Super League: Expanded competition is common sense says John Kear – BBC Sport

John Kear oversaw Bradford Bulls’ promotion to the Championship in 2018

Super League would benefit from expanding to 14 clubs from 12 and dropping the loop fixtures, says Bradford Bulls coach John Kear.

Top-flight teams play 29 games apiece, home and away once, plus a Magic round and then six extra ‘loop’ matches.

Those games are decided using two pools of odds versus evens, from the previous season’s league positions.

“A 14-team Super League is common sense,” Wales coach Kear told the 5 Live Rugby League podcast.

“The Super League teams want to have so many home fixtures, and if you have 14 teams you would then have 13 home and and away fixtures and the Magic.

“That would satisfy the Super League teams much better than what we’ve got at the moment which is a 12-team Super League and the loop fixtures, which I find are absolutely ludicrous.

“You get sick of watching Wigan versus Warrington when you get around to what is game five or game six between the clubs that season.

“Obviously, if that happens, the Sky money from the broadcaster is divided between 14 rather than 12, so it would dilute the money clubs would receive.”

Previously Catalans Dragons have had their own broadcast deal in France, although beIN Sports ended their contract after 2019, while Canadian side Toronto Wolfpack also had their own broadcast contract during their time in the lower leagues but agreed a deal with Sky for 10 games in 2020.

Bringing an extra two teams in would also leave the Championship open to a reshuffle.

The Bulls are one of 14 teams in the second tier, while in League One, Hemel Stags’ withdrawal and the proposed introduction of Ottawa Aces next season currently leaves 11 teams in the bottom tier.

With only five rounds played in the Championship – not all of which have been completed by all clubs – allocating a top flight place for two of those second-tier teams would likely be made on a basis not connected to 2020 results, unless the season is completed.

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