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League Express

RFL Chairman responds to criticism

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Correction bobbruce, the SL clubs decided they didn't want the Under 23's and it was presented as a "fait accompli" to the Championship clubs. That is what I mean by saying the game needs governance from the governing body, not SLE.

No championship clubs had a choice that's why some clubs aren't DR to a SL team. No sport is run by a governing body with out agreement from its members how would that work. That's why the league structure is suggested by the RFL and then voted on by the clubs or would you like the RFL to say this is the structure your going to play in get on with it.

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...or would you like the RFL to say this is the structure your going to play in get on with it.

 

Personally, I would. The club Chairmen have far too much power.

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correct. Ironically, Warrington were one of the few clubs that wanted to follow RFL advice

Not in any way ironic. Warrington wanted to keep the u23s and promote youth talent that way, but were outvoted. But Warrington can't just sit back and do nothing as a point of principle, so are playing the cards they're dealt and using the DR 'system'.

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Not in any way ironic. Warrington wanted to keep the u23s and promote youth talent that way, but were outvoted. But Warrington can't just sit back and do nothing as a point of principle, so are playing the cards they're dealt and using the DR 'system'.

Sorry to be a pedant, but it is ironic: the club that reportedly was most opposed to DR has, out of necessity, ended up being one of its most prolific exponents. That's pretty much a textbook example of irony.

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Personally, I would. The club Chairmen have far too much power.

I'm inclined to agree (although I'm aware that the RFL constitution makes this impossible).

Whatever the outcome of this process (and the smart money is clearly on 3x8 etc) some of us still aren't going to be happy, so cut the whole lomg and drawn out 'will they, wont they' saga and just get on with it!

I'm not a fan of the 2x12 + 3x8 plan but the one thing that annoys me more than anything is the way that yet again the RFL has allowed off-field politics to dominate the news agenda at a time when all the talk should be about the forthcoming World Cup.

Sorry to be 'negative' but we really do shoot ourselves in the foot in this regard.

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Peter Smith and I will appear on Sky Sports Super League BackChat programme next Tuesday to discuss some of the issues raised in our articles and Brian Barwick's response to them.

 

No doubt it will be a lively discussion.

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No championship clubs had a choice that's why some clubs aren't DR to a SL team. No sport is run by a governing body with out agreement from its members how would that work. That's why the league structure is suggested by the RFL and then voted on by the clubs or would you like the RFL to say this is the structure your going to play in get on with it.

 

 

Quite simply by a governance structure that allocates executive authority to the governing body and limits the ability of the members to meddle with such authority. I think that you will find that this is what has been achieved in Australia and seems to be working OK.

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For those looking for 'balanced' journalism, I suggest you check out Phil Caplan's interview with Blake Solly in the latest 40-20.

Afaik Phil is strongly opposed to the 2x12 + 3x8 proposal but he gives Blake the opportunity to sell the positives.

By the end of the piece, although you may or may not be sold on the idea, you'll at least have a better idea of the rationale.

You'll also poSsibly be left, like Phil, wondering why BS wasn't used more prominently by the RFL to 'sell' the idea, rather than leaving it to Nigel Wood.

It's a good piece though, as is Peter Smith's YEP column which, when read in its entirety, is far more balanced than is being made out.

I think it's worth remembering that blokes like Phil Caplan, Martyn Sadler and Peter smith etc are, first and foremost, Rugby league fans and any criticism levelled at the game's governance comes from a desire to see the game succeed and flourish.

Those of a more sensitive disposition also ought to be grateful that the game doesn't enjoy a higher national profile as I don't know how they'd cope with the level of scrutiny people like Martin Samuels, Hugh McIllvaney etc would give these and other proposals.

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No one has yet suggested how supporters will react when they hear the details, whatever those details are.

Fans don't like their club playing others three times in a League season.

So, if the extra games are a play off type then we will have to pay again. Or, those few who attend will have to pay to watch.

On the other hand, will they be added to the season and be covered by the season ticket? This is tempting fans to dump their season tickets, select games and pay on the gate.

Has there been a financial appraisal of the new system based on crowds, local sponsorship and subsequent revenue levels?

We need to be told their thinking and why because if they present us with a done deal, fans may well not buy into that deal!

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I wouldn't class those three gents as moaners in the first place, they are mostly pretty good and yes, balanced.

 

But 40-20 is not a national magazine (well, it is I suppose but it's RL specific)

 

Whereas Chris Irvine saying the CC is a load of rubbish or George Riley saying everyone is skint DO get seen by a much larger audience. One that isn't especially interested in RL and will just accept that the game is skint and boring because they have read it. 

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Peter Smith's YEP column which

 ... this week banged on about how rubbish the World Cup is going to be.

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 Chris Irvine saying the CC is a load of rubbish or George Riley saying everyone is skint DO get seen by a much larger audience. One that isn't especially interested in RL and will just accept that the game is skint and boring because they have read it. 

 

So if they are not interested in RL like 97%+ of the population why will it matter?

 

Seems to me they moan to try to get those in charge to take note and guess what - it works........

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I wouldn't class those three gents as moaners in the first place, they are mostly pretty good and yes, balanced.

But 40-20 is not a national magazine (well, it is I suppose but it's RL specific)

Whereas Chris Irvine saying the CC is a load of rubbish or George Riley saying everyone is skint DO get seen by a much larger audience. One that isn't especially interested in RL and will just accept that the game is skint and boring because they have read it.

So your problem is specifically with Chris Irvine and George Riley then?

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... this week banged on about how rubbish the World Cup is going to be.

I shall read this....

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"This week’s ‘Talking Rugby League’ in League Express with Martyn Sadler was a tough piece to read if you were sitting in Red Hall as once again all the responsibility for the current perceived ills in the game were dropped on our doorstep"

 

Said Barwick.

"I’ve joined the RFL as it sets about trying to re-structure the game’s competitions and create a sport which is compelling at every level and that allows well-run clubs to succeed and thrive".

 

Continued Barwick...

 

OK Riley, Sadler, Smith and Irvine why not go interview Barwick and ask the tough questions and why not Barwick give the honest answers and then we can all find out if the criticisms are justified or if the problems with RL go further than it's administration and leadership??

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Everyone who has put forward an opposite view to JohnM, I suppose!!!

IMHO, the game lacks governance from the governing body and at times merely pays lip-service to SLE. Look below SL and there is quite a lot of unrest. Look at the DR system that has caused more aggravation than any other topic this season and the RFL merely sit back and say we will look at it at the end of the season. Meantime they are now talking about bringing back Under 23's which would in effect do away with the DR system!!!

 

 I suppose!!!

 

Moses supposes his toeses are Roses,

But Moses supposes Erroneously,

Moses he knowses his toeses aren't roses,

As Moses supposes his toeses to be!

 

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So if they are not interested in RL like 97%+ of the population why will it matter?

 

Seems to me they moan to try to get those in charge to take note and guess what - it works........

Perhaps there's a connection between what they read and hear and why they show no interest.

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 I suppose!!!

 

Moses supposes his toeses are Roses,

But Moses supposes Erroneously,

Moses he knowses his toeses aren't roses,

As Moses supposes his toeses to be!

Very good, I suppose!!

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So your problem is specifically with Chris Irvine and George Riley then?

Not so much George Riley. 

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"This week’s ‘Talking Rugby League’ in League Express with Martyn Sadler was a tough piece to read if you were sitting in Red Hall as once again all the responsibility for the current perceived ills in the game were dropped on our doorstep"

 

Said Barwick.

"I’ve joined the RFL as it sets about trying to re-structure the game’s competitions and create a sport which is compelling at every level and that allows well-run clubs to succeed and thrive".

 

Continued Barwick...

 

OK Riley, Sadler, Smith and Irvine why not go interview Barwick and ask the tough questions and why not Barwick give the honest answers and then we can all find out if the criticisms are justified or if the problems with RL go further than it's administration and leadership??

If you read my piece in League Express, you'll see that I had an interview with Brian Barwick lined up, but he postponed it, I assume because he didn't want to prejudice the current discussions on league structures.

 

I'm glad that he responded to my article, but I don't think he really addressed the issues that I raises.

 

A straight interview would be much better.

 

There are lots of questions that need to be put directly to the RFL bosses, but they seem anxious to speak, if at all, off the record.

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For those looking for 'balanced' journalism, I suggest you check out Phil Caplan's interview with Blake Solly in the latest 40-20.

Afaik Phil is strongly opposed to the 2x12 + 3x8 proposal but he gives Blake the opportunity to sell the positives.

By the end of the piece, although you may or may not be sold on the idea, you'll at least have a better idea of the rationale.

You'll also poSsibly be left, like Phil, wondering why BS wasn't used more prominently by the RFL to 'sell' the idea, rather than leaving it to Nigel Wood.

It's a good piece though, as is Peter Smith's YEP column which, when read in its entirety, is far more balanced than is being made out.

I think it's worth remembering that blokes like Phil Caplan, Martyn Sadler and Peter smith etc are, first and foremost, Rugby league fans and any criticism levelled at the game's governance comes from a desire to see the game succeed and flourish.

Those of a more sensitive disposition also ought to be grateful that the game doesn't enjoy a higher national profile as I don't know how they'd cope with the level of scrutiny people like Martin Samuels, Hugh McIllvaney etc would give these and other proposals.

 

 

As you well know, its not  a matter of sensitivity. Anyone who has been on this form for even a few months will have recognised the relentless negativity about anything the RFL does (or doesn't) and either become  desensitised, or given up in despair spending time on AOB instead, or like me, decide to battle as hard as the naysayers.   Wilson writes for the Guardian so has every reason to be miserable and as its readership is so small, is not in a position to influence anyone As we all know, Riley doesn't take feedback well, and in any case he works for the BBC, motto: "We are the BBC: we are never wrong"

 

Really, the offenders are those who no matter what good news, seek to denigrate it, to  misrepresent it and to indulge in personal attacks on RFL people.  I am NOT going to get involved in dismantling the aggregation of opinion into discrete parts. I'll stick with James Whitcomb Riley

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I think some people are getting bogged down with the recent stuff. Let's be honest if the media were being negative about this, then personally I think that'd be fine as it is well worthy of challenge as it is a controversial move if it comes off. 

 

The bigger issue is that many RL journos are negative about pretty much everything all of the time.

 

We get a low crowd, the game is dying.

We get a poor game, the game is dying.

We see a club struggle, the game is dying.

We see 75k+ at Wembley, the game is dying because of the thousands of empty seats.

We see England playing well, it's rubbish because it should be GB.

and so on...

 

There are plenty of great things about our sport. There are plenty of things to complain about. If it was balanced it'd be fine, but we get very few positive stories.

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Just read Peter Smiths column. Bloody hell, you might think having the opener in Cardiff might get some people excited, I am looking forward to it for sure. But to read Peter, you would think they are staging the game in the middle of the night, on the moon. It's a couple of hours on the train/car for Cliffs sake.

 

Perhaps, just perhaps, they are hoping for people not living in West Yorkshire to attend also? Crazy idea and all that.....

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Ive always stuck up for the RFL particularly when Lewis was in charge, I thought we were going in the right direction.  But I'm really frustrated with them at the minute primarily due to:

 

- no SL sponsor

- pushing through a ridiculous and complex new league structure 

- exclusively playing games in the M62 area for Magic Weekend, Cup Semi-Finals, Exiles game, NRC Final

- Premier Sports TV deal for World Cup

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League Express - Mon 10th April 2017

Rugby League World - April 2017