August could see a return to Super League when the twelve topflight clubs meet today to agree a schedule for restarting the top tier of the game, in order to achieve a meaningful season.
The return to action in the Championship and Championship One is, however, still unclear after failure to meet a consensus amongst the clubs and the RFL during an online meeting earlier in the week.
With sport restarting across the globe after the COVID-19 pandemic, Super League will have one eye on the end of the Football Premier League fixtures on the 26th July (the FA Cup Final being played on the 1st August) with a view to filling the SKY TV schedules on the first weekend of August.
Today’s discussions will focus on; the start date for the revised competition, the number of games to be played, the potential date of the Grand Final and the resumption of the Challenge Cup. It is believed that the most likely outcome will be for a Challenge Cup final in October and a Grand Final in November.
Player and fan welfare will also be high on the agenda with initial games likely to be played behind closed doors. An financial agreement was made with SKY earlier in the week which secures their coverage until the end of the 2021 season and gives some financial security to the Super League clubs but it is conditional on a restart of the 2020 season with a number of games being shown each round over SKY’s platforms.
In the Championship and Championship One there are believed to be two camps; one preferring an early return to games, albeit behind closed doors, to ensure a meaningful season resulting in promotion; while some clubs are concerned that re-starting the season without income through the turnstiles will prove too much for some clubs to survive financially.
If your passion is Super League then you may get your first fix in just five weeks’ time, however, if you’re a supporter of the Championship then the future is more in doubt, at least for 2020 with a real possibility that the season could be scrapped to try and save the game and sides for 2021.