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4 hours ago, ATLANTISMAN said:

It is all well and good us keyboard warriors having a go however I am certain its a very difficult job.

Many seem to knock rugby league and its administrators for the heck of it, we are so self critical sometimes so anyway as I have time to kill on the train here are a few positives that I can see since I fell in love with the game 40 years ago.

* International expansion beyond our wildest dreams (One only has to look at the RLEF website) 

* Clubs well established outside of the heartlands London/Newcastle etc

* Apart from Wakefield and Castleford (Who are desperate to move) clubs in new stadiums or upgrades 

* 3 divisions with plenty of expansion clubs

* GB/England able to draw 40/50000 + crowds in London (Remember Wembley/White City anyone 9/10000)

* 2 professional French teams in the UK competition 

* Record amount of coverage on TV

* World Cup expansion from literally zero (A 4 team comp)

 

Paul

 

Thus is nonesense.

You’ll rarely get me bagging a player, coach or RFL employee but what has Elstone and the SL takeover brought to the game to deliver this?  He is not an administrator, the RFL are administrators of the game.

It is absolutely fair game to discuss this when it has cost the game money.

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I'm surprised by comments that Richard I Lewis didn't make a real difference. In his tenure, he: - Reunited BARLA and the RFL after 30 years of separation - Oversaw the addition of the Catal

They may pay lip service to growing the game but for a fair number of clubs their main interest is self-preservation. If you are a struggling SL club then realistically ‘growing the game’ is improving

Elstone as an "unfortunate unable to defend himself"..  well that's an interesting take on his situation.. he certainly had no problem piling in on TWP when they were down. And what should be a s

On 05/03/2021 at 05:03, Kayakman said:

What a dud this guy was.

What does it say about the business acumen of the CEO when he encourages his BOD to throw away a foothold in the biggest sports market in the world that was essentially gifted to the corporation? It says he is out of his depth. What does it say about the judgment of the BOD who put him in there? They are bad judges of character mebbe?

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13 minutes ago, RobertAM said:

What does it say about the business acumen of the CEO when he encourages his BOD to throw away a foothold in the biggest sports market in the world that was essentially gifted to the corporation? It says he is out of his depth. What does it say about the judgment of the BOD who put him in there? They are bad judges of character mebbe?

That's rubbish.  Toronto were a basket case.  Now if there were say 60 million in investment and a partner to help use it, then maybe you could argue for a plan for North American expansion.

 

But I doubt narrow minded small minded people like you and all the other carping critics care about that.

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6 minutes ago, Rupert Prince said:

That's rubbish.  Toronto were a basket case.  Now if there were say 60 million in investment and a partner to help use it, then maybe you could argue for a plan for North American expansion.

 

But I doubt narrow minded small minded people like you and all the other carping critics care about that.

wow! hit a nerve did I?

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4 minutes ago, Rupert Prince said:

That's rubbish.  Toronto were a basket case.  Now if there were say 60 million in investment and a partner to help use it, then maybe you could argue for a plan for North American expansion.

 

But I doubt narrow minded small minded people like you and all the other carping critics care about that.

Ok then let’s say Toronto were a basket case. Then at least a quarter of SL are too - loss leading businesses in decrepit stadiums, propped up solely off Sky funding (of which Toronto never received any!!).

Elstone was a useless joke but in so many ways that was his job - the role is a purposefully puppet dictator with no real power who is answerable to SL clubs whose main interest is keeping themselves in business. Most have no interest in growing the game.

So the role will never have any strategy vision and will actively discourage this to protect members interests eg writing some half-asked ‘report’ noting Facebook figures to justify turning your back on a new international market.

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20 minutes ago, Rupert Prince said:

That's rubbish.  Toronto were a basket case.  Now if there were say 60 million in investment and a partner to help use it, then maybe you could argue for a plan for North American expansion.

 

But I doubt narrow minded small minded people like you and all the other carping critics care about that.

If TWP were a basket case then seems they were in good company

https://shura.shu.ac.uk/11664/3/Plumley Staring into the abyss.pdf

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26 minutes ago, RobertAM said:

wow! hit a nerve did I?

you may or may not have hit a nerve for a fellow contributor but having Canadian / NA clubs in SL/European SL (mainly British) should never be a strategic priority. 

Elstone may or may not have got some things badly wrong but I for one think he was right to question the sense of having a Canadian club in SL plus supporting the decision of the majority of SL clubs not to support their bid to stay in.  Sometimes decisions have to be taken even if not popular with certain sections of the fanbase - it was voted on by the majority of clubs.  

This thread at times is like being back at school and a bunch of bully boys piling in on some unfortunate unable to defend himself. 

By all means we should be asking questions but not making strong assumptions and then accusations without factual evidence to support when we have no idea. I'm not saying you are but this thread is at times like the worst of the twitter world.

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31 minutes ago, theswanmcr said:

Ok then let’s say Toronto were a basket case. Then at least a quarter of SL are too - loss leading businesses in decrepit stadiums, propped up solely off Sky funding (of which Toronto never received any!!).

Elstone was a useless joke but in so many ways that was his job - the role is a purposefully puppet dictator with no real power who is answerable to SL clubs whose main interest is keeping themselves in business. Most have no interest in growing the game.

So the role will never have any strategy vision and will actively discourage this to protect members interests eg writing some half-asked ‘report’ noting Facebook figures to justify turning your back on a new international market.

Just trying to understand the logic of the middle paragraph.  If the main interest of SL clubs is keeping themselves in business, then surely it follows they would have a keen interest in growing the game to improve their business.

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12 minutes ago, theswanmcr said:

Ok then let’s say Toronto were a basket case. Then at least a quarter of SL are too - loss leading businesses in decrepit stadiums, propped up solely off Sky funding (of which Toronto never received any!!).

Elstone was a useless joke but in so many ways that was his job - the role is a purposefully puppet dictator with no real power who is answerable to SL clubs whose main interest is keeping themselves in business. Most have no interest in growing the game.

So the role will never have any strategy vision and will actively discourage this to protect members interests eg writing some half-asked ‘report’ noting Facebook figures to justify turning your back on a new international market.

Tbf I actually think he was installed by people wanting to control and grow the Super League outside of the shackles of the RFL and all that entailed (an aim I and lots of others still agree with).

Wigan, Warrington, St Helens, Hull FC and Salford were instrumental to his installation. Most notably Leeds and to some extent Huddersfield were against the split. The rest, whilst not supportive enough to appear in person at Elstone's unveiling, took the silver and the end of the super 8s that was offered and went along for the ride. I suspect Catalans were either neutral or RFL supporting but cannot remember precisely.

I'm pretty convinced now though that as relatively high profile setbacks crept in, his support from the bigger clubs waned. Taking Magic from Newcastle to the disastrous Anfield, the debacle over French TV, the ridiculed sponsorship for pizza arrangement, the confusion over Toronto earning their place in the league with associated funding, and most crucially the purported slashing of the TV deal by Sky strike me as points at which the key players who put Elstone in charge, like McManus at St Helens, started to question their appointment. Lenegan at Wigan may not publicly question his appointee, as perhaps he's either a bit too proud or invested in the the idea now, but even he must be feeling a bit embarrassed at how it has ended up in private.

Elstone's powerbase and message then gradually began to shift instead of being with the aspirations of the leading clubs to the fears of the weaker members. The simply disastrous search for Private Equity funding, the "vote" on Toronto, and the selection of Leigh as a sacrificial lamb with half funding epitomise how with the Elstone administration the tail was firmly wagging the dog by the end.

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6 hours ago, steve oates said:

I don't think they do it for the heck of it! It's always dissapointing when our top people can't make any progress, so maybe people who love the game are just frustrated and letting off some steam on here.

It was the SL bosses who organised for someone to go looking for private equity in the run up to the SKY deal. I suppose we can say that Elstone who had long talks with several potential PE companies was successful in showing the SL bosses that the game doesn't have the potential to expand and make big money (that grows the game and pays the privaye equity people interest) in doing so.

The only isssue here appears to be that even if a big deal had come along certain clubs would not have gone for it anyway, and it needed unanimity. So why did the others even engage him??.

Probably the same sort of desperation the fans clearly feel............. 

 

Still waiting to hear exactly what Robert Elstone and the club owners who were interested intended spending the money on 

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25 minutes ago, redjonn said:

Just trying to understand the logic of the middle paragraph.  If the main interest of SL clubs is keeping themselves in business, then surely it follows they would have a keen interest in growing the game to improve their business.

It is for some - certainly I believe that was the aspiration of Wigan, Saints, Hull and Warrington when the split was announced.

That said for others growth is potentially a huge risk. Big (or rather medium) fish in a small pond describes more than a handful of clubs for whom the growth of Super League risks them falling out of touch entirely (or even more than they already are). These are clubs who are fundamentally uncertain in their Super League status.

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Elstone as an "unfortunate unable to defend himself"..  well that's an interesting take on his situation.. he certainly had no problem piling in on TWP when they were down.

And what should be a strategic priority if not growing the game in fertile ground..I would have thought that was priority 1

 

 

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1 hour ago, redjonn said:

Just trying to understand the logic of the middle paragraph.  If the main interest of SL clubs is keeping themselves in business, then surely it follows they would have a keen interest in growing the game to improve their business.

They may pay lip service to growing the game but for a fair number of clubs their main interest is self-preservation. If you are a struggling SL club then realistically ‘growing the game’ is improving the TV deal (main income source).

Do you really want a potentially powerful new club with 10k crowds in a new market being successful when that will only increase the chances of your club with <5k crowds in a crowded market and catchment area being relegated (and possibly going out of existence yourself).

That’s the problem with SL (and RL in general to a lesser extent) in that growing the game puts its members at risk. And so we’ll go round in circles until some form of independent body runs all aspects of the game. 

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22 hours ago, M j M said:

After all these years we still can't have a serious conversation about Wood's role and legacy because people simply can't get past what he looked like. 

 

Probably.

It definitely clouds my judgement of him. The image the guy portrayed as the corporate face of the sport was IMO totally lacking in credibility. 

If he had made up for it with some dynamic, forward thinking leadership, then fair enough. But he didn't. The game shrunk dramatically under his direction.

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5 hours ago, Rupert Prince said:

That's rubbish.  Toronto were a basket case.  Now if there were say 60 million in investment and a partner to help use it, then maybe you could argue for a plan for North American expansion.

 

But I doubt narrow minded small minded people like you and all the other carping critics care about that.

How the h-ll can you say someone is  small  minded when they can see what you can't? If Toronto had been given a f air go at it, it would have been  a different outcome. 

A number of   teams now in SL,will find they cannot afford to be there before long. Who is going to replace them?

 

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9 hours ago, theswanmcr said:

They may pay lip service to growing the game but for a fair number of clubs their main interest is self-preservation. If you are a struggling SL club then realistically ‘growing the game’ is improving the TV deal (main income source).

Do you really want a potentially powerful new club with 10k crowds in a new market being successful when that will only increase the chances of your club with <5k crowds in a crowded market and catchment area being relegated (and possibly going out of existence yourself).

That’s the problem with SL (and RL in general to a lesser extent) in that growing the game puts its members at risk. And so we’ll go round in circles until some form of independent body runs all aspects of the game. 

You mean introduce some form of licencing/franchise structure ?

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5 hours ago, frank said:

How the h-ll can you say someone is  small  minded when they can see what you can't? If Toronto had been given a f air go at it, it would have been  a different outcome. 

A number of   teams now in SL,will find they cannot afford to be there before long. Who is going to replace them?

 

Again I'll ask just how you have come up with this conclusion ?

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11 hours ago, theswanmcr said:

They may pay lip service to growing the game but for a fair number of clubs their main interest is self-preservation. If you are a struggling SL club then realistically ‘growing the game’ is improving the TV deal (main income source).

Do you really want a potentially powerful new club with 10k crowds in a new market being successful when that will only increase the chances of your club with <5k crowds in a crowded market and catchment area being relegated (and possibly going out of existence yourself).

That’s the problem with SL (and RL in general to a lesser extent) in that growing the game puts its members at risk. And so we’ll go round in circles until some form of independent body runs all aspects of the game. 

self-preservation surely also means having more [profitable] income coming in plus any new club bringing in additional profitable income would also not be easily disregarded.   

As I always say show me anyone whom 5 years or less would have had a strategic  grand plan that included a Canadian club in SL as a good idea.  Plus anyone who now screams about Toronto being unfairly treated.

How can you have a totally independent body that disregards the clubs and interested participants in the sport at any level running the sport.  Of course clubs would be part of the equation and their views a major influence.

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The Toronto project is possibly still doable but it will have to be post Covid to see how things pan out.  Certainly having Toronto in RL had so many benefits but there were some problems also...the benefits certainly outweigh the negatives  but there is a real chance for success in Toronto....its like a campfire just getting started, the folks have got their marshmellow sticks from the bush and are getting the marshmellows on to make smores and then along comes this 'know it all' idiot and throws a bucket of water on the fire...that moron is/was Elstone....good riddance I say!

Edited by Kayakman
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2 hours ago, redjonn said:As I always say show me anyone whom 5 years or less would have had a strategic  grand plan that included a Canadian club in SL as a good idea.  Plus anyone who now screams about Toronto being unfairly treated.

 

Yes and that’s the problem - there is no grand plan for any of it. Either at SL or wider level. It needs a unified independent (or semi-independent then) body running the game as a whole from internationals to grassroots. 

Of course clubs should have a major say in this but they are not the be all and end all. It needs wider strategic vision to grow and allow space in the calendar for internationals and expand into new areas etc.

The clubs have called the shots for the sport pretty much on their own - rejecting numerous new outfits due to travel etc - for 125 years. Time for some real change (it won’t happen though!!!).

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