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Rugby League World Issue 402

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Inside Out BBC Yorkshire


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#1 weloveyouwakefield2

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:46 PM

Inside Out BBC Yorkshire Monday 7.30pm

Ahead of the start of the rugby league season, George Riley gives our clubs a financial health check.


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#2 Griff

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:20 PM

Should be interesting.
"We'll sell you a seat .... but you'll only need the edge of it!"

#3 Pie tries

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 09:56 PM

George is good, should be worth a listen

#4 stewpot01

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:36 AM

Sobering reading

http://www.bbc.co.uk...league/21211330

#5 hindle xiii

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:13 AM

sky channel 956/7 for those outside Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

On Odsal Top baht 'at.


#6 Gruff

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:19 AM

This is all over the online editions today - great timing by RL journalists as usual.

Interesting that they say SL is £68m in debt - over 11 clubs, but take 2 out of this and this is reduced to £3m per club on average - or £33m. That means 2 clubs are £35m in debt between them.

I wonder if this £68m includes all the money spent on new grounds/ground improvements that have taken place over the last couple of years. I imagine saints are showing a debt for the build cost of their stadium, even though this is sustainable and planned for?

#7 cookey

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:22 AM

Would be interesting to see what a similar survey would throw up for rugby union,cricket and ofcourse football.

#8 Gruff

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:31 AM

Would be interesting to see what a similar survey would throw up for rugby union,cricket and ofcourse football.


Apparently Saracens were £24m in debt before they moved to their new stadium (costing another £10m???)

Given the AP clubs also make an average loss of around £2m a year each I would think as a club sport they are massively more in debt that SL.

And footy's from 2 years ago - can't imagine it's got better

http://www.telegraph...-laid-bare.html

Bolton are nearly in twice as much debt and lose more per year than the whole of SL combined

Edited by Gruff, 28 January 2013 - 08:34 AM.


#9 South Wakefield Sharks

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:35 AM

Quote from the press release from Gary Hetherington:

"We need to rid ourselves of poor management practices. All clubs have a real responsibility, a real role to play. The majority of clubs are working hard. It's some of the others that have let the sport down, quite frankly."

Totally agree with Mr H here. The RFL need to up their game and seem to be doing so, but the sport is really held back by the incompetence of the people who run our top clubs. Their incompetence obviously has a direct impact on their own club, but also leads them to be short-sighted when it comes to wider decisions, as they are so focused on their own short-term survival and that holds the whole game back.

The SL licensing gives us a pretty good indication of how the clubs were classed in 2011 on their business plans.

Best clubs - Hull, Leeds, Wire, Wigan - fair enough. Only question here over Hull, who seem to have made some pretty poor decisions on the rugby side of things in the last few year, but maybe this year they might step up from an also runner to a real challenger?

Grade B - Bradford, Catalans, Giants, Hull KR, Saints - Catalans, Saints & Giants have all seen big improvements in recent years as a club, and all three are at the top end on the field too.

Bradford - obviously previously a shambles. Too early to judge new club owners, but judging by the constant moans coming out of Bradford, suspect the new owners too lack what it takes to run a successful SL club.

Hull KR - Neil Hudgell seems to be constantly moaning without offering any solutions, which is typical action from a club owner trying to shift the blame. For bad decisions look no further than Willie Mason - what were they thinking?

Bottom clubs - Cas, Broncos, Salford, Wakey, Widnes

Too early to know whether the new owners at Wakey & (hopefully) Salford are up to the job, but early signs are good and they certainly can't do worse than their predecessors.

Cas could be a cracking club, but are a shambles . Remind me very much of the Ted Richardson Wakey - all talk and no substance.

London - unique set of problems, but they seem to constantly be made worse by poor decisions. Moving in with Quins RU, appointing Rob Powell!! Jury out on Gus Mackay, we'll see how they manage their move to a new stadium and whether it is a long-temr fix, or another sticky plaster solution.

Widnes - there is hope for improvement here, but need to be competitive on the field. Suspect that poor rugby decisions could hold them back. Think they should have gone for a top quality, experienced coach when they moved to Super League, not someone like Denis Betts, but hopefully year two and Kevin Brown & Gaz Hock will prove me wrong.

#10 The Parksider

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:40 AM

Should be interesting.


"Our findings indicate that there is a cumulative net debt of £68.5m among the Super League clubs. In my opinion, this is due to seeing the salary cap as a target rather than the limit which is intended. The mentality seems to be that if you want to perform well on the field of play you have to spend up to the cap. Of course, there are clubs in the league structure who make a profit and it is their business model that others should seek to utilise. Hull Kingston Rovers chairman Neil Hudgell feels that his own club's financial position has worsened in the last 12 months. "I think probably on the whole it's a little bit worse than it was last year. Every year we make a loss and every year as directors we've funded that shortfall. I think it'd be very hard for us to argue otherwise than we live beyond our means."

I expect to be rather underwhelmed here with most of the 10 minutes or so report being "shock horror game in trouble" kind of stuff.
It won't be an expose given we've discussed this enough on here and such as Derwent has already done the analysis.

The last bit is telling in which HKR are challenged on the debt and Mr. Hudgell admits it and calmly says "Myself and Mr. Crossland make the shortfall up" Hasn't this been how it's always worked??

I'm all for re-organising the game into something that "lives within it's means" after a fashion but I'm not one for turning down the millions rich man may want to lavish on us and not want (or be able to) demand back.

If we are £68.5M in debt but rich men have been prepared to foot that £68.5M with no strings then there we go......

#11 The Parksider

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:43 AM

Quote from the press release from Gary Hetherington:

"We need to rid ourselves of poor management practices. All clubs have a real responsibility, a real role to play. The majority of clubs are working hard. It's some of the others that have let the sport down, quite frankly."


I love press releases, and how they tell you nothing.

what management practices Gary?
what role/responsibility?
who lets SL down and how?

#12 The Parksider

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:54 AM

Cas could be a cracking club, but are a shambles .


What is it they have done wrong?

They are a small club who produce great players (well done Cas) bu lose their best juniors to richer clubs, they get 7,000 crowds (an excellent performance off a 40,000 population-well done Cas) which doesn't generate the money to spend cap or keep the best players, have planned a new ground to boost income streams and crowds (well done Cas), but can't go ahead because they cannot realise adequate value from the old ground.

What is the mysterious ideal business model they should follow?

For if it is to reduce spending on players to balance the books then where does the 7,000 crowds go when the club don't win any games?

Late in the season after a run of 5 x 40+ point beatings Catalans brought their usual 5 fans over to England for the Cas.v.Cats game attended by 5,000 Cas fans. That's a clue.

If they are replaced with Fev come 2015 then what debt to Mr. Nahaboo will they run up to help keep the £68.5M up?

There may be big clubs doing well in SL but the "model business plan" can't be "go and be a big club" can it??

#13 Blind side johnny

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:02 AM

Would be interesting to see what a similar survey would throw up for rugby union,cricket and ofcourse football.



This is the BBC you're talking about - get real.

In an entirely different context would you expect them to do a similar expose on British opera for example - something that attracts much smaller (but nicer) audiences than RL?

Edited by Blind side johnny, 28 January 2013 - 09:02 AM.

Believe what you see, don't see what you believe.


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#14 Derwent

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:06 AM

The last bit is telling in which HKR are challenged on the debt and Mr. Hudgell admits it and calmly says "Myself and Mr. Crossland make the shortfall up" Hasn't this been how it's always worked??


The difference is that at a club like HKR they are putting money in to plug the gaps simply to keep operating at their current level. At a club like Warrington, for example, they are pretty much self-sustaining at an operating cost level and Moran's money pays for additional value adding items like improved facilities and development.

One is putting money in to simply stand still, the other is putting money in to enhance the club.

There's a big difference between the two - the first is simply sinking money without any real return, while the second is proper investment which realises genuine tangible benefits both now and longer term.

Throwing money at it is one thing, getting value for that money is quite another altogether. The only way clubs will move forward is by becoming sustainable at an operating profit level thus allowing the 'sugar daddies' to make proper infrastructure investment instead of paying wages. But it's a nettle that clubs don't want to grasp.

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#15 South Wakefield Sharks

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:17 AM

What is it they have done wrong?

They are a small club who produce great players (well done Cas) bu lose their best juniors to richer clubs, they get 7,000 crowds (an excellent performance off a 40,000 population-well done Cas) which doesn't generate the money to spend cap or keep the best players, have planned a new ground to boost income streams and crowds (well done Cas), but can't go ahead because they cannot realise adequate value from the old ground.

What is the mysterious ideal business model they should follow?

For if it is to reduce spending on players to balance the books then where does the 7,000 crowds go when the club don't win any games?

Late in the season after a run of 5 x 40+ point beatings Catalans brought their usual 5 fans over to England for the Cas.v.Cats game attended by 5,000 Cas fans. That's a clue.

If they are replaced with Fev come 2015 then what debt to Mr. Nahaboo will they run up to help keep the £68.5M up?

There may be big clubs doing well in SL but the "model business plan" can't be "go and be a big club" can it??


The ground saga has been about as realistic as Wakey's plans under Ted Richardson. They have the site, the planning permission, but can't fund it. What sort of a plan is that? At least Ted could blame an inability to find a site and get planning permission as the problem. Wakey's new owners won't have that excuse though.

A club like Cas need to be run spot on. They are always going to need to punch above their weight with Leeds & Wakey on their doorstep, so the decision to appoint Ian Millward as coach is an example of a poor decision that a club like Cas can't afford to make. The bigger clubs can afford an error like that every now and then, but clubs like Cas and the other bottom clubs, can't afford to make those sort of mistakes.

#16 Doghead

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:19 AM

Just Binned George Riley from my twitter account.

Edited by Doghead, 28 January 2013 - 11:49 AM.


#17 gnidir

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:32 AM

How convienient that this comes out on the eve of the season, this stinks of negativity and other forces at work. It says nothing about the state of the game, which we all know isn't glowing, but uses our own people to defend a nothing story, then low and behold, it gets top billing on the box page, this stuff stinks.

#18 JohnM

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:33 AM

Just Binned George Riley from my twitter account, he no better than the rest of the knobs from the BBC.


Spot on, in my experience. He only ever listens to his own voice.

#19 sweaty craiq

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:39 AM

It would be interesting to see how much debt is either Directors Loans or on assets eg Saints new ground, HKR new stands etc

I understand Salford have £5m of DL's on the books. I cannot understand why these are not capitalised, surely they are not expected to be repaid?

#20 The Parksider

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:40 AM

The ground saga has been about as realistic as Wakey's plans under Ted Richardson. They have the site, the planning permission, but can't fund it. What sort of a plan is that?

The decision to appoint Ian Millward as coach is an example of a poor decision that a club like Cas can't afford to make.


It's no plan at all, but if they had said to the fans "We have no money so we are staying at Wheldon Road what would the Licensing committee have made of that? What would the fans have made of that?.

OK so they may stand accused of talking a good business move, and the truth may almost certainly be they do not have the investment for a new ground and the old ground is bringing them down.

But this isn't "Bad management" is it. If there is some magic Superleague business plan then send it down to my club Hunslet and we can get to Superleague using it.

Cas lack resources that's all.




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