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Wellsy4HullFC

Super XIII - Is It Still Happening in France?

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Wondering if any of our French insiders know what's going on with the proposed full time league in France? Last I heard (about 6 months ago) it was to include 13 teams and start in 2014. Is it still going ahead? What's the latest news on it? What teams are likely to be included?

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the project is apparently not completely buried but almost

football clubs that were to be the new clubs are also in crisis and there is no TV broadcasters for this super XIII.

I think that this project was not really realistic and the situation of France elite league is critical

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It did seem a bit ambitious. To go from 9 part time clubs (a few of which are struggling) to 13 full time clubs was always a huge step.

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And clubs emerging in areas where there is no rugbyleague culture

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What happened to Bein Sport's interest? Is it still there?

What clubs were they looking at to join the league, and which ones were realistic?

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I always thought this was a great idea but it was too much too soon. French league should aim for its own pro league but to try and do this in the space of one year was a tad over ambitious. I could also see a conflict between this pro league and french pro clubs in super league such as Catalan & Toulouse. Which league would the average french sports fan gravitate towards?this is a dillema.

In the short term I would, and I think this is Carlos' strategy, build a contingent of french clubs in Super League but also strengthen the Elite 1 league, building stronger clubs with better management and then merge the two into one french pro league.

Once Toulouse (touch wood) get into super league then I would look at pushing Avignon into SL, until you have maybe 4 pro french teams, these 4 teams could merge with 4-6 of the best managed teams in Elite for a pro league, but it will take time to do this.

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What happened to Bein Sport's interest? Is it still there?

What clubs were they looking at to join the league, and which ones were realistic?

Dayan spoke of Strasbourg, Nantes, Valenciennes, Lens, Paris

I believe no realistic project is possible in these cities

More interesting projects are in Bordeaux ( with the local football club), a merger club of the Tarn's clubs of the Tarn (Albi and Lescure), another merger between the clubs St Gaudens and Sauveterre. Montpellier, Carpentras, Toulon ( has a small club already)

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How many current Elite clubs have a realistic chance of running a sustainable and competitive SL club though if they had some funding?

Carcassonne, Limoux and Lezignan are within 30mins of each other and are pretty small individually but share an area of 300,000 people. Maybe a chance for them if they pool their resources together like was rumoured previously.

Toulouse is a no-brainier. Huge area. Big history.

Avignon is a fair sized area, and they've shown they can back big games.

Villeneuve is another small town but sits in a fair sized department on their own from other RL towns in France.

Lescure D'Albigeois again is a other small town, but Tarn is a big place and not too close to Toulouse. There's Albi on their doorstep as well.

Pia are on the doorstep of Catalans, in a village with only 7,000 residents. Then there's also UTC who are the Catalans' feeder club.

So 5 possible clubs there in Toulouse, Aude (Carcassonne, Limoux, Lezignan), Tarn (Lescures), Avignon and Villeneuve from the Elite 1. In Elite 2, they're all pretty much in these areas other than Lyon, so maybe 6 clubs from traditional areas. Not really enough to create a league so you'd always have to look to new areas.

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How many current Elite clubs have a realistic chance of running a sustainable and competitive SL club though if they had some funding?

Carcassonne, Limoux and Lezignan are within 30mins of each other and are pretty small individually but share an area of 300,000 people. Maybe a chance for them if they pool their resources together like was rumoured previously.

Toulouse is a no-brainier. Huge area. Big history.

Avignon is a fair sized area, and they've shown they can back big games.

Villeneuve is another small town but sits in a fair sized department on their own from other RL towns in France.

Lescure D'Albigeois again is a other small town, but Tarn is a big place and not too close to Toulouse. There's Albi on their doorstep as well.

Pia are on the doorstep of Catalans, in a village with only 7,000 residents. Then there's also UTC who are the Catalans' feeder club.

So 5 possible clubs there in Toulouse, Aude (Carcassonne, Limoux, Lezignan), Tarn (Lescures), Avignon and Villeneuve from the Elite 1. In Elite 2, they're all pretty much in these areas other than Lyon, so maybe 6 clubs from traditional areas. Not really enough to create a league so you'd always have to look to new areas.

Your right with most of those, also add to that as FCL mentioned Bordeaux FC are in talks with Carlos about restarting the club and you also have Lyon which has a rich history in the league below not forgetting Nantes X111. Carlos is also trying to facilitate a merger of the Comminges clubs. I would remodel Villenueve as Leopards of Aquitaine opening up their catchment area, they could play games in larger nearby towns/cities.

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Dayan spoke of Strasbourg, Nantes, Valenciennes, Lens, Paris

I believe no realistic project is possible in these cities

More interesting projects are in Bordeaux ( with the local football club), a merger club of the Tarn's clubs of the Tarn (Albi and Lescure), another merger between the clubs St Gaudens and Sauveterre. Montpellier, Carpentras, Toulon ( has a small club already)

Strasbourg - Pretty much as far North East you could go in France!

Lens and Valenciennes - Pretty much the furthest North you could go!

Paris - Obvious why they'd say there.

Nantes - Large west city. Would love to see it having played their local side home and away but can't see it happening!

Basically just picking some random cities on a map as far away from the heartlands as possible. Was never going to happen!

Montpellier, Marseille and Toulon have had clubs in the past haven't they?

Do Bordeaux have much history in RL?

Would a Saint Gaudens/Sauveterre merger have much potential or identity?

Isn't Carpentras pretty close to Avignon?

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Strasbourg - Pretty much as far North East you could go in France!

Lens and Valenciennes - Pretty much the furthest North you could go!

Paris - Obvious why they'd say there.

Nantes - Large west city. Would love to see it having played their local side home and away but can't see it happening!

Basically just picking some random cities on a map as far away from the heartlands as possible. Was never going to happen!

Montpellier, Marseille and Toulon have had clubs in the past haven't they?

Do Bordeaux have much history in RL?

Would a Saint Gaudens/Sauveterre merger have much potential or identity?

Isn't Carpentras pretty close to Avignon?

You would have to add those 4-5 northern teams including Lille to the 5-6 southern teams in order to make a pro league, it's possible but it will take time, they have the right man in place, Carlos Zalduendo who would be capable of bringing this vision to the table.

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Existing clubs areas which could maintain a pro team

Catalan

Toulouse

Avignon

Aude

Albi/Union Treiziste Tarn

Leopards of Aquitaine (Villenueve)

Existing clubs which need a kick up the backside

Lyon

Nantes

Northern areas where teams could/should be started

Paris

Strasbourg

Lille

Lens

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I dont think a team Aude is possible

Its the same problem you have in England with the cumbria (Whitehaven, Barrow and Workington)

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I dont think a team Aude is possible

Its the same problem you have in England with the cumbria (Whitehaven, Barrow and Workington)

Some Treizistes actually argue that you could make two pro teams from Aude, with Lezignan playing at and incorporating Narbonne & Limoux/Carcassone merging.

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Existing clubs areas which could maintain a pro team

Catalan

Toulouse

Avignon

Aude

Albi/Union Treiziste Tarn

Leopards of Aquitaine (Villenueve)

Existing clubs which need a kick up the backside

Lyon

Nantes

Northern areas where teams could/should be started

Paris

Strasbourg

Lille

Lens

Aren't Nantes just an amateur club though?

It's the mergers that would need to be made as well as the expansion clubs that would need to be invented that makes me think this wouldn't happen.

Could always go the Magners League route and merge some counties leagues together.

A French-Welsh league with a pro Scorpions side and Crusaders side... (Getting a bit far fetched I know, but the France vs Wales game would be a lot spicier!).

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The elite level is struggling, I've heard lescure want to go back to elite 2 and villeneuve may drop out too, the gap between elite 1 and 2 is enormous so you can't really promote any teams,the better teams in elite 2 are from areas that are close to teams that are already in elite 1.

The game is struggling, the dragons brought the interest back but it's dropping again,

I'm involved with a under 7's team and an open age lower level team in the aude so I'm not just being a doom merchant I'm someone actively trying to help out,

Must say though, lezignan is rl through and through, the mayor refused to allow the creation of a union team in the village because there is enough sport in the village with rl and football!

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Must say though, lezignan is rl through and through, the mayor refused to allow the creation of a union team in the village because there is enough sport in the village with rl and football!

That's good to hear!

Makes you wonder how important Toulouse would be to SL to give French RL another kick start. But then how much damage would it cause to the Elite 1 to lose Toulouse and most likely a lot of the league's best players with them? (However this may also close the gap if the top clubs lose their best players).

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Good to see this morning, I'm at a kids tournament at Carcassonne and there's 1200 kids playing, from 6 to 12 years old, so maybe it's not that bad!

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The elite level is struggling, I've heard lescure want to go back to elite 2 and villeneuve may drop out too, the gap between elite 1 and 2 is enormous so you can't really promote any teams,the better teams in elite 2 are from areas that are close to teams that are already in elite 1.

The game is struggling, the dragons brought the interest back but it's dropping again,

I'm involved with a under 7's team and an open age lower level team in the aude so I'm not just being a doom merchant I'm someone actively trying to help out,

Must say though, lezignan is rl through and through, the mayor refused to allow the creation of a union team in the village because there is enough sport in the village with rl and football!

Can't say I'm easy with the mayor of lezignan not allowing the creation of a union team, could you imagine the outcry if a mayor refused the creation of a league team in any other village/town and city?

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Can't say I'm easy with the mayor of lezignan not allowing the creation of a union team, could you imagine the outcry if a mayor refused the creation of a league team in any other village/town and city?

It happens all the time over here, they don't stop. you they just don't let you use the council stadiums,

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How many current Elite clubs have a realistic chance of running a sustainable and competitive SL club though if they had some funding?

Carcassonne, Limoux and Lezignan are within 30mins of each other and are pretty small individually but share an area of 300,000 people. Maybe a chance for them if they pool their resources together like was rumoured previously.

Toulouse is a no-brainier. Huge area. Big history.

Avignon is a fair sized area, and they've shown they can back big games.

Villeneuve is another small town but sits in a fair sized department on their own from other RL towns in France.

Lescure D'Albigeois again is a other small town, but Tarn is a big place and not too close to Toulouse. There's Albi on their doorstep as well.

Pia are on the doorstep of Catalans, in a village with only 7,000 residents. Then there's also UTC who are the Catalans' feeder club.

So 5 possible clubs there in Toulouse, Aude (Carcassonne, Limoux, Lezignan), Tarn (Lescures), Avignon and Villeneuve from the Elite 1. In Elite 2, they're all pretty much in these areas other than Lyon, so maybe 6 clubs from traditional areas. Not really enough to create a league so you'd always have to look to new areas.

Got a pretty good grasp on things there.

For the moment they wont touch the Aude I think because its in the Dragons catchment area.

Toulouse would be looking to the Tarn and Albi for its support. Albi pulled 10,000 for the Wales European Cup match a couple of seasons back. Also would attract people further west towards Villeneuve and may be as far as Bordeaux. I saw a match against GB in Agen in 2002 with 10,000 present. So there's potential there.

Avignon is the best bet after Toulouse. Vaucluse has what 400,000 population. There is no top class union or soccer in that department and of course the local Parc der Sports will host the NZ world cup game in November after attracting 16,000 against England two years back. Sporting Olympique Avignon have only been back in the top division for 3 years and have reached the final of the Lord Derby Coupe which they havent won since 1989. They also have decent Juniors providing half of the national team which played England Schools last year.

Zalduendo the French President is keen I think to get St Gaudens back in after folding two years back after being Champions of Elite 1 only eight years ago. If that happens then some joined up thinking in the Tarn could work with an entente between Lescure, Albi and Realmont forming a UTT - union treize tarnais like what happened in Perpignan with Catalans.

The other good piece of news is that there appears some thing at long last coming out of Roanne - once one of the best clubs in France. They nearly disappeared but now doing well back in National 1 - 3rd tier and qualified for the this years play offs.

The two best sides outside Elite 1 are probably Baho and Palau two villages at the side of Perpignan who are presently holding down first two places on the Elite 2 ladder. Palau have two young lads there playing well below what they capable of - half back Marginet was playing in Super League two seasons back but as a club have no structure whereas Baho do. But the Federation dont want either I think. They want a bigger foot print and would love to see the likes of Roanne and Lyon back up there.

If they ever got Toulouse and Avignon playing Super League alongside Catalans that would have some chance of making a break through over here. It could create six French derbys and that could make the media sit up.

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What happened to Bein Sport's interest? Is it still there?

What clubs were they looking at to join the league, and which ones were realistic?

current negotiating with Bein Sports involves the proposed entry into SL of Toulouse - both clubs plus Carlos and his team are concentrating their efforts on negotiating a joint Catalans/TO13 tv bi. This tv deal is a crucial factor in the RFLs talks with Toulouse it seems. Building work is due to start soon at Stade des Minimes with the first phase due to be completed for the start of the TO13s entry into SL in 2015

The league was always going to be a bit pie in the sky though it does remain a priority for Carlos to eventually bring about a complete restructuring of the french domestic game - he has the support of some powerful figures but again, a suitable tv deal is an important factor in any future plans

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I think that a full time pro-team in Strasbourg is ESSENTIAL. Nothing to do with the fact that I live an hour or so down the road...

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So the order of preference to entering SL appears to be...

1. Toulouse

2. Avignon

3. Villeneuve/Bordeaux

4. Aude

Would be great to get more French teams in. It's just crucial to get a TV deal arranges to make it happen. It would tap into a huge source if income if it worked.

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The Aude is probably my favourite location in France so would be my preference after Toulouse (an absolute necessity).

Once they do admit a second (and hopefully third) French franchise, I really hope they think really carefully about the fixture format.

Wherever possible, English clubs should play their away trips in France on consecutive weeks ( eg, Catalans one week, Toulouse the next). This would help with the logistics of the traveling teams but would also encourage more fans to make the costly trip over (ie, you get a weeks holiday and get to see your team play two games in France).

It would also benefit the French sides and improve their preparation for away games. Win-win.

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