PLANS to replace automatic relegation from the Gallagher Premiership with an end-of-season play-off against the top Championship club have been backed by Worcester Warriors’ co-owner Colin Goldring.

Rugby chiefs are due to meet on September 13 – one month today – when they will be asked to support proposals to expand England’s top division from 12 to 13 teams.

Should the RFU Council back the move – which has already been rubber-stamped by the Professional Game Board – no team will be relegated from the Premiership next season with one side coming up.

From the 2020-21 campaign onwards, the bottom club will tackle the Championship winners in a two-legged play-off at the end of every season with the victors claiming a place in the top-flight.

Warriors have finished no higher than 10th since 2006 and were relegated in 2010 and 2014 only to come back up at the first time of asking.

Goldring, who jointly runs Warriors with Jason Whittingham, does not support ring-fencing but reckons the possible introduction of a relegation-promotion play-off “reduces the threat of teams getting themselves into financial trouble”.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for Premiership Rugby,” Goldring told the Rugby Paper.

“There’s huge potential for expansion and growth and I think Premiership Rugby will become a pinnacle of the world game in the future as far as domestic competition is concerned.

“My observation is that while the Championship clubs play a good game, there is a gulf between that competition and the Premiership.

“In terms of safety there’s a big difference in weight and impact and there’s a lot of infrastructure behind Premiership clubs that’s still developing in the Championship.

“For a short period, there needs to be some controls that enable Championship clubs to have a period of growth and enable the Premiership to have a degree of certainty.

“That can only be a good thing and while I don’t support ring-fencing, I do support an expansion of the Premiership to 13 clubs and having a play-off between the club at the bottom of the Premiership and the club potentially coming up.

“It means the club coming up is right for the Premiership and offers protection for both sides, which benefits everyone and reduces the threat of teams getting themselves into financial trouble.

“Ultimately, it’s about what benefits the whole of rugby and although the RFU and Championship still have to be happy with it, I believe it is the best solution.”

Earlier this year private equity firm CVC Capital Partner bought a 27 per cent stake in Premiership Rugby in a deal reportedly worth £225million.

According to Warriors’ latest accounts, the Sixways club received £8.2million in cash inflow from CVC.

“It’s not just about the money with CVC, it’s everything else they bring to the table,” Goldring said.

“They see the Premiership is strong and want clubs to keep investing in growing the competition and their stadiums.

“Americans do it well with the NFL and all their sporting events and when fans come down to Sixways they should have an incredible day out.

“Results are part of that, but fans will also forgive you the odd loss if you’re giving them a brilliant matchday experience and with the plans we have I’m sure Worcester fans will be delighted.”