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The SL Licensing v Promotion & Relegation debate thread


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#101 Exiled Wiganer

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:29 PM

Ultimately, the key issue is the depth of the pockets behind the Business Plan. A 500k loss could scupper the Bulls, whereas the Broncos suffer more than that every year and keep going. Business Plan shmisness plan.

#102 Dave T

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:34 PM

Well, the assessment conducted must have been seriously flawed given the multi team failures that have occurred in licences that KPMG gave a qualified approval

Did they give 'qualified approval'?

Bradford - in their summary it was highlighted that 'the club faces some challenges. These include the local economic environment, poor recent on-field performance and an ageing facility.'

Salford - Salford City Reds consider that a move to a new facility is essential is essential to further develop their business and solve the current problems of reduced revenue, poor on field performance and low attendances. The RFL is satisfied that this new stadium will be completed for the start of the 2012 Super League season. The club has set itself ambitious performance targets in the new stadium which are based upon solid commercial, marketing, and media plans in what will be an excellent facility. It will be essential that the club significantly increases its current attendances and commercial position at its new home in order to invest further in its playing squad and player development programme.
That hardly looks like a ringing endorsement of Salford - the plan looked good on paper, but it didn't work out.

These are the only two during this period (so far I may add!) - but again, it doesn't change anything, you can have the best plan in the world, but none of these things are guaranteed.
Against a backdrop of Jessops and HMV both going into administration in the last week or so, I'm surprised people use financial woes to batter the RFL on this one.
Fair enough if you disagree with licensing, I think that is a different thing, but a club going bust IMHO is not a direct reflection on the licensing process.

Edited by Dave T, 15 January 2013 - 03:34 PM.


#103 The Parksider

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:38 PM

Hunslet's decline....has not left RL in Leeds stronger for it.


Good god man. 6 superleague wins in nine years, a junior set up that can stock a whole quality home grown XV11 large crowds and a highly successful business operation?

The city of Leeds has never seen such incredible and sustained success in our game.

#104 The Parksider

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:40 PM

I think to an extent that will always happen. In-season you will always have a strong core of clubs. Unfortunately I don;t believe we have the player depth to have 14 strong teams.
The fact that there is a level of player movement within the division which allows for an element of movement over a longer time period is good.

Until we get enough good quality players to populate 14 clubs, then you will always have this situation.


Absolutely, so should the shortage of quality players lead to a change in the number of SL clubs one way pr the other?

#105 The Parksider

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:44 PM

Depends what you mean by openly.

Open to the RFL ? Of course. Every scrap of information requested needs to be given because, at the end of the day, licensing is a subjective judgment and you need to persuade the RFL that you're one of the best (currently) 14. Holding information back is not in your interest.

Open to the public ? Can't see that happening. It'd be jolly interesting, obviously, but there's the issue of confidentiality to the club as a business and, as someone said on the last page, it's the clubs who don't make the disclosure - not the RFL.

To be fair to the RFL, they did release a potted versions of the reasons for rejection. Halifax did attempt some rebuttal, as I recall.


The RFL version was seen as a cover up for rejecting Halifax who said they had money for bust Wakefield.

It ended up leading to favouritism claims, one of the biggest bugbears we have heard on here and elsewhere?

#106 keighley

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:49 PM

Did they give 'qualified approval'?

Bradford - in their summary it was highlighted that 'the club faces some challenges. These include the local economic environment, poor recent on-field performance and an ageing facility.'

Salford - Salford City Reds consider that a move to a new facility is essential is essential to further develop their business and solve the current problems of reduced revenue, poor on field performance and low attendances. The RFL is satisfied that this new stadium will be completed for the start of the 2012 Super League season. The club has set itself ambitious performance targets in the new stadium which are based upon solid commercial, marketing, and media plans in what will be an excellent facility. It will be essential that the club significantly increases its current attendances and commercial position at its new home in order to invest further in its playing squad and player development programme.
That hardly looks like a ringing endorsement of Salford - the plan looked good on paper, but it didn't work out.

These are the only two during this period (so far I may add!) - but again, it doesn't change anything, you can have the best plan in the world, but none of these things are guaranteed.
Against a backdrop of Jessops and HMV both going into administration in the last week or so, I'm surprised people use financial woes to batter the RFL on this one.
Fair enough if you disagree with licensing, I think that is a different thing, but a club going bust IMHO is not a direct reflection on the licensing process.


Those exact same criteria were issues with Leigh and Halifax but they were deemed not credible applicants. I do disagree with licencing and I agree that is not the issue here.

The RFL/SL seem to have made licencing decisions based on "old boy" fraternity mates criteria rather than any balanced consideration of Salford and Bradford's application and backed up by KPMG guessing as to the two clubs probable financial strength, even though, as you say, there is no guarantee of various revenues panning out.

Hindsight is 20/20 but the process still seems seriously flawed.

#107 keighley

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:51 PM

Good god man. 6 superleague wins in nine years, a junior set up that can stock a whole quality home grown XV11 large crowds and a highly successful business operation?

The city of Leeds has never seen such incredible and sustained success in our game.


You are confusing the City of Leeds and the Leeds Rhinos RL club. They are not the same animal.

#108 Dave T

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:55 PM

Those exact same criteria were issues with Leigh and Halifax but they were deemed not credible applicants. I do disagree with licencing and I agree that is not the issue here.

The RFL/SL seem to have made licencing decisions based on "old boy" fraternity mates criteria rather than any balanced consideration of Salford and Bradford's application and backed up by KPMG guessing as to the two clubs probable financial strength, even though, as you say, there is no guarantee of various revenues panning out.

Hindsight is 20/20 but the process still seems seriously flawed.

However if Leigh and Halifax had business plans that were even weaker than the other clubs, they were right to be left out.

Just because Salford and Bradford have struggled doesn't mean that Halifax or Leigh were a better option and they would have done better.

#109 Ackroman

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:17 PM

The thing that stands out in the last few posts is that clubs will struggle in SL regardless of the boundaries to exit and entry and that there are only 5 or 6 clubs that can possibly avoid that scenario at present.

So what was licencing for? I recall a post saying there was evidence of benefits but no-one seems to quote a definitive list to justify it's implementation.

#110 Dave T

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:26 PM

The thing that stands out in the last few posts is that clubs will struggle in SL regardless of the boundaries to exit and entry and that there are only 5 or 6 clubs that can possibly avoid that scenario at present.

So what was licencing for? I recall a post saying there was evidence of benefits but no-one seems to quote a definitive list to justify it's implementation.

If you buy into the idea that a licensing system helps strengthen finances, then it is easy to argue that without it there would be even more clubs in SL struggling, at a really quite extraordinary time for businesses here and all over the world (including sports clubs).

Similarly you could make the argument that there would be more boom-or-bust style plans from Championship clubs rather than the sustainable growth that Featherstone for example appear to be demonstrating.

#111 Griff

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:40 PM

The RFL version was seen as a cover up for rejecting Halifax who said they had money for bust Wakefield.

It ended up leading to favouritism claims, one of the biggest bugbears we have heard on here and elsewhere?


Happen you're right.

But would Halifax - or anyone else - want their plan publicly ripping to shreds to satisfy nosey folk like us ?

Probably not.
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#112 Trojan

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:44 PM

I happened to chance on this today - been off sick - cold - http://www.ukcities.co.uk/populations/ the much reviled Wakefield is the 11th largest city in the country. Bigger than Cardiff, Sunderland, Nottingham, Salford, Derby, Swansea, Southampton, Coventry and many more places touted as possible sites for expansion teams. Just something to bear in mind.

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#113 Ackroman

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:48 PM

If you buy into the idea that a licensing system helps strengthen finances, then it is easy to argue that without it there would be even more clubs in SL struggling, at a really quite extraordinary time for businesses here and all over the world (including sports clubs).

Similarly you could make the argument that there would be more boom-or-bust style plans from Championship clubs rather than the sustainable growth that Featherstone for example appear to be demonstrating.


I do buy that idea but I don't believe it's not an easy one to counter argue .

Failures and major hiccups have happened with regularity and to universal condemnation since licencing came in and we also have a good idea who else is struggling with the expectations set by an SL licence and the 3 years of finance it takes to keep one.

It's OK quoting historical failures to say it was even worse in 1982 but we are blessed with more money in the game than ever and licencing hasn't improved things one jot.

#114 a.n Other

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 05:40 PM

But would Halifax - or anyone else - want their plan publicly ripping to shreds to satisfy nosey folk like us ?

Probably not.

It was ripped to shreds.

#115 The Parksider

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:18 PM

You are confusing the City of Leeds and the Leeds Rhinos RL club. They are not the same animal.


I don't even know what that means. The fact is that Rugby League in Leeds is extremely healthy and the loss of Bramley and Hunslet as a competitive club, had no effect, quite the reverse.

beg to differ please and stick to P & R/licensing/league format.

#116 keighley

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:23 PM

If you buy into the idea that a licensing system helps strengthen finances, then it is easy to argue that without it there would be even more clubs in SL struggling, at a really quite extraordinary time for businesses here and all over the world (including sports clubs).

Similarly you could make the argument that there would be more boom-or-bust style plans from Championship clubs rather than the sustainable growth that Featherstone for example appear to be demonstrating.


I don't see why there has to be licencing to ensure financial stability. If p and r were introduced but the promotion would not happen unless the club met necessary standards ( they coud be the licencing criteria even ), then all clubs promoted would have to have gone the Featherstone route and ticked the necessary boxes to qualify for any promotion won via their exploits on the field.

Insisting on financial stability before being allowed into the top division prevents the meltdowns and there is no need of any licence being granted to set such conditions. I think the Bundesliga operates some kind of similar system and they have p and r.

This would be better than the licencing route given to Widnes, who gave lip service to any kind of decent team on the field once their licence had been awarded and so entered SL with a completely inadequate playing staff.

The three year licence system is unfair to the Featherstone's of this world, marooning them in the CC until the next licencing period might or might not possibly, maybe give them a SL place.

#117 The Parksider

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:31 PM

It's ok saying long term merging the Wakefield Met clubs would be a good thing, a good thing


I never said that, so I don't know why you adress the above comment to me. Probably reading keighleys stuff??

The geogrpahy question arises in Superleague licensing, whereby if clubs were on top of each other they lost a point, or a remote club in Wales got a point or whatever.

The principle wass that two clubs in the same place vie for the same fans and juniors. They can drag each other down.

I just happen to think that if Fev have money and a decent ground and wakey and cas don't then if Featherstone were chosen for Superleague and the other two bot booted out (they were on warnings) Fev would flourish. In fact if they got the "Calder" franchise and held onto it for some years both cas and wakefield could decline into shadows of their former self.

My "evidence" of how in grabbing all the local resources for yourself works nicely is sat right here in Leeds.

#118 The Parksider

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:43 PM

I do buy that idea but I don't believe it's not an easy one to counter argue .

Failures and major hiccups have happened with regularity and to universal condemnation since licencing came in and we also have a good idea who else is struggling with the expectations set by an SL licence and the 3 years of finance it takes to keep one.

It's OK quoting historical failures to say it was even worse in 1982 but we are blessed with more money in the game than ever and licencing hasn't improved things one jot.


I buy Dave's idea too and I certainly buy the idea that if Bradford's business plan was proved to be a bad one that doesn't mean Halifax's plan can be declared to have been a better bet.

I certainly concur with you that it is not so much a case of the licensing committe getting their selections wrong as a case of the licensing commitee not standing up and saying "We have selected seven credible business plans, but can't find any more not riddled with risk".

So it begs the question is the salary cap set too high and should it be lowered to spread financial stability to all 14 clubs??

However a counter argument is further restricting the cap spend to top clubs is damaging but I have seen no explanation as to why this would be forthcoming yet.

Should the cap be on a sliding scale of Minimum £1M maximum £1.65M

Should clubs be required to prove they can fund the minimum rather than the maximum?

If so should we go to P & R with confidence if several CC clubs can manage a minimum?

Do we reject the dream of all clubs funding full cap because it's unworkable? Or does the curent influx of (alleged) big investors warrant pushing for all clubs to compete towards full cap.

#119 keighley

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:20 PM

I don't even know what that means. The fact is that Rugby League in Leeds is extremely healthy and the loss of Bramley and Hunslet as a competitive club, had no effect, quite the reverse.

beg to differ please and stick to P & R/licensing/league format.


Oh no susnhsine, you are the one who brought up Leeds.,see post #47. when discussing the wonderful plan to merge half the SL teams into one or two supposedly mega teams, a kind of Yugoslavia of RL and we all know how well that worked out.

So any divergence from the format is solely down to you.

#120 Padge

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:50 PM

I happened to chance on this today - been off sick - cold - http://www.ukcities.co.uk/populations/ the much reviled Wakefield is the 11th largest city in the country. Bigger than Cardiff, Sunderland, Nottingham, Salford, Derby, Swansea, Southampton, Coventry and many more places touted as possible sites for expansion teams. Just something to bear in mind.


The 2011 census has the population of Wakefield District as 325,800 (rounded to nearest 100) roughly the same as Wigan Borough 317,800 (rounded to nearest 100)


According to the 2001 Census the populations of the towns/city breakdown as follows, this doesn't include any outying districts that have their own population figures. Thus Wigan/Leigh doesn't include places like Standish, Atherton and Wakefield etc. doesn't include Normanton and Pontefract etc.

Featherstone 10,382
Castleford 37,525
Wakefield 76,886

Wigan 81,203
Leigh 43,006
St.Helens 102,629

Warrington 80,661
Widnes 55,686

2011 census gives regional populations as the following.

West Yorkshire 2,225,359

Gtr Manchester 2,681,735
Merseyside 1,380,612

Warrington District 202,137
Wirral 319,585

I think those figures tell a lot.

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