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The never-ending League Restructure debate (Many merged threads)


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Some fans give the impression that they like the politics of Rugby League more than the game itself.

I think many actually do to be honest. I think some people get so wrapped up in these things that they actually forget that what we are actually talking about is a load of blokes throwing a Rugby ball about and strangely it is one of the most addictive and enjoyable things around!

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I'm happy to do that, and I'll go further.

 

It's not often that I hope to be proved wrong, but if we go down this particular route I sincerely hope that I'm wrong and you're right.

On your last line. I wish more people had that attitude. There are so many people that will dig their heels in and stubbornly refuse to embrace whatever decision is made.

Licensing was never given a fair go, every time there was any bit of bad news, it was due to licensing. There were so many people grumbling, turning on Super League and basically acting like the games biggest enemy and I fear the same will happen here, meaning that we will need to reshuffle the deck in a few years.

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On your last line. I wish more people had that attitude. There are so many people that will dig their heels in and stubbornly refuse to embrace whatever decision is made.

Licensing was never given a fair go, every time there was any bit of bad news, it was due to licensing. There were so many people grumbling, turning on Super League and basically acting like the games biggest enemy and I fear the same will happen here, meaning that we will need to reshuffle the deck in a few years.

Great post

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How can a business spend money it hasn't got and remain in business Martyn - isn't that why we are where we are and franchising has failed?

The laws of the real world must be implanted in the RL world asap, who are you or I to tell a club they are not worthy. That is a gross mixture of stupidity and arrogance from a defeatist with no business understanding

Competition is the lifeblood of any vibrant industry and RL has so much to sell if we make the dinosaurs extinct and focus on the wonderful product we have together with the value it will bring to our partners - I say this employing 1900 people and making £15m profits in 2013 in a business that was nearly belly up 10 years ago operating in the private sector ( sorry about the penis measuring)

We take on people 5x our size and wipe the floor with them on the bottom line, 10 years ago we were laughed at and in your mentality would have our ambitions denied, that flat cap is impacting on your vision imo

Many businesses spend money they haven't got and survive and perhaps even prosper in the long term.

 

It all depends on whether you have someone, whether a bank or an investor of some sort to fund the gap.

 

Amazon is a perfect example of a company that has continuously spent money it hasn't got, but has been immensely successful because financial people have been prepared to back it in anticipation of a return in the long run.

 

I'm glad to see you doing so well, and maybe you have persuaded people to back you on a slightly smaller scale, perhaps, than Amazon.

 

And there wouldn't be a problem if there were investors on that scale queuing up to invest in Rugby League clubs. Sadly, there aren't.

 

Add to that, the fact that Rugby League is not a conventional business.

 

In a sense it is what economists call a zero-sum game, whereby those who succeed only do so because others fail. If every club borrows money to try to win a Grand Final, only one can be successful.

 

So in the absence of willing investors, we need a structure that protects clubs from themselves.

 

That has absolutely nothing to do with some clubs being not worthy, as you put it.

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On your last line. I wish more people had that attitude. There are so many people that will dig their heels in and stubbornly refuse to embrace whatever decision is made.

Licensing was never given a fair go, every time there was any bit of bad news, it was due to licensing. There were so many people grumbling, turning on Super League and basically acting like the games biggest enemy and I fear the same will happen here, meaning that we will need to reshuffle the deck in a few years.

 

To be fair this is a rugby league discussion forum.  The people on it, especially in the off season, are by the nature of the fact that they're on here going to be interested in the politics of rugby league to a level that will leave normal people with a healthy relationship to reality aghast.

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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To be fair this is a rugby league discussion forum.  The people on it, especially in the off season, are by the nature of the fact that they're on here going to be interested in the politics of rugby league to a level that will leave normal people with a healthy relationship to reality aghast.

I'm not sure you quoted my correct post for the response you gave, but yes I do agree with you.

I really enjoy the business side of the sport and will happily engage in debate on this, and I am certainly not criticising people for that, but there are a lot of fans who seem to dislike the actual sport, never engage in any RL discussion and just seem pretty bloody miserable in general!

 

I really miss the World Cup as the amount of positivity and love shown for the game was on a level I have possibly never seen.

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Many businesses spend money they haven't got and survive and perhaps even prosper in the long term.

It all depends on whether you have someone, whether a bank or an investor of some sort to fund the gap.

Amazon is a perfect example of a company that has continuously spent money it hasn't got, but has been immensely successful because financial people have been prepared to back it in anticipation of a return in the long run.

I'm glad to see you doing so well, and maybe you have persuaded people to back you on a slightly smaller scale, perhaps, than Amazon.

And there wouldn't be a problem if there were investors on that scale queuing up to invest in Rugby League clubs. Sadly, there aren't.

Add to that, the fact that Rugby League is not a conventional business.

In a sense it is what economists call a zero-sum game, whereby those who succeed only do so because others fail. If every club borrows money to try to win a Grand Final, only one can be successful.

So in the absence of willing investors, we need a structure that protects clubs from themselves.

That has absolutely nothing to do with some clubs being not worthy, as you put it.

Martyn, what is amazons turnover compared to RL? Would Amazon have any investors if they didn't have a clear path to market? Do amazons investors have the same objectives as those in sport- I do not know one person who is looking for a return from a private sports club, the motivation is different and understanding that may help you assist in taking our game forward from your privileged position

I operate on a smaller scale than Amazon, we don't spend what we don't have, we understand our market/opportunities and sell on value to our strengths, we grow through profits and reinvestment as the bankers reputation has been rightly earned during the recent years

At some point my assetts may be capitalised, at that point I may want to put tens of millions into my club to leave a legacy after I become maggot food, I wouldn't do that with the structures in place now or proposed. I don't want guarantees because life doesn't work that way but I want to know that if I achieved results the progression is guaranteed and immediate - your proposal disenfranchises the people who can move our sport forward, let clubs find their level at that moment in time and ensure they can live the dream in the future

RL clubs are not global brands, they are the sum total of local passion. If we want brands then we create 10 new clubs in 10 catchment areas across the UK and throw all the tv money at them and take the gamble, wasn't that the dream in 1994? The ones who will support this are the so called RL evangelists and the clubs who are one of the ten, maybe the short term pain will be worth it but will Warrington fans watch the Mersey saints at langtree park? That is now one desperate roll of the dice we do not need to make IMO but that is where you logic ends up

Edited by sweaty craiq
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How can a business spend money it hasn't got and remain in business Martyn - isn't that why we are where we are and franchising has failed?

The laws of the real world must be implanted in the RL world asap, who are you or I to tell a club they are not worthy. That is a gross mixture of stupidity and arrogance from a defeatist with no business understanding

Competition is the lifeblood of any vibrant industry and RL has so much to sell if we make the dinosaurs extinct and focus on the wonderful product we have together with the value it will bring to our partners - I say this employing 1900 people and making £15m profits in 2013 in a business that was nearly belly up 10 years ago operating in the private sector ( sorry about the penis measuring)

We take on people 5x our size and wipe the floor with them on the bottom line, 10 years ago we were laughed at and in your mentality would have our ambitions denied, that flat cap is impacting on your vision imo

That's how business works

What matters is why they are spending it and whether they can service the debt.

It's the laws of the real world

Edited by l'angelo mysterioso

WELCOME TO THE ROYSTON VASEY SUPER LEAGUE 2015

Keeping it local

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If I recall correctly, that was a forum poll which would have had a far smaller number of voters than the numbers who voted in our Readers' Poll.

 

Unfortunately the two-twelves, three-eights structure will create a mentality among all clubs that they must be in the top eight come what may, and they will spend money they haven't got in order to try to get there and then remain there. It is inherently destabilising, in the same way that the old-style promotion and relegation used to be.

 

Isn’t that the nature of sport, clubs want to get to the highest pinnacle. To achieve that they spend money on what they think will achieve that. Whether that be players, back room staff, stadium (key if you have one that is high maintenance and also turns away the modern fan or family that expect better than a plough shed), etc. Of course they should balance that with income or a benefactor prepared to accept the losses.  No league structure will stop that unless you accept a closed shop that includes some teams that have no need to worry about competition from elsewhere which lowers incentive to focus on what needed to really improve the club.

 

Otherwise you have a situation that some clubs are just happy to be in lower group of a closed league whilst those with higher ambition continue to widen the gap or are held back if you allow a lower common denominator. If lowest common denominator then we have star players increasingly going out of Super League resulting in less commercial appeal to sponsors, media, etc. – that is continue the slow downward spiral.

 

If the worry is that clubs don’t spend beyond their income then ensure a real penalty for those that continuously do so over a period – you know a sort of financial fair play.

 

I would also suggest that even if the sport was awash with money we would still have clubs in financial difficulties.

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Presumably by "this idea" you are referring to my proposal as set out in my article in League Express.

The point you make about a club finishing at the bottom but then in the following year or two winning the competition could be easily dealt with by a proviso that winning the competition in a subsequent year would take away the need to feature in a play-off for relegation.

That could even be extended so that a club that featured in a title play-off in a subsequent year would also avoid the relegation play-offs, giving any club that finishes at the bottom of the league a massive incentive to improve rather than stagnate.

What is "insane" is creating structures that put clubs under needless and unsustainable financial pressure.

So what about the club who finishes bottom in year three if the previous two wooden spoonists have risen to top eight placings? What if that team was in the top eight the previous year? You're giving the first two failures the chance to get out of a relegation play off but not the third as far as I make out, or would there be no relegation in such circumstances? Too many grey areas Martyn, your system would create mayhem. Edited by Terry Mullaney

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I think it will reinvigorate our game, while at the same time providing meaningful competition for those clubs who cannot make the top 8.

 

I don't think your prediction will come true.  The Cas CEO's recent comments would appear to refute your worries about clubs over reaching to get in the top 8.

 

Shall we agree to disagree?

 

Oooh! You got a draw with Martyn. Well done Ponte.

 

I think there's two distinct views - SL clubs overspending to get in the eight, against SL clubs fed up of trying to get above the glass ceiling - I think from what so many of the lower SL club chairmen have said that clubs like London (Hughes wants to reduce his burden), Widnes (SOC won't be a cash cow), Cas (Fulton no more from me). and HKR (Hudgell - can't go on funding indefinately) are certainly not going to spend big IMVHO but instead accept a drop into the eight as a way of avoiding having to find £500K a year to prop up their clubs.

 

I don't think Wakefield or Bradford would DARE go on an overspending spree either. Both clubs seem to now just want to make both ends meet, so I see nothing in the idea that they'll bust a gut for the top eight, leaving the top eight to pick themselves really.

 

On the play off idea as well as straight P & R I still have the Sheffield Question. As the strongest of the CC clubs they would still make an intensly weak SL club, and may end up struggling rather than "Building" if they had won an SL place on the field. Does the play off suggestion include a "subject to standards"? We may never know.....

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Isn’t that the nature of sport, clubs want to get to the highest pinnacle. No league structure will stop that unless you accept a closed shop that includes some teams that have no need to worry about competition from elsewhere which lowers incentive to focus on what needed to really improve the club.

 

Otherwise you have a situation that some clubs are just happy to be in lower group of a closed league whilst those with higher ambition continue to widen the gap.

 

Very thought provoking, but for me we need to start talking clubs not "sporting principles".

 

"Clubs want to get to the highest pinnacle" - do they? Do Batley want Superleague? Do Hunslet? Clubs may dream this, they may say they want this when selling season tickets but the reality is IMVHO different. The reality if you get in Superleague like London, Cas, Widnes and HKR have found is there's a massive bill to pay every year to make up the accounts.

 

In a closed league do the bottom clubs not worry about their poor performance but are happy to just be there?? Are Wests Tigers and Parramatta Eels happy??

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So what about the club who finishes bottom in year three if the previous two wooden spoonists have risen to top eight placings? What if that team was in the top eight the previous year? You're giving the first two failures the chance to get out of a relegation play off but not the third as far as I make out, or would there be no relegation in such circumstances? Too many grey areas Martyn, your system would create mayhem.

Terry, that's a nonsense. As long as the rules are firmly in place and everyone knows them, there is no problem at all. Under my system it's advisable not to finish at the bottom of the league.

 

But a club like Featherstone, if it reached Super League, would have three years to secure its place there, and wouldn't need to spend a fortune in its first year in the elite league trying to stay there.

 

That is the opposite of mayhem.

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Oooh! You got a draw with Martyn. Well done Ponte.

 

I think there's two distinct views - SL clubs overspending to get in the eight, against SL clubs fed up of trying to get above the glass ceiling - I think from what so many of the lower SL club chairmen have said that clubs like London (Hughes wants to reduce his burden), Widnes (SOC won't be a cash cow), Cas (Fulton no more from me). and HKR (Hudgell - can't go on funding indefinately) are certainly not going to spend big IMVHO but instead accept a drop into the eight as a way of avoiding having to find £500K a year to prop up their clubs.

 

I don't think Wakefield or Bradford would DARE go on an overspending spree either. Both clubs seem to now just want to make both ends meet, so I see nothing in the idea that they'll bust a gut for the top eight, leaving the top eight to pick themselves really.

 

On the play off idea as well as straight P & R I still have the Sheffield Question. As the strongest of the CC clubs they would still make an intensly weak SL club, and may end up struggling rather than "Building" if they had won an SL place on the field. Does the play off suggestion include a "subject to standards"? We may never know.....

 

Bloody Hell Parky, check outside for snow!  A post we agree on!

 

On the Sheffield question, I think it's probably moot.  I don't see them having the financial ability to compete successfully on a regular basis in the middle 8 at the moment. You'll have 4 SL clubs, 2 ex-SL clubs, plus Fev, Fax and Leigh all able to spend more than Sheffield.

 

Don't forget they are capped at £300k at the moment and can afford that level, there are clubs planning on spending 3 times that figure once the new set up begins.  Sheffield just don't have support or backing to do this at the moment (nothing to say that won't change though).

 

As for standards, can the ground hold expected crowds safely?  If so, you're in.  Can you demonstate the financial ability to finish the season, if so, you're in.

Edited by Ponterover
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Terry, that's a nonsense. As long as the rules are firmly in place and everyone knows them, there is no problem at all. Under my system it's advisable not to finish at the bottom of the league.

But a club like Featherstone, if it reached Super League, would have three years to secure its place there, and wouldn't need to spend a fortune in its first year in the elite league trying to stay there.

That is the opposite of mayhem.

But you can't make rules to accommodate so many variables in your plan. What would happen if all three bottom placed clubs made the top eight at some point during a three year cycle bearing in mind your plan is for promotion and relegation every three years? Edited by Terry Mullaney

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RL clubs are not global brands, they are the sum total of local passion. If we want brands then we create 10 new clubs in 10 catchment areas across the UK and throw all the tv money at them and take the gamble, wasn't that the dream in 1994? The ones who will support this are the so called RL evangelists and the clubs who are one of the ten, maybe the short term pain will be worth it but will Warrington fans watch the Mersey saints at langtree park? That is now one desperate roll of the dice we do not need to make IMO but that is where you logic ends up

 

I see what you did there. Your idea we have to have 10 "new" clubs in 10 places "across the UK" discounts the obvious solution that would be far more workable.

 

Pick 10 big existing clubs, put them in places where RL has a strong presence, can attract five figure crowds, and has a large enough junior base to produce pro players.

 

Wigan, Saints, Warrington, Hull, Leeds, Bradford Wakefield, Catalans, Toulouse. Pump all the resources in that and manage it across the board so its always on an even keel and properly funded.

 

Now add in Leigh to make 10. So what do you think? (see what I did there?)

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What is "insane" is creating structures that put clubs under needless and unsustainable financial pressure.

 

Completely agree with that comment; there is potential for the structure of eight clubs (if not more) being changed dramatically over the course of one off-season... that is a huge financial risk!

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 As long as the rules are firmly in place and everyone knows them, 

In Rugby League???? That's asking a bit much. Surely we should wait until the 2014 season is nearly over - say next August and then decide what's going to happen in 2015.

“Few thought him even a starter.There were many who thought themselves smarter. But he ended PM, CH and OM. An Earl and a Knight of the Garter.”

Clement Attlee.

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