Super League: Former England boss Tony Smith says "mayhem" may ensue if radical shake-up goes ahead
Last Updated: May 13, 2013 10:21am
Tony Smith: League revamp not required
Former England boss Tony Smith says "mayhem" could ensue if clubs give the go-ahead for plans for a radical shake-up of rugby league.
The Warrington head coach fears clubs will put themselves in danger of bankruptcy in attempts to avoid relegation under proposals for a two-tier Super League of 12 clubs from 2015.
The plan, in which the leagues would split into three divisions of eight before reverting to two leagues the following year, is one of three ideas currently being discussed by clubs as part of a Rugby Football League consultation process.
Clubs appear ready to ditch the current licensing system in favour of a return of automatic promotion and relegation from the end of next season after RFL's chief executive Nigel Wood publishes his review.
"How good a decision is going to be made when you are desperate to stay in the division that you are in?" Smith asked at the end of Sunday's post-match press conference following his side's 52-6 Tetley's Challenge Cup fifth-round win over Salford.
"We have already got people saying that they are prepared to break the rules to win, what about breaking the rules to survive and stay in the competition?
"It is going to be mayhem. Do you know how much money is going to be spent on development?"
"I am over the innovative tag for rugby league," he added. "What about being stable, strong, consistent?
"We are in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the great depression and yet now is the time we are choosing to judge our current systems!"
"We are in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the great depression and yet now is the time we are choosing to judge our current systems!
"We have been producing some really good young players, so much so that the Australians are coming here to take them.
"We are starting to produce some half-backs, outside backs, types of players that we have not produced for years and yet we change the system again.
"We take away that production system, take away the responsibility for clubs to produce those players and we go to a system that is 'popular' by all accounts.
"To just throw the whole system out the window is a knee-jerk reaction.
"Instead of asking 'what are we doing well, what is working for us?' we say 'let's change the whole thing again' or 'I'll give you A, B or C to choose from as I don't know what is going to work'."