The Gallagher Premiership is set to suspend relegation until the 2024/25 season and could also be expanded to 14 clubs in the near future.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, the top-flight of English club rugby could be set for a major overhaul as the Premiership moves another step closer to being ring-fenced.
Relegation has already been suspended for the current season due to a number of Premiership fixtures being cancelled due to the pandemic, meaning that the league will consist of 13 clubs next season.
Here’s a reminder of how it looks heading into #GallagherPrem R16 📊
Check out the fixture list to see all the updated kick off times this weekend 👇
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) April 13, 2021
One team from the Greene King IPA Championship will be promoted to the Premiership at the end of the current season, with Saracens likely to reclaim their place in the English top-flight.
Ealing Trailfinders, who are currently top of the Championship, are understood to be interested in becoming the 14th Premiership club and are willing to invest £20-35million to become full shareholders.
The London-based Ealing Trailfinders will be the favourites to secure promotion from the Championship next season, as no Premiership club will be relegated at the conclusion of the current season.
The battle for promotion from the Championship
While Saracens are the favourites to win the Championship this year, Ealing will still aim to earn promotion this at the end of the season, thanks to the three-time European champions’ loss to Cornish Pirates in the first round.
Promotion to the Premiership will be decided by a play-off final at the end of the Championship season, with only the top two clubs in the league qualifying for said play-off.
Following on from our successful trip to Cornish Pirates, another big week ahead taking on Jersey at home. pic.twitter.com/KmUQaBrpF3
— Ealing Trailfinders (@ealingtfrugby) April 12, 2021
Ealing currently top the table with the maximum haul of 25 points from five matches, while Saracens sit in third place on 15 points after four matches.
Should Ealing manage to defeat Saracens in their regular season fixture they could deny them a place in the play off final, as Doncaster Knights are currently also unbeaten after five games.
Saracens have responded strongly to their first round upset against the Pirates however, and have eased to three bonus-point wins against the Jersey Reds, Richmond and Bedford Blues.