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Burnham For Mayor

Friday, 28 September 2012

Last chance to shape the future of Rugby League

I have issued a final call for people to add their names to my open letter to the Rugby Football League (RFL) calling for the return of promotion and relegation.

It will close to new signatures on Friday 5th October and I am hoping more people will join the campaign in the final week.

Launched in the summer, the open letter to the new RFL Chairman has already attracted over 900 signatories.

In response to the launch of the open letter, the RFL has already announced that it will consider reintroducing automatic promotion and relegation as part of a review ordered by then Acting-Chairman, Maurice Watkins.

Separately, the All-Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group has pledged to hold an open debate in Westminster about the pros and cons of a return to promotion and relegation.

My call has prompted an open, positive debate in the game - some for, some against - and I'm really pleased about that. It's healthy and a sign of strength that our sport is able to debate its future in this way.

It's great news that people at the top of the game are prepared to look again at this with an open mind. I can't ask for any more than that.

I think the tide of opinion is turning our way and I detect a growing appetite to enhance the competitiveness of the sport at all levels. Relegation battles can produce sport at its most enthralling while the hope of going up a level keeps fans coming through the turnstiles.

We're coming to the end of another exciting season with plenty of drama at the top. But lower down, the game is struggling and there are too many predictable and meaningless games.

I urge everyone who thinks it's time for a change to add their names in the next seven days. The more names we can present, the stronger our call will be.

Andy Burnham MP will be seeking a meeting with the new RFL Chairman, Maurice Watkins to present the letter listing all named signatories.