Premiership Rugby were warned not to preside over a closed shop without relegation drama, like football’s controversial of plan, by top coach Pat Lam.
The Bristol Bears boss, who has guided his side to the top of the league this season, is worried that a lack of threat at the bottom is allowing the worst teams to ease off the gas in the final rounds.
And as Sportsmail revealed that club chiefs are considering closing the top-flight off until 2024 Lam is concerned the product will suffer with no-consequence blow-out results.
Coach Peter Lam is concerned the Premiership could suffer without the threat of relegation
‘I totally understand the need to ring-fence, but the competition needs to be strong right through,’ said Lam who has coached in Super Rugby and the Pro 14 which lack jeopardy after structural changes.
‘There needs to be an incentive – whether it’s financial or whatever – to being No 11 as opposed to 12 so the competition stays strong.
‘Historically the threat was relegation, but if we’ve taken that out what’s the incentive for bottom teams?
Premiership leaders Bristol Bears were promoted from the Championship in 2018
‘In the football what I’m seeing is that there’s no consequences for being bottom of that really rich league.
‘I’d hate to be finishing bottom and having to explain to the board it’s okay as we’re still here next year.
‘If it is not an every-game-matters, it’s not sustainable.’