Keighley Cougars may have been the biggest opponent to the ‘Reimagining Rugby League’ proposals under IMG, but huge changes at the club are coming as a result.

With the vote on approving the proposals, which will see promotion and relegation scrapped and instead ensuring clubs are graded and placed in leagues based on a range of on and off-field criteria, going against Keighley, co-owner Ryan O’Neill admitted that the club ultimately had to accept the results of a democratic process.

Cougars now say they are embarking on an exciting journey over the next three years, aiming to contest for a spot in Super League.

They had been hoping to do that on the field, with a range of marquee signings in 2022 and 2023.

Many of those, like Luke Gale, Dane Chisholm and Ben Crooks, have now departed, with Keighley now taking a different approach.

They said in a club statement: “With clear directions from IMG and The RFL, our club will focus towards obtaining grade A status in the coming years, focusing on comprehensive development in all areas.

“The upcoming 2024 new stand will provide top-notch facilities, including three hospitality suites and community rooms, benefiting the entire area and fostering a stronger connection with the community.

“Additionally, Cougars plan to enhance the matchday experience by creating a deck in the current scoreboard area for live band performances before and after games, ensuring a fun-filled entertainment day for families and fans.

Keighley News: A mock-up of the proposed 'Cougar Stage' at Keighley going forward.A mock-up of the proposed 'Cougar Stage' at Keighley going forward. (Image: @Cougarmania.)

“Recognising the importance of women’s rugby, the club is reintroducing a women’s team, responding to the interest from fans and players who want to represent the town, aligning with the vital part of IMG/RFL plans.

“The club is also working on building a strong and competitive squad for the 2024 season, with the hopes of securing a spot in the play-offs and making a mark in Super League in two to three years.

“Exciting signings are on the horizon too, so stay tuned for more news.”