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Martyn Sadler - Talking Rugby League

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I think Featherstone are particularly vulnerable in this structure. I'll say why in League Express on Monday.

 

Featherstone themselves seem to think otherwise.

 

(Thats not to say I agree with it though.)

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In football, the leading clubs are often prepared to play weakened teams in the FA Cup in order not to prejudice their chances of earning a place in Europe by finishing in the top four in the league table.

thanks for clarifying -makes sense.

There is no getting away from the fact though that Wigan winning the cup this year has probably cost them their spot in the PL but im sure they wouldnt change a thing.

As a City fan who was at Wembley, I can tell you that losing wasnt made any easier by the fact we are in Europe next year.

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After the match, and the media conference, I went upstairs into the lounge in which Giants supporters and players congregate, and I was assailed with people asking me about the RFL's proposals for changing the structure of the league competitions. It's fair to say that I didn't find anyone who was in favour of the proposed changes…

Just to be clear, I am surprised Dave Woods did not turn up after commentating on the game, as he was very enthusiastic about the proposal on the recent Forty-20 podcast.

To start with, we would see clubs reverting to playing some other clubs three times during the regular season.

I don't think the RFL and the clubs realise just how resistant the fans will be to seeing too many matches between the same clubs.

And yet many want to see Super League contracted, while your fellow journalists have been droning on endlessly about two leagues of ten for the past few years, which would also necessitate repeat extra fixtures.

The other 'Grand Finals' will be a tremendous anti-climax and it would be better not to have them.

The second group of eight will see the clubs finishing in the four leading positions reverting to the 'top 12' at the start of the following season. The play-offs will have no bearing on that outcome. So the only interest in that division will be the splitting point between fourth and fifth.

And if your club is in the third group of eight, you won't be able to be promoted out of it. The only interesting thing about that group will be the relegation battle, as the clubs try to avoid dropping into the group with the clubs that are presently in Championship One.

Which sounds like exactly what Championship clubs fans have been saying about their competition for the past 5 years of licensing. Apparently a winning a competition is valuable in its own right, without the need for promotion, when it serves a self-interest, but is a tremendous anti-climax when it contradicts that self-interest.

The other thing to bear in mind is that the proposals could do untold damage to the Challenge Cup in 2014…

Also worth bearing in mind it could be a huge success that propels the game into a strong future on an equally very tenuous basis. Claiming we can never have relegation because if we do it will damage the cup is at least the most creative argument I have heard on the any of the proposals.

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The obvious question about this is why are they doing it?

The answer for me lies not because it's a revolutionary, exciting new idea from a go forward and innovative game which will see the game go foreward from success to success.

Thats the press release answer, laced with oodles of positivety and all in the garden is well.

I only have an opinion, but it seems to me they are abandoning Superleague because they don't have enough clubs who can compete at that level, sevral of whom are pulling investment out of their clubs, and clubs locked out of superleague are progressively going downhill.

Now are the RFL going to discuss the latter questions???

I suggest never in a million years.

 

Nail hit on head Parky.

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Just to be sycophantic, Martyn's article actually sets out a critique of the scenarios rather than just saying they're pap like most of us on here.  The conclusion seems to be that they're pap though.

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I tend to agree with most of Martyn comments, although I see why it dramatically impacts Challenge Cup.  From my own perspective I very strongly disagree with the suggested league structure option 3, that is ending in 3x8 leagues.

 

Strong issue for me is the first 11 games "superleague" games that determine the primary pool and the x4 of the lower.   It would seem to me that for current top clubs to make top 8 would be straight forward and towards the later part some games would surely be meaningless as they would not affect the outcome of being in the top 8. Doesn't matter in which position the club ends providing its top 8 because competition starts again in the final group of 8 (nothing seems to get carried over).

 

So why should I bother with the first set of games when it is clearly being recognised that a number of those teams are not of sufficient quality plus some games meaningless as I say above.  Thus I would just await for the real games for when they split into 8 being a current superleague club fan.  Why should I waste my money when the game is clearly telling me that the first 11 is just to sort out the "quality" 8 teams and hence games.  At least today I can pretend that all games are worthwhile and hope that all teams will eventually strengthen.

 

Once I start going to less games then the habit is less forming and danger is I'll find other things that further impact. 

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I tend to agree with most of Martyn comments, although I see why it dramatically impacts Challenge Cup. From my own perspective I very strongly disagree with the suggested league structure option 3, that is ending in 3x8 leagues.

Strong issue for me is the first 11 games "superleague" games that determine the primary pool and the x4 of the lower. It would seem to me that for current top clubs to make top 8 would be straight forward and towards the later part some games would surely be meaningless as they would not affect the outcome of being in the top 8. Doesn't matter in which position the club ends providing its top 8 because competition starts again in the final group of 8 (nothing seems to get carried over).

So why should I bother with the first set of games when it is clearly being recognised that a number of those teams are not of sufficient quality plus some games meaningless as I say above. Thus I would just await for the real games for when they split into 8 being a current superleague club fan. Why should I waste my money when the game is clearly telling me that the first 11 is just to sort out the "quality" 8 teams and hence games. At least today I can pretend that all games are worthwhile and hope that all teams will eventually strengthen.

Once I start going to less games then the habit is less forming and danger is I'll find other things that further impact.

I think the points do carry over for the top and bottom 8.

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I agree with Martyn entirely on this one. But I do wish he'd stop saying that no-one is in favour of the proposals, because clearly there are some.

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The points do get carried forward to the new competition.  Also saying that the top 8 would sort itself out is not true.  Yes there are always the usual suspects, but last year Bradford (the mutli superleague champions) would have not made the cut, this year Saints would not have made the cut, only 5 or so years ago, Wigan  would not have made the cut.  Warrington would not have made the cut.  Whilst some teams are %wise in the top 8 a lot, no one is a dead cert to be at the top of the league.

Edited by bewareshadows

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Do the points carry over for all eleven games or only for those games involving the final 8.  

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All I here is Super league this Super League that well if championship sides are never going to get a chance in super league it will die because it becomes stale. Super league needs new teams to keep generating new interest and new ideas. If you don’t give championship team the chance you also risk splitting Rugby League again the champion leagues go their own way and doing this they take the amateur teams and super league dies. Super League also smacks like a Super State too with the super-rich dictating the game. Super League as to find away to hold all Rugby League together or will it allow break up and die.

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All I here is Super league this Super League that well if championship sides are never going to get a chance in super league it will die because it becomes stale. Super league needs new teams to keep generating new interest and new ideas. If you don’t give championship team the chance you also risk splitting Rugby League again the champion leagues go their own way and doing this they take the amateur teams and super league dies. Super League also smacks like a Super State too with the super-rich dictating the game. Super League as to find away to hold all Rugby League together or will it allow break up and die.

The whole of Rugby League is totally dependent on clubs, Super League clubs, like Hull and Warrington to go forward and develop the game. Tonight's game was magnificent and the two coaches were clear they did not need the "all inclusive" approach, they needed intensity and quality to take TGG forward.

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Just to be clear, I am surprised Dave Woods did not turn up after commentating on the game, as he was very enthusiastic about the proposal on the recent Forty-20 podcast..

He did turn up on the Red Button discussion programme, which discussed option 3 in particular, and enthused about option 3 when asked about the review.

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From what I've read, heard and seen of martyn Sadler he is extremely passionate about rugby league. He does have an agenda, and that is that he cares about the future of rugby league for all teams. He's written an article in a rugby league paper with a personal opinion of what he believes may happen if the new system is introduced with the intention of inviting other opinions, both here and in the mailbag of his paper. To say he has anything other than the interests of the game at heart is completely ridiculous. The facts are the game in general lacks money, and the current system of franchising in a 14 team super league isn't working. When I first heard the option of split leagues and promotion/ relegation my first thoughts were, despite the details and flaws at least there wont be any more meaningless/ one sided games. However, my new worry would be some teams may end up in the top tier when they have full squads but would struggle in the 2nd half of the season as injuries take their toll playing teams with bigger squads resulting in the same problem. I think the clubs and players need to believe in the new system for the fans to get behind them. Probably the best option would be a 12 team super league with a home/ away play off between the last placed super league team and championship grand final winners, with a parachute payment for the super league team if they are relegated.

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Also, the reasons why Martyn believes the new system may affect the challenge cup competition is quite obvious.......if clubs have a choice of a) a competition with limited success and less financial reward unless they reached the final ( 2 teams) or B) a competition with more chance of success (8 teams) with huge financial rewards (super league money), teams would undoubtedly go for the second option. If you remove the fear mid season of possible relegation, guaranteeing the super league money the challenge cup then becomes more of a bonus than a hindrance. Martyn has previously published an idea for the rejuvenation of the challenge cup which would remove the chances of one sided games, creating a secondary competition (Plate) to be played at Wembley which would also boost the cup final attendance with fans of the teams involved. It may only be an idea but I think the Rfl should consider the benefits of this or something similar.

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Its because of old men like him with their own opinions on what is good and what is bad about the game that has left the game in such a sorry state. Old men dictating a young mans modern game is never good they have been the cause of the way the game is dropping apart.

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I'm not quite sure what you mean.

 

Looking at the effects of option 3 is precisely what I've done.

You concentrated on the perceived negatives.  And sort to reinforce this through your narrative. " its safe to say i couldnt find anyone to agree" blah blah........ . Your article lacked balance throughout, from your narrative, to the size of your focus group! I buy your paper every week.  And I can honestly say that Monday was one of the few occasions were I thought you truly over stepped the mark..  Being one of the main media outlets for our game I hope in future you will act more responsibly. 

 

Alvin Martin

Castleford

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Only 77 votes so far, and there isn't a status quo option.

 

If the new structure delivered what it's proponents claim, then I would vote for it too.

 

The problem is that it won't, and my article explains some of the rea

Petulant......................  Do not start a poll then knock its validity due to the number of voters.............. your making yourself look daft now. 

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I just don't understand the need to get personal. He's simply picked 3 big points why he thinks it won't work. I'm sure, (like I could) give hundreds of benefits and flaws but certainly not in a small article. Blake solly seems to be the man behind the ideas along with research by kpmg I believe. Blake isn't an old man and certainly spoke a lot of sense during his interview on boots n all. He seemed to be suggesting looking at all clubs not the big ones from the super league. Reaction from gary hetherington, john kear, john wells seemed to suggest they liked a change whatever it may be. However, publicising the options before a final decision has been the wrong decision.

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The simple facts are that the game doesn't have enough money. The RFL policy review is an attempt to try and change that. Will it work? Don't know. However I'd suggest that sticking with what we've got, probably won't give us a comp that is as unpredictable or vibrant as the NRL is anytime soon.

As a Wakey fan, many of our games are dull. We're never going to win SL. We're so far off clubs like Wigan, Leeds & Wire.

The new structure gives clubs like Wakey a chance to win something. We try and stay in the top 8 with the big boys. If that doesn't work, we go into a comp where we'll be one of the big boys. We might get to that Grand Final, if not, we still might get promoted and have a chance to go again next year.

And in the top 8, most matches would be like the Wire v Hull match last night, rather than the London v Wigan game this afternoon.

Which match do you think best prepared the England players for the Exiles match in a few weeks?

We've not got enough money to sustain a SL of 14 clubs, so unless we're going to go back to 1995 and accept that Uncle Mo was right and just abandon the clubs who are bottom of the pile at this particular time in history, then I've not heard a better suggestion for the pro game in the UK than what's currentlty being proposed.

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You concentrated on the perceived negatives.  And sort to reinforce this through your narrative. " its safe to say i couldnt find anyone to agree" blah blah........ . Your article lacked balance throughout, from your narrative, to the size of your focus group! I buy your paper every week.  And I can honestly say that Monday was one of the few occasions were I thought you truly over stepped the mark..  Being one of the main media outlets for our game I hope in future you will act more responsibly. 

 

Alvin Martin

Castleford

If you think I've got it wrong, I'd be perfectly happy to see you take my arguments apart. In fact I'd be delighted if you could demonstrate that this proposed structure will deliver the vibrant, exciting game we all want to see, with increased support all round.

 

How long will I have to wait?

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Its because of old men like him with their own opinions on what is good and what is bad about the game that has left the game in such a sorry state. Old men dictating a young mans modern game is never good they have been the cause of the way the game is dropping apart.

That's the silliest posting I've read for quite some time.

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As a Wakey fan, many of our games are dull. We're never going to win SL. We're so far off clubs like Wigan, Leeds & Wire.

And in the top 8, most matches would be like the Wire v Hull match last night, rather than the London v Wigan game this afternoon.

Which match do you think best prepared the England players for the Exiles match in a few weeks?

 

 

Edited you post a bit, these are the stand out reasons why I like the idea.

 

Coming from the championship perspective, most games there are dull, it's only Leigh, Sheffield Batley and Halifax that really get the blood pumping.  With respect to the other clubs our games against them are more or less a foregone conclusion (with the odd upset I know).

 

Intensity is what England needs

 

Intensity is what the big SL clubs need

 

Intensity is what the lower SL clubs need

 

Intensity is what the big Champs clubs need

 

Intensity is what the lower champs clubs need

 

 

 

Intensity is what plan 3 will deliver.  Spectators, TV, The Press and sponsors will love it.  Dare I say that even Mr Sadler will, once it starts.

Edited by Ponterover

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We are heading for the tail wagging the dog once again.

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