http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/nrl/the-under-20s-competition-is-set-to-be-scrapped-at-the-end-of-next-season/story-fni3fbgz-1227386146529 The under-20s competition is set to be scrapped at the end of next season DAVID RICCIO THE DAILY TELEGRAPH JUNE 07, 2015 12:00AM THE under-20s National Youth League Holden Cup competition could be scrapped at the end of next season with it’s future to be discussed at a meeting of club chief executives next week. The financial stress and weekly logistic strain on clubs, coupled with what value it is worth to Holden Cup broadcaster Fox Sports ahead of a new TV broadcast deal in 2017 has created serious discussion among NRL powerbrokers that the 20s competition is on borrowed time. All 16 NRL chief executives will meet on Thursday at Sydney Olympic Park where the agenda will be led by NRL chief executive Dave Smith. The Sunday Telegraph has been told the future of the under-20s competition will feature as a point of discussion with a 28 per cent decline in TV viewers between 2014 and 2015. Average audiences have been 18,800 this Holden Cup season. Introduced in 2008, the Holden Cup competition was originally named the Toyota Cup. It was heralded as an opportunity for young footballers to gain exposure on a far greater level and a vital tool in talent adjusting to the demands of professional football. Current NRL stars Gareth Widdop, Trent Merrin, Ben Barba, Jake Friend, Chris Sandow, Wade Graham and Tim Mannah all featured in the inaugural Toyota Cup season. The competition consists of teams from all 16 clubs that participate in the NRL competition, fielding squads made up of players between the ages of 17 and 19. The draw and structure mirrors the NRL competition which leaves every club, the majority of which fight tooth and nail for funding, working under a salary cap of $250,000 for a squad of 25 players. Extra costs associated with the salaries for coaching staff, strength and conditioning coaches, medical staff and travel and accommodation are the issues which will be aired by the majority of clubs. There is also a much more serious issue of; the pressure and expectation on the game’s next generation of footballers played a role in the tragic suicide of several Holden Cup players? One proposal is that the under-20s competition return under the banner of a statewide competition, which would be run by the NSWRL and QRL. “The clubs aren’t massive fans of it,’’ one well-placed club official said. “It’s a big expense and I don’t know how much value Fox is getting out of it. “I think there would be broad support to push the 20s back into a state league competition, from what I can understand. “How they get to it and how they unwind (the Holden Cup) and when they have to make a call by — I’m not sure. “You’ve got coaching staff and players involved so that’s why you've got to make a call at some point, which should be well in advance of 12-months out from the new TV deal.’’ Any decision made by the 16 CEO’s on Thursday will then be forwarded to the ARL Commission, who will make the final call on if the under-20s competition continues into the future. ================================================== Wonder if ticket prices will halve NRL is killing off ground attendances to boost the TV Ratings figures - along with any remaining atmosphere at a ground Who will travel a couple of hours and pay $45, to watch a single game of footy?