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Another SL restructure is being planned


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1 minute ago, Hela Wigmen said:

You have. You’ve gone from “many more” to offering one up. It was a climbdown. 

So, let me get this straight. You’re for fairness and competition but don’t actually want fairness or an even competition because you want the Championship winners to be given a huge head start in terms of recruitment for the following year? You see, this is part of a wider problem. There’s no particular easy fix, you can’t satisfy the Super League clubs and the Championship clubs and offer an even and fair compromise. This is essentially the problem we have across the board, there is no move that allows the big clubs to build upon their foundations, the clubs beneath them to invest further in their infrastructure and the clubs beneath them to invest in their infrastructure at all. 

With 14/36 fully professional clubs and, what, three others who have genuine ambitions of Super League but range from kind of close to still a huge way off, we’re pandering to no more than a handful of middling to small clubs. I’m not sure how any credible competition can run a secondary competition with such a drastic mix of clubs in it. 

So you're saying you now believe there are only 4 possible options? 'What have the romans ever done for us?..." springs to mind.

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Sorry but your disrespect for proud Rugby League clubs is wrong. I'll leave it to Leigh and Wakefield fans to speak up for their own historic clubs but here's my take on Hull Kingston Rovers. Rov

14 teams. 2 teams to be relegated at seasons end. top 5 playoffs. no more loop fixtures. Thats what I’d like to see 👍

You know what is likely then? 10 teams, more loop fixtures.

1 minute ago, LeytherRob said:

So you're saying you now believe there are only 4 possible options? 'What have the romans ever done for us?..." springs to mind.

Where did I say that? You said there were many more. You quickly backtracked and have finally offered one up and providing further, first hand evidence why P&R is an enigma and is a weight around the sports neck. Evening, Mr Woodward.

 

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1 minute ago, Hela Wigmen said:

Where did I say that? You said there were many more. You quickly backtracked and have finally offered one up and providing further, first hand evidence why P&R is an enigma and is a weight around the sports neck. Evening, Mr Woodward.

 

Well either you do believe only a very select and specific group of scenarios are available, or you agree with my pretty uncontroversial opinion that there are more options available. You can't argue both and it isn't backtracking just because I didn't insult both of our intelligences answering what was a pretty stupid question. There's more than just those scenarios you've listed on this thread alone, let alone the countless other threads on here over the years. 

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1 hour ago, Hela Wigmen said:

How do you implement promotion and relegation on a sport with 14/36 fully professional sides? 

The yank franchise system would have been an abomination for football, however in RL it may be ideal for the reason you state. Having a closed shop in football would have made winning meaningless, as success is nothing when there is no risk of failure. With no money flowing down the pyramid it also would have killed off all those small town football clubs, clubs that are at the heart of their community. Rugby league doesn’t have this set up as there are so few clubs that have the capacity to play at the highest level, and the small clubs don’t get much money from the top league anyway so they’d survive just fine if it was closed.

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After 2 days of boring the country rigid with talk of a closed league in places like Milan Barcelona London Turin Liverpool , places no one's heard of, I hope Sky give as much coverage to our problem. 

People up and down the country,  at breakfast over their cornflakes are desperate for a  closed league involving Leigh, Toulouse,  Wakefield and the metropolis of Hull.

To be SERIOUS,  fans are fans , in any sport, love of club is just as strong in RL as in football,  the difference is the numbers in RL are small, their voices are as passionate but not heard nationally. The lesson from the ESL fiasco for RL is " don't take fans for granted " If the custodians of RL can PROVE that licensing and closed shop is the only alternative to oblivion for the game, then ok, but otherwise the RL pyramid is as precious to our game as it is to football fans.

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6 minutes ago, HawkMan said:

If the custodians of RL can PROVE that licensing and closed shop is the only alternative to oblivion for the game, then ok, but otherwise the RL pyramid is as precious to our game as it is to football fans.

RL doesn't have a pyramid and does have a closed shop - the drawbridge is pulled up below League 1.

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Can we please all stop the "we have a pyramid that is sacristan" style rubbish.. 

We have a closed shop, there is no broadening of the base or anything simply because the "pyramid" lasts for all of 3 divisions and then it stops. You have to be invited or apply to enter league 1. There is no other route in, there is no route from the bottom to the top. What we are really arguing about is how we allow for teams to move around the closed shop we already have, and have always have.. all we have ever done is jigger about with the same closed shop, be it 1 division or 3 divisions its still a closed shop. Invite only does, and always has, applied to RL bizarrely. 

It is a very valid argument to have and closing off the top layer of it could be dangerous and IMHO should just be limited to drive standards up but still the argument we have this all singing all dancing football style pyramid is garbage. 

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3 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

RL doesn't have a pyramid and does have a closed shop - the drawbridge is pulled up below League 1.

Yeah, I meant league 1 upwards. 

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4 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

RL doesn't have a pyramid and does have a closed shop - the drawbridge is pulled up below League 1.

Apologies you posted while I was typing the same thing but longer.

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4 minutes ago, HawkMan said:

Yeah, I meant league 1 upwards. 

but even then we have had 2 divisions, 1 division and 3 divisions, we've had splits on county lines and splits on ability.. we dont have a set in stone way of doing this unlike football.. to say that this way, which we have not had for all that long in the grand scheme of things, is "precious" is not true.. 

I dont think we should scrap P&R, dont get me wrong, but i just think the argument along emotional lines of "this is the way this sport should be" is rubbish, not historically accurate and a bit hypocritical.

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12 hours ago, Padge said:

All attempts to use P&R to fix the games ills have failed, don't forget the game has had more years without P&R than with it.

So 30+ team PT league it is then with regionalised fixtures and play offs

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15 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

Don’t get me wrong, I think Leigh is a proud club with a cracking, atmospheric ground (great acoustics!). But everyone kind of knows Leigh will always be small time. That’s down to geography, I suppose. 

Depends what you class as Leigh - The old council ( before being placed in the 'new' metropolitan one) consisted of Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley - the population of which today is 120k. and can access LSV in under 5 mins to 10 mins by car. We can be a very viable SL club as it stands today ps and will be getting another Railway station soon

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16 minutes ago, RP London said:

I dont think we should scrap P&R, dont get me wrong, but i just think the argument along emotional lines of "this is the way this sport should be" is rubbish, not historically accurate and a bit hypocritical.

Plus historically in this country it's only football that's done it throughout its existence. RU only brought in competitive leagues relatively recently in the 1980s, and cricket has always been a closed shop. To paraphrase another post on this thread, that means a hell of a lot of sports "aren't sport".

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21 minutes ago, RP London said:

Can we please all stop the "we have a pyramid that is sacristan" style rubbish.. 

We have a closed shop, there is no broadening of the base or anything simply because the "pyramid" lasts for all of 3 divisions and then it stops. You have to be invited or apply to enter league 1. There is no other route in, there is no route from the bottom to the top. What we are really arguing about is how we allow for teams to move around the closed shop we already have, and have always have.. all we have ever done is jigger about with the same closed shop, be it 1 division or 3 divisions its still a closed shop. Invite only does, and always has, applied to RL bizarrely. 

It is a very valid argument to have and closing off the top layer of it could be dangerous and IMHO should just be limited to drive standards up but still the argument we have this all singing all dancing football style pyramid is garbage. 

I had been long time involved with the amatuer/community game, I will put a question to both you and Mr Geek if he is reading this.

Quite correctly you say that to obtain membership of the 'Closed Shop' 3 division pro/semi-pro leagues it can only be acheived is by applying or by invitation to/from the RFL.

I honestly do not know the answer to this question so I would hope you can provide me with some information:-

How many community clubs who consider themselves capable of becoming a member of the 'Closed Shop' have had an application turned down by the RFL? 

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6 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

How many community clubs who consider themselves capable of becoming a member of the 'Closed Shop' have had an application turned down by the RFL? 

I have no idea how many, but how many is enough? How many clubs in the pro structure have complained about not being able to be promoted to Super League? Even if it was every single club outside SL (which it isn't) it would still only be 24. 

It was well publicised that Manchester Rangers were denied the opportunity to apply for League 1, and have since folded because the owners saw no route to being able to fulfil their ambitions. I am aware of clubs in expansion areas that have also previously expressed interest in progressing in to the pro structure, but have not had any route to do so (Leicester previously, and currently All Golds have expressed interest in returning).

How does an ambitious owner of a club below League 1 progress to that pro structure? There is no route at present. Even if just 1 community club has aspirations to progress to pro level, then that is evidence that the current system is unequitable. Why are the likes of Leigh's/Featherstone's/Toulouse's (delete as appropriate) aspirations deemed more worthy than those of Manchester Rangers? Why were Rangers denied the opportunity to progress? The current system is not equitable.

For me, it's completely contradictory to have a partial pyramid - i.e. a closed shop below League 1 and then P&R from there upwards. It either needs to be a complete pyramid with full movement from top to bottom, or a standards-based competition that clubs need to apply to be in.

 

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13 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

I have no idea how many, but how many is enough? How many clubs in the pro structure have complained about not being able to be promoted to Super League? Even if it was every single club outside SL (which it isn't) it would still only be 24. 

It was well publicised that Manchester Rangers were denied the opportunity to apply for League 1, and have since folded because the owners saw no route to being able to fulfil their ambitions. I am aware of clubs in expansion areas that have also previously expressed interest in progressing in to the pro structure, but have not had any route to do so (Leicester previously, and currently All Golds have expressed interest in returning).

How does an ambitious owner of a club below League 1 progress to that pro structure? There is no route at present. Even if just 1 community club has aspirations to progress to pro level, then that is evidence that the current system is unequitable. Why are the likes of Leigh's/Featherstone's/Toulouse's (delete as appropriate) aspirations deemed more worthy than those of Manchester Rangers? Why were Rangers denied the opportunity to progress? The current system is not equitable.

For me, it's completely contradictory to have a partial pyramid - i.e. a closed shop below League 1 and then P&R from there upwards. It either needs to be a complete pyramid with full movement from top to bottom, or a standards-based competition that clubs need to apply to be in.

 

Thank you for your reply Mr Geek, 

As for P&R yes I would retain it all costs across all the pro/semi pro leagues but that is my opinion, I do not know why Manchester Rangers were refused entry - perhaps someone in the know could enlighten us if the RFL actually gave reasons for their refusal - however as I said to yourself on this very same subject there should be financial and facility due dilligence done plus a minimum standard list of criteria that would have to be complied with which any 'amatuer' club could do a self audit before applying for the 'pro/semi-pro' competitions.

So, if it was a straightforward promotion to League 1 for being the best 'on the field' amatuer team, who would you nominate? Surely for me it would have to be the Champions of the strongest competition being in my opinion the NCL.

 

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1 minute ago, Harry Stottle said:

Thank you for your reply Mr Geek, 

As for P&R yes I would retain it all costs across all the pro/semi pro leagues but that is my opinion, I do not know why Manchester Rangers were refused entry - perhaps someone in the know could enlighten us if the RFL actually gave reasons for their refusal - however as I said to yourself on this very same subject there should be financial and facility due dilligence done plus a minimum standard list of criteria that would have to be complied with which any 'amatuer' club could do a self audit before applying for the 'pro/semi-pro' competitions.

Another club subsequently sprung to mind in Bramley, who have expressed a desire to return to the pro leagues on numerous occasions since they were kicked out. I agree there should be some minimum standards in order to gain promotion. It's my understanding that this is how it works to progress to higher levels of the football pyramid.

3 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

So, if it was a straightforward promotion to League 1 for being the best 'on the field' amatuer team, who would you nominate? Surely for me it would have to be the Champions of the strongest competition being in my opinion the NCL.

Currently the NCL is an application only competition as well, so there are no on-field means to be promoted in to it or to be relegated out of it. If the game decides that P&R is the way forward, I think the whole game would need a restructure from top to bottom, starting on a regional level and progressing up to national level. And like in football, teams can refuse promotion if they don't want to go up. The whole pro/amateur distinction should be dropped - it's a hang-up from the game's origins around broken time payments IMO.

If the game believes in P&R, there has to be a clear route for any club - whether it be based in Manchester, Bramley or Devon - to progress from the lowest levels of the competition to the highest levels. Otherwise, the system is not equitable, and people are just picking and choosing elements of P&R that suit a specific/convenient scenario. Either the pyramid is open or it isn't. Do you view League 1 as "not sport" given that there is no relegation from it? Do you view NCL Premier as "not sport" even though there is not promotion out of it? Or is just a lack of P&R to and from Super League that would be "not sport"?

It's all sport to me, and I personally don't believe that P&R is an integral part of it (nor do I think RL has enough money in the game to do it). However, I completely get why many people do want P&R. So if we are going to do P&R, then for me it has to be done properly from top to bottom, as opposed to cherry-picking certain elements of it.

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On 18/04/2021 at 19:33, ShropshireBull said:

I get the should be prize for being top but we cant have playoffs with second chances. For the good of the product, needs to be if you are out you are out.  

So unless top 5 is 2vs5 3vs4 then semi with winner of the league automatically at GF, I would go top six.

It’s funny that. Whilst I wholeheartedly accept your opinion and would happily argue in favour of it if it meant a free pint, I personally have no issue with the NRL format where a top 4 side of the qualifying top 8 finalists gets a second chance if losing in the first round.

I doubt you would find many detractors in Australia with the current NRL format. Yet in England, which is more akin to the knockout style of finals, I would suggest most people are in favour of your opinion.

Says a lot about what and where an individual is brought up on and in.

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1 hour ago, Harry Stottle said:

I had been long time involved with the amatuer/community game, I will put a question to both you and Mr Geek if he is reading this.

Quite correctly you say that to obtain membership of the 'Closed Shop' 3 division pro/semi-pro leagues it can only be acheived is by applying or by invitation to/from the RFL.

I honestly do not know the answer to this question so I would hope you can provide me with some information:-

How many community clubs who consider themselves capable of becoming a member of the 'Closed Shop' have had an application turned down by the RFL? 

As i am not working at the RFL I don't know as we don't know how many have applied but not shouted about it etc. but its not really the point of what I was saying. 

My issues isn't that there is a closed shop at league 1 as, to an extent, there is sense there. It also isn't about "who wants into the closed shop" as again that doesn't matter. The point was that people are going on about the essence of sport being the pyramid but we do not have a pyramid in that way, is the NCL not sport because you don't get to the next step by winning the NCL, it is an end in itself? 

We have always had a closed shop. Clubs could not start "at the bottom and work their way up". For my part I know a fair bit around the inter war period due to my degree etc and there are plenty of examples of clubs having to beg to be a part of the closed shop (some accepted, some not) where as in other sports there would have been an entry point and work yourself up.. there isn't and there wasn't and that is ok it really is. I understand why this was the case and i understand why this is the case now, just don't butcher history or lie about how it is now.. it is a closed shop of 40 teams (or whatever it is now, or tomorrow or next Tuesday) and there is P&R within that (which we should strive to keep as much as possible, or at least as much as is good for the game) but it is still a closed shop and not a pyramid system in the way people would understand it when using football or what Pep is saying to justify keeping the small bit of P&R that we have.

Ironically it can easily be argued that actually what has hindered our expansion (and growth) the most is not the game, the professionalism or the RFU its the RFL administrators having a closed shop. Back in the 1920s and 30s when there was expansion of all sorts of sports they would not let clubs into the closed shop for reasons including the travel or the area they were in. Some clubs would get in but to start a club and have it competitive or making money straight off is difficult so they would fall by the wayside. Yet if there actually had been a pyramid then the growth of the game would have been easier to develop in new areas, with clubs developing (or not) at their own pace.. What people say we should hold on to IMHO is something we have never had and actually if we had we would be in a better situation.. 

Its semantics to an extent but I like this little bit of accuracy. Be emotionally attached to the P&R between the top 3 divisions, yes ok (though it is still relatively new and ever changing), but don't start saying we have a pyramid structure or compare us to football in the way that you can rise from obscurity to the top, thats just not true in the slightest.

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31 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

Another club subsequently sprung to mind in Bramley, who have expressed a desire to return to the pro leagues on numerous occasions since they were kicked out. I agree there should be some minimum standards in order to gain promotion. It's my understanding that this is how it works to progress to higher levels of the football pyramid.

 

Bramley came to my mind as well. 

Their initial application, which involved initially playing at Morley RUFC, was blocked very vocally by Hunslet (who presumably didn't want the competition) and after joining (and winning) the NCL, were prevented from joining whatever the equivalent of L1 was at the time. 

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5 minutes ago, whatmichaelsays said:

Bramley came to my mind as well. 

Their initial application, which involved initially playing at Morley RUFC, was blocked very vocally by Hunslet (who presumably didn't want the competition) and after joining (and winning) the NCL, were prevented from joining whatever the equivalent of L1 was at the time. 

Thanks for that. If the competition structure was equitable, then it shouldn't be up to Hunslet as to whether Bramley have the opportunity to gain entry or not. Likewise if there were deemed to be too many clubs in the Manchester area for Rangers to be given an opportunity. I heard a similar story about Northampton who were admitted to League 1 (and never even made the start line) objecting to other Midlands clubs being allowed to enter. Surely P&R is about the opportunity for the cream to rise to the top, regardless of location.

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50 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

 

Currently the NCL is an application only competition as well, so there are no on-field means to be promoted in to it or to be relegated out of it. If the game decides that P&R is the way forward, I think the whole game would need a restructure from top to bottom, starting on a regional level and progressing up to national level. And like in football, teams can refuse promotion if they don't want to go up. The whole pro/amateur distinction should be dropped - it's a hang-up from the game's origins around broken time payments IMO.

 

That's not strictly true, if you finish in designated "relegation" positions in the bottom division you have to reapply for membership along with any new applicants so results on the field can lead to you falling out of the NCL.   The NCL hasn't been "full" so in practice its unlikely clubs get voted out - however there is a mechanism for them to

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8 minutes ago, Spidey said:

That's not strictly true, if you finish in designated "relegation" positions in the bottom division you have to reapply for membership along with any new applicants so results on the field can lead to you falling out of the NCL.   The NCL hasn't been "full" so in practice its unlikely clubs get voted out - however there is a mechanism for them to

I thought that was only the case if they failed to fulfil fixtures? Happy to be corrected though.

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2 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

I thought that was only the case if they failed to fulfil fixtures? Happy to be corrected though.

All clubs in the NCL technically need to apply for membership every year. Clubs at the bottom of the ladder need to seek re-election. Clubs come and go on a regular basis so there is an effective but friendly  'churn' and most importantly membership is open to any club with a good  enough on and off the park track record ( the standards criteria.)

On  rare occasion clubs have been expelled . The routes  between Tiers 4 and 5  are clear and unobstructed.

There is no mechanism between Tier 4 and Tier 3 ( league 1 ) . That is the choice of the RFL and its shareholders but many at Tier 4 level are comfortable with the protections that not having to be semi pro gives them.

In the past some NCL clubs courted a step up ( Rochdale Mayfield and i believe West Hull ) but were rebuffed largely because of 'local ' reactions. Manchester Rangers had a similar fate but were so far off the mark in playing standards that it was effectively a new application bypassing the playing results route. Bramley never won the NCL but faired ok in the RFL southern conference. Other League 1 entrants - ie Oxford , All Golds etc from that conference who got in struggled and then succumbed. 

 Years ago struggling semi pro clubs passed down from  what is now Tier 3 to the NCL invariably failed within a season or two as they could not cope either on or off the park without central funding support ( it disappeared after 12 months ).

The same would undoubtedly happen again. If League 1 clubs are cut adrift financially  ( as is likely following the TV deal ) then I fear for them. They would not live with an NCL competition all of whose clubs  self finance ( the RFL cut any direct finance support to the NCL members  this year ).

If there is to be a League 1 ( Tier 3 ) next year then I do wonder what it would look like. P and R between them and the Tier 4 NCL and its southern equivalent is certainly not a cure all.

So when 40/20 talk of  a new blueprint ' from top to bottom ' for the game it would perhaps be nice of its authors to share it more widely. I for one would welcome their solutions for the many problems facing  all of those below SL.

 

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