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


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A survey of 500 is not a big enough sample size to give a true reflection IMHO.

 

Nor was the survey of around 300 on this site a few months ago that had 3x8 as a narrow winner.

 

For many Championship club fans these polls were the only consultation around as some clubs never consulted with their own fans, yet the RFL stated that the support for this structure from the Championship clubs was unanimous.

 

That was understandable in the light of the financial benefits that they were being sold.    Clubs on a current £90k were being told that they will receive anywhere between £500k and £150k under this new structure, so no matter what sort of result came from fans polls, this was always going to be voted in by the clubs.    You just don't get turkeys voting for Christmas, do you? 

I remember when .............................

"It is impossible not to feel a twinge of sympathy for Workington Town, the fall guys this season for the Super League's determination to retain it's European dimension, in the shape of Paris. While the French have had every assistance to survive, the importance of having a flagship in a heartland area like West Cumbria has been conveniently forgotten." - Dave Hadfield - Independent 25th August 1996.

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Assuming the strategic objective is to bring the game back to one played by a few small to medium towns and couple of cities in the North, at the elite level, then this new structure should have a very good chance of achieving that.

 

Whether that will encourage broadcasters to dig deeper in their pockets when negotiating the purchase of TV rights or improve the appeal (which would appear to already be quite low) to better quality sponsors offering higher sponsorship packages would seem doubtful.

You talk as if no-one wanted expansion; It's been tried, and tried, and tried, but we can't get it to work, and the only way it would is by artificially making the expansion clubs successful by giving them more money and ensuring they get the best players. But the likes of Mr Lenighan will never let that happen, they wan't clubs like London in Super League only if there's no chance of them sharing their trophy success!

So it's back to Plan B;. give the Championship Clubs a semblence of a chance before there's none of them left.  

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Correct, but should a team who have nothing to gain in those last 7 matches have any bearing on the eventual winners? The play off system we have now is useless but at least the team finishing in eighth had a reason to turn up and play.

Plus the possibility that a club certain or almost certain of being in the final top 4 can play around with team to ensure freshness, etc... that is short change fans by not always playing strongest team available. A problem the likes of Warrington have been known to do in current system and hence it doesn't fix that problem and potential does same if the gap gets bigger with a regular top 8 to bottom 4. I know it can be in the interest of the coach but it short changes the fan.

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Personally think this new structure is doomed to fail, with way too much negativity attached to it already. It will be changed yet again in a few years, probably when its going to be less embarassing to admit it wasn't the right choice or when we have new people in charge at the RFL, and we'll find ourselves in the same situation as we are now with not having moved forward as a sport at all.

 

Its just moving the deck chairs.

 

Poor governance from the RFL in this instance, and continued poor governance at the majority of RL clubs in SL has led us to this situation.

 

Clubs outside of the current top 5-6 clubs will now no longer be investing in the future by laying down new structures and plans, they'll be focusing on the short term and clamouring for anything they think will help them make the top 8, and bearing in mind they've failed to do that in the licensing era when they've had a chance to build and put in those structures, they face very little chance of achieving that in this new structure.

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Plus the possibility that a club certain or almost certain of being in the final top 4 can play around with team to ensure freshness, etc... that is short change fans by not always playing strongest team available. A problem the likes of Warrington have been known to do in current system and hence it doesn't fix that problem and potential does same if the gap gets bigger with a regular top 8 to bottom 4. I know it can be in the interest of the coach but it short changes the fan.

I'm not sure there is a system that could stop that.

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I just see this as moving things around and hoping things work rather than bringing in a system that will benefit the game as well as clubs.

 

I am a supporter of P and R, but not under this system, as it doesnt help the game as a whole or even look to address the problems within it. Certain minimum standards should be brought in for all on such things as stadium/Facilities, running of a proper reserve/U23 grade with each club forced to spend a set amount in this area, a club employing a development manager for the area etc. If clubs cant/wont meet some basic standards then do they really deserve to have the chance to play in the top league?

 

No Lizzy they do not deserve to be in the top league.

 

So two of them get booted out at the end of this season and the other four who don't deserve to be in will be booted out each year whilst the "top league" have their play offs free from the also rans.

 

IMVHO it's OK calling for "standards" but clubs have to be able to afford them. It seems clear many cannot, hence I believe that the clubs cut free from Superleague whether permanently or whether as the "bottom four" each will actually drop their standards to reduce debt and running costs.

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Is there anyone who wont take great interest in the middle 8 playoffs? My guess is that all eyes will be on these encounters. Cant wait.

If my club can get into the top four, the prospect of games against the bottom four clubs in SL is mouthwatering. I'm sure the attendances at Leigh will be 6-7k for those games - more if Saints or Wigan dont make the top 8! :)

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Clubs outside of the current top 5-6 clubs will now no longer be investing in the future by laying down new structures and plans, they'll be focusing on the short term and clamouring for anything they think will help them make the top 8, and bearing in mind they've failed to do that in the licensing era when they've had a chance to build and put in those structures, they face very little chance of achieving that in this new structure.

 

Make that about eight clubs Mike, IMVHO that's about the size of it.

 

Yes the rest have failed to grow their businesses, and they can't afford the "structures" so indeed they do face very little chance of becoming bigger than they are especially the two cut adrift as well as the four dropped each year.

 

What we have to work out is will playing regularly in the middle 8 see the businesses of the likes of Bradford, Wakey, London, HKR, Widnes and Cas grow stronger or weaker??

 

It all points to weaker and it all points to a massive gap appearing between the top eight and the second eight.

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Assuming the strategic objective is to bring the game back to one played by a few small to medium towns and couple of cities in the North, at the elite level, then this new structure should have a very good chance of achieving that.

I'm not quite sure that ever changed
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1. You talk as if no-one wanted expansion; It's been tried, and tried, and tried, but we can't get it to work, and the only way it would is by artificially making the expansion clubs successful by giving them more money .........................

 

2. So it's back to Plan B;. give the Championship Clubs a semblence of a chance before there's none of them left.  

 

1. There's no difference between Samuels and Hughes throwing £Millions at Crusaders and London, and Wilkinson and Davey throwing £Millions at Salford and Huddersfield.

 

2. So ironically now we may see Featherstone taking their chance entirely dependant on Nahaboo throwing £Millions at them.

 

Your post provokes the thought that none of them really have a chance, and 3x8 is last chance salooon.

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I recon there is a lot more to come out of this yet, I'd be really interested to know what the so called rebels have been given to allow this to go through, I would imagine whatever it is it has been enough to let some of the other SL get the best of both worlds ( so to speak ).

 

It seems to me that this is really all about 4/5 clubs, who  if everything goes to plan have a chance to get back to some former glory days, I don't see it myself but like everyone else i shall continue to support my side , and watch the rest on TV.

 

The whole system seems to be banking on the Middle 8 clubs suddenly starting to pull in thousands of fans , that many of them have never pulled in , in their history.

 

With 2 SL club relegated this season and another 4 when the split comes, that makes 6 current SL in the middle 8, ( if i have that right ) and if i have there is a very real possibility of 4 of them going back up .

 

Still it's in and we shall run with it, ( and hope it's everything they claim it will be ) but i have a very uneasy feeling about the whole thing, The chances of playing the same teams 4/5 times  a season does not sit easy with me,

 

I totally understand the elation some of the posts are demonstrating, They see this as the new dawn ( latest ) for their clubs, I hope it works out for them.

Dont expect anything from a pig but a grunt

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Assuming the strategic objective is to bring the game back to one played by a few small to medium towns and couple of cities in the North, at the elite level, then this new structure should have a very good chance of achieving that.

Whether that will encourage broadcasters to dig deeper in their pockets when negotiating the purchase of TV rights or improve the appeal (which would appear to already be quite low) to better quality sponsors offering higher sponsorship packages would seem doubtful.

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You talk as if no-one wanted expansion; It's been tried, and tried, and tried, but we can't get it to work,

Eh?  Rugby league is now played in more places in the UK than at any time ever before.  How then is expansion not working?  What doesn't (always) work is dropping a club into an area and hoping it will take off.  However, the clubs in Championship 1 and the community leagues are holding their own because they have mostly grown from within.  Look at Medway Dragons in Kent for example.  That's bigger than many community clubs in the 'traditional' RL areas up north.  Read this month's Rugby League World (which is very good, I must say) and find out the story behind the Gloucestershire All Golds, with 45 of the 50 plus primary schools in Gloucester area alone opting to play rugby league, 82 in total in the wider area. Then tell me that expansion isn't working!

 

Too many people IMO can only see rugby league in terms of the professional game, even more so at Superleague level.  But there is a whole lot of great stuff going on in the community and school/college/university games and that is where it begins.

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I recon there is a lot more to come out of this yet, I'd be really interested to know what the so called rebels have been given to allow this to go through, I would imagine whatever it is it has been enough to let some of the other SL get the best of both worlds ( so to speak ).

It seems to me that this is really all about 4/5 clubs, who if everything goes to plan have a chance to get back to some former glory days, I don't see it myself but like everyone else i shall continue to support my side , and watch the rest on TV.

.

I see it as the complete opposite this doesn't give 4/5 clubs the chance of bringing back glory days. Instead it allows 4/5 current SL clubs to seriously tone down their spend but still have a very good chance of retaining their TV money.

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Assuming the strategic objective is to bring the game back to one played by a few small to medium towns and couple of cities in the North, at the elite level, then this new structure should have a very good chance of achieving that.

Whether that will encourage broadcasters to dig deeper in their pockets when negotiating the purchase of TV rights or improve the appeal (which would appear to already be quite low) to better quality sponsors offering higher sponsorship packages would seem doubtful.

 

Its the product that matters not where it is played.  If we can get a vibrant game where everyone is playing for something then the spectacle will be much better thus more people will watch on sky and we get more money simples.  I have never been to a live darts or snooker match but watch them all the time on the TV, for that matter I have been to one Football game in my life yet subscibe to watch it.

Its all about the product and building up appeal, which is much easier the the new media age.

VIVA THE FEVOLUTION

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I am a supporter of P and R, but not under this system, as it doesnt help the game as a whole or even look to address the problems within it. Certain minimum standards should be brought in for all on such things as stadium/Facilities, running of a proper reserve/U23 grade with each club forced to spend a set amount in this area, a club employing a development manager for the area etc. If clubs cant/wont meet some basic standards then do they really deserve to have the chance to play in the top league? I dont trust the RFL under its current management or the clubs to properly sort the problems out in the game and look to address them and this is for me just another example of why the game is not as strong as it should be. You can have P & R between all the leagues, but you also need to have set minimum standards for each league and incentives for clubs to not just improve the team squad but also off the field things and the future of the club. 

 

If you read the RFL document on their proposals they have reduced the Minimum Standards and at the commencement of each of their proposals it states - "Subject to the revised Minimum Standards, etc, ......".    So there is still minimum standards applied to P & R.

I remember when .............................

"It is impossible not to feel a twinge of sympathy for Workington Town, the fall guys this season for the Super League's determination to retain it's European dimension, in the shape of Paris. While the French have had every assistance to survive, the importance of having a flagship in a heartland area like West Cumbria has been conveniently forgotten." - Dave Hadfield - Independent 25th August 1996.

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I see it as the complete opposite this doesn't give 4/5 clubs the chance of bringing back glory days. Instead it allows 4/5 current SL clubs to seriously tone down their spend but still have a very good chance of retaining their TV money.

Yep thats exactly what its all about

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To me this new structure allows faster/greater possibilities for new expansion clubs to get into SL. In theory we could see Crusaders and one of Skolars/Oxford/All Golds in SL in 2016. Under licensing 2021 would have been the earliest time this could have happened.

You seriously think those clubs will be ready for SL by then? 2021 might be more realistic with enough money. Getting into SL in 2016, getting hammered and going back down isn't progress.
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For me this is the nub of it. I have been a fan of RL for 23 years, and as a southerner watched with great interest the creation of SL. It had such promise. Yet this promise, one of a pan European competition with such stellar names as PSG (who had wonderful promise - and yes, they did- I lived in Paris at the time and can vouch for the attention they attracted - they were simply managed poorly) and the hope for a greater footprint in the UK, has not been actualised. Instead, the sport has, if anything, regressed in terms of print profile, sponsorship, innovation, and certainly a southern awareness (another bugbear of mine - people making assumptions about how much RL is known down south - it is simply virtually non-existent in the lives and day to day experience of many here). Admittedly,the sport has 'regressed' in many respects because of the manner in which football and RU have improved their standing within broader UK culture in this time period. Nevertheless, what we are being left with is a sport that is becoming increasingly marginalized, and unfortunately, more culturally located than ever in certain northern communities. And please, do not remind me of the growth of the community game in the south. I could just as easily quote other sports, largely considered to be non mainstream ones, that have high participation levels in the south and yet still do not register in terms of national consciousness. Actually, I will give a couple of examples: American football and handball. So in sum, the sport of RL seems to be regressing. And a particularly harsh or cynical view of this might put forward the idea that it could end up abou as culturally relevant in this country as an emerging sport such as handball. And this possible regression is put quite succinctly in thequote I have

To be fair, it has been done it in a better way than I have, and I am aware of this. I guess as a fan of the game for 23 years, and one who has started to feel that it would be more worthwhile to follow another sport (remember what I said about how little relevance the sport has in the datherner down south?), I just wanted to vent some steam. Particularly as a fan of the Broncos. And what a lovely off-season we've had.

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You do realise the precarious state of play at Bradford don't you? Its far from impossible that they could be relegated this year. Then what? Who is to say they wouldn't dissappear completely? Sorry mate but my club is far from safe.

Quite right Bradford are not and never will be safe, the club has a terminal illness, there are times when it is in remission and all is well, then as usually happens with this kind of disease it will raise its head again and will require intensive care.

Not nice, but there comes a time when resources have to be taken into account and effort put into healthier options.

There are a lot of opportunities for the present 14 SL clubs to re-enter SL in 2016, in fact 7 opportunities if they fail that mini league and not finish in top 4 then they along with their supporters have no right whatsoever in believing that is their rightfull place, it's coming guy's accept it, get on with it your destiny is in your own hands, just what is it your frightened of, surely not those upstarts from the Championship.

"If Rugby League had never been Invented, today we would only have Rugby League"

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I see it as a move to 3 divisions of 8, with another development division below that, that may eventually be regionalised. Hopefully all the clubs in the top 24 will become full time professional, however that is some way off, especially with the current or even proposed full time model. Whilst complicated, I do feel this structure prospectively replicates the relative balance of strength across the divisions, where the bottom clubs in SL are becoming comparatively weaker and the top few clubs in the Championship are pulling away from the rest. This will give the opportunity to aid the movement between the groups, provided the funding model is right.

I also hope that fans of all clubs can now get being the idea and try to progress the game as a whole.

Finally, the season ticket/membership argument around fans not knowing who they will be playing at the start of a season puzzles me. To me, I pay for a season ticket to watch my team a set number of times. Who the opposition is doesn't matter, as it's always the home team I'm most interested in. :)

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its not being split up mid season though....

each league will play a full home,away & magic game season....then the top8 play in the super league playoffs,

the bottom4 & championship top4 play in the super league qualifying playoffs

and the bottom 8 championship clubs play in the championship shield...

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