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The Daddy

Martyn Sadler and Andy Wilson hint at behind the scenes restructure of Super League

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Not necessarily that simple though.The current TV contract may dictate 12 teams, but that runs until the end of 2016. Who is to say that they won’t reduce to 12 in 2015, and then relegate another two at the end of 2016? If the game believes this is the right thing to do, then it is up to them to sell it to Sky to get it in the next contract.

It is that simple for 2015 when the changes are said to be coming in.

OK they may run at 12 for 2015 and 2016 and then go to 10.

But by "Relegation"?? In recent years Catalans and Hull have had disasterous seasons and come in the bottom two. These clubs are first picks for Superleague so I really don't think any reduced SL will be left to chance like you suggest.

I also don't think that the big four Superleague clubs themselves who look like they are back to running things now Lewis is gone can organise such a plan without the rest of Super league getting to know what is coming up.

Which Superleague clubs are going to play the patsies 2016-2017??? Would the chairman of any club who knew SL was going to 10 after 12 and felt his club would be out, just go along with this??

IMHO the announcement by Hudgell and effectively Fulton that they aren't going to bankroll their clubs any more probably comes from them seeing the writing on the wall, after all Hudgell spoke of 12 clubs well over a year ago. Whether we saw O'Connor following suit in an ambiguous press release the other day I don't know.

However the new unofficial press spokesman for Widnes, Viking Warrior was able to offer a confirmation it was business as usual!!

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1 - It is that simple for 2015 when the changes are said to be coming in.

2 - OK they may run at 12 for 2015 and 2016 and then go to 10.

3 - But by "Relegation"?? In recent years Catalans and Hull have had disasterous seasons and come in the bottom two. These clubs are first picks for Superleague so I really don't think any reduced SL will be left to chance like you suggest.

4 - I also don't think that the big four Superleague clubs themselves who look like they are back to running things now Lewis is gone can organise such a plan without the rest of Super league getting to know what is coming up.

5 - Which Superleague clubs are going to play the patsies 2016-2017??? Would the chairman of any club who knew SL was going to 10 after 12 and felt his club would be out, just go along with this??

6 - IMHO the announcement by Hudgell and effectively Fulton that they aren't going to bankroll their clubs any more probably comes from them seeing the writing on the wall, after all Hudgell spoke of 12 clubs well over a year ago. Whether we saw O'Connor following suit in an ambiguous press release the other day I don't know.

7 - However the new unofficial press spokesman for Widnes, Viking Warrior was able to offer a confirmation it was business as usual!!

1 - Whilst there may be limitations on the 2015 structure - in the past when this has been mentioned by Gatcliffe and Peacock for example, I don't believe they have ever put timescales on it.

 

2 - Yep, so we agree with my point about it being possible.

 

3 - I never suggested relegation would be done by removing the bottom two clubs.

 

4 - Not really sure of your point here - it is the clubs who will decide the structure - this top 4 that you have created don;t run the game, how do you know that they haven't had buy in from Catalan, Hull, Hudds etc? The only people I have seen talk about the 10 clubs are Gatcliffe and Peacock - that doesn't mean that they are the only two who believe it is the way to go.

 

5 - Majority rules (although I'm not sure about the majority required to force this kind of change through) - the SL clubs will decide the structure. What's to stop the top 10 clubs agreeing this and 'evicting' 4 clubs over a couple of years?

 

6 - Dunno about the Hudgell point, maybe he is just fed up of spending a bomb. I also didn't find the O'Connor PR ambiguous. He is stepping down from Chairman but remaining on the Board as Director. 

 

7 - VW is welcome to give his thoughts on the goings on at his club, I don;t have strong thoughts either way about what he said.

 

BTW - I wouldn;t welcome the approach that I have highlighted above - I don;t want to see a contraction, I'd rather see us dragging more clubs up to a higher level rather than risking cutting clubs adrift. I'd only be supportive of a top division reduction if funding and structures were to be improved below that division, which I suspect would be the sweetener for some of these clubs and fans.

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By house of cards I was referring to these types of comments

 

It will be interesting how they choose the 10 Clubs in SL1.

 

I wonder what chance a ten team superleague and an additional competition to fill the TV schedule gaps... Expanded WCC maybe?..  9's comp?.. Exiles series?..

 

Mr. Sadler spoke of reducing the "footprint of the game"

 

(Sherlock Holmes is a work of fiction. Ed.)

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1 - Whilst there may be limitations on the 2015 structure - in the past when this has been mentioned by Gatcliffe and Peacock for example, I don't believe they have ever put timescales on it.

Not sure its as clear cut as some are making out, those limitations are removed if both parties are happy to renegotiate.  I'd have thought as is often the case the contract only gets brought out in the event of a dispute, that seems to be my commerical experience anyhow!

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Not sure its as clear cut as some are making out, those limitations are removed if both parties are happy to renegotiate.  I'd have thought as is often the case the contract only gets brought out in the event of a dispute, that seems to be my commerical experience anyhow!

Indeed, and that links back to my point that the RFL have to sell this to Sky if they genuinely believe it to be the best move. 

 

At the risk of sounding disrespectful, I'm not sure Sky are that bothered about some of the lower clubs that they have to show. They'd rather show Wigan, Leeds etc playing competitive games surely?

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At the risk of sounding disrespectful, I'm not sure Sky are that bothered about some of the lower clubs that they have to show. They'd rather show Wigan, Leeds etc playing competitive games surely?

I'd agree with that and that links back to my point about how the "product" will be likely enhanced if the clubs on TV are struggling less under a new structure.

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1 - Whilst there may be limitations on the 2015 structure - in the past when this has been mentioned by Gatcliffe and Peacock for example, I don't believe they have ever put timescales on it.

 

3 - I never suggested relegation would be done by removing the bottom two clubs.

 

4 - Not really sure of your point here - it is the clubs who will decide the structure - this top 4 that you have created don;t run the game, how do you know that they haven't had buy in from Catalan, Hull, Hudds etc?

5 - Majority rules (although I'm not sure about the majority required to force this kind of change through) - the SL clubs will decide the structure. What's to stop the top 10 clubs agreeing this and 'evicting' 4 clubs over a couple of years?

 

6 - Dunno about the Hudgell point, maybe he is just fed up of spending a bomb. I also didn't find the O'Connor PR ambiguous. He is stepping down from Chairman but remaining on the Board as Director.

1. The two you mention are from the big four.

3. I thought you said "and then relegate another two at the end of 2016" not neccessarily the bottom two. Remember when catalans came in?

4. I didn't "create" the big four, they got on a plane went to Toulouse and decided to be favourable to Toulouses SL application. The other ten were not at the meetings.

5. Whats to make any SL club carry on competing in SL if they think they are lined up for the chop?

6. The question I posed was was O'Connor going to carry on his level of investment in Widnes because the piece did not say wether he would or would not. Wether he sits on the board or sits at home is a totally different thing.

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1. The two you mention are from the big four.

3. I thought you said "and then relegate another two at the end of 2016" not neccessarily the bottom two. Remember when catalans came in?

4. I didn't "create" the big four, they got on a plane went to Toulouse and decided to be favourable to Toulouses SL application. The other ten were not at the meetings.

5. Whats to make any SL club carry on competing in SL if they think they are lined up for the chop?

6. The question I posed was was O'Connor going to carry on his level of investment in Widnes because the piece did not say wether he would or would not. Wether he sits on the board or sits at home is a totally different thing.

1 - yep, the other two of your big 4 haven;t said anything, does that mean they agree or disagree? How many of your 'other 10' agree or disagree. Who knows - it may be a big 8 pulling these strings.

 

3 - I did say relegate - I didn;t state they would be the bottom 2. I meant 'eject' 2 teams.

 

4 - The big 4 can't make any decisions themselves, they need a majority so will need some of the other 10 to go with them. That big 4 will need to become a big 8 (or whatever the protocol is) to drive change. I'm sure clubs or individuals are able to go and have a look and discuss what is happening over in France before deciding whether they want to support, or indeed drive forward plans for Toulouse - that's their prerogative and seems a fairly sensible approach, but they won't drive it through alone.

 

5 - I'm not sure clubs would cut off their nose to spite their face, but that would be their choice. This all depends on how the 10 will be decided, they may purely decide to do it based on the field and then have P&R. That may make it more palatable to be relegated in the first place.

 

6 - TBH I have no idea how much O'Connor has invested, or how much he plans to invest in future. Similarly I have no idea how much Moran invested or how much he plans to invest in future. I wouldn;t be surprised to hear that Moran is investing a lot less than O'Connor.

 

TBF I don't think there's much we disagree on with regards to the above.

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I meant 'eject' 2 teams. The big 4 can't make any decisions themselves, they need a majority so will need some of the other 10 to go with them. That big 4 will need to become a big 8 (or whatever the protocol is) to drive change.

I'm not sure clubs would cut off their nose to spite their face, but that would be their choice. This all depends on how the 10 will be decided, they may purely decide to do it based on the field and then have P&R. That may make it more palatable to be relegated in the first place.

If the big players in SL want to go to 10 or 12 meaning more money all round who is going to say no when invited to side with them.

The reality is unfolding before our eyes as at least two club chairmen have decided that's it for them, (maybe a third) plus another looks like he's in schtuk as there's no central funding for him.

The ten almost pick themselves now for my money.

The licensing committee are due to sit to decide as we speak that's not changed.

Of course it could ALL change but to me there seems no sign of that. At the Mo it's pick 12 for 2015.

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1 - If the big players in SL want to go to 10 or 12 meaning more money all round who is going to say no when invited to side with them.

2 - The reality is unfolding before our eyes as at least two club chairmen have decided that's it for them, (maybe a third) plus another looks like he's in schtuk as there's no central funding for him.

3 - The ten almost pick themselves now for my money.

4 - The licensing committee are due to sit to decide as we speak that's not changed.

5 - Of course it could ALL change but to me there seems no sign of that. At the Mo it's pick 12 for 2015.

 

1 - there is the long term considerations though. The 'middle 6' let's call them could soon find themselves on the outer if Toulouse come into the mix etc. The big clubs don't always win the vote - Warrington and Saints didn;t get support over the DR thing, the big clubs couldn't get a Salary Cap increase a couple of years back - I don't think it will be that easy for them to get agreement.

 

2 - again, 2, 3 or 4 is a minority. They would lose a vote if they don't get others onside - see above.

 

3 - It'd be quite easy to go through and pick a top 10, but say Wakefield make that 10 for example - would they vote for it or would they see themselves 'shafted' in future and sign with the bottom 4?

 

4 - yep

 

5 - maybe, but that is guesswork - nothing tells us that is a fact. I don't disagree with your guesswork btw.

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Indeed, and that links back to my point that the RFL have to sell this to Sky if they genuinely believe it to be the best move.

At the risk of sounding disrespectful, I'm not sure Sky are that bothered about some of the lower clubs that they have to show. They'd rather show Wigan, Leeds etc playing competitive games surely?

I think they'd rather show competitive games played in full or near full stadiums which are brimming with atmosphere.

For me, Wire, HullKr, and Cas are near the top at home.

The biggest turnoffs are London, Bradford, Huddersfield and even Wigan (unless it is a big game) as their stadiums look empty and the atmos is garbage

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I think they'd rather show competitive games played in full or near full stadiums which are brimming with atmosphere.

For me, Wire, HullKr, and Cas are near the top at home.

The biggest turnoffs are London, Bradford, Huddersfield and even Wigan (unless it is a big game) as their stadiums look empty and the atmos is garbage

Yeah in sure the sub-4k crowds at the past two Cas Sky games are preferred over Wigan's 13-15k crowds, as well as Rovers' two empty ends at their ground...

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Was nobody else bothered on the show last night to have two RL journalists taking about these issues, which they haven't reported on?

It seems as though you are a journalist you know what's going on, but they don't tell any of us! Can you imagine a story like this being hushed up by RL journalists in Oz?

As for Brian Barwick, to the outside world (ie league fans) it doesn't look like he has done anything. One interview with Eddie and that's it. Maybe he's doing loads of great things, but none of the RL journalists are reporting any of it.

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Was nobody else bothered on the show last night to have two RL journalists taking about these issues, which they haven't reported on?

It seems as though you are a journalist you know what's going on, but they don't tell any of us! Can you imagine a story like this being hushed up by RL journalists in Oz?

 

RL journalists over here never challenge the status quo.  Well, maybe Danny Lockwood now and again.  Sort of!

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Don't be surprised to see a centrally funded London team in the top tier. When Brian Barwick was interviewed on Boots n All and the question was posed regarding the off field performance or lack of of the Broncos he delibaratly avoided answering, I read into it that he had something up his sleeve or at least had some inside knowledge.

Despite the poor off field performances of the Broncos, I think they'll be kept in simply because, if the whole point of the restructure is to attract more sponsorship and monies into SL it would be counterproductive to leave out the only team which gives the league national scope, therefore they will strengthen London.

That your interpretation, in reality the clubs future post-Hughes depends upon gaining an RFL exemption from Stadium criteria which would allow the club to move into a 6,000 capacity stadium with a mixture of terracing and seating.

There are some candidates facing relegation from the Football League who faced with a cashflow problem next year will offer terms more in line with the club's business plan.

Three things follow from this

Firstly overheads are cut with a smaller ground, in the cases I can think of there are Gym and training flities nearby

Secondly, with a smaller ground you can achieve the marketing nirvana of scarcity in that it should be an objective for games agains Wigan and Leeds to become all ticket with the ground selling out. You probably were at Esher with the rest of us. Small ground but at last a game with atmosphere. The painful truth is the Stoop is too big for London Broncos and the club needs a small compact ground.

Thirdly, with a reduction in overheads and a reasonable chance of running a club with a managable loss per annum instead of the current situation where David Hughes ploughs in £ 2 million and rising. The Club begins to look a more viable proposition for an investor or consortium.

In a sense this is a microcosm of what is wrong in the game with the economics of the game causing Chairmen to reassess their investment this season. As the saying goes:

What the easiest way to become a millionare - Answer start out life as a multi-millionaire and buy into a professional sports club.

For sure the current London set up does not add value to the game and in many respects the games failure in London and Wales to become an mainstream minority sport has contributed to the games crisis.

Successful expansion would not be a game changer in itself but would at least change broadcasters and sponsors perception of what is regarded as a Northern M62 Sport

"We first met at the White City stadium in the late 1960's when he (Don Mosey) was producing a rugby league international (that being considered in BBC politics, a northern game)"

Inside the Box by Peter Baxter page 25

 

Catalans, London and Wales were protected from relegation,

Parky you are repeating a 'capper myth, London have never finished in the relegation positions but back in 2004 when the club was in a relegation dogfight that went to the penultimate game a brouhaha was caused by then CEO Nic Catwrights alleged comments to a local BBC hack that London would appeal against relegation. The mere fact that an appeal could be floated indicates the club is not and never has been "protected". At SL Board Level there is little sympathy for the club partly driven by self interest and partly by exasperation.

I notice in this thread no one has answered my question as to whether Super League II if it ever gets off the ground would be another closed shop excluding those current championship sides who will be on the outer.

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It may be worth noting that Hull KR have been operating with an exemption on stadium facilities for the whole time licensing has been in operation and they have been in Superleague as their capacity is under 10,000. 

 

I disagree that London Broncos do not add value to the game.  It very definitely does.  The club provides an aspirational goal to local rugby league players being involved in the elite league of the sport and the results of the under 19s team speak to the talent coming through the ranks at the club.  It is vitally important IMO that London Broncos remain in Superleague and if that means making a few exemptions to the licensing criteria (which change every round anyway) then so be it.

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That your interpretation, in reality the clubs future post-Hughes depends upon gaining an RFL exemption from Stadium criteria which would allow the club to move into a 6,000 capacity stadium with a mixture of terracing and seating.

There are some candidates facing relegation from the Football League who faced with a cashflow problem next year will offer terms more in line with the club's business plan.

Three things follow from this

Firstly overheads are cut with a smaller ground, in the cases I can think of there are Gym and training flities nearby

Secondly, with a smaller ground you can achieve the marketing nirvana of scarcity in that it should be an objective for games agains Wigan and Leeds to become all ticket with the ground selling out. You probably were at Esher with the rest of us. Small ground but at last a game with atmosphere. The painful truth is the Stoop is too big for London Broncos and the club needs a small compact ground.

Thirdly, with a reduction in overheads and a reasonable chance of running a club with a managable loss per annum instead of the current situation where David Hughes ploughs in £ 2 million and rising. The Club begins to look a more viable proposition for an investor or consortium.

In a sense this is a microcosm of what is wrong in the game with the economics of the game causing Chairmen to reassess their investment this season. As the saying goes:

What the easiest way to become a millionare - Answer start out life as a multi-millionaire and buy into a professional sports club.

For sure the current London set up does not add value to the game and in many respects the games failure in London and Wales to become an mainstream minority sport has contributed to the games crisis.

Successful expansion would not be a game changer in itself but would at least change broadcasters and sponsors perception of what is regarded as a Northern M62 Sport

"We first met at the White City stadium in the late 1960's when he (Don Mosey) was producing a rugby league international (that being considered in BBC politics, a northern game)"

Inside the Box by Peter Baxter page 25

 Parky you are repeating a 'capper myth, London have never finished in the relegation positions but back in 2004 when the club was in a relegation dogfight that went to the penultimate game a brouhaha was caused by then CEO Nic Catwrights alleged comments to a local BBC hack that London would appeal against relegation. The mere fact that an appeal could be floated indicates the club is not and never has been "protected". At SL Board Level there is little sympathy for the club partly driven by self interest and partly by exasperation.

I notice in this thread no one has answered my question as to whether Super League II if it ever gets off the ground would be another closed shop excluding those current championship sides who will be on the outer.

Interesting thoughts on downsizing the ground and costs.

I do feel that once Lewis rescued London they became relegation proof although it was never tested, except at licensing time when allegedly Lewis had them on the list for SL alongside Cats and Crusaders then the Licensing committee picked the rest!!

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reading this topic and as a fev i would'nt mind two leagues of ten i dont want my team in sl and getting smashed every week thats no good for any team give me sl2 with close games every week that would keep the fans happy and just a thought don't you think feisll from probiz has'nt done his homework putting money into fev saying his has rich backers in the pipeline to invest in rovers plus sponsering the wcc at the last minute don't you think he will have an idea from the rfl wot there plans could be ??

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reading this topic and as a fev i would'nt mind two leagues of ten i dont want my team in sl and getting smashed every week thats no good for any team give me sl2 with close games every week that would keep the fans happy and just a thought don't you think feisll from probiz has'nt done his homework putting money into fev saying his has rich backers in the pipeline to invest in rovers plus sponsering the wcc at the last minute don't you think he will have an idea from the rfl wot there plans could be ??

agreed. Funding for teams 11 and 12 from Superleague to be redistributed acrosss SL2. Thursday night SL2 game on tv (Premier, eurosport wherever). Criteria to get into SL2 to be reasonably challenging - ie sustainable financial base. idea then to work towards SL2 being fully pro. Part time teams should be outside the top structure - that way 2 small leagues can work towards fully pro RL, which means promotion to SL can come back... and with that the promotion play offs. (21k at headinley a few years ago... widnes-cas i believe). we need to bring that back, as it means a team can drop into SL2 if they are relegated, and not have to lose their professional structure, as is currently the case. Additionally, it allows the player pathway to be much wider, meaning more opportunities for young players to come through and young coaches to work in a pro environment. Salaries would be low, and the cap should reflect tghat, but currently ambitious championship clubs are unable to build a proper professional team. With 2 leagues on offer, the RFL would be in a strong bargaining position when the next tv deal comes up.

community clubs like oldham, thunder, skolars etc can competee together in a rebranded National1 - the pinnacle of the semi-pro game.

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reading this topic and as a fev i would'nt mind two leagues of ten i dont want my team in sl and getting smashed every week thats no good for any team give me sl2 with close games every week that would keep the fans happy and just a thought don't you think feisll from probiz has'nt done his homework putting money into fev saying his has rich backers in the pipeline to invest in rovers plus sponsering the wcc at the last minute don't you think he will have an idea from the rfl wot there plans could be ??

Mr. Nahaboo is not the chairman of Rovers, hasn't put much in (threatened to put a lot in though) and neither of these fine gents are members of SL. IMHO the chairmen and CEO's of the Superleague clubs must be the ones "in the know" as they are the ones driving the changes. But as has been said and as this thread is about SL contractually cannot drop below 12 clubs (Mr. Sadler says) and as he and the journos intimate the reduced number of SL clubs want all the money. There is no more money as SKY are not involved in this, and the contract runs until 2017.

So it doesn't take either a genius or Mr. Nahaboo to work out 12 clubs very more than likely will share all the SKY money and there won't be a penny for a second tier therefore no Superleague 2. Nothing radical in this, it's how it was for years...

Sure it's nice to pontificate on two professional divisions and how if you do it this way or that way everything in the garden will become rosy. But it won't.

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It may be worth noting that Hull KR have been operating with an exemption on stadium facilities for the whole time licensing has been in operation and they have been in Superleague as their capacity is under 10,000. I disagree that London Broncos do not add value to the game.  It very definitely does.  The club provides an aspirational goal to local rugby league players being involved in the elite league of the sport and the results of the under 19s team speak to the talent coming through the ranks at the club.  It is vitally important IMO that London Broncos remain in Superleague and if that means making a few exemptions to the licensing criteria (which change every round anyway) then so be it.

Ooo.... I like that post it makes sense in line with many official attitudes to London, I also like Red Roosters positive post about cutting costs at the club. Aligned to increasing London's SKY money is there a way out of a retreat to the M62? Will Toulouse come in and increase the "footprint of the game"?

However we will have the downside of three SL clubs and a club "ready" for SL been consigned to the wilderness.

The run up to 2015 is fascinating, albeit in a context of a failing pro-game clinging on.....

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It may be worth noting that Hull KR have been operating with an exemption on stadium facilities for the whole time licensing has been in operation and they have been in Superleague as their capacity is under 10,000.

.

How did they manage to get 10,088 in 2010 and 10,250 in 2011 then?

When they came up, they expanded the East Stand to take capacity from just over 9,000 to just under 10,500. Last year they started reconstructing the North Stand so lost about 1,400 seats.

Catalans on the other hand have only just got above 10k capacity last year upon completion of their new stand. One more stand to go to get to 14,000.

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10 UK Clubs with £1M tv money plus 2 French ( bringing their own TV contract ) , plus 10 SL 2 with £500,000 TV money is doable from existing contract.

The loss to top 10 is offset by possible extra from new World Club Challenge and hoped increase in crowds.

Top 10 probably able to sustain differences with support of money men. An Aviva type sponsor would of course make up a £5M drop in SL1 income in one go.

If the top clubs want a broader based more sustainable game then there's going to have to be some sharing.

SL1 could then be given a bit freer reign to spend so the cream can rise?

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10 UK Clubs with £1M tv money plus 2 French ( bringing their own TV contract ) , plus 10 SL 2 with £500,000 TV money is doable from existing contract.

Doable if the top ten SL club chairmen all stand down and new rich chairmen come in in a spirit of philanthropy and goodwill to their neighbours.

Is that likely??

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