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Dominic

Super League run as Conferences

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Yes... a lot has been said about this... and a lot of people hate it... but today I was speaking with a coach of a Super League side ? whilst he was watching re-runs of his players at the weekend and we both believe running the league in Conferences is likely the way the sport will go what with all the North American (and now potentially Catalonian ?) interest.  So here is my idea (please don't hate me ?)...

 

Lancashire Conference:

  • St Helens, Wigan, Salford, Leigh, Swinton

Yorkshire Conference:

  • Leeds, Huddersfield, Halifax, Bradford, York

The East (Humberside/Calder):

  • Hull FC, Hull KR, Castleford, Wakefield, Featherstone

The West (Cheshire/Cumbria):

  • Warrington, Widnes, Barrow, Workington, Whitehaven

 

And if you're still with me this is where you have to use your imagination... ?

 

North American:

  • Toronto, New York, Ottowa, Jacksonville, Hamilton 

European:

  • Catalans Dragons, Toulouse, London Broncos, London Skolars, Crusaders

 

The European Conference could even split into a European Conference (Catalans, Toulouse, Paris, Belgrade, Barcelona) and a UK Conference (Broncos, Skolars, Crusaders, Raiders, Edinburgh Eagles).  The opportunities for further growth here are endless... ?

 

8 Matches played in each Conference (4 Home/4 Away) plus 20 other Conference (10 Home/10 Away), and 2 Magic Weekend Games.  And yes, you guessed it, I also watch the NFL...

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I don’t understand why people keep suggesting this, the only way we’ll have conferences is if we have enough North American clubs ie 8 or more IMO then we’ll have SL Europe and SL America

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Conferences could work but not the above list.

Saints, Wigan, Warrington and Cumbria/Crusaders/New Liverpool team

Huddersfield, Wakey, Cas and Salford

Leeds, Bradford, Hull and KR 

London, Toronto, Toulouse and Cats 

That would be 16, it isn't unrealistic and includes all the big clubs and sleeping giants.

London would have to become professional (off field) and The French would need a TV deal to fund the difference for the extra 3 teams (4 If Toronoto want a slice of the pie which they currently don't take).

You could still have P&R but would need to be means tested with the 4th conference protected from relegation. (Provided they met the terms of their licence regarding player development ,ground, marketing etc..). 

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I think we’d possibly need to look into conferences or going away from the traditional home and away cycle of fixtures if we managed to get sixteen sides of a sufficient quality and we had four of those being non-heartland based sides, IMO. 

However, we’re a very long way off that. We don’t have twelve teams of sufficient quality on and off the pitch, so worrying about the make up of a bigger league isn’t something we should be bothered about now. 

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5 minutes ago, M j M said:

If you're going to keep the conferences local you can't split up Leeds and Cas!

 

There would be interconference games.. 

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2 hours ago, yipyee said:

Conferences could work but not the above list.

Saints, Wigan, Warrington and Cumbria/Crusaders/New Liverpool team

Huddersfield, Wakey, Cas and Salford

Leeds, Bradford, Hull and KR 

London, Toronto, Toulouse and Cats 

That would be 16, it isn't unrealistic and includes all the big clubs and sleeping giants.

London would have to become professional (off field) and The French would need a TV deal to fund the difference for the extra 3 teams (4 If Toronoto want a slice of the pie which they currently don't take).

You could still have P&R but would need to be means tested with the 4th conference protected from relegation. (Provided they met the terms of their licence regarding player development ,ground, marketing etc..). 

It's totally unrealistic.

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3 hours ago, Dominic said:

Yes... a lot has been said about this... and a lot of people hate it... but today I was speaking with a coach of a Super League side ? whilst he was watching re-runs of his players at the weekend and we both believe running the league in Conferences is likely the way the sport will go what with all the North American (and now potentially Catalonian ?) interest.  So here is my idea (please don't hate me ?)...

 

Lancashire Conference:

  • St Helens, Wigan, Salford, Leigh, Swinton

Yorkshire Conference:

  • Leeds, Huddersfield, Halifax, Bradford, York

The East (Humberside/Calder):

  • Hull FC, Hull KR, Castleford, Wakefield, Featherstone

The West (Cheshire/Cumbria):

  • Warrington, Widnes, Barrow, Workington, Whitehaven

 

And if you're still with me this is where you have to use your imagination... ?

 

North American:

  • Toronto, New York, Ottowa, Jacksonville, Hamilton 

European:

  • Catalans Dragons, Toulouse, London Broncos, London Skolars, Crusaders

 

The European Conference could even split into a European Conference (Catalans, Toulouse, Paris, Belgrade, Barcelona) and a UK Conference (Broncos, Skolars, Crusaders, Raiders, Edinburgh Eagles).  The opportunities for further growth here are endless... ?

 

8 Matches played in each Conference (4 Home/4 Away) plus 20 other Conference (10 Home/10 Away), and 2 Magic Weekend Games.  And yes, you guessed it, I also watch the NFL...

FYI those are divisions, not conferences.  There's no such thing as a conference with only 5 teams!

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6 hours ago, Big Picture said:

FYI those are divisions, not conferences.  There's no such thing as a conference with only 5 teams!

Don't let it bother you BP, there will no such thing as conferences in Rugby League, that would only necessitate itself if we had multiple teams from overseas and we ain't going to get them in anything like the numbers required.

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9 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

It's totally unrealistic.

Why?

All the clubs exsist / will exsist and all have SL ambition. . Please elaborate otherwise it's a stupid comment

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Just now, yipyee said:

Why?

All the clubs exsist / will exsist and all have SL ambition. . Please elaborate otherwise it's a stupid comment

I most definatley will do, but it will take a while, will be out of Internet range for a good time

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12 hours ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

Do we? 

I’d say we have about 10-12, at most. 

Yes we do if you wish to support the American adventure before RU seize the moment. It is our duty to support the Vision over the pond, and starting in C1 against a load of pub teams is not the way to introduce our sport. It is our duty to also create a FT player pool in France outside Catalans, Toulouse and at least 1 other must benefit from this expansion. So far this season Bradford and Fax have beat SL opponents, Leigh with all our problems should have and TW/TO the T2 didn't enter. Widnes, TW, TO, Leigh and Bradford would enhance an expanded SL, greater risk in Fax, Ottawa, Avignon

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32 minutes ago, sweaty craiq said:

Yes we do if you wish to support the American adventure before RU seize the moment. It is our duty to support the Vision over the pond, and starting in C1 against a load of pub teams is not the way to introduce our sport. It is our duty to also create a FT player pool in France outside Catalans, Toulouse and at least 1 other must benefit from this expansion. So far this season Bradford and Fax have beat SL opponents, Leigh with all our problems should have and TW/TO the T2 didn't enter. Widnes, TW, TO, Leigh and Bradford would enhance an expanded SL, greater risk in Fax, Ottawa, Avignon

I’d argue that Leigh, Toulouse, Widnes and Bradford do not have the infrastructure to support a Super League club, at present. 

Toronto probably do, however, that ground looks awful and there’s question marks around some logistics and some of the finances last year. 

I would question how viable Huddersfield, Salford and London were long-term, as well. 

 

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I love the game of Rugby League and I love the Promotion/Relegation battles but if we are going to grow the sport and welcome new markets then I think a Conference structure is inevitable.

The conferences at the top of the message maintain all big rivalries and local derbies as well as create a mechanism for growth.

If Perez and a few more of his mates were to throw a few million pound at another 3 cities in North America and potentially establish a total of 5 teams it will take years for them to move up the leagues.  And what then...

  • Super League of 12 teams, 5 of whom are American, and 2 french???
  • Only 5 potential away games you'd stand much chance of getting to.
  • One team gets stuck in C1 and the investor backs out - not because the team is bad but because there were too many big new clubs in the league fighting for one promotion place - and another defunct expansion side...

The conference structure keeps the relationship between clubs and their fans, and has the benefit of crowning more "Champions" as teams win their conference, plus adds to the play-off drama as teams compete for the Super League Championship.  It keeps Super League relevant across a wider population and not just confined to the big 12.

It could also interest more financial investment:

  • The West Conference would consist of Barrow, Workington, Widnes, Whitehaven, Warrington
  • Winning the group would get you to the play-offs
  • A team like Workington with a new community stadium on its way could potentially become a big player in a short amount of time just through attracting a financial investor and better players to their club without having to battle through the leagues.
  • More fans are likely to attend Home/Away fixtures against conference rivals.

Either we stick with the same old story which is stuck a few miles north of Birmingham or we are brave and try something radical.

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2 hours ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

I’d argue that Leigh, Toulouse, Widnes and Bradford do not have the infrastructure to support a Super League club, at present. 

Toronto probably do, however, that ground looks awful and there’s question marks around some logistics and some of the finances last year. 

I would question how viable Huddersfield, Salford and London were long-term, as well. 

 

Continue to take out all the teams you started listing here and Super League of the future consists of Wigan and St Helens playing 15 games at Home and 15 games Away.  I think we need to give some of these teams more credit.

If a team can afford to pay the players wages and get too and from games then they're ready.  If they can't then they need to cut back on their commitments to player salaries or look for more financial backing.

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11 minutes ago, Dominic said:

Continue to take out all the teams you started listing here and Super League of the future consists of Wigan and St Helens playing 15 games at Home and 15 games Away.  I think we need to give some of these teams more credit.

If a team can afford to pay the players wages and get too and from games then they're ready.  If they can't then they need to cut back on their commitments to player salaries or look for more financial backing.

What a negligent approach that would be. 

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2 hours ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

I’d argue that Leigh, Toulouse, Widnes and Bradford do not have the infrastructure to support a Super League club, at present. 

Toronto probably do, however, that ground looks awful and there’s question marks around some logistics and some of the finances last year. 

I would question how viable Huddersfield, Salford and London were long-term, as well. 

 

Bradford still have an academy? 

Bradford are still capable of drawing large crowds?

Bradford have a SL experienced coach

Bradford have a secure base/ home which meets the minimum SL criteria?

Not sure about the backroom set up but they have the basis of a SL club.

Widnes and Leigh do have the infrastructure and have both recently been in SL. However both have had 2 attempts to be a top level club and are probably at their right level. 

Toulouse are inexperienced but are learning year on year. They have an academy but need to nail down a home suitable for SL. They need to be carefully nurtured but are going in the right direction. What's important is it appears the local government and RU club are  ring supportive.

Toronto for me are not SL ready. Their ground is not good enough, there's issues with the SL season start with weather, they don't have an academy and all this points to money. Without money they can't attract talent (ready made) and without money they can't fulfil their fixtures with the distances involved. Also they are used to winning. What will happen to their support if they are at the foot of SL for a couple of years like Catalan where? 

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