It's a little unfair to say that the Eagles have no junior development. They have run scholarships and academies for a few years now - admittedly the community game in the area is struggling, but that's true everywhere. I'm less worried about the Eagles' viability than I am about that. No community game, no professional game.
Would a system work whereby a club/owner would put enough money into escrow (or something similar) that would cover an above-cap spend over say three years?
So if the cap were £500,000 and they wanted to spend £600,000 in year one, £750,000 in year 2 and £1,000,000 in year 3, they would put £850,000 in an account partially controlled by the RFL that would release the money back as the club needed it. The amount would have to be equal across the years or increasing (i.e. not £1000000 in year one and £501,000 in the next two years)
The club could withdraw from this arrangement at any point (i.e. get the money back but be restricted by the cap) if they changed their business plans or got promoted.
The law change will bring England and Wales into line with Scotlands hunting laws. So it puts the SNP in a position where they really can't really vote against it. It's a nice trap with EVAL being debated.
English Votes for Australian Laws? I'm up for that!
The top players (anyone in the top 20 for any length of time) become very well off and the very top players can get extremely lucrative sponsorship and advertising deals.
However, if you're 150th in the world or below you are actually a very good player but will be scraping a living.
The application and sheer will to win required in an individual sport where you are travelling all the time and paying your own way makes it a very hard life indeed. There's always someone coming up behind you wanting to beat you - younger, more determined - and you're only as good as the last few tournaments you played. No lucrative multi-million pound 5 year contracts like the 150th best footballer in the world will be on.
The top guys (Djokovic, Federer, Murray, Nadal, Warwinka etc. and Williams in the ladies) not only have supreme skill but their drive to win is phenomenal. They (and I include Murray in this) are amongst the best players who have ever played the game and yet observe their interviews. They very rarely blame the umpires, the court, the weather or any of the garbage we see from footballers (and RL players) and their managers. My son was a line judge at Wimbledon, officiating in the men's final, and he had nothing but good words to say about these guys, especially Nadal. Nadal always has time for fans and is always polite to officials, ball boys, other players. Djokovic's interviews are always articulate and thoughtful. He spent most of the interview the other day praising his opponent, who had just played his last game at Wimbledon before his retirement.
You may or may not like watching tennis, but these sportsmen work damned hard in a very, very competitive arena.
The chances of the disciplinary calling it a spear tackle are zero since they have charged him a dangerous throw (lifting and dropping player) - sanction is 2-3 games and he'll get 2 if found guilty. A spear tackle is when the players is driven into the ground by the tackler and carries a higher grade.
Smeaton's charge is a careless high tackle. This is very different from the reckless/deliberate high tackle that posters on here are charging him with.
Thorpe, Davies, Knowles and Taulapapa have not been charged. Neither has Hock.
I reffed Cory Aston many times from about 8 until he moved up into the academy structure and in all that time he barely conceded a penalty and I don't remember any malicious tackles of any kind. I also watched him in the Eagles Academy and reserves and the same was true.
This tackle was dangerous and it was a red card but it was not a spear tackle. He over-rotated the player (penalty) and then failed to ensure he landed safely (red card).
The Smeaton one looks like a tired grab at a quicker player but it was high and could have been a red too - that would have been a difficult call at the speed that it happened. Intent is difficult to be sure about - often the officials on the field know the atmosphere, hear what the players are saying and make a call on that. The disciplinary will get the advanatge of slow motion and decide whether the end result of the high tackle justifies a ban.
If those two incidents alone have caused 3 pages of outrage then we are in for some long threads from now to the end of the season.
Same old same old. These awards don't just happen on their own. ANYONE can submit a case: they would not have just given the gong to old biscuit bones...someone will have advanced an appication and a case. There's plenty of charity workers, lollipop ladies etc who get awards..because their communities have shown they deserved it. And it's not about Monarchy...plenty of republics have awards, too.
Yes. I went to a tennis function yesterday where the President of the LTA urged clubs to nominate people from the grass roots of the sport to nominate volunteers. You only need a handful of nomination letters. The more who apply from a sport, the more likely the committee is to pick someone.
As you say, mots countries have some kind of system but I'd like to see it revamped to get rid of the Empire aspect and I'd stop giving civil servants awards for just doing their jobs.
The evidence is strong that skills based, non full contact primary league is the correct way to do it. However this doesn't sit well with people brought up in the traditional way who find it a bit "PC" and not tough enough.
Some may have a point in the fact that at some stage players have to learn to tackle, that it can hurt and best to do that younger than older - but unfortunately too many adults like to live their dreams through kids and enjoy seeing their team thrash another team 60-0 and be top of the league / winning cups etc. For me there's plenty of time for that later in life.
The reg cards issue is to some extent related - clubs and their officials have, over the years, abused the age group and player reg system to achieve the goal of winning stuff. This makes everyone paranoid. If you stop worrying about winning and focus on the kids then you simply don't put an older kid in with younger ones. You don't even consider doing it.