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


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Your post was a long one and I welcome that, and you state a fine aim ""you need to do something about how clubs/the game is run and set standards for ALL and not just for some"".

I just don't know what that actually means?

 

Sorry for my long posts. I just have problems sometimes trying to explain what I mean in short sentences. The game for me is in a mess and we have many warring factions from SL v the rest to BARLA and the RFL and Pro and amateur clubs fighting each other over youngsters. Rugby League, for me, has many people that are only interested in their own agendas- and I speak from experience with that and not what would be best for everybody. I would even go so far as to say some people have damaged certain parts of the game just so they protect/help their agendas. The problems with SL is just one of a number within our game. If there is to be changes to SL and how its run, then you need to look much deeper than just the problems in SL as often the problems are interlinked. 

Also is it doing Bradford, Crusaders, London etc as well as the SL Brand any good by ignoring the problems they have and hoping things will sort themselves in time? Its OK saying we need Bradford/London/Crusaders in SL but at what cost? I know from the Crusaders time in SL that many people were left severely out of pocket despite verbal promises from Nigel Wood. A potential sponsor looking in and seeing clubs like Wakefield and Bradford going from one problem to the next and issues being ignored would be put off. Just because a club would be a good thing for SL in a good state, doesnt mean that they deserve to be in it if the way they are are causing major issues for others and being a black mark to SL and its reputation. SL and the game should not be ignoring issues and having different sets of rules for different clubs or groups. We all want whats best for the game and each issue needs to be looked at in its own context. But there needs to be transparency and a framework to work with where people feel comfortable with. I just dont see that and why sometimes its frustrating to understand where the game is heading and why some of the decisions have been made. 

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Most people in business do not believe in a communist state

 

 

Hmm - who was it said "the capitalists have just voted for communism" when the NFL had a major restructure in the mid-60s ?

 

Of course, Rugby League has nothing to learn from them.

Edited by Griff

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You're completely misinterpreting what I am saying, and the using false analogies involving political systems and soccer.

The business that is fighting for survival is professional Rugby league. Let's at least establish that. It's a professional Rugby League also known as "superleague" which underpins the whole game because it attracts a £17,000,000 annual TV contract the game relies VERY heavily on. Look at the nameplate on the office door. I saw it 10 years ago and it says "Superleague Europe Limited" on it.

Look at the value of that TV contract. It wouldn't buy a single player from Manchester United or Chelsea's team. These are not "successful capitalist businesses" at all. These clubs expenditures heavily exceed their incomes. They are the biggest financial failures you will find in the whole country. They only get away with it because their owners are £Billionaires, never mind £Millionaires.

Yes Superleague needs more income I agree and less expenditure. No plan is guaranteed success but ten top clubs (less expenditure, more SKY money each) playing each other (bigger crowds), in ten seperate areas (bigger crowds), working to tight budgetary controls, with mechanisms to prevent any club from collapsing is well worth investigation not dismissing on false analogies.

This is where you will fail, you do not generate money by saving money, you cheapen your product which is what we have done

You will also fail to expand without engaging all current RL fans behind an inclusive structure and strategy, you can then expand from strong roots

I would bow to 10 wigans or Leeds drawing 15000+ a game and spending £8m on their business, but we are nowhere near that so instead we must deal with and sell what we currently are

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Hmm - who was it said "the capitalists have just voted for communism" when the NFL had a major restructure in the mid-60s ?

 

Of course, Rugby League has nothing to learn from them.

 

Can't let you get away with that, while trying not to drag this topic into a political debate. Those who claim the NFL as an example of socialism at work have a basic misunderstanding of US culture and in particular US Anti-Trust law which in the ultimate capialist society exists to  restrict the formation of cartels as being in restraint of trade, encourage competition within the industry, and prohibit the creation of a monopoly

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_antitrust_law

 

The NFL has a partial exemption from Anti-Trust Legislation but is not totally exempt as the following article demonstrates 

 

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5214509

 

Please note how anti-trust laws work in favour of small firms, employees (players) and fans.

 

Since Super League is in effect a cartel, quite the opposite of the NFL. Monopolised by a few clubs it rather fits the "socialist milionaire" criteria expounded by some posters on here and as a result is a financially challenged sport in decline

 

So yet again, I repeat the free-market solution to the games woes which is through expansion and the creation new markets and revenues for the sport  broadening the playing and spectator base which is something, as with any business, and that has to be properly planned and executed which takes both strategic vision and political will. It will also mean casualties amongst the "traditionalists" and will ruffle the feathers of those who currently monopolise the competition. It also requires a long -term view about growing the business recognising that results will not be achieved or sustained over the short to medium term.

 

The game is nowhere near this solution as this thread demonstrates but there is no alternative if you want a successful mninority sport in the UK..

Edited by THE RED ROOSTER
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Catalan Dragons are not the team of Perpignan as Castleford Tigers are the team of Castleford, they are the team of the Catalan Region. A huge area, with a very large population. They are the elite face of a rugby league area. This of course is an anathema to you.

 

Of course most of their supporters who turn up for games on a regular basis will be from Perpignan, but their support base is aimed at a much wider audience, and their TV and merchandising base is what they are aiming to sell.

 

 

You really don't get this modern marketing thinking do you.

I guess not. Shouldn't Wigan be called the Greater Manchester Rangers or Salford the Conurbation Lynx or some such ?

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Sorry for my long posts. I just have problems sometimes trying to explain what I mean in short sentences.

 

Seriously, I meant that I welcome your long posts, and I see no need for you  to apologise whatsoever.

 

I do not see any "problems" in your explanations, you were clear. I was just asking for a bit more....

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there will always be failure in sport in fact its a necessary, the problem is if you reward success they will get more successful, in the NFL they reward failure and have a vibrant comp with different teams winning each year, carolina panthers were the worst team last year, this year they are one of the best!

I like their system where clubs aren't responsible for player production and the worst team get first pick of the new talent!

Maybe something that the RFL need to look at! For example london wouldn't have struggled to club train players that would have been down to the RFL, london could sign tomkins or whoever as a youth product at no cost they obviously would be better for it! Also the best london talent could end up, up north like now with no cost to the broncos!

This would also benefit championship clubs as they also could pick some talent after the SL clubs!

They get to pick the best players based on finishing last but it is not at no cost. Once they have made their picks if they don't come up with massive multi millon dollar contracts for the player they will not be able to sign him and all that is before he has played one game at a pro level

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I guess not. Shouldn't Wigan be called the Greater Manchester Rangers or Salford the Conurbation Lynx or some such ?

 

Why not, if it works go for it.

Catalan aren't called Perpignan for a reason !!!

Edited by Padge

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The problem is that no harsh sanction awaits the club in reality of whatever the theory, i.e. they seem to be able to keep playing in the same league rather than being sent down a number of leagues. Thus the risk whilst embarrassing and hard to readjust it isn’t one that is enough to make the club consider the risk too high. Plus it stops any ambitious club and one that may subsequent be better run to take it spot.  So the system allows some clubs to not be so worried about its management because at worse it goes into admin, removes its debt and then can continue where it left off, all-be-it with a minor points reduction.  

 

I take your point about clubs being gung-ho when it comes to trying to arrest a slide with money they do not have. It's a great point. Two things though:-

 

1. In a Superleague in which the clubs are closely monitored collectively via Superleague (Europe) Ltd's accountant, clubs would not be allowed to be gung ho. If they have a problem the SLE board would deal with those problems. Lets take the problem Leeds dumped on Bradford over Iestyn Harris. In a SLE that understands the parts that make up the whole must not start to destroy each other, a solution would have been agreed "in house".

 

Today ironically Uncle Gary is wishing Bradford all the best after their recent problems. Sheeesh....

 

2 "Plus it stops any ambitious club and one that may subsequent be better run to take it spot" I do not understand about clubs being "better run" or "better managed".

 

Let's say Bradford were not that well run as a given. Now lets say Featherstone are well run for sure.

 

The quality of the management cannot make up for the fact that over the last nigh on 40 years Featherstone's best attendances have averaged 4,722, whilst Bradford's best attendances have averaged 15,259.

 

To replace a business with a strong customer base with a business with a poor customer base is business madness. The solution as regards this problem is to sort out the problem with Bradford's management.

 

This is why the RFL took control of the ground, and SLE looked to take control of the club. This is why they didn't want Featherstone to replace Bradford, or Halifax to replace Wakefield come to that....

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Shouldn't Wigan be called the Greater Manchester Rangers or Salford the Conurbation Lynx or some such ?

 

Bit mean spirited that Mr. K??

 

You got it spectacularly wrong with Perpignan/Catalans. The idea of one SL club basing itself in a sizeable place but catering to a wider audience to get the maximum fans/sponsors/players etc is sound.

 

The "Catalans" area crosses into Spain where Les Catalans attracted an 18,000 crowd in Barcelona for their home tie with Warrington. Remember that?

 

OK the mountains are in the way, but not so at Wigan who can attract fans from a wide area. During Salford's poor performances anecdotal evidence is such that fans would get on the train in Manchester, get in cars in Oldham, and travel down the M6 from north Lancashire, Chorley, Preston, etc to support the Wigan club.

 

It doesn't matter what the club is called. Everton attract fans from all over North Wales, and that matters. They do not have to be called North Wales Crusaders.

 

If we want to attract the maximum number of fans, fans need maximum access to attractive clubs.

Edited by The Parksider
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St. Helens and Wigan two of the games biggest clubs add to the eight to make a ten club Superleague and an impressive one at that, couldn't you work that one out??

 

You don't receive, you just transmit. I withdrew Salford from my list and added Widnes. It was a mistake, Any determined and well planned consolidation of SL needs to remove such as Salford even with Koukash. It was a bad mistake. It's easy to be dragged along on the idea rich men's subsidies will "make" the game.

 

That's how your position has gradually evolved to the point where if P & R comes back you said more rich men will somehow be attracted to take on clubs, even though the problem we have is rich men are fed up subbing clubs and losing in the bottom half of SL and rich men are trying to make clubs self sufficient at the top. Even though under P & R 1996 - 2006 few came forward. Care to deal with that??

 

Only two clubs are propped up by regular £Millions, and a 10 strong club Superleague that wants financial stability and longevity does not need that IMHO. Look at Mr. Khan - how long did it take him to walk away? Or Mr. Glover.

 

It was a bad mistake on my part. Salford half competed in SL on Wilkinson's £Millions and he walked away. That left the real prospect of no Salford at all - a big lesson to learn and I made a big mistake and got trapped in the idea a strong SL needs Koukash. Widnes are clearly the better bet with the stronger plans. I can concede to VW on this.

 

You haven't changed your position one iota. You also made the mistake of still insisting on "standards" for P &R when it's standards that keep clubs from promotion. They are not "all inclusive" they prevent what happens on the pitch being the driver for the structure of the game? Care to now deal with that?

Neither St Helens or Wigan or Warrington are big cities. They are big clubs in RL terms but it is you who insist that SL must be made up of big city teams. I repeat, where are they?. Care to deal with that ???

You add Widnes now but when you are riding your merger high horse Widnes are set for the knackers yard. Care to deal with that ????

In a perfect world, all clubs would be profitable and self sustaining. However, in the real world in which RL is currently

operating, the fact is the a great majority of SL teams are propped up by rich men and even the two or three who are self sustaining were bankrolled into that position by rich men.

Salford are in the bottom half and are currently being aggressively financed by an apparently uber rich man. Widnes are in the bottom half and have several rich investors. One announced he was increasing his stake in the last couple of weeks.

Wakefield are in the bottom half. They have just changed one rich investor who walked for some new ones.

Bradford, a protypical BIG club are in the bottom half and the one walking out is negotiating with the ones who want to walk in.

In the championship, currently without p and r Featherstone have rich investors, the main man at Halifax recently increased his investment. Leigh think they have enough money to post a challenge. If there was p and r in place, others may care to jump in. Your theory of they never, ever, ever will invest in Championship rugby doesn't hold water.

Standards prevent under prepared or under capitalised clubs form getting promoted. This is unfortunate but necessary and I CAME TO THIS POSITIION by being persuaded of it's necessity by threads and arguments from you. The standards are to prevent bankruptcies among clubs on winning promotion on the field. They do not prevent promotion of any club if they qualify by meeting the standards. The likely winners of the championship already know this and at least two of them are meeting the standards already. Sheffield are the unknown, but having the greatest regards of mark Aston for what he has achieved to date after starting from below zero with the eagles in CC1, it would nor surprise me if the eagles also found a way. that is my position and I consider it dealt with.

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I take your point about clubs being gung-ho when it comes to trying to arrest a slide with money they do not have. It's a great point. Two things though:-

 

1. In a Superleague in which the clubs are closely monitored collectively via Superleague (Europe) Ltd's accountant, clubs would not be allowed to be gung ho. If they have a problem the SLE board would deal with those problems. Lets take the problem Leeds dumped on Bradford over Iestyn Harris. In a SLE that understands the parts that make up the whole must not start to destroy each other, a solution would have been agreed "in house".

 

Today ironically Uncle Gary is wishing Bradford all the best after their recent problems. Sheeesh....

 

2 "Plus it stops any ambitious club and one that may subsequent be better run to take it spot" I do not understand about clubs being "better run" or "better managed".

 

Let's say Bradford were not that well run as a given. Now lets say Featherstone are well run for sure.

 

The quality of the management cannot make up for the fact that over the last nigh on 40 years Featherstone's best attendances have averaged 4,722, whilst Bradford's best attendances have averaged 15,259.

 

To replace a business with a strong customer base with a business with a poor customer base is business madness. The solution as regards this problem is to sort out the problem with Bradford's management.

 

This is why the RFL took control of the ground, and SLE looked to take control of the club. This is why they didn't want Featherstone to replace Bradford, or Halifax to replace Wakefield come to that....

I agree that it may be harder for say a Featherstone than Bradford to attract attendances, maybe impossible to achieve similar on current averages. But just maybe Featherstone could charge more and fans prepared to pay more than Bradford plus they have some increase from away support of likes of Leeds, etc.   They may be able to exploit the commercial and sponsorship opportunities of being in SL better than a Bradford nowadays.  Then they get the TV monies on top.  Bearing in mind that commercial and sponsorship for some SL clubs is the biggest revenue stream which with TV monies can put gate money third down the list. So the gap on gate-money may not be an insurmountable, all-be-it an issue but not so great against a current Bradford than it would be relative to a Leeds.

 

Even less so if they were in a group of 10 SL sharing a larger pool of TV money from a future TV contract than the new chairman has been brought in to achieve. OK may be wishful thinking on that point but it is achievable and helps lessen the attendance gap issue, especially if a Bradford charge very low pricing for large pool of the attendance.  For all I know a lot of the likes of Bradford charges are for juniors and discretion whilst a Featherstone may be more adult full pricing with potential to charge more.  I have no idea having said that just more painting a picture that the gate-money may be not such a massive factor. Yep, may not have the potential of a Bradford firing on all cylinders but as to a current Bradford unable to ignite any may be a better to give their likes a chance.

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I guess not. Shouldn't Wigan be called the Greater Manchester Rangers or Salford the Conurbation Lynx or some such ?

Why?

 

You can call a club what you like and for any number of reasons

 

There's no such place as wasps, Saracens, or harlequins for their own reasons

 

Grimsby town play in cleethorpes, Patrick thistle play in Maryhill for their own reasons

 

Catalan dragons aren't called perpignan for their own reasons

 

There used to be a rugby league team called unos dabs...no such place

 

Open your mind old cock. It's never too late

Edited by l'angelo mysterioso

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Hi peeps. Obviously I'm new to this forum, but I'll get straight into the thick of it. I honestly think that these structural changes are fairly unimportant IF they mean no change in management in SL. This is the only way investors will get power and I ultimately believe money men like Koukash must now be listened to. We've been debating the cap for years but meanwhile everyone's forgetting the game is bust right now and the most dangerous thing to do with the cap is stand still on the issue. Once we sort out management and give more leverage on the cap, I think we can get a better product. How exactly we format the leagues and how exactly relegation and promotion works is a unimportant, because it's simple unsustainable regardless how the leagues are structured right now. So the RFL must budge and current policymakers must listen to those who are practically saving the sport. They need much more improvement on their investments, otherwise they could slowly walk away.

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In a perfect world, all clubs would be profitable and self sustaining. However, in the real world in which RL is currently

operating, the fact is the a great majority of SL teams are propped up by rich men and even the two or three who are self sustaining were bankrolled into that position by rich men.

 

 

Which do you want? The random, ramshackle world of Superleague as a business being propped up by fly by night one minute I am "investing £Millions" to the next minute "I am standing down" rich men who are so rich the game is £68M in debt, and every assett we have is in hoc to these people?

 

Or a proper SL business based on sound business principles?

 

Try to look at the realities of the rich men. Those at the top of SL who have indeed achieved self sustainability but do not want to put any more in now. Those at the bottom of SL who don't want to put in any more because they are at the bottom and face a glass ceiling. The one who throws £Millions at his club but hasn't had a crowd or a trophy in 12 years? The one who wants to buy the best 25 players in the world and wants to be bigger than Wigan in the 1990's?

 

Isn't it time to say "enough" to these people who are dragging the game down? Or do we have to keep calling for them until Leigh, Fax, Fev, Sheffield and keighley have one, which will happen on the twelfth of never?

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Which do you want? The random, ramshackle world of Superleague as a business being propped up by fly by night one minute I am "investing £Millions" to the next minute "I am standing down" rich men who are so rich the game is £68M in debt, and every assett we have is in hoc to these people?

 

Or a proper SL business based on sound business principles?

 

Try to look at the realities of the rich men. Those at the top of SL who have indeed achieved self sustainability but do not want to put any more in now. Those at the bottom of SL who don't want to put in any more because they are at the bottom and face a glass ceiling. The one who throws £Millions at his club but hasn't had a crowd or a trophy in 12 years? The one who wants to buy the best 25 players in the world and wants to be bigger than Wigan in the 1990's?

 

Isn't it time to say "enough" to these people who are dragging the game down? Or do we have to keep calling for them until Leigh, Fax, Fev, Sheffield and keighley have one, which will happen on the twelfth of never?

The reality is SL cannot, with its amount of debt, be run on sound business principles at this time. It needs investors. We're reforming the game at a time of crisis, not at a time when the game is booming.

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You're completely misinterpreting what I am saying, and the using false analogies involving political systems and soccer.

The business that is fighting for survival is professional Rugby league. Let's at least establish that. It's a professional Rugby League also known as "superleague" which underpins the whole game because it attracts a £17,000,000 annual TV contract the game relies VERY heavily on. Look at the nameplate on the office door. I saw it 10 years ago and it says "Superleague Europe Limited" on it.

Look at the value of that TV contract. It wouldn't buy a single player from Manchester United or Chelsea's team. These are not "successful capitalist businesses" at all. These clubs expenditures heavily exceed their incomes. They are the biggest financial failures you will find in the whole country. They only get away with it because their owners are £Billionaires, never mind £Millionaires.

Yes Superleague needs more income I agree and less expenditure. No plan is guaranteed success but ten top clubs (less expenditure, more SKY money each) playing each other (bigger crowds), in ten seperate areas (bigger crowds), working to tight budgetary controls, with mechanisms to prevent any club from collapsing is well worth investigation not dismissing on false analogies.

+

It's worth investigating if contraction is thought to be progress.

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1. You do not generate money by saving money, you cheapen your product which is what we have done

2. You will also fail to expand without engaging all current RL fans behind an inclusive structure and strategy, you can then expand from strong roots

 

 

1. What are you talking about Craiq? You generate potential profit by saving money. Dump four SL clubs and you save money and cut losses, maybe even then go into profit. The SL clubs know this this is why they are dumping two clubs for starters?.

 

2. "All current fans" (a good numer at least) were given an inclusive structure by Mo Lyndsay. They didn't want it, they wanted 1972. They want the past. They care not for the business side of things.

 

RL needs the tens of thousands of fans who attended the world cup and the tens of thousands of fans who came into the game in response to Superleague.

 

It doesn't need the minority of fans who resist change to the extent that the game is failing, losing money and being manipulated by flakey rich men.

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The reality is SL cannot, with its amount of debt, be run on sound business principles at this time. It needs investors.

 

To invest in what? For what return?? What you mean by so called investment is the pure covering of losses because there are not enough fans, sponsors, pro-players and TV money to support 14 clubs??

 

Every penny Koukash has invested in strengthening his SL team, has weakened the teams he took players off. How many new Salford fans will turn up to watch Rangi Chase, how many old Cas fans will pack it in now Castleford have sold their marquee player?

 

When any business gets in debt it needs sound principles more than ever?

Edited by The Parksider
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What I find pathetic Lizzy is that we have a MONEY problem and we are trying to work out a STRUCTURAL solution.

 

Spot on IMO.

 

John Wilkin among other RL players has been saying this publically for some time and yet the RFL continue along the path of structural change rather than income generation.

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To invest in what? For what return?? What you mean by so called investment is the pure covering of losses because there are not enough fans, sponsors, pro-players and TV money to support 14 clubs??

 

Every penny Koukash has invested in strengthening his SL team, has weakened the teams he took players off. How many new Salford fans will turn up to watch Rangi Chase, how many old Cas fans will pack it in now Castleford have sold their marquee player?

 

When any business gets in debt it needs sound principles more than ever?

Cas is about more than Rangi Chase.

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

Clement Attlee.

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Spot on IMO.

 

John Wilkin among other RL players has been saying this publically for some time and yet the RFL continue along the path of structural change rather than income generation.

 

Or you could argue that the structural solution is a vital element of future revenue generation.  The RFL and KPMG seem to think it's neccessary for this (among others) reason.

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Spot on IMO.

 

John Wilkin among other RL players has been saying this publically for some time and yet the RFL continue along the path of structural change rather than income generation.

 

Bloody Hell, a statement of yours I can agree with.

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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Bloody Hell, a statement of yours I can agree with.

 

Just get her on speed of light or forward passes ;)

Whilst I do not suffer fools gladly, I will always gladly make fools suffer

A man is getting along on the road of wisdom when he realises that his opinion is just an opinion

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Or you could argue that the structural solution is a vital element of future revenue generation.  The RFL and KPMG seem to think it's neccessary for this (among others) reason.

 

The Caine report 40 years ago said what needed to happen as did Framing the Future, 

 

The lack of will to change is slowly killing this game, tails do not wag dogs.

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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