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League Restructure Discussion (Merged Threads)

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7 minutes ago, Adeybull said:

Hardly. He is exercising a right to reply to the original statement. They made a public statement; he has responded. Same way the other club chairmen and CEOs so far have. 

Whether the content or tone is professional is a separate argument. My own view is that Lenagan started the hostile tone with his ridiculously-provocative statement that about the SL clubs being terrified of relegation. This was clearly interpreted by many as indicating this coup was all about preserving the SL existence of the weaker SL sides - and it probably detracted from anything more positive in the press conference. 

Now he HAS exercised his right to respond - and I saw little to take issue with in it apart from going ad hominem which was wrong - you would expect him to follow his own argument, and refrain from saying anything else likely to be seen as provocative and confrontational. Otherwise he would be seen as being a hypocrite, as you say.

But he is not a hypocrite merely for making a first response.

It doesn't help though, does it.

Calmer heads are needed.

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7 minutes ago, Dave T said:

That is a good question, I'm not sure how it is set up as to whether it is a contract with SLE or the RFL and then SLE have an agreement with the RFL.

OK... Given that the SLE are prepared to discuss with RFL regards funding until a certain date, which seems being the end of existing TV contract, it may suggest contract is with RFL... 

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12 minutes ago, Bob8 said:

I think we both think we are the most pessimistic!  

I am very negative.  Leigh in particular is one where I a hugely conflicted, it is an incredible heartland of the game.  Losing such clubs is like cutting off a leg and an arm.  You do not do it lightly, indeed, it might be like cutting out the heart.  

I am not a huge fan of NA expansion, the reason is distance.  TWP has people excited, but I recall a hypothetical discussion with someone who wanted NA clubs, but when I suggested Oslo, his only argument for why New York would be great and Oslo would be bad is that suggesting Oslo was stupid.  J

I see us as in a deperate hole.  I could be wrong.  

If you will excuse me Harry, what would Leigh, Halifax or London have to do to make SL very keen to have them in?  (or even Oslo :D )

I am going to turn that question round Bob,

Leneghan, McManus, Moran and Elstone delivered a speech that was about a restructuring of the game being nessacary to protect the incumbants of SL from as they put it a third of the league each season being subject to the terror of being in the bottom four and having to fight for survival, not in those exact words but that was the gist of it, so ultimately they have set the measure of acceptability of their members at the financial, administration, on-field performance, academy structures etc etc to the levels of the worst exponent of those "charachteristics" of the present members of SL, later Elstone went on to say that he would work with clubs to bring them up to the required standards, so in answer to your question any club wishing to enter SL only need to be better than SL's worst to be worthy of admittance, don't they,?

The gang of four also countered that the team who would be promoted from the Championship would only be allowed to enter SL if they met certain standards, anything set higher than the now acceptable level would be sheer hypocracy.

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2 minutes ago, John Drake said:

It doesn't help though, does it.

Calmer heads are needed.

Maybe... but then that is like saying nobody make a comment in response to the first announcement.  Then that gives the airwaves only to the first people that made the announcement.

Thats why any planned announcement should have been agreed with negotiating parties.

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15 minutes ago, Padge said:

There will be a lot of coffins coming out of that room.

I'm putting my name forward to run security for the meeting,  if anyone gets out of line I'll take care of it.

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4 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

I'm guessing the atmosphere in the directors box tonight be interesting.

 

yep, pity Elstone won't be at the game as well.  Would make sense if he wasn't going to be that he changed his plans enjoy watching the game and having a "come to together" and keep it behind closed doors discussion.

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24 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

Some perspective re the possibilities available to the game from establishing pro teams in the North part of America:

The SL portion of  146,760,000 £ for five years equates to 29,352,000 £  or 38,979,603 US$ per season.  That's just a little more than 1/3 of the 90,000,000 US$ which Major League Soccer earns per season from their three TV contracts.

Smashing, and...........

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1 minute ago, Dave T said:

Actually it is slightly more than an assumption. It is based on what Ian Lenegan said - now whether he is bending the truth is a completely different question. Surely he wouldn't do that would he? ;)

 

What we do know though is that there is no Sky L1 contract, yet they get some funding, so that is at least a known.

What we know is that the original announcement stated Sky would show 1 League one game, so that is not quite true?

As for what Lenagan may have said, I do not recall him being a party to the Sky negotiations?  Indeed, IIRC this was a huge gripe of his at the time, when Wood presented the SL clubs with a fair accompli, with Bradford’s vote that may or may not have been secured by assurances that may or may not have been given and that may or may not have been renaged on? And with some SL clubs in such dire financial straits that the £300k bribe was irresistible? (Hell...I am sounding like Parksider now...better go see someone and get help...).

If Lenagan knows for a fact that Sky paid no more than they would have done anyway just for SL rights, and if he can prove it, then his argument wins out irrefutably. And much of my own hostility would be removed. If, however, it is just what he believes - or it is his belief, not knowledge, that Wood may or may not have reported the substance of the deal honestly and accurately - then it remains all based on assumptions.

Do you know if Lenagan has ever stated categorically, supported by evidence, that the deal included zero extra for the rights to non-SL games? Serious question, because it would have a significant bearing on my stance on this subject.


The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts.

Bury your memories; bury your friends. Leave it alone for a year or two.  Till the stories grow hazy, and the legends come true.  Then do it again - some things never end.

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2 minutes ago, redjonn said:

Maybe... but then that is like saying nobody make a comment in response to the first announcement.  Then that gives the airwaves only to the first people that made the announcement.

Thats why any planned announcement should have been agreed with negotiating parties.

Your second point is correct.

But two wrongs never make a right, they just make a mess, which is where we're at now, with all and sundry firing their cannons at each other.

The only response needed to the first announcement was to call for all the clubs to discuss their differences with each other in private, until they reach a solution.

It's not like RL is a democracy and whoever wins over public opinion is going to get their way.


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1 minute ago, Adeybull said:

What we know is that the original announcement stated Sky would show 1 League one game, so that is not quite true?

As for what Lenagan may have said, I do not recall him being a party to the Sky negotiations?  Indeed, IIRC this was a huge gripe of his at the time, when Wood presented the SL clubs with a fair accompli, with Bradford’s vote that may or may not have been secured by assurances that may or may not have been given and that may or may not have been renaged on? And with some SL clubs in such dire financial straits that the £300k bribe was irresistible? (Hell...I am sounding like Parksider now...better go see someone and get help...).

If Lenagan knows for a fact that Sky paid no more than they would have done anyway just for SL rights, and if he can prove it, then his argument wins out irrefutably. And much of my own hostility would be removed. If, however, it is just what he believes - or it is his belief, not knowledge, that Wood may or may not have reported the substance of the deal honestly and accurately - then it remains all based on assumptions.

Do you know if Lenagan has ever stated categorically, supported by evidence, that the deal included zero extra for the rights to non-SL games? Serious question, because it would have a significant bearing on my stance on this subject.

It may or may not

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3 minutes ago, John Drake said:

Your second point is correct.

But two wrongs never make a right, they just make a mess, which is where we're at now, with all and sundry firing their cannons at each other.

The only response needed to the first announcement was to call for all the clubs to discuss their differences with each other in private, until they reach a solution.

It's not like RL is a democracy and whoever wins over public opinion is going to get their way.

I agree ... but once the damage and hence trust is gone... you have little choice. The problem being the lost of trust.... you can only stop if trust is reestablished.  That requires SLE to reestablish said trust again.

Actually I thought some of the later statements gave another perspective which was helpful.

Edited by redjonn

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7 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

I am going to turn that question round Bob,

Leneghan, McManus, Moran and Elstone delivered a speech that was about a restructuring of the game being nessacary to protect the incumbants of SL from as they put it a third of the league each season being subject to the terror of being in the bottom four and having to fight for survival, not in those exact words but that was the gist of it, so ultimately they have set the measure of acceptability of their members at the financial, administration, on-field performance, academy structures etc etc to the levels of the worst exponent of those "charachteristics" of the present members of SL, later Elstone went on to say that he would work with clubs to bring them up to the required standards, so in answer to your question any club wishing to enter SL only need to be better than SL's worst to be worthy of admittance, don't they,?

The gang of four also countered that the team who would be promoted from the Championship would only be allowed to enter SL if they met certain standards, anything set higher than the now acceptable level would be sheer hypocracy.

That would suggest that you the twelve clubs in Super League at the moment are clearly the best.

Which, depends on how you define best for Super League.  Which in turn depends on what Super League is for.

And, these questions are not discussed.  That is why I was trying to ask about face in the first place, I fear that if asking it the way round you put it was constructive, these threads would be far shorter.

If we see of organic grassroots rugby league sport, and want to give the pinnacle of that sport the chance to play full time, high profile rugby league, you are very fair.  You are also a traditionalist.

If we see Super League as a business deal, that we sell off to pay for the sport, then you are a "modernist".  

If we see it as an exciting chance to have the sport be a big sensation in new cities that we choose because we like the sound of it, then we can bother agree that it would make us an idiot.


"You clearly have never met Bob8 then, he's like a veritable Bryan Ferry of RL." - Johnoco 19 Jul 2014

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1 minute ago, redjonn said:

I agree ... but once the damage and hence trust is gone... you have little choice. The problem being the lost of trust....

Actually I thought some of the later statements gave another perspective which was helpful.

There's always a choice.

Some clubs - to their credit IMO - have not commented publicly at all.

It doesn't mean they won't have a view.


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34 minutes ago, Padge said:

No SL agreed to allow the RFL to negotiate on their behalf, which is totally different in effect the RFL were the broker not the customer.

Ok.. so does not mean the contract is with SL clubs or RFL or RFL on behalf of SL clubs.     Did SL have a single entity to make a contract at the time.

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9 minutes ago, John Drake said:

It doesn't help though, does it.

Calmer heads are needed.

No John, two wrongs indeed do not make a right. The whole chuffing lot of them should be acting more professionally - although I realise that is an oxymoron when applied to so many things in the running of the game.

I can only defend the right of response to the original declaration - or at least, to how the responders interpreted it. Lenagan & co started it by making an unscheduled and provocative declaration that was guaranteed to send at least some of the owners of non-SL clubs into collective apoplexy. Let alone uncle Gary. Indeed, I am increasingly thinking  was this intentional, to provoke precisely the sort of responses we have seen? And to have a major influence on the opinion of fans of SL clubs, since they must have known that they were promising something that - without further action and agreement - they may well be precluded from delivering as things stand?

I definitely agree that cool heads are required now. But I can only support the right of reply to the original provocative declaration, which surely could not be left unchallenged?


The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts.

Bury your memories; bury your friends. Leave it alone for a year or two.  Till the stories grow hazy, and the legends come true.  Then do it again - some things never end.

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17 minutes ago, redjonn said:

OK... Given that the SLE are prepared to discuss with RFL regards funding until a certain date, which seems being the end of existing TV contract, it may suggest contract is with RFL... 

If your right then SL is in no position to discuss anything, I think you will find it SL that holds the bargaining chips.

Effectively they are saying we will honour the current agreement (saves all those pesky legal fees), then we will see what happens next later.


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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9 minutes ago, Adeybull said:

What we know is that the original announcement stated Sky would show 1 League one game, so that is not quite true?

As for what Lenagan may have said, I do not recall him being a party to the Sky negotiations?  Indeed, IIRC this was a huge gripe of his at the time, when Wood presented the SL clubs with a fair accompli, with Bradford’s vote that may or may not have been secured by assurances that may or may not have been given and that may or may not have been renaged on? And with some SL clubs in such dire financial straits that the £300k bribe was irresistible? (Hell...I am sounding like Parksider now...better go see someone and get help...).

 If Lenagan knows for a fact that Sky paid no more than they would have done anyway just for SL rights, and if he can prove it, then his argument wins out irrefutably. And much of my own hostility would be removed. If, however, it is just what he believes - or it is his belief, not knowledge, that Wood may or may not have reported the substance of the deal honestly and accurately - then it remains all based on assumptions.

 Do you know if Lenagan has ever stated categorically, supported by evidence, that the deal included zero extra for the rights to non-SL games? Serious question, because it would have a significant bearing on my stance on this subject.

I am only going off what was claimed in the conference. And we need to remember that not all central funding around the £200m is SLE contract - we know that some is for Challenge Cup, Internationals etc.

But Lenegan stated that they have worked with the RFL to understand the flow of funding, and where it was coming from, before stating that the money they are referring to is the money that is routed from SLE money to the other clubs.

We do need to remember that clubs could still receive central funding even if SLE took every penny they say they are entitled to.

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3 minutes ago, redjonn said:

Ok.. so does not mean the contract is with SL clubs or RFL or RFL on behalf of SL clubs.     Did SL have a single entity to make a contract at the time.

SLE has been set up for over 20 years for the purposes of the tv and sponsorship contract I believe. Whether that is how this contract was sorted I have no idea.

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2 minutes ago, John Drake said:

There's always a choice.

Some clubs - to their credit IMO - have not commented publicly at all.

It doesn't mean they won't have a view.

or they have agreed with others in making a view they agree with and hence no need to.

As I say trust needs be re-established and I agree that would help if all clubs representatives stopped commenting,  Never-the-less in letting the genie out the bottle it was inevitable and surely known to those that made the original announcement. Thats what is so disappointing.

Hopefully every club representative who wants to have their say have done so.

 

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4 minutes ago, John Drake said:

There's always a choice.

Some clubs - to their credit IMO - have not commented publicly at all.

It doesn't mean they won't have a view.

Widnes don’t seem to have, but the current shambles at my club needs the concentration from all stakeholders at the moment, quite happy for them to stay out of this at the minute. James Rule loves a statement, if we were in better health I’d have expected him to wade in by now

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26 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Actually it is slightly more than an assumption. It is based on what Ian Lenegan said - now whether he is bending the truth is a completely different question. Surely he wouldn't do that would he? ;)

 

What we do know though is that there is no Sky L1 contract, yet they get some funding, so that is at least a known.

Read back David it says SL have 71 televised games, Championship 17 and league 1 1 game.  Must be some game to pay them 1.822M for it.

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8 minutes ago, redjonn said:

Ok.. so does not mean the contract is with SL clubs or RFL or RFL on behalf of SL clubs.     Did SL have a single entity to make a contract at the time.

Yes


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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1 hour ago, Blackpool Hawk said:

 

Hunslet RLFC Chairman Neil Hampshire has released a statement following the events this week which saw a handful of Betfred Super League officials lined up alongside new chief executive Robert Elstone to unveil “radical changes” to the game.

Neil Hampshire commented “As League 1 has its most competitive season ever, producing a product the game can be proud to promote, it’s really disheartening to see the wider game starting to tear itself apart at the top.

“Robert Elstone, the new Super League CEO, certainly made sure his entrance into his new role wasn’t going to be missed by beginning his tenure with a dramatic statement that the Super 8s would be ditched in favour of a one up one down system whereby the million pound game would become a play off between the top 2 in the Championship.

“To top it off he finished by saying that Super League would also be running themselves without any future interference from the RFL, thank you very much.

“The fact that he then had to backtrack from all of this as being a done deal less than 48 hours later, when the RFL confirmed nothing at all has been agreed, didn’t matter one jot to him.

“Damage done, as he’d already planted the seed in the eyes of all Super League supporters, game wide sponsors and stakeholders which was his primary objective.

“In his first week we have already learned a lot about the type of political spin doctoring Mr Elstone will be bringing to his new post.

“Is all as straightforward as it seems though? Certainly Gary Hetherington made it absolutely clear that not everyone in Super League was supportive of this approach referring to “an absurd grab for power by a small group of men who think that they own the game”.

“I also thought it was quite telling that only three Super League Chairman could actually be bothered to turn up to anoint their appointed saviour.

“Then of course there is the small matter of the Championship and League 1 Clubs. the vast majority of whom are less than enamored with the proposals and have already entered into talks with Super League and the RFL to tell them exactly that.

“This whole situation stems of course from Wigan Chairman Ian Lenegan who famously wrote directly to the RFL to suggest that, among other things, the RFL should:

  • “Eliminate Championship / Championship 1 payments as soon as possible under Contracts by RFL negotiation. Replace then with whatever funding to Championship the new SL Board views as reasonable”
  • “Eliminate any SL funding to Championship 1 and encourage Clubs to become similar to leading community Clubs”

And allow Super League to:

  • “Take over commercial control of SL sponsorship”
  • “Take the lead role in discussions with Sky Sport over SL Broadcasting”

“The fact that he didn’t even realise we are called League 1 rather than Championship 1 hardly inspires.

“The latest to jump onto the bandwagon is of course Lenegans fellow SL puppet master Eamon McManus, esteemed Chair of St Helens. In his response to Gary Hetherington he said “….their Clubs do actually own Super League and in equal shareholding proportions”.

Erm, but that ownership changes dependent on who is actually in Super League doesn’t it Eamon? So if 4 Championship Clubs were to be promoted at the end of this season then things may not be quite the same around that top table? Oh of course, that’s why you want to stop that possibility………

“Some may view this stance as a little hypocritical as the League ditched the 8s system at the end of last season. There were actually 2 major contributing factors.

“Firstly, most clubs are tenants rather than owners of their own stadia in this league and it was becoming incredibly difficult to arrange fixtures at short notice.

“But secondly, and by far most importantly for the Clubs, we retained the 2 up 2 down promotion and relegation system. Different structure yes, but it still gives the same outcome.

“That’s not what’s being proposed in Super League and let’s face it, promotion and relegation is one of the two core principles at the heart of this whole conflict.

“Lest we forget, licensing almost destroyed the game creating far too much of a financial gap between SL and the rest and many of our current problems are still down to the fact that that divide has still to be bridged.

“It was a system that also openly rewarded failure by allowing teams the opportunity to finish bottom 3 years on the trot and yet still retain their place via an approved application process.

“Only one Club, Widnes, ever made the step up during the licensing years and even then they only finished mid table in the year their application was accepted.

“No doubt they were holding funds back for the following year but who could blame them? It was the flaw which helped expose the folly of the system for what it was.

“Whichever way you look at it though, the Super 8s still offers every single Club within the Super League the chance to keep their status but this time through their performances on the pitch.

“The fact that it also offers 4 Championship Clubs a shot at glory at the same time is surely a bonus that should be embraced as a way of driving up standards at the elite end of the sport.

“It’s also a great way to attract investment. Look at Toronto. They have bought into this whole process in the knowledge that they would have a decent chance to go from League 1 to Super League in just 3 years. If that’s achieved it will be a hugely positive story we can all use to entice new stakeholders and sponsors.

“For those relegated they will also still have a really good chance of an immediate return as Hull KR proved last year. Moving to a one up one down system to me would inevitably lead to the return of “boom and bust” as Clubs go all out to try and procure that single exclusive spot.

“Sorry, but we’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt and it’s not a place I think our sport should be rushing back to anytime soon.

“The second core principle in this argument is of course Super League’s desire to own and control its own destiny.

“That leads me to consider our own Club History. Here at Hunslet of course we were denied entry to the promised land back in 1999 when we won the Northern Ford Premiership Grand Final in only the second year of the Super League era.

“The argument was based solely around our ground not meeting the right standards. It was pretty galling at the time as a number of existing Super League grounds didn’t meet the criteria either. Other Clubs both before and after us, notably Keighley and Dewsbury, were similarly ostracised.

“I mention this because my worry would be that allowing Super League control of their own competition would inevitably lead to the return of such unfair practices that would allow them the final say on who gets to sit at the top table.

“The only way to avoid that type of unjust control is to keep the sport under the independent control of the RFL. Promotion and relegation is without doubt the lifeblood of British sport.

“Given the position we find ourselves in I’m also supportive of a “root and branch” review of the whole sport. Wouldn’t it be fantastic for example if we had a whole game pyramid system? Surely that would increase interest in the sport at all levels and provide the most effective player pathway platform?

“For now though I think it’s time to call an end to the open hostility and bickering in the media and get everybody back round the table to discuss things openly and honestly otherwise we’ll never move forward.

“We definitely don’t want to see a split similar to that of 1895 and believe me I don’t think that’s completely out of the question if things start to go pear shaped here.

“We need to be a lot smarter as a sport and make sure that the column inches we get in the press promote, rather than denigrate, our game.

“One can only imagine how this looks to our major paymasters at Sky who must be rubbing their hands with glee at the possibility of getting a new TV deal at cut price whilst the sport implodes in a never ending round of internal bickering.

“All anyone asks is a fair deal for all Clubs that will help us all to promote and grow the greatest game.

“We are after all called Rugby League not Super League and we would all do well to remember that.

Or in Other-words , Hunslet is a farm club for Leeds therefore in order to keep access to the best Leeds players I will support my clubs benefactor and say what he want me to say.

All the power, that we have kept in Yorkshire for all these decades, that has been used to prop up under achieving Yorkshire clubs, will be gone if this is allowed to happen (remember when we conned the Lancashire clubs into investing into there grounds rather than their teams :) ).

 

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1 minute ago, Dave T said:

I am only going off what was claimed in the conference. And we need to remember that not all central funding around the £200m is SLE contract - we know that some is for Challenge Cup, Internationals etc.

But Lenegan stated that they have worked with the RFL to understand the flow of funding, and where it was coming from, before stating that the money they are referring to is the money that is routed from SLE money to the other clubs.

We do need to remember that clubs could still receive central funding even if SLE took every penny they say they are entitled to.

I know Dave. And we also know the RFL receives funding from other sources than Sky - how much of THAT are Lenagan & co. claiming?

I would feel far less concerned if this whole funding argument was more transparent, and we could actually see the numbers and facts behind the argument. It would cut out a load of supposition, assumption and argument. But it has not been. And I fear it never will be made so, not least because to do so could shine light on matters that have not yet seen the light of day?


The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts.

Bury your memories; bury your friends. Leave it alone for a year or two.  Till the stories grow hazy, and the legends come true.  Then do it again - some things never end.

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