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

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Yes we do and have I told you that its back because it's needed to sort out the mess left by licensing. Without P and R Super League was always going to be snooze fest for games towards the bottom of the league. I know you don't like being wrong but read the press release 1 more time, P and R is back because licensing failed, end of.

The game has a culture of one division and play-offs, that is the culture of the game, you can claim whatever you want, history will tell you that you are wrong not me.


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Radio 5 Live: Saturday 14 April 2007

Dave Whelan "In Wigan rugby will always be king"

 

This country's wealth was created by men in overalls, it was destroyed by men in suits.

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Promotion and relegation, like much of football, is a joke. The sooner British league fans stop believing that English football has a blueprint we should be following the better. English football does well in spite of its idiotic and archaic nature.

 

The Americans have shown the world how to run professional sport in the 21st century. Let's stop with this delusional (sporting) nationalism. P & R isn't going to work no matter how much you like the idea, or how British you think it is.

Garbage, can I point you in the direction of Soccer Saturday and witness the excitement of the Doncaster game where the opposition missed a penalty and then Donny went up the other end and scored. One minute they were in the playoffs the next they are up. Similar excitement happened at both Hull and Leicester City games.

"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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Can I just ask, how has P&R "failed"? I hear it bandied about time and time again like it's a fact, but no one seems to have shown me conclusive and significant proof that it has, or that it's the reasons for what their perceived "failings" are, or that licensing has succeeded.


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I presume your comment about soccer is a joke.

 

RL never had P&R when it was at its most popular and competed with soccer as far as crowds went.

 

This game has not had a culture of P&R, it has been tried three times and failed three times, why should it work by trying it again.

 

County cricket introduced divisions and P&R thinking it would drag people in, it hasn't it has failed completely in its intentions. The counties still wouldn't survive without central funding from the money generated by the international game.

.

When rl was at its most popular did it have two leagues?

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The game has a culture of one division and play-offs, that is the culture of the game, you can claim whatever you want, history will tell you that you are wrong not me.

Padge, for the last 40 years we have had more than one division. At what point does our culture become multi-division?

 

A very large number of Rugby League fans will have no recollection whatsoever of one division, and even those who do will have to scratch around in their memory bank.

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Promotion and relegation, like much of football, is a joke. The sooner British league fans stop believing that English football has a blueprint we should be following the better. English football does well in spite of its idiotic and archaic nature.

The Americans have shown the world how to run professional sport in the 21st century. Let's stop with this delusional (sporting) nationalism. P & R isn't going to work no matter how much you like the idea, or how British you think it is.

Have you got anything to back up this opinion other than "one's idiotic, the other isn't"? It's not exactly a good argument.

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The game has a culture of one division and play-offs, that is the culture of the game, you can claim whatever you want, history will tell you that you are wrong not me.

Just read the press release again for me if you can hold back the tears, P and R will soon be back. Deny it if you want but licensing failed because you, like many were wrong and SL has become stale, boring and predictable.

"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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Promotion and relegation can only really work if you have more than one fully professional league that is commercially viable and can sustain itself. The gap between the fully professional Super League and the Championship is just too great to make promotion and relegation work. The brutal truth is that on its own the Championship in Rugby League has no prospect of being a sustainable and commercially viable competition on its own. The championship in soccer has an average attendance of 17,000 and is in a completely different league.

 

Also this myth that promotion and relegation is an historic part of British sport is complete rubbish. Professional cricket in England doesn't have promotion and relegation between the major and minor counties and for most of its history the Football League didn't have promotion and relegation from its bottom division but operated on a system of election. 

 

Rugby League has much more in common with county cricket and lower league soccer than Premiership soccer.

 

The way to make Super League more exciting and unpredictable is to lower the number of teams to 10, make using the full salary cap mandatory and have a 5 team playoff. In time all the teams would have a realistic chance of making the playoffs every season so every team would have something to play for. As a when the Super League could afford to expand then it teams could be added. 

 

Rather than levelling up standards all promotion and relegation would achieve is levelling them downwards and entrench the competitive advantage that the big 4 or 5 clubs already have. 

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I presume your comment about soccer is a joke.

 

RL never had P&R when it was at its most popular and competed with soccer as far as crowds went.

 

This game has not had a culture of P&R, it has been tried three times and failed three times, why should it work by trying it again.

 

County cricket introduced divisions and P&R thinking it would drag people in, it hasn't it has failed completely in its intentions. The counties still wouldn't survive without central funding from the money generated by the international game.

.

Not sure county cricket introduced p&r to draw more people in, more to create a more competitive top tier to help the national side..it's a game played when most people are working or in education after all!


"At times to be silent is to lie. You will win because you have enough brute force. But you will not convince. For to convince you need to persuade. And in order to persuade you would need what you lack: Reason and Right."

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Not sure county cricket introduced p&r to draw more people in, more to create a more competitive top tier to help the national side..it's a game played when most people are working or in education after all!

 

County Cricket introduced promotion and relegation within a fully professional competition. It would be like dividing the current Super League into two division of 7. 

 

The main reason for that was to make the First Class games more competitive than it was in one division of 18. 

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Have you got anything to back up this opinion other than "one's idiotic, the other isn't"? It's not exactly a good argument.

Ok I don't want to trawl through all my stuff on this but I'll do a top of the head condensed version.

 

Creating divisions and having P&R between them was supposed to increase attendances, it was tried twice in the sixties and quickly withdrawn following its disastrous affects on attendances. It was re-introduced in the seventies following the Cain Report, however the expected increase in attendances never materialised, the RFL stuck with it (a novelty I know) and tried various permutations of numbers in each division, number of divisions and the number of clubs going up and down. None really increased attendances.

 

In the eighties and nineties the game did see an increase in crowds, not because of the introduction of P&R it had been around for a while, but because certain clubs, with a strong support, became top dogs again. This also coincided with a change in international transfer laws, what a mistake that was. Clubs could now sign Australian players to bolster their teams. Initially this was a good move as teams brought in the big names from Australia, bringing about an increase in crowds. Soon however clubs twigged that they could actually buy success or avoid relegation by bringing in better imports.

 

Relegation could be avoided, so it was thought, if you brought in seasoned Ozzie pros. If you had no fear of relegation it wouldn't really matter. Buying a team rather than building a team became the goal. This produced the problem of blocking British players from making into the elite teams.

 

The gap between the first and second division was growing and the dreaded drop was becoming even more of a poisoned chalice. Certain clubs became cyclic, up then down and then up and down again. They were struggling to survive and only did quite often on RFL bail outs. The RFL could not afford to keep bailing out clubs with zero percent loans which were quite often not paid back.

 

As more and more clubs got into trouble bouncing between divisions the RFL was spending more and more effort and money in helping these clubs survive.

 

An elite division had been talked about and discussed since 1898, it has always been at the back of the senior clubs minds, however the senior clubs (as where) could never cut adrift those that had helped them break away. When Sky cam along and offered the game a massive injection of cash, for an elite league the game had little option but to take it, as at the time Maurice Lindsey said the game was hemorrhaging money at an alarming rate.

 

All the evidence had shown that in the past having P&R had never had the desired affect of increasing crowds, it just never happened. What did happen on the creation of SL was crowds started to surge upwards after a faltering start. Even the championship clubs saw growth in attendances, despite all the doomsayers claiming it would wither and die. (check the charts I posted earlier). The only thing that depresses crowds in the divisions below SL is the fact that we have 2 or 3 divisions, 3 divisions is a disaster for the championship clubs (again look at the charts).

 

Nobody has yet come up with anything other than an opinion based on terrace gossip that denies these facts.

Edited by Padge

Visit my photography site www.padge.smugmug.com

Radio 5 Live: Saturday 14 April 2007

Dave Whelan "In Wigan rugby will always be king"

 

This country's wealth was created by men in overalls, it was destroyed by men in suits.

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County Cricket introduced promotion and relegation within a fully professional competition. It would be like dividing the current Super League into two division of 7. 

 

The main reason for that was to make the First Class games more competitive than it was in one division of 18. 

And the change from one divisions to two also needs to be seen in the context of the other changes made at the time such as central contracts and an acknowledgement that the England cricket team's interests must override the 18 first class counties. English cricket wanted to improve the standard of first class cricket at the top end of the County Championship in order to get closer to Australia's six Sheffield Shield teams. South Africa also revamped their domestic structure not too long ago to introduce FRANCHISES (as opposed to licenses) and it has contributed to their improvement as a side in my view.

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Can I just ask, how has P&R "failed"? I hear it bandied about time and time again like it's a fact, but no one seems to have shown me conclusive and significant proof that it has, or that it's the reasons for what their perceived "failings" are, or that licensing has succeeded.

 

Funnily enough I asked the same question only a few days ago !


Lets not forget, Featherstone Rovers is a RUGBY club.

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Funnily enough I asked the same question only a few days ago !

Funnily enough I posted a reply a couple of posts back


Visit my photography site www.padge.smugmug.com

Radio 5 Live: Saturday 14 April 2007

Dave Whelan "In Wigan rugby will always be king"

 

This country's wealth was created by men in overalls, it was destroyed by men in suits.

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Have you got anything to back up this opinion other than "one's idiotic, the other isn't"? It's not exactly a good argument.

 

There's plenty I could say to back it up. I'm not going to. If you're genuinely interested in the facts there's 36 pages you could look through. Page 1 would be a good place to start. Just about everything that needs saying has been said.

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Funnily enough I posted a reply a couple of posts back

 

Indeed you did. But was the introduction of P & R ever really expected , whenever it was, to dramatically increase crowds and was that the sole purpose for the change ?


Lets not forget, Featherstone Rovers is a RUGBY club.

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Indeed you did. But was the introduction of P & R ever really expected , whenever it was, to dramatically increase crowds and was that the sole purpose for the change ?

If I have read so much on it that my brain is awash with the stuff.

 

It was hoped that the introduction of divisions in the seventies would increase attendances, and P&R would generate more interest. There is a lot of stuff out there to find on the subject if you care to look. I'm sick of posting well researched stuff on here to be told I'm a liar and making stuff up, or the stuff you find is b0ll0x because I don't agree with it therefore the facts you have found must have been fiddled in the past..


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Radio 5 Live: Saturday 14 April 2007

Dave Whelan "In Wigan rugby will always be king"

 

This country's wealth was created by men in overalls, it was destroyed by men in suits.

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If I have read so much on it that my brain is awash with the stuff.

 

It was hoped that the introduction of divisions in the seventies would increase attendances, and P&R would generate more interest. There is a lot of stuff out there to find on the subject if you care to look. I'm sick of posting well researched stuff on here to be told I'm a liar and making stuff up, or the stuff you find is b0ll0x because I don't agree with it therefore the facts you have found must have been fiddled in the past..

tell me about it

 

sometimes there just aren't enough brick walls in the world

 

I have the Leeds year book for the year before prom and reg was introduced. It gave attendances for other clubs beside Leeds.

Leeds were by far the best supported club in the game, with an average of 7,000, Featherstone were on 1,700.

 

Something had to be done for this reason and because the bigger clubs were reswtless aqbout missing out on big games as well as not being happy with subsidising the smaller clubs.

 

You know the rest.

 

IMHO at the time there was little else that could be done at the time

 even this wasn't very effective, and yes there was opposition to it mainly from the smaller clubs

 

I think the 70s and eighties were a dreary time for Rugby League: the odd classic cup final notwithstanding, although I did perk up when Fulham were admitted to the League. I was living in Norfolk at the time. RL was hardly ever on tv and was shown in a perfunctory unprofewsional way, and the whole thing had been the Eddie Waring show since the sixties-and that's no disrespect to him. Then I opned the Guardian one day and there it was, Fulham admitted to the League. It was scarcely believable that such a progressivee step could be taken. When I came back up North I was dismayed with the attitude that people within the game had to Fulham.

 

It seems like any progressive step and the people introducing it viewed with suspicion, sneered at, complained about, paid at best lip service to and whenever possible undermined.

Rugby League has now for the first time in a long time taken what is probably a regressive step, resulting in a return to the ghetto. I hope it works and i'll still enjoy my rugby.


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is "regressive step" your opinion or a fact. you seem to have presented  it as the latter.


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I think most people are missing the key issue here and that is player production. We can't sustain a league with 14 teams now so not sure how the RFL or clubs hope to achieve this with potentially more professional sides. More money to the Championship clubs in order to pay players full time contracts is not going to increase the quality of the player pool drastically. Therefore if there is to be P&R, no significant amounts of monies should be directed at the Championship; it should be ploughed into the Community game to produce more players for the game.

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I think most people are missing the key issue here and that is player production. We can't sustain a league with 14 teams now so not sure how the RFL or clubs hope to achieve this with potentially more professional sides. More money to the Championship clubs in order to pay players full time contracts is not going to increase the quality of the player pool drastically. Therefore if there is to be P&R, no significant amounts of monies should be directed at the Championship; it should be ploughed into the Community game to produce more players for the game.

Is the intention to give money to lower clubs so they can pay full time squads? My understanding is that 2nd tier clubs would still be on a much lower salary cap. The funding would help to strengthen the clubs off the field if this was the case.

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Indeed you did. But was the introduction of P & R ever really expected , whenever it was, to dramatically increase crowds and was that the sole purpose for the change ?

 

I dunno exactly why in 1962 they created divisions, but I do know crowds were dropping alarmingly. Anyway they went back to one division in 1965. In 1973 I do know they went to two divisions to produce "closer competition" and "cut out the chopping block games" (sic). This was to "help spread interest throughout the league season".

 

I have no exact statistical analysis on whether in cutting out "chopping block games" to "spread interest" P & R worked.I do have stats to show after 4 years of two divisions the first division averaged 3,825 and the second division 1,497. It was therefore the case that if you divided the clubs the games were more even, but the fans didn't really want to watch second rate/second division RL.

 

So the games were closer but the interest was not increased by divisional RL. I can recall pre divisions, my club Hunslet playing Leeds and  Bradford and we drew big crowds for those games but never won any. Once divisionalised we started to win games but never saw the crowds we got being hammered by Leeds and Bradford.

 

So after two attempts to use divisional RL to create more even games in which there was a desire to "spread interest" it didn't work.

Even in those far off days Hunslet people wanted to see Leeds and Bradford at Parkside.

 

In short divisional RL did not increase crowds across the board.

 

What it did do was increase crowds amongst the top clubs, and so despite the  failure of P & R to spread interest "throughout the league" it merely contrived to increase interest in the top division and decrease it in the second tier.

 

Leeds knew this and were one club (as league leaders 1967, 1968, 1969, 1979 & 1972) who did not appreciate winning all the time against York, Keighley, Bramley, Batley, Hunslet, Donny etc ("chopping blocks" in matches I went to regularly) whilst failing to secure regular fixtures against such as Warrington, glamour club Salford and Widnes.

 

At that time RL was at it's lowest ebb, and in danger of dying off as a semi pro sport. There was no retreat from divisional Rugby not because P & R was "working" but because divisional Rugby created an elite fixture list for the top clubs who in turn kept the interest going in the game. In the 1970's Salford, Leeds, Saints, Widnes, Warrington, Fev, Bradford and HKR were the elite clubs that flew the flag for the game on TV.

 

There was to be no return to one league, in effect RL had had to contract down to one top division because the top division was everything. The rest were......well the rest. If any of them managed to find a few thousand and climb up into the top division fine. Rather play them than a clapped out top division club.

 

I've lived it, and am under no illusion that P & R is (and always was after initial hopes otherwise) just a vehicle to make sure the Elite league has the best clubs in it, because the best clubs only want to play the best clubs.

 

As for licensing, this was IMHO an attempt to pick who the elite wanted in with them and not leave it to "chance" via P & R. Cue disasters waiting to happen like Keighley Cougarmania or Des Johnsons Barrow. Licensing could keep them out. Licensing could also keep the expansion clubs in.

 

The return to P & R merely abandons the Superleague elites attempts to control who "plays with them" in the face of several lower club SL chairmen crying "we aren't going to put any more money in"  and also abandons the failed "expansion" policy of the RFL in which games against Crusaders and London attracted the lowest crowds for the "elite".

 

If anyone wants to think this is the Elite clubs realising P & R's return will be "all for the good of the game" please go ahead.

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Not sure county cricket introduced p&r to draw more people in, more to create a more competitive top tier to help the national side..it's a game played when most people are working or in education after all!

 

Correct

 

The driver behind the change is SKY TV if you read the small print. SKY want more close Rugby League matches although the nature of the sport dictates that even potentialy mouthwatering matchups like todays Wire v Huddersfield game end up as a blowout after 50 mins.

 

The solution as far as the RFL is concerned is not to do the sensible thing and reduce the salary cap whilst retaining the current league structure which would reduce the gap between divisions that would make P&R more realistic but to have a sort of "Rugby League deathmatch" next season which could well force the two relegated Super League clubs out of existence as Steve O'Connor has warned..

 

There seems to be an assumption that London will be one of the two demoted clubs but if a week is a long time in politics then 12 months is an eternity in Rugby League and, if London make it to next years starting line it could be that the club may be significantly more cashed up than in the past.

 

The current "big" clubs Warrington, Leeds, Wigan and Hull will spend up to the cap limit (and if the Good Doctor is right beyond) paying big salaries to ordinary NRL players who cannot command a place in their clubs starting XIII. The likes of Huddersfield and St Helens will do the same to try to remain in the top six and this is happening already, but Salford, Widnes, Wakefield, Castleford, Bradford and Hull KR face having to spend the money the clubs (other than Salford) do not have not just next year but also in the following years just to stay put.

 

Catalans face extinction if relegated and Toulouse will not get an invite to this party. With the strategic French question - Rugby League's very own version of the West Lothian question remaining unanswered.

 

Championship clubs will have to find the revenue both to stay put in Super League 2 for 2015 and also to support promotion when they will come up against vastly superior revenue stream for what in some cases will be their Andy Warhol season of fame.

 

And yet it's the consensus, correctly, that the game lacks money. So the RFL solution - encourage clubs to keep on maxing out the credit card. Instead of facing up to reality about the games position in relation to the NRL and Rugby Leagues positioning within UK sport.

 

Well t'cappers are on a roll here on this board with the demise of expansion and the discomfort of the lower half of Super League, all I say to you is to quote Sir Thomas More on a similarily triumphant Anne Boleyn

 

" Anne Boleyn might strike our heads off like footballs, but it won't be long before her head wil dance the same dance!"

 

Ponder that.

Edited by THE RED ROOSTER

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Whatever your views on licensing, if it has been abandoned in part because the clubs had absolutely no confidence in the ability of the RFL to run it (and perhaps the RFL also felt they were incapable of administering the system as it should have been so to cover their own incompetence were pushing the 3x8 system) then that's a damning indictment on how the sport is run. Most people on the board would agree that the administration of the game in general is not befitting of the on-field product.

Whatever the number of teams or the structure or the salary cap, rugby league must avoid the Olly Croft syndrome of putting narrow self-interest and the amateur/semi-pro game before professional sport, which can grow the game as a whole.

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is "regressive step" your opinion or a fact. you seem to have presented  it as the latter.

well it's regressive literaly since it will lead to the way things were in the past

 

but regressive also in terms of it being a victory for the forces of reaction.

so in some ways its a value judgement and in others it's a description of what's happening.

 

I can't recall that happening before.

 

London are a good bet for the chop in 2015 along with perhaps castleford

 

all it will take will be a poor season for Catalan, and they will follow and we're all tucked back into our sporting backwater, which I'm sure will make a lot of people happy

 

knurr and spell here we come.

Edited by l'angelo mysterioso

WELCOME TO THE ROYSTON VASEY SUPER LEAGUE 2015

Keeping it local

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