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Michael Gledhill

League restructure plans / TV money (merged threads)

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http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/sport/sportbulls/16206862.Chalmers_column__Lack_of_support_for_Super_League_power_switch_an_important_message/

Why should the Championship and League One clubs allow Super League to take control of the sport; call the shots, when the majority are failed businesses being proped up by wealthy benefactors and the Sky Sports central funding.

Not a great case for Ian Lenagan's new Super League vision when Super League clubs are making losses year old year.

Super League urgently needs to take a hard look at itself and get itself in order.

 

Edited by Michael Gledhill
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Interesting take on that article from you, an article from the person in charge of the biggest and most regular failing club, rebuilding in the third tier after wasting a million pounds of supporters money used to help the club out of a crisis and numerous busted businesses models he lectures on SL clubs losing money. The top clubs are setting up the groundwork for change and will push their cause when they think the time is right. How the whole game reacts will be interesting. 

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Im surprised that anyone would have thought the lower league clubs like Bradford would react in any positive way. If its not more free money its always a fundemental attack on the grass-roots of the game.

Im not sure Chalmers is going to win a lot of support from SL club by insulting them.

He also fails to square the obvious circle in the game at the moment.

If Toronto are this huge possible growth catalyst for the game, how do we take advantage of that under the current structure? how do we plan a third of the season for a transatlantic competition on a weeks notice? How do we sell ourselves to tv companies as a long-term investment when we don't know what level they will be playing in year on year?

Edited by scotchy1

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Mick needs to get off his cloud, sport loses money and is propped up by owners throughout the world - its not a RL problem. The 2016 Premier league accounts show that the cumulative losses were £117m despite some clubs posting huge profits eg Man utd £50m. We all know Bradfords woes were not having a rich owner when needed

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5 minutes ago, sweaty craiq said:

Mick needs to get off his cloud, sport loses money and is propped up by owners throughout the world - its not a RL problem. The 2016 Premier league accounts show that the cumulative losses were £117m despite some clubs posting huge profits eg Man utd £50m. We all know Bradfords woes were not having a rich owner when needed

I'm sorry, what cloud is that? 

This isn't about Bradford, it's about the Championship and League One clubs sending a message to Ian Lenagan and those Super League clubs whose vision is to ring fence and take control of the sport.

Do you think the chairmen of the Championship and League One are going to allow those running failed business models full control of the sport?

Super League as a business is failing, crowds, sponsorship and viewing figures are all down.

This is the reason why many have lost a lot of intrest in the game because of selfish and short-sightedness from Super League owners who don't care about the greater good of the sport.

Look at the 4,000 plus crowds that Bradford and York have attracted in League One.

Salford regularly play in front of less than 2,800 and Widnes have started to hit the 3,500 figure for gates.

I'm sorry but it's selfish and short-sightedness from those failing the sport of Rugby League. 

Time for Super League clubs to get their own houses in order.

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At least half the current Super League clubs have been lucky at some stage in the past that they were in the right place at the right time. Cutting adrift or denigrating the rest of the RFL's member clubs because they were, to use LBJ's phrase, caught in the tentacles of circumstance when the music stopped is shortsighted and pathetic.

Most SL club owners have shown themselves incapable of running successful sporting businesses despite all the huge benefits, and money, SL membership gives them. I'm not sure that the 8/8/8 structure is the right one but I am certain that allowing a power grab and leaving key strategic decision-making in the hands of failing SL club owners, with their vested interests and desire to prop up their clubs at the expense of the lower leagues, would be disastrous.

We need a strong RFL who will stand up to uppity top flight clubs keen to protect themselves at the expense of the rest. And we need a strong RFL who will stand up to any lower league clubs who want to protect themselves from potential new overseas opposition.

Rugby League simply can't afford to wilfully destroy the aspirations of the clubs below the current top flight and marginalise the fans of those clubs. It's stupid and counter-productive and helps to continue the destruction of our sport's grass roots.

Edited by M j M
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22 minutes ago, Michael Gledhill said:

I'm sorry, what cloud is that? 

This isn't about Bradford, it's about the Championship and League One clubs sending a message to Ian Lenagan and those Super League clubs whose vision is to ring fence and take control of the sport.

Do you think the chairmen of the Championship and League One are going to allow those running failed business models full control of the sport?

Super League as a business is failing, crowds, sponsorship and viewing figures are all down.

This is the reason why many have lost a lot of intrest in the game because of selfish and short-sightedness from Super League owners who don't care about the greater good of the sport.

Look at the 4,000 plus crowds that Bradford and York have attracted in League One.

Salford regularly play in front of less than 2,800 and Widnes have started to hit the 3,500 figure for gates.

I'm sorry but it's selfish and short-sightedness from those failing the sport of Rugby League. 

Time for Super League clubs to get their own houses in order.

Not sure I recall such a 'whole game' focus from Bulls fans when they were at the top table.

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17 minutes ago, M j M said:

At least half the current Super League clubs have been lucky at some stage in the past that they were in the right place at the right time. Cutting adrift or denigrating the rest of the RFL's member clubs because they were, to use LBJ's phrase, caught in the tentacles of circumstance when the music stopped is shortsighted and pathetic.

Most SL club owners have shown themselves incapable of running successful sporting businesses despite all the huge benefits, and money, SL membership gives them. I'm not sure that the 8/8/8 structure is the right one but I am certain that allowing a power grab and leaving key strategic decision-making in the hands of failing SL club owners, with their vested interests and desire to prop up their clubs at the expense of the lower leagues, would be disastrous.

We need a strong RFL who will stand up to uppity top flight clubs keen to protect themselves at the expense of the rest. And we need a strong RFL who will stand up to any lower league clubs who want to protect themselves from potential new overseas opposition.

Rugby League simply can't afford to wilfully destroy the aspirations of the clubs below the current top flight and marginalise the fans of those clubs. It's stupid and counter-productive and helps to continue the destruction of our sport's grass roots.

Great post. 

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25 minutes ago, Just Browny said:

Not sure I recall such a 'whole game' focus from Bulls fans when they were at the top table.

For the record, I never shared Chris Caisley's viewpoint on that.

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The game is talking itself in to a nonsense position whereby the big greedy SL clubs should back down to the noble Corinthian lower league clubs who are poor victims of circumstance.

The fact is the lower leagues are an absolute mess. Take out Toronto who have had to drag the sport kicking and screaming in to the 20th century never mind 21st and the entire lower leagues wouldnt fill headingley. There is next to no visibility of them, their commercial efforts would stand out as poor in the 8th or 9th tier of the football league. We have clubs playing in what are basically parks, others who are squatting at whatever amateur or council facility will have them, most clubs in the lower leagues are playing in front of crowds of hundreds. There is so little money there that they can't even screen games lest a couple of people don't come.

Yet we are seeing this argument that the game should all in to line behind clubs like York, who were omitted from the fixture list last season because they werent really a club, or we praise bradford for getting a 4k attendance, this is a club that got 14k a few years ago and was bust 2 years ago. Thats not to knock them but to put it in to context.

We have only one part of the game that brings in any money or any visibility. We have one part of the professional game which props the entirety of the professional game. And yet this part of the game, the one which subsidises all the other pro clubs is the greedy one. Its SL which is the failing one, Its SL who needs to learn a lesson from a league 1 competition which literally can't even afford to have its games on TV and a championship which is of so little interest that a company pays not to screen it and yet that part of the game which brings in millions and sustains the game should be ignored as failing?

It may be a nice narrative that all these lowly hardworking lower league clubs are being failed by the fat-cats at the top. That the greedy big clubs have lost the Corinthian spirit that drives the lower league clubs. That if only they could open their eyes to the value of the little guy we can all live together in prosperous harmony. But its also madness.

The harsh fact of the matter is that teams are where they are for a reason. That the clubs in SL are better suited to that than those outside. It isnt circumstance or luck. Outside of Toronto and possibly if they are lucky Leigh or depending on their plans Toulouse. There isnt a club outside SL that wouldnt need at the absolute least 5-10m of extra investment and at least 5 years to have a chance at being sustainable in SL.They arent close. That being a Salford or a Widnes would be the absolute best case scenario for those clubs.

People are happy to dismiss clubs like Salford and Widnes as failing. That they arent doing it right and should be replaced by one of these lower league clubs if only they were given the chance. The fact is that there is nothing in the history of this sport as a professional game that says we should expect more from those clubs. There is a good chance that this is the potential of Widnes and Salford, and if we rotate them with other similar clubs, we arent going to see them come up with drive and innovation. We are going to see these other clubs come up and do the same things and fail worse. Like Leigh did.

The silliest thing is we have seen most of these clubs at SL. See them try, seen them fail. Seen most of them go pop. The only clubs that have come up and contributed anything to the growth of SL has been the ones with big money backers willing to bankroll them.cas, Huddersfield, Hull KR, to  lesser extend Widnes and Salford, The same clubs we now dismiss as greedy failing vested interests.

Edited by scotchy1
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Scotchy, and we have 4 clubs in Super League Wakey,Salford, Widnes, Huddersfield who could not half fill Headingley.Convince me that they deserve a bigger slice of the cake at the moment than York,Toronto and Bradford.

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Bradford and York did well to generate crowds upto 4 thousand and to quote the crowds that a few SL clubs is fair but let's not get carried away Toronto got crowd's in excess of 7K on a regular basis in league 1 that's more than the rest of the league 1 in total last season. 

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5 minutes ago, fairfolly said:

Scotchy, and we have 4 clubs in Super League Wakey,Salford, Widnes, Huddersfield who could not half fill Headingley.Convince me that they deserve a bigger slice of the cake at the moment than York,Toronto and Bradford.

Indeed, in truth the game doesn't have a Super League and never has.  SL is essentially nothing more than a tarted-up version of the old RL Championship and has been from its inception.

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"...don’t expect to see any favours on the field." 😊

and please, not ANOTHER strategic review. 

Looks like Lenagan made a huge mistake in not making meeting aattendance subject to non-disclosure. Maybe it was, though. In any case, how are we to trust what Chalmers has to say? He clearly disagrees with Lenagan's proposales, whatever they may or may not be, and using this article to state his case to a a wider jury who hs thinks might support him. This may or not be because his claim of "zero support" is perhaps not well researched.

Consider this statement at the beginning of the article.

"Lenagan from all accounts is a successful business entrepreneur, theatre producer and a former major shareholder of London Broncos. He is also, of course, chairman and owner of Wigan Warriors."

"by all accounts"  That reads to me like Chalmers is trying to imply some doubt where there is none.

He's chairman of Wigan Warriors? No , Sherlock!  Chalmers is Chairman of Bradford, yet claims to speak for the game as a whole.  We are entitled to suggest then, that he is actually speaking only for his narrow self-interest in Bradford Bulls. 

In my opinion, Chalmers diminishes the strength of his position  by sounding of like this.

Mind you now he's gone public , we shpuld perhaps expect to see what Lenagan's proposals are, or at least await Parksider's opinion.

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4 minutes ago, fairfolly said:

Scotchy, and we have 4 clubs in Super League Wakey,Salford, Widnes, Huddersfield who could not half fill Headingley.Convince me that they deserve a bigger slice of the cake at the moment than York,Toronto and Bradford.

Its not a zero sum game. Whether York have the potential to be an SL club has no bearing on or correlation to whether or not Widnes can.

If York can be a sustainable SL club growing the sport and growing the competition and growing that pie they want a slice of. Get them in. If they can't, having the potential to be at Widnes level is irrelevant. Widnes are apparently a failing club. Why would we want that for York?

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Considering the monies that the four teams I have mentioned have received from being in S.L. what have they brought to the league.? I accept Catalan and H.K.R  have not brought much but at least they do get decent crowds.S.L. basically relies on 6 teams to maintain any interest in the game.The four I mentioned are there just to collect the money they have brought nothing else to the table.Why not try to improve S.L. with some other teams,they cannot do any worse than the 4 who are in there now.Accepted Bradford have had their chances and due to rank bad management blew it.I can understand S.L. not willing to take a chance there but Toronto and possibly York and maybe even Toulouse deserve a chance.

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Here is my take:

- where do the players come from? The clubs that produce the players - amateur and semi pro - have to have sufficient support to survive and a pathway that allows them to thrive;

- the current make up of SL, outside perhaps 7/8 clubs, is an accident of history and patronage. There are as many clubs outside SL which have been big clubs in the years I have been watching, and even Wigan have not been in the top tier in all that time. The views of self interested cabals should be listened to, but not carry the day;

- SL clubs should be capable of generating or being propped up to the tune of 5/6m a year. Any money taken from smaller clubs would represent a small proportion of that. And, to my mind should be resisted at all costs; 

- where the SL owners should be given their head is in their ability to grow their collective business. Get more coming in - negotiate TV deals, sponsorships, joint savings - that is where their skills as successful businessmen should be used. A decision on central funding should never be in their hands as it requires an overview of the game and assumes that whatever the current make up is will continue to prevail;

- it is ironic that many of these points should come from the current owner of Bradford. Harvard will not be running courses on growing businesses the Bradford way any time soon. 

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5 hours ago, ELBOWSEYE said:

Interesting take on that article from you, an article from the person in charge of the biggest and most regular failing club, rebuilding in the third tier after wasting a million pounds of supporters money used to help the club out of a crisis and numerous busted businesses models he lectures on SL clubs losing money. The top clubs are setting up the groundwork for change and will push their cause when they think the time is right. How the whole game reacts will be interesting. 

What "Million Pounds" would that be, please?  I'm a bit stumped as to where that figure comes from.

What connection does Chalmers have with any of the muppets who ran previous iterations in the past? 

Your insinuation is that his opinions lack validity because of the actions of  previous custodians of the Bradford Club.  I'd be interested to hear either your justification for that, or your assurance that you intended no such insinuation.

 

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11 minutes ago, Exiled Wiganer said:

- it is ironic that many of these points should come from the current owner of Bradford. Harvard will not be running courses on growing businesses the Bradford way any time soon. 

Why is it "ironic"?

Maybe the more objective commentators will recognise that who could be better qualified to comment, than someone who has stepped in to try and sort out the consequences and aftermath of "...growing businesses the Bradford way...", as you term it?

As it happens, I agree entirely with everything else you said.

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4 hours ago, scotchy1 said:

If Toronto are this huge possible growth catalyst for the game, how do we take advantage of that under the current structure? how do we plan a third of the season for a transatlantic competition on a weeks notice?

This one is easy to answer: have Toronto play their first few games of the 8s away, as they did last year. Now you have at least a month to plan travel for the visiting teams, all of whom know at the beginning of the season that this is a possibility.

In major league sports in North America, teams often make playoff travel plans on short notice, and it is just not a big deal once you get used to it.

For part-time teams it is more difficult; perhaps part-time teams do not belong in a top-level major league structure.

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6 hours ago, Michael Gledhill said:

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/sport/sportbulls/16206862.Chalmers_column__Lack_of_support_for_Super_League_power_switch_an_important_message/

Why should the Championship and League One clubs allow Super League to take control of the sport; call the shots, when the majority are failed businesses being proped up by wealthy benefactors and the Sky Sports central funding.

Not a great case for Ian Lenagan's new Super League vision when Super League clubs are making losses year old year.

Super League urgently needs to take a hard look at itself and get itself in order.

 

Mick, that from you IS quite provocative, and partisan, guaranteed to rile at least a few regulars on here, including anti-Bradford usual suspects.  As indeed we have seen from some of the replies already.

Would it not have been better to have posted the link; suggested that this take on what supposedly hapened at the meeting - coming from someone who has been seeking to clear up the catastrophic mess bequeathed by previous Bradford custodians - gave perhaps an interesting perspective on the future for the UK game; and asked what people thought?

Edited by Adeybull

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35 minutes ago, Adeybull said:

What "Million Pounds" would that be, please?  I'm a bit stumped as to where that figure comes from.

What connection does Chalmers have with any of the muppets who ran previous iterations in the past? 

Your insinuation is that his opinions lack validity because of the actions of  previous custodians of the Bradford Club.  I'd be interested to hear either your justification for that, or your assurance that you intended no such insinuation.

 

Raised by fans on the first collapse when in SL, fans former players and fans and officials from other clubs as well. Or has this been wiped from the memory of fans. 

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59 minutes ago, fairfolly said:

Considering the monies that the four teams I have mentioned have received from being in S.L. what have they brought to the league.? I accept Catalan and H.K.R  have not brought much but at least they do get decent crowds.S.L. basically relies on 6 teams to maintain any interest in the game.The four I mentioned are there just to collect the money they have brought nothing else to the table.Why not try to improve S.L. with some other teams,they cannot do any worse than the 4 who are in there now.Accepted Bradford have had their chances and due to rank bad management blew it.I can understand S.L. not willing to take a chance there but Toronto and possibly York and maybe even Toulouse deserve a chance.

If we could improve SL by doing that we should. 

However clubs can and have done far far far worse than the 4 that are in there now. 

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9 minutes ago, ELBOWSEYE said:

Raised by fans on the first collapse when in SL, fans former players and fans and officials from other clubs as well. Or has this been wiped from the memory of fans. 

Clearly wiped from YOUR memory, since the amount raised was considerably less than half of that. 

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