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Shane Richardson Calls for Overhaul of British Rugby League


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59 minutes ago, sweaty craiq said:

I wet myself at a 10 team comp that had 2 new teams, 2 from france and 6 current English SL teams - Wigan, Saints, Hull, Leeds, Warrington and Bradford/London would offer the most potential. Look at the new division Leigh, KR, Cas, Wakey, Huddersfield, Salford, Fev, Widnes, York, London/Bradford, Fax, Barrow and Sheffield  - all with no way into the elite comp (the Aussie way). Do they accept that for the good of the game or break away? 

You cannot get rid of 125 years of history from a nation that has a history so rich. Change is needed desperately, and that change is driven by capable leaders at the top table not pen pushers, but solutions must embrace not isolate. 

SL needs cash, lets open up the sale of shares, say £5m per club and grow through the strength of having cash in the bank.

Sorry mate, the game is nearly as old in Australia. You are shackled to tradition. Letting these one-horse towns believe they should be in the top flight is helping nobody. P&R is killing the English game 

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36 minutes ago, Pulga said:

Sorry mate, the game is nearly as old in Australia. You are shackled to tradition. Letting these one-horse towns believe they should be in the top flight is helping nobody. P&R is killing the English game 

Sorry mate Australias entire history excluding the indigenous peoples is less than a few hundred years old. There is a reason our sports retain P&R, not just RL, and that the biggest sporting league in the world retains it - making the NRL look like a sunday pub league in comparison. 

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34 minutes ago, sweaty craiq said:

Sorry mate Australias entire history excluding the indigenous peoples is less than a few hundred years old. There is a reason our sports retain P&R, not just RL, and that the biggest sporting league in the world retains it - making the NRL look like a sunday pub league in comparison. 

Is it the same reason you get towled on the international stage at every game you invent?

C'mon mate, you can't look at the way SL is going and think "yep, tradition is the way forward". It's Luddite thinking. 

How about keep P&R and introduce a minimum cap spend like the NRL? You might get a game that's not a race to see who can come 2nd last.

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1 hour ago, Pulga said:

Sorry mate, the game is nearly as old in Australia. You are shackled to tradition. Letting these one-horse towns believe they should be in the top flight is helping nobody. P&R is killing the English game 

Who are you replacing these ' one horse towns ' with ?

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29 minutes ago, Pulga said:

Is it the same reason you get towled on the international stage at every game you invent?

C'mon mate, you can't look at the way SL is going and think "yep, tradition is the way forward". It's Luddite thinking. 

How about keep P&R and introduce a minimum cap spend like the NRL? You might get a game that's not a race to see who can come 2nd last.

I have been advocating min spends for at least a decade linked to a two tens SL structure with 3 French clubs in the mix. 

SL has worked under the lowest cost principal for 10-15 years, you don’t grow by cutting costs and you don’t grow without investment and you don’t grow with clerks running the show

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4 hours ago, GUBRATS said:

Why do you suggest ' traditionalists ' wouldn't like what you are suggesting ? 

 

Have a look at the Jermaine McGillvary article on the other thread on the BBC site. Read the comments posted after it. Then come back and tell me many, if not most, RL fans genuinely don’t think they should support traditional clubs only and screw the ‘newcomers’. 

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It’s completely obvious that the British game needs a V’Landys/Lindsay-style benevolent dictator to take the sport forward but that will only happen when power is taken away from club chairmen legally. 

The only way I can see that happening is if it’s a string attached to private equity or similar investment. 

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3 hours ago, Pulga said:

Sorry mate, the game is nearly as old in Australia. You are shackled to tradition. Letting these one-horse towns believe they should be in the top flight is helping nobody. P&R is killing the English game 

The game's problem in Britain though is that those "one-horse towns" are just about the only places with pro teams.

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On 26/06/2021 at 10:52, Mr Frisky said:

Agree to most of this but the NRL isn't exactly a shining beacon that we should follow or copy.

All their clubs are basically bankrupt, kept afloat by gambling addiction in their social clubs. They change the games rules when they want with little regard for the rest of the world and the international game- very insular competition.

Sorry, that’s “local people” wishful thinking: You’re describing NRL clubs 20 years ago, not now. The league has the largest TV contract of any rugby comp globally in either code, and on top of that most present day clubs have huge, multi-source revenue streams that make our organisations look like corner shops versus Tesco’s. Roosters will have more assets than all of UK rugby league combined. 
 

There are always a couple of badly run clubs (Gold Coast is a business on quicksand), but even long-term basket cases like Cronulla have large property holdings that fund the sports side of the organisation (which like most pro sports doesn’t always fund itself in isolation)

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He's correct, for me the game has gone from a fast exciting sport i wished i could get others introduced to to one i'm embarrased of despite being a fan of over 30 years, and that's just in the last 10 years.

The people who run the game probably don't care as they will probably have set themselves low targets to hit and get paid handsomely to do that, they probably don't even realise the game is a mess and probably think it's rumbling along nicely and successfully, after all Bradford are back at Odsal and they probably see that as a huge bonus for the game.

The whole game needs stripping back to the bones and re-doing, everything from letting the clubs dictate what's happening, the bickering between the governing bodies, the constant and stupid rule changing and the competition structure, the refereeing, the tv deal and how it comes across to potential new fans and sponsors, the lack of investment from sponsorship and the big name companies - Batchelors peas and betfred are hardly mouthwatering brands.

The almost laughable after thought of having international matches and clubs not backing and supporting the national team to improve, the lack of vision, my own club is guilty of this and marketing and the fact we are happy to attract 30,000 northerners to a few games over a weekend, 30,000 fans who whinge and moan at everything and anything, without making any effort to open up to new audiences.

We need a complete overhaul, the people running the game need to have a proper vision and ideas for the future and not just hastilly making spur of the moment decisions on the game, unfortunately to create this we would need to throw away the ones who are in office at the moment who don't appear to have any interest in growing the game.

As a sport we need to make decisions that will upset clubs, administrators, spectators etc to make the sport as a whole better in the future.

 

Edited by daz39
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1 hour ago, Hull Kingston Bronco said:

Sorry, that’s “local people” wishful thinking: You’re describing NRL clubs 20 years ago, not now. The league has the largest TV contract of any rugby comp globally in either code, and on top of that most present day clubs have huge, multi-source revenue streams that make our organisations look like corner shops versus Tesco’s. Roosters will have more assets than all of UK rugby league combined. 
 

There are always a couple of badly run clubs (Gold Coast is a business on quicksand), but even long-term basket cases like Cronulla have large property holdings that fund the sports side of the organisation (which like most pro sports doesn’t always fund itself in isolation)

Don't agree - with the exception of Brisbane i don't think any Aussie club are as well run as Wire, Leeds or St Helens - all own there own grounds and run for profit. The NRL has always been behind SL in that respect- I remember Gareth Ellis saying he left Leeds when he was treated like a Premiership Footballer and moved to the NRL and he had to was his own kit...... Yes the NRL is far ahead if SL but its not a shining light we need to follow to the letter.

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38 minutes ago, Mr Frisky said:

Don't agree - with the exception of Brisbane i don't think any Aussie club are as well run as Wire, Leeds or St Helens - all own there own grounds and run for profit. The NRL has always been behind SL in that respect- I remember Gareth Ellis saying he left Leeds when he was treated like a Premiership Footballer and moved to the NRL and he had to was his own kit...... Yes the NRL is far ahead if SL but its not a shining light we need to follow to the letter.

In this video you can hear Phil Gould saying that most NRL clubs trade in a position of insolvency.

 

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2 hours ago, Mr Frisky said:

Don't agree - with the exception of Brisbane i don't think any Aussie club are as well run as Wire, Leeds or St Helens - all own there own grounds and run for profit. The NRL has always been behind SL in that respect- I remember Gareth Ellis saying he left Leeds when he was treated like a Premiership Footballer and moved to the NRL and he had to was his own kit...... Yes the NRL is far ahead if SL but its not a shining light we need to follow to the letter.

He left the NRL 11 years ago.

Here's a quote from Richardson's press conference:

 

“They’re great clubs (in England). The game has to be great. Unless you reach that agreement, each club is going to lose its value over the years. The only reason clubs bought into the ARLC is they could see their investment was diminishing.. An NRL club nine years ago was worth 14 or 15 million dollars. It’s worth 40 million tomorrow. I know I could sell a club tomorrow for $40 million. That’s how much the value of those francises has gone up.”

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5 minutes ago, Pulga said:

He left the NRL 11 years ago.

Here's a quote from Richardson's press conference:

 

“They’re great clubs (in England). The game has to be great. Unless you reach that agreement, each club is going to lose its value over the years. The only reason clubs bought into the ARLC is they could see their investment was diminishing.. An NRL club nine years ago was worth 14 or 15 million dollars. It’s worth 40 million tomorrow. I know I could sell a club tomorrow for $40 million. That’s how much the value of those francises has gone up.”

You are backing up your argument with facts, @Pulga however there are some individuals on here who actually want the NRL to fail. 

This despite it being the flagship competition in our game, and the entity that ensures the ongoing existence of the sport in about 4 countries.

They are the epitome of backward looking flat capped navel-gazers. Desperate for the NRL not to be the solution to our sport's problems simply because it is Australian, and different from the model they grew up with 40odd years ago, and which is now proving itself to be obsolete. 

 

Edited by The Frying Scotsman
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15 minutes ago, Pulga said:

He left the NRL 11 years ago.

Here's a quote from Richardson's press conference:

 

“They’re great clubs (in England). The game has to be great. Unless you reach that agreement, each club is going to lose its value over the years. The only reason clubs bought into the ARLC is they could see their investment was diminishing.. An NRL club nine years ago was worth 14 or 15 million dollars. It’s worth 40 million tomorrow. I know I could sell a club tomorrow for $40 million. That’s how much the value of those francises has gone up.”

That 40 million A$ might sound like a lot, but it's just 30 million US$ which is less than the value of some minor league baseball franchises in the US.  Consequently it's a minor league value, not a major league value.

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On 26/06/2021 at 10:17, Wigan Riversider said:

To state that the game has not progressed in two decades is pretty damning. Sadly I think that Richardson is spot on. I have no answers to the game's decline.

I would disagree that the sport hasnt progressed in 20 years, 

A lot of Stadia improved or new

Widnes, warrington, Leigh, saints,bradford,leeds,huddersfield, Hull KR, Halifax, Salford (maybe for the worse in this case)

Newcastle/NE is now established over 20 years

Coventry and the midlands becoming embedded in the pyramid

At one point the game had spread from around 15 counties to all counties.

Sides in both North and South wales, The welsh national team is no longer a heritage/union convert team.

2 fully pro French clubs in the English system and both going well.

The game can no longer rely on union converts and Aus inports with a lot of top English talent now playing in Aus compared to just Morley? 20 years ago. Player development in the professional clubs is now a mile away from where it was.

The whole game is now aligned to summer and from what I see in the north west the amateur game at junior level is thriving!

Magic weekend added to CC and play off 'big' events. 20 years ago we just had the one big day of the CC final and a fledgling play off system.

The world cup nearly bankrupted the RFL 21 years ago to the point that future world cups were in doubt, now this year is up in the air because of Covid but the fact we are hosting and as a sport running world cups is progress from 2000

Recently

Tonga beat Australia 

PNG beat GB 

NZ won a world cup

The international scene is a lot brighter in terms of competativeness compared with 2000. The last England WC appearance was miles better than the 2000 one with a run to the final and a very close loss away to the winners who were at home!

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44 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

That 40 million A$ might sound like a lot, but it's just 30 million US$ which is less than the value of some minor league baseball franchises in the US.  Consequently it's a minor league value, not a major league value.

True, it is not where we want it to be.

It does however dwarf the value of any SuperLeague clubs, and probably stacks up quite favourably across most "rugby" franchises across the globe.

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1 hour ago, The Frying Scotsman said:

True, it is not where we want it to be.

It does however dwarf the value of any SuperLeague clubs, and probably stacks up quite favourably across most "rugby" franchises across the globe.

He's also comparing it to a country of less than 10% of the USA's population. 

The fact is the NRL is as mainstream as a sport can be in Australia. It leads the sports news stories, it's on every back cover of every large paper (except one specifically), it's on bumper stickers, vehicle registration plates, on the radio, the NRL licences $215m worth of branded merchandise a year, ex players are news reporters, on ads selling everything from sheds, to pizza to cars. The biggest boxing events here contain ex-NRL players.

You can't compare it to Soccer or NFL because the population just isn't there. As far as penetration though it's up there with any sports league.

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Much as we may dislike it, AFL is a much stronger sport financially than the NRL.  The NRL really only has the TV deal to survive on. AFL crowds are a huge source of income that dwarfs the often embarrassing crowds in Sydney. 

The bottom line is that RL in England is heading for part-time status. Its got a few pluses - excluding COVID crowds are actually far higher than when I started watching in the 80s. But there seems to be no ambition, no excitement around the competition, no star players etc - the sort of things that help a sport grow.

I don't know what the solution to turn things round is exactly, but it starts and ends with money. Without that everyone is just rearranging chairs on the Titanic.

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8 hours ago, The Frying Scotsman said:

You are backing up your argument with facts, @Pulga however there are some individuals on here who actually want the NRL to fail. 

This despite it being the flagship competition in our game, and the entity that ensures the ongoing existence of the sport in about 4 countries.

They are the epitome of backward looking flat capped navel-gazers. Desperate for the NRL not to be the solution to our sport's problems simply because it is Australian, and different from the model they grew up with 40odd years ago, and which is now proving itself to be obsolete. 

 

No one wants the NRL to fail and yes they are on a totally different level to Superleague but as the Gould article above shows they are far from perfect and are not even the best sports organisation in Australia and have displayed a lack of vision when it comes to where the game is going,with most clubs running at a loss and being propped up by the broadcasting deal and a dying gambling industry.

The sport on both sides of the world have deep seated problems,the only difference is geography & broadcasting revenue.

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9 hours ago, yipyee said:

I would disagree that the sport hasnt progressed in 20 years, 

A lot of Stadia improved or new

Widnes, warrington, Leigh, saints,bradford,leeds,huddersfield, Hull KR, Halifax, Salford (maybe for the worse in this case)

Newcastle/NE is now established over 20 years

Coventry and the midlands becoming embedded in the pyramid

At one point the game had spread from around 15 counties to all counties.

Sides in both North and South wales, The welsh national team is no longer a heritage/union convert team.

2 fully pro French clubs in the English system and both going well.

The game can no longer rely on union converts and Aus inports with a lot of top English talent now playing in Aus compared to just Morley? 20 years ago. Player development in the professional clubs is now a mile away from where it was.

The whole game is now aligned to summer and from what I see in the north west the amateur game at junior level is thriving!

Magic weekend added to CC and play off 'big' events. 20 years ago we just had the one big day of the CC final and a fledgling play off system.

The world cup nearly bankrupted the RFL 21 years ago to the point that future world cups were in doubt, now this year is up in the air because of Covid but the fact we are hosting and as a sport running world cups is progress from 2000

Recently

Tonga beat Australia 

PNG beat GB 

NZ won a world cup

The international scene is a lot brighter in terms of competativeness compared with 2000. The last England WC appearance was miles better than the 2000 one with a run to the final and a very close loss away to the winners who were at home!

All very fair points indeed.

My greatest concern is the new two year tv deal which is 35% below the last one.

Will that figure decrease further when the next deal is signed?

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7 hours ago, BrisbaneRhino said:

Much as we may dislike it, AFL is a much stronger sport financially than the NRL.  The NRL really only has the TV deal to survive on. AFL crowds are a huge source of income that dwarfs the often embarrassing crowds in Sydney. 

The bottom line is that RL in England is heading for part-time status. Its got a few pluses - excluding COVID crowds are actually far higher than when I started watching in the 80s. But there seems to be no ambition, no excitement around the competition, no star players etc - the sort of things that help a sport grow.

I don't know what the solution to turn things round is exactly, but it starts and ends with money. Without that everyone is just rearranging chairs on the Titanic.

On point, and maybe something we don't speak about enough (the relative strength of the AFL).

Your summary of RL in England is also accurate, yet we still see posts (both on here and also on the BBC for example) by people who think things are fine, despite the game regressing literally year by year. 

I think you are right that the solution starts with money, however the clubs have turned down external investment already, which suggests that either (a) they know more than we do; or (b) they simply want to retain control at all costs even though the game is becoming increasingly less and less viable as a professional sport. 

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18 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

It’s completely obvious that the British game needs a V’Landys/Lindsay-style benevolent dictator to take the sport forward but that will only happen when power is taken away from club chairmen legally. 

The only way I can see that happening is if it’s a string attached to private equity or similar investment. 

Private Equity, certainly the kind recently turned down, is a false economy. These companies have absolutely no interest in the game, they just see it as an opportunity to make money for themselves. They dangle a cash carrot and hope enough people take the bait. Once they've got that they want out of the game they'll just walk away leaving the game in a worse state than before.

There have been past discussions for investment which on the face of it were fare more attractive than just a private equity deal. Its a pity nothing ever came from the discussions with Matchroom & the Hearn's. Their cash injection also came with a proven track record of promoting other sports and really turning them mainstream (such as darts & snooker). Both these sports saw a massive rise in popularity once Matchroom got involved, it was a win-win all round. The sports got their short term cash injection, and in return they got massive increase in TV & Media coverage, which in turn then led to increased cash coming into the sports from sponsors. I doubt your regular private equity company would put in this type of effort.

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