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Eagles for SL


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#201 Griff

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 08:25 AM

Fax ran teams at u18 & u23 last year.


Yeah - you're right.
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#202 Griff

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 08:26 AM

You're missing the point.


Am I ?

The point is that any club could get off their backsides and earn this money.
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#203 RP London

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 08:46 AM

Why would the club suddenly spend money it doesnt have it was promoted under P&R?Perhaps they would spend the significantly extra revenues from bigger crowds and sky money wisely? Perhaps some players could stay part time - I would bet theyd still win at least as many as the ill prepared Widnes


people go on about spending hte full cap, then we expect clubs not to spend any extra money... there would be higher revenues but not necessarily bigger crowds straight away (super league does not ipso facto equal crowds).. they may spend it wisely but its still money spent.. They may win as many as widnes but they would no doubt still go down and become a yo yo club and that is where the money issues arise, its not necessarily the issue if you stay in as you continue to have the money bit if you go down with players on wages or having to rip the entire club apart that is when it all goes wrong and clubs go under.

#204 winnyason

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 08:48 AM

given toulouse had renovations approved http://www.ladepeche...ade-renove.html then you would think a shoe in this time around.

#205 RP London

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 09:28 AM

The problem with licence applications is that it is very difficult to dislodge an entenched SL incumbent ( In fact, it has never been done ). Any applicant is starting from a point of weakness in that they are competing against SL clubs who have had years to solidify their position and have had the benefit of Sky cash to help them along.

P and R however with automatic promotion, as you states, puts you on the yo/yo syndrome ladder spending money you don't have in order to survive.

To me, the obvious answer is promotion with standards. In other words, any club wanting promotion to SL has to win the championship and then satisfy the same criteria as are required of a licence applicant. If they don't, there is no promotion that season.

The difference between the two scenarios is that, if you win the Championship AND satisfy the licencing criteria, you will be guaranteed promotion and not be thrown into the crapshoot licencing process with no guarantee of SL due to the vagaries of that system, competing with existing SL clubs with friends in high places.

The bottom SL club should go down due to their lack of success on the field. If this sometimes throws up a yo yo team, then so be it. It will not always.

Thus this season, since Sheffield cannot tick all the boxes, especially on finance, then they would not be eligible for promotion. However, if say Featherstone had won or, down the road, Sheffield find the financing and win the championship, then they would know they were up, no ifs and buts and random licencing applications.


Yes i see where you are coming from on this and i dont necessarily disagree.. but to argue the other side.. the biggest problem with this is that no one knows until the last moment whether they are up or down.. there is a relagation fight but even if you lose it you may still stay up, that is not a satisfactory situation for any club to plan for the next season either.. do they make redundancies to staff and players, who do they recruit and what league are they in, players will leave while they are waiting for who wins the grand final.

To be honest i dont see an ideal world scenario whilst there is such a big gap between divisions that you cannot have straight P&R.... I have my own thoughts but thats not really or tis thread but either way someone will always be upset..

Sheffield have ticked a box so if they want to apply let them.. they may not make it but let them apply otherwise this goes further and further into farce.

#206 Griff

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 09:31 AM

To be honest i dont see an ideal world scenario whilst there is such a big gap between divisions that you cannot have straight P&R......


Key point. ;)
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#207 RP London

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 09:35 AM

1. Yes of course, sorry.

2. I am not beating Sheffield or writing them off on junior development. Never.

3. I have said that if they get a big backer then go for it. I am sure such a great club will come up with the goods.

But the catch 22 is Championship Rugby does not inspire the kids. A super league Sheffield would I am sure. But it has to be a Superleague Sheffield that competes in Super League and doesn't just lose most of it's games and sink financially.

Do the maths. Look at HKR losing half a million pounds a year on crowds Sheffield will never achieve in three years. How will anything positive come out of a three year license with a half million loss at least first year?? Then what do the club do second year?? Lower budgets but still add to the loss?? Where will they be year three??

A long sustained run competing in Superleague will see the club grow, but there isn't the money and the RFL cannot afford a three year disaster.....


HKR and Sheffield Eagles are not the same club, HKR and Wakefield are not the same club.... what happens at one cannot be extrapulated to such a simplistic level and plonked to anothr club.. HKR could easily be a complete basket case with poor spending behind the scenes or directors taking money out to pay for house renovations etc etc (i am not saying this is what is happening but making a somewhat extreme point)..

Eagles are not a basket case from what i can tell and are very much into spending what they earn... as such why make a loss in the first year, maybe they make a profit and be OK in the league, no more no less but OK.. year 2 they build on this and the development starts to bear fruit.. year 3 they are settled, making a small profit, team performing ok on the pitch and becuase of a bit of stability crowds start to grow...

A club run in a different way to the others may be able to make this work.. if they took the exact accounting of HKR then yes all is in the do do but why can they not be a club who do it differently and make it work on a shoe string for a bit..

Maths is easy to do and the maths at sheffield at the moment adds up to a positive.. by adding more numbers to it as long as you dont subtract more than you add all is still good.. business can run and make a profit, its about time a sports club ran in the same way.

I totally agree that the RFL cannot afford another disaster.. but could they afford to miss out on a chance at a strong club in Sheffield making money and starting to grow the interest??? we're massivly into hypotheticals here but this doesnt have to be a disaster, it jsut has to be managed sensibly and Sheffield have 10 years history of managing their income and expenditure.. thats more than a lot of clubs have

#208 Griff

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:06 AM

HKR and Sheffield Eagles are not the same club, HKR and Wakefield are not the same club.... what happens at one cannot be extrapulated to such a simplistic level and plonked to anothr club.. HKR could easily be a complete basket case with poor spending behind the scenes or directors taking money out to pay for house renovations etc etc (i am not saying this is what is happening but making a somewhat extreme point)..

Eagles are not a basket case from what i can tell and are very much into spending what they earn... as such why make a loss in the first year, maybe they make a profit and be OK in the league, no more no less but OK.. year 2 they build on this and the development starts to bear fruit.. year 3 they are settled, making a small profit, team performing ok on the pitch and becuase of a bit of stability crowds start to grow...

A club run in a different way to the others may be able to make this work.. if they took the exact accounting of HKR then yes all is in the do do but why can they not be a club who do it differently and make it work on a shoe string for a bit..

Maths is easy to do and the maths at sheffield at the moment adds up to a positive.. by adding more numbers to it as long as you dont subtract more than you add all is still good.. business can run and make a profit, its about time a sports club ran in the same way.

I totally agree that the RFL cannot afford another disaster.. but could they afford to miss out on a chance at a strong club in Sheffield making money and starting to grow the interest??? we're massivly into hypotheticals here but this doesnt have to be a disaster, it jsut has to be managed sensibly and Sheffield have 10 years history of managing their income and expenditure.. thats more than a lot of clubs have


Easy to say ... but the problem is that you set your playing budget before you know your income. If you overestimate your gate money, sponsorship money or whatever, you're still committed to paying the wages you agreed and there's a shortfall.

It's very easy to be overly optimistic.
"We'll sell you a seat .... but you'll only need the edge of it!"

#209 The Parksider

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 11:22 AM

Hull KR's 'losses' of circa £500k p.a are constantly being touted as the standard for SL clubs outside of the top 4, excluding Catalan and London.However, how do we know what is in HKR's accounts to make that loss? Too many unknowns for me for the '£500k' loss to be the basis of a whole range of arguments on many threads recently.


HKR’s losses were £500K. They were real losses and the boss said he would not make the losses up and therefore would not spend on expensive players, as a result several players have left HKR. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these events being the basis for logical argument.

There is no “standard” for losses. Do you deny at full salary cap spend London, Cas or Salford do not or could not make huge operating losses due to low crowds??? Bradford made losses on full cap that was a fact.

We just do not need to know the exact figures or make up of any operating losses to be able to conclude that losses be they £400K, £800K or £1.2M that are NOT made up by rich directors puts SL clubs in crisis and losses that ARE made up allows clubs to continue in SL. The effects of this are there to easily see without having to “know what’s in the accounts”.

To exclude the monetary argument from the discussion on CC, SL, P&R, Licensing, and clubs ambitions and resources is to destroy all logical argument and leave us with Fantasy Rugby league.

I'd be happy for their to be such an additional forum on this website, but I shan't be bothering with it.

#210 The Parksider

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 11:41 AM

1. HKR and Sheffield Eagles are not the same club, HKR and Wakefield are not the same club.... what happens at one cannot be extrapulated to such a simplistic level and plonked to another club.

2. Eagles are not a basket case from what i can tell and are very much into spending what they earn... as such why make a loss in the first year, maybe they make a profit and be OK in the league, no more no less but OK.. year 2 they build on this and the development starts to bear fruit.. year 3 they are settled, making a small profit, team performing ok on the pitch and becuase of a bit of stability crowds start to grow...


1, These clubs are the same. They all have to find £1.65M for wages to compete in SL, and a lot more to run the academy and business professionally. They all have to find it from fans, commercial and sponsors revenue, and if not a rich director. With respect if there is a different business plan for Super League survival somewhere I'd like to see it set out.

2. Nobody is a "basket case" RP that's just a slogan. They are RL clubs all striving to find the business plan to survive in Superleague.

You suggest Sheffield may "make a profit in the first year". How would they do that?? The Championship clubs have to turn over £1,000,000 to apply for SL, then they are given over £1,000,000 by SKY then they have to find at least the same money again to run the academies and staff a fully professional club.

Read down the attendance figures for the clubs from the top. At the start you find clubs who break even in Superleague on fans and rich directors, even in the middle the clubs are breaking even by being covered by directors loans until you get to the lower attendance clubs with no current directors loans going in.

Castleford, Salford, Hull.K.R. all who are making significant losses and admitting this is the case. These are clubs established some years in Superleague with attendances at 5,500 to 7,500. They have no rich director to cover the losses and they are annual six figure losses at those attendance levels. So I do ask you to "do the maths", as much as I admire your optimism.

Regretfully I also have to ask you to revise your idea that "in year two development may bear fruit" Is it the case that Sheffield have quality Superleague players only two years off coming into the team and making a dent on Superleague???

Also your comment "year three crowds start to grow". We come full circle. What would the crowds be until they start to grow? 3,000, 4,000? At those levels either Sheffield would not be paying anywhere near full cap and would be getting regular beatings, or if they were paying full cap they'd have a debt into the millions.

#211 Griff

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 11:47 AM

1, These clubs are the same. They all have to find £1.65M for wages to compete in SL, and a lot more to run the academy and business professionally. They all have to find it from fans, commercial and sponsors revenue, and if not a rich director. With respect if there is a different business plan for Super League survival somewhere I'd like to see it set out.

2. Nobody is a "basket case" RP that's just a slogan. They are RL clubs all striving to find the business plan to survive in Superleague.

You suggest Sheffield may "make a profit in the first year". How would they do that?? The Championship clubs have to turn over £1,000,000 to apply for SL, then they are given over £1,000,000 by SKY then they have to find at least the same money again to run the academies and staff a fully professional club.

Read down the attendance figures for the clubs from the top. At the start you find clubs who break even in Superleague on fans and rich directors, even in the middle the clubs are breaking even by being covered by directors loans until you get to the lower attendance clubs with no current directors loans going in.

Castleford, Salford, Hull.K.R. all who are making significant losses and admitting this is the case. These are clubs established some years in Superleague with attendances at 5,500 to 7,500. They have no rich director to cover the losses and they are annual six figure losses at those attendance levels. So I do ask you to "do the maths", as much as I admire your optimism.

Regretfully I also have to ask you to revise your idea that "in year two development may bear fruit" Is it the case that Sheffield have quality Superleague players only two years off coming into the team and making a dent on Superleague???

Also your comment "year three crowds start to grow". We come full circle. What would the crowds be until they start to grow? 3,000, 4,000? At those levels either Sheffield would not be paying anywhere near full cap and would be getting regular beatings, or if they were paying full cap they'd have a debt into the millions.


Agree with almost all this.
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#212 The Parksider

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 12:04 PM

Easy to say ... but the problem is that you set your playing budget before you know your income. If you overestimate your gate money, sponsorship money or whatever, you're still committed to paying the wages you agreed and there's a shortfall.

It's very easy to be overly optimistic.


Too true. I'm still searching for the virtuous upward spiral that sees clubs rise through the pyramid to knock on Superleagues door with an irresistable business plan built on no more than a current £1,000,000 turnover and a couple of thousand fans if they are lucky, and no SL quality players on the books.

The reality of a shortage of investors, money, fans and players and how things really work out are all there to see from previous seasons of SL.

Simple example. Widnes crowds 2011 3,700. Into Superleague they go and the crowds were 5,900. and they have three of the leagues biggest clubs on their doorstep. Result - big need for private money to compete.

We've had "Halifax for SL" "Fev for SL" "Eagles for SL" "Leigh for SL" etc etc. never once has it been explained to me without "overly optimistic" analyses of how they will buy the right players, they will win matches, and the crowds will then grow and they can then buy better players etc etc.

What we end up with is Probiz will pay our losses or Mr. Nahaboo will pay our losses or a rich investor is all we need but we don't have one because there's no P & R.

The only reason I argue against all this dreaming is the Championship ends up being treated like some prison where escape is vital to get away from the dying clubs trapped in the cells. We all used to love the days of semi-pro Rugby and the nearness of the opposition, the northern culture. It's still there to love and there's a great competition to enjoy, especially when it goes to 14 clubs next year.

#213 The Parksider

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 12:23 PM

To me, the obvious answer is promotion with standards. In other words, any club wanting promotion to SL has to win the championship and then satisfy the same criteria as are required of a licence applicant.


Oddly enough the "standard" for a championship club to enter Super League on the "one place is guaranteed in 2015 for a Championship club" ticket is a £1,000,000 turnover.

Oddly enough Audois has just reported that Les Catalans will run to a budget of £5,600,000 next year.

That's what your up against.

Edited by The Parksider, 11 October 2012 - 12:25 PM.


#214 shaun mc

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 12:46 PM

HKR’s losses were £500K. They were real losses and the boss said he would not make the losses up and therefore would not spend on expensive players, as a result several players have left HKR. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these events being the basis for logical argument.

There is no “standard” for losses. Do you deny at full salary cap spend London, Cas or Salford do not or could not make huge operating losses due to low crowds??? Bradford made losses on full cap that was a fact.

We just do not need to know the exact figures or make up of any operating losses to be able to conclude that losses be they £400K, £800K or £1.2M that are NOT made up by rich directors puts SL clubs in crisis and losses that ARE made up allows clubs to continue in SL. The effects of this are there to easily see without having to “know what’s in the accounts”.

To exclude the monetary argument from the discussion on CC, SL, P&R, Licensing, and clubs ambitions and resources is to destroy all logical argument and leave us with Fantasy Rugby league.

I'd be happy for their to be such an additional forum on this website, but I shan't be bothering with it.


The devil will always, without fail, be in the detail and granularity rather than the headlines. We have insufficient detail on the headline £500k loss to make sound broad-brush assumptions that applies throughout SL, apart from a £1.65m salary cap.

Its true that the salary cap for all SL clubs is the same ceiling level but that is where the similarities end. HKR are as different to Cas as they are to Wigan as they are to Sheffield. The £500k loss logical arguement applies to HKR only, in that their revenues, salary payments and cost structures meant a loss of some size that Hudgell chose to go public with. That loss could be an historical one, a current position or forecasted.

#215 keighley

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 12:49 PM


The Oakland Athletics in American Baseball are the Sheffield Eagles of their league. Although there is no p and r, there exists a sub strata of clubs who make up the numbers and never compete for honours. The Oakland A's were one of these. A decaying stadium, small attendances and no money to compete with the big boys.

They came up with a computer generated player evaluation system, picked up players other teams had discarded, traded for aging veterans who could still do a job and they ended up setting a major league record for consecutive wins and took the Yankees, the Wigan of baseball to the brink in the playoffs. There is a movie about this called ' Moneyball" They are back again this year challenging in the playoffs as we speak, still on a shoestring budget and beating the system. The architect of all this is a guy called Billy Beane, who has total control of the club.

This seems uncannily similar to the Eagles with MarK Aston filling the Billy Beane role. They pick up players no one heard of and win their league. They do it on a small budget and make a small profit. Their attendances are small but growing. The naysayers on here who are waving the never, ever a SL viable club from the lower leagues, would do well to contemplate that there are examples of ways to suceed without paying the top salary cap.This player pool will be even bigger with all the talent being released by SL clubs. The Eagles seem to be on that path. If they were given a SL place, with the Sky money, and if they were able to attract some shareholders, investors, even on a small scale, I would not bet against them pulling it off. Maybe not this season, but if they keep up their steady progression, in the future.

It is expected that new SL teams should be on a par with the top four from day one. This is unrealistic. If they can survive on the field and not fall into huge debt, that should be enough in the first couple of years. they would do no worse than at least half of the current incumbents if they could do that.

#216 Griff

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 12:59 PM

Agree with your "This is unrealistic" bit. :)
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#217 Northern Sol

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 12:59 PM

They did win just win the league below SL and that qualifies them to make a SL application........
No fev won the league Sheffield won the play off's different competition


Fev were league leaders or minor premiers if you wish, Sheffield won the league.

You get nowt for finishing top of the league. Play-off winners, runners-up and winners of the cup competition get to make SL applications.

#218 RP London

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 01:02 PM

1, These clubs are the same. They all have to find £1.65M for wages to compete in SL, and a lot more to run the academy and business professionally. They all have to find it from fans, commercial and sponsors revenue, and if not a rich director. With respect if there is a different business plan for Super League survival somewhere I'd like to see it set out.

2. Nobody is a "basket case" RP that's just a slogan. They are RL clubs all striving to find the business plan to survive in Superleague.

3. You suggest Sheffield may "make a profit in the first year". How would they do that?? The Championship clubs have to turn over £1,000,000 to apply for SL, then they are given over £1,000,000 by SKY then they have to find at least the same money again to run the academies and staff a fully professional club.

Read down the attendance figures for the clubs from the top. At the start you find clubs who break even in Superleague on fans and rich directors, even in the middle the clubs are breaking even by being covered by directors loans until you get to the lower attendance clubs with no current directors loans going in.

Castleford, Salford, Hull.K.R. all who are making significant losses and admitting this is the case. These are clubs established some years in Superleague with attendances at 5,500 to 7,500. They have no rich director to cover the losses and they are annual six figure losses at those attendance levels. So I do ask you to "do the maths", as much as I admire your optimism.

Regretfully I also have to ask you to revise your idea that "in year two development may bear fruit" Is it the case that Sheffield have quality Superleague players only two years off coming into the team and making a dent on Superleague???

Also your comment "year three crowds start to grow". We come full circle. What would the crowds be until they start to grow? 3,000, 4,000? At those levels either Sheffield would not be paying anywhere near full cap and would be getting regular beatings, or if they were paying full cap they'd have a debt into the millions.


1. no they are not.. every single club is different, they have some similar pressures yes because they play in the same league but as a whole every club is different and should be treated as such
2. yes there are absolutely Basket Cases... there are in every business.. we had a look at buying another business that had gone under a while back but when you looked at it it was an utter basket case.. there was no way on gods green earth it was going to stay solvent in tough times and it was going to be a hell of a job for anyone to turn it around.. as it was it got asset stripped because as a whole it was a basket case and no one in their right mind would have taken it on.. they are out there and there are Basket Case Rugby League clubs becuase there is no way they can possibly work as they are structured.. they need to be stripped down and dealt with they do not stand a chance and they dont have a business plan
3. if i knew that i wouldnt be doing what i did i would be working for sheffield eagles and getting them into super league tomorrow becuase i would be an effing genius! the point is that turning a profit is as simple as spending less than you earn... there are ways to do it, they are doing it now, there is no reason to think they cannot do it there.

I do "do the maths" i also run a company and i know there are ways and means to make sure that you make a profit.. you are being pessimistic, i am being slightly optimistic.. the point i am making throughout the whole thing is you cannot judge a club on the past performances of other clubs run in different areas by different people.. Sheffield have done a fantastic job making a profit in a league and sport where that is rarely the case.. why must they fail as soon as thye step into super league.. if that is the case then super league needs to pack professionalism in as it is simply not sustainable and i dont believe that is the case. Run a club properly and there is no reason it cannot turn a profit and work..

year 2 players.. probably not (although if you "do the math" you will work out that time to next liscencing period starting (2015) plus 1 year is not 2 years.. but hey ho).. but its not all about players coming through to "bear fruit" as development is also development off the field in suppporters etc,.. development is a broad term.. it also includes having squad players that are juniors which means that they are cheaper etc etc etc

year 3 why do teams have to pay full cap... the cap is the limit not the aim... yes you could see it as an aim becuase if you can pay it and stay solvent your doing well but until then you have to pay what you can afford and there is nothing wrong with that.. teams can survive fine on the field without paying full cap.. and i do mean survive not flourish.. its later on as things settle that you can grow..

teams that come in with some thought they will all of a sudden will top the tables with no money are a basket case.. there is no other way to term it.. they will go bust.

I totally understand where Griff is coming from about variables etc.. but when you plan (there are variables in any business, i have to plan on projected sales for example) you have margins for error, you also alter as these variables start to become more realistic and settled.. its not an exact science and there is no way to predict what will happen in year 2 or year 3 or year 1 but the point is that you cannot possibly know that it will all fall about around your ears either.. your prepared to say that it cannot work based on past experience of the league, but yet the past experience of this sheffield eagles is that actually they can make it work where others are continuing to fail.

Edited by RP London, 11 October 2012 - 01:11 PM.


#219 Griff

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 01:06 PM

To be fair, Sheffield wouldn't have to "find extra money" to run Academies - they already do that on their Championship turnover.
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#220 walter sobchak

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 01:14 PM

The Oakland Athletics in American Baseball are the Sheffield Eagles of their league. Although there is no p and r, there exists a sub strata of clubs who make up the numbers and never compete for honours. The Oakland A's were one of these. A decaying stadium, small attendances and no money to compete with the big boys.

They came up with a computer generated player evaluation system, picked up players other teams had discarded, traded for aging veterans who could still do a job and they ended up setting a major league record for consecutive wins and took the Yankees, the Wigan of baseball to the brink in the playoffs. There is a movie about this called ' Moneyball" They are back again this year challenging in the playoffs as we speak, still on a shoestring budget and beating the system. The architect of all this is a guy called Billy Beane, who has total control of the club.


This seems uncannily similar to the Eagles with MarK Aston filling the Billy Beane role. They pick up players no one heard of and win their league. They do it on a small budget and make a small profit. Their attendances are small but growing. The naysayers on here who are waving the never, ever a SL viable club from the lower leagues, would do well to contemplate that there are examples of ways to suceed without paying the top salary cap.This player pool will be even bigger with all the talent being released by SL clubs. The Eagles seem to be on that path. If they were given a SL place, with the Sky money, and if they were able to attract some shareholders, investors, even on a small scale, I would not bet against them pulling it off. Maybe not this season, but if they keep up their steady progression, in the future.

It is expected that new SL teams should be on a par with the top four from day one. This is unrealistic. If they can survive on the field and not fall into huge debt, that should be enough in the first couple of years. they would do no worse than at least half of the current incumbents if they could do that.

That's weird I just watched "moneyball" last night on DVD, great film. And I agree with you by the way about Sheffield, they can't be any worse than Salford or London.




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