You can easily make an argument that it is not central funding. Central funding is the cut of TV, Sponsorship and Gate money etc. that is distributed evenly (apart from Bulls this year) - everybody gets a large share there.
I don’t like the idea that it’s “rewarding failure”. It isn’t. Failure is failure. To be involved with a top side means receipt of plaudits not exclusive to (but including) vast sums of cash. This would be a tiny balancing measure designed to give the failing clubs a little shot in the arm. It wouldn’t be highly desirable nor particularly sought after but it would send the right message. Is the US draft system “rewarding failure” Dave? I love it. I want to see a competitive NBA, not one where the New York and LA sides dominate every year. The TV audiences seem to agree with me.
If the difference was, say, between £2 million and £20K then I would agree with you and be opposed to it. It’s about making it fair and proportionate, so that “1st and (pot of money based on 1st place)” is substantially better all round than “14th and (pot of money based on 14th place)” but that at the same time you’re softening the blow a tiny wee bit and furthermore not just throwing money on top of money.
Given that you’re generally opposed to the leveling measures I suggest on this forum, how do you suggest we create the NRL intensity you also desire within Super League Dave? Because it sure as hell won’t be done by giving Wigan more central funding than Widnes.
A few tens of thousands in 'prize money' will not distort things too heavily, especially when you consider that this money will probably just be swallowed in player bonuses anyway (if the SC allows, I can't remember).
The Salary Cap is set low enough to have competitive teams, the lack of quality players and clubs ability to manage themselves well is holding the game back.
I am open to some of the radical ideas to help the comp - I'm not open to all of them - giving a team more money because they did worse doesn;t make sense on any level.
If you truly want to have a level league - why not take the highest turnover and not give them any central funding? You can then pump more into the poorer clubs to try and bring them up a level.
My issue with some of the ideas that you push are that they are too artificial. Clubs should be encouraged to grow in a sustainable way, radical changes are not required.
The NRL have an abundance of quality players, we drop off quite a bit in the top division.