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


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That's true enough, but Leigh could do that within the Championship. There's absolutely no need, or justification, for the game's entire structure to be determined with these clubs in mind.

The focus should be on finding an elite top tier and a strong development pathway. The bit in the middle, the semi-pro game, should be designed to fit in with those two aims.

Sorry Nadera, I normally have a lot of tome for your posts on other subjects, but on this one you are totally wrong.

Without P&R the game WILL die in Leigh and other towns frozen out. Fans are not interested in watching some second rate competition with no hope. People in Leigh will just stop going. And if people aint watching the game, they wont be playing it either.

I grew up playing for Leigh amateur teams wanting to emulate Leigh heroes. I was madly into watching Leigh then and enjoyed the ups and downs.

Being left with 12 teams and just a load of effectively amateur teams will see us end up like ice hockey or some other nothing game

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I am not sure why the Championhsip doesn't get turned into a competition like the NSW Cup and the Queensland Cup. This overriding obsession of the larger championship clubs to be fully professional is destructive. If there is no prospect of your club being a viable Super League team give it up. Concentrate on something sustainable, worthwhile and productive like being a community hub and being a centre of player development. Just because the first team isn't fully professional it doesn't mean the club is going to die it just means it should concentrate on something it can actually be good at rather than wasting it money on the wages of mediocre journey men.

I think if we had 14 large teams in SL all getting well over 10k, then I think this is the way the game would have gone.

 

Based on the fact that the tail of SL is so weak that the argument that Championship clubs could do better, it is difficult to tell people to know their place.

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That is right. AFL dominates Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.

In the rugby football states of NSW and Queensland the League/Union split is about 75% to 25% in League's favour. If you look at the adult participation rates the two rugby codes are surprisingly even. Also in the non rugby football states Union is more popular and has much deeper roots than League in terms of participation and interest. Union has always had a niche market in the AFL states whilst League is viewed as a "foreign" and hostile threat.

Rugby League doesn't get a free ride in the Australian media, especially when you look past the unashamed promotion of the sport by Channel 9.

Sounds like Soccer style p&r would help the game break its shackles.

Why cant Australia have many more pro RL teams like football has pro teams here? Is it because Aussies arent real fans and wont watch a second or third tier club?

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Sorry Nadera, I normally have a lot of tome for your posts on other subjects, but on this one you are totally wrong.

Without P&R the game WILL die in Leigh and other towns frozen out. Fans are not interested in watching some second rate competition with no hope. People in Leigh will just stop going. And if people aint watching the game, they wont be playing it either.

I grew up playing for Leigh amateur teams wanting to emulate Leigh heroes. I was madly into watching Leigh then and enjoyed the ups and downs.

Being left with 12 teams and just a load of effectively amateur teams will see us end up like ice hockey or some other nothing game

was it prospering under p and r in leigh. The figures show that for most of the twenty odd years it wqs in place leigh's crowds were poor-apart from of course thge annual visit from wigan.

when leigh were promoted in the super league era, their crowds fell during their succesful campaign to get to sl.

WELCOME TO THE ROYSTON VASEY SUPER LEAGUE 2015

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Sorry Nadera, I normally have a lot of tome for your posts on other subjects, but on this one you are totally wrong.

Without P&R the game WILL die in Leigh and other towns frozen out. Fans are not interested in watching some second rate competition with no hope. People in Leigh will just stop going. And if people aint watching the game, they wont be playing it either.

I grew up playing for Leigh amateur teams wanting to emulate Leigh heroes. I was madly into watching Leigh then and enjoyed the ups and downs.

Being left with 12 teams and just a load of effectively amateur teams will see us end up like ice hockey or some other nothing game

I just don't see it like that. The Centurions might die, and that would be a shame, but the community game would continue. There are many, many people who play, coach, watch, cut oranges at community clubs who have no connection or interest or involvement with the pro game.

"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."

Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959

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I think the whole argument is pointless, because I also think the bottom line is that there isn't enough money in RL to sustain a fully professional league, of any number of clubs. (OK, maybe if it was just Wigan and Leeds ...)  I think the game got carried away with the Super League deal and the Sky money, and got delusions of grandeur. The regular income streams necessary to sustain a fully pro league never developed. Sugar daddies are all very well, but sooner or later they go, and leave you stranded: they die, get arrested, fall off their yacht, never had the cash in the first place, are rank thieves, loonies or just get plain bored and wander off. Success on the field can bring support and money, but that too goes (ask Bradford). You need to sell season tickets and shirts season upon season to keep a pro club going, and most clubs in SL just don't sell enough. Maybe the choice isn't between an elite Super League and a less elite comp, but between having a sustainable comp or none at all. 

 

Gosh, I'm depressing today.

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Interesting article in this months 40 20 magazine regarding the recent Supporters Direct meeting which Blake Solly from the RFL attended. There's a list of the main points Blake raised at the meeting, but here's a couple that stand out  -

 

SL losses in 2012 were £600k - £8m as a consolidated entity - despite a rise in TV money. The Championship clubs were each losing £60k pa in 2008, this was cut to £10k in 2012.

 

Although clubs admit licencing is better than what went before, the administrative burden outweighs benefits, diverting resources away from commercial imperatives. It protects underperforming clubs.

 

Sky would prefer more jeopardy and variety.

 

P+R would be decided by one automatic spot and one spot decided by a play off, irrespective of the structure adopted.

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was it prospering under p and r in leigh. The figures show that for most of the twenty odd years it wqs in place leigh's crowds were poor-apart from of course thge annual visit from wigan.

when leigh were promoted in the super league era, their crowds fell during their succesful campaign to get to sl.

Except that they werent relative to Wire, Leeds, Saints for most of the late 70s to the early 90s

We even won the league dontcha know?

I also recall us staying up for almost 10 years

Or am I imagining all this?

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Interesting article in this months 40 20 magazine regarding the recent Supporters Direct meeting which Blake Solly from the RFL attended. There's a list of the main points Blake raised at the meeting, but here's a couple that stand out  -

 

SL losses in 2012 were £600k - £8m as a consolidated entity - despite a rise in TV money. The Championship clubs were each losing £60k pa in 2008, this was cut to £10k in 2012.

 

Although clubs admit licencing is better than what went before, the administrative burden outweighs benefits, diverting resources away from commercial imperatives. It protects underperforming clubs.

 

Sky would prefer more jeopardy and variety.

 

P+R would be decided by one automatic spot and one spot decided by a play off, irrespective of the structure adopted.

Ah! So it isn't those pesky Championship wannabees to blame after all. Can that misconception be put to bed now?

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that's because the game is the most wealthy most popular sport on the planet

the premier league has standards for entry, but thjey are irrelevant since the clubs well down the food chain attain and exceed them. Also the game has a historic national spread , and worldwide popularity, wealth and power.

you might not have noticed this.

Rugby League in the UK is cash poor-but better of than it was before 1995, weak in most parts of the country-but certainly better in this sense than before 1995, is not even the main sport in its supposed heartlands, has a poor image and perception amongst the public-although this has improved since 1995, and a popor international profile. These are issues that the people running the game have to address

you might not have noticed this, indeed it looks certain that you haven't since you compare rugby league with soccer.

You might not have noticed, but I didn't bring premier league soccer in to the debate.
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Interesting article in this months 40 20 magazine regarding the recent Supporters Direct meeting which Blake Solly from the RFL attended. There's a list of the main points Blake raised at the meeting, but here's a couple that stand out  -

 

SL losses in 2012 were £600k - £8m as a consolidated entity - despite a rise in TV money. The Championship clubs were each losing £60k pa in 2008, this was cut to £10k in 2012.

 

Although clubs admit licencing is better than what went before, the administrative burden outweighs benefits, diverting resources away from commercial imperatives. It protects underperforming clubs.

 

Sky would prefer more jeopardy and variety.

 

P+R would be decided by one automatic spot and one spot decided by a play off, irrespective of the structure adopted.

Now that is utter lunacy. In order to save a few shekels the clubs are going back to a system they (and the RFL) know and admit doesn't work. Would some of these 'commercial imperatives' include an Australian scrum half by any chance? 

"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."

Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959

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I just don't see it like that. The Centurions might die, and that would be a shame, but the community game would continue. There are many, many people who play, coach, watch, cut oranges at community clubs who have no connection or interest or involvement with the pro game.

I agree here, if the Centurians did die it would be because they chose to, rather than live at their natural level. Cutting their nose off to spite their face if you will. They could become a very successful part time club if they concentrated their efforts and limited resources on that. People in Leigh would not en mass stop watching live rugby league, they may stop watching Leigh, but Wire and Wigan would capitalise on the new fans. This is not specifically aimed at Leigh by the way. The same could be said for Fetherstone and Hunslet for example. However if a club could truly galvanise through support and a sound business plan, that is when they should be looked at what they can bring to the big boys table.

As a game we are not big enough to have it all. The resources just do not stretch that far, there will always be an opportunity cost.

I think the game is potentially looking to try and build from the middle here and hope the club game expands the game. My view is this is wrong. The 2 clear priorities should be the International game and getting more young players playing. The middle will then organically expand at a sustainable pace.

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I think the whole argument is pointless, because I also think the bottom line is that there isn't enough money in RL to sustain a fully professional league, of any number of clubs. (OK, maybe if it was just Wigan and Leeds ...) I think the game got carried away with the Super League deal and the Sky money, and got delusions of grandeur. The regular income streams necessary to sustain a fully pro league never developed. Sugar daddies are all very well, but sooner or later they go, and leave you stranded: they die, get arrested, fall off their yacht, never had the cash in the first place, are rank thieves, loonies or just get plain bored and wander off. Success on the field can bring support and money, but that too goes (ask Bradford). You need to sell season tickets and shirts season upon season to keep a pro club going, and most clubs in SL just don't sell enough. Maybe the choice isn't between an elite Super League and a less elite comp, but between having a sustainable comp or none at all.

Gosh, I'm depressing today.

Well, as you ask... We're in a much stronger position today than we were in 1994/5.

Aside from the monumental success in those years our gate has improved massively, our profile is immeasurably better and we are a community club - no doubt. And in addition to all that we've produced tons of SL players/coaches and internationals from our own academy. I don't think any of this would have happened without SL.

At no stage have we had the benefit of a sugar daddy.

I think your point has some merits but your choice of Bradford as an example is about as poor as it could be.

Forever in our shadow, forever on your mind.

 

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I agree here, if the Centurians did die it would be because they chose to, rather than live at their natural level. Cutting their nose off to spite their face if you will. They could become a very successful part time club if they concentrated their efforts and limited resources on that. People in Leigh would not en mass stop watching live rugby league, they may stop watching Leigh, but Wire and Wigan would capitalise on the new fans. This is not specifically aimed at Leigh by the way. The same could be said for Fetherstone and Hunslet for example. However if a club could truly galvanise through support and a sound business plan, that is when they should be looked at what they can bring to the big boys table.

As a game we are not big enough to have it all. The resources just do not stretch that far, there will always be an opportunity cost.

I think the game is potentially looking to try and build from the middle here and hope the club game expands the game. My view is this is wrong. The 2 clear priorities should be the International game and getting more young players playing. The middle will then organically expand at a sustainable pace.

What a silly post.

How can being stuck outside SL "natural"? It isnt -its downright unnatural. Youll end up with twelve medium sized pro clubs plus amateur clubs. This will NEVER spread the game. People from the likes of Leigh etc will not watch their small town neighbours who were fortunate to be in SL when the cut was made

Wigan, Warrington and St Helens are hardly Man U or Liverpool FFS

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I think the whole argument is pointless, because I also think the bottom line is that there isn't enough money in RL to sustain a fully professional league, of any number of clubs. (OK, maybe if it was just Wigan and Leeds ...)  I think the game got carried away with the Super League deal and the Sky money, and got delusions of grandeur. The regular income streams necessary to sustain a fully pro league never developed. Sugar daddies are all very well, but sooner or later they go, and leave you stranded: Success on the field can bring support and money, but that too goes (ask Bradford). You need to sell season tickets and shirts season upon season to keep a pro club going, and most clubs in SL just don't sell enough. Maybe the choice isn't between an elite Super League and a less elite comp, but between having a sustainable comp or none at all.

It's a spot on post IMHO, but you may consider that:-

Leeds, Wigan, Warrington, Hull, Saints and Catalans are fully professional RL clubs operating at a decent level according to Mr. Sadler.

It needs another six to come up to their level. In the wakefield area hopes are pinned on the new stadium of which there was good news on backchat.

Hope is Toulouse can emulate les Catalans.

Somewhere in the Bradhuddersfax area there's potential for one big successful club.

In salford there's potential but it will take years and millions. It seems they have that.

But even with a more optimistic eye than you I can't see beyond the resources for 10 competetive clubs.

Therefore the move from 14 to 12 to cut the £8M losses down and create better finances for trying to grow the SL business as a 12 club league (which it was for years) seems sensible enough.

Of course clubs cannot be cut too far and so as Mr. Sadler again said on back chat, clubs will have to consider cutting salaries to balance the books, but one step at a time, let's hope it doesn't come to that.

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If the Centurians did die it would be because they chose to, rather than live at their natural level. People in Leigh would not en mass stop watching live rugby league, they may stop watching Leigh, but Wire and Wigan would capitalise on the new fans. This is not specifically aimed at Leigh by the way. The same could be said for Fetherstone and Hunslet for example.

This is a BIG question. Does the death of a club mean the loss of the local fans to the game?.

Fans travel far and wide nowadays and anecdotal evidence is that fans choose to go to Superleague clubs outside their local area because they want to watch Elite RL. But we do not know in what numbers.

In South Leeds I have witnessed the old time fans of Hunslet die off and new fans to the game now automatically seeing Leeds as their club. Leighs crowds were called "ageing" by their official.

Crowds in Superleague have doubled in the life of this elite league and crowds in the championship have halved. It's not IMHO as simple as CC fans just turning to SL clubs. I feel it's more the new fans ignoring the championship and looking to support a superleague club, whilst the old guard dwindle.

League express themselves identified in their 1996 yearbook that in this modern age more and more people would demand Elite sports and reject the lower levels of their chosen spectator sport. Seems they were right and on that proven principle? the move to 12 clubs to retain a viable Elite is a good one in the tough economic circumstances IMHO.

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The chief executive of arguably the most successful SL club (Leeds) has thrown his weight behind the new proposals.

I'm willing to bet that the gentleman in question knows a hell of a lot more about RL administration than all of the posters on this board combined.

You mean the man who was behind the dual reg system. We can't go wrong then.

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Leigh showed ambition by giving up income streams at HP and becoming tenants in a fantastic stadium that they cannot afford to be in whilst the current structures are in place

It would be far better financially to be in an ageing sheetole like Cas wakey Bradford etc than LSV watching your fan base drop off

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You might not have noticed, but I didn't bring premier league soccer in to the debate.

it doesnt just relate to the premier league

WELCOME TO THE ROYSTON VASEY SUPER LEAGUE 2015

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Leigh showed ambition by giving up income streams at HP and becoming tenants in a fantastic stadium that they cannot afford to be in whilst the current structures are in place

It would be far better financially to be in an ageing sheetole like Cas wakey Bradford etc than LSV watching your fan base drop off

yes Hilton Park the neucamp of the north west: packed to the rafters every week, and all those lucrative income streams. If they could afford to be at Hilton Park how come they were forever having financial crises even when they were there.

WELCOME TO THE ROYSTON VASEY SUPER LEAGUE 2015

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You lost me at "a good coach that was aided with the lack of P&R when he was learning his trade at Huddersfield"

 

You're wrong.  Huddersfield were relegated in his first year as coach (although he almost scraped it, IIRC)

 

He knows the disruption that happens when a team gets relegated, how the best players leave instantly for no transfer fee, how the clubs systems have to be wound down overnight, how real people in real jobs have to be made redundant, how the fear of losing vast amounts of income at short notice means you can't spend on infrastructure, on youth development, on any of the back office stuff that a club actually runs on. 

 

He's been there, taken a massive paycut (so the rumours say) to stay on and then come back out of it.

 

I'd listen to him if I were you.  He knows more about this game, and more about the business of this game, than every poster on this site rolled up together.

Who survived because Dewsbury and Hunslet did not get a place in SL?  I always thought it was Huddersfield.  Sorry Tony Smith is a decent coach but I think he should take his ideas for the British game back down under when he decides it's time to return home.

"You cant be scared of death. When that time comes, it comes....I've been blessed. God's looked out for me, so, I'm happy." -Sean Taylor, #21, Washington Redskins

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Licensing was working better than what was there before. The problem was they expanded Super League to 14 clubs too early and waved Salford and Crusaders into the competition largely on geographical grounds. Without genuine competition for licences the system was going to work as intended. When club's like Bradford and Wakefield broke the rules there was no one to replace them with.

It should be reiterated that British rugby league can only afford to finance one fully professional competition. There is absolutely no prospect of the Championship or Championship 1 becoming viable and sustaining as a professional spectator sport.

I sense a destructive glee in your posting. That is sad. Without the limited financial and playing resources being concentrated in one elite competition the British game will even further behind Australia. Promotion and relegation is not some sort of silver bullet will magically reinvigorate the sport again. Far from it. The costs of promotion and relegation far outweigh its benefits.

You start of by mentioning Wakefield and Bradford.  If lets say Halifax got a licence by putting together a complete lie on there application and replaced Wakefield.  By doing this you put 3k on the gates at Fax and Wakefield lose 3k, then it appears Halifax can't afford what they put in the application and go into administration.  Would Wakefield be considered strong enough to replace Halifax in the next round of licences?  That's my problem there are clubs in the Championship just as big as some of the clubs in SL.  The only problem is that they have been starved of top flight RL because of no P&R so they can't get the crowds but SL clubs who commit financial ruin get a very small points deduction that means naff all when the League is a licence.

 

Lets then look at the National game.  Strange in 95 I did not think we were too far away from Australia and certainly a lot closer than we are now.

 

As for my glee sorry if you thinks it's sad but I have waited a long time for the I'm alright Jack folks to show there true colours as soon as changes effect there cosy little world of licencing.

"You cant be scared of death. When that time comes, it comes....I've been blessed. God's looked out for me, so, I'm happy." -Sean Taylor, #21, Washington Redskins

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This is a BIG question. Does the death of a club mean the loss of the local fans to the game?.

Fans travel far and wide nowadays and anecdotal evidence is that fans choose to go to Superleague clubs outside their local area because they want to watch Elite RL. But we do not know in what numbers.

In South Leeds I have witnessed the old time fans of Hunslet die off and new fans to the game now automatically seeing Leeds as their club. Leighs crowds were called "ageing" by their official.

Crowds in Superleague have doubled in the life of this elite league and crowds in the championship have halved. It's not IMHO as simple as CC fans just turning to SL clubs. I feel it's more the new fans ignoring the championship and looking to support a superleague club, whilst the old guard dwindle.

League express themselves identified in their 1996 yearbook that in this modern age more and more people would demand Elite sports and reject the lower levels of their chosen spectator sport. Seems they were right and on that proven principle? the move to 12 clubs to retain a viable Elite is a good one in the tough economic circumstances IMHO.

 

That is exactly right. The attendances at the best Super League clubs have shot up during the Super League whilst the Championship attendances have declined. Rugby league will not die if the local club is no longer fully professional. Over time people will become accustomed to their local club is semi pro and if the want to watch elite rugby league they will have to travel to the nearest big town or city. 

 

It is a generational thing. Rugby league isn't going to die in towns where there senior clubs are no longer fully professional in the same way that rugby league isn't going to die in Cumbria because they don't have a Super League team. That is a complete nonsense argument. 

 

The limited resources of the game need to be concentrated in a closed league of 10 or 12 clubs. All the other senior clubs can direct their energies into community activities, a vibrant and fair semi pro competition and player development. 

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That is exactly right. The attendances at the best Super League clubs have shot up during the Super League whilst the Championship attendances have declined. Rugby league will not die if the local club is no longer fully professional. Over time people will become accustomed to their local club is semi pro and if the want to watch elite rugby league they will have to travel to the nearest big town or city.

It is a generational thing. Rugby league isn't going to die in towns where there senior clubs are no longer fully professional in the same way that rugby league isn't going to die in Cumbria because they don't have a Super League team. That is a complete nonsense argument.

The limited resources of the game need to be concentrated in a closed league of 10 or 12 clubs. All the other senior clubs can direct their energies into community activities, a vibrant and fair semi pro competition and player development.

You also forget that there will also be a massive drop in sky viewers if there were only 10-12 clubs in a closed shop. And the likes of Wire, Saints etc are small fry. If it were really big city clubs like Liverpool, Manchester etc, then it may have worked - but then the game would be big enough to have p&r anyway

I got shut of sky and premier due to the lack of p&r. I will be renewing again thankfully now p&r returns

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