London Welsh are currently locking horns more seriously this morning with the RFU over their non-promotion from the RFU Championship, after they beat Cornish Pirates in Wednesday’s Final 2nd leg.
The trouble with this process is that no-one knows quite what is being asked of Welsh or in fact, any other Championship club. Well, to help that process, I’ve obtained a copy of the document circulated by the RFU’s auditors PMP Legacy to outline the standards required for promotion.
For 40 pages, it goes into considerable detail – and runs to around 99 criteria, all of which has to be passed for a club to be recommended to pass the audit. It’s not been published before. To summarise, the Primacy of Tenure is defined in the document as follows :
· Clubs have to schedule home matches at any point on Fri, Sat and Sun/bank holidays between 12pm and 8pm, including any home semi final
· Allow broadcasters to show matches at any point given appropriate notice
· Final match of regular season is at any kick off time on afternoons of both Saturday and Sunday.
The RFU has the right to ignore findings of audit for both Premiership and Championship clubs and waive need to comply. But my impression is that such a move would be a nuclear option in terms of the political relations between the RFU board and the Premiership that it seems unlikely.
One nugget to come out that is interesting surrounds Wasps .The criteria document clearly states Wasps, Saracens and London Irish are all in breach, relating to Primacy of Tenure but they are exempt from punishment with one exception.
If one of them had finished bottom and whoever won the Championship couldn’t meet the key criteria, there would have been a two-legged playoff between bottom club in Premiership and the Championship’s champion to decide who went up.
That could easily have been Wasps…and can you imagine their reaction at being called back a month after the end of the season to play a two legged playoff against a side still battle-hardened from the Championship Final? Can you imagine Stuart Lancaster’s thoughts on having to remove all Wasps players from his England squad? Can you imagine Wasps fans – having thought that they were safe – reacting to the news that actually, they weren’t?
Or is this a clause inserted into the document for legal reasons to try to win any possibly court action? We’ll see…anyway. Have a look for yourself.
All I would like to know is where a stadium as modern as the Kassam Stadium fails to meet the Criteria