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


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If there was money for all this, it could be great, But it has no more chance than Mergers have, because there is no way to fund it. People would see the game vanish rather than have anything to do with another club, that has been made well clear.

If the league is cut to 12, and the TV contact comes in from France with Toulouse's entry then there would be the money. I'm not saying that will happen, but it could.

In all honesty, I think it's more likely the sport will get more TV money than less. It's been a very long time since we've seen a decline in TV money, and with BT Sport on the go now there'll be more competition. I don't understand why you think we'll get less.

Another thing, it seems to me that a great deal of this debate is about 3 or 4 clubs being given a fair chance, But lets not forget there is just as big a gap between them and the majority of CC's, as there is between SL and them.

Batley are competitive (though I'm not suggesting they will go for promotion). Others have the potential (again with the right backer that could come along any time, like they do in SL).

It's not beyond the realms of possibility that someone invests in a club like York, Crusaders or one of the Cumbrian clubs (all which could be classed as new areas of geographical spread for SL). But there are too many hoops to jump through for them to bother under the current set up.

I know it can be argued that there was hardly a plethora of investors coming through before, but I think the sport is in a higher standing now than it was then (my opinion obviously).

Ideally for the long term future of League, It could do with contracting along the M62 corridor and expanding in other areas of this Country, That was the dream i believe.

I couldn't disagree more. The more clubs the better. If there were more semi pro clubs in France, there'd be a better base for them to build towards a pro club. The more clubs you have competing, the more likely one will rise to the top. But therms have to compete at a high standard and that's what we need to work towards. You don't cull the top to bring the bottom closer to it. You bring up the bottom.

There is lots about your Plan that is desirable, but i'm afraid it's another dream, There is not even half the money coming into League to save all these clubs.

I don't have the answers but it seems to me that to weaken the very comp that brings in the money is the worst way to go.

I don't see how it weakens the competition to have clubs battling to be in it. Competition brings out the best in you.

To make a system fair is to take from some to give to others, which on the face or it seems fair ( to some ) but there will always be clubs like Wigan who get big crowds and others who get small crowds, thats how things are, Should Wigan have to tip up part of their Recipts to the clubs who get few, to try and help them survive and prosper, It just wouldn't happen because that's even more unfair.

I know you haven't proposed such a thing, but in a sense that's what all this is about, and IMO all the smaller clubs would just drain the money away because they have gone past the point of no return.

You're right, I haven't suggested that. I don't understand why you'd therefore use it as an argument?

There aren't enough clubs of the strength needed to make a 14 team SL work at presence. Taking two from the top (3 if you include Toulouse) and adding them to an already competitive 2nd tier with more money would leave to more intense competition in both IMO, drive up standards, increase crowd averages in both competitions and create a feel good factor amongst fans who feel the door has been shut on them.

Where you say the funds would be drained, I say they'd be invested in the foundations of new potential SL clubs, including potential expansion areas in Britain.

It sounds horrible and unaccepable but many clubs will never get back to where they once were, There is just not enough money to do it, Just my opinion but Far better to concentrate on the Wakey's and Bradford's who can be big clubs.

So does that mean they should just pack up? Of course not! They need to be around to drive competition for the clubs that may once again make it. If we get rid of everyone that wouldn't (in our opinion) make it then we wouldn't have a competition).

I don't see the point in draining money on poorly run clubs just because they might once again make it. It's just keeping a dead horse on life support. If Bradford go down, they go down. They're poorly run. THAT is a drain of resources. We'd be a lot better off with a big Bradford again, but at present we aren't going to get that until they sort theirselves out. If the appetite is there, they'll come back. Huddersfield did.

If Rugby league could be cut to say 20 clubs and the sky contract doubled , we may have a chance, I wouldn't wan't to be the person doing the choosing, even if it needed to be done.

I wish we could start again at 1950.

I don't see how cutting the professional game to 20 would achieve anything, especially a doubling of the Sky contract! That is a baffling statement!
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For me it's just a business thing.

You have clubs next to each other trying to beat each other down for the same players and fans. So space them out. One SL club per area, pick the biggest. Then you can have Bradford and Wakefield with access to the same level of quality juniors as Leeds and Wigan.

You get more fans through the gate as there's only one Superleague club to go to. Cut to 10 and the SKY money goes up significantly per club. You remove 100 players wages, and the quality of the teams can improve. Break-even attendances are 8-10K. Attendances at the top ten clubs are already at 10K and can improve on better more intense fixtures between big clubs.

10,000 Salford fans said goodbye to the willows, 10,000 Wakefield fans watched the relegation escape, It's not only Leeds and Bradford can pull 20K crowds. Trojan said clubs need each other. Centrally control finances and competitiveness to prevent clubs from collapsing on and off the field.

It's a made for TV business whose purpose is to put on a show for a SKY contract. Maybe SKY will put up the contract for once if Superleague actually concentrates on what it is there for. Maybe it can do that if it cuts over reliance on rich men playing out their fantasies.

I've heard all the counter points before, it's "not fair" and "If you cut to ten it'll go down to nine, and then eight and Leeds and Wigan will end up playing each other every week" kind of stuff.

No London. Switch the geographical expansion to Anglo french adding Toulouse. We're £68,000,000 in debt, just make sensible cuts and push for achievable targets. Dreaming of what one day may be, or asking a bunch of accountants what to do is fiddling whilst Rome burns for me.

whose 68mil in debt? Who to? Is it secured debt?

Bolton wanderers are 130 odd million in debt.... operational loss of 50 mill in 1 season

so again which clubs are in debt, is it manageble (who to)

I should imagine there are 1 or 2 clubs who are massively in debt and the vast majority very little if at all!

Are most the debts directors loans therefore the debt is imaginary. ....

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And premiership union can stage club games at Wembley and attract 70,000 people

Rugby league stages magic weekend and it gets sneered at from within the game as well as outside it.

union sell the tickets that cheap and do that much marketing they have to sell the bottom two tiers to break even! its like junk mail, they only need 5% to respond to make it worthwhile!

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whose 68mil in debt? Who to? Is it secured debt? is it manageble (who to)?

I should imagine there are 1 or 2 clubs who are massively in debt and the vast majority very little if at all!

Are most the debts directors loans therefore the debt is imaginary. ....

 

Get the accounts and find out if your interested, it's not just the debt it's the withdrawal of some chairmen from funding their clubs to Superleague levels, the financial collapse of Bradford and Wakefield, and the inability of some clubs to grow even in Superleague.

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For me it's just a business thing.

You have clubs next to each other trying to beat each other down for the same players and fans. So space them out. One SL club per area, pick the biggest. Then you can have Bradford and Wakefield with access to the same level of quality juniors as Leeds and Wigan.

You get more fans through the gate as there's only one Superleague club to go to. Cut to 10 and the SKY money goes up significantly per club. You remove 100 players wages, and the quality of the teams can improve. Break-even attendances are 8-10K. Attendances at the top ten clubs are already at 10K and can improve on better more intense fixtures between big clubs.

10,000 Salford fans said goodbye to the willows, 10,000 Wakefield fans watched the relegation escape, It's not only Leeds and Bradford can pull 20K crowds. Trojan said clubs need each other. Centrally control finances and competitiveness to prevent clubs from collapsing on and off the field.

And then if you do expand, you then have to cut one of the Wakefield's and Bradford's. And then a Hull. A Warrington. Where does it end?

Why not keep them all and let natural order select who is in and out? Keep everyone interested? Concentrating resources isn't expansion.

It's a made for TV business whose purpose is to put on a show for a SKY contract. Maybe SKY will put up the contract for once if Superleague actually concentrates on what it is there for. Maybe it can do that if it cuts over reliance on rich men playing out their fantasies.

You've just described the biggest sports leagues in the world! They all get bigger contracts every year despite what you're looking for cuts in. If anything, they're even more reliant than ever!

As for Sky putting up the contract "for once", last time I checked they have been putting it up every negotiation for the last 10 years.

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And then if you do expand, you then have to cut one of the Wakefield's and Bradford's. And then a Hull. A Warrington. Where does it end?

Why not keep them all and let natural order select who is in and out? Keep everyone interested? Concentrating resources isn't expansion.

You've just described the biggest sports leagues in the world! They all get bigger contracts every year despite what you're looking for cuts in. If anything, they're even more reliant than ever!

As for Sky putting up the contract "for once", last time I checked they have been putting it up every negotiation for the last 10 years.

 

 The post you're responding to is a fantasists view on how retreating the heartlands to fewer clubs will somehow improve inclusion. Stuff like this is not debate because it doesn't follow previous opinion or the structure of the debate, it's to get reactionary counter argument. 

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The post you're responding to is a fantasists view on how retreating the heartlands to fewer clubs will somehow improve inclusion. Stuff like this is not debate because it doesn't follow previous opinion or the structure of the debate, it's to get reactionary counter argument.

Follow the Forum rules please if you cannot stomach my opinions. the "Ignore" button is available to you. The debate is about the structure of the game, and what would work best for the game. My views are not exclusive they are shared by many others.

The debate may include how to be "Inclusive" but my opinion is the more inclusive you become the more money is wasted, and the more the product is watered down. The SKY contract is everything we had nigh on 98% agreement on that in a previous debate.

The other week you kindly replied to me a couple of times when you took an alternative view to mine. I asked you (and have asked a you a couple of times) to set out how you think we should restructure and the logoc and reasoning behind your thoughts. You did not answer that.

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Are most the debts directors loans therefore the debt is imaginary. ....

 

Imaginary ?  That's a big assumption.  If it were imaginary these loans would be gifts.

 

No - they're only imaginary whilst the director is still interested.  He's keeping his powder dry in case his "investment" doesn't bring success, in which case he can still ask for it back. (See Sheffield Eagles 1999.)

 

Even if he's happy to lend the money for the rest of his life, his heirs might not be so magnanimous.

"We'll sell you a seat .... but you'll only need the edge of it!"

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Imaginary ?  That's a big assumption.  If it were imaginary these loans would be gifts.

No - they're only imaginary whilst the director is still interested.  He's keeping his powder dry in case his "investment" doesn't bring success, in which case he can still ask for it back. (See Sheffield Eagles 1999.)Even if he's happy to lend the money for the rest of his life, his heirs might not be so magnanimous.

Yipyee quoted "Bolton Wanderers are 130 odd million in debt", but as far as I know soccer clubs are just as prone to financial collapse as anyone? Maybe soccer has many many big clubs and investors from all around the world to replace those who do collapse.

For our game big city famous clubs like Wakefield or Bradford can't even attract a two bob investor. I'd like a smaller SL of bigger clubs to cut this reliance. After all if Ken Davey had turned up at Wakefield or Bradford how big would they be now?

Anyway there we go. The chief exec of Union a much bigger game only has 12 clubs in his league. IIRC he felt Superleague should be ten clubs too. He maybe understands sports finance.

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Yipyee quoted "Bolton Wanderers are 130 odd million in debt", but as far as I know soccer clubs are just as prone to financial collapse as anyone? Maybe soccer has many many big clubs and investors from all around the world to replace those who do collapse.

For our game big city famous clubs like Wakefield or Bradford can't even attract a two bob investor. I'd like a smaller SL of bigger clubs to cut this reliance. After all if Ken Davey had turned up at Wakefield or Bradford how big would they be now?

And when you explain how the two are linked, I'm sure people will be listening.

Most pro sports clubs have a reliance on a big money backer.

It's not ideal, but if we're willing to let clubs reap the rewards of benefactors pumping in all their money, we should be willing to let the reap the consequences of that money running out and not being sustainable. At the moment, this protection attitude doesn't appear to be doing anything but taking away the risk of bankruptcy and administration. It encourages financial failure by allowing sides to spend more than they have yet stay where they are. Is that really what we're after?

Anyway there we go. The chief exec of Union a much bigger game only has 12 clubs in his league. IIRC he felt Superleague should be ten clubs too. He maybe understands sports finance.

How much debt is his league in?
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whose 68mil in debt? Who to? Is it secured debt?

Bolton wanderers are 130 odd million in debt.... operational loss of 50 mill in 1 season

so again which clubs are in debt, is it manageble (who to)

I should imagine there are 1 or 2 clubs who are massively in debt and the vast majority very little if at all!

Are most the debts directors loans therefore the debt is imaginary. ....

I'm not sure Mr Glover & Mr Khan would agree with that.

I'm also not sure the bloke who has supposedly re mortgaged his house to keep Wakefield afloat for one more season would agree either

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A bit of advice for some if you, if you are competing in a commercial world you find and sell to your strengths/usp's you don't sell to your competitors

RL has many usp's but we seem unable/ashamed to sell to them and until we do we will never be the best we can be

A united RFL has a bigger market than RU in Ireland Wales or Scotland

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talking of sports finance and rich backers, it is a sobering thought that liverpool fc were within days of collapse before fenway sports bought the club....if one of our top football clubs can be in so much of a mess what chance do rugby league clubs have??

"Why is Napoleon crying ?" said one sailor to the other, "poor ###### thinks he's being exiled to st helens" came the reply.

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A bit of advice for some if you, if you are competing in a commercial world you find and sell to your strengths/usp's you don't sell to your competitors

RL has many usp's but we seem unable/ashamed to sell to them and until we do we will never be the best we can be

A united RFL has a bigger market than RU in Ireland Wales or Scotland

 

Sound thinking for me Craiq, We discovered an excellent USP with Elite Professional RL it has obtained big TV contracts and added tens of thousands to attendances. Why water it down?

 

I'd rather strengthen it and I don't think you can do that by adding Sheffield Eagles instead of Widnes with respect. So P & R good fun but not good business IMHO.

 

Relying on rich men good business? Well events have shown that several rich investors are fed up with loaning their clubs wedges of £500K a time like Jack Fulton and Neil Hudgell. They realise they have no chance up against Ken Davey or Marwan Koukash.

 

A ten club financially even Superleague may be a horrible thought, but what we are getting with 2x12=3x8 is an eight club superleague, unless people really do think clubs cutting costs, stopping any more directors loans and not having an academy any more is going to make them "Super". I think it a reasonable assumption and logical it will make them more into Championship clubs, and the Championship doesn't have much of a USP as crowds show.

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Follow the Forum rules please if you cannot stomach my opinions. the "Ignore" button is available to you. The debate is about the structure of the game, and what would work best for the game. My views are not exclusive they are shared by many others.

The debate may include how to be "Inclusive" but my opinion is the more inclusive you become the more money is wasted, and the more the product is watered down. The SKY contract is everything we had nigh on 98% agreement on that in a previous debate.

The other week you kindly replied to me a couple of times when you took an alternative view to mine. I asked you (and have asked a you a couple of times) to set out how you think we should restructure and the logoc and reasoning behind your thoughts. You did not answer that.

 

What rules have I broken? I have you on ignore, I posted in relation to Wellsys response.

 

If you think mergers are the way forward then I think you're a fantasist and you post this rubbish despite the overwhelming evidence against mergers. On this basis you expect a level of respect for your opinion but offer little for others.

 

Only on New Years Eve there was a very good program on BT Sport with Tom Watt ex Eastenders. He visited both Rushden and Diamond and Dagenham and Redbridge, both merged Football League clubs. One has basically folded, the other is basically Dagenham by any other name. There are those who would see the parallel at this level of football and RL and for me it offers more insight into what is likely to happen than trying to compare what would happen in the US or Australia. Dagenham was for the fans, Rushden for a rich owner, guess which one failed miserably?

 

In terms of the sport of RL, it exists in the main in the North. In most other countries or cultures, this would be celebrated as a uniquely binding and interesting phenomenon but people of your ilk consider this an abomination.

 

What you ignore is the strength of RL - it's links with community. You can't on one hand prescribe a community growth strategy for London as is now being mooted and then abandon this program with a plan to kill off clubs at the very heart of our game. You also offer no condition for growth. It's a siege mentality that relies on only the biggest pockets being able to buy into RL. That in itself is laughable bearing in mind the reality. For every rich man there's 2 clubs going bust.

 

You asked for my opinion on how I would pay for all this? Try opening your mind to other possibilities other than building bigger walls.

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Parky why did the corporate world not wish to be Associated with this elite and why does RU retain promotion and relegation,as do all real uk sports

We have never had an elite so let's focus on what we are before fantasising about what isn't reality

RL needs the support of all its parts if we are to reach our potential

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Parky why did the corporate world not wish to be Associated with this elite and why does RU retain promotion and relegation,as do all real uk sports

We have never had an elite so let's focus on what we are before fantasising about what isn't reality

RL needs the support of all its parts if we are to reach our potential

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Hull, Wakefield, Bradford, Leeds, Salford, Saints, Wigan, Warrington, Toulouse and Les Cats, all the money into that, centralised financial control, no reliance on rich investors. Seven cities!! What's not to like?

It's too small a footprint. The fixtures will become repetitive and stale. Bradford are shaky organisation, Toulouse are an unknown entity and neither they nor Catalans are a big draw in the UK which will affect crowds. Salford are almost totally reliant on a rich investor. How stable is the new Wakefield ownership.

When any of these weak sisters go under where are you going to get replacement teams from ?

Centralised financial control. What do you mean by that and what are the chances Leeds or Wigan will allow their resources to be shared with Bradford, wakefield or Toulouse.

Contraction is failure and the beginning of a slippery slope to extinction.

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I thought about a ten clubs league, in which having to play each other 3 times is a criticism. I looked some Crowds up for Bradford.v.Leeds

 

2003

Bradford/Leeds 21,784

Leeds/Bradford 23,035

Bradford/Leeds 21,102

2004

Leeds/Bradford 21,225

Bradford/Leeds 23,375

Leeds Bradford 21,255

 

Not bad eh?

2004 is 10 years ago. I might as well quote Oldhams average in the 1950's to prove a point re attendances.

As the saying goes " What have you done for me lately"? and the answer would be "Well, i.ve had a 50% reduction in attendances and two financial meltdowns in the last two years and our team can't make the playoffs or have a decent challenge cup run.

As they say on shares prospectuses " Past performance is no guarantee of future success".

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1. Parky why did the corporate world not wish to be Associated with this elite

 

2. Why does RU retain promotion and relegation,as do all real uk sports

 

3. We have never had an elite so let's focus on what we are before fantasising about what isn't reality

RL needs the support of all its parts if we are to reach our potential

 

1. I don't know Craiq, the answer most people give is that it's a minor regional game?

 

2. Again I don't now for sure, IIRC RU tried to close off P & R

 

3. Well you take an opposite view to me, all inclusive. I'd be interested if you would set out how, with logic and reason, the whole game approach i.e. auto P & R would work in bringing in the corporate world and selling the game to our full potential. I suggest you take into account 1996-2006.

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Parky why did the corporate world not wish to be Associated with this elite and why does RU retain promotion and relegation,as do all real uk sports

 

 

I'm inferring that you reckon Rugby League is not a real sport.

 

Interesting.

"We'll sell you a seat .... but you'll only need the edge of it!"

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Are you deluded. Badford are the team playing in a complete dump of a stadium and have lost 8,000 fans in he last few years.

 

And there must be something to learn from that, Even in the very worst circumstances they still get crowds that any CC can only dream about, and will in all probabillity never attain.

That's just not true. I remember them winning the championship under Peter Fox and their average was about 6,000. I remember them dropping out of the league with attendances in the hundreds. So in the very worst of circumstances they cannot live with some of the attendances that CC clubs can generate, i.e. 6.000 plus at Halifax and 6,000 at Leigh.

I agree that they have potential to be a big drawing team but their history is that they can go in the other direction in a hurry and right now that is the direction they are pointed to.

I hope they stabilise and regroup. the game can do with well supported and well run clubs but right now the jury is out in Bradford's situation.

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As the saying goes " What have you done for me lately"? and the answer would be "Well, I.ve had a 50% reduction in attendances and two financial meltdowns in the last two years and our team can't make the playoffs or have a decent challenge cup run. As they say on shares prospectuses " Past performance is no guarantee of future success".

 

No it isn't your right. So Bradford who never attracted a rich owner (hence the idea they will be sweeping in if P & R returns is pie in the SKY IMHO) should be replaced. Who would you replace them with? This is Giantstrides point? My point has always been if clubs like Wakefield and Bradford cant hack Superleague it's Superleague that needs changing, not Wakefield and Bradford.

 

It takes me back a week when I asked you how it would have benefited Superleague to have relegated Widnes and promoted Sheffield?? You didn't answer, your choice not to.

 

Equally you don't answer why you think that in Bradford and Wakefield failing in SL means the RFL got it wrong at licensing and applicants like Halifax and Barrow should have had the nod?

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2004 is 10 years ago. I might as well quote Oldhams average in the 1950's to prove a point re attendances.

As the saying goes " What have you done for me lately"? and the answer would be "Well, i.ve had a 50% reduction in attendances and two financial meltdowns in the last two years and our team can't make the playoffs or have a decent challenge cup run.

As they say on shares prospectuses " Past performance is no guarantee of future success".

The figures quoted are within the super league era

Bradfords attendances and finances have deteriorated from that point

Their attendances have descended to a point well in excess of what those who would wish to replace them can achieve or would probably ever be capable of achieving.

 

What is this self interest that drives the sl clubs in their smoke filled rooms  you speak of. Can you expand on this please?

WELCOME TO THE ROYSTON VASEY SUPER LEAGUE 2015

Keeping it local

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1. When any of these weak sisters go under where are you going to get replacement teams from ?

2. Centralised financial control. What do you mean by that and what are the chances Leeds or Wigan will allow their resources to be shared with Bradford, wakefield or Toulouse.

 

 

1 & 2. I don't think you read my posts before diving in, There's enough SKY money, and enough fans to fund 10 clubs in a Superleague. The trick is as you say, for the rich clubs to accept that they can't go on hogging the trophies forever, that's why chairmen of lower SL clubs are giving up.

 

So the rich clubs are probably reducing to an elite of eight whilst the SL "failures" cut costs, and cut academies. Ten is a bigger number than eight. Just have a think about it?

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