‘We shouldn't even be considering change’ says Featherstone Rovers boss Davide Longo

Davide Longo
Davide Longo
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FEATHERSTONE ROVERS are set to oppose proposals for a change in league structures, general manager Davide Longo has revealed.

A crucial meeting is set to be held on Friday where clubs will vote on financial guarantees from 2021 onwards and the scrapping of the Super 8s system in favour of a a one-up, one-down structure.

I think it should stay the same and if there is any talk of change it should happen after 2021, if we can prove that this format is not the right one to take the game forward.

Davide Longo

A total of 55 votes can be cast at Friday's meeting, 24 from Super League, each club gets two, 24 from Championship and League one clubs - Toronto and Toulouse do not vote - as well as seven from community game.

Championship and League One clubs will also have a say on whether the Championship will increase from 12 to 14 teams.

Super League clubs will need at least four votes from Championship and League One clubs to pass their proposals but Longo insists Rovers won't be giving their backing to the changes.

“I don’t believe there should be any change, I don’t believe we should even be considering any change,” said Longo.

“Ever since Super League came into effect there have been about eight or nine changes in structure or format.

“We really need some stability now with rugby league and we have got that with the Super 8s.

“Widnes are, certainly after their loss, set to be removed from Super League, but that is life.

“We are in a similar boat, we had half a million pounds of funding this year and that is going to be reduced dramatically.

“I feel that the decision that needs to be made on Friday is not to change and if there is need for change then we need to see evidence.”

Longo feels that certain Super League clubs may feel threatened by the top-level Championship teams.

And the Rovers general manager has called for stability and believes that constant change is not the answer.

He continued: “Some of the Super League clubs are feeling vulnerable because of the strength of the Championship.

“I think it should stay the same and if there is any talk of change it should happen after 2021, if we can prove that this format is not the right one to take the game forward.

“My biggest concern is, that in 2013, the clubs voted that this format was the right one to take the game forward.

“We are now three full years into it, and who knows how many millions of pounds into it, and then we are wanting to change again.

“There has been a history of change and I don’t believe that some of those changes have been for the right reasons or for the good of some of the clubs.”

Longo says that the current Super 8s system provides plenty of entertainment.

And insists that, whatever structure is put in place, there will always be “dead-rubber” games.

He added: “I like the Super 8s, I like what it brings. Yes, there are some dead-rubber games but you always get that in any competition.

“I think it is brilliant to be honest, I really like the Super 8s competition.

"Let’s see what comes out of Friday’s meeting, there are a lot of people around the table so I am sure there will be a decision.”

Whatever decision is made Longo hopes that it will be for the benefit of the whole game and not just Super League.

"The decision that is made impacts on the whole game and Super League clubs need to understand that," said Longo.

"It is not the be all and end all, there is a vibrant competition going on outside Super League."