Illustrative IMG Grading Announced

Wigan Warriors are one of seven Betfred Super League clubs to have been awarded Grade A status in the illustrative IMG grades.

The success of winning the 2023 Grand Final lifted the Warriors to second in the Club Grading for 2023 with a score of 16.87, a place behind Leeds Rhinos [17.49] and a rank ahead of St Helens [16.78].

The maximum score available for a Club is 20, which is based on detailed analysis of every club’s performance under five pillars – On-Field Performance, Fandom, Finances, Stadium and Community.

Membership of the Betfred Super League in 2025 will be determined by the top 12 teams in the 2024 rankings, which will be announced at the culmination of the 2024 season.  

The main purpose of the indicative grading process in 2023 is to give clubs a clear indication of their strengths and weaknesses, and the areas in which they need to improve to increase their score in 2024.

Tony Sutton, the Chief Executive of the Rugby Football League, said: “Rugby League embarked on a bold journey with the launch of the strategic partnership with IMG in May 2022, and 18 months into that journey, the publication of these indicative club gradings is a highly significant step. 

“The sport has had to examine itself more closely than ever, at all levels – whether in terms of our central governance, or for our clubs in assessing all areas of their off-field performance.”

Sutton added: “The results are heartening, as seven of our clubs already reach the A Grade by reaching the score IMG set as the benchmark, and which we believe should be the level clubs need to achieve in order to confirm their place in our elite competition – and another 17 have earned a B Grade and now know exactly what they need to do to reach the higher level. 

“Congratulations are due to the A Grade clubs, although I know they will not be resting on their laurels as the key to the grading process is that it is dynamic and requires clubs to maintain standards. All clubs deserve recognition for the positive way in which they have engaged in this process, all with the aim of raising the standards of Rugby League – and of reimagining the sport.”  

Grading was one of seven recommendations which were presented to Rugby League in the autumn of 2022 as part of IMG’s Reimagining of the sport, and which were supported by a substantial majority of clubs at all levels.

Grading has been designed to incentivise clubs to grow their fanbase and top-line non-centralised revenue, to better engage with fans, to be run in a best-in-class way, to invest in their club and the sport in a sustainable way, and to ensure strong governance.

Wednesday 25 October 2023