By A38
Sweeney is quoted in an article in The Times this morning thus:-

"We want to launch Premiership 2 in 2025-26"

So it would seem that the idea of Premiership 2 has moved away from being a rumour to at least an intention - if not more.

This is not to say that it will actually happen in that time scale - or at all - but it does look as though there have at the very least been serious talks and plans laid.

As ever, money will be part of the equation: there is not enough of it of course and in that context this caught my attention.

The author, Alex Lowe, says that the loss of Joe Marchant to Stade Francais will be particularly galling for Borthwick as he will be unselectable. The reason Marchant has gone to France is that "the financial pinch in the Premiership was so acute that Harlequins could pay him only half of what was on offer in the Top 14".

This is not the last that we will hear on the subject but I cannot see how Premiership clubs can find the money to compete with the French. It would not be right for a few Premiership clubs to be subsidised by the RFU just to keep players in England if that meant that there would be even less money for everything else..
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By patgadd
The RFU could always save £700,000 a year by sacking their incompetent CEO!
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By TeflonTed
This will give RFU/PRL the opportunity to remove the “rugby creditors” concept without losing face.

How to populate P2 will be tricky. If the whole idea includes providing better funding than is currently available to Championship clubs then they’ll get plenty of volunteers. As well as Wasps, since Holland has stated he can provide a squad, would Wuss together with LI also be asked if they could provide a squad and whatever guaranteed level of self-funding is required.

And then what happens to promotion and relegation to and from P2?

Would Bedford, for example, be accepted if they maintained their long term view that they don’t want to join the Premiership whatever.

Lots to think about re. P2.
By A38

And is this a way back for Worcester? On paper it might be. But realistically, is there anyone with the necessary money to make it happen?
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By TeflonTed
There’s no mention of where the money comes from.

But we’re all discussing what is in effect a relaunch of level 2. But if you consider P1 to be in terminal decline at the turnstiles, a trend which broadcasters will surely note as an indicator of likely subscription level reduction, then it starts to look like it’s P1 that also needs a relaunch.

If the RFU are desperate enough to launch P2 they could possibly do a deal with PRL to divert some broadcast funds away from P1 to support the launch of P2. This might come into play only if PRL come to the conclusion that P1 is in terminal decline and the gap between P1 and the current championship is too wide to support a relaunch of a decaying P1 any other way.

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