After the full length of the playoffs for the championship has now finished, whether you agree or disagree with the system, London welsh have been crowned the league winners.
The large downfall with being the league winners is their ground does not make the grade for premiership rugby. To combat this intelligibility for promotion they managed to strike a deal with Oxford utd for a ground share now qualifying them for the promotion they have earned, and for Falcons relegation.
In their wisdom only know to the RFU this application has also been refuted and again London welsh are destined for another season in the championship.
By many the whole playoff system is deemed as a joke and that the team who finish in first should earn the promotion, being Bristol who's ground is eligible for premiership rugby. But the playoff system is in place so the teams must accept the rules and try to succeed in that medium.
Over the last few years the RFU has been criticised for the manor in which it has been run. Before the Rugby World Cup the organisation itself was in disarray with members leaving and heading into the tournament with uncertainty in the hierarchy. They have also been accused of running it as a business concern as opposed to a national sporting concern, shortly after q disastrous world cup announcing record profits for the year. England are considered as one of the top rugbying nations but at the moment their systems and management skills are beginning to turn them into a mockery in the rugbying community.
Is it time as a governing body took stock of the way in which it is being ran and looked at all systems of the club rugby set up before they are the joke they are rapidly becoming.
I personally am opposed to the playoff system and feel it needs to change, but in this instance I am supporting London Welsh in their appeal against the RFU.
London Welsh statement on appeal
The London Welsh Rugby Football Club Board met this morning, May 31st and it was confirmed that the club will be appealing against the RFU ruling that London Welsh have failed the Minimum Standards Criteria and therefore cannot be promoted to the Premiership.
"We shall be lodging an appeal in the very near future and in parallel we are pursuing all other available opportunities to make sure we can take our rightful and deserved place in the Aviva Premiership".said Bleddyn Phillips, the club chairman.
The one small worry I have is the day before the announcement of London welsh's promotion being declined Newcastle Falcons were making signings for next season. A club on the cusp of relegation making signings such as Rory Lawson, ex-Bath pairing Higgins and Crockett to name three of the eight, theese are players I could not see being enticed to a championship team. So is it possible that Falcons were already aware of London Welsh's fate?
The announcement on the day of the first leg of the final was also very poor timing and quite detrimental to the players who believed they could be competing for a chance of premiership rugby. Luckily it was not to dampen their spirit and two fantastic legs of rugby was displayed, giving a good advertisement for championship rugby.
Good luck to London Welsh in your uphill battle and RFU swallow your pride and listen to the fans who support you!!