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These People Must Be In a UK Rugby League Independent Commission


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1 hour ago, OMEGA said:

There’s no way that Sinfield and Peacock could be truly objective whether they’re involved with Leeds or not. Either way, I’ve seen nothing from Sinfield or Peacock administratively to suggest they have the experience or intelligence to front an independent commission.  

Yeah but the point in having a commission rather than a commissioner would be that several people could be involved to pool different skill sets...I'd presume theirs would be leadership and rugby league knowledge (at least from a players perspective) others would bring Intelligence and other stuff. 

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On 07/07/2021 at 21:19, The Daddy said:

Rugby League desperately needs an independent commission, it's been suggested here so many times, also been proposed by Shane Richardson recently and Lindsay Hoyle has raised the issue of a review of the game here. If it doesn't happen soon then professional Rugby League in the UK is toast. The only reason it may not happen is due selfishness from individual club owners and the powers that be at the RFL. It seems like Shane Richardson's proposal is gaining some traction anyway.

https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/independent-review-rugby-league-britain-5619914

Moving a step or two forward I've started to think about the personalities that MUST be involved in this commission if it's to be a success. People with a proven track record of success in their fields, operating at a high level with experience. These people would definitely be in the commission if it were up to me. 

Mick Hogan - This man has to be on the commission, he's been involved in every sphere of the game in both codes from the ground up and been a success in every role he's undertaken. Not just a suit but a very personable individual, I will literally fight anyone that says he shouldn't be in this commission. He's tendered and brought major events to Newcastle and really understands the business aspect of sports management. 

Sally Bolton - Now Chief Executive at Wimbledon, she has operational experience at club level with Wigan and at the RFL as well as being a former RL World Cup General Manager. I selected her as someone that would lead on governance and day to day running of the sport operationally. The way she successfully dealt with the Naomi Osaka situation recently is testament to someone that can think outside the box. Sally or Mick would be my Chief Executive in this commission.  

Richard Lewis - Currently Chief Executive at the All England Tennis Club and previous lead at the RFL. It all went wrong when he left in my view, his focus during his tenure was to have the sport played across the UK with a strong presence in all the home nations and to build the profile of the England team and the international game as a whole. Those are some of the two key components of what should be the focus for Rugby League in the UK. I see Richard's role on the commission as having overall responsibility for the strategy and direction of UK RL and he would be the chairman at the top of the pyramid.  

Eddie Hearn - Eddie's been touted previously as having an involvement in RL, where I disagree is that I don't necessarily see him as leading the sport all up and being an overall figurehead, his role would be clearly defined within this commission and would focus and lead on promotion and marketing of RL. I think getting in Eddie is important not only because of his success in Boxing but how he has adopted modern technologies and applications in the process. He embraces mediums like IFL TV which has gone on to be a huge success and has recently signed a groundbreaking partnership with sports app DAZN. I see the scope of this role being around Media strategy, Marketing and Promotion, embracing New Media but importantly opening up the people in the sport to media access, making players more available to the media, improving the online presence of players and the main competition, improving the game day experience for the media. There is no way that he can't be involved in this commission in the same way that the Matchroom businesses are involved darts, snooker and boxing.

Steve McNamara - Some people will hate this suggestion but Steve is really starting to prove himself as a top class coach with Catalan. He is an elite level performance coach that has coached the England international team, coached in NZ, Australia and France so he has a completely holistic experience. His coaching experiences would give this commission the right intel in respect to grass roots coaching strategies, future and current performance innovations, player development, sports psychology, integration of new rules and on field innovations.

Jamie Peacock or Kevin Sinfield - This commission needs a former player who has played the game recently at the highest level and can give a player's perspective on where the game should be going, player welfare and how strategies need to be applied and effect players. Kevin and Jamie represent everything that is good about the sport we love and the communities they are played in. Either player will also have something to offer in relation to player performance strategies. 

Lastly, this commission needs a Commercial Director (lead) or financial controller, someone that leads and consults on commercial strategies, finances, TV deals, Sponsorship, financial outlook in relation to strategies and operations, whether the sport would adopt hedge funds etc. It's the type of role that Robert Elstone should have done, I think one of the mistakes that was made was that his role became to broad and unclear, added to the fact that the clubs were too involved in him being mobilised to this position. I don't have any knowledge of industry financial controllers so suggestions are welcome. 

 

These are all paid jobs right?

How will the remit of this commission differ from that of what we expect of the RFL board of directors?

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The whole point of an independent commission is to bring outsiders into the decision making of the sport, free from vested interests or perceived conflicts of interest. 

Aim a bit higher. You want top business people and former politicians.

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4 hours ago, dealwithit said:

The whole point of an independent commission is to bring outsiders into the decision making of the sport, free from vested interests or perceived conflicts of interest. 

Aim a bit higher. You want top business people and former politicians.

It's no good bringing anyone in unless they have a deep knowledge and understanding of the sport and as for former politicians we have Lyndsay Hoyle chomping at the bit yet how did he go when he actually had a club under his guidance.

The OP was a nonsesnse that was made on the basis that people who have little care, experience or knowledge of a business i.e. Rugby League in this case, are going to come up with revolutionary game changing solutions such that more people will play, more people will watch and more TV companies will give us TV contracts.

The OP was an insult to people in the game who know the game backwards, who have experience of funding and running clubs, marketing RL and chasing fans,  and working in player development.

The other insult is the idea when asked to study and plan for a better future for the game those in the game who are knowledgable and passionate will supposedly just push for what is best for their favoured club.

Really?

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, steve oates said:

It's no good bringing anyone in unless they have a deep knowledge and understanding of the sport and as for former politicians we have Lyndsay Hoyle chomping at the bit yet how did he go when he actually had a club under his guidance.

The OP was a nonsesnse that was made on the basis that people who have little care, experience or knowledge of a business i.e. Rugby League in this case, are going to come up with revolutionary game changing solutions such that more people will play, more people will watch and more TV companies will give us TV contracts.

The OP was an insult to people in the game who know the game backwards, who have experience of funding and running clubs, marketing RL and chasing fans,  and working in player development.

The other insult is the idea when asked to study and plan for a better future for the game those in the game who are knowledgable and passionate will supposedly just push for what is best for their favoured club.

Really?

 

 

 

MP's from all parties here and surely they can be of some help

https://www.parallelparliament.co.uk/APPG/rugby-league

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13 hours ago, steve oates said:

It's no good bringing anyone in unless they have a deep knowledge and understanding of the sport and as for former politicians we have Lyndsay Hoyle chomping at the bit yet how did he go when he actually had a club under his guidance.

The OP was a nonsesnse that was made on the basis that people who have little care, experience or knowledge of a business i.e. Rugby League in this case, are going to come up with revolutionary game changing solutions such that more people will play, more people will watch and more TV companies will give us TV contracts.

The OP was an insult to people in the game who know the game backwards, who have experience of funding and running clubs, marketing RL and chasing fans,  and working in player development.

The other insult is the idea when asked to study and plan for a better future for the game those in the game who are knowledgable and passionate will supposedly just push for what is best for their favoured club.

Really?

 

 

 

So, basically, we should do what we've always done?

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The simple fact is that the game is governed by an inept bunch of people who are devoid of ideas in how to halt the game's decline. 

I agree that there should be an independent commission of some sort, but who sets the ground rules and how would the conclusion of their findings be implemented?

If the commission highlights areas which need addressed, would the current RFL Board be trusted to act in the best interests of the game, or would they step aside and allow for a total restructure of the game's hierarchy?

If they step aside, how much would that cost in severance payments and what would their replacements cost?

What about the largest membership ...ie: the Community Clubs as they are the ones currently being asked to 'picked up the tab' with the proposed membership 'pay to play' scheme which will result in less players, especially at open age playing the sport, would they have representation on the independent commision?

We have seen in recent weeks that there is growing concern within the game from high profiled individuals who have genuine worries about the future of RL in this county. I'm amazed that the RFL, especially the CEO Rob Rimmer has been almost silent on the subject, which worries me, as I genuinely think they are hiding the true scale of the game's financial problems! 

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On 07/07/2021 at 19:06, M j M said:

I honestly cannot see any value in the use of consultants in this case. 

We know the issues and fundamental to everything is that the sport needs a strong executive, either an individual or a small team, backed by the power to do things without being overriden by club bosses. If you want some form of outside expertise then employ them, don't use people who aren't going to ever have to deal with the consequences of a set of recommendations they've come up with.

If we want someone to fulfill that executive role and to make the big decisions they can do all the consulting and investigating they like before implementing it. The mindlessly expensive security blanket of being able to say they're just following the guidance of a tedious but nicely presented report prepared by external advisors who have long disappeared is of zero value.

Just coming back to this one, but I actually agree with the assertion that what the game needs is "an individual or a small team, backed by the power to do things without being overriden by club bosses". 

However, my point is that any such executive needs to be empowered by the right knowledge and insight into what the potential growth areas/audiences are and how we go about reaching and engaging them. Because you can give Ralph Rimmer all the power of a benevolent dictator, but it doesn't stop him from making Ralph Rimmer decisions based on Ralph Rimmer skills, knowledge and experiences. 

I've said this before, but the game sorely lacks any real influencers within the sport who have any real experience of the entertainment industry (aside from Simon Moran) - which this sport is very much part of. We're a sport with very little diversity in its hierarchy, a sport that has so far struggled to reflect the changing nature of the communities that it is a part of and the changing tastes of both the sports and entertainment industry. It's a sport where neopitism is particularly obvious - people hire people like them, who will make the decisions that they would make. That's why the sport needs to look to outside expertise, not from our tiny, insular bubble of people who all look, sound, act and made their money doing the same things as each other. 

When I say that what is needed is not a commission or review, but some strategic vision and some thorough market research, it's not about buying a nice report to act as a fig leaf, but to actually understand what it takes to get more people - and a more diverse spectrum of people - playing, watching and enjoying this sport. 

Yes, we can try and muddle through and try and get the likes of Ralph Rimmer, Ken Davy and Michael Carter into a brainstorm to work out how we make this sport more appealing to the FaceTubeInstaTok generation, or how to appeal to communities that are now much more ethnically diverse than they once were, but this is very much one of those things where you have to say "if you think a professional is expensive, wait until you see how much an amateur costs". 

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34 minutes ago, whatmichaelsays said:

Just coming back to this one, but I actually agree with the assertion that what the game needs is "an individual or a small team, backed by the power to do things without being overriden by club bosses". 

However, my point is that any such executive needs to be empowered by the right knowledge and insight into what the potential growth areas/audiences are and how we go about reaching and engaging them. Because you can give Ralph Rimmer all the power of a benevolent dictator, but it doesn't stop him from making Ralph Rimmer decisions based on Ralph Rimmer skills, knowledge and experiences. 

I've said this before, but the game sorely lacks any real influencers within the sport who have any real experience of the entertainment industry (aside from Simon Moran) - which this sport is very much part of. We're a sport with very little diversity in its hierarchy, a sport that has so far struggled to reflect the changing nature of the communities that it is a part of and the changing tastes of both the sports and entertainment industry. It's a sport where neopitism is particularly obvious - people hire people like them, who will make the decisions that they would make. That's why the sport needs to look to outside expertise, not from our tiny, insular bubble of people who all look, sound, act and made their money doing the same things as each other. 

When I say that what is needed is not a commission or review, but some strategic vision and some thorough market research, it's not about buying a nice report to act as a fig leaf, but to actually understand what it takes to get more people - and a more diverse spectrum of people - playing, watching and enjoying this sport. 

Yes, we can try and muddle through and try and get the likes of Ralph Rimmer, Ken Davy and Michael Carter into a brainstorm to work out how we make this sport more appealing to the FaceTubeInstaTok generation, or how to appeal to communities that are now much more ethnically diverse than they once were, but this is very much one of those things where you have to say "if you think a professional is expensive, wait until you see how much an amateur costs". 

I think you have hit the nail on the head, crickey there are 3 Leagues and two cups, the sport is producing tons and tons of adequate content and a fair amount of high quality content. It's all for nothing though, or 95% of it is! they have no grasp at all on HOW or WHY they should get it out there and how easy it is to do so.........

Personally I look at something like tiktok as a prime example of the sport simply having no idea whatsoever of the value of just simply communicating on new popular platforms (look at the RL accounts, the ones who have actually bothered to open accounts anyway, they are pretty garbage) they still haven't gotten to grips with Facebook and twitter. Epic fail. 

As for the Independent Commission, ppl are misunderstanding, we have had plenty of temporary bodies set up to deliver reports and recommendations, that doesn't cut the mustard, it would have to be a permanent body with the full power to set where the money will be spent as well as full power for everything else, Clubs would still have ultimate control through a super majority coming together to threaten to sack comissioners etc. However the right ppl coming onboard such a Commission would need compensating and expenses covered for their time and effort (Weekly meetings) which would work out very expensive compared to say, elstone (who had virtually no power anyhow) 

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Yes the independent commission model is not meant to be temporary to simply deliver a report. It is tasked with guiding the CEO and holding everyone to account. More-so, it’s to set the direction and follow through. One of The biggest problems with the RFL is that they have made so many changes over the years without any evaluation of previous decisions. They are too quick to pivot and always searching for innovation before allowing the business to reach a level of maturity. 

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19 hours ago, steve oates said:

It's no good bringing anyone in unless they have a deep knowledge and understanding of the sport and as for former politicians we have Lyndsay Hoyle chomping at the bit yet how did he go when he actually had a club under his guidance.

The OP was a nonsesnse that was made on the basis that people who have little care, experience or knowledge of a business i.e. Rugby League in this case, are going to come up with revolutionary game changing solutions such that more people will play, more people will watch and more TV companies will give us TV contracts.

The OP was an insult to people in the game who know the game backwards, who have experience of funding and running clubs, marketing RL and chasing fans,  and working in player development.

The other insult is the idea when asked to study and plan for a better future for the game those in the game who are knowledgable and passionate will supposedly just push for what is best for their favoured club.

Really?

 

 

 

Are you really questioning the importance of independence and minimising conflicts of interest for the purpose of good governance? 
 

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14 minutes ago, dealwithit said:

Are you really questioning the importance of independence and minimising conflicts of interest for the purpose of good governance? 
 

The people he refers to are good, or at least OK at running Clubs.....carry on as long they strive for improvement, running a league and more so, an entire sport is a different kettle of fish. Clubs can't keep influencing every decision or proposal, someone else needs to do it for them. That much is clear. 

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7 hours ago, Smudger06 said:

I think you have hit the nail on the head, crickey there are 3 Leagues and two cups, the sport is producing tons and tons of adequate content and a fair amount of high quality content. It's all for nothing though, or 95% of it is! they have no grasp at all on HOW or WHY they should get it out there and how easy it is to do so.........

Personally I look at something like tiktok as a prime example of the sport simply having no idea whatsoever of the value of just simply communicating on new popular platforms (look at the RL accounts, the ones who have actually bothered to open accounts anyway, they are pretty garbage) they still haven't gotten to grips with Facebook and twitter. Epic fail. 

As for the Independent Commission, ppl are misunderstanding, we have had plenty of temporary bodies set up to deliver reports and recommendations, that doesn't cut the mustard, it would have to be a permanent body with the full power to set where the money will be spent as well as full power for everything else, Clubs would still have ultimate control through a super majority coming together to threaten to sack comissioners etc. However the right ppl coming onboard such a Commission would need compensating and expenses covered for their time and effort (Weekly meetings) which would work out very expensive compared to say, elstone (who had virtually no power anyhow) 

I agree. 

There's a screenshot doing the rounds on Twitter today that, at one point in the Wigan vs Huddersfield game on Sunday (which was streamed live - and for free - on YouTube), that a grand total of 56 people were watching it. 56. 

Now, I get that Sunday was an exceptional day in terms of what RL was competing with, but even today, that live stream has had a grand total of 12k views. To put that into context, on the very same channel, the Leeds Rhinos Womens Netball Team vs Manchester Thunder has 14k views. Two videos of the Lions last warm-up game have close to 200k views. Is that a reflection of the level of demand that has been created for rugby league? 

The sport can't even get established channels like YouTube right. For all people say that rugby union's strength is in the international game, the Premier Rugby YouTube channel has more than four times the number of subscribers as the Super League channel. When RL can only sell sponsorship of it's YouTube videos for the price of a delivery of stuffed-crust pepperoni's, that's why. 

Super League produces so much content on the field, but is so incredibly lousy at capturing it, using it and building an audience for it. And it's not as if this is anything new. 

 

Edited by whatmichaelsays
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5 minutes ago, whatmichaelsays said:

I agree. 

There's a screenshot doing the rounds on Twitter today that, at one point in the Wigan vs Huddersfield game on Sunday (which was streamed live - and for free - on YouTube), that a grand total of 56 people were watching it. 56. 

Now, I get that Sunday was an exceptional day in terms of what RL was competing with, but even today, that live stream has had a grand total of 12k views. To put that into context, on the very same channel, the Leeds Rhinos Womens Netball Team vs Manchester Thunder has 14k views. Two videos of the Lions last warm-up game have close to 200k views. 

The sport can't even get established channels like YouTube right. For all people say that rugby union's strength is in the international game, the Premier Rugby YouTube channel has more than four times the number of subscribers as the Super League channel. When RL can only sell sponsorship of it's YouTube videos for the price of a delivery of stuffed-crust pepperoni's, that's why. 

Super League produces so much content on the field, but is so incredibly lousy at capturing it, using it and building an audience for it. And it's not as if this is anything new. 

 

Yeah I've been monitoring the YouTube views because you can bet your bottom dollar Sky are. Its obviously geoblocked to the UK & Ireland and previously we have managed to stay well ahead of netball and british basketball, but it's scary having that accessible viewer count. I think each Club should ideally promote the youtube content, ideally spend some money doing so and implement a representative (left out player) from each Club on the live chat (comments) would really spark something good and then stick to a known, expected youtube schedule regarding times uploaded & streamed (as well as days) 

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7 hours ago, whatmichaelsays said:

I agree. 

There's a screenshot doing the rounds on Twitter today that, at one point in the Wigan vs Huddersfield game on Sunday (which was streamed live - and for free - on YouTube), that a grand total of 56 people were watching it. 56. 

Now, I get that Sunday was an exceptional day in terms of what RL was competing with, but even today, that live stream has had a grand total of 12k views. To put that into context, on the very same channel, the Leeds Rhinos Womens Netball Team vs Manchester Thunder has 14k views. Two videos of the Lions last warm-up game have close to 200k views. 

The sport can't even get established channels like YouTube right. For all people say that rugby union's strength is in the international game, the Premier Rugby YouTube channel has more than four times the number of subscribers as the Super League channel. When RL can only sell sponsorship of it's YouTube videos for the price of a delivery of stuffed-crust pepperoni's, that's why. 

Super League produces so much content on the field, but is so incredibly lousy at capturing it, using it and building an audience for it. And it's not as if this is anything new. 

 

On the YouTube livesteams, the previous match that Sky showed there live was advertised much better - every time I was on YouTube for a week or so before hand an advert was coming up for the Cas v Hull FC match - That was on 40,000 views within a couple of days and I think is the most watched live sport on that specific YouTube channel.

By comparison, I saw no advertising at all for Wigan v Huddersfield and was only aware it was being streamed because of a post on here the day of the match. Consequently, about a quarter of the views.

Edited by Barley Mow
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15 minutes ago, Barley Mow said:

On the YouTube livesteams, the previous match the Sky showed there live was advertised much better - every time I was on YouTube for a week or so before hand at advert was coming up for the Cas v Hull FC match - That was on 40,000 views within a couple of days and I think is the most watched live sport of that specific YouTube channel.

By comparison, I saw no advertising at all for Wigan v Huddersfield and was only aware it was being streamed because of a post on here the day of the match. Consequently, about a quarter of the views.

But that's as much on Super League and the clubs as it is on Sky. 

It may well be on Sky's channel, but it's in SL's Wigan's and Huddersfield's interests to get people watching an SL game between Wigan and Huddersfield. It's not acceptable to look at 56 people watching a stream and say "it's all Sky's fault". 

Even if you take out the exceptional circumstances of Sunday, the principle still stands - what did SL, Wigan and Huddersfield do to make that content impossible to ignore?

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9 minutes ago, whatmichaelsays said:

But that's as much on Super League and the clubs as it is on Sky. 

It may well be on Sky's channel, but it's in SL's Wigan's and Huddersfield's interests to get people watching an SL game between Wigan and Huddersfield. It's not acceptable to look at 56 people watching a stream and say "it's all Sky's fault". 

Even if you take out the exceptional circumstances of Sunday, the principle still stands - what did SL, Wigan and Huddersfield do to make that content impossible to ignore?

Absolutely. I certainly wouldn't say it's all Sky's fault.

I'd like everyone involved to be pushing it: Sky, RFL, SL, the clubs, sponsors, RL journalists, fans. Making as many people aware as possible is in the best interests of everyone involved with the sport.

I haven't seen the image with the 56 viewers. Was that during the match or could it possibly have been before/afterwards? I was watching on youtube and occasionally glimpsed at the number watching and (from memory) it was generally around 700-800

I just thought the comparison was stark and shows what an impact the different approaches can have.

Edited by Barley Mow
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On 14/07/2021 at 02:36, Smudger06 said:

People get into habits, habits are hard to break, no danger of RL YouTube fans forming habits.......You never know what and when they are going to go live or even upload a video.....

That’s a good point. If you knew that Tuesdays were content day, you could start to build a following. 

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1 hour ago, dealwithit said:

That’s a good point. If you knew that Tuesdays were content day, you could start to build a following. 

There's no point in creating content on YouTube for the crack or to hope that sky do everything for you. The Clubs are Sky partner, its their content as well as Sky's. They have to be committed to the platform and have a plan doesn't matter what size brand you are or whether you are a sporting brand or any other type of brand. 

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