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ParisSurtout

The long term goal of expansion: 24 teams in 4 conferences

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As usual, some good ideas, some bad ideas and those who are only too willing to rubbish them all because they don't agree with them. How about some positive, constructive criticism for a change? Oh, I forgot, this is a Rugby League forum full of narrow minded, flat cap wearing northerners who dread travelling any further than twenty miles from the M62 :rolleyes:

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Rugby league must expand in order to compete with other sports, and in order to increase its financial resources. The ultimate goal should be a 24 team competition, which will dilute the role of the "M62 heartlands" to where they are no longer dominant, while retaining the ten healthier "M62 heartlands" clubs.

The structure proposed would be truly national and international, thereby making the task of finding wealthy corporate and government sponsors much easier.

Rugby league clubs play each other in conference structures. Each club plays their own conference members twice (10 games) and each member of the other conferences once (18 games). That makes a 28 week competition.

An eight club finals playoffs (top 2 from each conference) leading to a Wembley grand final will conclude the season.

With a six team Continental conference there should be a European TV contract that will sustain that conference.

This structure will take 15- 18 years to realise. In the interim Super League Europe should be increased incrementally.

Here is the ultimate form of the Super League Europe competition, which the RLF anfd RLEF need to start planning for now:

1. North-Northwest Conference

Wigan

St Helens

Warrington

Widnes or Cumbria

Salford

Gateshead/Newcastle

2. Yorkshire Conference

Leeds

Bradford

Huddersfield

Hull FC

Hull KR or Calder

Sheffield

3. Southern-Celtic Conference

Crusaders

South Wales

Dublin

Harlequins

East London

North London or Bristol

4. Continental Conference

Les Catalans

Toulouse

Paris

Lyon

Marseille

Barcelona

I'm not a regular poster but I do, sometimes, enjoy reading your posts Paris (when you're not ogiling over the NRL). I dont know if you're in Australia or the UK but personally I'm a Welsh-born Australian citizen who's heading home next year and will be getting involved with a local team in some capacity, and I believe that your dreams could well become true in the long term, but will include the whole of Europe not just the British Isles and France.

But all good things come to those who work hard for them I say, and I think a genuine European Super League will come to fruition only after clubs within Europe can compete with whats on offer in Australia. By this I mean the north of England is a traditional place with many clubs located in near proximity to each other and none will be willing to budge to the benefit of their neighbour. However the European clubs (outside France, which I admit I have no idea of clubs and geography) don't have this disadvantage.

As a foundation of what I say I offer this: There are 3 local junior clubs in my region, out of 9, which is in a population of less than 200,000 which each boast over 24 junior teams each, with 1 club WELL over that number. Considering that there are only 12 age groups in junior league here, that shows that this is an area where league is a dominant sport. However if you look at the NRL and Superleague there are less than 34 players represented (probably alot less I just use 34 because it's 2 first grade teams and harder to argue against).

A continental Europe club could well become a reasonable inclusion in Superleague if it becomes a dominant force within it's own domestic league. In Europe, I would consider a dominant force as having 30 junior teams, at least, representing its club in the domestic scene plus offering opportunities to its rival clubs players to compete for positions (in a representitive sense if an application wasn't regional). Some see the success of one club as a detriment to another but the reality is, in sport atleast, that by being successful you will attract participants, and at the end of the day, in a worst case scenario, you will be able to provide opposition for your own teams if need be.

The point I'm trying to make is that it requires alot of junior players to come through the grades to make a good standard First Grade team. Then it takes alot of First Grade players to make a Representative Team. Then it will take a number of representative teams to compete against each other to identify 'class players'.. and so on..

I believe Rugby league will eventually become a dominant sport. It's too appealing not too.

Evenually the hard decisions may have to be made in the heartlands of England to move forward to create a European Superleague, OR maybe a continental league will emerge, either way, we are still some several generations from that day.

I dream your dream PS that one day I win a billion dollars/euros and can force the issue. But the reality is that right now it's going to be left to the volunteers, and lots of them, to become skilled enough to recruit players and coach them to be the best of their ability and hope that good fortune takes them the rest of the way!!!

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For God's sake,just ignore him.the more you rise to the bait,the more he will troll.

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As usual, some good ideas, some bad ideas and those who are only too willing to rubbish them all because they don't agree with them. How about some positive, constructive criticism for a change? Oh, I forgot, this is a Rugby League forum full of narrow minded, flat cap wearing northerners who dread travelling any further than twenty miles from the M62 :rolleyes:

You're right. Although in most cases the negative reaction to any new development is rooted in self-interest.

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I actually think conferences are the way the SL needs to eventually go. If we have 16 teams that are capable of meeting enough points to merit a SL place (and I'm not saying that we currently do) then why can't we have 16 teams in the SL? We don't HAVE to play every team home and away. Just as long as all teams play all the others at least once then that's where the beauty of the playoffs come in. I wouldn't have the conferences set along regional lines either as familiarity soon sets in. I'd have the second year's conferences based on the final league table for the previous season. A two tier SL isn't for me as it still means some teams are second class citizens even though they may be on a par with a top tier team in all aspects except on the field. The second tier teams will then get second rate sponsorships and second rate players whereas if all teams capable of attaining SL status had it then the players would be spread around better if the SC does it's job. Just my thoughts on the subject.

Edited by deluded pom?

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Whilst your content is pie in the sky, the idea of conferences isn't a bad one and will probably be the way forward.

I think the RFL needs to take the 36 clubs that make up the current top 3 divisions and create 2 licensed competitions, a Superleague of 18-20 and the remainder in a revised licensed Championship. At a minimum, I would have 4 from Leigh, Barrow, Halifax, Widnes & Toulouse added to SL which at a stroke does away with the P&R issues. I'm sure they could compete on the field against the likes of Quins, Salford & Wakey and would hopefully see their fortunes improved by the possibility of playing top teams on a more regular basis. I'm sure Leigh v Wigan, Warrington v Widnes and Fev v Leeds would attract good sized crowds.

Each league would be composed of 2 conferences, the draw for which could be done at a fancy media friendly draw. GF & CC cup winners would be seeded to keep them apart, there would be a limited number of cross conference games in order to make up required number of fixtures and keep derbies where say the 2 Hull teams are drawn in different conferences. I would have a fans poll to decide which legends of British rugby league the conferences should be named after.

Play offs would be simplified. Top 4 from each conference go into the conference play off, the winner from each play off series/ semi final goes to the Grand Final. I would have the losing semi finalists play a game for 3rd and 4th spots, this could be played as a double header with the Grand Final match. I would also consider switching the GF to Wembley.

If the RFL really wants to improve the matchday experience for fans thru stadium development, it needs to consider longer licenses say 5 years. In the new financial climate, raising the finance is considerably harder, public funding such as the Rhinos have benefited from will disappear and private finance will be looking for longer term guarantees. Who in their right mind would lend money to say Wakey at the moment after the noises from the RFL about them going down?

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Many of you have approached this understanding my assumption that this is a long term goal.

The question becomes how do you create a cxonference structure before you have enough teams. Or could you start it when you reach 16 teams in Super League? Maybe you merge the Southern-Celtic and Continental conference into one smalll non heartland conference. But even with two expansion clubs in 2015 taking the nonheartland number up, there would still be a smaller nonheartland conference. So perhaps conferencing has to wait until we get to 18 or 20 clubs. It also requires that we focus further expansion of numbers on expansion geographically.

One other problem I foresee, in going to 24 clubs, is the length of the season problem. Starting late January and ending in mid October is a long season, especially when the elite players then have international rugby league to play, and then they only get one month away from the training field. Elite players could have a burnout problem.

Going to 20 clubs, in 4 conferences of five clubs is definitely doable in terms of season length. But then the question becomes which clubs to drop from the list I have created, especially in the two M62 heartland conferences.

Edited by ParisSurtout

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Didn't the ARL have a 2 pool arrangement a few years back (in the Nineties?)? Or is my memory completely failing me?

PS, whatever his faults, is at least mainly positive in outlook. His plan at the start if this thread is either total pie-in-the-sky or a very very long term possibility.

But it is better than Andy 'Eeyore' Wislon's prophecies of doom or people endlessly trying to drag the game back down to 'the good old days'.

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Didn't the ARL have a 2 pool arrangement a few years back (in the Nineties?)? Or is my memory completely failing me?

PS, whatever his faults, is at least mainly positive in outlook. His plan at the start if this thread is either total pie-in-the-sky or a very very long term possibility.

But it is better than Andy 'Eeyore' Wislon's prophecies of doom or people endlessly trying to drag the game back down to 'the good old days'.

I think they had a four pool system in the nineties when the four new teams entered and meant there were twenty teams in the ARL.

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After this conference system is well established, I would want it undergirthed by a conference Championship structure. That is, four separate Championship conferences.

You can look at the list of clubs in the current Championship and Championship 1 to see how this could be done for the North-Northwest and Yorkshire conferences very easily.

For the Continental conference I would construct a Championship based on more than the current French Elite

e.g. Vaucluse. Montpellier, Aude, Catalans, Bordeaux, Paris Metro, Nantes, Lille, + 2 Spanish clubs + 2 Italian clubs[/b]

I presume Milan and Madrid are included

Edited by Agbrigg

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I think they had a four pool system in the nineties when the four new teams entered and meant there were twenty teams in the ARL.

That pool system was brought in only to decide the fixtures as they had 20 teams playing 22 matches. In terms of the table it made no difference. A bit like the SL system for deciding the 'extra' matches each year (1v2, 3v4 etc.)

Of course in 1997 the game down under did operate a 2 pool system. Unfortunately the ARL was running one and Super League were running the other.

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Whilst your content is pie in the sky, the idea of conferences isn't a bad one and will probably be the way forward.

I think the RFL needs to take the 36 clubs that make up the current top 3 divisions and create 2 licensed competitions, a Superleague of 18-20 and the remainder in a revised licensed Championship. At a minimum, I would have 4 from Leigh, Barrow, Halifax, Widnes & Toulouse added to SL which at a stroke does away with the P&R issues. I'm sure they could compete on the field against the likes of Quins, Salford & Wakey and would hopefully see their fortunes improved by the possibility of playing top teams on a more regular basis. I'm sure Leigh v Wigan, Warrington v Widnes and Fev v Leeds would attract good sized crowds.

consider longer licenses say 5 years. In the new financial climate, raising the finance is considerably harder, public funding such as the Rhinos have benefited from will disappear and private finance will be looking for longer term guarantees.

The top 5 or 6 champs league sides are usually the same old usual suspects season in, season out.

They are to big for the championship ( in its current format ) but deemed not big enough for the current SL set up,

These clubs probably have as many fans as the rest of Div 1 & the whole of Div 2 combined, dont alianate there fans.

The question to me is what to do with these LIMBO clubs who still have a lot to offer top flight RL ?

Place them in a extended SL on a 3/4/5 YR licence (granting them all enough time to do everything the licence requires) plus be competetive on the pitch & provide them with a RL Development manager each to help ease the transition .

Merge all the remaining clubs in a SL 2 division, Double or even treble their monies recieved through the RL/SKY, (Even if the current SL Clubs are to give up a % of their money due for the good of the game).

After all its about creating a much better sport for everyone not carrying/babysitting the historical top 6 SL CLUBS only.)

under very strick guidelinds of where to spend it (ie) development area's & provide them with a few RL development managers to work closely with & between ALL CLUBS EVENLY .

Gaurentee all SL2 clubs that the top team & the GF Winner WILL GET PROMOTED in season 3-4-or 5 & every other season forever ( as its a massive part of our sporting culture and should be reintroduced )

What will all this achieve ?

Hopefully a top flight SL thats expanded but more levelish thus much more exciting & would guarentee much higher attendances .. As for the very 1st time in the sports history the limbo or old school yo-yo clubs would be competing on a totally level playing field, just imagine club xxxxxx (Insert any of the 5 OR 6 here) & now Playing (Any 1 of the historical top 6 clubs) in the SL in a refurbed or brand new ground ( a few yrs into the licence ) the Home clubs fans will be out in numbers never seen for yrs & yrs, The away team will bring 1000+Supporters etc, So most sides will be getting 10'000+ not just a few...... WOW.....

This is the SL we all want isnt it ?

SL2 Clubs will then accept and believe that there is no CLOSED SHOP ANYMORE & that if they plan right , invest in the right area's then they can RISE AGAIN or a least bust a gut trying which would be great for the sport as they would surely fully embrace this scheme and all get much stronger, resulting in a very strong attractive game in front of increasing crowds.

If the powers to be want a EURO league then by all means intice & help these other teams to slot into the system but Not at the expense of our historical sides............................& before the usual fools say thing like "they have had 100 yrs and still mess up etc.........Well Leeds, Saints, Bradford & until very recently Wigan ALL Play/Played in ###### heaps , so if your going to sling the mud........sling it at "these" clubs as they have had more money & success then the rest of the others combinded & plenty of time to be progressive.

Failure to do "someting like this" may result & is deffo resulting in RL losing fans possibly for ever under the current set up of im all right jack SL attitude.

Current SL CLUB fans will not agree to this for the reasons in the paragraph above, put your club second for a short while while we make this game great again, but Nationally & Internationally, then when Football (round ball) implodes on its self we we will rule supreme.

Edited by mick wilson

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We get a lot of threads like this, but there is no problem with dreaming of what could be.

How about someone comes up with a thread on how we get to the situation outlined in the OP?

Where do we get players of sufficient quality from?

How do we ensure the popularity of the game in virgin territories before launching a club there (not forgetting that this club has to strong enough and have sufficient resources/support to compete in a pan-western European League)?

Who is going to finance it????

Where are the TV contracts going to come from when most broadcasters in Europe aren't interested?

Especially when our expansion of the pro/semi-pro game in England, France and Wales hasn't been the greatest of successes in recent years.

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Of course in 1997 the game down under did operate a 2 pool system. Unfortunately the ARL was running one and Super League were running the other.

We could do the same. One pool could operate fantasy land and the other could operate in reality land.

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Personally, I won't be satisfied with Rugby Leagues expansion until there is a team on the moon.

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How about someone comes up with a thread on how we get to the situation outlined in the OP?

Where do we get players of sufficient quality from?

How do we ensure the popularity of the game in virgin territories before launching a club there (not forgetting that this club has to strong enough and have sufficient resources/support to compete in a pan-western European League)?

Who is going to finance it????

Especially when our expansion of the pro/semi-pro game in England, France and Wales hasn't been the greatest of successes in recent years.

That's why in my opinion you should expand the game in small radius ie Cumbria & the Midlands to guage the success levels then if good spread agian a little further afield and repeat the process.

Reasons , The game is already played there especially Cumbria, so you already have player & suporters willing to turn up a watch and pay for it.

Its less established in the Midlands but as its very close to the NW they could very easily supplent the players with some hard core NW lads, its easy for visiting fans to get there and home fans would get a derby game of sorts as there nearest clubs will be playing them, if you catch my drift.

Edited by mick wilson

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That's why in my opinion you should expand the game in small radius ie Cumbria & the Midlands to guage the success levels then if good spread agian a little further afield and repeat the process.

Reasons , The game is already played there especially Cumbria, so you already have player & suporters willing to turn up a watch and pay for it.

Its less established in the Midlands but as its very close to the NW they could very easily supplent the players with some hard core NW lads, its easy for visiting fans to get there and home fans would get a derby game of sorts as there nearest clubs will be playing them, if you catch my drift.

Mick,

According to your reasoning, we should also expand the game within a small radius (2 hour drive) from the established "French" club Les Catalans Dragons to Toulouse, where rugby league is a much bigger sport than it is in the English Midlands. We should also expand it from the established "Catalan" club Les Catalans Dragons, to Spanish Catalan capital Barcelona (2 hour drive). After all we already have a Spanish Catalan amateur rugby league set up.

Do you agree?

Edited by ParisSurtout

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This is sort of the way RL should be going in the long term, at least in terms of a conference/expansion for the French teams, which would play UK teams.

However there should be a separate heartland Top-14 with P&R

IMO the French teams need to generate their own cash from satelite services, which would free up all sky money for UK teams. I would expect this to happend once they can get at least 4 fully pro regional clubs playing SL clubs in crossed fixtures.

I also think sky are more likely to up the cash if we have a product like this rather than the usual numptyish "we can only just about manage 14 teams" (usualy spoken by a fan of a top 6 club who is fricken'd dear'th of their poor little Stupid League club having to share more money)

I agree with ost of your comment, but it should be an expanded heartland (with Sheffield and Gateshead) but top 12, otherwise we will have too many heartland clubs to make the game as truly national and international as the public and the sponsors would rally to in numbers.

One problem with promotion and relegation is the inability to buy enough top players, which has hampered the newly promoted clubs during those P & R days of Super League. Until the game becomes fairly rich at two levels (as football is), that problem will persist.

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Saders v Quinns tonight drew a crowd of 1122 :angry2::angry:

Not fogetting there recent CC game v Les Cats att 1817, hail to the expansion clubs they offer us soooooooo much.

Edited by mick wilson

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I agree with ost of your comment, but it should be an expanded heartland (with Sheffield and Gateshead) but top 12, otherwise we will have too many heartland clubs to make the game as truly national and international as the public and the sponsors would rally to in numbers.

One problem with promotion and relegation is the inability to buy enough top players, which has hampered the newly promoted clubs during those P & R days of Super League. Until the game becomes fairly rich at two levels (as football is), that problem will persist.

Yet another complete fallacy.

Leigh were admittedly hampered following promotion, but only due to the fact that the then NFP season ended some time after the SL season of that year, and nearly ALL the quality players that were available had been signed up to contracts by that stage.

The game is only 'rich' at one level thanks to a lack of promotion and relegation. If there was a prospect of top flight rugby league, then more affluent businessmen such as Steve O'Connor and Des Johnston would be likely to put their millions into lower level clubs. FACT.

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Mick,

According to your reasoning, we should also expand the game within a small radius (2 hour drive) from the established "French" club Les Catalans Dragons to Toulouse, where rugby league is a much bigger sport than it is in the English Midlands. We should also expand it from the established "Catalan" club Les Catalans Dragons, to Spanish Catalan capital Barcelona (2 hour drive). After all we already have a Spanish Catalan amateur rugby league set up.

Do you agree?

NO...........Not until they fully establish themselves 1st.

Cats have a decent fan base but it does get a healthy boost from limeys who fancy a weekend in the sun on the lash but eventually the novelty wears off.

Same with Toulouse who's crowds are crapola.

Midlanders travel already to Wigan, Saints, Leeds etc to watch the game, Cats struggled to take 10 '000 to Wembley for their CC Final cowps sake.

Places like Cumbria are a sleeping giant compared to the french.......have you ever considered where the game would be if in a few yrs of having say 4 0r 5 French teams playing in the UK AND AFTER WHETTING THE fRENCHIES APPITIGHTS FOR THE GAME AGAIN opps sorry they up sticks and jion a euro league WITHOUT UK teams invited just the Spanish & Italians etc.........not saying it WOULD happen only that it COULD.

Where would that leave the UK game.

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Personally, I won't be satisfied with Rugby Leagues expansion until there is a team on the moon.

LMAO love it..

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Saders v Quinns tonight drew a crowd of 1122 :angry2::angry:

Hardly surprising now is it; How many supporters from either club were going to take probably a whole day off work to make sure they're in Neath, hardly a hotbed of RL, for 6pm? I think they did well to get that many to be honest.

There may well be a very good reason for it being a 6pm kick off but without having seen the reason explained, it just strikes me as a monumentaly stupid decision.

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North West Conference

Wigan

Saints

Widnes

Warrington

Salford

Crusaders

Barrow

Leigh

Yorkshire Conference

Leeds

Bradford

Huddersfield

Hull FC

Hull KR

Wakefield Tigers

Halifax

South Yorkshire

Southern Conference

Harlequins

Catalans

Tolouse

New London Franchise

South Wales Scorpions

3 French Elite Teams

I think this is a better suggestion although the southern conference is far weaker than the others. Could play each team in own conference 3 times with top 2 from each progressing to play offs. This would make play offs anc CC more attractive as it would be the only time teams played each other from other conferences so fans would take a lot of interest. Could award trophies for winning conference. Far fetched I know especially Conference South and lack of quality players. Nevertheless a better proposal than PSTs

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