Sign in to follow this  
The Daddy

Wasps sniffing around Coventry Bears?

Recommended Posts

Reading through this month's 40/20 magazine an article seemed to suggest that Wasps may be interested in Coventry Bears. Doesn't say in what way though.

There was obviously some discussion last year that Wasps were one of the entities interested in buying a SL place from an existing club, the idea being that they need to use the Ricoh stadium as much as possible to make it sustainable. 

If there's any truth to this, as a Broncos fan that witnessed the damage the Quins rl  concept caused, it's hugely important that the Bears keep their brand and colours and don't become a Wasps copycat club.

Anyone heard any other rumours? 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't read the 40/20 article yet but am assuming this is based on previous rumours. Speaking as a Bears fan investment would be welcome, but like you say I'd want the Bears brand to continue. It's important that the Bears are a community club and not seen as a franchise 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, OriginalMrC said:

I haven't read the 40/20 article yet but am assuming this is based on previous rumours. Speaking as a Bears fan investment would be welcome, but like you say I'd want the Bears brand to continue. It's important that the Bears are a community club and not seen as a franchise 

Would it be better for Wasps to start up a new club if they have their eye on a SL franchise & leave Coventry bears alone to do what they are doing ?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, jpmc said:

Would it be better for Wasps to start up a new club if they have their eye on a SL franchise & leave Coventry bears alone to do what they are doing ?

That's a very tricky question! I'd love to see a SL team in Coventry but I'm not a fan of franchising. I'd like to think that either way, if Wasps wanted to get involved in RL, that they'd work with the Bears 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How far could Wasps get them though? Mid table Championship at best I reckon, especially with the new North American teams coming in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a lot of investors who would want to gert involved in Rugby Leaguie but there is just one problem.- They all want to be involved in a Super League Club.

Now while Coventry Bears makes more sense than the Toronto Wolfpack (and would be more SKY friendly). engaging in a invitation only Super League will cause ructions within the game.

I note the OP does not object to Newcastle Falcons owing the RL Club in those parts. There were lots of reasons why HarlequinsRL failed, most of which could not be laid at the door of the Union Club.

Super League chairmen will of course make their own minds up as to the merits of a group of investors. However they would be unwise not to consider, Where the players to form the basis of any expansion club would be sourced short term. What is the plan medium to long term regarding local playing content and if any group of investors are sufficiently capitalised and committed for the long haul which is what it will take.

Garry and fans will not like it but then who gives he proverbial tinkers cuss..

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty sure it the Newcastle rugby clubs share the same owner rather than the union club owning the league club. Subtle but important difference. Also, having been an investor in Gateshead previously myself, the relationship between the codes in that area is quite different to many other parts of the UK with little animosity and a greater acceptance of League for what it is.

It’s a digression I know, but if the Thunder had received the same funding as the other Super League clubs it was not too much of an extrapolation to see the initial investment having been enough to stave off the merger and make them break even within three years, and hence they might have been a major club in the game by now. They were owned and run by Leaguies rather than someone who wanted to use a venue or expand a brand importantly. 

Worthwhile understanding this when some think we’ve tried expansion and it’s failed. We’ve barely tried at all, and in almost all cases the game hasn’t put its money where it’s mouth is and committed to making ventures a success, reluctantly sharing meagre levels of TV revenue with new clubs at all levels who have rarely had the resources to see it through on their own. 

I’m really not sure about where Coventry sits in all this - the Bears will be Leaguies wanting their club to be a long term success. Wasps getting involved will want a return sharpish to fund their primary business however. 

I disagree about Toronto though - it’s owned and run by people who are now Leaguies and aren’t using this as a means to another sporting end. Sure they won’t have a bottomless pit of money but their pockets are sufficiently deep to see this through. Plus there aren’t any negative brand associations with the sport there that there appear to be elsewhere through exposure to union and its press. 

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Mushy said:

Pretty sure it the Newcastle rugby clubs share the same owner rather than the union club owning the league club. Subtle but important difference. Also, having been an investor in Gateshead previously myself, the relationship between the codes in that area is quite different to many other parts of the UK with little animosity and a greater acceptance of League for what it is.

It’s a digression I know, but if the Thunder had received the same funding as the other Super League clubs it was not too much of an extrapolation to see the initial investment having been enough to stave off the merger and make them break even within three years, and hence they might have been a major club in the game by now. They were owned and run by Leaguies rather than someone who wanted to use a venue or expand a brand importantly. 

Worthwhile understanding this when some think we’ve tried expansion and it’s failed. We’ve barely tried at all, and in almost all cases the game hasn’t put its money where it’s mouth is and committed to making ventures a success, reluctantly sharing meagre levels of TV revenue with new clubs at all levels who have rarely had the resources to see it through on their own. 

I’m really not sure about where Coventry sits in all this - the Bears will be Leaguies wanting their club to be a long term success. Wasps getting involved will want a return sharpish to fund their primary business however. 

I disagree about Toronto though - it’s owned and run by people who are now Leaguies and aren’t using this as a means to another sporting end. Sure they won’t have a bottomless pit of money but their pockets are sufficiently deep to see this through. Plus there aren’t any negative brand associations with the sport there that there appear to be elsewhere through exposure to union and its press. 

Top Post, I just question whether a successful Coventry /West Midlands club that is pulling in 10k or more fans would be used to finance another club rather than become a primary club itself 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Chronicler of Chiswick said:

Not sure if this is relevant, but local media are reporting that Coventry City are having problems negotiating a new deal to play at the Ricoh Stadium and may have to find a new ground next season.

They'll probably end up at Butts Park where the Bears play if they don't reach a deal and Wasps may need a new tenant to keep the stadium occupied. That's where the Bears might be useful. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Chronicler of Chiswick said:

Not sure if this is relevant, but local media are reporting that Coventry City are having problems negotiating a new deal to play at the Ricoh Stadium and may have to find a new ground next season.

Isn't that what they do every time they don't want to cough the going rate. Northampton last time wasn't it. That worked out.

Had a quick look. This is the up to date position. The lack of extended lease actually down to ongoing court case relating to Wasps purchase of the ground.

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.bbc.co.uk/sport/amp/football/43127008

Edited by The 4 of Us

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, The Daddy said:

They'll probably end up at Butts Park where the Bears play if they don't reach a deal and Wasps may need a new tenant to keep the stadium occupied. That's where the Bears might be useful. 

SISU the Sky Blues owners could start a riot in a phonebox.

They fall out with everyone. They wanted the BPA to hold 15,000. The RU club see it as a 10,000 max stadium. The RU club is planning a 4G pitch that might impact on the level that the soccer can play at. 

Currently 3 teams use the BPA, union, Bears and Coventry United who I think play soccer at Z level West Midlands ( S.W) or some such pretty low level. Even at that level there have been hooligan issues at the ground. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty sure I saw a statement from Coventry RFC a month or so back that they would never let Coventry City play at their ground while Sisu were still involved. And you can see why.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, The Daddy said:

Reading through this month's 40/20 magazine an article seemed to suggest that Wasps may be interested in Coventry Bears. Doesn't say in what way though.

There was obviously some discussion last year that Wasps were one of the entities interested in buying a SL place from an existing club, the idea being that they need to use the Ricoh stadium as much as possible to make it sustainable. 

If there's any truth to this, as a Broncos fan that witnessed the damage the Quins rl  concept caused, it's hugely important that the Bears keep their brand and colours and don't become a Wasps copycat club.

Anyone heard any other rumours? 

Every situation is different but I agree that taking on the brand and colours of a union club causes nothing but confusion and a weak brand.  With Harlequins the Broncos took on the brand and colours of Harlequins but actually weren't owned or run by them.  Broncos just got a favourable deal to play at their ground.  Ridiculous really.  If Wasps bought Bears it would immediately be a completely different situation although I fail to see the value for Wasps without massive investment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, The Daddy said:

They'll probably end up at Butts Park where the Bears play if they don't reach a deal and Wasps may need a new tenant to keep the stadium occupied. That's where the Bears might be useful. 

If Coventry City cant afford to stay at the Richo then where are the Coventry Bears going to come up with that kind of money.  Coventry city have a deal until 2019 paying £100,000 in yearly rent not sure how much bears get from RFL but i  think its £70,000 that's 30K short before you start paying staff and players.  i cant see how it works unless the rent is drastically reduced but i cant see wasps doing that if they get £100,000 from Coventry City already.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, stevevalerugby said:

If Coventry City cant afford to stay at the Richo then where are the Coventry Bears going to come up with that kind of money.  Coventry city have a deal until 2019 paying £100,000 in yearly rent not sure how much bears get from RFL but i  think its £70,000 that's 30K short before you start paying staff and players.  i cant see how it works unless the rent is drastically reduced but i cant see wasps doing that if they get £100,000 from Coventry City already.

 

Wigan apparently are paying £400k a year to groundshare at the DW. Be interesting to se what happens there if the Chinese consortium takes over the soccer club, but that's for another thread, not this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

12 hours ago, Mushy said:

Pretty sure it the Newcastle rugby clubs share the same owner rather than the union club owning the league club. Subtle but important difference. Also, having been an investor in Gateshead previously myself, the relationship between the codes in that area is quite different to many other parts of the UK with little animosity and a greater acceptance of League for what it is.

Not sure there is a difference subtle or otherwise and what makes you feel that the soccer dominated North East is different from the soccer dominated West Midlands when it comes to cross code relations.

Quote

It’s a digression I know, but if the Thunder had received the same funding as the other Super League clubs it was not too much of an extrapolation to see the initial investment having been enough to stave off the merger and make them break even within three years, and hence they might have been a major club in the game by now. They were owned and run by Leaguies rather than someone who wanted to use a venue or expand a brand importantly

The Jake La Motta Theory of Rugby League "I could a been a contender". A lot of Heartland club supporters state the same about their club and what they would have done with Super Leafgue funding . There is a lot of ifs and buts in that.

Coventry Bears by contrast when they played Champuionship 1 Rugby at the Ricoh got a crowd of 1,097 against Keighly. That's a lot more than many Championship clubs (including my own) get. They also got a crowd against Leeds. Its unscientific I know, but there is enough there to suggest that a successful club could be viable uin the West Midlands. Certanly someone at Wasps seems to think so,

Quote

Worthwhile understanding this when some think we’ve tried expansion and it’s failed. We’ve barely tried at all, and in almost all cases the game hasn’t put its money where it’s mouth is and committed to making ventures a success, reluctantly sharing meagre levels of TV revenue with new clubs at all levels who have rarely had the resources to see it through on their own. 

The alternative viewpoint being that any sport needs to be able to sell itself to the local community. Its not a case of throwing money at a club and expecting either on-field success  and "marketing " the nebulous concept always thrown around whenever a club starts struggling to resolve attendanxce issues or the games image outside the M62

Both David Hughes and Marwan Koukash have, in their very different ways,  both tested that theory to destruction

Quote

I’m really not sure about where Coventry sits in all this - the Bears will be Leaguies wanting their club to be a long term success. Wasps getting involved will want a return sharpish to fund their primary business however

Wasps owing the ground and casino are potentailly the richest club in Rugby Union. They would not need to be getting funding from a League club. The reverse would apply with Wasps fans wondering why they are subsidising a rival sport

Quote

I disagree about Toronto though - it’s owned and run by people who are now Leaguies and aren’t using this as a means to another sporting end. Sure they won’t have a bottomless pit of money but their pockets are sufficiently deep to see this through. Plus there aren’t any negative brand associations with the sport there that there appear to be elsewhere through exposure to union and its press. 

I have very much cooled on Toronto and, as to whether they are in for the long haul, we will have to wait and see. This is where you let your post down by throwing in an anti-union rant. There's a certain illogicality that a Union club is reported in a League magazine as wanting to support a Rugby League club just so they can see a club that gets a fraction of it's attendances fail. That makes no sense.

For sure, Wasps see themselves getting something out of this I suspect RFL Event staging be it Magic Weekend or future internationals. The point of my post and response being. If as is being done to death on here, the idea s to restructure into an invitation only elite league, then if a cashed up Wasps wanted to invest in Coventry Bears then the owners should hear them out, check out their long-medium term planning, and give the propsition due consideration .

That does not imply acceptance of the offer but it also does not meran it should be rejected out of hand either. Many deals between two parties are concluded on the basis of both sides feeling they can get what they want, even if their eventual aims and objectives are different, provided they can find enough common ground. That is the way of business.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, jpmc said:

Top Post, I just question whether a successful Coventry /West Midlands club that is pulling in 10k or more fans would be used to finance another club rather than become a primary club itself 

That is a good point. There is this odd idea that an RU club would only get involved with RL to keep it down. The obvious reality is if Wasps were to get involved they would hope it was a roaring success.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, THE RED ROOSTER said:

 

Not sure there is a difference subtle or otherwise and what makes you feel that the soccer dominated North East is different from the soccer dominated West Midlands when it comes to cross code relations.

The Jake La Motta Theory of Rugby League "I could a been a contender". A lot of Heartland club supporters state the same about their club and what they would have done with Super Leafgue funding . There is a lot of ifs and buts in that.

Coventry Bears by contrast when they played Champuionship 1 Rugby at the Ricoh got a crowd of 1,097 against Keighly. That's a lot more than many Championship clubs (including my own) get. They also got a crowd against Leeds. Its unscientific I know, but there is enough there to suggest that a successful club could be viable uin the West Midlands. Certanly someone at Wasps seems to think so,

The alternative viewpoint being that any sport needs to be able to sell itself to the local community. Its not a case of throwing money at a club and expecting either on-field success  and "marketing " the nebulous concept always thrown around whenever a club starts struggling to resolve attendanxce issues or the games image outside the M62

Both David Hughes and Marwan Koukash have, in their very different ways,  both tested that theory to destruction

Wasps owing the ground and casino are potentailly the richest club in Rugby Union. They would not need to be getting funding from a League club. The reverse would apply with Wasps fans wondering why they are subsidising a rival sport

I have very much cooled on Toronto and, as to whether they are in for the long haul, we will have to wait and see. This is where you let your post down by throwing in an anti-union rant. There's a certain illogicality that a Union club is reported in a League magazine as wanting to support a Rugby League club just so they can see a club that gets a fraction of it's attendances fail. That makes no sense.

For sure, Wasps see themselves getting something out of this I suspect RFL Event staging be it Magic Weekend or future internationals. The point of my post and response being. If as is being done to death on here, the idea s to restructure into an invitation only elite league, then if a cashed up Wasps wanted to invest in Coventry Bears then the owners should hear them out, check out their long-medium term planning, and give the propsition due consideration .

That does not imply acceptance of the offer but it also does not meran it should be rejected out of hand either. Many deals between two parties are concluded on the basis of both sides feeling they can get what they want, even if their eventual aims and objectives are different, provided they can find enough common ground. That is the way of business.

Thank you for the detailed critique on my post. Seems you disagree with pretty much everything I’ve written, which is of course fine, although you can do that without patronisingly telling someone they are letting themselves down, though!

Pretty sure I wasn’t ranting either, and my comment about a club from another sport wanting to invest in our sport would have been valid even if a soccer club were looking to do the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/20/2018 at 9:37 PM, The Daddy said:

If there's any truth to this, as a Broncos fan that witnessed the damage the Quins rl  concept caused, it's hugely important that the Bears keep their brand and colours and don't become a Wasps copycat club.

Yes Greek and gifts and why?

Though we'll probably still have a post or two saying we're all friends in sport now and we're not competing for the same things so where's the worry?:laugh:

Edited by Oxford

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, THE RED ROOSTER said:

Wasps owing the ground and casino are potentailly the richest club in Rugby Union. They would not need to be getting funding from a League club.

By the same token, their debts (over £40 million) are larger than the book value of the stadium facility, and they are loss making (more than £3 million per year). Their ability to service that debt is crucial to them making it through the next few years. They breached the terms of their bond at the end of 2017, that bond is currently valued at less than par by the city, as investors judge there is some chance they will not be paid back. They are NOT currently in a good position financially.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I for one would love to see a top class team in Coventry/West Midlands, being one of my target areas in the UK, however I am not sure the Wasps connection is the way to go,

my main concern is that they would be used as a summer stadium filler, hopefully my concern is unfounded  and it would be a genuine go at firmly establishing Coventry as a league big boy, hopefully the Bears would be involved ,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by owls
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Lobbygobbler said:

Perhaps Wasp want to buy them and thus smother a potential rival in its infancy?

Wasps have already expressed some interest at hosting a SL club. This would be one way of doing it.  If Coventry Bears actually became the major club playing at the Ricoh,would the owners want to drop the Bears? They have already hosted an international RL match, that poses a bigger threat yet they have shown interest to host others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, JonM said:

By the same token, their debts (over £40 million) are larger than the book value of the stadium facility, and they are loss making (more than £3 million per year). Their ability to service that debt is crucial to them making it through the next few years. They breached the terms of their bond at the end of 2017, that bond is currently valued at less than par by the city, as investors judge there is some chance they will not be paid back. They are NOT currently in a good position financially.

Independent valuation of the arena is currently 60 million. Operating loss is decreasing, I am not sure where you get the 3 million figure from. Revenue is up, number of events hosted is up, successful introduction of the Wasps netball team, hospitality sales should a significant increase, extra sponsors landed, 25% increase in season ticket sales. So I am not sure how they are not in a good position.

As for the bond price, if the investors did currently have serious believe Wasps Holdings would default they would be trying to offload their holding in the issue and that would be reflected in the the trend of Bond valuation. The current value is less than 1% below par on an upward trend. Defaulting on the bond is a risk,  but a relatively small risk unless the situation at Wasps Holidings takes a dramatic turn for the worse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


League Express - Online Now

League Express - Every Monday



Rugby League World - Aug 2018

Rugby League World - Aug 2018

Rugby League Books On Sale Here