Burnham wants Super League stories
Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has called on Super League to scrap its licensing system and bring back promotion and relegation.
After 2007 automatic promotion and relegation was suspended for Super League with new teams to be admitted on a licence basis with the term of the licence to start in 2009. Burnham is MP for Leigh, whose rugby side, Leigh Centurions, applied for a Super League licence in 2009 but lost out to Salford City Reds and Celtic Crusaders. Centurions have only spent one season in Super League, back in 2005 when they won just two games all season and were immediately relegated back to National League One. Burnham believes the current system is causing damage to clubs both outside and inside the division. "I'm very much speaking as a constituency MP as opposed to a former culture secretary but I'm picking up a lot of comments from rugby league circles that people are concerned about the damage that's being done to the game," Burnham told the Guardian. "I don't think the closed shop approach that we have in rugby league at the moment is consistent with the British way of doing things. The dream factor is the lifeblood of any sport - it keeps hope alive within the club and it keeps fans going through the turnstiles "What I see in Leigh and other rugby league towns like Whitehaven, Halifax and Featherstone shows that, if you're not careful, taking that dream away has a dampening effect on the whole place."