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Shane Richardson Calls for Overhaul of British Rugby League


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For all those who have championed Shane Richardson over the likes of who we have and have had at the RFL over the years, let's digest it again. 

He wants all internationals in-season scrapped, forever. 

He wants Test series between the big three. 

He wants a year off internationals every cycle. 

He wants to stop investing in some international teams, that apparently lose a fortune. 

It is clear that this is an NRL club rep making a power play for the NRL clubs over internationals. 

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12 minutes ago, Dave T said:

For all those who have championed Shane Richardson over the likes of who we have and have had at the RFL over the years, let's digest it again. 

He wants all internationals in-season scrapped, forever. 

He wants Test series between the big three. 

He wants a year off internationals every cycle. 

He wants to stop investing in some international teams, that apparently lose a fortune. 

It is clear that this is an NRL club rep making a power play for the NRL clubs over internationals. 

And a power play for the NRL to control Super League

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10 hours ago, ShropshireBull said:

Dropping to ten despite having 14 (at least) clubs ready to create a non loop league and kill the Hull derby. It's surrender packaged as a plan

With all due respect, you don`t seem to me to be a very business minded person, loud and passionate no doubt, but perhaps not thoroughly acquainted with the realities of the world of commercial enterprise.

Couple of things: firstly, whatever you`re doing up there isn`t working and hasn`t been working for a long time, that has to set off alarm bells. Secondly, given the trajectory of your broadcast deal you don`t have many years to turn things around, and finally to think you can go to "14/15" clubs and spread, what is likely going to be even less TV money even further does not make good commercial sense. And the idea that clubs from areas of limited population bases and commercial strength are going to magically increase their commercial revenues is naive to say the least.

Something has got to give.

Trying to perhaps maintain the value of your current deal and spreading that money between less clubs ( 10 Pro, 12 semi-Pro) might not be a bad place to start.

Money for clubs isn`t just about players wages, although having the money to attract the highest skilled will certainly help, it`s also about promotion, it`s about having the money to generate more income, etc, etc, very hard to do that on a shoe string.

What business expands unless it is has a sound commercial footing. Richardson`s plan maybe simply be about consolidating before again going forward.

 

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17 hours ago, Damien said:

 

Huddersfield at a similar boost from the Sheffield merger with no Richardson at the helm.

That's nonsense.

Huddersfield spent most of their windfall on paying off players' contracts to reduce their inherited squad of 50.  Far from a "boost" they were relegated in 2001.  Their success ten (or so) years later, together wth any other lesser successes they may have had, has been down largely to the patronage of the Davy family.

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21 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

With all due respect, you don`t seem to me to be a very business minded person, loud and passionate no doubt, but perhaps not thoroughly acquainted with the realities of the world of commercial enterprise.

Couple of things: firstly, whatever you`re doing up there isn`t working and hasn`t been working for a long time, that has to set off alarm bells. Secondly, given the trajectory of your broadcast deal you don`t have many years to turn things around, and finally to think you can go to "14/15" clubs and spread, what is likely going to be even less TV money even further does not make good commercial sense. And the idea that clubs from areas of limited population bases and commercial strength are going to magically increase their commercial revenues is naive to say the least.

Something has got to give.

Trying to perhaps maintain the value of your current deal and spreading that money between less clubs ( 10 Pro, 12 semi-Pro) might not be a bad place to start.

Money for clubs isn`t just about players wages, although having the money to attract the highest skilled will certainly help, it`s also about promotion, it`s about having the money to generate more income, etc, etc, very hard to do that on a shoe string.

What business expands unless it is has a sound commercial footing. Richardson`s plan maybe simply be about consolidating before again going forward.

 

A problem is that our media income and club revenues have been increasing for a long time now - does that mean we have been doing the right things after all?

Not really - it means that these things are more complicated than that. 

But let's look at what he advocates - an SL of Wigan, Leeds, Wire, Saints, Hull, Catalans, Toulouse, Newcastle, London, South Wales - how exactly is that going to transform the game? We would be stupid to have an 18 round comp - we would become even more irrelevent in the UK sporting landscape. 

He also then advocates P&R - so in effect getting rid of the hand-picking. So in 10 years when it turns out that London are still weak as anything and it hasn't taken of in Newcastle, and South Wales are struggling, and maybe Toulouse struggle to progress like we hope,  and we end up with an SL that looks like Wigan, Leeds, Wire, Saints, Hull, Catalans, Hull KR, Huddersfield, Leigh, York.

His plan doesn't change anything.

I say this as someone who is ok with pure licensing, and is ok with P&R - as I don't think there is a right or wrong answer, but this revolutionary plan is anything but.

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

For all those who have championed Shane Richardson over the likes of who we have and have had at the RFL over the years, let's digest it again. 

He wants all internationals in-season scrapped, forever. 

He wants Test series between the big three. 

He wants a year off internationals every cycle. 

He wants to stop investing in some international teams, that apparently lose a fortune. 

It is clear that this is an NRL club rep making a power play for the NRL clubs over internationals. 

It's interesting how all the NRL figures sing off the same hymn sheet and push the same plans with the same common themes mentioned again and again. This usually involves having less and less of an international game with more NRL control, all dressed up in somehow doing the international game a favour. Depressingly the new IRL CEO and NRL stooge is now pushing the same agenda.

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Just now, Damien said:

It's interesting how all the NRL figures sing off the same hymn sheet and push the same plans with the same common themes mentioned again and again. This usually involves having less and less of an international game with more NRL control, all dressed up in somehow doing the international game a favour. Depressingly the new IRL CEO and NRL stooge is now pushing the same agenda.

It would be interesting to know what huge amounts of money we have wasted on these European international teams - how much, where was the money from etc? He seems to just make claims without really backing anything up with any kind of evidence - saying everything is rubbish - the NRL clubs have been shafted and we have wasted loads of money. 

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3 minutes ago, Dave T said:

It would be interesting to know what huge amounts of money we have wasted on these European international teams - how much, where was the money from etc? He seems to just make claims without really backing anything up with any kind of evidence - saying everything is rubbish - the NRL clubs have been shafted and we have wasted loads of money. 

Yes, when you see amounts countries get it is next to nothing, most funding I see is of the set of balls or free kit variety. The game certainly doesn't have vast amounts of money to give away to even waste. Then of course if the IRL were actually allowed to generate income through internationals and world cups were properly promoted and promised profits paid then the IRL would have more money to invest...

What he says just isn't credible and doesn't stack up.

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

For all those who have championed Shane Richardson over the likes of who we have and have had at the RFL over the years, let's digest it again. 

He wants all internationals in-season scrapped, forever. 

He wants Test series between the big three. 

He wants a year off internationals every cycle. 

He wants to stop investing in some international teams, that apparently lose a fortune. 

It is clear that this is an NRL club rep making a power play for the NRL clubs over internationals. 

he allows mid-season internationals in Europe

I think some test series betwenn the Big Three are valuable TV commodities

BUT

You are absoluteley right, this is an orchestrated NRL power play which proves that they see the Pacific Nations as not more than recruiting material (no Pacific Tests any more, no more Oceania Cup, one year off)

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12 minutes ago, Dave T said:

A problem is that our media income and club revenues have been increasing for a long time now - does that mean we have been doing the right things after all?

Not really - it means that these things are more complicated than that. 

But let's look at what he advocates - an SL of Wigan, Leeds, Wire, Saints, Hull, Catalans, Toulouse, Newcastle, London, South Wales - how exactly is that going to transform the game? We would be stupid to have an 18 round comp - we would become even more irrelevent in the UK sporting landscape. 

He also then advocates P&R - so in effect getting rid of the hand-picking. So in 10 years when it turns out that London are still weak as anything and it hasn't taken of in Newcastle, and South Wales are struggling, and maybe Toulouse struggle to progress like we hope,  and we end up with an SL that looks like Wigan, Leeds, Wire, Saints, Hull, Catalans, Hull KR, Huddersfield, Leigh, York.

His plan doesn't change anything.

I say this as someone who is ok with pure licensing, and is ok with P&R - as I don't think there is a right or wrong answer, but this revolutionary plan is anything but.

Yes I think he`s thrown the return of P & R after two years in there because it appear to be a non-negotiable in your part of the world.

But what if the expansion clubs did achieve some measure of success, if London started winning games and pulling 5 000,  Newcastle, Toulouse similar, surely those clubs are then in a better position to generate off-field income and to have something better to offer broadcasters, certainly as far a the geographical spread of the competition.

Length of season in your part world is an interesting one, from what I can gather from your comment unless you have a ~26 round season you risk becoming irrelevant, out of sight, out of mind kind of thing ? It`s a pity he didn`t feel the need to mention an expanded mini-club challenge to pad out your season, that possibly may have made the whole thing a bit more appetising. The fact that he didn`t certainly isn`t going to help quell the NRL-centric accusations.

Anyway Dave it`s your comp, and there is much that I can never understand about it viewing from the other side of the planet, but I don`t think Richardson is totally stupid and his concern does seem genuine.

 

 

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Look at the baffoonry that goes on. 

Who the hell needs a team called West Wales??? It's a practically unpopulated and isolated region in the grand scheme of things. And then to allow them to change name to Raiders as well, there's already a Club called Raiders ffs !!!!!! Either stay where you are, find or build a better venue in your region ;;; or resign your membership & fold, Call yourselves South Wales, Glamorgan, whatever. All these little things add up, and that's just with WWR, 1 Club. 

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1 minute ago, The Rocket said:

Yes I think he`s thrown the return of P & R after two years in there because it appear to be a non-negotiable in your part of the world.

But what if the expansion clubs did achieve some measure of success, if London started winning games and pulling 5 000,  Newcastle, Toulouse similar, surely those clubs are then in a better position to generate off-field income and to have something better to offer broadcasters, certainly as far a the geographical spread of the competition.

Length of season in your part world is an interesting one, from what I can gather from your comment unless you have a ~26 round season you risk becoming irrelevant, out of sight, out of mind kind of thing ? It`s a pity he didn`t feel the need to mention an expanded mini-club challenge to pad out your season, that possibly may have made the whole thing a bit more appetising. The fact that he didn`t certainly isn`t going to help quell the NRL-centric accusations.

Anyway Dave it`s your comp, and there is much that I can never understand about it viewing from the other side of the planet, but I don`t think Richardson is totally stupid and his concern does seem genuine.

 

 

The clubs he names are probably the right clubs (apart from York who are an odd addition to these discussions imho) - but the point is that he doesn't say how you capitalise on these new teams. The 'ideas' he puts out have already been done. We put in London at the expense of traditional clubs. We put in Paris at the expense of traditional clubs, we artificially relegated the weaker teams. We admitted Gateshead into SL, as he knows. We gave Crusaders a licence. He then complains that self-interest holds the game back, but then comes up with ideas that we have already done. So maybe people aren't as reluctant and unhappy to change as he makes out.

If he has added P&R into his paper because he thinks people love it over here, he is hardly doing the right things then. He either believes in what he has proposed or he doesn't. If he doesn't believe in P&R it shouldn't be part of his proposal.

Length of season is an important one - that he doesn't address in his paper tbh, but for all the talk about improving standards and making more events through a 'less-is-more' model, I just don't believe it works in reality, unless you end up in a place where you double crowds and viewing figures - and I see no reason to suggest either of those things would happen. But going from 27 rounds to 18 would see you reduce screen time, media presence, customer presence, sponsors interaction etc. by a third, and I just don't think it is feasible. We also shouldn't forget that we reduces the number of games when we introduced SL - we scrapped midweek games, County and Regal cups etc so we did streamline the game to focus on quality. I'm not saying 27 is the right number, but I am also not seeing that culling rounds by 33% is the answer either.

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

The clubs he names are probably the right clubs (apart from York who are an odd addition to these discussions imho) - but the point is that he doesn't say how you capitalise on these new teams. The 'ideas' he puts out have already been done. We put in London at the expense of traditional clubs. We put in Paris at the expense of traditional clubs, we artificially relegated the weaker teams. We admitted Gateshead into SL, as he knows. We gave Crusaders a licence. He then complains that self-interest holds the game back, but then comes up with ideas that we have already done. So maybe people aren't as reluctant and unhappy to change as he makes out.

If he has added P&R into his paper because he thinks people love it over here, he is hardly doing the right things then. He either believes in what he has proposed or he doesn't. If he doesn't believe in P&R it shouldn't be part of his proposal.

Length of season is an important one - that he doesn't address in his paper tbh, but for all the talk about improving standards and making more events through a 'less-is-more' model, I just don't believe it works in reality, unless you end up in a place where you double crowds and viewing figures - and I see no reason to suggest either of those things would happen. But going from 27 rounds to 18 would see you reduce screen time, media presence, customer presence, sponsors interaction etc. by a third, and I just don't think it is feasible. We also shouldn't forget that we reduces the number of games when we introduced SL - we scrapped midweek games, County and Regal cups etc so we did streamline the game to focus on quality. I'm not saying 27 is the right number, but I am also not seeing that culling rounds by 33% is the answer either.

What he’s submitted isn’t really a plan though.  There is no structure, organisation duty, commercial or any other timelines etc.  I think this is a heavily reduced version for discussion (I haven’t got the report with me but I think it says for  consideration or similar).  

Like I said in an earlier post, most of these things have been mentioned and argued on this Forum.  There is nothing new imho but there are growing voices along for change.  

Whatever people think about the NRL or SR we have a fractured hierarchy over here and I have serious doubt we will change it radically enough to get both SLE & the RFL working together for our whole game.  That in turn won’t help the creation of a stronger, holistic force (NRL/RFL) that SR is suggesting the RL needs.

 

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1 minute ago, Lowdesert said:

What he’s submitted isn’t really a plan though.  There is no structure, organisation duty, commercial or any other timelines etc.  I think this is a heavily reduced version for discussion (I haven’t got the report with me but I think it says for  consideration or similar).  

Like I said in an earlier post, most of these things have been mentioned and argued on this Forum.  There is nothing new imho but there are growing voices along for change.  

Whatever people think about the NRL or SR we have a fractured hierarchy over here and I have serious doubt we will change it radically enough to get both SLE & the RFL working together for our whole game.  That in turn won’t help the creation of a stronger, holistic force (NRL/RFL) that SR is suggesting the RL needs.

 

You're right it isn't a plan, so what is it? Because it isn't radical/thought provoking enough to be a good discussion paper tbh. If you are going to put yourself out there as some kind of authority then you need to provide a little bit more detail than this.

It's no more detailed than some posts here. 

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2 minutes ago, Dave T said:

It's no more detailed than some posts here. 

I made that exact point on twitter - I got the reply from one journo "the difference is that this one is from a widely respected administrator of many years experience" 😮

 

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1 minute ago, Dave T said:

You're right it isn't a plan, so what is it? Because it isn't radical/thought provoking enough to be a good discussion paper tbh. If you are going to put yourself out there as some kind of authority then you need to provide a little bit more detail than this.

It's no more detailed than some posts here. 

I would be guessing Abdo has looked at the full report and said test the water in England with some of it.

Nonetheless, our game is struggling due mainly to the covid crisis but it hasn’t been moving forward as well as it could have due to the SLE split.   If that mess could be solved it would go a long way towards and amalgamated efforts for TV money.

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5 hours ago, The Rocket said:

With all due respect, you don`t seem to me to be a very business minded person, loud and passionate no doubt, but perhaps not thoroughly acquainted with the realities of the world of commercial enterprise.

Couple of things: firstly, whatever you`re doing up there isn`t working and hasn`t been working for a long time, that has to set off alarm bells. Secondly, given the trajectory of your broadcast deal you don`t have many years to turn things around, and finally to think you can go to "14/15" clubs and spread, what is likely going to be even less TV money even further does not make good commercial sense. And the idea that clubs from areas of limited population bases and commercial strength are going to magically increase their commercial revenues is naive to say the least.

Something has got to give.

Trying to perhaps maintain the value of your current deal and spreading that money between less clubs ( 10 Pro, 12 semi-Pro) might not be a bad place to start.

Money for clubs isn`t just about players wages, although having the money to attract the highest skilled will certainly help, it`s also about promotion, it`s about having the money to generate more income, etc, etc, very hard to do that on a shoe string.

What business expands unless it is has a sound commercial footing. Richardson`s plan maybe simply be about consolidating before again going forward.

 

How can clubs who are commercially ready to step up and will need to grow over time be helped if we effectively gut clubs like Cas (turnover pre covid 7 million) . Selling never ending loop games. He is creating an inferior product that would only lead to a lower deal next time. 

Interesting York is being mentioned when three years ago, they would have been nowhere but it is the kind of progress from York and Newcastle (new teams or teams transforming infrastructure) that would end up being barred under his model. 

And his plan has Australia downing tools once every four years from even end of season intenationals. So the potential of the huge FTA exposure that every other RL nations gets from internations the Aussies won´t help with.  Sod off with this NRL plan.  We have the 12 we have now (maybe Leigh go down).

Easily we can go :

Wigan, Saints

Hull, KR

Catalan , Toulouse

Warrington, Leeds

York, Newcastle

Cas, Wakey

Huddersfield, AN Other (who get promoted) 

That´s a great mix of international teams, local derbies and big sides to start growing the game again. 

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10 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

Interesting York is being mentioned when three years ago, they would have been nowhere but it is the kind of progress from York and Newcastle (new teams or teams transforming infrastructure) that would end up being barred under his model. 

Look mate I think he`d be thinking once the ten team comp was settled, you`d pretty quickly make it clear that the comp could be expanded, even if you still had P & R, so if York or any other team met certain criteria, and this is where a hard headed business approach would come in, they could apply and enter the comp. Exactly what were doing in Queensland now, the bidders have to prove their sustainability and their ability to add value to the competition.

It`s tough and we appear like hypocrites down here when we have so many teams crammed into Sydney, but our TV deal is worth about $300m+(160m pound +) and that`s only about 60 % of total revenue. So in the meantime we have to live with those clubs.

So I don`t think they would be barred mate, you might find if there was enough suitable teams in your Championship, one would go up through promotion and another through expanding the number of teams in your top comp.

This is one of the main arguments against relegation, a powerhouse club having a lean trot can be lost to your main comp, and the flow on effect this could have in raising code wide sponsors and broadcast deals. It would be like the NRL losing the Broncos, our one genuine `big market` teams.

n.b. The Accor Hotel chain are an NRL sponsor, there is talk Accor will be used for the Quarantine hubs, they would have a big presence in Brisbane, no Broncos no Accor sponsorship perhaps.

 

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31 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

How can clubs who are commercially ready to step up and will need to grow over time be helped if we effectively gut clubs like Cas (turnover pre covid 7 million) . Selling never ending loop games. He is creating an inferior product that would only lead to a lower deal next time. 

Interesting York is being mentioned when three years ago, they would have been nowhere but it is the kind of progress from York and Newcastle (new teams or teams transforming infrastructure) that would end up being barred under his model. 

And his plan has Australia downing tools once every four years from even end of season intenationals. So the potential of the huge FTA exposure that every other RL nations gets from internations the Aussies won´t help with.  Sod off with this NRL plan.  We have the 12 we have now (maybe Leigh go down).

Easily we can go :

Wigan, Saints

Hull, KR

Catalan , Toulouse

Warrington, Leeds

York, Newcastle

Cas, Wakey

Huddersfield, AN Other (who get promoted) 

That´s a great mix of international teams, local derbies and big sides to start growing the game again. 

What about Salford? 

So in this one we effectively want to give Newcastle & York, very average to slightly weak Championship sides, the Salford & Leigh money & squads....why?

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2 minutes ago, Smudger06 said:

What about Salford? 

So in this one we effectively want to give Newcastle & York, very average to slightly weak Championship sides, the Salford & Leigh money & squads....why?

Again, I´m not relegating anyone. I´m just showing as an example we have more than enough teams with good infrastructure in commercially exploitative areas to make a 14 team comp hum. 

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Just now, ShropshireBull said:

Again, I´m not relegating anyone. I´m just showing as an example we have more than enough teams with good infrastructure in commercially exploitative areas to make a 14 team comp hum. 

These sides, York & Newcastle offer true RL potential, that is all it is at the moment though, let's hope they don't get relegated from the Championship. 

The key ingredient they would be missing if artificially promoted would be any credibility whatsoever, they need to earn it for present and future fans and so that the rest of the RL world can give them at least some kind of grudging respect. 

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4 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

Look mate I think he`d be thinking once the ten team comp was settled, you`d pretty quickly make it clear that the comp could be expanded, even if you still had P & R, so if York or any other team met certain criteria, and this is where a hard headed business approach would come in, they could apply and enter the comp. Exactly what were doing in Queensland now, the bidders have to prove their sustainability and their ability to add value to the competition.

It`s tough and we appear like hypocrites down here when we have so many teams crammed into Sydney, but our TV deal is worth about $300m+(160m pound +) and that`s only about 60 % of total revenue. So in the meantime we have to live with those clubs.

So I don`t think they would be barred mate, you might find if there was enough suitable teams in your Championship, one would go up through promotion and another through expanding the number of teams in your top comp.

This is one of the main arguments against relegation, a powerhouse club having a lean trot can be lost to your main comp, and the flow on effect this could have in raising code wide sponsors and broadcast deals. It would be like the NRL losing the Broncos, our one genuine `big market` teams.

n.b. The Accor Hotel chain are an NRL sponsor, there is talk Accor will be used for the Quarantine hubs, they would have a big presence in Brisbane, no Broncos no Accor sponsorship perhaps.

 

Nothing about internationals there but I just fear the sudden boot to teams actually generating revenue for exciting expansion teams but teams who will need exposure to more successful clubs to grow, will do more harm then good.

I also think a ten team comp will be repetitive and struggle to have enough key note games to rebuild that tv deal. Whereas 14 gives us that healthy mix and lets us keep those traditional derbies which always make for good tv. Teams like Newcastle and York wouldn´t even be in the convo for franchise places if we didn´t have p and r that put them at the forefront of people´s minds. If I didn´t think we had enough for 14 I´d be against it but there´s clearly enough teams with the infrastructure and opportunities in place to step up without barring your cas or fev or salford. 

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2 minutes ago, Smudger06 said:

These sides, York & Newcastle offer true RL potential, that is all it is at the moment though, let's hope they don't get relegated from the Championship. 

The key ingredient they would be missing if artificially promoted would be any credibility whatsoever, they need to earn it for present and future fans and so that the rest of the RL world can give them at least some kind of grudging respect. 

But they are not being allowed to exploit that potential because of an absurd system of a 12 team league when there are at least 4 teams in the Champ who would add to the comp now. A cut in distribution for Wakefield or Cas not to be kept out of SL by a franchise model needs to be the compromise. 

Also, expanding to 14 doesn´t mean we pick the teams going up. Just means we announce the next year 1 team goes down from SL, top 2 in RFL Champ are up and 3rd-6th are in the playoffs. Gets us to 14 with no favouritism. 

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