Premiership clubs seek talks with RFU over plan to end promotion and relegation in England’s top flight
- Fears had been raised about England’s top clubs forcing a breakaway league
- The possibility has come about over the issue of ring-fencing the top division
- RFU chief Nigel Melville branded the idea as ‘wishful thinking’ in December
Premiership bosses are seeking talks with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) over ending promotion and relegation in England’s top flight.
Fears had been raised about England’s top clubs forcing a breakaway, but the league’s governing body Premiership Rugby has pledged to thrash out a way forward with the RFU.
The RFU’s interim chief executive Nigel Melville branded the idea of ring-fencing the Premiership this season ‘wishful thinking’ in December.
Top clubs have discussed the possibility of forming a breakaway from the Premiership
But England’s top-flight clubs agreed at Tuesday’s Premiership Rugby board meeting to seek out a summit meeting with RFU chiefs.
‘Our key objective is to deliver long-term financial sustainability for professional rugby in England,’ a Premiership Rugby spokesperson said.
‘Now is the right time to sit down with the RFU, who are our partners within the Professional Game Agreement.
‘We will be coming back to the next Premiership Rugby Board meeting on 9 April with an update. These crucial discussions are about deciding the most effective structure for the top end of the game in England. They have to be structured, balanced and create the best long-term solution for English rugby.’
RFU’s interim chief executive Nigel Melville branded the idea of ring-fencing ‘wishful thinking’
Premiership Rugby chairman Ian Ritchie has sought to downplay the internal divisions