"Stuck in the dark ages" - Joe Marler slams controversial Premiership decision to block promotion - Ruck

“Stuck in the dark ages” – Joe Marler slams controversial Premiership decision to block promotion

There will be no promotion to the Premiership this season after Ealing Trailfinders and Doncaster Knights failed to meet the standards required for the top flight.

This year, two Championship clubs – Doncaster Knights and Ealing Trailfinders – nominated their home grounds to be eligible for promotion and to be independently audited under the Minimum Standards Criteria. 

One of the minimum standards criteria is that the stadium must hold a minimum of 10,001 fans; this is to ensure the ground falls under the remit of the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA), regulated by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and the Green Guide, as well as to be of a standard suitable for the top league of one of the nation’s major sports.  This has been in place for many years but was considered again when the standards were reviewed last season.

Ealing Trailfinders does not currently have a licensed capacity, but the ground holds approximately 5,000 with 2,115 seats.

Doncaster Knights currently has a capacity of around 5,183 with 1,926 seats.

As a result, the independent audit has found that neither club has successfully met the Minimum Standards Criteria based on capacity (as well as other factors). The PGB therefore made a recommendation to RFU Board that neither club could be promoted to the Premiership for the 22/23 season. 

Marler tweeted: “Stuck in the dark ages still. Apparently they would rather not grow the game………”

Former Wasps and Leicester player Guy Thompson, who now plays in the Championship with Jersey, commented: “This is a really poor decision. Greedy owners that want to keep a monopoly on it. A team that wins a league deserves the opportunity to compete and grow. Such a predictable outcome by the @RFU!”

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