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  1. Michael Carter / TV deal etc (Merged threads)

    Absolutely. The fact that the clubs agreed to a TV deal that nobody, in Michael Carter's words, "had a proper look at" is staggering. This deal was of critical importance, yet clubs voted blindly in favour of it! I can't say that inspires confidence in them being responsible for the future of Super League. I am also concerned that Michael Carter thinks that Super League chairman have a right to interfere in matters involving the national team and how the RFL's central funding is distributed to Championship and League 1 clubs. The more I read about this, the more concerned I am.
  2. Kato Ottio

    Very sadly, the news has been confirmed by Widnes.
  3. Front page of League Weekly makes interesting reading, and is precisely what I feared.
  4. I don't want to sound downbeat, but... The clubs were responsible for accepting the farcical Stobart deal and introducing a marquee player allowance whilst refusing to stump up £30K per side for a reserve competition. I fear that effectively having 12 CEO's running the league is going to lead to more selfish decisions which will impact hugely on Championship clubs. A closed shop where only Super League clubs have a say in how the sport is run seems a real possibility to me, at the expense of the semi-professional, amateur and international game. I hope it works, but the clubs can't simply be allowed to do as they please and there must be some form of RFL involvement. On the positive side, it no longer allows clubs to abdicate responsibility. A prime example being Ian Lenegen, who has done nothing but criticise the recent TV deal with SKY, which he voted in favour of! I hope that decisions are made in the interests of the sport and not the bank balances of club chairmen.
  5. Why is Yorkshire so far behind Lancashire?

    Because minimum standards were introduced so Leigh, Salford and St Helens built their long-promised new stadia. Many Yorkshire clubs didn't do anything in terms of theirs, and we then returned to P & R with no minimum standards.
  6. Whilst Sky are on occasions deserving of criticism, some of this is unjustified. 1. Catalans do not have a deal to show their games in France next year yet, therefore Sky cannot take a feed from the host broadcaster. 2. Sky do not have the rights to show the New Zealand tour, so why would they publicise it in a "rugby league on sky in 2018" article? 3. Sky have not announced any rights to show any of the matches to be shown in Australia next year, either Super League or NRL, so again cannot publicise this. However, I agree that Sky's decision to buy the rights to the Championship just to prevent other broadcasters showing the sport is an awful tactic, and whoever agreed to this deal needs to take a look at themselves. I'd honestly rather see 6 matches spread over the course of the season rather than all stockpiled into one weekend. As for a midweek magazine show (that was criticised no-end by the fans), Sky haven't shown one for years due to overspending on football. Boots N All was cut alongside similar shows in other sports such as Total Rugby, Revista De La Liga, Ringside etc. The big challenge for the RFL is can they find any other competitor that can offer us the money, exposure and amount of content that Sky currently provide (I'm not saying it's brilliant)? I'm not sure that they could!
  7. Super League restructure coming

    The fact that we are even talking about restructure strikes me as daft. What other sport changes the way its premier competition is structured as frequently as we do? From memory, in the Super League era, we've had: 1996-97 - First place are champions, one side relegated, top 4 in the premiership 1998 - Introduced the Grand Final, changed to a top-five play off system, got rid of the Premiership 1999 - Increased number of sides to 14 (and did we remove relegation for a year or two?) 2000 - Reduced number of sides to 12 2002 - Increased size of play offs to six (and re-introduced promotion and relegation?) 2003 - Introduced the League Leaders' Shield 2005 - Relegated two sides this year 2008 - 09 - Introduced licensing, removed P & R, increased number of sides to 14, increased play offs to eight 2014-15 - Introduced "Super 8's", relegated two sides in 2014, left play offs at eight for 2014, before reducing to four. 2020 - Probably changing to yet another system. The number of changes we have made is ridiculous, and we hid behind the "innovation" tag, when really it's caused by a lack of confidence in our product/leadership/finances. They are just the changes that I can recall, there have been many others to the lower leagues no doubt, and others to the Super League that I've probably missed. I would have hoped that by now, after all of these changes, that we realised that changing our structure is not the answer. It's time that we start addressing the underlying problems in our domestic game, rather than another introducing another "innovative" system. We're going to reach a point soon that we have ran out of structures to try and then are faced head on with the real problems, such as a lack of academy teams, and struggling lower-league clubs.
  8. World Cup 2021

    Really good promo, and some interesting hints too. The promo says there will be 14 venues, and the article posted by the OP states that there are at least 30 applicants for venues. This shows that towns/cities should have to give guarantees of investment and marketing to be a host venue. At a guess, the applicants may be: 1. Wembley, London 2. Olympic Stadium, London 3. Old Trafford, Manchester 4. Etihad Stadium, Manchester 5. Anfield, Liverpool 6. St James' Park, Newcastle 7. Elland Road, Leeds 8. Bramall Lane, Sheffield 9. Ricoh Arena, Coventry 10. KCOM Stadium, Hull 11. DW Stadium, Wigan 12. John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield 13. Headingley, Leeds 14. Langtree Park, St Helens 15. Halliwell Jones, Warrington 16. Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster 17. The Shay, Halifax 18. Leigh Sports Village, Leigh 19. AJ Bell Stadium, Salford 20. Craven Park, Hull 21. Derwent Park, Workington 22. Memorial Stadium, Bristol 23. Halton Stadium, Widnes 24. New Cas Stadium? I'm struggling to think of any others that may be interested, considering that the tournament is going to played solely in England?
  9. 2018 Series v NZ

    In 2013, we attracted 67,000 to watch an England match in London. If the reports are accurate, we will then have hosted two international matches in London from November 2013 to November 2020. That is criminal. How can we expect crowds to turn up if we don't have an annual London test? We should have organised a repeat mid-season test against New Zealand in 2014 at Wembley again, because anyone who saw that 2013 match who have been desperate to go back again. Instead, we haven't had an international at Wembley since and one doesn't appear to be in the pipeline. Having regular annual matches in London (preferably the same venue) would help growth and build a reputation that this is more than just a sports match, it is a must see event. The same applies to Newcastle. We have laid foundations with the Magic Weekend, why not build on it with a test match? Particularly if they will be a host venue in 2021. Ditto Bristol. If a local went along to the USA vs Cooks match in 2013, they have not been given an opportunity to see a professional match again to date in their city. The next chance will be in 2019 with part-time players. We needed to strike whilst the iron was hot. The same for Coventry. We play there in 2016, and there is no plan to build on the modest success! The most frustrating thing is that we don't appear to be learning lessons. We seem to stick a pin in a map and say we'll play an international in location x. Generally, the crowds are local, reasonably sized, and enthusiastic. So what do we do to capitalise on it? Nothing! Host a Super League match there the following year? No. Host another international there? No. The British public love success because we don't have that much of it. I guarantee that a crowd at Bristol or Coventry would appreciate us beating France by 30/40 points far more than a crowd at Leigh. But we either lack the resources, guts or foresight to go for it. To be positive, UK international crowds have improved recently. We are now regularly selling out the likes of Huddersfield, Hull and Wigan. It's time for us to start using these venues for our matches against "tier 2" nations only and going bigger for the likes of New Zealand and Australia. That's why I'm all for one of the matches being held in a big heartland stadiums like Anfield, Etihad or Elland Road as long as we don't try and keep rugby league as a secret that only northerners can know about or attend.
  10. Four Nations 2016

    Even though the venues are public knowledge (in RL circles) they have not been officially announced, and won't be for another month. I doubt this will be public knowledge for fans of Coventry and Liverpool football teams for some time, meaning there is less time for promoting the matches. We cannot start marketing (if the RFL choose to) in Coventry, London and Liverpool respectively until some kind of official announcement and ticket sales starting, which looks like being early May. What kind of major event puts tickets on sale 6 months before the event?
  11. You could make an argument either for or against that point. However, it's a moot point as Hohaia has said he isn't contemplating any action against Flower or Wigan.
  12. Correct, but if Wigan have been encouraged to knock players out in the past, and later this occurs, questions do have to be asked. Wane may never have repeated these statements, but he has said them in the past. As the legal responsibility: "In a workplace context, an employer can be liable for the acts or omissions of its employees, provided it can be shown that they took place in the course of their employment" Source:
  13. Legally, they are responsible for the actions of their employees. I would also ask whether this sort of action is encouraged. After all, the head coach Shaun Wane was filmed in early 2014, in the dressing room saying to his players "knock people out, I cant give you more of a free reign that that." I'm glad that it has been pointed out that Flower started the incident, which Hohaia then retaliated to, which Flower then retaliated further. As for the statement from St Helens, I'm staggered that we have released that. It reads like something Derek Beaumont or Marwan Koukash would say. It's almost like a transcript of what was said when we heard the story, as opposed to carefully drafted legal statement. It appears rushed. Firstly, we put the words concussion symptoms in speech marks, implying that Lance Hohaia is either lying or exaggerating his symptoms. Since St Helens (I assume) have had no medical dealings with Hohaia since his retirement, I'm not sure how they are aware of his symptoms. Secondly, we disclose that this matter has already been in the hands of lawyers, which is unprofessional to disclose. When Saints usually release statements, they are calm, reasoned and well-thought through. And that's because they are usually attributed to Eamonn McManus, who is a very bright individual. I would be surprised if that statement was written by Eamonn McManus, as it varies so far from our usual stance. I would also be surprised if a lawyer had written that statement. We have hardly played our cards close to our chest, it appears as though we have revealed our full hand at this early stage, which is foolish. The statement should have been brief. It should have merely stated that we refute his allegations, pride ourselves on care offered to our players, and will seek redress. That's all that needed to be said at this moment. As I said earlier, we come out of this looking very bad. Hohaia and Shaun Briscoe have now both alleged that they have been pressurised to play, when they do not feel medically able. Surely this should warrant a wide-ranging investigation from the RFL.
  14. Ben Flower's actions caused, Lance Hohaia to suffer from: memory loss, headaches, a broken nose, sensitivity to light, sleeplessness and blackouts. Let's not forget he is the primary cause of this. His career carries on, Lance Hohaia's does not. Hardly seems fair. Is a ten match ban appropriate for this? No. Admittedly, the RFL would not have known of all of Hohaia's symptoms at the time, but they were certainly not unforeseeable. Ben Flower, St Helens, Wigan and The RFL (blame in that order) look terrible as a result of this and that impression is accurate. If the national press get hold of it, our sport will look pathetic. We deserve a lot of criticism all round for this incident. St Helens statement after the Grand Final talked about supporting Flower, but not Lance Hohaia. Hohaia's wellbeing is, or should have been St Helens concern. Should Hohaia's accusations be correct, St Helens completely failed in their duty of care, I can scarcely recall being as ashamed of my club. We should investigate it, and guilty parties at St Helens, who pressurised him to play should be dismissed.
  15. Will Widnes do a Leicester?

    Super League has had two "Leicester" moments in the last few years. The first came in 2013, when Huddersfield finished top of the league. The even bigger moment came in 2014, when Castleford came within one win of finishing top. But because of the huge focus on the play offs, the attention shifts away from them and back to the top sides. If the Premier League had a play off system, Leicester's chances of winning would reduce. For what it's worth, Widnes will be aiming for the top 8, and are now in a great position to get it.