There are many arguments for and against scrapping relegation in the Gallagher Premiership, and they are very complex.
This is an issue that has not been resolved, as many fans and clubs wait with baited breath to see what is in store for the Gallagher Premiership.
With the debate continuing to rage on, many fans have voiced their opinion on Twitter over the prospect of ringfencing England’s elite league after this weekend’s rugby. Of course, there are many positives to eliminating relegation; it allows for greater investment in teams across the league, it should make the top of the league as well as the national game stronger and more competitive, and it avoids the financial trouble that relegated sides suffer, including job losses.
However, with a spellbinding battle to fight off relegation in the Premiership, this is perhaps the worst season possible to have this debate, as many fans seem captivated by the battle that is occuring.
There is a huge amount of drama at the foot of the table, with only seven points separating Newcastle, Worcester, Leicester and Bristol, with five games remaining in the season. With Wasps only a point ahead of Bristol, this is looking like it will be the closest finish to the season in the history of the Premiership. The prospect of European giants Leicester facing the very real possibility of relegation after Worcester and Newcastle won at the weekend, is only extra fuel to the fire.
With such a tense end to the season expected, it is understandable that a large number of fans cannot bear the thought of abolishing relegation. Even fans of clubs who are facing the drop appreciate the benefit of relegation, as the league would currently be devoid of action without it. This is what the fans are saying:
So @premrugby 5 games to go. Top two are a forgone conclusion. What will be really exciting though is the relegation battle involving nearly half the Premiership. If it were ring fenced what interest would be left in this season for those teams and their fans? #meaningfulgames
— Alan Martinovic (@alan_martinovic) March 23, 2019
And that's exactly why the Premiership should never get rid of relegation. What a fan-fuckin-tastic comeback for Newcastle Falcons!
— Peter Bradburn (@hwaetwegardena) March 23, 2019
It makes the league much more fun. The two most popular domestic leagues in rugby both have relegation. No one would watch half these games if not for the relegation element. The beauty of the rest of the season now is a team like Leicester could end up top 6 or relegated
— Tobs (@Tobs992) March 23, 2019
The games I have watched this weekend:
Tigers vs Saints
Bristol vs Worcester
Falcons vs Sale
I couldn’t have cared less about Sarries vs Quins.
— RugbyInsideLine (@RugbyInsideLine) March 23, 2019
For your answer at how this works, check the pro 14. Huge lack of interest from fair weather fans (myself included) because of lack of competition.
It’s certainly relegation, rather than simply the ignominy of being last, that is causing my heart to be in my mouth and feeling very uncomfortable!
— James Mather ????? (@tigerrector) March 23, 2019
The league is insane this season. Quins in a playoff place have only won 3 more games than Falcons who are in the relegation spot. With the exception of Sarries and Chiefs, it is incredibly tight.
— Adam (@daddancer1905) March 23, 2019
The drama has to stay. Without it i would simply stop going as what would be the point? As a side note if they close the door this season i’ll feel completely robbed. I have celebrated our wins massively. I needn’t have bothered if the trap door is shut in May.
— DownOffertonLane (@DownOffyLane) March 23, 2019
While fans are enjoying the monumental battle that is ensuing amongst the league’s strugglers, the top of the table has much less action. Although Northampton have a slight hope of making fourth place, it seems a formality that Exeter and Saracens with finish first and second. Until the playoffs, these teams will struggle to generate the excitement that is occuring at the bottom of the table, as it seems far less competitive.
Of course, this also promotes the argument for ringfencing the league as well, as many believe that it would be conducive to more competition at the top of the table, rather than the monopoly that Saracens and Exeter seem to have currently.
This is a debate that has many people on both sides, but these cannot imagine the league without relegation.
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