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Toby Chopra

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Everything posted by Toby Chopra

  1. We've moved beyond that debate. Last year, even the Superleague clubs recognised that there was value in staying part of the larger RFL structure and providing support - both financial and via P&R - to the lower tiers. If they saw no benefit then they would have just walked away. They didn't. They just didn't want the tail to wag the dog and... er... the tail to eat more than its fair share of food. So there was a bit of a stand off, but a deal was done, agreed by all sides, on how to distribute future revenues. Now we move forward with the bit we should have been focussing on all along: how to raise those revenues in the first place. And yes, for Ch and L1 clubs that means with the TV share already sorted, they need to focus on what they can generate themselves as clubs.
  2. All they should be asking is will SL remain part of the RFL, and will P&R be maintained. Given all the battles last year over the so-called 'breakaway' still ended up with P&R and RFL oversight, then I expect that to be maintained. And that's all the Ch and L1 clubs can really ask for. All the rest is just business and running a good club, regardless of CVC or anything else.
  3. Now this paragraph of the article I didn't understand. Superleague IS the Superleague clubs. The RFL, Elstone or any other higher authority won't have any say in where this money goes. The clubs might be enlightened and mutually agree some rules for spending the money. But it will be up to them and no other.
  4. I agree. Union has topped out in my view - a home world cup in 2015 followed by England making the final in 2019 has barely moved the dial domestically. We, however, have barely scratched the surface IMO.
  5. Yes, most likely. But remember the RU deal didn't hand control of structure over to CVC, and the RFU remains in ultimate control. SL/RFL needs to make sure the same safeguards are in place. Of course, they may want to make radical changes themselves and then blame it on CVC...
  6. House prices go up. Anyone who mortgaged themselves to the hilt 20 years ago to buy a house is sitting on huge gains beyond what they borrowed. In fact that's the whole principle of businesses borrowing to invest. It boosts the value of the business. The same applies to RL (as seen by F1, and no doubt RU) How often on here have we gone round in circles saying 'if only we had the money to do x, it would kick the game on to another level' ? Well here it is. Here's the chance to get the investment that the game can't generate itself which, if we don't waste it, can pay back over and above. Increased revenues, with CVC getting a cut. They must see some potential in RL to want to invest. Shame many of our fans don't.
  7. Jeez, if a team loses more money the more games it plays it has no business being in our top league. Club in name only.
  8. Corporate. And also probably a view that clashing with football on the weekend would be even worse.
  9. They're definitely playing NZ and Tonga in pool A of the Oceania Cup, but beyond that not sure.
  10. I actually think reaching the final in 2013 may have done more than winning it in 2017, given the first was a home tournament, with final live on Saturday afternoon TV
  11. No fan of Boris but that's actually a good shout. The Rlwc will be the biggest international sporting event in the UK in the next parliamentary term, and given the new electoral geography, we should make the most of it. Shame they had to drop the actual games in Workington, though. Maybe Boris can order the chancellor to build the new stadium in time?
  12. I'll be going to Spurs, with a bunch of non-RL fans to boot, most of whom haven't watched the Lionsn tour. But at the same time I sure hope Bennett is long gone by then.
  13. England, Ireland, India (and possibly Pakistan, depending on how the rules adjudge pre-Partition birthplaces). Having googled the latter two, I was pleasantly surprised to discover both India and Pakistan have international rugby league teams, largely populated by heritage players from Sydney and northern England respectively. Although the fact that physically fit people under the age of 40 are playing for those two teams probably means I shouldn't be wating by the phone for a call-up...
  14. Agree with pretty much all of this. I think the season length is something we shouldn't forget, although in no way do I want to claim it's the biggest problem. It's just that on the back of all the other problems, it's the last straw. The SL players have been playing since January, and looked gone mentally. It's not rocket science, you flog players for an extra 6 weeks, they won't be in top shape by November. But as I say, the problems run a lot deeper than that, as others have pointed out.
  15. I don't think that would make much difference - people will be travelling from all over the South East to attend the games, not just the local area. It's the image, intent and content that will determine any follow-on bookings. The event pitch is 'come and watch the best international rugby at (one of) the capital's top grounds'. If anyone likes what they get in 2020, 2021 being a few miles down the road won't put anyone off. The fact that tickets will be immediately available for the semi at an equally iconic London ground (that's even more accessible for most) will do the trick. They've just got to make sure that every fan that attends in 2020 gets immediate and sustained follow up with a good offer for 2021. The World Cup organising team seem up to the task so all to play for.
  16. The derbies will be repeated - just not at Magic weekend. I fully expect to see Wigan-Saints and the Hull derby on the opening weekend like last year, as they both drew big crowds and high TV ratings and got the season off to a good start. The fixtures will then be repeated at Easter and in high summer. I expect this will be the annual pattern going forward, and Magic will have to get used to other combinations if it continues. As for Saints Salford match up, never underestimate Ian Watson, he'll have them there or thereabouts this season too.
  17. Guys, just don't bite. This was an incredible result and let's keep the chat on that and celebrate something special. There's plenty of time and places for the other stuff elsewhere. In fact, tell me more about this epic win! I had set the GB game to record, and woke up naturally about 7 so started watching then and sat through it all, much to my misery. So when I turned over to Tonga - which I didn't tape - there was only 15 mins left. I could tell I'd missed something special. Seems to me that what Kristian Woolf has done so well with is getting the team to play with real defensive discipline and organisation to go along with the flair. Quite an achievement given they've probably not had a whole lot of time together. But then that exposes why so many underestimate Tonga. People say they would run out of gas, play naively, not defend properly. Why would they? Almost all of their players play at the top professional level and have done all their careers. Taumalolo is a legend of the game. They know what they're doing and it'll be magnificent to see them at the World Cup here in 2021. Sell your kids for a ticket! *(And for those who say we should get them over next year... patience friends, we should resist the temptation to immediately flog anything good we find to death. They will be one of the big stores of the world cup, top seeded in their pool and we can start building the anticipation now. Take my money, Jon Dutton!)
  18. I presume it was because if NZ had played last - and the All Blacks were in the union final - then the stadium would have been almost empty as there would have been no time for people to get home for the final. Whereas presumably the hope is that the Tonga diaspora will prioritise the league match. In the end it didn't matter! I still wish GB/Eng had scheduled a home series, as it would have been the first time since 2011 wed have had a clear run at November Saturday afternoons without union TV competition. But we are where we are. I'll be setting the recorder and will watch it a soon as I wake up. GB by 6, I reckon.
  19. What are the terrible consequences if it fails? Like Toronto, there'd be a smattering of negative publicity, and then everyone would move on. No money already in the game would be lost. To be honest, it's the failure of heartland clubs that potentially causes systemic damage.
  20. Almost any Brexit deal that gets agreed - and most likely even no deal - includes provisions for existing GB citizens in EU and existing EU citizens in GB to fully maintain all the rights they have now, in law. If the RFL tried to categorise existing players as 'foreign' they'd be open to a pretty robust legal challenge. So for existing players I doubt there'll be any problem. What could be an issue is younger French players, who currently have the right to come over and have a season or two in NCL or L1, while working basic jobs.This won't likely be as easy and this is something that is pretty unique to RL. The RFL structure is the preeminent structure in the Northern Hemisphere and need to be able to be open to continental players, as ultimately the UK game be fits from that.
  21. The GB tour is a pointless and potentially loss making aberation that does indeed illustrate the lack of imagination and strategic thinking among many of those in charge. That said, let's not kid ourselves that sending England down under on the same tour would have produced wildly different results. It wouldn't. Yes, part of the reason the tour might fail is becasue the Aussies rejected it, but at least in part that's becasue they're committing to regularly play their own tournament, the Oceania Cup. Not great for us, but great for southern Hemisphere international rugby league, so it's not all negative. Aditionally, there ARE things to get excited about. The World 9s was great, it needs to be more than every 4 years and needs to come up here v soon too. The players seemed to enjoy it and it only takes up 1 week, including prep. But the big one is the World Cup. We finally have a fixed 4 year cycle that even the Aussies are committed to, and the 2021 tournament here looks like being the best organised and promoted one ever. It's going to be fantastic. So we do have things to look forward to and the game's number 1 priority is to get the 2025 tournament locked down so we can build on what I expect to be a really successful 2021 event.
  22. Not criticising at all the Geordies' current fantastic efforts, but what does Newcastle have that London as a whole doesn't already? The capital has two professional teams, a fair number of community clubs and programs, and a functional pathway that links the two that has produced Superleague players. Outside the northern heartland, it's the best area for RL in the country. What London doesn't have is a commercially sucessful SL team pulling 8-9k+ a week - and despite being a southerner I'm afraid I agree with the previous poster here, I don't think it's ever going to happen as the London sports market in general, and the 'professional club rugby' market in particular is saturated. Marwan should spend his money elsewhere.
  23. Salford just about weathered the storm, and then cut out the mistakes. Then they could show what they had, and they look dangerous. They'll believe they can do this, but they can't afford to gift saints all that territory again, error free football needed in the second half.
  24. I know we've been around this block a load of times but... the problem isn't that they aren't backing GB long term, but that it was brought back at all. For a whole load of structural reasons, England will be the main rugby league identity for the RFL for the foreseeable future. Therefore it makes sense for them to develop it as much as they can, particularly ahead of the world cup, which is such a defining moment for our game. They barely have the resources to promote one identity, let alone two, so it's no surprise GB will be a flash in the pan. But we are where we are, and I'll still enjoy the games, and I do like the merch.
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