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League Restructure Thread (Merged Threads)


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On 30/07/2021 at 20:17, Moove said:

I don't have a problem with some form of 'tactical' short term decisions given the situation we're in, but I'd like to see it coupled with some longer term road map to build our way out of it.

Hopefully it's a bit more substantial than just looking at structure (as per the thread title, admittedly I haven't seen the report referenced in the OP).

Given what was said about Davy's role when he took that on fingers crossed these meetings are him and the RFL presenting back to the clubs some form of joined-up whole-game plan not just for next season but also how we intend to move the sport into growth as we go into negotiations for the next TV deal.

I guess the same people are at this meeting who rubber stamped the appointment of Robert Elstone. That went well didn't it and how many 100's of thousands did that cost the game. Money the game can ill afford to lose.

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1 hour ago, wiganermike said:

Most of the stars are down under already or heading there anyway. As a Wigan fan I see a good kid emerge from the academy and straight away am resigned to thinking 'how long will we get to keep this lad for'. We could stick another million on cap spend for all clubs and still lose them.

If it were two equal conferences then it would be up to the sport to sell the rights to the French (with the benefit of two French clubs at the top level) and to get more from UK broadcast rights. We could potentially have London (I know), Newcastle, York, Sheffield in the 20. Historically we have not been the best at selling the sport but if we don't do so then we are already on the slide to oblivion.

More important than the league structure though is the need for international competition as the wider public can relate to that even if they couldn't give a monkey's about our club sides. I posted in other threads about the need for NH international competition along the lines of the Nations League in football with tiered groups of 4 or 5 nations and to play it regularly to bring money and interest. We also need our governing bodies and whinging fans to also not give a stuff that England win at a canter when it first starts as we need to let it build and the other nations to grow. If we don't develop the international game in the NH and allow the other nations to play and grow things will never get better. Get interest at international level and you build interest at community level outside (and inside) the heartlands and go from there.

The trouble is though, to generate the sort of money needed to sustain a big time major pro setup and stop the loss of players to RU and/or the NRL the sport needs a league which can attract the wider public.  Consequently Internationals can't really change much by themselves, especially if they're one-sided because the other countries involved don't have enough full time pro players to call into their teams.  Given the state of things between the hemispheres now I'm referring to the other NH countries there of course.

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16 minutes ago, lucky 7 said:

They had the chance to do that with Toronto, and look what happened their.

Toronto was an opportunity the NRL would have loved to have but instead of doing anything with it Super League took the first chance they got to throw them out while the NRL was bending over backwards to get the Warriors to fulfill their fixtures.

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Don't worry about this.

Nailed on by the end of next year there'll be another plan mooted because this plan isn't working.

That's how Rugby League works.

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"We'll sell you a seat .... but you'll only need the edge of it!"

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1 hour ago, Big Picture said:

The trouble is though, to generate the sort of money needed to sustain a big time major pro setup and stop the loss of players to RU and/or the NRL the sport needs a league which can attract the wider public.  Consequently Internationals can't really change much by themselves, especially if they're one-sided because the other countries involved don't have enough full time pro players to call into their teams.  Given the state of things between the hemispheres now I'm referring to the other NH countries there of course.

Growth is limited even within England. League might as well be non-existent in large parts of the country. Heritage sides are good for establishing the game in different countries but you can't rely on them long term.

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Personally I’m all for a top flight of 10, second tier of 10 and a bottom of 16. 
 

That allows a fixture list of 19 league fixtures including a magic event, Challenge Cup possibly 5 fixtures, mid season internationals possibly two, two weeks of playoffs including a relegation playoff and then at least three internationals for the end of the season. 
 

Refocus on being a summer sport rather than running the season for 10 months of the year. Less is more. 
 

Understand the issues that creates financially but player welfare is better and you’d have less chance of teams being decimated by injuries. 

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LE reporting Sky is the power behind the throne with the RFL’s proposed SL1, SL2 & 16-team third tier restructure from 2023 as they’re unhappy with the quality of SL games broadcast this season.

Seems it’s a case of shape up or Sky will ship off altogether. The proposals are said to have broad support among the clubs.

Also says the RFL is looking at creating a regular 9s comp with Super League and other clubs, as well as an independent commission involving people outside rugby league. 

https://www.totalrl.com/sky-driving-rfl-restructure/

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14 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

LE reporting Sky is the power behind the throne with the RFL’s proposed SL1, SL2 & 16-team third tier restructure from 2023 as they’re unhappy with the quality of SL games broadcast this season.

Seems it’s a case of shape up or Sky will ship off altogether. The proposals are said to have broad support among the clubs.

Also says the RFL is looking at creating a regular 9s comp with Super League and other clubs, as well as an independent commission involving people outside rugby league. 

https://www.totalrl.com/sky-driving-rfl-restructure/

I know i will get berated for my opinion on this, but the decision to put Leigh into Super League has come back to haunt the game at that level.

I think the suggestion that the RFL is looking at creating a regular 9's competition as well as an independent commission involving people outside Rugby League are both good ideas, but most of us know they will never happen. Just more hot air from the RFL I'm afraid to say,

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19 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

LE reporting Sky is the power behind the throne with the RFL’s proposed SL1, SL2 & 16-team third tier restructure from 2023 as they’re unhappy with the quality of SL games broadcast this season.

Seems it’s a case of shape up or Sky will ship off altogether. The proposals are said to have broad support among the clubs.

Also says the RFL is looking at creating a regular 9s comp with Super League and other clubs, as well as an independent commission involving people outside rugby league. 

https://www.totalrl.com/sky-driving-rfl-restructure/

It's no great surprise that Sky are driving it. I don't know if its as dire as made out here I think Sky know SL is a cheap but popular property, I don't see the game losing Sky's interest.

But in terms of wanting a bigger deal, or even the same level as last time, it's clear they're asking us to do 'something' to justify it. 

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I was born to run a club like this. Number 1, I do not spook easily, and those who think I do, are wasting their time, with their surprise attacks.

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6 hours ago, Liverpool Rover said:

Toronto was an opportunity the NRL would have loved to have but instead of doing anything with it Super League took the first chance they got to throw them out while the NRL was bending over backwards to get the Warriors to fulfill their fixtures.

The NRL have dozens of expansion options, and have done for decades, and yet have only included one new side in 20 years.

Perth, Wellington, Brisbane 2, Central Coast, Christchurch, PNG. How much progress made on any of these?

 

If Toronto approached the NRL, they'd still be waiting in 2040.

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30 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

LE reporting Sky is the power behind the throne with the RFL’s proposed SL1, SL2 & 16-team third tier restructure from 2023 as they’re unhappy with the quality of SL games broadcast this season.

Seems it’s a case of shape up or Sky will ship off altogether. The proposals are said to have broad support among the clubs.

Also says the RFL is looking at creating a regular 9s comp with Super League and other clubs, as well as an independent commission involving people outside rugby league. 

https://www.totalrl.com/sky-driving-rfl-restructure/

Well the quality certainly isn't going to get better just by dropping 2 teams and doing nothing else.

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7 minutes ago, DI Keith Fowler said:

It's no great surprise that Sky are driving it. I don't know if its as dire as made out here I think Sky know SL is a cheap but popular property, I don't see the game losing Sky's interest.

But in terms of wanting a bigger deal, or even the same level as last time, it's clear they're asking us to do 'something' to justify it. 

I like the proposals as they will raise standards in both Super League and the Championship - it’ll put competitive pressure on bare-minimum merchants like Wakefield and SL2 will be a cracking comp - while retaining the rest of the clubs with P&R. 

An independent commission might be beyond the RFL at this time but I don’t see why it wouldn’t have a stab at 9s. Maybe with the success of The Hundred it’s a short-form idea whose time has come?

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I should add I’m very much a TV punter who wants to see high-quality rugby league of an evening.

I realise speccies might be frustrated with a ten-team comp (or by having their dreams of Super League put more out of reach) but I’d imagine Sky would pick games judiciously so subscribers don’t get bored. 

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10 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

I should add I’m very much a TV punter who wants to see high-quality rugby league of an evening.

I realise speccies might be frustrated with a ten-team comp (or by having their dreams of Super League put more out of reach) but I’d imagine Sky would pick games judiciously so subscribers don’t get bored. 

Quality does not get better just by dropping 2 teams just as it didn't going from 14 to 12.

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The 10 team Super League was advocated strongly by the current Super League chairman 7 years ago, so its unsurprising that it has come to the fore again.

A 10 team competition isn't something I am instinctively supportive of. It would have to create other IPs, such as 9s and more internationals, rather than loop fixtures, to be interesting. It would also be a self selecting sample of clubs too as the likes of Wakefield who cannot afford to have less than 13 home games will simply not be able to operate in a 10 team, 18 round league.

An 18 round comp (19 with Magic) creates opportunities for new events. 9s tournaments (as in festivals), more international games, or a rejig of the Challenge cup are all potential ways for the sport to benefit from the space created.

"Quality" being related to the number of clubs is somewhat of a misnomer. It is a threefold issue.

1. the salary cap doesn't work, as each club's pounds aren't equal. 

2. the reason some clubs don't have quality of others is because they simply do not invest enough into their squads relative to the rest of the league. This was exactly the scenario with Bradford and London in 2014. There are players of sufficient quality out there, but when, on top of having a salary cap not even half the size of the RU Premiership and the NRL, several clubs don't even spend 80% of that cap it is unsurprisingly going to impact quality. The lesson we haven't learnt from the Broncos and Bulls of 2014 is that we haven't brought in a minimum salary spend despite shrinking the number of top flight teams. You can't tell Sky they are paying for a premium product when some clubs aren't even spending 80% (roughly £1.5 Million) of the salary cap.

3. None of these things address the fundamentally small (and shrinking) player pool the game generally draws from. My personal belief is that the game needs to broaden its footprint rather than double down on already shrinking and over-fished markets. This has a huge impact on quality as was highlighted by the recent RFL academies review.

Obviously all these points are interlinked. Its no surprise that the clubs who generate the biggest revenues and spend the most money also invest more in recruiting from places not on their own doorstep both in their academies and their first teams for example. What really must be insisted on for quality to improve is raising minimum standards. 

Equally, what the sport absolutely has to be is strategic. A major restructure cannot be left to chance like musical chairs. If we are going to have a clear division between the Professional and Semi Professional game too, then this absolutely needs to be strategically thought through with a long term vision for where they want the sport to be in 20/30 plus years. For example, to me, given the attitude of the NRL, it would seem obvious that strengthening the game outside of England must paradoxically be a priority for the RFL and this therefore should be worked into the strategy going forwards.

If they are just cutting numbers to give a bigger slice of the pie to the current top table and would just add whoever happened to be the top 8 Championship clubs arbitrarily to "SL2" then this will fail.

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1 hour ago, Man of Kent said:

LE reporting Sky is the power behind the throne with the RFL’s proposed SL1, SL2 & 16-team third tier restructure from 2023 as they’re unhappy with the quality of SL games broadcast this season.

 

How SKY can be unhappy with the quality of Super League but drool over the abject dross that was South Africa v Lions...................I'm amazed.

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27 minutes ago, Damien said:

Quality does not get better just by dropping 2 teams just as it didn't going from 14 to 12.

I think it will, actually. With ten teams there’s no deadwood clubs content to cut their cloth to the Sky ‘dole money’ because it’ll require spending full salary cap - or as near as dammit - to stay in it. 

Won’t happen instantly, but the cream will rise to the top.

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If there are only 18 or 19 League games then Clubs can commit to putting out their best sides in a 9s Comp, a series with several tournaments, I'm seriously coming round to the idea so long as they don't drop it after 1 or 2 seasons and they have less league games which would enable them to chuck out decent 9s matchday squads. 

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8 minutes ago, DimmestStar said:

How SKY can be unhappy with the quality of Super League but drool over the abject dross that was South Africa v Lions...................I'm amazed.

Short answer. Union is much bigger so they are willing to tolerate it. Same reason why they'll show a dull 0-0 draw between two Big 6 clubs and ignore an entertaining game between Leeds and Aston Villa.

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14 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

I think it will, actually. With ten teams there’s no deadwood clubs content to cut their cloth to the Sky ‘dole money’ because it’ll require spending full salary cap - or as near as dammit - to stay in it. 

Won’t happen instantly, but the cream will rise to the top.

That doesn't improve quality. How does getting rid of Leigh and Wakefield, based on current standings, improve quality of the other 10?

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13 minutes ago, Smudger06 said:

If there are only 18 or 19 League games then Clubs can commit to putting out their best sides in a 9s Comp, a series with several tournaments, I'm seriously coming round to the idea so long as they don't drop it after 1 or 2 seasons and they have less league games which would enable them to chuck out decent 9s matchday squads. 

There’s no way they’ll drop to 19 games surely . 
It would be three rounds 9x H,  9 x A plus loops 4 home, 4 away and magic = 27 

would love to be wrong though !

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11 minutes ago, Damien said:

That doesn't improve quality. How does getting rid of Leigh and Wakefield, based on current standings, improve quality of the other 10?

As I say, they’ll have to spend more money to stay in it so better players will play in it. 

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11 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

As I say, they’ll have to spend more money to stay in it so better players will play in it. 

They won't have more money to spend though unless the salary cap increases.

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2 hours ago, DI Keith Fowler said:

It's no great surprise that Sky are driving it. I don't know if its as dire as made out here I think Sky know SL is a cheap but popular property, I don't see the game losing Sky's interest.

But in terms of wanting a bigger deal, or even the same level as last time, it's clear they're asking us to do 'something' to justify it. 

Of course they are.  If I recall correctly the 2-year deal they recently signed has a proviso that SL has to demonstrate its value to Sky during that time.

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6 minutes ago, Damien said:

They won't have more money to spend though unless the salary cap increases.

Well, some SL clubs could spend full cap and sign two marquees if they aren’t already. 

But yes, the cap may have to rise in time and that wouldn’t be a necessarily undesirable outcome given the low starting point. 

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  • John Drake changed the title to League Restructure Thread (Merged Threads)

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