9. A salary cap system, which is not ensuring clubs are avoiding financial difficulty, numerous clubs in all divisions are all reporting financial issues.
10. Abysmal attendances for the internationals.
11. The "Magic Weekend" is always reported as a resounding success with a gate of around 60000 across the 2 days, but I'd love to know how many people from the areas where the "weekend" takes place attend, most of the supporters of the clubs attend which would account for the majority of these 60000 IMO. This does not a constitute a success to me.
12. Finishing top of the league does not make you championship winners, that is decided by 1 game, the final, at the end of the season. Surely the best team is the one who consistantly, over the whole season, wins more games than anyone else.
13. A cup competition (NRC) which stops and starts throughout the season resulting in several weeks without a game for most clubs, and a lack of interest with most supporters, due to it being so disjointed.
14. Toulouse being allowed to start in the middle Division instead of the bottom tier, and they are exempt from relegation at the expense of teams around them.
....... If the 14 SL clubs vote for removing every other clubs from existence there is nothing the rest can do. They could also decide with the financial situation as it is at the current time, to keep all of the money from Sky next year if they see fit, then what?
Couple this to the fact that it doesn't matter even if you win the right to join SL on the playing field by winning the league ala Barrow last year, that avenue for success has been removed too, with the introduction of the licencing system with no promotion and relegation.
It saddens me to think that the selected few teams have been allowed to get away with this injustice and closed shop mentality for so long.
The argument has always been the likes of Batley would never compete at SL level, and that is probably true, as it stands, however a baloon payment was payed to Castleford when they were relegated from SL. How that could ever be justified is beyond me? Surely the best way to improve the game would be to pay some kind of baloon payment to help the newly promoted SL side to compete at a higher level. I'm talking about real investment from the RFL, to develop the club's infrastructure, not just short term with playing staff or just enough money to fund a team full of journeymen SL cast offs like Widnes were full of a couple of years back, but help with the set up of junior ranks from under 9's to open age teams, with close links to BARLA. Help with marketing and community development, the kind of work that is going off in development areas to help expand the game, and thus trying to improve the club long term. The stronger the game in the heartlands, the better the opportunity to expand the game in the future to non RL areas. Huge plaudits must go to the development work in the communities that already goes on by clubs themsleves, but with extra resources provided by the RFL it begs the question what improvements could be made to what is already happening.
Sorry if my input is not really welcomed on here, but I started a similar thread on the Batley Website and I wanted to lend a bit of support, so I hope it's welcomed, and to let you know that you're not on your own with your feelings regarding the state of the game.
For what it's worth I believe the only way forward is to break away for SL, but the issue as someone has already stated is the £100k each club is getting from sky at the moment, but for how long we will continue to recieve this payment is anyones guess.
Well thought out and a very welcome post, even if not everyone agree's with it. I know many Championship clubs are working with local junior teams at schoolboy level. The one danger we have in that is that as soon as a player shows promise the bigger clubs come in and claim him as their own. I wouldn't wish to see a 14 year old tied to any professional club, but if that doesn't happen, then the Champioship clubs could be the one's paying out to make "stars" of the future. I don't see a simple solution, but your post goes a long way in making sense.