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Member Since 21 Jul 2005
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:47 PM

#2964520 Rugby League's popularity riding high (Merged threads)

Posted by Derwent on 24 July 2014 - 07:50 AM

Its not often I defend the RFL but governing bodies should not report large profits  - if they do then they are failing in their duty. Money earned by the game and held by the governing body should be distributed back into the clubs and community game and not retained centrally.

#2963598 The never-ending League Restructure debate (Many merged threads)

Posted by Derwent on 22 July 2014 - 03:07 PM


As for the comparisons of the top 4 CC clubs and the bottom 4 SL clubs there's a year to go yet and I note your prediction that nobody may ever go up, but pressure is again on the SL clubs not to be cut adrift, and the top eight will be happy to raid the bottom four for players. Remove the whipping boys and someone ends up in their place. Is your prediction based on salary cap differentials??


There's a whole host of variables which theoretically should always give the 4 SL clubs in the middle 8 an advantage. The salary cap is obviously a key one but it is in conjunction with other factors. SL clubs by implication have more income which enables them to be full time clubs. Not just full time playing squads but full time clubs with the requisite back-room personnel and facilities (have you seen how many people Wigan employ as support staff to their players for example). The likes of Leigh and Fev may have full time players but will they be full time clubs - there's a difference. There's also the issue of professionalism - putting someone who has been a part time player onto a full time contract does not necessarily make them "professional".


Spending the full salary cap is obviously a key factor in attracting better players but it doesn't always work out that way. I'd suggest that this season Cas are spending much less than Hull, but look at how their respective seasons have gone. Its not an exact science. The one thing that the 4 Championship clubs might have in their favour is confidence and momentum - they might be going into the middle 8 brimming with it after a succession of wins while the 4 SL clubs may be dispirited and on notable losing runs.


In theory, the bottom clubs in SL next season should be stronger teams than those this year due to the reduction in number of clubs. Two full squads worth of players won't be required across the board next season which means theoretically the 50 or so weakest players currently in SL would be jettisoned and thus the quality should go up. Might not work like that in reality but in theory it should.


Overall I'd tend to side with the theory that the only real chance of a Championship side going up is via the 4th v 5th play off match.

#2963428 The never-ending League Restructure debate (Many merged threads)

Posted by Derwent on 22 July 2014 - 10:39 AM


the P and R discussion has become pretty sterile as others have said. It was bound to resurrect itself considering we know who is definitely going down, and considering the significance to the game of the clubs who are going down.

The new system is here and we just need to concentrate on enjoying our footy, I've certainly enjoyed mine this season.


But who are the main contenders for promotion to SL? In many ways the promotion campaign is already underway.

What will they bring to the competition in the short medium and long term? Which one(s) have the potential to become a power in the sport and take the competition forward. We've lost a big club that has achieved glory and attracted 20,000+ attendances, and has had some of the major stars of the sport among its ranks. We've lost a club in the capital that has made an under recognised contribution to the growth of Rugby League. 

So what are we likely to gain from whoever might replace them?



The odds on favourite is that nobody will replace them. P&R is back in a fashion but its entirely possible that nobody will be promoted in the truest sense, merely some clubs regaining their starting position in SL for the following season.


The 4 SL clubs who go into the middle 8 aren't really relegated at that point, they've just not qualified for the SL top 8 play offs. No club is relegated until the outcome of the middle 8 is known. Its entirely possible, probably even likely, that each SL season will have the same 12 clubs starting it.


Therefore, it is totally meaningless to compare Bradford and London with Leigh and Featherstone as its highly likely that none of them will be in SL. It'd be a much more meaningful comparison to compare them to the 4 clubs who are the likeliest to occupy the bottom 4 SL places each season.

#2956211 Rolf Harris - guilty

Posted by Derwent on 08 July 2014 - 06:18 AM

1. She claims it happened on live TV, surrounded by crew and apparently, his wife.
Yet, for some reason, nobody else saw it or, if they did, said anything.

When the judge sentenced Harris one of his opening remarks was "you clearly got a thrill from committing these offences when others were present or nearby".

#2955576 Team for Sunday

Posted by Derwent on 06 July 2014 - 05:05 PM

Huge credit to young Liam McAvoy for putting his hand up to play today following the sad loss of his mam on Friday. Speaks volumes of the young man's character and dedication. Big condolences to Liam, Kieran and their family on their loss.

#2954499 Rolf Harris - guilty

Posted by Derwent on 04 July 2014 - 12:23 PM

Sentenced to 5 years and 9 months in prison

#2954395 Batley game!

Posted by Derwent on 04 July 2014 - 09:33 AM

I don't know why the club keeps these things secret, most people know who it is anyway.

#2953338 Bradford Bulls take appeal to the High Court

Posted by Derwent on 02 July 2014 - 08:20 AM

1. That's a cliched post if ever I saw one. Bradford have got into a mess that in the end their governing body and fellow SL clubs have failed to get them out of despite the RFL moving for the ground and the SL clubs moving for a transfer embargo. By the time they'd finished dealing with Bradford they'd done a big about face taken half the SKY money and docked six points.


2. But to paint this as another club's opportunity denies the reality that nobody I can see is geared to take that opportunity. Superleague doesn't work like that. There aren't clubs below where Bradford are now that are geared up to step in and take their place. When other clubs like Crusaders and London were  in danger of resigning, the second tier clubs were ultra wary of taking their places. Those were opportunities that nobody was taking with both hands.


Sheffields loss of their stadium has hit them hard and they tick no boxes. Halifax are an OK championship side but have sinking crowds and a tight budget, no academy set up etc. Featherstone have been propped up by money from Chapman but mainly Nahaboo and that's become a bit of a house of cards (are they "failing"?). So all eyes on Leigh, that "small town in wigan" who took Leeds close. What boxes do they tick? Rich owner? The only box some people think a club need to tick to be the next big thing in Superleague.



3. If Bradford are guilty of a "failure" then do we really have to list the other financial failures? There's an absolute myriad of them, some went bust trying to be big clubs, some stopped short and cut costs and sold players to avoid that final step, some never traded enough income to even be able to fall from grace. Go back over the years and you'll find a shedload of them.



4. So back to the cliched post and this opportunity Superleague provide now they have relegated Bulls and London. It was argued in the thread above that a cut to 12 actually provides two opportunities less?. So where is the opportunity, in fact where is the club to grasp this opportunity? You see nobody actually names any names as just who it is that will now be able to take Superleague by storm now Bradford have gone. If it helped I can think of one club erm.....Bradford. They tick all the boxes.




1. Were you just as outraged when clubs like Workington and Keighley received no central funding for 2 years after going into administration ? The sums may have been different but the effect was just as crippling on those clubs. Or when Wakefield were promoted but denied Sky funds for a period of time ? The way you and others go on you'd think that Bradford were the only club in the history of the game to have been denied central funding, they are far from being the first club to suffer it. Also, I've heard whinging about them being put into special measures too - its in black and white in the operational rules, if a club is more than 3 months behind in payments to HMRC then they go into special measures. That applies to all clubs. Whitehaven were in special measures in 2010 and unable to sign players without the RFL's approval, perhaps you think SL clubs should be above the rules ?


2. This section sums your views up perfectly and shows that you do not get it and that your thinking is very one dimensional. Bradford's demise creates opportunities for other clubs, even existing SL clubs. If you can't think of what they might be then that's not my problem. Also, once again you are banging on about Championship clubs and comparing Bradford to them. I have no idea why you keep doing that. Just so that it's clear - none of Sheffield, Halifax, Featherstone or Leigh are replacing Bradford in SL. So why do you keep comparing them ? Its not a choice between Leigh and Bradford, how hard is that to understand ? You may as well compare them with Gateshead Thunder or Hunslet Hawks because neither of those will replace Bradford either.


3. Bradford are guilty of failure just as many other clubs before them have been. Nobody is arguing that other clubs haven't been failures in the past. However, it is only you who is arguing that Bradford should be a special case.


4. Again, one dimensional thinking. How about the opportunity for other SL clubs to become more financially stable as they are getting a bigger share of the Sky money after the drop to 12 clubs ? Or the opportunity for more Championship clubs to go full time and increasing the intensity and quality of the second tier as they receive a bigger share of the central funding ? There are many other opportunities including some for a relegated Bradford club if they're smart enough to recognise them.

#2953049 Bradford Bulls take appeal to the High Court

Posted by Derwent on 01 July 2014 - 03:50 PM

Yeah but you cant seriously argue that the economy is better off for them going under.


One man's failure is another man's opportunity. Or in this case, Bradford's failure is another club's opportunity. Or, heaven forbid, Bradford's failure could even be Bradford's opportunity if they stop looking backwards in self pity, get a sense of positivity for the future and plan to exploit the different opportunities that might present themselves.

#2952289 Fev make bid for Huddersfield Big 3

Posted by Derwent on 30 June 2014 - 11:26 AM

Relieved in a way, strangely it felt as though the club was being taken away from us, although I was excited at the prospect of the investment and I do think Feisal's intentions were genuine. He just had an outrageous way of going about things which let him down in the eyes of the supporters. I don't know what's brought it all to a head, I guess we'll find out much more at Mark's forum on Wednesday night where I'll guarantee there'll be no bull given out.

We were doing very nicely before Feisal showed up and under Mark's control I've no reason to believe we can't do the same again.


I've always thought that Fev's strength was their sense of community and the spirit of togetherness that the club and fans seemed to enjoy. Forget the corporate investment rubbish and get back to being a club that people feel a sense of belonging with. If you're meant to get to SL then you'll get there, and you'll enjoy the ride a whole lot more.

#2952271 Bradford Bulls take appeal to the High Court

Posted by Derwent on 30 June 2014 - 10:55 AM

I'm all for clubs cutting their cloth but remember that Caisley landed the club with a silly legal bill, Hood took a gamble, and RFL/SLE taking half Bulls SKY money are all major factors in the clubs demise, not necessarily a day to day overspend.


What you say was right of course, but some time ago I asked Mick Gledhill about the finances and yes he said the ground was a major millstone around the clubs neck. hence when the RFL took the lease I felt that may have been the RFL being supportive of a valuable Superleague club.


Mick also stated that 10,000 was the crowd necessary to keep the Bulls on an even keel and that meant 10,000 paying full ticket. The results saw crowds dipping below that and cheap tickets thrown out to reverse things rather than perhaps cut playing budgets. But we know why they didn't because a cut in playing budgets could have led to worse results and even less fans.


Again I'm all for tight financial control and all the clubs rejecting such risk taking. Had Bradford cut their cloth they may have avoided all the penalties and all the upheaval and maybe Wakefield and London would be going down this year.


But if any club were well placed to withstand the cycle of demise by cutting their cloth of course Bulls were one because they had the bigger crowds and still do. My point is simple, which Championship clubs have the crowds to be able to even afford to compete in SL instead of the Bulls let alone withstand a drop in crowds that a drop in playing fortunes bring??


Leigh, Featherstone, Donny, Halifax, Sheffield?? I don't think so. Caisley and Hood who are the real villains and not "The club" are long long gone but burying the Bulls still goes on and on.


Caisley made a terrible assumption when he was in charge and that, coupled with a few other events, has led to where they are now. His assumption was that he could take the Odsal future maintenance settlement (which was a few million quid) and use it to buy on-field success which would lead to even bigger crowds and thus generate the income to cover the future bills that the settlement was meant to cover.


His assumed increase in crowds didn't materialise, even when they had the success, as it seems that they had hit their peak support level. That started the ball rolling in terms of financial problems as those stadium related bills needed paying, but the revenue to pay them hadn't materialised. His assumption that success would lead to ever-growing support was ridiculously flawed.


Even now, regardless of a "clearing of debts", the club still has those future liabilities for stadium upkeep etc. That is money that needs to be found from somewhere, regardless of past events or changes of ownership. Odsal is still there, it still needs to be maintained and paid for.


If they struggled to pay the bills with a successful team, how do they pay those bills with a failing team ? Its a no-win situation really - spend more on the team but don't pay the other bills equals build up of debts again, spend less on the team and pay the other bills equals less support and less income into the club. Whichever way I look at it I always come back to the same conclusion and that is quite simply that Odsal is something that they can't afford. I realise that won't be a popular view but if you take emotions out of it then it is the plain simple truth. My own club spend in excess of £60k per year just to keep their stadium at a level of useability, Odsal is many times larger so I can only imagine what the annual costs must be.

#2952186 Bradford Bulls take appeal to the High Court

Posted by Derwent on 30 June 2014 - 08:26 AM

Wigan Athletic are a great example of my point. People dont complain when they are in the PL because their crowds are comparitavely low.
Its no good having large crowds if it the club still cannot function properly.


As I said a couple of pages back, crowds of 15,000 mean nothing if you need 20,000 to pay the bills.

#2951266 Bradford Bulls take appeal to the High Court

Posted by Derwent on 28 June 2014 - 08:40 PM

Not forgetting the gunman on the grassy knoll.
You refer to the destruction of the Bulls over recent months  - you are either highly selective or choose not to see what has been going on for many years.

As I see it, the destruction of the Bulls started when they took the large payment from the council for future maintenance of Odsal and used it all to buy short term success on the pitch. That success faded but the liabilities remained and the money to pay them had long since been spent.

Those who argue that Bulls' former glories are a reason to keep them in SL don't seem to be able to grasp that those glories were achieved with money that wasn't earned and that the club has never really paid its way. It was false glory, totally unsustainable and bound to end in tragedy.

#2950189 Bradford Bulls take appeal to the High Court

Posted by Derwent on 26 June 2014 - 03:38 PM

Isn't there some rule of membership around not suing the RFL?


Not as such, but membership entails entering into a contract with the RFL which stipulates that the member agrees to be bound by the decisions of any official panels, tribunals and RL Council votes. They are conditions of membership, the breach of which could result in expulsion from the organisation.


Its difficult to see how the High Court could rule on the specifics of Bradford's case - for them to be successful then surely the High Court would need to rule that the conditions of membership are unlawful ?

#2950123 Bradford Bulls take appeal to the High Court

Posted by Derwent on 26 June 2014 - 01:37 PM

We should all be rejoicing at this news. Clearly the Bulls are back into a very healthy financial position to be able to afford the six figure sum it will cost them to pursue this action. A great day indeed.