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Schoey: Is the risk worth it outside Super League?


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The most compelling argument against running the season is the financial rather than health one, in my view.  Mothballing a club, unattractive as it is, may mitigate the heavy losses that could be incurred by gearing up for a full season and incurring the necessary overheads only to have revenues slashed by a truncated or patchy season.

It's a difficult call and I don't have insight into any given club's finances, but I'd imagine the prospect of an on-off season will put some clubs at serious risk of insolvency.  Many will be starting the season already weakened by last.  Some clubs will make the assessment that they'll be ok, even with reduced revenues, others just won't be able to afford it.

It's alright saying "we're only in January" (nearly February) but the rollout of vaccines (specifically getting the second jab to the most vulnerable groups) is at least 4 -5 months away (1 to 2 months for the first jab + 12 weeks to administer all of the second ones).  The government has made no promise to lift restrictions before then.

I'm an optimistic chap and if I were a club I'd probably plan for a "worst best-case scenario", planning for closed doors until June, with limited crowds between June - season end.

It's certainly not about putting people out of work; the intention would be to keep people in work from 2022, rather than permanently out of it by being forced to end the club.

As a minimum this should form part of each club's scenario planning; Schofield may have jumped the gun in this respect but I don't think his position is ludicrous by any stretch.

 

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That doesn't mean we decide in January to cancel the season. 

It is odd to write off the season at this stage. These are people's jobs and livelihoods we are talking about, he should maybe be a little more considerate of that. I did see criticism on twitter from

I don’t even know where to start with this. Typical “Schoey”. 

39 minutes ago, Tonka said:

The most compelling argument against running the season is the financial rather than health one, in my view.  Mothballing a club, unattractive as it is, may mitigate the heavy losses that could be incurred by gearing up for a full season and incurring the necessary overheads only to have revenues slashed by a truncated or patchy season.

It's a difficult call and I don't have insight into any given club's finances, but I'd imagine the prospect of an on-off season will put some clubs at serious risk of insolvency.  Many will be starting the season already weakened by last.  Some clubs will make the assessment that they'll be ok, even with reduced revenues, others just won't be able to afford it.

It's alright saying "we're only in January" (nearly February) but the rollout of vaccines (specifically getting the second jab to the most vulnerable groups) is at least 4 -5 months away (1 to 2 months for the first jab + 12 weeks to administer all of the second ones).  The government has made no promise to lift restrictions before then.

I'm an optimistic chap and if I were a club I'd probably plan for a "worst best-case scenario", planning for closed doors until June, with limited crowds between June - season end.

It's certainly not about putting people out of work; the intention would be to keep people in work from 2022, rather than permanently out of it by being forced to end the club.

As a minimum this should form part of each club's scenario planning; Schofield may have jumped the gun in this respect but I don't think his position is ludicrous by any stretch.

 

Again, those are all valid concerns but no reason for cancelling the season in January.

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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43 minutes ago, Tonka said:

The most compelling argument against running the season is the financial rather than health one, in my view.  Mothballing a club, unattractive as it is, may mitigate the heavy losses that could be incurred by gearing up for a full season and incurring the necessary overheads only to have revenues slashed by a truncated or patchy season.

It's a difficult call and I don't have insight into any given club's finances, but I'd imagine the prospect of an on-off season will put some clubs at serious risk of insolvency.  Many will be starting the season already weakened by last.  Some clubs will make the assessment that they'll be ok, even with reduced revenues, others just won't be able to afford it.

It's alright saying "we're only in January" (nearly February) but the rollout of vaccines (specifically getting the second jab to the most vulnerable groups) is at least 4 -5 months away (1 to 2 months for the first jab + 12 weeks to administer all of the second ones).  The government has made no promise to lift restrictions before then.

I'm an optimistic chap and if I were a club I'd probably plan for a "worst best-case scenario", planning for closed doors until June, with limited crowds between June - season end.

It's certainly not about putting people out of work; the intention would be to keep people in work from 2022, rather than permanently out of it by being forced to end the club.

As a minimum this should form part of each club's scenario planning; Schofield may have jumped the gun in this respect but I don't think his position is ludicrous by any stretch.

 

this is the detail that needs to be worked through, but ultimately only the clubs/RFL can make that decision, and we saw last year that they are not afraid to make that decision. We saw last year that things change quite quickly, we did see numbers drop substantially on the back of prolonged 'lockdown' and in summer the numbers were relatively low and plenty of activity was being carried out. With a successful vaccination campaign on top of that, there is clearly a hope that we don't get a further wave as we move into winter, on the back of that activity. 

As has been mentioned here, we did have some modest sized sporting events being staged, and that is what we are talking about here. They do also seem to have decided that they will stage some games behind closed doors, as they have confirmed PPV on OurLeague as a thing, the question is how successful this would be and how many games they can afford to stage like that.

But only time and monitoring the situation will shape these decisions. There actually isn't a crazy rush.

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I can see that view; I think it depends very much on the numbers.  For example, if a club's numbers (now) said that in the "best worse case" scenario they have £200k losses, in a "worst worst case" £350k losses, but if they mothballed £50k losses, you could make the decision now not to risk the higher losses.  But if you have to make adaptations later in the year, you've already started to incur the higher losses.

I think it's a really tough call!

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12 hours ago, Robthegasman said:

I don’t want to see the Championship or Championship 1 mothballed again.

Last year yes it had to be unfortunately.

This year I think we simply have to see it resume if and it is a very big if it is financially feasible.

It is possible it might be as clubs will have had the central funding from last year in the bank plus this year.And the furlough will have helped.

Of course fans will have to be allowed back in at some stage for it to be feasible.Clubs could possibly now afford to post behind closed doors for a very limited period if as I hear games will be streamed on a PPV basis from what I gather.

Whether or not streaming will be for the whole season I don’t know.

 I personally hope it is because quite honestly I suspect that in order for fans to be allowed back in we will have to be vaccinated,will have to wear a mask and see very strict unsocial distancing. And I am sorry but if these are the criteria then I for one will not be attending another game,and will not do so until things return to what they were.

Hi Rob, on the first highlighted point you seem to indicate that it will be a league directive to see if there is to be a resumption, but like Tonka intimates in his post above a resumption will mean different challenges for each individual club, I believe that the clubs should be allowed without any penalty to make their own mind up as to whether they resume or not, also if they agree to play and find it is not working out there should be clause that allows them to exit again without penalty.

Secondly, I see you have not had a rethink on taking the vaccine, could suggest to you with all the effort that is being put in to vaccinate the nation the advice is that from all the preliminary tests that have been performed by those mentally equipped enough to make the deliberation that this vaccine rollout is our best chance to as you put it for "things return to what they were", let me pose a question to you, a couple of years ago there was an outrage when it was announced:-

Patients with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 40 will not be referred for routine surgery unless they are able to reduce it to under that number over a nine-month period.

What would be your opinion if it was announced that people who refused the vaccintion and got seriously ill with Covid 19 would be denied treatment by the NHS? 

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1 hour ago, Chronicler of Chiswick said:

As far as admitting spectators is concerned, the Royal Horticultural Society has just announced that the Chelsea Flower Show is being put back from May to September. Given that they are a very large organisation with probably good sources of information this could indicate what government is thinking in private.

While it's always useful to see what people are doing, this is quite a different event. Firstly it is possible to move this event at this stage - and due to the scale of the event they actually need to make a decision early due to contracts and suppliers etc. The music festival scene is going through the same process at the moment, but coming to the conclusion that 60k+ people in one place is a bad idea. 

If we used the October date as the deadline, we probably do have the possibility of a 16 round comp even if we had to start in June. I think it would be sensible to maybe look at some new formats, even one with more local games with less travel, if they haven't already.

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Can I just say that I have really enjoyed reading through this thread.  Not only are some thought-provoking points being made, but debaters are doing just that - debating, and in a suitably civilized tone.  How refreshing not to see things degenerate into pettiness and what is close to personal abuse.

Thanks to all.

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3 hours ago, Tonka said:

The most compelling argument against running the season is the financial rather than health one, in my view.  Mothballing a club, unattractive as it is, may mitigate the heavy losses that could be incurred by gearing up for a full season and incurring the necessary overheads only to have revenues slashed by a truncated or patchy season.

It's a difficult call and I don't have insight into any given club's finances, but I'd imagine the prospect of an on-off season will put some clubs at serious risk of insolvency.  Many will be starting the season already weakened by last.  Some clubs will make the assessment that they'll be ok, even with reduced revenues, others just won't be able to afford it.

It's alright saying "we're only in January" (nearly February) but the rollout of vaccines (specifically getting the second jab to the most vulnerable groups) is at least 4 -5 months away (1 to 2 months for the first jab + 12 weeks to administer all of the second ones).  The government has made no promise to lift restrictions before then.

I'm an optimistic chap and if I were a club I'd probably plan for a "worst best-case scenario", planning for closed doors until June, with limited crowds between June - season end.

It's certainly not about putting people out of work; the intention would be to keep people in work from 2022, rather than permanently out of it by being forced to end the club.

As a minimum this should form part of each club's scenario planning; Schofield may have jumped the gun in this respect but I don't think his position is ludicrous by any stretch.

Fair comments ... but the first jab develops 90 to 95% immunity ater 20 days.  The second one gives a booster that gives virtual 100%.

The issue is that it may still mean you could transmit the disease even if it's not really effecting you.  We must hope though that by then the NHS can cope and younger people mostly get over it.

So let's hope the vaccine will allow us to have something of a life by April.  But as you say I think lower leagues should be thinking right now and not be caught napping.

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I have a covid and was seriously ill for six weeks im aged 51 and was fairly fit . I would put season back till May at earliest. May even keep it running during World cup if that gets to go ahead . People might go to a game with the world cup show piecing our game.  

Chief Crazy Eagle

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3 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

Patients with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 40 will not be referred for routine surgery unless they are able to reduce it to under that number over a nine-month period.

Body Mass Index isn't even an index.

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

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19 hours ago, Robthegasman said:

I don’t want to see the Championship or Championship 1 mothballed again.

Last year yes it had to be unfortunately.

This year I think we simply have to see it resume if and it is a very big if it is financially feasible.

It is possible it might be as clubs will have had the central funding from last year in the bank plus this year.And the furlough will have helped.

Of course fans will have to be allowed back in at some stage for it to be feasible.Clubs could possibly now afford to post behind closed doors for a very limited period if as I hear games will be streamed on a PPV basis from what I gather.

Whether or not streaming will be for the whole season I don’t know.

 I personally hope it is because quite honestly I suspect that in order for fans to be allowed back in we will have to be vaccinated,will have to wear a mask and see very strict unsocial distancing. And I am sorry but if these are the criteria then I for one will not be attending another game,and will not do so until things return to what they were.

What if they NEVER do Rob?

Covid isn't going to go away, ever.

Sport, amongst other things, is a dream-world offering escape from harsh reality and the disturbing prospect of change.

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4 minutes ago, Blind side johnny said:

What if they NEVER do Rob?

Covid isn't going to go away, ever.

I agree with you that Covid is never going to go away,certainly in my lifetime it won’t.I think it is something that is going to be here for a long time.

 I think we have to learn to live with it and manage it as best as possible.

Myself personally if things never go back to normal I will not go to games again.

As for what happens to the game I wish I knew.

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6 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

Hi Rob, on the first highlighted point you seem to indicate that it will be a league directive to see if there is to be a resumption, but like Tonka intimates in his post above a resumption will mean different challenges for each individual club, I believe that the clubs should be allowed without any penalty to make their own mind up as to whether they resume or not, also if they agree to play and find it is not working out there should be clause that allows them to exit again without penalty.

Secondly, I see you have not had a rethink on taking the vaccine, could suggest to you with all the effort that is being put in to vaccinate the nation the advice is that from all the preliminary tests that have been performed by those mentally equipped enough to make the deliberation that this vaccine rollout is our best chance to as you put it for "things return to what they were", let me pose a question to you, a couple of years ago there was an outrage when it was announced:-

Patients with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 40 will not be referred for routine surgery unless they are able to reduce it to under that number over a nine-month period.

What would be your opinion if it was announced that people who refused the vaccintion and got seriously ill with Covid 19 would be denied treatment by the NHS? 

On your very first point I think you raise a very fair and valid point and I admit it is something I have not really thought about.It is a good thought and credit to you for thinking it.I think there is something in what you say.And I will not disagree.Not going to say I agree 💯 either but it is a thought and I do have sympathy with it.Probably should in fairness be looked at further.
 

No my mind has certainly not changed on the vaccine.I for one don’t trust it nor those politicians and rich elitists who champion it and cheerlead for it.And I will not have it.

 I freely admit I am a bit overweight,my fault,and if I was denied treatment because of my weight then fair enough.I would have to lose it.Or else.

As for your next point,That one I would totally oppose as I believe that it should NOT be compulsory to take the vaccine,nor should people feel pressured,bullied or coerced into having it.Now as much as I will not take it,I do believe that seeing as it is now here it should be entirely down to the individual if he/she takes it or not.We are supposed to be a democracy. And in my opinion if people take it or not they should not be denied their freedom nor should they be denied any medical treatment on the NHS.

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7 hours ago, Chronicler of Chiswick said:

As far as admitting spectators is concerned, the Royal Horticultural Society has just announced that the Chelsea Flower Show is being put back from May to September. Given that they are a very large organisation with probably good sources of information this could indicate what government is thinking in private.

I'm going to make a bold prediction that this is the first mention of the Chelsea Flower Show on the main TRL board. Bravo.

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1 hour ago, Robthegasman said:

On your very first point I think you raise a very fair and valid point and I admit it is something I have not really thought about.It is a good thought and credit to you for thinking it.I think there is something in what you say.And I will not disagree.Not going to say I agree 💯 either but it is a thought and I do have sympathy with it.Probably should in fairness be looked at further.
 

No my mind has certainly not changed on the vaccine.I for one don’t trust it nor those politicians and rich elitists who champion it and cheerlead for it.And I will not have it.

 I freely admit I am a bit overweight,my fault,and if I was denied treatment because of my weight then fair enough.I would have to lose it.Or else.

As for your next point,That one I would totally oppose as I believe that it should NOT be compulsory to take the vaccine,nor should people feel pressured,bullied or coerced into having it.Now as much as I will not take it,I do believe that seeing as it is now here it should be entirely down to the individual if he/she takes it or not.We are supposed to be a democracy. And in my opinion if people take it or not they should not be denied their freedom nor should they be denied any medical treatment on the NHS.

Sorry but I can't agree with you Rob, if the vaccine does work as they are claiming it will do and we have no evidence to say it will not work and in doing so will lessen the burden on the NHS then I do believe it should be mandatory not obligatory, there are people who are not recieving life saving treatments like chemo or radiotherapy because the system is overrun, I am not saying that to pressurise, bully or coerce you into taking the vaccine, but I do believe it should be given a good dose of contemplating.

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6 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

Sorry but I can't agree with you Rob, if the vaccine does work as they are claiming it will do and we have no evidence to say it will not work and in doing so will lessen the burden on the NHS then I do believe it should be mandatory not obligatory, there are people who are not recieving life saving treatments like chemo or radiotherapy because the system is overrun, I am not saying that to pressurise, bully or coerce you into taking the vaccine, but I do believe it should be given a good dose of contemplating.

I am not convinced the vaccine works,even the powers that be say it is not 💯.I don’t frankly trust it and I have read some terrible stories of people suffering some very bad side effects,from various sources including the mainstream media ironically.

For me a vaccine takes a number of years before it is declared safe and OK to be rolled out, and this one has been rushed. I don’t like that.

 I 💯 stand by my opinion that it should NOT be mandatory to have had it to get NHS treatment.I will never agree to that. And when they say something like that should be mandatory then I feel we are heading down the slippery slope to dictatorship.

I have a feeling that if people want to go to places like rugby matches etc it will be a requirement that you will have had to have had the vaccine. And if that is so then I have been to my last ever game. And if that is so,then so be it I will accept that part of my life at the age of 48 is over.

 

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If we don’t see a resumption of the game below SL level I think it will have serious consequences players have contracts which will have to honoured and I don’t think we can rely on the furlough scheme forever because the country simply can’t afford it.

Secondly there will be the knock on interest in the game, I support a championship club and if the season is cancelled I will put Rugby on the back burner until 2022 and watch other sports with the danger that I will get invested in those sports rather than Rugby and may not bother anymore. I stopped watching Rugby last season when championship clubs were effectively excluded from the Challenge Cup and watched football instead and if I’m honest I watch more football now than I ever used to and that will probably accelerate if Championship does not resume this season. Question is how many more will be like that?

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54 minutes ago, Cardypaul said:

If we don’t see a resumption of the game below SL level I think it will have serious consequences players have contracts which will have to honoured and I don’t think we can rely on the furlough scheme forever because the country simply can’t afford it.

Secondly there will be the knock on interest in the game, I support a championship club and if the season is cancelled I will put Rugby on the back burner until 2022 and watch other sports with the danger that I will get invested in those sports rather than Rugby and may not bother anymore. I stopped watching Rugby last season when championship clubs were effectively excluded from the Challenge Cup and watched football instead and if I’m honest I watch more football now than I ever used to and that will probably accelerate if Championship does not resume this season. Question is how many more will be like that?

Very good point. I think on the contracts issue,if clubs have their heads screwed on properly they will have put clauses/caveats in the contracts where if the season is not resumed,or it is once again stopped like it was last year,that the contracts will become null and void.

I do feel that for the sport outside of Super League we are one way or another coming towards our watershed moment.

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1 hour ago, Cardypaul said:

If we don’t see a resumption of the game below SL level I think it will have serious consequences players have contracts which will have to honoured and I don’t think we can rely on the furlough scheme forever because the country simply can’t afford it.

Secondly there will be the knock on interest in the game, I support a championship club and if the season is cancelled I will put Rugby on the back burner until 2022 and watch other sports with the danger that I will get invested in those sports rather than Rugby and may not bother anymore. I stopped watching Rugby last season when championship clubs were effectively excluded from the Challenge Cup and watched football instead and if I’m honest I watch more football now than I ever used to and that will probably accelerate if Championship does not resume this season. Question is how many more will be like that?

Even through the boredom of lockdown and no League to watch, I simply can't stomach watching a full 90mins of a football match, Match of the Day being recorded so a game is condensed into under 10mins, then fast forwarding leaving out the "expert analysis" to the next game, is just about palatable, only just, but each to their own.

Seriously Paul, you could forsake Rugby League for Football?

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30 minutes ago, Robthegasman said:

I do feel that for the sport outside of Super League we are one way or another coming towards our watershed moment.

Totally agree Rob, but more than the pro game it is the amatuer side of our sport that worries me the most, one aborted season is bad enough, a second could cause untold problems, and if this pandemic is not brought under control this year and it extends into a 3rd year that could be catastrophic especially in the 11 to 16 age brackets.

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