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l'angelo mysterioso

RFL Leadership

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The strange thing is that the RFL committed to Sport England that 3 of their 4 promised participation specific approaches would include working on retention at Conference and Regional league levels as well as increasing HE/FE school participation.  (Link, click on the Rugby League document to get to their promises)  These are supposed to be the promises the RFL makes to Sport England about how they'll use the money granted.  They received £11,000,000 for participation based on those promises for the period 2013-2017 but then we lose development officers.  It just makes no sense at all and is surely something that can be rolled up and used to beat the management committee that decided that we don't need development officers.  If that money can't be at least partially earmarked for development officers then I'd really like to see where it has been allocated, if it has gone to the top 3 leagues of the game then that's a bit of a disgrace.

For whatever reason,the RFL lost a percentage of the Sport England funding and the RFL decided to do away with development officers.Some clubs,such as Leeds set up their own foundations to keep some officers in employment and try and continue the work that was being done.

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For whatever reason,the RFL lost a percentage of the Sport England funding and the RFL decided to do away with development officers.Some clubs,such as Leeds set up their own foundations to keep some officers in employment and try and continue the work that was being done.

I do understand that but the RFL knew they were losing that money but still committed to increase participation through local retention throughout England.  Almost impossible to do that, especially at school level, without development officers.  For me, it's shameful.

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The Rugby League World Cup appears to be run by the  Rugby League International Federation Ltd

Just to be clear, the RFL bid for, and were awarded by the RLIF, the rights to host the 2013 tournament.

The organisation and running of the world cup is the responsibility of the RFL. If it goes wrong then the RLIF are only accountable for having awarded them a license when they clearly had no business plan, or something like that.

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I do understand that but the RFL knew they were losing that money but still committed to increase participation through local retention throughout England.  Almost impossible to do that, especially at school level, without development officers.  For me, it's shameful.

It was very shortsighted of the RFL.

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I do understand that but the RFL knew they were losing that money but still committed to increase participation through local retention throughout England.  Almost impossible to do that, especially at school level, without development officers.  For me, it's shameful.

 

I don't see a single mention of schools, junior or youth rugby in that attachment. How do they expect to get people through the Elite Performance Pathway for sod all kids coming through junior and yhouth rugby? I honestly despair. With the current policy, participation levels will drop further and lead to further Sport England cuts as there is no way they are going to hit targets without the Development Officers.There is no way that Touch Rugby will create enough interest to alleviate the drop in full contact playing numbers, which I fear is what the RFL are hoping for.

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Participation is everything. If you want to throw away investment in developing the game you don't deserve to be in charge. This has to be the key performance indicator for the game of RL.

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I don't see a single mention of schools, junior or youth rugby in that attachment. How do they expect to get people through the Elite Performance Pathway for sod all kids coming through junior and yhouth rugby? I honestly despair. With the current policy, participation levels will drop further and lead to further Sport England cuts as there is no way they are going to hit targets without the Development Officers.There is no way that Touch Rugby will create enough interest to alleviate the drop in full contact playing numbers, which I fear is what the RFL are hoping for.

Sport England places restrictions on what NGBs are allowed to bid for. It depends what latest muddled thinking some idiot in Whitehall/Westminster has decided. For example, Primary RL, which you would think would be a priority, can have no funding allocated from the SE pot. So, the RFL must fund that itself, and we all know that there is very little money being generated within the game right now that isn't being used to prop up the pro game.

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Sport England places restrictions on what NGBs are allowed to bid for. It depends what latest muddled thinking some idiot in Whitehall/Westminster has decided. For example, Primary RL, which you would think would be a priority, can have no funding allocated from the SE pot. So, the RFL must fund that itself, and we all know that there is very little money being generated within the game right now that isn't being used to prop up the pro game.

 

Surely Development Officers can get involved in SE rugby? There are clubs down here who are struggling for numbers in their junior teams as there is no SE engagement. The consequence of that will affect playing numbers at tier 3 and 4 levels. The RFL have got themselves into a vicious circle...

 

NB. Sorry - I mis-interpreted the meaning of SE; initially thought it meant Secondary Education. Bloody acronyms! :D

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Surely Development Officers can get involved in SE rugby? There are clubs down here who are struggling for numbers in their junior teams as there is no SE engagement. The consequence of that will affect playing numbers at tier 3 and 4 levels. The RFL have got themselves into a vicious circle...

I'm convinced that there are plenty of people in the RFL who believe that there's nothing outside of the national leagues.  I'm also convinced there are plenty who would shrug their shoulders if RL died entirely in some regions justifying it as too expensive to fight for.

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I'm convinced that there are plenty of people in the RFL who believe that there's nothing outside of the national leagues.  I'm also convinced there are plenty who would shrug their shoulders if RL died entirely in some regions justifying it as too expensive to fight for.

 

Me too and there are plenty of supporters who think the same as well. I have been involved for a number of years playing the game at clubs all over the country and there is just as much enthusiasm and appetite for the game. There are also plenty of cracking players around who would do very well if the professional clubs actually looked outside of their Service Areas. It is truly dispiriting for some people at the moment. It is also incomprehensible that our so-called leaders cannot see the long term benefits. We are run by a bunch of baffoons at present who have absolutely no idea of what leadership actually involves.

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Surely Development Officers can get involved in SE rugby? There are clubs down here who are struggling for numbers in their junior teams as there is no SE engagement. The consequence of that will affect playing numbers at tier 3 and 4 levels. The RFL have got themselves into a vicious circle...

I thought the whole point of Sport England money was to fund development officers?  I know a number have been made redundant as a result of the drop in SE funding.  I read recently about an amateur club in Croydon which has been expanding its youth teams but is now looking uncertain due to the redundancy of their development officer (who the heck decided to make redundant a development officer in an actual development area?).

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Me too and there are plenty of supporters who think the same as well. I have been involved for a number of years playing the game at clubs all over the country and there is just as much enthusiasm and appetite for the game. There are also plenty of cracking players around who would do very well if the professional clubs actually looked outside of their Service Areas. It is truly dispiriting for some people at the moment. It is also incomprehensible that our so-called leaders cannot see the long term benefits. We are run by a bunch of baffoons at present who have absolutely no idea of what leadership actually involves.

Somehow, it appears to me, the RFL have become (or maybe they have always been?) an inward looking group of administrators which is not what you want for a governing body. 

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To play Devil's advocate here.

 

The way I understand it is that we got a large funding pot which was spent on Development Officers. The next time, our participation went down, funding was cut, so we got rid of the Development Officers.

 

Doesn't this suggest that the strategy of throwing a load of money at Development Officers around the country isn;t the right one?

 

By the way, I am well aware I am being simplistic on this and know little about it, I am commenting as an outsider here, it's an interesting discussion though, keep it up!

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To play Devil's advocate here.

 

The way I understand it is that we got a large funding pot which was spent on Development Officers. The next time, our participation went down, funding was cut, so we got rid of the Development Officers.

 

Doesn't this suggest that the strategy of throwing a load of money at Development Officers around the country isn;t the right one?

 

By the way, I am well aware I am being simplistic on this and know little about it, I am commenting as an outsider here, it's an interesting discussion though, keep it up!

An easy way to think about the role of a development officer is to think about the people they influence.  Imagine you're a school headmaster or head of PE in a school not in the RL heartlands, you're being pushed to cut costs almost every day.  You want to keep playing both codes of rugby but you have the union development officer offering free coaching for both the kids and the PE teachers, kit, competition organisation, links into clubs for even more freebies, etc and nothing but tumbleweed from the rugby league side.  Which one would you drop if you had to pick?  Imagine you're that headmaster again and you're teaching rugby league on sufferance just because other local schools do so then that rugby league development officer stops showing up, why should you keep your kids playing it if the sport couldn't care about your school?

 

The other side is that most good development officers are essentially part-time scouts with their bank of contacts into the local, regional and national clubs.  Where will the quick phone calls come from for clubs to come have a look at a promising talent at a school or youth game?  Why should kids even think about rugby league if they have a union scout come talent sniffing and rugby league not even aware they exist?

 

The job of development officer has always heavily exploited their love for the game by paying them far less than they deserve for the effort they put in.

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An easy way to think about the role of a development officer is to think about the people they influence.  Imagine you're a school headmaster or head of PE in a school not in the RL heartlands, you're being pushed to cut costs almost every day.  You want to keep playing both codes of rugby but you have the union development officer offering free coaching for both the kids and the PE teachers, kit, competition organisation, links into clubs for even more freebies, etc and nothing but tumbleweed from the rugby league side.  Which one would you drop if you had to pick?  Imagine you're that headmaster again and you're teaching rugby league on sufferance just because other local schools do so then that rugby league development officer stops showing up, why should you keep your kids playing it if the sport couldn't care about your school?

 

The other side is that most good development officers are essentially part-time scouts with their bank of contacts into the local, regional and national clubs.  Where will the quick phone calls come from for clubs to come have a look at a promising talent at a school or youth game?  Why should kids even think about rugby league if they have a union scout come talent sniffing and rugby league not even aware they exist?

 

The job of development officer has always heavily exploited their love for the game by paying them far less than they deserve for the effort they put in.

 I get the value of Dev Officers - but if numbers still went down when we had loads of funding for them, then maybe a rethink is needed?

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The RFL don't have the money to bring in an Alan Sugar, Peter Jones, Theo Paphitis. What the RFL do need to to do is run the game along the same lines as the Bundesliga is run in Germany. Surely all the clubs would like to make a profit every year even a small profit is better than the continued hamster wheel of losing money every year, year on year.

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The games has lacked a leader for a number of years probably since Mr Lewis went Part time. The likes of Wood and Rimmer have constantly shown they simply are not the right people to lead the game forward on a number of points.You cant blame everything on the RFL as the Clubs themselves are often at fault with how they have done things. And some things are not that easy to fix. However Some areas that I do feel the RFL should do better on and especially Wood and Rimmer are such things as :

SUPER LEAGUE
Super League should have minimum standards and clubs that fail to meet up to them should lose their spot. Super League should be about the best clubs pushing on and off the field. That has not happened for a good few years. Instead of the RFL setting and maintaining standards we see the standards on and off the field diluted. Instead of telling clubs that they have a responsibilty to not just keep standards, but to improve them, the RFL have allowed the clubs to push the game downhill. The Dual Regs, The failure of the U20s and clubs to take it seriously, The watering down of licence standards by allowing clubs to be run badly are good example. Now we have a situation, where for me, the product is weaker than it was 10 years ago. Clubs in debt, No U20s and uncertainty about the future of SL. SL is like a runaway train with nobody in control , but plenty of shouting and waving of arms. Why would a Sponsor want to get involved?

 

DUAL REGS

Alot of confusion about the system and how its supposed to work even now. Certain clubs have abused the system. And while in theory it has the potential to help clubs, it has caused anger and misunderstandings. Why did the RFL not set out clearly the rules of DRs? Having the likes of Morley, Briers, Achurch, Moore guesting was not what the DRs was originally about. It was promoted as helping younger players playing at a higher standard. And are Swinton and Hunslet that much better off this year? Not really despite a number of Championship 1 clubs being promoted. The rules are very unclear and the RFL just seem happy to allow things to continue so

 

GRASSROOTS

The most important part of developing the game for me. But the RFL have allowed it to be neglegted and also allowed Pro Clubs to abuse it, seeing amateur clubs lose Youngsters for no reward. We have seen letters from amateur clubs going to players and Pro clubs telling kids to play or face the consequences. Often these youngsters dont make the grade and dont go back to the amateur club. We have seen Development Officers disappear and the good work done to rot away. We have Summer v Winter fights in the heartlands with a number of players trying to play both and clubs struggling to fulfill fixtures at times. Theres no real working in harmony between Barla and the RFL and the various leagues. We have a real mess both in and outside the heartlands. How can the game have a strong foundation and future, with the lack of Development officers and the infighting and no leadership?

 

NO SET SYSTEM

The RFL seem to keep changing systems every 3 years and fail to allow something to grow. The Licence standards keep getting watered down and things done behind closed doors allowing accusations to be shot at the RFL- Crusaders, London, Bradford etc. We see no belief or understanding of what the RFL hope to achieve with SL or other parts of the game due to the constant changes. Right now I personally do not see what the RFL and Clubs hope to achieve with the Proposals for the new League setup. What is its aims? And how long do we stick with it and go for the next system?

 

UNITY IN THE GAME

For me the RFL should be looking to unify the game. But from the people I know at amateur level and who follow various pro clubs thats not what is happening. We have the amateur and pro set up fighting each other for players. We have summer and winter sections fighting each other. We have SL v Championship. Are the likes of Castleford, Salford, Hull KR, London any better than clubs excluded from SL? We have the Bonus Point in the Championship but another points system for Super League. Why?

 

Personally I dont expect Wood, Rimmer and the RFL to be perfect or never to make mistakes. But I do expect to see some leadership and tell us what they are doing and why. I want to know how they intend to improve the game at various levels. I want to see a framework of how they intend to improve the development of the game at Grassroots level, Championship and Super League not just for the next 2 years but 5 and 10 years. I want to know how they intend to improve the game thats on its backside financially. I want to know what plans are to help improve the standards not just at SL but at Championship level as well as academy. Where exactly are Nigel Wood and Ralph Rimmer wanting our game to go ? Currently I see nothing and have seen nothing from either man, both at the RFL and when they was at SL clubs to suggest they are the right people to take the game forward. They simply are not the right people to lead the game forward in my opinion. But I cant see either man being man enough to say that and step down and allowing new faces in to run the game and push it forward

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The games has lacked a leader for a number of years probably since Mr Lewis went Part time. The likes of Wood and Rimmer have constantly shown they simply are not the right people to lead the game forward on a number of points.You cant blame everything on the RFL as the Clubs themselves are often at fault with how they have done things. And some things are not that easy to fix. However Some areas that I do feel the RFL should do better on and especially Wood and Rimmer are such things as :

SUPER LEAGUE

Super League should have minimum standards and clubs that fail to meet up to them should lose their spot. Super League should be about the best clubs pushing on and off the field. That has not happened for a good few years. Instead of the RFL setting and maintaining standards we see the standards on and off the field diluted. Instead of telling clubs that they have a responsibilty to not just keep standards, but to improve them, the RFL have allowed the clubs to push the game downhill. The Dual Regs, The failure of the U20s and clubs to take it seriously, The watering down of licence standards by allowing clubs to be run badly are good example. Now we have a situation, where for me, the product is weaker than it was 10 years ago. Clubs in debt, No U20s and uncertainty about the future of SL. SL is like a runaway train with nobody in control , but plenty of shouting and waving of arms. Why would a Sponsor want to get involved?

 

DUAL REGS

Alot of confusion about the system and how its supposed to work even now. Certain clubs have abused the system. And while in theory it has the potential to help clubs, it has caused anger and misunderstandings. Why did the RFL not set out clearly the rules of DRs? Having the likes of Morley, Briers, Achurch, Moore guesting was not what the DRs was originally about. It was promoted as helping younger players playing at a higher standard. And are Swinton and Hunslet that much better off this year? Not really despite a number of Championship 1 clubs being promoted. The rules are very unclear and the RFL just seem happy to allow things to continue so

 

GRASSROOTS

The most important part of developing the game for me. But the RFL have allowed it to be neglegted and also allowed Pro Clubs to abuse it, seeing amateur clubs lose Youngsters for no reward. We have seen letters from amateur clubs going to players and Pro clubs telling kids to play or face the consequences. Often these youngsters dont make the grade and dont go back to the amateur club. We have seen Development Officers disappear and the good work done to rot away. We have Summer v Winter fights in the heartlands with a number of players trying to play both and clubs struggling to fulfill fixtures at times. Theres no real working in harmony between Barla and the RFL and the various leagues. We have a real mess both in and outside the heartlands. How can the game have a strong foundation and future, with the lack of Development officers and the infighting and no leadership?

 

NO SET SYSTEM

The RFL seem to keep changing systems every 3 years and fail to allow something to grow. The Licence standards keep getting watered down and things done behind closed doors allowing accusations to be shot at the RFL- Crusaders, London, Bradford etc. We see no belief or understanding of what the RFL hope to achieve with SL or other parts of the game due to the constant changes. Right now I personally do not see what the RFL and Clubs hope to achieve with the Proposals for the new League setup. What is its aims? And how long do we stick with it and go for the next system?

 

UNITY IN THE GAME

For me the RFL should be looking to unify the game. But from the people I know at amateur level and who follow various pro clubs thats not what is happening. We have the amateur and pro set up fighting each other for players. We have summer and winter sections fighting each other. We have SL v Championship. Are the likes of Castleford, Salford, Hull KR, London any better than clubs excluded from SL? We have the Bonus Point in the Championship but another points system for Super League. Why?

 

Personally I dont expect Wood, Rimmer and the RFL to be perfect or never to make mistakes. But I do expect to see some leadership and tell us what they are doing and why. I want to know how they intend to improve the game at various levels. I want to see a framework of how they intend to improve the development of the game at Grassroots level, Championship and Super League not just for the next 2 years but 5 and 10 years. I want to know how they intend to improve the game thats on its backside financially. I want to know what plans are to help improve the standards not just at SL but at Championship level as well as academy. Where exactly are Nigel Wood and Ralph Rimmer wanting our game to go ? Currently I see nothing and have seen nothing from either man, both at the RFL and when they was at SL clubs to suggest they are the right people to take the game forward. They simply are not the right people to lead the game forward in my opinion. But I cant see either man being man enough to say that and step down and allowing new faces in to run the game and push it forward

 

Excellent post LRL, I suspect you speak for the vast majority of passionate RL fans.

 

I would love to hear Wood and Rimmer's answers to your points.  Not with any fore-warning so they could spin out their normal politically correct sound bites, but their own personal views on the game. I get the impression they only ever say what they know will keep the Super League clubs happy.

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Excellent post LRL, I suspect you speak for the vast majority of passionate RL fans.

 

Steady. Nobody speaks for anyone on here, we all have the chance to have our say.

 

I'm as passionate as anyone and have followed the game intensly for what will be 50 years soon.

 

It's a game in which we have had 100 years of Union oppression to stunt our growth, it's a game in which if you like playing Rugby the other code has far more facilities for you available even in RL's heartlands, if you want to watch it it's only available at any decent level in one region of the country, the media don't cover it much because it's a small game, it's actually tough to play and the vast majority prefer soccer, soccer is easier and pro soccer swamps RL as well as RU dominating it too. Rich investors are few and far between, the game isn't national or big enough to attract sponsors of any note or significant funds, sport england money helped but that's been pulled, SKY won't pay the value of the product......

 

.............the full list of course would be a lot longer.....

 

These massive problems need to be taken into account before blaming them all on the leadership, and in suggesting where our leaders should take us perhaps we should also suggest how they do this given the problems. I'm no supporter of Wood and Rimmer. I'd have Hetherington in there with absolute power, but that's also the RFL's leadership problem. They are not able to control the powerful chairmen in the circumstances the game is in.

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Excellent post LRL, I suspect you speak for the vast majority of passionate RL fans.

 

I would love to hear Wood and Rimmer's answers to your points.  Not with any fore-warning so they could spin out their normal politically correct sound bites, but their own personal views on the game. I get the impression they only ever say what they know will keep the Super League clubs happy.

 I suspect you speak for the vast majority of passionate RL fans.

 

Suspicion is in itself not enough. What evidence do you have to support that assertion? None, I suspect. 

 

Ever since it's inception, the game has struggled..since 1895 clubs have thrived, clubs have survived and clubs have lived a hand-to-mouth existence...and clubs have gone to the wall. This time round, though, it seems to me that the RFL have worked hard to ensure their survival.  I realise that some would have preferred Bradford, Salford,  etc to fail and be replaced by their own favourite clubs but what would that have achieved other than even more failing clubs.

 

Too many of you naysayers live in a fantasy world.

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