I'd argue Lewis put us on a solid footing, Wood hasn't taken the situation anyway forward - coat-tails like I said.
Are clubs always right? - I'm sure you have heard the saying that turkeys don't vote for Christmas - clubs will never vote for anything that undermines their position. The majority vote in this case is with the status quo rather than the innovative and progressive.
You are missing my point about the need for a review - it is not specifically surrounding or restricted to the value of the SC alone, it is about re-evaluating the original focus of the restriction which was to prevent clubs spending more than 50% of their income. The original approach to protect clubs has seemed to evolved into a system to level the competition in SL, which as it is done through restriction will always play towards the lowest common denominator rather than providing an incentive for clubs to grow. Meanwhile RU has gone from strength to strength and is starting to be sensible with money investing in cherry picking young players rather than overpaying for established 'stars'. The RFL having done nothing through the SC to provide incentivise or even prioritise youth development, reward loyalty or give clubs better opportunities to protect themselves in keeping their rising stars out of the clutches of another sport. No RFL club can afford to pay stupid money to every prospect, but neither can we all bury our heads in the sand that the production line will keep on going and do nothing, whilst the trickle out of the game gets ever stronger and the international performances get no better.
Any planning for future franchising should be done now and the CEO should be strong on clubs that have not started to deliver on all their promises. The whole franchising decision last time lacked transparency and dare I say it was finger in the wind based on Lewis's whims rather than a fair and consistent model. That's fine, as long as you don't try to dress it up as something else, like they did at the time. Wood should now be tackling the issue of franchising and the influence of the economic troubles, as there is clearly an issue of clubs being incapable of delivering on the promises they made at the first round - some through no fault of their own, others due to blatant lies. The RFL needs to be clear how they will handle these situations, the potential lack of economic viability associated to further expansion and whether it will curtail aspirations for the game at the next round. Otherwise I can foresee a situation where clubs get yet another three years good grace just because they happened to be in the right place at the right time in 2008, rather than because of their professionalism, ongoing growth and general contribution to the top level.
It has been done to death, but nothing pro-active has resulted - we still have the same old teams looking for the same old substandard imports year on year and getting by on exclusions and loopholes rather than having to focus on youth development. How many clubs still look for quick fixes? How many times were we told that expansion clubs would grow the game in new areas yet two out of three are filled with foreigners? How much was made of franchising as the saviour of SL in allowing clubs to transition and build from within?
There's no doubt in my mind that we are spun a line consistently to justify poor decision making and ill thought through strategies for the game, and it will remain to be the case while people continue to believe that the RFL don't constantly get it wrong or are ever held accountable for the negative outcomes.
Evidence from Edinburgh this year was all you needed to know that MM has had its day due to NW's mistakes regarding the chosen fixtures - yes, it was a fad that promoted the sport and it helped get a SL club in Wales, but is not worth the investment moving forward when expansion will be difficult due to constrained economics.
NW is just looking very indecisive from my perspective.
Venue choices of Doncaster and Leigh, together with the inability to fill the latter, tell you all you need to know about the lack of profile of international games and how it is not working having a flat track bully in England hammer France every Summer only to get drubbed by the big boys in Autumn. France need competitive games, but they also have a level to develop from which is the second tier with Wales, Ireland and Scotland. England need strong opponents to test them and innovative thinking - whether that is Probables vs Possibles, Wests vs Easts, England vs Imports I don't know - but hey, I ain't paid £200k a year at the RFL to make decisions and come up with viable strategies to improve the game either. Although I'm probably still as successful at the minute as NW has been.
Coat-tails again for Mr. Wood - where are the positives that he has brought personally? what big decisions has he made or got right? The RFL have only been seen in a positive light in recent times because Lewis was in a no lose situation - Red Hall was a shambles from the best part of three decades and the only way was up.
Thats where we differ - I want a CEO who makes big decisions and is accountable for them, not just manage a status quo without obvious improvement. To an extent Lewis was the former (despite some obvious failings), whilst Wood is clearly the latter.
Edited by giwildgo, 24 July 2010 - 11:49 AM.