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The Parksider

The SKY contract for RL - good or bad?

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As John M outlines the point is that before SKY RL could outspend Union and could take Unions stars like Bateman, Davies, Quinnell etc. Union were amateur (albeit it they had underhand payments)

If we dump SKY, union can take any RL player they want who needs a living wage because now they can outspend us.

And if the players want to stay in RL then Australia is the place to earn that living wage.

Your post seems to have a dig at me? Why not focus on the debate and the facts as John M and myself have outlined them to you?

Infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me........

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The issue, though is not that players we no good before Sky/SL but where would those players be now if Sky etc had not happened. I'd say those players would be playing union at the top level, not amateur or semi pro rugby league.

The point you make is very fundamental when I think about it.

Even if the game tries to go back to 1995 it can't.

Nothing stands still so to pull the SKY plug when Union is professional and enjoying successful European cups and World cups what would be left for league?

If players would move to Union wholesale John, why not RL clubs???

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Infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me........

I don't think they have, but I can count about 10 people who don't want a debate but want to just post childish digs.

Sorry it's eleven now :lol:

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....like they did before SKY eh?

You do realise there was no pro RU then and there is now? Grand canyon sized difference.

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I don't think they have, but I can count about 10 people who don't want a debate but want to just post childish digs.

Sorry it's eleven now :lol:

Debate would imply the consideration and deliberation of differing viewpoints Parky. Please feel free to start....

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You do realise there was no pro RU then and there is now? Grand canyon sized difference.

Goes without saying but do you really believe that all top league players would immediately defect to Union? I think the SKY money was a great opportunity for the game to grow and develop......grow in certain areas it has but shrink rapidly in others it has also.

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Debate would imply the consideration and deliberation of differing viewpoints Parky. Please feel free to start....

Well I considered and deliberated your idea as regards a returned to semi pro RL attracting players in the same way today as they did pre-1995.

Both JohnM and myself respectfully suggested that it would not happen in terms of the top players because RU can take players with their financial muscle as opposed to the pre-1996 position where League could take unions best and did.

You could have considered and deliberated that, you could have either agreed with us or agreed to disagree.

I'd have been happy to have accepted if you did not want to agree. Childish digs however have no place in an adult debate.

I do note however you feel there would be no wholesale switch, and I'd agree that would be the case up to a point - just how many RL players would union want???

However how many would they have to take of our top stars for people to think twice about playing or watching???

There's no doubt that semi-pro RL would survive and IF that meant it became a tiny northern game then for those who do not worry about such things e.g. - Marauder says it would be a "happy" game......

then fair enough.

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Goes without saying but do you really believe that all top league players would immediately defect to Union? I think the SKY money was a great opportunity for the game to grow and develop......grow in certain areas it has but shrink rapidly in others it has also.

Yes beyond a doubt. And what's more I wouldn't blame them.

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Yes beyond a doubt. And what's more I wouldn't blame them.

So the position is that the RFL have received millions of pounds in SKY funding. Have they wisely invested that in the infrastructure of the game or simply lined the pockets of a few clubs / players / agents? Correct me if I'm wrong but you now believe that if SKY decided to pull their funding RL would lose all its top players to RU? Therefore, the game is no longer able to support itself and is completely at the whim of a media tycoon and could effectively collapse should funding be withdrawn?

So getting back to the original question - has SKY been good for the game?

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Yes beyond a doubt. And what's more I wouldn't blame them.

Looks like an agreement of sorts that short term some should move to union. Would that become a wholesale thing over the years or are our traditions too strong? Would a club defect is something I'd like opinions on.

Also how would the fans react? That's something there has been no comments on......

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So the position is that the RFL have received millions of pounds in SKY funding. Have they wisely invested that in the infrastructure of the game or simply lined the pockets of a few clubs / players / agents? Correct me if I'm wrong but you now believe that if SKY decided to pull their funding RL would lose all its top players to RU? Therefore, the game is no longer able to support itself and is completely at the whim of a media tycoon and could effectively collapse should funding be withdrawn?

It couldn't financially collapse you are right in my (humble!) opinion.

Only if it continued to follow the habit of spending more than it earns.

Even if all clubs were semi pro they don't have to spend more than they earn

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All pro sports apart from soccer would collapse if the rich backers pulled out....why is RL any different? Sky has been good for the game, even if you want to argue certain things could have been done better (which I'd agree with)

I'd lose my house if I lost my job but I don't live life thinking about it.

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All pro sports apart from soccer would collapse if the rich backers pulled out....why is RL any different? Sky has been good for the game, even if you want to argue certain things could have been done better (which I'd agree with)

I'd lose my house if I lost my job but I don't live life thinking about it.

SKY has been good for part of the game.....in my opinion it has been a massive missed opportunity.....but its not too late to change; if there's a will there's a way.

.....and you wouldn't lose your house, you'd get yourself another job!

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Sky has been good for the game but it's been better for other games.

Partly because we've not been as smart in using the money - partly because we were starting from a position of a regional game - partly other things.

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It couldn't financially collapse you are right in my (humble!) opinion.

Only if it continued to follow the habit of spending more than it earns.

Even if all clubs were semi pro they don't have to spend more than they earn

Agreed.

Can and should the sport sustain full time professionalism even now? The financial performance of our 'top' SKY sponsored clubs suggests not.

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SKY has been good for part of the game.....in my opinion it has been a massive missed opportunity.....but its not too late to change; if there's a will there's a way.

.....and you wouldn't lose your house, you'd get yourself another job!

Oh I can just walk into another job with the same money etc can I? Please pm the place for future reference bro.

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Oh I can just walk into another job with the same money etc can I? Please pm the place for future reference bro.

May be not, but doesn't have to mean giving up and handing the deeds back!

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Agreed.

Can and should the sport sustain full time professionalism even now? The financial performance of our 'top' SKY sponsored clubs suggests not.

Can it???????

Not at a salary cap of £1.6M

Maybe just if you cut SL to 12

Probably 14 clubs at a cap of £1.2M

Should it??????

I take it that the essence of the SKY contract is SKY want a professional league and pay the money to augment wages - Padge seems to support that.

I like the idea of 16 clubs at a cap of £1M which a couple of CC clubs outside the 16 may be able to manage? We may get meaningful P & R then.

How we become more fairer and more inclusive seems to me to be (on the face of it)about how we run Superleague and not what an evil pointless bad thing it is.

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Agreed.

Can and should the sport sustain full time professionalism even now? The financial performance of our 'top' SKY sponsored clubs suggests not.

Our top clubs' financial performance is similar and maybe better than football and RU's financial performance.

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The initial offer from Sky was for the money to be for the televising of SL only, Murdoch pitched the bid so high because he wanted to ensure that the UK branch of his Star League (Super League) could compete with the ARL as far as contract money went during his battle with Packer, by default that money was exclusively therefore for SL.

The RFL had a problem though in that the excluded clubs were extremely unhappy at the situation, particularly as there was nothing in it for them. Lindsey went back to News International and got more money out of them exclusively to buy off the clubs who would be outside SL, NI said basically that was it and they could take it or leave it and don't come back for more later.

I don't have the figures at hand but I think each 2nd division club got around £100,000 and each 3rd tier club got around £50.000.

Wouldn't disagree with any of that, except for possobly the figures in the final para, my recollection being that the distibution was far from even. Its not hugely relevant to the point but fev got around £700k in the 1st year, it was the beginning of a near 20 vendetta against us ;)

My point was that the suggestion that tv money would be more evenly distributed had sky been been turned down doesn't stand up. Unless my memory is failing me the pre SL sky tv money wasn't spread amongst all member clubs. If there is no contractual demand that money must be retained by SL then whatever one thinks thinks of the current distibution I see no plausible reason to believe it is somehow a consequence of taking the sky deal over any other that may have been around.

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May be not, but doesn't have to mean giving up and handing the deeds back!

It does if you can't raise the required level of income to pay your mortgage.

We have lost RL stars to RU already and there is talk of probably our brightest star (ST) going to RU after the 2013 WC. And this is with the SKY money!! What the situation would be like without it, god knows.

Yes, RL would still exist but almost certainly part time and very regionalised. (even moreso)

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Well I considered and deliberated your idea as regards a returned to semi pro RL attracting players in the same way today as they did pre-1995.

Both JohnM and myself respectfully suggested that it would not happen in terms of the top players because RU can take players with their financial muscle as opposed to the pre-1996 position where League could take unions best and did.

You could have considered and deliberated that, you could have either agreed with us or agreed to disagree.

I'd have been happy to have accepted if you did not want to agree. Childish digs however have no place in an adult debate.

I do note however you feel there would be no wholesale switch, and I'd agree that would be the case up to a point - just how many RL players would union want???

However how many would they have to take of our top stars for people to think twice about playing or watching???

There's no doubt that semi-pro RL would survive and IF that meant it became a tiny northern game then for those who do not worry about such things e.g. - Marauder says it would be a "happy" game......

then fair enough.

Given that there is semi pro RL in Gateshead, London, Hemel, Oxford, North and South Wales, Gloucester and soon Coventry, how do you figure it would beome a tiny Northern game if it went semi pro. Seeing as 14 x 17 + 238 each Union club would need to sign getting on for 20 players from RL and the forwards don't fit in to RU very well anyway so I don't think there wouild be the mass transfer you might imagine.

I don't advocate semi pro unless it becomes absolutely necessary, but unless SL sorts out it's funding issues, it might just have to go semi pro at some of it's clubs. It would be a severe blow to the sport but it might be an inevitability. the SL cannot live on credit forever.

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All those places you list would almost certainly not be playing RL if not for SL and the SKY deal and the subsequent unbanning of RU players.

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in addition, without the pulling power of SuperLeague as it is now, I don't think there would be semi pro RL in Gateshead, London, Hemel, Oxford, North and South Wales, Gloucester and soon Coventry.

The relentless march of rugby union, incl the higher salary cap in England, the lack of salary cap in France and no doubt other countries too would men the loss of our best SL talent our best semi-pro talent and after a number of years , our best emerging amateur talent. As the dominoes fall, so we'd lose unis. colleges and schools.

To be honest, I reckon we should had over the organisation and running of the game here to Australia..at least the don't seem to have this desire to drive the game back in time.

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All those places you list would almost certainly not be playing RL if not for SL and the SKY deal and the subsequent unbanning of RU players.

What Sky funding are those teams getting.? Not very much.

I would agree with you about the relaxation of the RU ban but that has absolutely nothing to do with the Sky money. The RU would be no problem to RL if it were not professional and once it went pro the lifting of the ban was inevitable.

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