SO the clubs have voted to reject Toronto Wolfpack’s return by 8-4 and Super League will now have to decide on what next with the vacant 12th spot for 2021.

The situation is complicated by the fact that there has been no Championship rugby league since March, so there is no natural replacement via promotion.

The clubs could vote to leave it blank, split the share 11 ways and give one club a bye each week, until a candidate wins its place from the tier below.

That, however, would not send out the best message – particularly if it was then followed up with a vote of no relegation until Super League’s dozen is restored in 2022.

There will be a lot of self-interest at stake here that Super League and the game as a whole needs to rise above.

The 2021 season will be tough enough, but having clubs beyond the leaders playing for nothing would make for an even duller competition to sell to prospective TV partners going forward.

If the clubs do vote to fill the spot, how do they determine who is best qualified?

Do they refer back to the best-placed Championship teams from 2019 and make them play off?

Or could they simply send for relegated London to fill the void – after all the Broncos only went down on points difference last term. They finished that year on 20 points, the same as Hull KR and just two behind Huddersfield and Wakefield and only four behind Leeds.

Plenty of teams in the Championship would fancy a crack – Leigh invested heavily in players and would love another crack at Super League at a well-appointed LSV.

York, too, have brought in experience for 2021 – and the Minstermen have that magnificent new stadium that would grace the top-flight.

And what of the ambitious Toulouse Olympique – could another French team in the Super League be a more realistic expansion project.

They finished second in the table behind Wolfpack in 2019, while Featherstone Rovers were runners up in the play-off final.

Widnes Vikings, who were relegated from the top-flight in 2018, are still in recovery after being saved from liquidation by their loyal supporters in 2019.

Time is tight – but that should not be used as an alibi for the easy option.

Although we have not finished this year’s Super League campaign, plans will have to be put in place for the start of what will already be a Covid-impacted start to 2021.

With that in mind, and with Championship currently sidelined, should we be looking at a licensing system to allocate this spot?

All those clubs with a strong case to be considered should put their names forward. And selection should be based not simply on their playing capabilities but also junior development, stadium, facilities, crowd potential and what they bring to the overall package of Super League.