Aviva Premiership
McGeechan calls for end to relegation
ESPNscrum Staff
May 13, 2011
Bath director of rugby Ian McGeechan looks on, Bath v Exeter Chiefs, Aviva Premiership, the Recreation Ground, Bath, England, April 9, 2011
Sir Ian McGeechan would back an end to relegation © Getty Images

Sir Ian McGeechan has called for an end to relegation in the Aviva Premiership for 'the good of rugby'.

The Bath director of rugby believes that the league should be expanded to 14 teams, incorporating the likes of Worcester and Bristol, to ease financial pressure in the top flight and second-tier Championship.

This year's Championship run-in has been tainted as only Richard Hill's Worcester are eligible for promotion under the Premiership's stringent criteria. They currently hold a 21-12 lead over Cornish Pirates in the two-legged play-off final, with their rivals unable to make the step up.

Leeds are set to be relegated after finishing bottom of the Premiership and are managing a £2million debt racked up in the past two seasons - with top flight stability their aim.

"There's only certain teams that feel they're in a position to be in the Premiership," McGeechan told BBC Points West. "If it's 13 or 14 teams then we should bring that group together.

"I think the professional game is still learning to be a business and support itself as a business. If more than 12 teams are capable [of being in the Premiership] then we should say; 'you've got five years to build a business plan and work as a group', and they should change the league format slightly if they have to.

"I think it also takes the pressure off the Championship clubs and their finances and expenditure. I think you need core stability all the way down the leagues not just in the Premiership - I think for the good of rugby."

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