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The challenge cup starts again this weekend , but has it had its day ? Crowds are poor only get 3 or 4 10,000 plus gates in rounds. We struggle to sell out the final in fact last year less than 70,000 turned out. At the moment its possible with the challenge cup that teams could play each other six times. Twice in regular season , Magic weekend the super eights, The semi final play offs and then the challenge cup . If we scraped the cup it would free up four weekends or so . At moment  we play 22 regular rounds , 1 magic weekend , 7 super eights, two play offs and four challenge cup totally 36 weeks. Its also hard for clubs to budget with the cup . If we had leagues of 12 teams playing each other 3 times for 33 rounds 16 home 16 away and one magic week end , still keeping top four play offs . Then the most teams could meet each other is 4 . Also with 33 rounds could this be worth more when going for TV deal . Also clubs by playing more games, 16 home games they have more room to offer better deals on season tickets .Fans would know the season and who there playing where  well in advance to plan holidays around season this is one problem at the moment with super eights. We could then may be looking at Super league finals moving to Wembley .

On another issue of super league if licensing returns I would look again at London being in there in fact maybe having two teams if we dropped the Catalans . Have two London teams play alternate weekends at home and have them play Saturdays and every game live on sky similar to what Catalan do . I would look to create a TV package that enables every first week rounds to all be shown live . 1 game Thursday night, 1 Friday night , 1 Saturday game , two on Sunday and then one on Monday night . Also both May bank holidays weekends and August bank holiday weekend games to be spread across holidays ad all shown live . Plus the magic week end all live . Alone with the play offs and final that's a possible 117 live games to offer . If we manage to keep the world club challenge as a three team event you could even have a double header final at Wembley . The final of course being between the two semi final winners with Champions up for grabs and gold medal for winners , runners up could get silver medal plus both qualify for World Club Challenge . Before main event you could have a bronze medal play off between the two semi final losers . Winner gets bronze medal plus qualifies as third team for world club challenge . So that's another possible TV game to make it 118 and with four top teams going to Wembley with something to play for Ithink we could sell it out.      

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The worst idea since some lunatic wanted Whitehaven and Barrow to merge !!

This season needs to start,it's getting rediculous on here.

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Ok, you're talking about a lot more than the Challenge Cup here. Not really sure what benefits you see in dropping a French side from SL, when French RL is on the up, to replace with not one but two London teams?? Absolute madness - it would kill off all the good work that is getting done in France and replace it with 'Forced' London teams. 

The rest of what you're saying seems very confused - you talk about the Challenge Cup being scrapped and the poor attendances but then go on to say about more televised games and creating some kind of Gold, silver, bronze for the WCC - you think that would get more interest across RL in this country than the CC? Not a chance. 

Overall, I agree the CC needs a shake up in some way and I also agree we play too many games over here. But taking away the CC and the money it can potentially generate for community clubs and semi pro sides for that matter, is not the answer. 

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Biggest problem with the Challenge Cup is one-sided matches. Amateur v semi-pro or pro isn't generally good viewing; neither is semi-pro against pro. I'll enjoy these early, all-amateur rounds, mind, starting on Saturday with Distington versus Queens.

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Scrap it or drastically re-shape it..

I'd have,as I've said many times before, a challenge cup for SL teams,challenge shield for championship teams and  challenge bowl for league 1 & amateurs and a 3 game finals day at wembley..

That's how you fill Wembley!

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39 minutes ago, superten said:

The challenge cup starts again this weekend , but has it had its day ? Crowds are poor only get 3 or 4 10,000 plus gates in rounds. We struggle to sell out the final in fact last year less than 70,000 turned out. At the moment its possible with the challenge cup that teams could play each other six times. Twice in regular season , Magic weekend the super eights, The semi final play offs and then the challenge cup . If we scraped the cup it would free up four weekends or so . At moment  we play 22 regular rounds , 1 magic weekend , 7 super eights, two play offs and four challenge cup totally 36 weeks. Its also hard for clubs to budget with the cup . If we had leagues of 12 teams playing each other 3 times for 33 rounds 16 home 16 away and one magic week end , still keeping top four play offs . Then the most teams could meet each other is 4 . Also with 33 rounds could this be worth more when going for TV deal . Also clubs by playing more games, 16 home games they have more room to offer better deals on season tickets .Fans would know the season and who there playing where  well in advance to plan holidays around season this is one problem at the moment with super eights. We could then may be looking at Super league finals moving to Wembley .

On another issue of super league if licensing returns I would look again at London being in there in fact maybe having two teams if we dropped the Catalans . Have two London teams play alternate weekends at home and have them play Saturdays and every game live on sky similar to what Catalan do . I would look to create a TV package that enables every first week rounds to all be shown live . 1 game Thursday night, 1 Friday night , 1 Saturday game , two on Sunday and then one on Monday night . Also both May bank holidays weekends and August bank holiday weekend games to be spread across holidays ad all shown live . Plus the magic week end all live . Alone with the play offs and final that's a possible 117 live games to offer . If we manage to keep the world club challenge as a three team event you could even have a double header final at Wembley . The final of course being between the two semi final winners with Champions up for grabs and gold medal for winners , runners up could get silver medal plus both qualify for World Club Challenge . Before main event you could have a bronze medal play off between the two semi final losers . Winner gets bronze medal plus qualifies as third team for world club challenge . So that's another possible TV game to make it 118 and with four top teams going to Wembley with something to play for Ithink we could sell it out.      

There's no chance of you getting the Cheif Exec's job at the RFL is there Superten? I can see you have put a lot of thought and work into your suggestion but sorry it dies not work for me.

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Mergers and now axing the Challenge Cup Superten? I think I should have hibernated for longer :mellow:

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The challenge cup is one of the best looking trophies in sport. Why would you want to scrape it? It will just ruin its beautiful finish.

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I don't think the SL teams joining the competition so late helps it. A few games and Wembley beckons.

They should join earlier and create some revenue for smaller clubs.

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2 minutes ago, MZH said:

The challenge cup is one of the best looking trophies in sport. Why would you want to scrape it? It will just ruin its beautiful finish.

I think he got his idea from ManU who've lost the bottom half of the Carabao Cup

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6 minutes ago, SL17 said:

I don't think the SL teams joining the competition so late helps it. A few games and Wembley beckons.

They should join earlier and create some revenue for smaller clubs.

I do agree with that tbf. 

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1 hour ago, superten said:

We struggle to sell out the final in fact last year less than 70,000 turned out.

Here's some perspective. It was the fourth best attended Rugby League match in the world last year.

1. 82,259 (Origin II)
2. 79,722 (NRL Grand Final)
3. 72,827 (Super League Grand Final)
4. 68,525 (Challenge Cup Final)
5. 52,540 (Origin III)
6. 50,390 (Origin I)

This against a backdrop of Rugby League folk constantly running it down and calling for it to be scrapped.

Imagine what could be achieved if we talked it up occasionally!

Sure, there are always different ways of doing things, opportunities to tweak what happens before the final itself, but scrapping the Challenge Cup altogether would be an act of gross self harm by Rugby League IMO.

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1 hour ago, roughyedspud said:

Season starts in 2 week...these nonsense threads will stop....hopefully

They'll just be replaced with nonsense threads about how all the referees are out to get [insert name of poster's club].

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1 hour ago, John Drake said:

Here's some perspective. It was the fourth best attended Rugby League match in the world last year.

1. 82,259 (Origin II)
2. 79,722 (NRL Grand Final)
3. 72,827 (Super League Grand Final)
4. 68,525 (Challenge Cup Final)
5. 52,540 (Origin III)
6. 50,390 (Origin I)

This against a backdrop of Rugby League folk constantly running it down and calling for it to be scrapped.

Imagine what could be achieved if we talked it up occasionally!

Sure, there are always different ways of doing things, opportunities to tweak what happens before the final itself, but scrapping the Challenge Cup altogether would be an act of gross self harm by Rugby League IMO.

Good post John.

For me the challenge cup is the best day out in rugby and I've been to nearly every Grand Final and many internationals, No annual weekend at Wembley is pretty much unthinkable for me. As regards crowds at the final, I do wonder if the tradition of organising big trips has faded and affected the attendance, our experience is that our trip has got bigger each year and friends recommend it to friends so it grows by 1 or 2 every year. Not sure how this can be encouraged but if a way can be found I believe the crowd would steadily increase.

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3 hours ago, Davo5 said:

The worst idea since some lunatic wanted Whitehaven and Barrow to merge !!

This season needs to start,it's getting rediculous on here.

In fairness the Haven/Barrow merger has nothing on the 8 team, winter, city based league idea that was posted a few days ago!

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I'd rather scrap the grand final which is being league champions by the back door purely for TV and Media money making reasons 

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While the Final is still getting 60k plus then no. If the attendances had plummeted to below 20k then there may have been a case to scrap it.

The final has no problem attracting fans of the finalists but it seems to be the neutral fans that have dropped off. The Magic Weekend is now the event where fans get together in fancy dress and it is now staged just over a month before the Grand Final which does seem to attract more neutral fans. Possibly because Old Traffords location close to the heartlands and the importance of the game in comparison to the CC Final.

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