Steven Broomhead is chief executive of Warrington Borough Council and vice chairman of Warrington Wolves and writes a regular column

When I started work here in 1994 I was told that rugby league is in the DNA of the town.

While other sports are significant, this is certainly true in terms of its economic impact, emotional commitment and participation. It is our key “Happiness Industry”.

We have a well led and managed professional club that links well with our seven community clubs.

However, from a national business perspective, rugby league faces a number of challenges that need urgent resolution.

The total turnover of rugby league is approximately £118m and last year the RFL posted a small loss of £220k mainly due to property write downs (Odsal Stadium), staff restructuring and a downturn in media rights income.

Spectator numbers are flat lining or falling at some clubs, TV audiences are falling and participation in the sport is not increasing – which is a reason why Sport England has reduced their financial commitment.

The positives are the 2017 World Cup final with England competing and the Grand Final was a sell out.

The sport is at crossroads.

It needs to grow its audiences, have sustainable and stable clubs, grow participation, becoming a national compelling product, (not just for the North), and be a customer led sport with a welcoming environment. The Wire is leading the way on these issues.

In 2021, there will be a critical moment with the current media deals ending, the Rugby League World Cup and the end of Sport England funding support.

In the short term decisions need to be made.

There is a new context with the RFL now reverting back its governance, regulation and leadership function while the separate Super League takes responsibility for the sport and its commercial future.

Most are agreed that current structure and the marketing of Super League/Championship are not fit for purpose.

To help to reinvigorate, in the short term I would suggest that the current Super League structure reverts back to 'one up, one down' with a play off game for the promotion from the Championship.

Certainty is needed for the seasons fixtures – so I would opt for the continuation of a 12 team Super League with 29/30 fixtures published at the start.

Clubs will vote on this issue at the RFL council tomorrow, Friday.

READ MORE > Why Wolves want to scrap the Super 8s

A major re-brand and marketing push are also needed.

Rugby league is a great game but not sadly as prosperous as 'kick and clap' rugby union (sorry about my prejudices).

Rugby union is subject to private equity bid of £275m. Rugby union clubs even receive millions of pounds to release players to play for England – in rugby league nothing is given.

Let’s hope our rugby league leaders can take the optimum decisions very soon.