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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Whitehaven RL fans' petition calls for Super League changes

A Whitehaven fans’ group are widening the scope of their petition calling for the return of promotion and relegation to and from Super League.

The initial response of around 800 supporters to Haven Horizon’s bid to replace the franchise model, adopted at the end of 2008, has heartened the group. And they are now to step up their call to the RFL.

Mike Rothery, Haven Horizon chairman, said: “We are encouraged by the initial response and now hope to push it further.

“I don’t know if we’ve hit enough people with it, so we will now go out in to other media. The likes of Featherstone Rovers and Halifax have the structures in place and are doing everything right, but they are not getting a chance. We want to give the RFL a little nudge, to let them know what fans want.”

Haven were within three minutes of earning promotion to Super League in 2004, Leigh scoring late to take the NL1 Grand Final into extra-time, where they booked their own place in the top-flight the following season.

While Haven are not expected to be battling for honours in their first season back in the Championship, Rothery has been encouraged by their opening.

“We have got off to a good start, but our next two games are tough and will show how far we have come,” he said. “They will be a yardstick.”

Haven travel to Dewsbury on Sunday before entertaining title favourites Featherstone next week.

The next round of Super League licensing is scheduled to take place in 2014, but there is growing speculation the structure of the game will change prior to that date. The RFL’s interim chairman, Maurice Watkins, last year revealed they were looking in to re-introducing automatic promotion and relegation.

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