Many league altering initiatives have been suggested by lovers of the game throughout the years in a bid to see the NRL becoming a more entertaining and crowd enticing product.
One of these initiatives would see a change of teams in competition literally every year, with that being promotion and relegation.
The only thing that is currently preventing promotion and relegation in most Australian sports is club licensing deals.
This means while clubs have an NRL license they can not simply exit the league.
If promotion and relegation was to become apart of the game we would first have to wait until all club licenses were up and then see a restructuring of how they are awarded to each franchise.
That isn’t the only aspect of our game that would need restructuring though.
The current Canterbury and Intrust Super Cup teams would make up a near perfect second division, meaning they would need to sever all ties with parent NRL clubs.
Unfortunately this would lead to some franchises dropping out all together for financial reasons, however many lower grade clubs have the same resources as most of the NRL, such as the North Sydney Bears, Easts Tigers and Redcliffe Dolphins.
— NRL (@NRL) May 1, 2020
On the plus side, promotion and relegation would certainly increase the reasons why punters should be watching games and local fans should be attending.
As per usual teams who have a shot at making the top four or the finals will draw crowds and viewership as they have something to play for, however teams at the bottom of the ladder will now attract better crowds as they are playing for something, that being to avoid relegation.
In the second division fans will want to watch clubs with a chance of getting promoted.
At year’s end 15th and 16th in the NRL would be relegated, with 1st and 2nd in the second division being promoted.
Then the league can add even more intrigue by having the teams that finished 13th and 14th in the NRL and the teams who finished 3rd and 4th in the lower league play-off at the same time as the NRL Finals Series to determine who receives the final place in first grade the next year.
Promotion and relegation, the way of the future?