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The SL Licensing v Promotion & Relegation debate thread


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#161 The Parksider

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:09 PM

for me super league should have ten teams, with no relegation. The ten would then attrach more investors with the fear of relegation been removed. The ten should break totally from the Rl . My ten as most people know are as follows hull fc , hull kr, leeds, bradford, wakefield, huddersfield, wigan, st helens , warrington and widnes. Each team would play the other three times for 27 weekly rounds of games.The top four would qualify for the championship finals play offs. Then the top eight would qualify for a new world club comp with the top eight aussies teams also qualifying. Play the world club alternate years in England one year and then Australia the next . As the ten would leave the Rl wouldnt play in the challenge cup so this could free up weeks to fit in the world club comp.


Thanks for the post. Sorry for the negative comments fired back at you.

Your set up does seek to find Rugby leagues 10 strongest clubs in the places strongest for Rugby League in fans and players and also sets up plenty of "derbies", indeed there's every chance these clubs could all have a significant investor for one heck of a competition.

After another 17 years of this format would it be the best format to benefit the wider game? Your view of France too would be welcome.

#162 The Parksider

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:31 PM

They're a lot of rugby league supporters in Doncaster but sadly (Including me) most go eslewhere to watch their rugby league, in the Marauders team we've players who go to watch Fev, Cas, Leeds, Bradford, Hull FC, Saints, Wigan and the Dons.


That's an outstanding post for me due to the observation that shows that Superleague (and other) clubs attract an audience from a distance. Having worked many times in Thorne in know the motorway system can have you in a selection of grounds for a game in a relatively short period of time.

I just wonder if there are that many latent fans that are just waiting for their club to get into superleague. It would appear from Leighs crowds they added maybe a thousand home fans for their SL 2005 campaign. Widnes arguably only added very roughly 1500 home fans to their crowds last year (taking into account away fans swell gates further in SL).

If we have to pitch SL at a salary cap of £1.65M (nobody has yet suggested why we should do this) then the audience for SL is probably not there to support it.

The rich men ARE, so what's the point in messing about with licences when for the smaller 10 clubs either side of the SL/CC divide the only REAL factor that makes you a Superleague club is having someone rich on board.

But then again what's the point in promoting a smaller club with no rich man from the CC to SL and another smaller club from the SL to the CC WITH a rich man.

Franchises??

#163 The Parksider

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:53 PM

So with no Premiership soccer to compete with how do so many West Yorkshire clubs manage such relatively poor crowds?


I think it is because as you indicate the population of west Yorkshire has enough interest in Rugby League to attract 55,000 to 11 clubs. An average 5,000 per club won't make any of them a Superleague success.

It is said it doesn't work like that and of course if you get rid of 10 west yorkshire clubs the remaining club won't get a 55,000 gate!
But it sure as heck won't be short of fans - as Marauder says - have the SL bug will travel.

I wonder if in Lancashire we are seeing something significant. We have lots of anecdotal evidence that people travel from afar to watch SL clubs in Lancashire (and Yorkshire as per Marauder). We see Wire, Saints and Wigan average 14,600 fans ech.

In contrast Widnes and Salford were highly dissapointed with their gates, Leigh too, and of course Swinton, Oldham, Rochdale have few fans and Huyton and Blackpool are gone now.

It could be argued three SL clubs are mopping up support across three major regions of Lancashire.

Are five SL clubs in the smaller area of west Yorkshire putting pressure on each others attendances??

And is it the case that SL cannot in reality find the audience for a 14 clubs self sustaining league pitched at £1.65.

New audiences required (hence Catalans and Toulouse?? what about South Wales??) Or rely on rich men???

#164 superten

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:52 PM

thaks for your reply parksider. To me its about getting it right in England first before we can look to spread this great game. With all the derbies and just the one comp as well as the world club im sure media companies would be queing up for the rights. Lets face it when you watch games on sky you want to see full stadia with lots of passion you dont get the same feeling coming across when your watching london or catalan. Every team would and should have something to play for with the top four making the championship play off semis and right down to 8th making the world club comp. The world club would be the greatest club rugby comp of any code in the world. The top 8 from down under with our top 8 . Would have 4 pools of 4 two english clubs 2 aussie lge clubs in each pool all playing in round robins top two in each pool make the quarter finals where group winners would play a runner up from another group. The power of our game is with the clubs . International rugby league is lacking to much quality as much as I like it and go and watch it apart from games against the aussies I dont think it would be really missed . The magic week end would stay at the etihad with all the derbie games ie hull fc v hull kr, widnes v warrington, wigan v saints, leeds v bradford and huddersfield v wakefield. I would look at having a few smaller derbie double days as well for example saints v warrington and widnes v wigan at anfield possibly and then wigan v warrington and saints v widnes at goodison park . Across the pennies you could also have a few one at elland rd maybe and one possibly at hillsborough.
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#165 Dave T

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:06 PM

thaks for your reply parksider. To me its about getting it right in England first before we can look to spread this great game. With all the derbies and just the one comp as well as the world club im sure media companies would be queing up for the rights. Lets face it when you watch games on sky you want to see full stadia with lots of passion you dont get the same feeling coming across when your watching london or catalan.

I don't think your point about Catalan is fair. Catalan home games are often played in front of large, extremely passionate, noisy and colourful crowds.
There are plenty of games between Northern teams which just don't convey the atmosphere that you ask for.

I'd much rather watch Catalan v London in Perpignan than a Salford v Huddersfield game in Barton.

#166 superten

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:10 PM

you may be right about catalan but if you look at my post I wouldnt have Salford in my ten.
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#167 keighley

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:11 PM

So with no Premiership soccer to compete with how do so many West Yorkshire clubs manage such relatively poor crowds?


There is no West Yorkshire club with worse attendances than Salford and Widnes. I would take a guess that the two Manchester and two Liverpool premier league soccer clubs might have something to do with that.


I would also hazard a guess that if Leeds United were to become a successful premier league soccer club, it would negatively affect Leeds Rhinos attendances and maybe Wakefield and Castleford.

If Huddersfield Town were, by some miracle, attain premier league status, it would affect the Giants gates.

Wigan, to their credit, seem to be the exception that proves this theory in that they have increased their gates since the advent of premier league soccer in Wigan. but, even there, they play second fiddle in the attendance wars to Wigan Athletic.

Wakefield and Huddersfield have come a long way in their attendances. They had fallen so far that they had to rebuild their whole fan base. Huddersfield were on attendances in the hundreds pre Davy and Wakefield were under 2,000 when they got promoted to SL. I think they are doing pretty good considering and Wakefield are on course to get near the 10,000 average, especially if Newmarket is actually built. I think any premier league soccer club in the West roiding would have an effect on thses positive developments.

#168 keighley

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:56 PM

I think it is because as you indicate the population of west Yorkshire has enough interest in Rugby League to attract 55,000 to 11 clubs. An average 5,000 per club won't make any of them a Superleague success.

It is said it doesn't work like that and of course if you get rid of 10 west yorkshire clubs the remaining club won't get a 55,000 gate!
But it sure as heck won't be short of fans - as Marauder says - have the SL bug will travel.

I wonder if in Lancashire we are seeing something significant. We have lots of anecdotal evidence that people travel from afar to watch SL clubs in Lancashire (and Yorkshire as per Marauder). We see Wire, Saints and Wigan average 14,600 fans ech.

In contrast Widnes and Salford were highly dissapointed with their gates, Leigh too, and of course Swinton, Oldham, Rochdale have few fans and Huyton and Blackpool are gone now.

It could be argued three SL clubs are mopping up support across three major regions of Lancashire.

Are five SL clubs in the smaller area of west Yorkshire putting pressure on each others attendances??

And is it the case that SL cannot in reality find the audience for a 14 clubs self sustaining league pitched at £1.65.

New audiences required (hence Catalans and Toulouse?? what about South Wales??) Or rely on rich men???


There are five SL clubs in West Yorkshire. They all already average more than 5,000 each. If you add in all the CC clubs you might come up with your 5,000 average.

Similarly if you add in Salford, Widnes, Leigh, oldham, Swinton and Rochdale to your Lancashire figures you will not get an average of 14,000 plus. As an aside, does the Warrington ground even hold that many and is it sold out for every fixture.

As Marauder says, they travel for SL. If Doncaster were to get to SL, I would think that they would prefer to make the shorter journey to Doncaster for their SL rather than travel further afield.

It could be argued that Warrington, Saints and Wigan are top of the SL tree and are attracting attendances that such a level of success would deserve.

When you have a lesser level SL team in Lancashire, as at Salford and Widnes, SL is not pulling them in. If Salford and Widnes are to up their game and compete at the top level, it remains to be seen whether they would increase their gates. I would bet they would.

In West Yorkshire the same argument can be made. Leeds and Bradford have been at the top and have increased their gates. Once they are not successful the gates fall, as at Bradford.

Wakefield have struggled for years, now they are just being modestly more succesful, the gates are rising. Castlford are stagnating on the playing front and their gates are reflecting this.

Huddersfield have flirted with top tier status and their gates were pushing towards 10,000. They have not actually won anything and have had a couple of dramatic collapses and the gates have gone down to reflect that decline in playing success.

I think the increase in SL attendances is more to do with more supporters from their own areas flocking to a successful team rather than them mopping up floating supporters fronm other areas.

Did the floating fans of CC Widnes flock to Saints games when they were playing their home
SL games at Widnes?

I think the salary cap should be reduced to the point where more teams can make a go of it in SL. This small, ultra successful SL that is seen to be the ideal will make the footprint of the sport too small.
The expanded World Club CAhmpionship will not be the panacea to solve the small league syndrome which will emerge if the game contracts to 8 British clubs. It will not last. Our big clubs are small compared to their Australian counterparts and will not compete against their better monetary and playing resources once the big billion dollar TV contract money kicks in. The competiton will be, like the last expanded version, too full of massive mismatches and will the Aussies will quickly nix it.

I have no problem with Catalans and or any Welsh team or any second French team being admitted to SL. they should however be admitted to augment the numbers of the SL and not at the expense of sending current SL teams to the saltmines. Inclusion, not exclusion, should be the policy.

#169 keighley

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 04:01 PM

That's an outstanding post for me due to the observation that shows that Superleague (and other) clubs attract an audience from a distance. Having worked many times in Thorne in know the motorway system can have you in a selection of grounds for a game in a relatively short period of time.

I just wonder if there are that many latent fans that are just waiting for their club to get into superleague. It would appear from Leighs crowds they added maybe a thousand home fans for their SL 2005 campaign. Widnes arguably only added very roughly 1500 home fans to their crowds last year (taking into account away fans swell gates further in SL).

If we have to pitch SL at a salary cap of £1.65M (nobody has yet suggested why we should do this) then the audience for SL is probably not there to support it.

The rich men ARE, so what's the point in messing about with licences when for the smaller 10 clubs either side of the SL/CC divide the only REAL factor that makes you a Superleague club is having someone rich on board.

But then again what's the point in promoting a smaller club with no rich man from the CC to SL and another smaller club from the SL to the CC WITH a rich man.

Franchises??


No, not franchises or licences. P and R with necessary criteria to be met before promotion is confirmed.

#170 Griff

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:12 PM

No, not franchises or licences. P and R with necessary criteria to be met before promotion is confirmed.


Pretty much what we have now then. Except, presumably, you'll want it every year so that the promoted club has as little chance as possible to retain its place.
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#171 keighley

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:22 PM

Pretty much what we have now then. Except, presumably, you'll want it every year so that the promoted club has as little chance as possible to retain its place.


Yes. Widnes only came bottom on points difference and they knew they were safe and they had to build a team from scratch having failed to compete at CC level for two seasons once the award of their licence had been confirmed. Huddersfield, Hull KR, Castleford and Wakefield all stayed up after promotion, when they lnew they had to compete or face relegartion.

The jury is out on how many yo yo s might occur. The record for teams promoted to Sl from the CC is a mixed bag.

#172 The Parksider

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:41 PM


1. If Doncaster were to get to SL, I would think that they would prefer to make the shorter journey to Doncaster for their SL rather than travel further afield.

2. When you have a lesser level SL team in Lancashire, as at Salford and Widnes, SL is not pulling them in. If Salford and Widnes are to up their game and compete at the top level, it remains to be seen whether they would increase their gates. I would bet they would.

3. In West Yorkshire the same argument can be made. Leeds and Bradford have been at the top and have increased their gates. Once they are not successful the gates fall, as at Bradford.

4. Wakefield have struggled for years, now they are just being modestly more succesful, the gates are rising. Castlford are stagnating on the playing front and their gates are reflecting this.

5. I think the increase in SL attendances is more to do with more supporters from their own areas flocking to a successful team rather than them mopping up floating supporters fronm other areas.

Did the floating fans of CC Widnes flock to Saints games when they were playing their home
SL games at Widnes?

I think the salary cap should be reduced to the point where more teams can make a go of it in SL.


1-5. We don't know for sure what's going on but you seem to provide a tacit agreement that if lower placed clubs rose to the top their crowds would rise to self sustaining proportions, but on the other side of the coin those clubs who fall from grace would see their crowds fall. You seem to be saying the same as me a different way that the audience for 12 SL Rugby League clubs in the north is not big enough across the board to be self sustaining at £1.65M salary cap.

6. Hence should we reduce the cap. You say yes.

The challenge for anyone interested is will reducing the cap damage the game?

#173 The Parksider

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:47 PM

thaks for your reply parksider. To me its about getting it right in England first before we can look to spread this great game. With all the derbies and just the one comp as well as the world club im sure media companies would be queing up for the rights. Lets face it when you watch games on sky you want to see full stadia with lots of passion you dont get the same feeling coming across when your watching london or catalan. Every team would and should have something to play for with the top four making the championship play off semis and right down to 8th making the world club comp. The world club would be the greatest club rugby comp of any code in the world. The top 8 from down under with our top 8 . Would have 4 pools of 4 two english clubs 2 aussie lge clubs in each pool all playing in round robins top two in each pool make the quarter finals where group winners would play a runner up from another group. The power of our game is with the clubs .


One of the challenges to Superleague is to try to keep the salary cap up at £1.65M and have a competition which can attract enough fans to all the clubs such that every club can afford the cap so that we get away from the self perpetuating damage that having top clubs being able to afford the cap means they stay at the top and win everything every year, and having bottom clubs who can't afford the cap means they stay at the bottom. and gently disintegrate.

In your compelling model (there are possible drawbacks i suspect) this would probably be overcome and indeed with rich investors to boot could the cap rise.

Your model however does sacrifice all but ten clubs, it is therefore highly radical.

Edited by The Parksider, 17 January 2013 - 06:50 PM.


#174 superten

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:46 PM

lets face it parksider we have all but sacrifice 14 teams at the mo and its still not working. The league is carrying to many passangers at the mo to me there is to many one sided and meaningless fixtures with 14 team comp
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#175 sweaty craiq

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:54 PM

To be in the top tier you should be super, mediocrity must not hold back clubs who can be super. Mediocre clubs who aspire to be super must have a clear path to reach super status. Current clubs who are super but drop into mediocrity do not deserve to remain super.

Implement the above and we improve.

#176 keighley

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:40 PM

lets face it parksider we have all but sacrifice 14 teams at the mo and its still not working. The league is carrying to many passangers at the mo to me there is to many one sided and meaningless fixtures with 14 team comp


In the new world of a 10 team SL someone will have to finish bottom or do you think that they will all finish with an equal won lost record and let points average sort out the play off places.

There will still be thrashings and serial winners and losers. That's the way of sport. At some point one or more of your golden ten will self destruct ( see Bradford Bulls ) and your already small league will contract even further. There will be no built in redundancy in your model to replace member teams as contact with the rest of the game will have been severed in your breakaway.

The rival rugby code has expanded to 6 countries with multiple clubs in each country competing in big time trans national compeititions and is dragging along the TV companies to cover them but your plan is to withdraw to a small northern fortress of just 10 clubs playing amongst themselves ad infinitum
( forget the expanded WCC competition, this will not fly). Sky will not be impressed.

What is needed is for the SL to be become stronger financially across the board and to become more inclusive and expand. By all means put in another French team and or a Welsh team and expand the northern borders to include peripheral areas like Doncaster, Sheffield, Gateshead and Cumbria. This will make the game big enough to attract viewers from across the length ans breadth of the country and help to counteract the growth of RU.

The signs are there that the game is slowly stabilising and even the failures are proving caspable of resurrection ( Bradford, Wakefield, Hull KR, Widnes and Salford.) The game is balanced on a knife's edge and may tip towards more financially sustainable teams or tip the other way and contract to this successful, but ultimately too small, league with lessening nationwide prestige and influence.

Many of the lower division teams are doing good things to stabilse and improve ( Leigh. Halifax, Featherstone, Doncaster, Sheffield, Dewsbury, the three cumbrian teams ). Even at the lowest level teams are strengthening at the likes of Oldham ( serious ground improvements and team strenghtening ) or Gateshead ( team stengthening ) or London Skolars, North Wales and South Wales, small and continuous improvement and the new teams coming on board this season are good news ( hopefully they will all suceed ).

All this gradual improvment takes time and effort but like a long term graph, the progession is gradually upwards in spite of short term dips.

All this promising momentum should be nurtured and encouraged and panic should not set in and the game retreat behind the barriers of a rump competition of the mega successful.

If all this positive stuff is happening in the midst of an almost depression, then, post depression, the prospects for success should improve.

If there is a need to reduce the salary cap in order for the SL to consolidate into a profitable operation fro all clubs, then it should be done for the long term greater good of the code. the solution is not just to split the Sky money only amongst ten teams and dump the progress that the rest have been making to expand the footprint of the game.

All this will take time and slowly, slowly but it should be progress to regress which charts the games future.

#177 Padge

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:02 PM

There is no West Yorkshire club with worse attendances than Salford and Widnes. I would take a guess that the two Manchester and two Liverpool premier league soccer clubs might have something to do with that.


I would also hazard a guess that if Leeds United were to become a successful premier league soccer club, it would negatively affect Leeds Rhinos attendances and maybe Wakefield and Castleford.

If Huddersfield Town were, by some miracle, attain premier league status, it would affect the Giants gates.

Wigan, to their credit, seem to be the exception that proves this theory in that they have increased their gates since the advent of premier league soccer in Wigan. but, even there, they play second fiddle in the attendance wars to Wigan Athletic.

Wakefield and Huddersfield have come a long way in their attendances. They had fallen so far that they had to rebuild their whole fan base. Huddersfield were on attendances in the hundreds pre Davy and Wakefield were under 2,000 when they got promoted to SL. I think they are doing pretty good considering and Wakefield are on course to get near the 10,000 average, especially if Newmarket is actually built. I think any premier league soccer club in the West roiding would have an effect on thses positive developments.

I didn't single out SL clubs.

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#178 The Parksider

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:09 AM

If there is a need to reduce the salary cap in order for the SL to consolidate into a profitable operation for all clubs, then it should be done for the long term greater good of the code.


So is the reduction of the salary cap "good for the code"?

Or is it just good for a handful of clubs who want to be in SL but can't compete?

There is a big difference

Anyone??

#179 The Parksider

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:16 AM

Wakefield are on course to get near the 10,000 average


But aren't on course to produce professional players.

They're all down Cas and Fev way.

Sadly 10,000 fans don't make a competetive team.

You have already said losing teams lose fans.

We are looking for a format for the pro game in which there's a balance that creates stability, which in turn gives the conditions for sustained growth.

We see this in Leeds, not in the Calder area. 17 years on, and only a rich man can save them.

#180 Griff

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:33 AM

In the new world of a 10 team SL someone will have to finish bottom or do you think that they will all finish with an equal won lost record and let points average sort out the play off places.

There will still be thrashings and serial winners and losers. That's the way of sport. At some point one or more of your golden ten will self destruct ( see Bradford Bulls ) and your already small league will contract even further. There will be no built in redundancy in your model to replace member teams as contact with the rest of the game will have been severed in your breakaway.


We have points difference as the first tie-break.

The smaller the division, the less difference in ability between top club and bottom.
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