Gloucester CEO Lance Bradley says he wants to scrap relegation, for this season at least, as the result of dropping to the Championship would be “catastrophic” for any club.
Whether or not Premiership Rugby keep relegation or ringfence the top division of English rugby has been a major talking point in recent seasons. The subject has thrust itself once again to the fore in recent weeks as clubs struggle to cope with the fallout of the pandemic and the resultant loss of earnings for already cash strapped Premiership sides.
Reports last weekend suggest that Premiership Rugby Ltd are set to scrap relegation this season and potentially run a 13 or 14 team league in 2021/22.
In an in-depth interview, Gloucester top dog Bradley has told City AM that he doesn’t believe his side faces the drop, but insists now is the time to scrap relegation.
“We’re not going to get relegated. We’re not going to finish bottom of the table. And I don’t mean that to sound complacent, because we’re not.”
Gloucester currently sit bottom on the table with just 6 points from 6 rounds of rugby.
“But the way that we are playing and the improvements that we have made, the players that we’ve got coming back from injury, we’re not contemplating relegation.”
— City A.M. (@CityAM) January 21, 2021
“Nobody wants to be bottom of the league, but we’re actually very happy with what’s happening on the playing side.”
The CEO believes relegation in a season where Covid-19 has played had such a significant effect on table points wold be wholely ‘unfair’.
“Nobody could have foreseen quite how many games were going to be cancelled this season. The chance of a team, whoever it might be, getting relegated because they happen to stay fit and healthy – that just doesn’t feel right.
“The consequences of getting relegated and having another huge hit to your income straight after that would be catastrophic.
“And it would be catastrophic for pretty much any club in the league. That isn’t really what it’s about.
“We’re looking at how to develop the game and broaden its reach. Having one of the Premiership clubs go out of business is completely counterintuitive to that.”
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