Aviva Premiership
Premiership Rugby to review promotion protocol
ESPN Staff
August 21, 2012
London Welsh captain Jonathan Mills poses with the Premiership silverware, Aviva Premiership fixtures announcement, Twickenham Stoop, London, England, July 4, 2012
London Welsh skipper Jon Mills will hope to inspire his team this term © Getty Images
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Tournaments/Tours: Aviva Premiership
Teams: London Welsh

Premiership Rugby has moved to prevent any repeat of the fiasco that surrounded London Welsh's promotion to the Aviva Premiership.

The Exiles' promotion was confirmed on June 29 - a month after they beat the Cornish Pirates in the play-off final of the RFU Championship. The Exiles failed on their original bid for promotion but after appeal, this was overturned with the panel focusing on the ambiguity surrounding the 'primacy of tenure' stipulations outlined in the minimum standards criteria necessary for promotion.

This is something that Premiership Rugby CEO Mark McCafferty will look into but he has played down wholesale changes to the entry criteria.

"The appeal panel did not rule against primacy of tenure itself but found we were not able to justify the three exceptions and we now have to decide how many we can live with from television's point of view," McCafferty told the Guardian. "There is also the question of how important ground ownership is to clubs.

"Evidence suggests that non-match day revenue plays a crucial part in sustaining a professional club and market forces will draw more clubs to owning their own grounds. Saracens are moving to their own ground in the New Year, Sale have a deal in place, Wasps are talking about building their own ground and London Welsh have been linked with a buy-out of the Kassam Stadium.

"What we have to do, and the professional game board is meeting next month, is shorten the decision-making process when it comes to ruling whether the Championship winners meet the criteria. Everyone involved in the play-offs needed to know where they stand before the matches start, as well as the bottom team in the Premiership. There was too much speculation last season and we need to provide clarity."

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