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Trojan

Kear sees the light on franchising

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"The reason that has made me change my mind about relegation being a performance issue is when you get 10,000 plus at Headingley Carnegie watching a rugby union game

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"The reason that has made me change my mind about relegation being a performance issue is when you get 10,000 plus at Headingley Carnegie watching a rugby union game

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I think we always knew that this was going to be an issue at the back end of the season, and it was one of the down-sides of franchising for me, but then there were always going to be pros and cons.

When we moved to Summer we pretty much killed off proper tours, I miss them, but I wouldn't move back to winter just for them.

You need to weigh up all the pros and cons rather than look misty-eyed at individual features.

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I've come to question it recently despite being in favour of franchising.

Following Widnes is somewhat of a chore these days and not because of how we do on the pitch, something is just missing, there's a lack of excitement in the crowd. I realised that in the last couple of years the only time I've been nervous at a game is when we played Halifax and Barrow in the cup last year and there was something genuinely riding on it. I used to be regularly nervous at games.

Franchising doesn't re-create the drama and the excitement of a meaningful promotion or relegation campaign. I see it in Super League too, aside from the top teams the rest have little to get excited about. Even when you're 7th or 8th you're looking over your shoulder and going into games thinking you need to get a win. The rugby itself isn't enough, if it was then we would be a major world sport.

I worry that we are making the experience of going the rugby as unexciting as possible and rather than having games that are 'must see' there are far more that are 'might see'. This is all clouded by attendances still being relatively high but I think that this doesn't tell the whole story.

Edited by Maximus Decimus

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Having gone down the licence route, I'd like to see us give it a two or three rounds at least, but we'd have to start seeing some significant improvements by the end of the second round in both the quality of youth coming through without the threat of relegation and in the strength of the non-heartland clubs.

That said, those in charge should be listening and working with those non-super league clubs and supporters as its clearly the major issue of the day and a risk.

Maximus, with your regards to match day excitement is this just down to P&R or does the play off bread almost a complacency that can allow you to drop a few games over the course of the normal season that you'd be gutted to lose? Not that I am saying we should abolish the play-offs as clearly the Grand Final is a massive success, especially at Super League level.

That said in Super League I do feel we should trim it back to Top 5 otherwise the early games of the play-offs risk being as poorly supported as last years.

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Franchising isn't sport.

It's a farce.

It is in many places.

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I think we always knew that this was going to be an issue at the back end of the season, and it was one of the down-sides of franchising for me, but then there were always going to be pros and cons.

When we moved to Summer we pretty much killed off proper tours, I miss them, but I wouldn't move back to winter just for them.

You need to weigh up all the pros and cons rather than look misty-eyed at individual features.

I am essentially pro-franchising, but J Kear has a real point. We spent several years growing the NFP Grand Final until widnes-cas filled Headingley (20k plus for second tier Rugby League!!) and then destroyd it with the licence system. I just don't think our sport can afford to throw away games of that size and profile.

I have mooted a smaller (8 club) SuperLeague2 on here, in parallel with a 12 team SuperLeague. That would mean the 8 clubs play 28 games (or 21 plus playoffs depending on format). Admittedly it needs tweaking, but it would allow us to have 20 franchises (SL2 clubs on reduced money of course) and promotion/relegation. Bottom 'franchises' in SL2 could be considered for relegation to a 'National League' containing the likes of Dewsbury, Swinton, Keighley, Skolars etc. But only if someone with a genuine case could be promoted as a replacement. (ie - unlikely)

Of course people would dislike seeing their club in an 8 team SL2, but it would be fully professional, and crowds would, i feel be sufficiently sizeable with the carrot of a SuperLeague place at the end. Purely for argument/demonstration's sake, the SL2 could look something like: Wakefield, Leigh, Widnes, Toulouse, Barrow, Sheffield, Salford, and an 8th team like Gateshead (if expansion was sought) or another M62 side if they met certain criteria. 8 is not a great number, but the SPL football existed with only 10 for many years, and football is scotland's national sport.

This would see 12 clubs remaining in the top tier - hopefully ensuring a competitive england team could be found from that pool plus guys in the NRL. Funding would obviously be the key issue, but a number of these clubs are either at or close to professional levels already, and with some improved sponsorship and (hopefully) bigger crowds, it could be explored as a possibility.

Probably not a perfect solution, but it would afford us the drawing power, drama, and 'reality' of promotion and relegation, while ensuring that proper franchises were in place with decent stadia etc, and nobody was acting purely in the 'short term' as a drop to SL2 would not be cataclysmic for the club.

Edited by Celt

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Dear me. I think he can see his job at Wakey going up in smoke! :D

I think that John will feel a lot better about the current franchise system if he is coaching Toulouse in Super League in 2012. He will have by then got over Wakefield's relegation, and he will have the Toulouse-Catalans local derby to excite him and his fan base. That will be a reminder of Wakey vs Cas but with a French flavour.

John Kear coaching Toulouse will be a good option for Toulouse, and perhaps the best option for John.

Edited by ParisSurtout

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I would love to see relegation come back... one day. It's a cultural thing in this part of the world. It's great to watch the excitement of getting promotion or avoiding relegation.

The main issues are:

Clubs in the Championship aren't of standard yet, so won't integrate into SL very well if promoted (and will end up being most likely relegated again).

Clubs in the SL aren't of the standard wanted yet either, and we would like to see them at a standard wanted before being able to say that Championship clubs aren't of standard (so it isn't hypocritical).

Relegation is not practical for certain expansion clubs (i.e. French clubs), so we need to find a system that fits in and is fair.

The first two points should hopefully only be a matter of time before the licensing system brings them up to standard. SL will in the next 3-6 years have clubs with good structures and good facilities that reflect the game. Hull, Wigan, Huddersfield, Warrington and Harlequins all have excellent and modern stadia. Crusaders are only one stand off. Saints will do soon. Catalans are in the process of building. Leeds and Hull KR have plans in place. Salford, Cas, Wakey and Bradford need to get a move on and catch up. In the Championship, Widnes have the package. Halifax and Leigh are there. Toulouse have a ground in place if they get promoted. Fev have plans. So we're getting there over the two divisions.

The issues with relegation need to promote expansion as well as tradition. How do you get a fair system that can do that without "putting French/overseas teams in the Championship" which isn't exactly financially viable?

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IThat will be a reminder of Wakey vs Cas but with a French flavour.

It's not Wakey v Cas he's looking for though - it's a game where something is at stake - like the Union game he cites.

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It's not Wakey v Cas he's looking for though - it's a game where something is at stake - like the Union game he cites.

The World Cup is the perfect example, some of the games were pretty dull but they were watchable because there was so much riding on them.

For me there is much less riding on Widnes games than there used to be and it has taken away a lot of the enjoyment for me.

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For me there is much less riding on Widnes games than there used to be and it has taken away a lot of the enjoyment for me.

Same for me..........

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It was one of the down-sides of franchising for me, but then there were always going to be pros and cons.

Relegation destroying expansion clubs, most NL clubs not up to promotion to SL, boom and bust, too great a gap etc etc. Plenty of downsides as well as you say. The "fixed league" can't be that bad because it works in Australia (unless you buy the "culture" argument) but then again their bottom half contains vibrant clubs who can compete not skint clubs on low budgets or lacking a supply of quality players. That's the real problem, but it may suit the likes of Kear and Trojan to argue otherwise.

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I think that John will feel a lot better about the current franchise system if he is coaching Toulouse in Super League in 2012. He will have by then got over Wakefield's relegation, and he will have the Toulouse-Catalans local derby to excite him and his fan base. That will be a reminder of Wakey vs Cas but with a French flavour.

John Kear coaching Toulouse will be a good option for Toulouse, and perhaps the best option for John.

is he a RU coach now Toulouse for F sake give it a rest they have no chance it would be a disaster just like Paris was you dont have a bloody clue

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So what, in your opinion, is sport?

Sport is a game were the winner gets rewarded IE with promotion to a higher level franchise is total bulls@it yet another thing we have adopted from the states

You can finish bottom year on year out but if you have money and a posh stadium you can get away with it money is killing sport its killed football and it will kill RL as a sport face it we have no sport only poorly run business that losers money season in season out

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Relegation destroying expansion clubs, most NL clubs not up to promotion to SL, boom and bust, too great a gap etc etc. Plenty of downsides as well as you say. The "fixed league" can't be that bad because it works in Australia (unless you buy the "culture" argument) but then again their bottom half contains vibrant clubs who can compete not skint clubs on low budgets or lacking a supply of quality players. That's the real problem, but it may suit the likes of Kear and Trojan to argue otherwise.

and jut how many SL clubs are in profit? How many are in debt up to their necks?

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Sport is a game were the winner gets rewarded IE with promotion to a higher level franchise is total bulls@it yet another thing we have adopted from the states

You can finish bottom year on year out but if you have money and a posh stadium you can get away with it money is killing sport its killed football and it will kill RL as a sport face it we have no sport only poorly run business that losers money season in season out

I don't recall asking you that question.

Sport can be many things to different people. Your idea is no more or less relevant than the next persons.

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Sport is a game were the winner gets rewarded IE with promotion to a higher level franchise is total bulls@it yet another thing we have adopted from the states

You can finish bottom year on year out but if you have money and a posh stadium you can get away with it money is killing sport its killed football and it will kill RL as a sport face it we have no sport only poorly run business that losers money season in season out

The winners do get rewarded, with prize money and trophies.

It is unlikely that you will finish bottom year on year if you have a decent stadium and money. If you do, crowds will drop, sponsorship will drop, your ratings each time will be reduced, and if teams are then proving themselves to be stronger in the lower division, they will take your place.

'It's killed football'. No it hasn't.

It hasn't killed sport, and won't do.

When I go watching an RL game, I see two teams playing a brilliant game on the field. There have always been off-field politics, right back to 1895.

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RL has been packaged for TV not for fans.

So fans don't also watch on tv? How about potential fans?

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'It's killed football'. No it hasn't.

It seems to have killed it as an international sport in the UK. England's performance in the current contest can only be described as abject. The Premier League is effectively an exclusive club that has had billions lavished on it. The perfomance in South Africa is what this has produced. Surely we don't want to go further down this route.

15/20 years ago we looked to have the beating of Australia within our reach. But after 15 years of SL we seem further away than ever. Will the lack of competition for a SL place improve or detract from what for me is the holy grail of any sport - a successful international side? Plus of course the added benefit in the profile of such a sport in the UK. And of course what this thread started to be about the excitement that pulls the fans in.

Edited by Trojan

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It seems to have killed it as an international sport in the UK. England's performance in the current contest can only be described as abject. The Premier League is effectively an exclusive club that has had billions lavished on it. The perfomance in South Africa is what this has produced. Surely we don't want to go further down this route.

15/20 years ago we looked to have the beating of Australia within our reach. But after 15 years of SL we seem further away than ever. Will the lack of competition for a SL place improve or detract from what for me is the holy grail of any sport - a successful international side? Plus of course the added benefit in the profile of such a sport in the UK. And of course what this thread started to be about the excitement that pulls the fans in.

So you're suggesting England were mighty or even close prior to Sky Tv's involvement. The so-called stars back then didn't seem any better than the current crop - unless you have rose tinted specs.

I suggest you go back to your drawing board and make up a better excuse.

Edited by rLrLrL

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