Premiership Rugby summer playoffs on cards to determine champions if normal campaign cannot be completed
- Premiership Rugby plans to host a summer playoff series
- A solution to end the season is needed if the campaign cannot be resumed
- Premiership Rugby is concerned that the season may still be dropped completely
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Premiership Rugby plans to stage a summer playoff series to determine this season’s champions and raise money for beleaguered clubs if the campaign fails to complete.
The domestic season under the top flight was canceled by the RFU last month and the Premiership was suspended for five weeks until April 24. With the coronavirus continuing to spread, there is no prospect of an imminent resumption.
Premiership Rugby (PRL) is concerned that the season may also have to be canceled with nine more rounds.
Premiership Rugby matches could battle out a summer playoff to decide this year’s champions
This has sparked a series of discussions about awarding the title and maximizing revenue if the campaign cannot be completed.
Much of the focus was on looking for additional events to make up for the cash shortage caused by the league’s suspension. Hence the talks about holding end-of-season playoffs based on the existing rankings, when deemed government safe, likely later in the summer.
While details have yet to be agreed, one proposal is shared Sports email is for two big events on consecutive weekends in a neutral location like Twickenham or Wembley – a semifinal double-header followed by the final the following week.
A proposal is for two major events on consecutive weekends in a neutral location
Depending on the PRL’s pricing strategy, this can bring in millions to be distributed among the 12 clubs. The internationals at Twickenham in England generate income in excess of £ 10 million per game and although club rugby could not impose the same prizes, demand would be high given the recent scarcity of live sports.
While clubs excluded from the playoffs due to an incomplete league season may feel disadvantaged, particularly fifth-placed Wasps, which are fourth place two points behind Northampton, the prospect of additional shared gate earnings may income is sufficient to mitigate them.
Top-tier Exeter would like to enjoy the chance to win another trophy, having won the Premiership only once before, rather than risk the season being annulled.
Holders of broadcasting rights BT Sport would also welcome the opportunity to show live matches as they have already paid PRL most of this season’s television money.
Exeter, who won the Premiership two years ago, is currently at the top with five points
As Sports email Revealed on Wednesday, the financial outlook for many clubs is so precarious that Sale Sharks, Wasps and Gloucester will seek government support from losing players, while the nine other clubs are preparing for an action that would save around £ 100,000 a month on their labor costs.
Alternatively, PRL could try to set up a comprehensive playoff series with more clubs, although that would be more challenging logistically and fearing having more games could diminish interest in the event and its financial value.
The RFU has yet to clarify how promotion and relegation for next season will be conducted as the championship has been dropped.
However, with an 18-point lead, Newcastle expects to get promoted – despite a threat from second-place Ealing Trailfinders they could pursue.
PRL has confirmed that Saracens will be banned from the Premiership as a punishment for violating their salary limits, despite uncertainty about who will replace them.
Exeter would enjoy the opportunity to win a second title if there is a way to end the season