Jump to content


Rugby League World Issue 400 - Out Now!

RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD MAGAZINE - ISSUE 400 - OUT NOW!
84 pages, 38 years of history from Open Rugby to the present day.
Click here for the digital edition to read online via smartphone, tablet and desktop devices including iPhone, iPad, Android & Kindle HD.
Click here to order a copy for delivery by post. Annual subscriptions also available worldwide.
Find out what's inside Issue 400
/ View a Gallery of all 400 covers / WH Smith Branches stocking Issue 400
Read Jamie Jones-Buchanan's Top 5 RLW Interviews including Marwan Koukash, Lee Briers, Gareth Thomas, Steve Ganson & Matt King OBE


League Express

Podcast

Photo
* * * * - 4 votes

The never-ending League Restructure debate (Many merged threads)


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
4789 replies to this topic

#1521 Steve May

Steve May
  • Coach
  • 10,111 posts

Posted 21 August 2013 - 10:26 AM

  I'd hardly call taking on the playing staff "stripping the assets". 

 

 

As I recall it, you'd be pushing it to call that set of players "assets".


That's me.  I'm done.


#1522 Griff

Griff
  • Coach
  • 7,496 posts

Posted 21 August 2013 - 10:35 AM

As I recall it, you'd be pushing it to call that set of players "assets".

 

Dunno about that - Big Keith had already gone but the 2000 Giants side was more Sheffield than Huddersfield.

 

Anyway, the point I was making, is they ended up with about 40 of these "assets", whereas they actually only needed about 25.


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

#1523 Steve May

Steve May
  • Coach
  • 10,111 posts

Posted 21 August 2013 - 10:37 AM

None of that million went to Shuddersfield either.  The winners were the players.  Exactly what "assets" are we talking about here ? Players with unexpired contracts in post-Bosman days ?

 

The facts are that, in 1999, the crowds had dropped by around 1000 a match, the backer, who was putting in over £1m a year, had pulled the plug and the team was breaking up.   What would have been your plan ?

 

A lot of people seem to imagine that £1m is a lot of money.   It's interesting that the Eagle required external financing of £1m a year.    I have no reason whatsoever to doubt that Huddersfield require sums considerably larger than that on an annual basis.

 

It's clear then, that even if the £1m enticement to merge hadn't been swallowed up in paying off unneeded players, it would have only sustained the merged club for one season.  Then what would have happened?

 

This is what I don't get about the whole thing.  I can see why the senior people at the Eagles accepted the offer to merge - it was a way of getting out from a hopeless money pit relatively painlessly.  I can see why the people at Huddersfield took the offer - it was the only way to stay in SL at a time when it looked like the door in would be slammed shut permanently.  What I don't understand is the rationale from SLE to make the offer in the first place.   Why did they want it so badly that they paid a million pounds for it to happen, and then paid a similar amount out to Hull?

 

If they wanted a 12 team league, why didn't they just drop to 12 teams?


That's me.  I'm done.


#1524 Griff

Griff
  • Coach
  • 7,496 posts

Posted 21 August 2013 - 10:47 AM

A lot of people seem to imagine that £1m is a lot of money.   It's interesting that the Eagle required external financing of £1m a year.    I have no reason whatsoever to doubt that Huddersfield require sums considerably larger than that on an annual basis.

 

 

Actually I said "more than £1m a year".  It was about £4m over three seasons, as I recall.  Anyway, that was a long time ago and wages have moved on .

 

The latest Giants accounts to hand show that Mr Davy's loan increased by £1,204,988 during the year to £7,041,082.   So not all that different twelve years on.


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

#1525 Griff

Griff
  • Coach
  • 7,496 posts

Posted 21 August 2013 - 10:51 AM

This is what I don't get about the whole thing.  I can see why the senior people at the Eagles accepted the offer to merge - it was a way of getting out from a hopeless money pit relatively painlessly.  I can see why the people at Huddersfield took the offer - it was the only way to stay in SL at a time when it looked like the door in would be slammed shut permanently.  What I don't understand is the rationale from SLE to make the offer in the first place.   Why did they want it so badly that they paid a million pounds for it to happen, and then paid a similar amount out to Hull?

 

If they wanted a 12 team league, why didn't they just drop to 12 teams?

 

No, I don't get that either.  I suspect there was some "behind the scenes" stuff we don't know about, with willing volunteers putting themselves forward.


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

#1526 Steve May

Steve May
  • Coach
  • 10,111 posts

Posted 21 August 2013 - 11:19 AM

Dunno about that - Big Keith had already gone but the 2000 Giants side was more Sheffield than Huddersfield.

 

Anyway, the point I was making, is they ended up with about 40 of these "assets", whereas they actually only needed about 25.

 

Looking down the teamsheets and back at my memories of the period, I'd say from the combined two squads there were four players worth mentioning.  Paul Reilly, Danny Russell, Chris Thorman and Darren Turner.   All the rest were struggling to be SL quality players.  The only truly outstanding player worth mentioning from both squads was, as you rightly say, Keith Senior.  And he was long gone.

 

Combine two mediocre squads and you just end up with one mediocre squad full of cliques and some heavy payouts to get rid of the rest. 

 

Serious question - Gary Hetherington was the main man behind the scenes at Sheffield for years.  What financial exposure did he personally have at Sheffield towards the end?


That's me.  I'm done.


#1527 Griff

Griff
  • Coach
  • 7,496 posts

Posted 21 August 2013 - 11:40 AM

 

Serious question - Gary Hetherington was the main man behind the scenes at Sheffield for years.  What financial exposure did he personally have at Sheffield towards the end?

 

None.  He fancied keeping a small shareholding but the RFL wouldn't permit it.  He left in October 1996 and all the shareholdings were transferred by the end of January 1997.


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

#1528 The Parksider

The Parksider
  • Coach
  • 16,896 posts

Posted 21 August 2013 - 12:10 PM

There's a few local kids coming through now, Parky.  At Championship level.

 

Eddie Battye's pretty much a regular choice at prop.  Cory Aston's played well in the three games he's had so far.   Lee Sanders and Connor Scott have played first team this year.

 

Little acorns ........

 

I'm not denegrating the club, but even on the reality of things Supeleague clubs have to produce Superleague players and not acorns.

 

I note your analysis that the backer was putting £1,000,000 a year in to make up the shortfall last time. I note those saying they can be a success in SL completely ignore the absence of anyone putting that in and even that was not enough.

 

Bigger disaster than London waiting to happen, but it won't happen.



#1529 keighley

keighley
  • Coach
  • 4,921 posts

Posted 21 August 2013 - 12:42 PM

This is getting confusing now.  Are we really suggesting that Sheffield - sole Challenge Cup final appearance in the 1990s, loyal but small fanbase, big city potential never realised, handful of locals now making the team, don't have a ground to call their own - are the ideal candidates to replace London - sole Challenge Cup final appearance in the 1990s, loyal but small fanbase, big city potential never realised, handful of locals now making the team, don't have a ground to call their own?

 

No they are not the ideal candidates to replace London. I think we all know the more likely and qualified replacements for London are elsewhere.

 

Given the strikingly similar situations of the Eagles and the Broncos that you have highlighted though it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the Eagles could replace the Broncos. It seems to me that if Hughes walks and the Eagles find some funding, given that they are already profitable, that there would be little to choose between to the two of them.



#1530 keighley

keighley
  • Coach
  • 4,921 posts

Posted 21 August 2013 - 12:47 PM

Looking down the teamsheets and back at my memories of the period, I'd say from the combined two squads there were four players worth mentioning.  Paul Reilly, Danny Russell, Chris Thorman and Darren Turner.   All the rest were struggling to be SL quality players.  The only truly outstanding player worth mentioning from both squads was, as you rightly say, Keith Senior.  And he was long gone.

 

Combine two mediocre squads and you just end up with one mediocre squad full of cliques and some heavy payouts to get rid of the rest. 

 

Serious question - Gary Hetherington was the main man behind the scenes at Sheffield for years.  What financial exposure did he personally have at Sheffield towards the end?

 

Are you discounting Mark Aston, Lance Todd trophy winner, England international, creative match winning half back and top goal kicker.?



#1531 Griff

Griff
  • Coach
  • 7,496 posts

Posted 21 August 2013 - 12:51 PM

Are you discounting Mark Aston, Lance Todd trophy winner, England international, creative match winning half back and top goal kicker.?

 

And 32 years old.  Huddersfield discounted him.  If they'd offered him a contract, I doubt if there'd be a Sheffield Eagles today.


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

#1532 Pottsy

Pottsy
  • Coach
  • 3,500 posts

Posted 21 August 2013 - 12:58 PM

I've inadvertently opted to 'follow' this topic and am therefore being bombarded with email updates.

Any idea how I can 'unfollow?'

#1533 keighley

keighley
  • Coach
  • 4,921 posts

Posted 21 August 2013 - 01:00 PM

I'm not denegrating the club, but even on the reality of things Supeleague clubs have to produce Superleague players and not acorns.

 

I note your analysis that the backer was putting £1,000,000 a year in to make up the shortfall last time. I note those saying they can be a success in SL completely ignore the absence of anyone putting that in and even that was not enough.

 

Bigger disaster than London waiting to happen, but it won't happen.

 

 Nobody is ignoring the absence of a backer. The track record is that they are out there. Salford were on their beam ends and Khoukash appeared. Similarly, Bradford were already gone when Khan came riding to the rescue. Pearson at Hull, Glover at Wakefield, similalrly numerous investors at Featherstone and Toulouse.

 

So, to me, given the amazing progress from nothing to top of the tree Championship side, making a profit on sub par gates, and producing a playing side of quality from judicious scouting asnd recruiting both in this country and abroad and now seriously attempting to tap into local playing talent, do you really think that the mangement team at Sheffield are planning on getting to SL whilst ignoring the financial realities.? Nothing in their record to date suggests that they are so clueless or naive.

 

Where were Catalans prior to entering SL and look at them now. Microsoft were founded in a garage at Bill Gates fathers house. Progress is possible. There is risk and there will be failure but to pull up the drawbridge and wail woe is me and only the current SL ( many failing) teams are possible for ever and ever is ludicrous.



#1534 keighley

keighley
  • Coach
  • 4,921 posts

Posted 21 August 2013 - 01:03 PM

And 32 years old.  Huddersfield discounted him.  If they'd offered him a contract, I doubt if there'd be a Sheffield Eagles today.

 

You are so right there so that was a fortuitous rejection. 32 was not that old though. How old is the current England captain and Morley is still in the mix for an England place. 



#1535 Griff

Griff
  • Coach
  • 7,496 posts

Posted 21 August 2013 - 01:21 PM

You are so right there so that was a fortuitous rejection. 32 was not that old though. How old is the current England captain and Morley is still in the mix for an England place. 

 

Forwards last longer than half backs.


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

#1536 The Parksider

The Parksider
  • Coach
  • 16,896 posts

Posted 21 August 2013 - 09:43 PM

 Nobody is ignoring the absence of a backer. The track record is that they are out there. Salford were on their beam ends and Khoukash appeared. Similarly, Bradford were already gone when Khan came riding to the rescue. Pearson at Hull, Glover at Wakefield, similalrly numerous investors at Featherstone and Toulouse.

 

So, to me, given the amazing progress from nothing to top of the tree Championship side, making a profit on sub par gates, and producing a playing side of quality from judicious scouting asnd recruiting both in this country and abroad and now seriously attempting to tap into local playing talent, do you really think that the mangement team at Sheffield are planning on getting to SL whilst ignoring the financial realities.? Nothing in their record to date suggests that they are so clueless or naive.

 

I take the point but either a club has a backer or it doesn't.

 

If Davey pulled his millions out maybe Fartown will end up playing Gloucester.

 

If Wilkinson the steel man decides to go to the steel city and spend even more on Sheffield than he did on Salford then perhaps Sheffield will one day triumph over the mighty Wigan once more.

 

Any down and out clubs could wipe the honours board clean in Superleague if they were lucky enough to land a vastly generous benefactor. Any top club could end up in CC1 playing gloucester if they lost all benefactorial support.

 

But it's a weak argument you make that in the "here and now" Sheffield can make a dent on SL.



#1537 Steve May

Steve May
  • Coach
  • 10,111 posts

Posted 22 August 2013 - 08:14 AM

Are you discounting Mark Aston, Lance Todd trophy winner, England international, creative match winning half back and top goal kicker.?

 

No, I just forgot him.  Doesn't matter, you're looking at no more than a handful of actually good players out of two squads totalling 50 or so players.


That's me.  I'm done.


#1538 Griff

Griff
  • Coach
  • 7,496 posts

Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:31 AM

No, I just forgot him.  Doesn't matter, you're looking at no more than a handful of actually good players out of two squads totalling 50 or so players.

 

Players out of contract were discarded automatically.  The club had enough contracts to pay off without creating more.


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

#1539 keighley

keighley
  • Coach
  • 4,921 posts

Posted 22 August 2013 - 02:21 PM

I take the point but either a club has a backer or it doesn't.

 

If Davey pulled his millions out maybe Fartown will end up playing Gloucester.

 

If Wilkinson the steel man decides to go to the steel city and spend even more on Sheffield than he did on Salford then perhaps Sheffield will one day triumph over the mighty Wigan once more.

 

Any down and out clubs could wipe the honours board clean in Superleague if they were lucky enough to land a vastly generous benefactor. Any top club could end up in CC1 playing gloucester if they lost all benefactorial support.

 

But it's a weak argument you make that in the "here and now" Sheffield can make a dent on SL.

 

I don't think i was making that argument. I am though saying that Sheffield have the potential and given their record since their re birth to the present and if the current management team have SL ambitions, then the thought of Sheffield in SL shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. Others are ahead of them in the pecking order for SL, but Sheffield can't be discounted.

 

As you rightly point out, any team with a backer, has a chance of SL success. A year ago, Salford looked dead and buried. 4 years ago, Wakelfield looked dead and buried. When Fev were in CC1, they looked dead and buried. Bradford looked to be in serious trouble and an investor from nowhere bailed them out.

 

Sheffield are one step away from these clubs and if they find an investor, they are a viable bet for SL. London are going in the opposite direction. They are one step away from losing their investor and all the perils that will go with that.

 

No one, on a speculative thread like this should be ruled out as a potential SL club because they currently don't have an investor.

 

We have been down this road before but there are clubs out there with huge potential for the future. York in a big city with a new ground imminent. Doncaster, having emerged from bankruptcy, winning their first silverware ever last season and now being a serious contender for a playoff place in the Championship and playing in a large town and in a top class stadium.

 

Halifax, Fev, Leigh are slowly ticking the boxes towards SL criteria qualification.

 

All of these teams have as much potential as Widnes, Castleford, Salford and even London. Finances and opportunity are all that they need. Now that there is to be some form of p and r, it is up to these teams to raise their game and get into SL and we will see how things pan out. 

 

None of these teams may ever make it but, equally, some of them may. Let's get on with whatever reorganisation is planned and let the battles begin.



#1540 Griff

Griff
  • Coach
  • 7,496 posts

Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:02 AM

Spoke to someone last night who said that 2x12,3x8 is a done deal and just needs rubber stamping.  Strangely, he had no idea on how they intended to achieve the reduction in places in the top two divisions from 28 to 24.  So much for the "whole game solution". :(


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




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users