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Lobbygobbler

RFL needs to reform access to SL for Co-Op C. Clubs

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When and where do they need that? In their business plan for SL?? If so which year 1, 2 or 3???

Lobster - do you know Leigh's turnover last year????

at the point of application I believe

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when franchising was introduced lobby and other said it would be the end of many champ. clubs

i sat back with interest to see how it panned out

i dont see franchising having harmed these clubs in the whole

ten years down the track RL is going to be a hell of a lot stronger because of franchising

many heartland clubs just refused to develop themselves off the field

some of those are in SL, some arent

so the RFL basically brought in a system to force clubs to improve or get out of SL.

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salford and Cas both remained solvent, they didn't leave creditors waiting to be paid. It is called living within your means.

Steve O'connor came in too late. He has had 3 years to prove he is there and so is the money. Widnes are a better club on and off field because of him, at the time of the frnchise he was just another guy makingpromises, ask Wakefield about that sort of bloke. He has now delivered.

Under the old system you had a year to get back or change everything and be asset stripped. If you go down now, you know it is for 3 years and there is no panic or reckless spending.

If Salford lose out it will be disappointing but rather than buy old aussies we have 3 years to develop some you players.

it isn't a perfect system but neither was P&R

Most clubs are only as solvent as their backers pockets are deep. O'Connor offered half a million bond as proof of his financial commitment. Widnes are a better run club because of O'Connor's business acumen, not the licence system. Any club that is removed from SL by the licence panel will collapse. No parachute payments, all players contracts cancelled, championship level funding and salary cap etc. Read Daryl Powell's comments regarding player development being stifled becasue of financial constraints imposed by the RFL. No way clubs can do like Salford and Cas did and stay full time to build for three years. The whole club will have to be rebuilt from scratch. If a club is removed, the chances of it getting back in during the next round or perhaps ever again are practically zero. Creditors will want paying, any assets will have to be sold to pay creditors and so on. Clubs like Salford who have no assets and rely entirely on director loans will be finished.

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I'm not sure franchising can be measured as working well or working badly until you work out what exactly franchising is for.

Or until we have been through at least 2 or 3 cycles, only then can the impact on clubs going up and down, crowd figures, expansion etc etc be measured.

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when franchising was introduced lobby and other said it would be the end of many champ. clubs

i sat back with interest to see how it panned out

i dont see franchising having harmed these clubs in the whole

ten years down the track RL is going to be a hell of a lot stronger because of franchising

many heartland clubs just refused to develop themselves off the field

some of those are in SL, some arent

so the RFL basically brought in a system to force clubs to improve or get out of SL.

Gateshead, Haven, Keighley, Blackpool all having problems since franchising

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Or until we have been through at least 2 or 3 cycles, only then can the impact on clubs going up and down, crowd figures, expansion etc etc be measured.

This may be the first and last time there's any up and down.......

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Gateshead, Haven, Keighley, Blackpool all having problems since franchising

fax, oldham, etc etc having problems under p&r.

many champ clubs have no money and are run poorly. this is not a result of p/r or franchising

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This may be the first and last time there's any up and down.......

nah, down the track, if cas fail on their ground leigh could replace them

and if bradfords crowds keep falling fax could potentially replace them too leaving all SL clubs with good grounds

Edited by dallymessenger

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This may be the first and last time there's any up and down.......

Give over this is Rugby League, we've grounds that may or may not get built, we've expansion clubs that may or may not make it, we've no doubt got other eccentric "millionaires" in the wings who don't even realise yet that they want to start a club in some far flung place! :P

Or we may just reach a point were expanding club numbers to incorporate a good, well run Championship club who've had years to plan and know they'll have the security of license lasting several years to make room for!

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Gateshead, Haven, Keighley, Blackpool all having problems since franchising

In the interests of a balanced debate I presume your now working on a list of all those clubs who had problems prior to franchising.

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bit in bold

all depends how you are looking at it..

with pure p&r it was about on the pitch.. so you do all in your power to get the team right.. spenidng through your ###### to the top of the cap which still sends you bankrupt when one player gets injured and you dont make it, or one fluke result etc.. so how many clubs have been saved from themselves by the liscnecs?

how many clubs have been forced to sort out their academy, their ground etc becuase they know without it there will be no liscnence chance.. as such they are stronger clubs for it, Widnes IMO are a prime example, they are a much stronger club now than if they had won the grandfinal in the first year of liscneces and gone up without the structure that has been built underneath.

Barrow arguably.. would have gone up last year.. would they have survived, would have devepended on how much they had spent.. would they have been able to stay solvent with all that spending.. its arguable.. they could well have done a workington and gone belly up and soon as the super league "bubble" burst.. fans get one year then no club whatsover or 1 year then 20 in the doldrums becuase that 1 year nigh on killed the club..

There are many ways clubs have benefited..

Regarding the P&R issue, why does rugby league feel it has to differ from practically every other major UK sport in this aspect?

How many clubs have sorted out their academy set ups, SL or Championship, as a result of licencing? How many clubs have sorted out their grounds as a result of licencing? So far I would say that it is the ages of grounds and inability to maximise revenue that has driven the likes of Saints to move forward. Which clubs are actually playing in stadiums that were built to win or keep a licence? Widnes, for example already had the ground and that was nothing to do with licencing,

Clubs like Workington and Oldham went bust because at the time all the money was polarised in SL and there was no safety net. Licencing has not changed this. Had P&R not been around Salford and Cas would have gone the same way as Workington and Oldham when they were relegated. Thanks to P&R those clubs fans stayed with them, the infrastructure they had could be kept in place and the teams kept to gether to try and reach to top level.

I don't see how subjective decision making by unknown officials using a process that is far from widely known or transparent can eb better than P&R. I'll go back again to my original question of why rugby league feels it has to be different to other major UK sports.

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Gateshead, Haven, Keighley, Blackpool all having problems since franchising

Ergo they would have been hunky dory without. What do you base this assumption upon?


Sport, amongst other things, is a dream-world offering escape from harsh reality and the disturbing prospect of change.

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Regarding the P&R issue, why does rugby league feel it has to differ from practically every other major UK sport in this aspect?

History will show you that where league goes others eventually follow.

There is now a strong lobby developing within RU for a franchised Premier League with no P&R at all (and the abandonment of the "Northern experiment" but that's another story).


Sport, amongst other things, is a dream-world offering escape from harsh reality and the disturbing prospect of change.

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Regarding the P&R issue, why does rugby league feel it has to differ from practically every other major UK sport in this aspect?

How many clubs have sorted out their academy set ups, SL or Championship, as a result of licencing? How many clubs have sorted out their grounds as a result of licencing? So far I would say that it is the ages of grounds and inability to maximise revenue that has driven the likes of Saints to move forward. Which clubs are actually playing in stadiums that were built to win or keep a licence? Widnes, for example already had the ground and that was nothing to do with licencing,

Clubs like Workington and Oldham went bust because at the time all the money was polarised in SL and there was no safety net. Licencing has not changed this. Had P&R not been around Salford and Cas would have gone the same way as Workington and Oldham when they were relegated. Thanks to P&R those clubs fans stayed with them, the infrastructure they had could be kept in place and the teams kept to gether to try and reach to top level.

I don't see how subjective decision making by unknown officials using a process that is far from widely known or transparent can eb better than P&R. I'll go back again to my original question of why rugby league feels it has to be different to other major UK sports.

at least the RFL has realized that RL doesnt have the money of soccer and is running a system which suits the games purposes.

RL has a salary cap, soccer doesnt

by your argument the salary cap should be abolished too.

the RFl should do whats good for RL, not parrot other sports

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I'm not sure franchising can be measured as working well or working badly until you work out what exactly franchising is for.

I think it is for ensuring expansion club projects can be placed straight into SL (Les Cats, Crusaders) and be prevented from being relegated (Quins) If that's the case Franchising is heavily benefitting expansion clubs.

I think it's for ensuring that the RFL can choose who they want in SL without leaving that to chance. Mr. O'Connor has a big fat cheque book the RFL want to see waved around SL, so the RFL can choose them and not risk Featherstone spoiling the RFL's plans. I think the RFL will want to get rid of any club who can't hack SL financially - that could be Wakey so franchising allows the RFL to boot them out.

So that's my take on how well franchising is working, and I suspect it's working brilliantly for the RFL whom it seems it is mainly designed for.

I'm not going to disagree with that.

I think it weakens the argument (on both sides) to not know by what criteria the RFL (or SKY, or whoever) are judging whether franchising is a relative success, or a relative failure.


It's not a question of coming down to earth, Mr Duxbury. Some of us, Mr Duxbury, belong in the stars.

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I'm not sure franchising can be measured as working well or working badly until you work out what exactly franchising is for.

I think it is for ensuring expansion club projects can be placed straight into SL (Les Cats, Crusaders) and be prevented from being relegated (Quins) If that's the case Franchising is heavily benefitting expansion clubs.

I think it's for ensuring that the RFL can choose who they want in SL without leaving that to chance. Mr. O'Connor has a big fat cheque book the RFL want to see waved around SL, so the RFL can choose them and not risk Featherstone spoiling the RFL's plans. I think the RFL will want to get rid of any club who can't hack SL financially - that could be Wakey so franchising allows the RFL to boot them out.

Of course it's for that purpose, the game needs all that to flourish.

The game needs a bigger, better and healthier International structure including top-level European competition. For that France and Wales have to improve, which means they need to be able to field full-time pros so they can compete. To have that means SL has to have French and Welsh clubs, simple as that. Just imagine an RL World Cup in the UK where no other European country but England gets past the group stage, how bad would that be for the game?

The game also needs to keep at least some games shown on the BBC, and to justify that it needs to show that it has national resonance. That requires an SL club in London, where the media are all based. It's almost certain that Sky still wants a London SL club, for the same reason that Fox wants an NFL team in Los Angeles again: teams in a prestigious location are good for ratings. It's even possible that Sky likes the Harlequins name better too since it's a famous one that might attract new fans to the sport.

For these reasons the game in the UK needs franchising to move forward.

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Sheffield Eagles have a business model that isn't overly dependent on crowds of a certain size. Since moving to DVS, they've always been able to offer potential sponsors and corporate hospitality types brilliant value compared to the other pro sports clubs in the region - Wednesday, United, Barnsley FC, and the Steelers. Although I'd imagine the market is tougher now than it was, what the Eagles offer those sorts of people is terrific value. I was told (a few years ago, admittedly) that the corporate side of the Eagles business was comparable to that of some Super League clubs. Remember, Sheffield is a big city - while it has always proved hard to get fans in week in, week out, the business community has always been supportive of the Eagles. Gary Hetherington was big on this - he realized it was the lifeblood of the club at that time.

The Eagles are also realistic about their position and their finances. They do not make turnover predictions based on possible gates. They do not survive with the assistance of a 'sugardaddy'. They have not staked everything on getting promoted to Super League. I know for a fact that SL is still their long term aim, but they are sensible and realistic enough to realize that the only way that will happen is if they do X, Y and Z.

The Eagles team is relatively inexpensive. They have lost out on certain players, and let others go, because their wage demands were too high. Many of these players found what they were looking for from other clubs, but these clubs are now struggling to pay the bills.

The Eagles are used to making their business work without much cash. Luckily they have a board of directors who are realistic and want League to succeed in Sheffield over decades, maybe longer, not the next three years.

I would love to see the Eagles in Super League again, of course, but it's got to be at a point where the club is in the right position to make a good go of it. That time will come in a few years, I'm sure. Until then, they will survive, slowly improve on and on the pitch, and continue doing what they see as vtal to the business: community, development and education work.

I agree in principle with your point that something needs to change, but automatic P&R isn't it. If we could get a fully professional (or at least largely fully professional) second tier, with similar but lower standards to SL, then the return of promotion and relegation is an option. At the moment it isn't.

From your description Sheffield sounds a model club, they've clearly done a lot of things right.

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Regarding the P&R issue, why does rugby league feel it has to differ from practically every other major UK sport in this aspect?

How many clubs have sorted out their academy set ups, SL or Championship, as a result of licencing? How many clubs have sorted out their grounds as a result of licencing? So far I would say that it is the ages of grounds and inability to maximise revenue that has driven the likes of Saints to move forward. Which clubs are actually playing in stadiums that were built to win or keep a licence? Widnes, for example already had the ground and that was nothing to do with licencing,

Clubs like Workington and Oldham went bust because at the time all the money was polarised in SL and there was no safety net. Licencing has not changed this. Had P&R not been around Salford and Cas would have gone the same way as Workington and Oldham when they were relegated. Thanks to P&R those clubs fans stayed with them, the infrastructure they had could be kept in place and the teams kept to gether to try and reach to top level.

I don't see how subjective decision making by unknown officials using a process that is far from widely known or transparent can eb better than P&R. I'll go back again to my original question of why rugby league feels it has to be different to other major UK sports.

No other sport has the problems of RL.

We have a League with an average of 9,000 against one with an average of 2,000. The drop is massive. Relegation can mean the end of a club. We also don't have enough clubs viable in the lower divisions to compete in Super League. Whether or not the principle is right, you cannot promote a team like Batley, Dewsbury or Hunslet.

Outside of Football, where clubs go from a League averaging about 30,000 to one averaging about 20,000, what other major professional UK sports have P&R?

Oh yeh Rugby Union...

The owners and chairmen of English rugby's top clubs will meet with Rugby Football Union officials on Tuesday to discuss ring-fencing the Premiership.

The principle of promotion and relegation is currently enshrined in an eight-year agreement which was thrashed out between the two parties and which began on July 1, but the deteriorating economic climate, and the fact that clubs are expected to make a collective loss of

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What a stupid thing to put, Everyone else in the league has the same salary cap and still managed to perform better than you for a last few years, Halifax, Barrow, Leigh. So don't try and prop your argument up with that, Widnes 3 years ago threw everything at the league to try and be in super league, you didn't get in and suffered financially to the point where Ste O'conner came to the rescue.

You clearly haven't understood the point. A cap of 300k means that almost all clubs can make it. If you're spending the same as almost all the other clubs, how exactly are you supposed to show your superiority? It's a lottery based on which coach can get the best out of his 300k. Theoretically Wigan or Leeds could get relegated to the Championship and would stand no better chance of winning it on the pitch than Halifax would.

People who are calling for a return to P&R are arguing for something that we've never had before. P&R with a low enough salary cap that nearly all if not all the teams can spend up to it. This would mean that teams couldn't show their superiority as a club which is effectively Communism, reducing everybody to the same level.

If we went back to the normal system where there was room in the salary cap for difference then Widnes would inevitably finish higher in the league as we have the resources and the money to make a difference. This is what used to happen almost all the time with P&R.

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Couple of typos.

I think you're clearly doing the man a disservice. As anyone associated with the club will tell you, the way the club is now run is like night and day compared to the old regime. Whilst his money is exceptionally important, it is NOT the only thing the club needs! After all, he's not a lottery winner, he made his millions by building a successful business and has brought that business acumen and leadership to Widnes. Change the record....

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I think you're clearly doing the man a disservice. As anyone associated with the club will tell you, the way the club is now run is like night and day compared to the old regime. Whilst his money is exceptionally important, it is NOT the only thing the club needs! After all, he's not a lottery winner, he made his millions by building a successful business and has brought that business acumen and leadership to Widnes. Change the record....

:O sorry :(

Just a little tongue in cheek, of course he's paid a lot of attention to detail at the club, but as you say his money is "exceptionally" important.

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