to build on the strong foundations we have built in Wimbledon and last year’s achievements on the pitch, as we look to establish London Broncos as a Super League club now and in years to come.”
“The vast majority of scores in each category are based on an average over a three-year period so we need to make improvements year-on-year in order to improve our grading score in the longer term.”