BETFRED Championship and League One clubs have given gave their backing in principle for both New York and Ottawa to enter in 2020.

The two North American consortia overcame the first hurdle after addressing the member clubs at a meeting in Salford yesterday where, in an indicative vote, they received a comfortable majority.

New York delegates Ricky Wilby and New Zealander Tony Feasey told the clubs they have secured an agreement with Virgin Atlantic to fly visiting teams and officials premium economy class to New York, and agreed commercial deals with Hilton Hotels, Macron and Mastercard.

They have also signed a deal with a production company and are in discussions with ESPN-Plus about a broadcast deal.

They were followed by Toronto Wolfpack founder Eric Perez, who outlined his plan to relocate League One club Hemel Stags to Ottawa.

He was accompanied by former Hemel coach and ex-Barrow player Dean Thomas, and a representative of one of 15 owners.

Both consortia say they need an answer by the end of April if they are to enter League One in time for the 2020 season.

The final decision rests with the RFL board, who say they will take into account the feedback from clubs at yesterday's meeting.

Representatives of Warrington Wolves, Salford Red Devils, Catalans Dragons, Hull Kingston Rovers and Leeds Rhinos attended on behalf of Super League as observers.

RFL senior executive director Simon Johnson said; "The clubs were in principle supportive by a comfortable majority of the proposals for both Ottawa and New York to join the competitions.

"We will carry on consulting, but this is an important hurdle."

The next RFL board meeting is not due until May, but directors could meet earlier.