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Rob Elstone

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7 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Do you think the Super 8's will be here next year?

Neither of those people are my messiah. But I don't see the majority of Super League clubs being forced into playing in a comp that they don't want. Something will give.

Until or unless it is announced otherwise by the governing body, after a majority consensus from all the relevant parties, I think the system that was signed up to until 2021 should and will prevail. Just because a few 'powerful men' have declared otherwise I don't believe it is a done deal.

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Just now, Private Baldrick said:

Until or unless it is announced otherwise by the governing body, after a majority consensus from all the relevant parties, I think the system that was signed up to until 2021 should and will prevail. Just because a few 'powerful men' have declared otherwise I don't believe it is a done deal.

I don't believe the RFL own the Super League comp.

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He is an employee. As.  Such he answers to. A board. The only.  Definite members. Of that board are the clubs that will definitely never ever go down - so Wigan/Warrington/Saints now add Hull FC - he needs Leeds onside as the biggest club in the game plus one other - with the chairman being one of those the chairman has the casting vote at deadlock - so Elstone now represents the top 6 clubs in effect

Hetherington as CEO will join, its in Leeds best business interests.

Elstone  dislikes TWP because he cannot see what roots they have put down - Melbourne took over a decade and millions of central funding to achieve this - TWP are a benefit to the division, are currently funded externally and may well be able to raise their game in markets Elstone has no current access to - so that’s TWP in then!

He clearly likes Toulouse and Catalans to the point where he is consciously promoting them. If we look back his mentor Lyndsey was very pro France. Not a surprise that Elstone is.

So that’s an 8 team league then - no mention of London or anyone else to date. Interesting what he doesn’t choose to discuss when he has the platform to do so - Wilkin may not have meant to do this but not pushing Elstone allowed Elstone to self promote his own agenda.

The RFL are the key to Bradford - watch out for the lease to Odsal moving from the RFL to SL ownership - that’s the Bulls back, very quickly indeed.

Lyndsey wanted mergers to take place to drive the sport forward nationally, he even had a global league vision. Remember that because it may be the future - again - SL teams in Aus at cost to try out a market is an obvious thing to do when you are looking at long term competition and forays into new markets and we have done that in the last 12 months. Lenaghan  at the forefront of this with Pearson - who would not want a piece of a billion dollar pie? - and the NRL will be conscious of the potential of a global competition they control and not an international body - very conservative very protectionist but obvious club over country

Elstone is an employee of a board of directors comprising of the present SL clubs. Again, so we get this, under company law he needs to have 6 on side, and the chairman gets the casting vote, unless specifically debarred from doing so.

If i was Giants/Cas/Wakey/Salford/KR/Vikings I would be extremely wary - some of those prize turkeys may have voted for Christmas to come early i’m afraid

As for L1 not being funded - they cant change the formula now, without breaking away and destroying the deal - Elstone could renegotiate secretly to do so - and interestingly the funding for L1 would meet the needs of another SL team as a separate entity more than it would ‘save’ the teams already there - if i was the championship clubs and L1  i would be pushing for a contra lead for the RFL to balance this and protect the sport 

Again Elstone is not here to save RL, he is an employee of SL and has only the vested interests of his employers - he is not his own man - and he has already spelt out quite eloquently the future - keep up or ship out - its a question of what it is you have to keep up with only - 10 team SL X 2 everyone else semi pro or amateur that part RFL, pro clubs SL - top 10 have double voting rights of second 10.

Catalans, Toulouse and TWP may well bring their own funding as we can clearly see how Catalans recruit, who owns TWP and thepublic support for Toulouse that isn’t present in the UK sports market - plus the french TV deal would self fund those teams alone - with Elstone French magic thrown in its a no brainer 

Cap is 2/3rds of full cap for SL2 - 20 licensed teams - forced mergers for allocated cash - Wakey/Cas should be very wary - opens up Cov Bears and other clubs IF they can front up the investment = Elstone’s  ‘minimum criteria”

Bring back GB - instead of spending on and promoting UK and EU international competition

Why? - its cheaper overall, less SL players involved, less to lose -  very very conservative NRL view of international RL - again he is an employee and represents the party line - why are we surprised?

Good for SL business? - very probably

Good for RL overall? -  no, this is not the premier league, there is no top down solution -   Not   Enough coverage or cash to  affect the public consciousness, as a Cas fan he ought to know the   Game is strong because of its appeal at the grass roots and in  communities not because  Wigan or Leeds win everything in a year

Good for International RL? - no - GB should be the best of the UK and Ireland, not England in a different shirt, and that is what it will become

Good for expansion of the game? - in the UK and internationally, depends if you have the cash to join the club

As Elstone always looks like he has to force a smile and his forehead does not tend to move as he bears those lovely white teeth, would anyone be surprised if on Backchat, Elstone ripped off his mask and we realised it was good old Uncle Mo all the time?

we need an rfl ceo with some crystals who can stand up to this because the game is seriously out of balance!

If Elstone is a good thing for the top clubs, we all know too much of a good thing Will kill the sport outside those clubs.

Has anyone even heard if there has been a process to produce the next RFL head? Strangely very very quiet on that one.

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The crunch was going to come one way or the other. Either unilateral SL action like they have done, or the SL clubs would have followed the voting processes until they were defeated, and then resigned from the RFL. There's no turning back now, this is a fundamental dispute about how to drive the professional game forward into the 2020s.

Both sides think the future of RL in this country depends on them winning and the stakes couldn't be bigger. Time will tell who's right, but the lower league clubs (+Leeds)  will have to decide whether to try and frustrate the SL clubs every step of the way, or to seek to try and make the SL plan work in return for some influence.

Based on recent pronouncements, Elstone is throwing olive branches while Chalmers for example is still throwing insults.   

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2 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I don't believe the RFL own the Super League comp.

Maybe not, but they are the governing body, for better or worse, for the game. My perception is that if superleague wish to have the refs dresses in pink, cheerleaders compulsory at every game, multi-coloured pitch markings etc. for their superleague games then that's fine. As to the more structural elements of the sport any decision must have to be a game wide approved change  surely as this affects non superleague teams?

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This is in the articles of association:

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE COMPANY MEMBERS & LEAGUES 
2.1 The ownership of Super League, or such other competition if any as may in the future 
replace it, including the arrangement, management, promotion and administration of the 
Super League competition (and any event or competition involving Clubs in Super League 
and rugby league clubs from the southern hemisphere) and all intellectual property rights 
of any description whatsoever concerning the same shall vest absolutely in SLE.

2.2 SLE shall at all times have the sole and exclusive right to
(a) negotiate contracts for the Broadcasting and other reproductions of the Super 
League and other competitions referred to in Bye-law 2.1; 

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Finally managed to find a bit of the Watkins Review, and whilst there is a good chance this has been superseded, this is the bit that always stuck in my mind:

The articles of SLE also reserve decision making powers to the club shareholders on a number of issues. Only the club shareholders have the power to agree:

a) The competition broadcasting agreement

b ) The title sponsorship of the competition

c) The number of rounds to be played in Super League

d) The format of the Super League.

e) The allocation of central television distributions, prize money and trading surpluses.

 

The articles also confirm those issues upon which decisions can only be made where the approval of a majority of SL clubs and the RFL has been obtained. They are:

a) The number of clubs to play in SL

b ) The SL salary cap restrictions

c) The name of SL

d) Promotion and relegation to/from SL

e) Commitment to the RFL fixture list

f) Obligation of each club to enter the Challenge Cup

g) Ownership of more than one club

 

I cannot locate the SLE Articles of Association, so not sure if any of this has changed.

Edited by Dave T

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

And I suppose this is one of the bits we don't know - unless it has been published somewhere - that the SLE clubs claim they have spoken to Sky and they are paying for number of games rather than the specific format - although Hetherington claimed otherwise.

As far as the official line is going, they will adhere to the tv deal, but I have only seen Hetherington ever claim that change can't be made until the end of the deal. 

So as things stand, my understanding is that, Sky will get the 90 games or so that they pay for, all clubs will continue to get the funding that they agreed, so I'm not sure that any official deal has been ripped up.

I suppose it depends how much the TV deal was linked to the structure. If you ask IL, not at all, if you ask Hetherington, 100%.

With so many issues still remaining unclear, weeks after the botched announcement, it was reckless in the extreme for anyone to have announced a league restructure that has clearly not been agreed by all interested parties as a 'done deal' at a media conference.

That is not the way to behave if you claim to act in the best interests of the sport, because causing a split in the sport is not in its best interests.

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3 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

What's the alternative though John? Sleepwalk in to another year of a 'commercial disaster' because the other clubs won't agree?

Wait until we start negotiations in 2020 (you would hope) and see Sky underbid by millions and then desperately make changes with no time to implement them before a contract must be signed?

See the game implode in a world cup year in 2021 when agreement still can't be reached?

If a majority of SL clubs had decided this wasn't the structure for them the jig was up. Everyone bears responsibility for the fact we have gotten to this point without agreement, and those wanting the status quo are just as responsible as those wanting change for the fact there is this split.  

The alternative? Follow established RFL procedures and find agreement behind closed doors.

If it takes time to find an agreement, so be it.

It may just be that your proposals are actually not that great in the first place if they don't immediately receive unanimous agreement.

That's not an excuse to try to cut everyone else out of the discussion.

Act in haste, repent at leisure.

How many times has this sport rushed into botched league restructures that have failed to deliver all the benefits that were promised by those who proposed them in the first place?

It's happened over, and over, and over again. When will we ever learn?

As to the notion that a self-sufficient Super League would start making giant strides forward once freed from the shackles of the RFL, let's just say I am unconvinced by that argument, and past evidence backs up my doubts.

I'm a Bradford Bulls fan. I remember when my own club used to come out with this sort of self-interested clap-trap. And look where the Bulls are now, due in no small part to the actions of those who used to spout it.

However, that has given me the benefit of being able to watch a lot of League 1 games this year, and I can tell you this for nothing, it is an underrated competition with real value to the sport that does not deserve to be idly cut adrift as a result of some short-sighted financially motivated power grab by a bunch of clubs some of whom can't pull a crowd bigger than Bradford achieve regularly against League 1 opposition.

The sport needs to act in unison if it is to achieve any genuine, long term progress.

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2 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

They had tried to find agreement hasn't they? It seems they couldn't find a middle ground. 

How long do they wait for agreement? Till the end of the season? Next season 2021?

I'm not sure what to make of it. I don't really know what direction the 'cabal' as they have been called want to take the game. There are some elements that make sense to me, especially about focus and responsibility and some that I don't really agree with, and I'm not all that sure we have simply made the change the SL clubs can make rather than the one they want to make and debate going to be stuck with a fudge no-one wants. 

However, what we know is that change was going to be made. It was going to be made back end of last year, then pre season, then in February, then march and we have gotten to June and still no agreement. Do we get get to the end of the year without clubs knowing what they are playing for? Start next year with the same nonsense? 

At some point a decision needed to be made, whether we agreed with it or not. Decisive action was necessary. We can't get away from the fact someone somewhere needed to make a decision. The 'cabal did that. Whether youbagree with there decision or not (and I don't know if I do yet) I absolutely agree with them ripping the plaster off because we were hitting a stage were no decision was worse than a bad one. We were risking seeing not one season distracted by infighting but 2 or 3 years consumed by it, by a game drifting.

What a crazy way to run a sport.

What a crazy way to run anything!

Agreements take time. They require compromise.

The best outcomes are unlikely to ever be achieved by one side stomping all over another.


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1 minute ago, scotchy1 said:

But keeping this for another year, another two, another three would also be one side stomping all over another. 

The status quo isn't the default. Just the status quo. 

How long do we wait for agreement? When is the deadline for agreement to happen because I've a sneaking suspicion that if there isn't a deadline, agreement doesn't happen.

From what I've heard, no one is arguing in favour of a permanent status quo (this is Rugby League, we never stick with anything for very long), just that the proper procedures be followed in order to achieve change.

A few (not all) SL clubs have taken it upon themselves to unilaterally decide the future of the whole sport and announce it at a press conference as a done deal, which it clearly isn't.

I don't think there's any justification at all for that, and if you accept it now without challenge, what else are you giving these people carte blanche to do in a similar fashion in future?


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1 minute ago, scotchy1 said:

So then why isn't there agreement? Why has it taken so much time?

If not the retention of the status quo, why are we seeing such vehemence against the proposed system which is pretty much the status quo that the lower league clubs were arguing in favour of pre licensing?

Had, pre licensing the SL clubs offered the lower leagues one up one down and this level of funding they would have bitten their hands off. Had they offered it in 2014 they would have done as well.

The 8s we were told, and still are being even now by the lower league clubs, were put in place for the SL clubs not them. So what is the hold up? 

No league restructure has ever delivered what has been promised of it. That's why they keep changing them. The search for the Holy Grail goes on. And on. And on....

Maybe if they took their time, they could come up with something that has genuine longevity, instead of rushing to the next quick fix, which is all this is.

I think a lot of people doubt the motives behind this latest scheme.

I know I do.

Right, that's me done for now. I'm off to Odsal to watch a League 1 game in the sunshine. Bulls v Thunder. What will the future of those two clubs be if left to the mercy of the Lenagan Masterplan, I wonder...? 


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Juts listened to the podcast with Mr. Elstone. He talks a good game, but a lot of that is just sound bites: Grow the brand, attract larger sponsors/investors, improve the product, have a clear vision etc. Every sport executive will say exactly the same things.  No real clear ideas as to how these will happen (except for the more/better marketing panacea). It isn't as if these are new ideas to RL. The only concrete step taken so far is to try and protect the lower SL clubs from competition. At the end of the day, actions will speak louder than words.

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5 hours ago, Private Baldrick said:

Until or unless it is announced otherwise by the governing body, after a majority consensus from all the relevant parties, I think the system that was signed up to until 2021 should and will prevail. Just because a few 'powerful men' have declared otherwise I don't believe it is a done deal.

The system wasn’t signed up to 2021, only the tv deal 

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I’m in the Scotchy/Dave camp on this. 

Could Elstone have handled the announcement better? Yes

However, he was making a statement of intent early doors and marking his line. It’s a political game between key powerbrokers and Elstone will be well versed in handling such situations previously. It’s an opportune time with the power vacuum at the RFL and a number of lower league clubs struggling for existence. Why should these clubs have a say in the future when all they do is blow their tv money on players and get themselves in financial difficulty, whilst not contributing anything in terms of youth development?

There’s never going to be consensus but likes of Bradford or Newcastle shouldn’t worry as ultimately they would fall into the bigger picture 

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Just been at Sale Sharks sponsors BBQ today. We're miles behind. Money, credibility and reputation. Chris Ashton introduced as new singing on rumoured £500,000 for the year. As the game naval gazes, everyone else is pulling away. The Wigans of this world want us to compete. The others, I don't know?


030910105148.jpg

http://www.wiganstpats.org

Producing Players Since 1910

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57 minutes ago, The 4 of Us said:

Just been at Sale Sharks sponsors BBQ today. We're miles behind. Money, credibility and reputation. Chris Ashton introduced as new singing on rumoured £500,000 for the year. As the game naval gazes, everyone else is pulling away. The Wigans of this world want us to compete. The others, I don't know?

Sorry you had to endure such a terrible evening, I wouldn’t want to wish that on anybody. Shows how much waste there is in Union if someone’s willing to spend half a mil on that clown...........

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58 minutes ago, DoubleD said:

Sorry you had to endure such a terrible evening, I wouldn’t want to wish that on anybody. Shows how much waste there is in Union if someone’s willing to spend half a mil on that clown...........

One way of looking at it. 


030910105148.jpg

http://www.wiganstpats.org

Producing Players Since 1910

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16 hours ago, John Drake said:

What a crazy way to run a sport.

What a crazy way to run anything!

Agreements take time. They require compromise.

The best outcomes are unlikely to ever be achieved by one side stomping all over another.

To play devils advocate, as I certainly haven't been overly impressed by some of the recent actions, but if there are 11 SL clubs who want change, but being told no by Leeds plus Championship clubs, it seems odd to not use the governance approach agreed.

The format of SL sits with SLE clubs, yet politely following this process has led to deadline after deadline being missed on this. Remember the original claim that the format would be agreed in advance of the season? Maybe the game had reached a stalemate?

It would seem perverse NOT to use their stated rights wouldn't it?

Edited by Dave T

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I was chatting to someone last night that has met Elstone a few times and he said that he was highly impressed and was exactly what the game needed. He said that he was a top notch businessman and was a world away from those that have held leadership roles in RL in the recent past.

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4 hours ago, Damien said:

I was chatting to someone last night that has met Elstone a few times and he said that he was highly impressed and was exactly what the game needed. He said that he was a top notch businessman and was a world away from those that have held leadership roles in RL in the recent past.

We should though remember that he has also held leadership roles in the past in RL.

Very interested to see how he goes, but I agree with the concern of the poster saying it is a lot of soundbites. Now that is to be expected early on to an extent, but I don't think he has said a single specific thing he will do yet. Ian Lenegan did the majority of talking at that opening conference.

I liked him saying he will be held fully accountable, I look forward to that happening. This needs to be a major step up from how the RFL have been running SL, otherwise it is a clear waste of money.

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