The Rugby Football Union haved approved temporary suspension of relegation from the Premiership.
After a vote passed on Friday with a “strong majority”, the league will expand to 13 teams next term, with one side promoted from the Championship.
Worries from BT Sport are understood to have been allayed by the assurance that putting a hold on relegation would apply only to this season.
There will then be engagement with the league’s broadcaster, BT Sport, along with clubs, sponsors, players and fans on what happens for future seasons.
The key points of the vote are:
- At the end of season 2020/21 there will be no relegation from the Premiership into the Championship, and no relegation from the Championship into National One.
- Provided the winner of the 2020/21 Greene King IPA Championship is eligible for promotion under the current Minimum Standards Criteria, the 2021/22 season to consist of 13 teams in the Gallagher Premiership and 11 in the Greene King IPA Championship.
- Holistic new minimum standards on and off the pitch for promotion to the Gallagher Premiership will be developed between now and the end of May 2021 with involvement and approval from Council which will be designed to promote sustainability in the professional game.