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Championship and Championship 1.Where now


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3 hours ago, EssexRL said:

Spot on. If there was a plan and strategy, one that took account of scenarios (such as TV funding cuts) we wouldn’t have to be debating this. 

I’ve posted many times that I have no idea what the authorities think L1 is for. I can think of plenty of rationales for the league continuing and indeed growing but I don’t know what the RFL thinks (do they?)

The sport is certainly at a transitional point. The future could be bright and exciting but only if this moment is carefully managed  

Precisely. What is the plan? What is the aim of League 1 for? At one point it was a development league, and then they restructured the league above and completely changed it. How does L1 fit in with the community comps below? How does a new club get to be part of L1? The whole structure is a complete mess, and needs strong leadership to try and sort out a plan for the game from grass roots to elite level.

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19 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

I completely agree with this. If the RFL didn't have the money, resources and planning to properly develop these new areas, then they should never have accepted these new teams in to League 1. The likes of All Golds, Hemel and Oxford all came and went, with quite a bit of money spent and nothing to show for it.

This is a perfect example of a short-term ill thought out under resourced idea that was almost certainly doomed from the start (and I support expansion). The Skolar's pointed out the obvious problem at the time of - where will the players come from?

Going back to the OP, history doesn't bode well in terms of the ability of the game to deal with the challenges arising from the cuts in Sky money for SL, Championship or L1. I truly hope that I am wrong.

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2 minutes ago, EssexRL said:

The Skolar's pointed out the obvious problem at the time of - where will the players come from?

What's especially infuriating is the RFL are doing the same thing again and expecting different results. The same mistakes were made that had been made 30-40 years previously with the likes of Nottingham, Kent Invicta, Fulham etc etc. I.e. a lack of players of sufficient standard meant that clubs had to bus players down from the north to play for them. The final nail in Hemel's coffin was the decision to base their team in Dewsbury (or somewhere like that) and just play games down in Hemel. This strategy failed 30 years before with Nottingham/Mansfield. Why has the game not learnt??

With the lack of players in the Midlands, a significant proportion of Coventry's squad now has to come from up north, because player pathways appear to have nigh-on dried up (e.g. loss of the Midlands academy that has been mentioned on this forum previously). The development work being done by the clubs themselves is very admirable, but how long will it take to bear fruit, and what will the competition structure look like by the time it does?

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1 hour ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

I think this is a fair point. However, it also can be directed at a few other clubs in that division though.

To play devil's advocate, do they need to be in League 1 whilst they develop? Coventry and Newcastle are often mentioned in the same breath for the excellent work that both clubs are doing, but Newcastle are several years' further long the road than the Bears, and - as ShropshireBull points out above - the numbers don't lie. They have a lot more community clubs in the vicinity, and a much stronger player pathway than the Bears have just yet, and presumably a wealthier backer. That isn't a dig at the Bears - they're doing a great job on their limited resources. It's just the reality of the situation.

This is indeed very commendable, and Coventry are obviously making the most of their limited resources. But is this a similar issue to the likes of Wakefield spending below the salary cap in Super League and ultimately not being competitive on the field as a consequence?

I can see you're obviously a passionate Coventry supporter, which is fantastic, and I appreciate it can be difficult to discuss some of these topics objectively and take the emotion out of it. But from my perspective, there just doesn't seem to be the money in the game to provide much financial support to League 1 moving forward, so tough decisions are going to have to be made about where the limited money is spent. The likes of Coventry and no doubt quite a few other clubs in that division (and the Championship) are going to be dealing with a very uncertain few months ahead.

If the League 1 funding dried up, is there anything stopping Coventry from continuing their great development work, given that their recent satellite clubs initiative has been subsidised by the RFL and the World Cup legacy grants and not the League 1 funding? What's to stop the Bears becoming a Cramlington Rockets and focusing their limited resources on becoming a prosperous community club with multiple junior teams? For me, I think that would be a really positive development for the game, as it would help to grow the player base at the grass roots level.

There is a Southern Conference that runs without funding. Could the Bears play in this competition if League 1 was disbanded and funding disappeared? It would be a shame if there wasn't a suitable level for them to play at.

Well you've written in respectful thought out way but what it boils down to is that you think clubs like Coventry should be cut from the game. When the pyramid gets ever smaller and smaller and more and more clubs are cut what will we be left with? 

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Just now, OriginalMrC said:

Well you've written in respectful thought out way but what it boils down to is that you think clubs like Coventry should be cut from the game. When the pyramid gets ever smaller and smaller and more and more clubs are cut what will we be left with? 

A local sport for local people. 

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2 minutes ago, OriginalMrC said:

Well you've written in respectful thought out way but what it boils down to is that you think clubs like Coventry should be cut from the game. When the pyramid gets ever smaller and smaller and more and more clubs are cut what will we be left with? 

Not at all - you're putting words in my mouth there. For me, it all comes back to the issue of a long term plan. If the RFL are identifying areas for development, then these areas need to be properly resourced, with strategies for player growth and development. If they aren't, then I think it's unfair and unrealistic for the RFL to essentially drop clubs in at the deep end to see if they can sink or swim, just so that they can claim they're developing the sport in new areas.

If the RFL thinks that Coventry/London/Llanelli (delete as appropriate) is strategically the right area to grow the game, then plan and resource it properly. But on the flip side, if the RFL is just going to treat these new areas exactly the same as heartlands teams, then they shouldn't be surprised if those new teams struggle to compete due to the lack of infrastructure (i.e. community clubs, player pool, etc) compared to the heartlands. I want to avoid situations like we saw with All Golds, Oxford and Hemel, where hundreds of thousands of pounds was spent over several seasons with ultimately nothing to show for it.

Also, I don't think that League 1 is the be all and end all in terms of the pyramid (plus I don't really agree with the term 'pyramid', as currently the 'pro' game is only a very shallow pyramid that doesn't include the vast majority of clubs from where the majority of players are actually produced). I think there should be a complete overhaul of the structure of the game from grassroots to elite level, in order to provide suitable playing levels and opportunities for progression. If League 1 had funding cut and Coventry were no longer able to compete at that level, what is to stop them playing at Southern Conference level and focusing their resources on developing juniors? I previously gave the example of Cramlington Rockets - a club in a development area who have obviously been extremely proactive in growing and developing their junior section. Is a club like Cramlington not just as, if not more valuable to the 'pyramid' as a League 1 club?

I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

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1 minute ago, EssexRL said:

Cut the roots and it will die...

What are the roots? Are they Championship and League 1, or are the roots further down starting with U7s at a community club? Or are they all roots that are part of the same structure? I honestly don't think the RFL knows what the purpose is of the various levels of competition they have, and how they all fit together as part of a bigger picture. I would include schools and universities in this as well. What is the player pathway from junior to international, and how does somebody get there? Is it the same in London as it is in Leeds?

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34 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

What are the roots? Are they Championship and League 1, or are the roots further down starting with U7s at a community club? Or are they all roots that are part of the same structure? I honestly don't think the RFL knows what the purpose is of the various levels of competition they have, and how they all fit together as part of a bigger picture. I would include schools and universities in this as well. What is the player pathway from junior to international, and how does somebody get there? Is it the same in London as it is in Leeds?

  The player pathway differs from Leeds,which is a Super League club and those outside of Super League. 

   It seems a lottery when it comes to which clubs have Academies,and which clubs can run reserve sides.

   Even those clubs where the funding was supplied by supporters lost their reserve side.

  It may be a money saving idea - and a fairer distribution of young talent,if the governing body controlled and ran Academies,regionally,and then clubs could select a youngster each to join their club - as an alternative to the rich clubs getting richer and continuing to advantage of all the monies they have had due to their position in the top league,over recent years.

     No reserves,but resilience,persistence and determination are omnipotent.                       

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2 hours ago, ShropshireBull said:

We've got what 25mil. 14 SL teams so  1.5 X 12 = 18 1mil for both french teams locked in. 20 mil  200k per Championship team. 2.8 mil.

So 22.8 million overall. 

BUT in your plan there isn't a SL and Championship there are 2 leagues of 14, which I should imagine there will be movement by P&R between them? So one lot get 7.5 times more funding than than the second 14, why go to the trouble just make it a SL closed shop.

But minus the French lot.

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1 hour ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

Not at all - you're putting words in my mouth there. For me, it all comes back to the issue of a long term plan. If the RFL are identifying areas for development, then these areas need to be properly resourced, with strategies for player growth and development. If they aren't, then I think it's unfair and unrealistic for the RFL to essentially drop clubs in at the deep end to see if they can sink or swim, just so that they can claim they're developing the sport in new areas.

If the RFL thinks that Coventry/London/Llanelli (delete as appropriate) is strategically the right area to grow the game, then plan and resource it properly. But on the flip side, if the RFL is just going to treat these new areas exactly the same as heartlands teams, then they shouldn't be surprised if those new teams struggle to compete due to the lack of infrastructure (i.e. community clubs, player pool, etc) compared to the heartlands. I want to avoid situations like we saw with All Golds, Oxford and Hemel, where hundreds of thousands of pounds was spent over several seasons with ultimately nothing to show for it.

Also, I don't think that League 1 is the be all and end all in terms of the pyramid (plus I don't really agree with the term 'pyramid', as currently the 'pro' game is only a very shallow pyramid that doesn't include the vast majority of clubs from where the majority of players are actually produced). I think there should be a complete overhaul of the structure of the game from grassroots to elite level, in order to provide suitable playing levels and opportunities for progression. If League 1 had funding cut and Coventry were no longer able to compete at that level, what is to stop them playing at Southern Conference level and focusing their resources on developing juniors? I previously gave the example of Cramlington Rockets - a club in a development area who have obviously been extremely proactive in growing and developing their junior section. Is a club like Cramlington not just as, if not more valuable to the 'pyramid' as a League 1 club?

I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

To be honest I've given my thoughts already in this thread and tired trying to convince people like yourself who believe shrinking the footprint of RL in this country is the way to go. 

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32 minutes ago, Angelic Cynic said:

  The player pathway differs from Leeds,which is a Super League club and those outside of Super League. 

   It seems a lottery when it comes to which clubs have Academies,and which clubs can run reserve sides.

   Even those clubs where the funding was supplied by supporters lost their reserve side.

  It may be a money saving idea - and a fairer distribution of young talent,if the governing body controlled and ran Academies,regionally,and then clubs could select a youngster each to join their club - as an alternative to the rich clubs getting richer and continuing to advantage of all the monies they have had due to their position in the top league,over recent years.

All of it. 

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25 minutes ago, OriginalMrC said:

To be honest I've given my thoughts already in this thread and tired trying to convince people like yourself who believe shrinking the footprint of RL in this country is the way to go. 

I'm genuinely confused as to how you've drawn that conclusion from my posts. That isn't what I wrote at all. I can only assume that you haven't read them properly, or have projected viewpoints on to it that I have never stated.

I can appreciate it is difficult to discuss this topic when you're so emotionally invested in it, but I am genuinely interested to hear your views on the questions posed, as you haven't addressed them in your other posts.

The funding from TV broadcasts isn't a charity giveaway, so it's perfectly reasonable to question the return on that investment across all levels of the game. Questioning the value of any investment isn't the same as believing that "shrinking the footprint of RL in this country is the way to go." It's merely asking whether the investment is being channeled appropriately to maximise development. For me, I would rather have seen multiple Cramlington Rockets type clubs formed and supported in areas such as Oxford, Hemel and Gloucester, than have spent that money on 3 pro clubs that now cease to exist with little to show for it.

Given that it appears the funding for League 1 is likely to be substantially reduced moving forward, it would seem a good time to look at the return on investments at all levels of the game.

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31 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

I'm genuinely confused as to how you've drawn that conclusion from my posts. That isn't what I wrote at all. I can only assume that you haven't read them properly, or have projected viewpoints on to it that I have never stated.

I can appreciate it is difficult to discuss this topic when you're so emotionally invested in it, but I am genuinely interested to hear your views on the questions posed, as you haven't addressed them in your other posts.

The funding from TV broadcasts isn't a charity giveaway, so it's perfectly reasonable to question the return on that investment across all levels of the game. Questioning the value of any investment isn't the same as believing that "shrinking the footprint of RL in this country is the way to go." It's merely asking whether the investment is being channeled appropriately to maximise development. For me, I would rather have seen multiple Cramlington Rockets type clubs formed and supported in areas such as Oxford, Hemel and Gloucester, than have spent that money on 3 pro clubs that now cease to exist with little to show for it.

Given that it appears the funding for League 1 is likely to be substantially reduced moving forward, it would seem a good time to look at the return on investments at all levels of the game.

Sorry but that is exactly what you have said. You've been pretty clear that Coventry should be taken out of the Rugby League pyramid. 

And you don't patronise me by saying I am emotionally invested and therefore somehow incapable of thinking clearly. I'm not naive enough to think that the central funding is a 'charity giveaway'. 

Your last paragraph is strange because return on investments has been a big part of the RFL strategy over the last couple of years and will continue to be the case going forward. At the end of the day I believe that everything the Bears bring to the table is worth the small amount of money invested in them. You don't, and you are entitled to your opinion so let's leave it at that. 

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3 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

BUT in your plan there isn't a SL and Championship there are 2 leagues of 14, which I should imagine there will be movement by P&R between them? So one lot get 7.5 times more funding than than the second 14, why go to the trouble just make it a SL closed shop.

But minus the French lot.

Well that is SL and Championship, they are two separate tiers with P and R. P and R allows teams to be part time in Champ but scale up and reach for promotion should they wish (such as York, Thunder, etc). If you get relegated, reduce budget accordingly. I'm against a closed shop. 

You definitely lock the two French teams in to SL though, their reduced money and minimum french play caps the trade off for them to be able to guarantee sponsors they will always be in top flight. 

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On 28/04/2021 at 18:23, Robthegasman said:

I agree that the Super League could be increased to 14 teams.

 I do feel that there will be caveats and stipulations as to the criteria for a 14 or even 16 team Championship,though whether attendance figures will be part of it I don’t know.I do think that there will be some sort of minimum ground standards and possibly location(s)will count.
 

You could be on to something I think regarding the rest who don’t make the cut into the Championship.

Look if we have to make tough decisions, I'd like people to just be honest about the criteria. Currently Swinton and Oldham do not play in their own locations and there seems no real progress on getting back. Crusaders are moving to try and push their crowds up. There's a huge mark against Doncaster (too big stadium), Coventry and Hunslet regards to crowds.

So that's four or five clubs on the chopping bloc. 

RFL North and South so teams that wish to still climb the pyramid can do so and may actually win a few games (whilst reducing travel) but no cash. 

 

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1 hour ago, OriginalMrC said:

Sorry but that is exactly what you have said. You've been pretty clear that Coventry should be taken out of the Rugby League pyramid.

Please quote me where I've said that. Polarising the arguments in this extreme way results in the discussion degenerating. These arguments are not about Coventry per se, so please try to not take them personally.

1 hour ago, OriginalMrC said:

And you don't patronise me by saying I am emotionally invested and therefore somehow incapable of thinking clearly.

If you're emotionally invested then that's a good thing - there's no need to be so defensive.

1 hour ago, OriginalMrC said:

Your last paragraph is strange because return on investments has been a big part of the RFL strategy over the last couple of years and will continue to be the case going forward.

Why's that strange? Sounds like the RFL agree that return on investment is important!

1 hour ago, OriginalMrC said:

At the end of the day I believe that everything the Bears bring to the table is worth the small amount of money invested in them. You don't, and you are entitled to your opinion so let's leave it at that. 

And that's fine. As you say we can agree to disagree. I'm not convinced that the money paid to League 1 clubs offers the best return on the investment, and would prefer to see the money spent on long term sustainable development plans. I'd rather see multiple community clubs with several age groups springing up than see semi pro clubs like Hemel and Oxford being unsustainable and disappearing. Also I'm not convinced that some heartlands clubs offer enough of a return on investment either. There's going to be far less money floating about from next year, so some tough decisions are going to have to be made that will likely impact many League 1 clubs.

And you still haven't responded to the questions I asked, which is a shame.

 

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ShropshireBull  just looked at Hemel fixtures on there web site seems they have a team in the Southern Conferance league, a reserve team in East region, U-18,16,14,12's. + minis. Seems they are regrouping and found the right level. Pathways for players open to get picked up by London Broncos. 

 

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3 minutes ago, newbe said:

ShropshireBull  just looked at Hemel fixtures on there web site seems they have a team in the Southern Conferance league, a reserve team in East region, U-18,16,14,12's. + minis. Seems they are regrouping and found the right level. Pathways for players open to get picked up by London Broncos. 

 

This for me is obviously a lot more sustainable, and isn't costing 75k of TV funding. I'm not sure why some people seem to think this is less worthy than running a semi pro team in League 1. This is sustainable development that helps to expand the footprint of the game. They're performing a far more useful function than the semi pro Hemel that played in League 1.

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47 minutes ago, newbe said:

ShropshireBull  just looked at Hemel fixtures on there web site seems they have a team in the Southern Conferance league, a reserve team in East region, U-18,16,14,12's. + minis. Seems they are regrouping and found the right level. Pathways for players open to get picked up by London Broncos. 

 

Sounds positive. I don't want to lock anyone out of any level of the pyramid (though I do want to lock the two french teams in). If Hemel are winning games, being competitive and in a few years want to apply to step up that's great. 

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7 hours ago, ShropshireBull said:

Sounds positive. I don't want to lock anyone out of any level of the pyramid (though I do want to lock the two french teams in). If Hemel are winning games, being competitive and in a few years want to apply to step up that's great. 

Think the Chairman is quite happy were the club are now. He knew what was going to happen with the new TV deal. They have boys at Broncos so they can play at a higher level.

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I used to watch Oxford. When they withdrew one of the owners told me he thought they could have turned the club around. However, they weren't willing to run up the required losses during the reboot as they expected League One to be cut adrift within five years.

They didn't view Oxford as a candidate for the Championship, even if extended. As such, if their prediction came true, they would not be able to recover losses endured turning the club around.

it's looking a smart call now sadly.

 

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11 hours ago, ShropshireBull said:

Well that is SL and Championship, they are two separate tiers with P and R. P and R allows teams to be part time in Champ but scale up and reach for promotion should they wish (such as York, Thunder, etc). If you get relegated, reduce budget accordingly. I'm against a closed shop. 

You definitely lock the two French teams in to SL though, their reduced money and minimum french play caps the trade off for them to be able to guarantee sponsors they will always be in top flight. 

Two points 

Firstly you say you are against a closed shop but allowing the 1st division £1.3M more in funding than than the 2nd division would all but ensure even more so than in today's funding an immediate return via relegation to the 2nd division for the promoted team, the only players available will the one's from the relegated team, who do you think will commit to signing for a 'hopeful' promotion team before they have secured promotion which incidently is on the penultimate weekend of the season. Expanding that statement for the team you are relegating, in your system they will have no 'parachute' ensuring the vast majority of their player's if any at all can afford ford to stay with the club. 

Your funding value of £200,000 averaged out in a small squad of say 25 player's equates to just £8,000 per player towards a playing wage!

Secondly, I just don't understand this "love-in" of protecting teams from relegation that perform in the very same format as their contemporaries it is totally abhorrent, you state the French have a trade off in giving them a lower level of funding, but it doesn't matter a jot in your system if they had no funding whatsoever to buy player's, they could play the Villeneuve Leopards U'17s it just doesn't matter at all if they are uncompetitive. 

Think about it, there was ghast and horror on these pages when we employed the Super 8's, many stating that if a SL club is relegated which could be in a one off competitive fixture such as the £1M game perhaps on an unfavourable bounce of the ball or a mistaken refereeing decision many people in that SL club would/could lose their jobs, not just the players but the coaches, backroom staff, ticket office, shop, hospitality, ground staff, security etc, etc, but in this harebrained 'protectionist' system such as yours you would be relegating a team that most likely would have performed better than a French team containing a minimum number of sub-standard French Nationals, you are not even giving all the players and staff of a possible relegated club a fighting chance of a one-off game, in your 14 team league there are at least 26 games which don't matter.

NO MATTER HOW YOU TRY TO DRESS IT UP, PROTECTING TEAMS FROM RELEGATION IS NOT SPORT IF THE RESULT OF GAMES DOES NOT MATTER.

Edited by Harry Stottle
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On 29/04/2021 at 16:09, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

There is a Southern Conference that runs without funding. Could the Bears play in this competition if League 1 was disbanded and funding disappeared? It would be a shame if there wasn't a suitable level for them to play at.

The Southern Conference is two regional leagues neither of which covers the midlands, so no it wouldn't be a suitable level to play at. It's also a much lower playing standard.

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