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Super League Restructure Discussion (Many Merged Threads)


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#641 Duff Duff

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 02:39 PM

RL would die with 9 teams in UK
10 is the right number but two divisions of full time tens
Objectives- increase intensity, make the top a truly super spectacle, increase FT player poll, expand in France, create realistic pathway for ambitious clubs to reach the top, include the limbo clubs in the games future, increase income
How- two tens £1.3m and 625k sky split, Toulouse in SL2, 27 fixtures, top 5 play off, min £1.8 spend in SL1 and £1m in SL2 max 50% income, 1 down/up by position with second bottom SL1 top seed in play offs, 450 FT players as opposed to current 325 plus 50 as opposed to 25 in France, licence review every 3 years or a club will lose licence/get relegated if unable to meet min spend.
Simple, affordable and meets objectives


Would English rugby league die with only 9 fully professional teams? In there current state are likes likes of Hull KR, Castleford, Wakefield and Widnes viable in the long term? Considering the geographical proxmity of the sides involved. Would people in East Hull, Castelford, Wakefield etc stop playing rugby league because their local senior clubs were no longer full time proffesional? I think not. Amateur rugby league thrives in Cumbria but they don't have a Super League club.

The sad fact is that England probably only has the player depth to justify 9 fully pro teams. I can't see why having a licenced Super League would prevent a vibrant and competitive semi-professional 2nd and 3rd tier developing. Unfortunately 2nd tier rugby league doesn't attractive enough spectators or sponsors to justify full time professionalism. In the same way Conference Soccer or 2nd tier Union doesn't.

The only reason professional sportsmen are paid is because people are prepared to sponsor them and to pay to watch them. No spectators or sponsors then no one gets paid. The RFL shouldn't be using its precious resources to prop a business model that has no chance of viability.

#642 Ackroman

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 02:48 PM

This is the crux of the argument. It may be a bitter pill to swallow but potentially the game is more marketable as a whole than simply just Super League. If that means a more fluid divisional structure under one brand then so be it.

 

Or

 

Have your SL of 10 teams, accept it's limited marketing pull, and potentially let the other competitions fall off the radar completely.



#643 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 02:51 PM

Thanks for that. 

 

Licencing cannot claim to have made any of these improvements as they were already happening. Neither has licencing prevented the boom and bust culture of sport.

 

Licensing in itself can only be effective if there is competition for the licences. As has been pointed out, there isn't any, in fact SL has pretty much asset stripped potential licencee's from the Championship bar one or 2 clubs on the outside.

 

So lets be honest Ant, it's not licencing that gives you as warm feeling but the fact that your club has the benefit of a licence.

excellent stuff.

 

as with anything, it's rare that there is only one reason for something to happen.

I would say as you do that licensing can't claim to have made any of these improvements: but it has made an important contributory factor. But as you quite rightly say there have been improvements and that's somethng to be glad about whatever the reason(s)

 

Licensing hasn't prevented boom and bust-but I would suggest it has limited it. Clubs are far more prudent these days, and I do think licensing has been an influence here. There are no guarantees.

 

As for there being no competition for licenses. I was under the impression that several clubs were jockeying for position on and off the field to put themselves in the shop window. The number of clubs on the fringes of the elite competition has always been very small, and their efforts have always been inadequate-at least that is different, with clubs having to prove themselves in more ways than assembling an overpriced side to get promoted.

 

I don't think any clubs have been asset stripped, good players have always gone to bigger clubs.

 

I don't know qwbaout you but I have no idea which club Ant supports.


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#644 sheddings69

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 03:57 PM

Thanks for that.

Licencing cannot claim to have made any of these improvements as they were already happening. Neither has licencing prevented the boom and bust culture of sport.

Licensing in itself can only be effective if there is competition for the licences. As has been pointed out, there isn't any, in fact SL has pretty much asset stripped potential licencee's from the Championship bar one or 2 clubs on the outside.

So lets be honest Ant, it's not licencing that gives you as warm feeling but the fact that your club has the benefit of a licence.


Spot on!

#645 Ackroman

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 04:26 PM

excellent stuff.

 

as with anything, it's rare that there is only one reason for something to happen.

I would say as you do that licensing can't claim to have made any of these improvements: but it has made an important contributory factor. But as you quite rightly say there have been improvements and that's somethng to be glad about whatever the reason(s)

 

Licensing hasn't prevented boom and bust-but I would suggest it has limited it. Clubs are far more prudent these days, and I do think licensing has been an influence here. There are no guarantees.

 

As for there being no competition for licenses. I was under the impression that several clubs were jockeying for position on and off the field to put themselves in the shop window. The number of clubs on the fringes of the elite competition has always been very small, and their efforts have always been inadequate-at least that is different, with clubs having to prove themselves in more ways than assembling an overpriced side to get promoted.

 

I don't think any clubs have been asset stripped, good players have always gone to bigger clubs.

 

I don't know qwbaout you but I have no idea which club Ant supports.

 

I assumed Ant was a SL club fan.

 

But I think that's fair enough, it just helps understand the perspective. It also shows that when we cancel self interest from both sides of the argument, it leaves little in terms of what is evidence for one system over the other. All we know is things have improved but are stalling/failing and I believe it's giving SL a serious credibility problem it needs to address.

 

I picked up on Ant because the thread of his argument is to blame the rump of the game for it's failures. The basis of which is that the rump via direct P&R, diluted the quality of the game, it's viability and saleability.  Well it just doesn't stand up when the rump has no vote, money or influence and investors are still reluctant to subscribe to the SL bandwagon after 8 years without it. it doesn't matter that P&R had it's own problems, what matters is that SL just isn't cutting the mustard as a stand alone competition. Address this problem, not one from 15, 20 years ago.

 

Further and regarding the asset stripping, I was referring directly to the situation with Widnes who were pretty much guaranteed a slot if they turned up in a final once in 3 years. 6 opportunities to get "promotion". The thing is they were seen as an asset to both competitions and there are few clubs left in the Championship who could claim to be so. What we now know is that no-one was going to stop it happening.



#646 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 04:54 PM

I assumed Ant was a SL club fan.

But I think that's fair enough, it just helps understand the perspective. It also shows that when we cancel self interest from both sides of the argument, it leaves little in terms of what is evidence for one system over the other. All we know is things have improved but are stalling/failing and I believe it's giving SL a serious credibility problem it needs to address.

I picked up on Ant because the thread of his argument is to blame the rump of the game for it's failures. The basis of which is that the rump via direct P&R, diluted the quality of the game, it's viability and saleability. Well it just doesn't stand up when the rump has no vote, money or influence and investors are still reluctant to subscribe to the SL bandwagon after 8 years without it. it doesn't matter that P&R had it's own problems, what matters is that SL just isn't cutting the mustard as a stand alone competition. Address this problem, not one from 15, 20 years ago.

Further and regarding the asset stripping, I was referring directly to the situation with Widnes who were pretty much guaranteed a slot if they turned up in a final once in 3 years. 6 opportunities to get "promotion". The thing is they were seen as an asset to both competitions and there are few clubs left in the Championship who could claim to be so. What we now know is that no-one was going to stop it happening.

The 'rump' certainly symbolise the sport's failures and to an extent bear some responsibility for it
They symbolise the poor hand that the sport was dealt in terms of wealth, demography and geographical spread

They are some of the oldest clubs in the game but they have failed to grow over that time through all sorts of different structures of the sport and for some of them historic success: they bear some responsibility for that

As for stagnation and do on: I really don't know about that, but any organisation should be constantly reviewing its operation

If we have a situation where we have Castleford, featherstone and Wakefield all in the elite competition then IMHO we really can start talking about stagnation

The future of the game could well be having its genesis in championship 1
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#647 Lobbygobbler

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 05:09 PM

The 'rump' certainly symbolise the sport's failures and to an extent bear some responsibility for it
They symbolise the poor hand that the sport was dealt in terms of wealth, demography and geographical spread

They are some of the oldest clubs in the game but they have failed to grow over that time through all sorts of different structures of the sport and for some of them historic success: they bear some responsibility for that

As for stagnation and do on: I really don't know about that, but any organisation should be constantly reviewing its operation

If we have a situation where we have Castleford, featherstone and Wakefield all in the elite competition then IMHO we really can start talking about stagnation

The future of the game could well be having its genesis in championship 1

Trouble is, crowds in C1 are very low at the moment and a large reason is that there is no promotion to SL. Yes I know there is promotion from C1 to the CC but prospective fans know there is a dead end above them.

What we really want is for some of the expansion clubs in C1 to get into SL as quickly as possible, and for the division itself to be more interesting.

I believe that we need regular promotion to SL to achieve this, but it needs to be more than 1 up/down, if we are ever to see the likes of Cru, Hemel and Skolars all in SL within my lifetime

Edited by Lobbygobbler, 08 July 2013 - 05:10 PM.


#648 Duff Duff

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 08:21 PM

The under lying assumptions of most of these posts is the primacy of the club game. I have to disagree with that view point. The only sport in the UK which has its finances and public interest successfully driven by the club game is soccer. I think we can all agree that soccer is a massive exception to the UK sporting scene.

All other team sports in the UK, Union, cricket, hockey, netball etc. have their finances and interest from the general public driven by the representative and international aspects of the sport. As such British rugby league needs to find a structure that benefits the national team most in terms of British qualified players playing at the highest standard possible. I believe that the best way of achieving that aim to have a licenced Super League of 10 or potentially 12 clubs. All financial viable, all with highly developed infrastructure, all with first class player development programmes and all playing the highest standard of rugby league possible. The structure of the competition can be tweaked to ensure that all the clubs would have something to play for for most of the season.

The way for rugby league to increase its profile and its attractiveness for sponsors is for the national team to start beating Australia on a regular basis. Obsessing about a structure that will allow Featherstone Rovers or Halifax to dream of hitting the "big time" is not a way of attracting the attention of blue sponsors or the attentions of the national media. It would be great if blue chip multinationals and the national media were turned on by club rugby league but they aren't and probably never will be.

The solution to this problem is to develop a credible representative and international programme above the club game that can link into the pre existing loyalties of the sporting public. That means Yorkshire v Lancashire matches given pride of place above the club game and for England to play against New Zealand and Australia as often and as frequently as possible. (People who claim that Yorkshire v Lancashire doesn't sell should have been at Headingley for the sold out 2020 cricket match!)

Reintroducing promotion and relegation to satisfy the parochial interests of small town clubs in the heart lands is not the way to grow rugby league. It is backward looking and regressive. What is it going to achieve? Featherstone Rovers getting 7,000 a week rather than 3,500? Some people might call that growing the sport, I don't.

Rugby league in this country has always been held back by the self interest of the 22 or so senior clubs at the top of the game prioritising their needs over the national team and the amateur community game. This finally needs to stop and the clubs need to realise the big picture. Rugby league's future is not going to be secured by the likes of Featherstone, Halifax, Leigh or any other heart land club getting promoted or relegated from the Super League and supposed public and media interest that supposedly generates!

#649 sweaty craiq

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 08:28 AM

The under lying assumptions of most of these posts is the primacy of the club game. I have to disagree with that view point. The only sport in the UK which has its finances and public interest successfully driven by the club game is soccer. I think we can all agree that soccer is a massive exception to the UK sporting scene.

All other team sports in the UK, Union, cricket, hockey, netball etc. have their finances and interest from the general public driven by the representative and international aspects of the sport. As such British rugby league needs to find a structure that benefits the national team most in terms of British qualified players playing at the highest standard possible. I believe that the best way of achieving that aim to have a licenced Super League of 10 or potentially 12 clubs. All financial viable, all with highly developed infrastructure, all with first class player development programmes and all playing the highest standard of rugby league possible. The structure of the competition can be tweaked to ensure that all the clubs would have something to play for for most of the season.

The way for rugby league to increase its profile and its attractiveness for sponsors is for the national team to start beating Australia on a regular basis. Obsessing about a structure that will allow Featherstone Rovers or Halifax to dream of hitting the "big time" is not a way of attracting the attention of blue sponsors or the attentions of the national media. It would be great if blue chip multinationals and the national media were turned on by club rugby league but they aren't and probably never will be.

The solution to this problem is to develop a credible representative and international programme above the club game that can link into the pre existing loyalties of the sporting public. That means Yorkshire v Lancashire matches given pride of place above the club game and for England to play against New Zealand and Australia as often and as frequently as possible. (People who claim that Yorkshire v Lancashire doesn't sell should have been at Headingley for the sold out 2020 cricket match!)

Reintroducing promotion and relegation to satisfy the parochial interests of small town clubs in the heart lands is not the way to grow rugby league. It is backward looking and regressive. What is it going to achieve? Featherstone Rovers getting 7,000 a week rather than 3,500? Some people might call that growing the sport, I don't.

Rugby league in this country has always been held back by the self interest of the 22 or so senior clubs at the top of the game prioritising their needs over the national team and the amateur community game. This finally needs to stop and the clubs need to realise the big picture. Rugby league's future is not going to be secured by the likes of Featherstone, Halifax, Leigh or any other heart land club getting promoted or relegated from the Super League and supposed public and media interest that supposedly generates!


Killing those clubs also serves no purpose, and killing them is what's happening.
I support one of those clubs and I would love the day we play in a truly national league with 10k plus gates at every super club but that day isn't today
We must win regularly on the international stage, to do that we need choice and that means a greater pool of players
We need a strong France, we need more FT players here, Toulouse and possibly one more in SL2 starts that process in both players and sponsors
If my plan worked it would be very hard for my club to be in the mix in 12 years but that's a challenge I would love to take
You don't make money by cutting costs, lets get aggressive and break the status quo, making our sport inclusive and great

#650 nadera78

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 08:29 AM

The under lying assumptions of most of these posts is the primacy of the club game. I have to disagree with that view point. The only sport in the UK which has its finances and public interest successfully driven by the club game is soccer. I think we can all agree that soccer is a massive exception to the UK sporting scene.

All other team sports in the UK, Union, cricket, hockey, netball etc. have their finances and interest from the general public driven by the representative and international aspects of the sport. As such British rugby league needs to find a structure that benefits the national team most in terms of British qualified players playing at the highest standard possible. I believe that the best way of achieving that aim to have a licenced Super League of 10 or potentially 12 clubs. All financial viable, all with highly developed infrastructure, all with first class player development programmes and all playing the highest standard of rugby league possible. The structure of the competition can be tweaked to ensure that all the clubs would have something to play for for most of the season.

The way for rugby league to increase its profile and its attractiveness for sponsors is for the national team to start beating Australia on a regular basis. Obsessing about a structure that will allow Featherstone Rovers or Halifax to dream of hitting the "big time" is not a way of attracting the attention of blue sponsors or the attentions of the national media. It would be great if blue chip multinationals and the national media were turned on by club rugby league but they aren't and probably never will be.

The solution to this problem is to develop a credible representative and international programme above the club game that can link into the pre existing loyalties of the sporting public. That means Yorkshire v Lancashire matches given pride of place above the club game and for England to play against New Zealand and Australia as often and as frequently as possible. (People who claim that Yorkshire v Lancashire doesn't sell should have been at Headingley for the sold out 2020 cricket match!)

Reintroducing promotion and relegation to satisfy the parochial interests of small town clubs in the heart lands is not the way to grow rugby league. It is backward looking and regressive. What is it going to achieve? Featherstone Rovers getting 7,000 a week rather than 3,500? Some people might call that growing the sport, I don't.

Rugby league in this country has always been held back by the self interest of the 22 or so senior clubs at the top of the game prioritising their needs over the national team and the amateur community game. This finally needs to stop and the clubs need to realise the big picture. Rugby league's future is not going to be secured by the likes of Featherstone, Halifax, Leigh or any other heart land club getting promoted or relegated from the Super League and supposed public and media interest that supposedly generates!

Sir, I salute a very fine post. A very fine post indeed.

 

I believe we can justify the inclusion of 10 English and 2 French clubs. This would not only strengthen the elite competition but would also greatly enhance the international dimension you discuss above.

 

The difficulty is that it is so much easier to simply retreat to what we know, rather than take much harder decisions. 


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#651 nadera78

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 08:31 AM

Killing those clubs also serves no purpose, and killing them is what's happening.
I support one of those clubs and I would love the day we play in a truly national league with 10k plus gates at every super club but that day isn't today
We must win regularly on the international stage, to do that we need choice and that means a greater pool of players
We need a strong France, we need more FT players here, Toulouse and possibly one more in SL2 starts that process in both players and sponsors
If my plan worked it would be very hard for my club to be in the mix in 12 years but that's a challenge I would love to take
You don't make money by cutting costs, lets get aggressive and break the status quo, making our sport inclusive and great

A greater pool of players? That comes by increasing the number of clubs.

 

A greater pool of elite players? That comes by increasing the talent supply.

 

Two entirely different things. It's the second one we should be aiming for.


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#652 Duff Duff

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 08:44 AM

It is not killing them just changing what their main purpose is. If a club isn't a viable full time professional entity and has no realistic hope of being one then it should concentrate on something that it can be good at. Player development, community work, investing in top class resources into top class facilities and playing in a competitive and vibrant semi-professional competition. Clubs paying players it can't afford to pay sucks money out of the game it doesn't contribute to it.

If a club in the top two divisions can put together a viable business plan for being part of a 10 or 12 team Super League then great. If it can't it should find a another positive role for itself within the game. Being a hub of player development and community work doesn't equate to death.

Resources and players need to be concentrated into the highest standard competition possible and that competition needs to feed into a high quality representative and international programme.

#653 sweaty craiq

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 12:53 PM

It is not killing them just changing what their main purpose is. If a club isn't a viable full time professional entity and has no realistic hope of being one then it should concentrate on something that it can be good at. Player development, community work, investing in top class resources into top class facilities and playing in a competitive and vibrant semi-professional competition. Clubs paying players it can't afford to pay sucks money out of the game it doesn't contribute to it.

If a club in the top two divisions can put together a viable business plan for being part of a 10 or 12 team Super League then great. If it can't it should find a another positive role for itself within the game. Being a hub of player development and community work doesn't equate to death.

Resources and players need to be concentrated into the highest standard competition possible and that competition needs to feed into a high quality representative and international programme.


And that is brilliant, but who funds it?

#654 Duff Duff

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 01:14 PM

And that is brilliant, but who funds it?


Funds what? The 10 or 12 team Super League? Itself.

In terms of the second and third tiers they should use the money they spend on paying players that not enough people want to pay to watch on something more productive. Like youth development and training facilities. How amateur clubs have always done it.

#655 a.n Other

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 01:24 PM

Funds what? The 10 or 12 team Super League? Itself.
In terms of the second and third tiers they should use the money they spend on paying players that not enough people want to pay to watch on something more productive. Like youth development and training facilities. How amateur clubs have always done it.

So you want them to stop paying players and go back to being amateur clubs? Interesting thoughts. Never heard that angle before.

#656 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 01:34 PM

So you want them to stop paying players and go back to being amateur clubs? Interesting thoughts. Never heard that angle before.

Many amateur clubs pay their players and why not if they have the cash, I know if at least one player who wouldn't sign for a pro club because their amateur club paid them more.
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#657 Terry Mullaney

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 01:44 PM

Funds what? The 10 or 12 team Super League? Itself.
In terms of the second and third tiers they should use the money they spend on paying players that not enough people want to pay to watch on something more productive. Like youth development and training facilities. How amateur clubs have always done it.

Seriously? Lets contract to just 8 or maybe 10 pro English clubs? That'll really solve the game's problems

Edited by Terry Mullaney, 09 July 2013 - 01:50 PM.

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#658 a.n Other

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 01:59 PM

Many amateur clubs pay their players and why not if they have the cash, I know if at least one player who wouldn't sign for a pro club because their amateur club paid them more.


I am no longer close to the Amateur game, is paying players all above board and aloud?

#659 nadera78

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 02:06 PM

Seriously? Lets contract to just 8 or maybe 10 pro English clubs? That'll really solve the game's problems

It would go some way to doing it.


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#660 sheddings69

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 02:56 PM

Many amateur clubs pay their players and why not if they have the cash, I know if at least one player who wouldn't sign for a pro club because their amateur club paid them more.


I know of at least a dozen in Oldham




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