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The Parksider

Member Since 06 Oct 2004
Offline Last Active Today, 11:30 AM

#2967485 The all-new never-ending League Restructure debate thread

Posted by The Parksider on Today, 10:57 AM

Then why use the word 'lie'? Well I'd call it dissembling, and I don't think Parksider does that. He is an honourable man, and to associate him with such behaviour is out of order.


Well thanks to Derwent's stern but wise words over my number of posts I have kept off the thread as much as I can. But I hope my name check above is enough to warrant post number 16,000 and blob.


I think I am guilty of being a Championship club fan and when my club hit the resources buffer in this new professional game, and became secondary to the local big club whom naturally attracted the areas RL resources and left us for near dead for good, I just accepted that for the good of the game.


So the only axe I have to grind is my belief that Superleague is the saviour of the game, and as such I support it wholeheartedly and wish the game would do that fully too. I remember starting a thread to challenge people over the value of Superleague and they all but two had to admit the game needed it otherwise it would be a small dying peculiarity played at a low professional level in pockets of post industrial M62 and Cumbrian coast.


Marauder and Tro didn't care and fair enough.


All the facts and figures I look up and add up support Superleague, if they were a lie I would not post them.


All the people I debate with (or debated with as I have used the ignore button again on advice) over Superleague whom disagree with me and accuse me of falsifying or twisting facts, and who take an automatic opposite view, support clubs whom Superleague has effectively damaged irreversibly.  

Maybe 15,000 of my 16,000 posts are exchanged with a dozen other fine fellow posters going round in circles because if you support Leigh, Featherstone, Dewsbury, Keighley, Halifax, Sheffield, York, Rochdale or Oldham then of course the further advancement of Super league towards a closed shop of selected clubs with greater central control means the death of your own club certainly in terms of what it once was, certainly in terms of any future hope and ambition.


And I mean death because that was what it was coming to when the York's, Hunslet's, Bramley's, Oldhams, Keighley's Rochdale's, Blackpool's etc were facing when they hit the financial buffers first time around, and death as competitive independant clubs when they hit mass dual registration second time around. 


Whilst this staunch old guard admirably argues the future is the past, because they HAVE TO, whilst they deny plain facts because they don't suit the narrative they NEED, and whilst the RFL/SLE actually encourage this with their failure to bite the bullet on Superleague and look to emulate the Australian success with the game (cue a myriad of championship fan posts as to how that was neither success nor would be suitable over here in England) then these threads will go on and on until us lot die out with our clubs.


But believe me L'Ange, if I could find an argument to justify giving the Championship clubs half the SKY money and four up four down across two 16 team leagues I'd darn well find it. But to my own sadness I cannot.


But I move on because it;s the game and not my club that gives me pleasure. It is an absolute fact that only Elite Rugby league clubs attract big crowds, attract kids to play that become stars, and interest the big TV companies and sponsors.


Sadly nobody can present counter facts and figures but just jeer "twister" (all in good spirit in the end) 


I wish the facts didn't tell me that Super league is the future and that the strength of the game was in it's "communities" instead but it isn't, and some of our oldest RL communities have few fans and few people playing yet the over riding outrageous nonsense is always that if "conditions were right" then once again we can get Keighley Dewsbury and Featherstone back playing finals.


The good old days are over. I like what's replaced them better maybe that's my cardinal sin.

#2967456 Mullaney to Bradford

Posted by The Parksider on Today, 10:01 AM

You feel that great heartlands club with so much central funding to grow its own wood for so many years will have more overseas than the clubs it will be joining or not?


Well all clubs have to find the best team they can from no matter where as long as it is in the rules. Bradford started a good productive academy late, and their Superleague successes attracted the lads who joined it and so they need to get that success back first of all, get back in SL, get back to winning ways and that should re-kickstart the academy.


The charge you level at Bulls is a charge even Wigan and Leeds are guilty of if they can find a better overseas player than a home grown. I suspect the reality of the problem is that even when these big sides look like they are failing, opening up opportunities for the smaller clubs, then along comes some financial muscle in the shape of Mr. Green, and in come the best players outside SL looking for the best vehicle to get back in there themselves.


I can understand how disheartening that can be, but the only choice is to find your own rich man and start your own academy, and find a coach to make sure you always have the best team within the rules, a la Featherstone.


To call for clubs to sacrifice their own chances unilaterally by adopting a purist youth policy (like the calls for Catalans to only play French players, and HKR to only play Hull lads) is like asking the bigger clubs to go easy on yours. You maybe when thinking about it have a bit more pride in your club than that.

#2965006 The all-new never-ending League Restructure debate thread

Posted by The Parksider on 24 July 2014 - 10:00 PM

The solution to the problem of semi-pro clubs finding the gap to SL too big to bridge seems to be to simply make promotion difficult. You have to beat professional teams with a semi-pro squad to go up. It's just a weak attempt at appeasing those who want proper P&R. What happens if after three seasons not one team has actually been promoted?


Ooooh a naysayer!


What happens is the new eight club Superleague simply rolls on and on.


What clearly will happen is the top clubs will continue to stay in the spotlight as they play their big games against each other three times a season or more


Remember 2004


Leeds 26 Bradford 18 att:21,225

Bradford 12 Leeds 26 att: 23.375

Leeds 40 Bradford 12 att: 21,225

Leeds 12 Bradford 26 att: 21,525 (QSF)

Bradford 8 Leeds 16 att: 65,547 (Final)


Yet somehow we are told by KPMG/RFL the "radical" new system which is a tyred old re-tread (geddit?) will be the saviour of the crowd slump.


It's a case of if you want P & R then go play it at the bottom of the garden and leave the big boys to play the real game. I wouldn't mind but the radical RFL have lost the biggest boy of all. 


Time for the RFL to resign (no not re-sign)!

#2964980 Marwan Koukash: I'll turn rugby league into a global sport

Posted by The Parksider on 24 July 2014 - 09:42 PM


I dont think the new structure is radical, i dont see what is radical about it. At the top its a different play-off structure. Not really a radical change we have been through numerous play-off structures.


Well the definition is "Characterized by departure from tradition" and guess what................


P & R is a modern rugby league tradition from 1973-2009  and was first tried in 1903 when Brighuse Rangers and St.Helens were relegated.


Putting four clubs in risk of jeopardy was first tried 1973/4 and it lasted until 1985.


Sellotaping two traditions together is in no way radical.


Intransigence on this forum is certainly not radical, But no doubt this myth will be repeated many many times.

#2964480 The never-ending League Restructure debate (Many merged threads)

Posted by The Parksider on 24 July 2014 - 06:06 AM

Don't we all wish that London could get management as good as those running Sheffield Eagles


People really cannot have it both ways.


We've got Trojan trying to convince us Bradford are dead and gone and are no longer a big club yet they still play out of home ground Odsal, they still count support at 6,000. they still run an academy that produces players and they now have the missing ingredient, that of a rich owner.


Remember as soon as Featherstone got that rich owner in Nahaboo there was post after post about how the club would be going places, buying up all the best players and reaching for the stars.


OK I accept we are in the here and now and it's not 2001 and Bradford have not just crushed Wigan in the SL final, but by 'eck Brdford are still three times the club Featherstone or Leigh are.  


Now we get the myth of how marvelously run Sheffield Eagles are.


The club was so well run it collapsed out of existence, then when it came back it was so well run that it couldn't manage to develop a player production system. Compare and contrast the London academy with the Sheffield academy, which one produced the results?  


Then Sheffield brought in the right players to win the Championship and how well did the crowds go? They went nowhere despite the successes.


But again people can't have it both ways and declare that in the here and now Bradford or London are shot, when in the here and now "well managed" Sheffield are well down the Championship and playing before falling crowds out of a bigger dump than Odsal.


That a non RL city can pinch the Championship twice from under the nose of Halifax Featherstone and Leigh, may say more about the standard of RL in the championship and the gulf between that and Superleague, than it does about the readiness or the ability of CC clubs to be up to P & R.


You look at the tables in the here and now and if the CC clubs have to go to places like Hull and star studded Salford next year there could be immediate problems with this "brand new" exciting system. 

#2962656 Bradford officially relegated

Posted by The Parksider on 21 July 2014 - 07:19 AM

We seem to have quite a few experts who know the outcome of fixtures in 14 months time.Sure the salary cap of superleague will make a difference but who knows if an injury hit squad,financial crisis etc at a team at the bottom of the 12 would automatically beat for example Leigh or a re-vamped Bradford side?


You gotta be joking that you think this P & R stuff could "work" as long as one of the SL clubs collapses financially off the pitch and the players collapse on it??


What nonsense. 


You have already seen what happens when SL clubs financially collapse and lose their best players. Nobody wants to go watch them, and therefore if P & R is all about crowds........


I won't work will it?


Lets say the Wakey Chairman pulls out as he threatened to do and Pearson returns to soccer after banging his head against the docks wall.


Would the collapse of these clubs lead to great crowds? Leigh.v. A bust Wakefield? A bust Hull.v.Bradford. Not a pretty sight?


Best to try to imagine what the crowds would have been this year had Bradford and London been asked to play Leigh and Fev to decide who goes down or comes/stays up?

#2962186 Bradford officially relegated

Posted by The Parksider on 20 July 2014 - 04:12 PM

No bouncing back.   Unless one of the 12 SL clubs goes into total meltdown


Fingers are crossed all along the M62 it's Catalans........

#2962130 Will the Broncos be swallowed up by the Championship?

Posted by The Parksider on 20 July 2014 - 03:23 PM

Yes, we were - see the interview with Sky's Vic Wakleing (sp?) in the history of SL published a while back (sorry, can't remember the title - perhaps someone out there can help, my copy's still buried in the rubble of my house move). In fact, we were the only definite condition, as Sky couldn't sell in France and they weren't that fussed about summer rugby, although we'd have had to have taken less cash for winter.


Well isn't that interesting.


There's only so far a sport can be pushed into anything, and only so far a broadcaster will go. The more you deliver the broadcaster the more the broadcaster can deliver the funds.


I'd guess with the push against mergers and the denial of London Broncos (or Crusaders come to that) the extra support they needed to succeed, the game has in turn had to take less SKY money.


Still, the games leaders have saved themselves the bother of modernising and taking the sport forward.

#2960940 Dr K rips into Mcmanus

Posted by The Parksider on 18 July 2014 - 07:49 AM

It is a great sport, and plenty of people do care about the guff around the edges, thats why they dont watch it, and plenty of people do care about the fact we are 2nd best in terms of player quality, thats why they dont watch it.


We have a problem generating new supporters, but anyone pointing out that or low fanbase and lack of new supporters might be down to the product, its image and its environment is just complaining.


Im a big fan of the game, i think the game itself is brilliant and i think we have a whole heap of potential in this country. I'm not negative about our game, im genuinely excited about it. But i want it to be the best it can be. I think we can be so much more than we are right now but we wont ever get there by simply pretending these problems arent problems. They are and we are good enough to overcome them but we do need to address them.


Just knowing that there is a league in Australia and it is better than ours is enough to make it more difficult to sell ours. Because knowing the Australian league is better means knowing ours is worse. And our effort becomes selling a product to people who think we are inferior.


As I said in a previous post to solve a problem you have to properly define it. Do you have any real evidence that Superleague's real problem is that it is second best to NRL, and that it is an image problem?.

For image problems check out soccer's overpaid cheats, or upper class twits rolling around in the mud in winter, before barbecues and berbours.


I can't see that problem. All the half interested floating fans I have known and often taken to a game over 40 years have no interest in what's happening in Australia. These lads like what they see, but in the main don't stick because it's not a game they have an affinity with, they played the all engulfing soccer at school

and the clubs I took them to they also have no affinity with but they all know Leeds United.


The real problem is to me clear. Soccer is shoved down their throats and even if they prefer Rugby at many schools they can't play league. History has pushed us into a region and in that region we get squeezed further. That's much more the problem not "Image" all my guests respected our game, one said he preferred Leeds Carnegie.


As for an inability to "sell it" we have just "sold it" to SKY again for a record £200,000,000, and we have sold it to a large TV audience too. I quoted you the main markets for the game Leeds, Wigan, Saints, Warrington, Hull, Bradford, South France and Calder. In 1996 64,000 fans on average watched Rugby league in these areas. Today up to 113,000 fans watch Rugby League in these areas.


We have tried expansion and as we don't have people with the same affinity to RL outside the north - a problem even evidenced with many of my northern friends as above - then any solution remains a mega £Million one and we do not have the money.


So with respect we are left with creating a talking shop on image, or defining the real problem which for me is that we can see what works and what brings in the fans. Big well resourced SL clubs. We need to grow more of them  and we are not doing that. The self interested Leeds, Wigans and Saints prefer to raid the Hulls and Calders for their players, they prefer to preside over rules that stifle growth and investment in Salford/manchester, they block growth in France, manipulate their puppet RFL leader, and they seize on any difficulty at their colleagues businesses by backing points deductions, taking their SKY money and raiding their playing rosters.


If you want the real problem it is the self destruction of the dream league of well spread out big SL clubs currently being reduced down into an 8 club rump. But guess what, the so called "great businessmen" at these clubs have now made themselves bigger fish in a smaller pond whilst using the small clubs thirst for P & R to engineer that. That's the problem.

#2959903 Dr K rips into Mcmanus

Posted by The Parksider on 16 July 2014 - 11:58 AM

I think you misunderstood my point. Maybe I didn't make it clear enough. You seemed not to take my first point into consideration. My point is, if your point about players being willing to go to more 'prestigious' clubs is correct even with marquee players, why wouldn't the best marquee players go to the more prestigious clubs, maybe on less money. They know that one player can help a team out, but is unlikely to change a season. So the marquee player is still likely to go somewhere he can win potentially on a bit less cash.


Maybe there should be a cap wherein if you are happy to show the RFL your books then you can spend some more?


I think you misunderstood my point albeit I didn't spell it out but just tried to get over the principle that blanket rules"fairly" applied scrupulously evenly across the board, actually are not "fair" at all.


As you say any blanket marquee player rule is going to change the status quo only one way when Billy Slater and SBW sign for Leeds and Wigan and not Wakefield and Widnes. The rich richer the poor poorer.


Now some say Superleague would be a much better competition, and would attain growth in the game itself and in the media market, if it was a more even contest. I agree with that.


Some say if we are to move towards an even playing field we do not want to dumb down clubs to the lowest common denominator and I'll agree with that.


Some say we would be better off allowing clubs freedom to just reach for the stars, after all salary caps and licensing are straight jackets some say don't work and don't replicate the success of say soccer. Whilst I do not agree fully with that I cannot see how McManus can have it both ways if he was honest.


If he wants an even competition then cut the clubs who are struggling, and who can't make up the distance say between Salford and Saints some slack. Let any club chairman from the lower clubs who has the private funds go out and buy us Slater and SBW. 


Your thinking along the lines of how every club has to play off an even playing field but they don't. Some of the fancy grounds that pull in thousands more fans exist because local councils were sympathetic to the clubs project, some ramshackle grounds that drag clubs like Wakefield and Castleford down have not been replaced because the council said get lost. That's no even playing field. The lucky rich get richer and the poor are poorer


Some clubs can't get their local quality kids to go through their academy and sign for them, instead it is alleged a van load of Wakey kids go to Wigan academy. That's not an even playing field either. The rich get more resources the poor end up providing them.


So Koukash says he'll go out and buy SBW and Slater. Sounds a good idea to me to help make the competition more even, and more exciting without taking anything from other clubs, but Uncle Eamon says no. OK if he doesn't want an even competition then scrap the cap and allow clubs to just go for it.


Again and again it all boils down to decisions being made by those that run SL being made for their own ends and not for the good of the game.


You said "Maybe there should be a cap wherein if you are happy to show the RFL your books then you can spend some more?" This indicates you are thinking outside the box, and my idea was allow anyone to put their own private money in as long as it is a gift and as long as what you do/buy does not take resources off others.


If Koukash paid £Millions to open up junior RL clubs around the M60, or Jack Fulton blew his fortune on the ground for Castleford at Glasshoughton, or  David Hughes had used the £13,000,000 to get London a permanent home then the other chairmen would not cry about it. But somehow the same thing - private money to bring in big stars Oooh no we can;t have that you may beat us.

#2959389 Is a new power rising in the Championship

Posted by The Parksider on 15 July 2014 - 11:30 AM

Rugby league expansion should be into towns like Doncaster, Sheffield. These are outposts; slightly outside the heartlands but rugby league is being played there, although it is struggling.


Well Gavin if your saying this because these clubs can put a team together from players M62 SL clubs don't want & journeymen like other championship clubs then fine, just the problem of attracting a crowd.


They may be one or two steps off Superleague but they are very very big steps indeed.


Aren't Donny a bit of a Hull "A" team at the moment with Cook and his connections? 

#2959011 Dr K rips into Mcmanus

Posted by The Parksider on 14 July 2014 - 03:50 PM

Is this a serious point?  Are you saying that chairmen should just bend over and accept anything MK suggests just because a.) he is rich and b.) Salford aren't a viable RL club?


Seems to me that we should be listening more to men who have made unviable clubs viable than those who charge into the sport with wildly misconceived ideas on what is practically achievable on and off the pitch.


MK bought into a salary capped sport.  He's now found it's quite tough to compete and requires a long term view to develop a competitive and financially stable club.  His response?  This isn't fair, I want to spend more.


Hold on there? Your not a saints fan are you fear the (red) vee? Lets get it right that McManus chose to sort out a big club that needed a new ground to cement itself as a big club. Well done him, he's done a good job. Koukash has chosen to sort out a club with little junior RL in it's area and declining fanbase that's been on a downer for some years. So Koukash has difficulties to overcome he believes he can overcome if he can spend some more money to bring a star to the team. If that puts crowds up at salford and at Saints when they clash then great for the Superleague.  If McManus doesn't want to do that fine but why does he fear Koukash doing it?


The charge is that he fears Salford becoming competitive. I can understand him blocking the salary cap abandonment, but one player? 

#2958394 The best investment the RFL/SL clubs could make is ?

Posted by The Parksider on 13 July 2014 - 03:18 PM

But it isn't the same is it? 



#2958226 Dr K rips into Mcmanus

Posted by The Parksider on 13 July 2014 - 06:45 AM

I will disagree on whether it is a poor post.  I disagree with it, but he identifies a problem and a solution and I does not give us any nonsense about short-term parochialism being for the good of the game. 


I disagree because I think the most exciting rugby league you will ever see will be when you are young and intrinsic quality is not actually that important, but that is just a judgement call.


It will be good to see Red's reply, always interesting and informative views.


But like P & R have we not been here before?


Didn't Peter Sterling play for Hull, Brett Kenny for Wigan, Mal Maninga for St. Helens, Wally Lewis for Wakefield, Andrew Ettinghausen for Leeds, David Watkins for Salford, Jamie Lyon for St.Helens, Les Boyd for Warrington. Kurt Sorenson for Widnes?


They came into the game as the biggest of stars and they did put numbers on the gates, but I don't remember them being the solution then, as wonderful as it was to have them thrilling the fans.


Someone was moaning about the awful declining crowds only the other week (not me for once) and it was pointed out Hull had 12,000 for Warrington, On Friday Leeds had 14,000 for HKR.


As you say "quality is not actually that important" So how did we pack out those two games is the question here? The analysis of that may give us a real solution, it may tell us there's no solution.


But stuff like "bring back P & R"  or "bring in the top overseas stars" is just revisiting old ground and the latter can be no solution at all if the clubs do not have the private backing to pay the money that would attract the named stars. Don't we think that even if we did announce our top 12 Chairmen were going to reach into their pockets to pay the worlds top 12 rugby stars hundreds of thousands a year, that the even richer chairmen in the NRL or RU would not counter the move? 


I think there are solutions to the problems SL has, but they are not old ideas that fit a soundbite.

#2957997 Dr K rips into Mcmanus

Posted by The Parksider on 12 July 2014 - 01:32 PM

And my question is, why should the players accept less money than Dr Koukash wants to pay them? Why should the owners be allowed to work together to deny money they would otherwise pay? and Why should the players accept that?


You sound like your accusing rich owners of wage fixing?


Leeds run to a sensible budget to break even and their top man does not want to spend big on players. Mr. McManus and Mr. Lenegan aren't going to put their personal money into their clubs and want to run them without having to cover a big deficit on wages, Wakefield and castleford have no rich owners, Hudge at HKR is fed up of his £500K a year subsidy, O'Connor won't spend thousands of his money on extra wages, Hughes is £13,000,000 down personally and has got nowhere, Davey spends like Hughes but probably doesn't want to spend any more, Not sure on Moran etc etc.  I'm sure most of those gentlemen would stand down if big rich owners willing to spend their own money came in, but they aren't


I think you would have a point if after turning over an average of what £5M a year? Superleague clubs were running big surpluses, but they are not.


At the start of last year they were running a £68M deficit and so arguably maybe the players should hand some of their wages back? 


I can see a point to opening up the salary cap but not if we end up with one mega rich owner buying every decent player and junior up, we already see fans being turned off by perennially struggling SL clubs lord help us that we don't end up with 11 of them out of 12.