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League Restructure Thread (Merged Threads)


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22 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

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. 

So cutting 2 teams makes no difference to quality. Clubs could already do that.

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1 hour ago, Damien said:

So cutting 2 teams makes no difference to quality. Clubs could already do that.

Yet they don’t. That’s why Wakefield (sorry to pick on them but they don’t exactly put the Super in Super League) have been able to get away with spending under the cap for so long. If they were more clubs who could spend big they would have to follow suit or get relegated. 

With 10 clubs I believe you ratchet up the competitive pressure to a point where the clubs who can only afford to be in Super League by being in Super League (if you follow me) would make way for those who can spend full cap (or at least near it). 

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7 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

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.

It's this. We're literally running out of people in all areas of the game. At one extreme we have games cancelled in the top tier of the women's game because overstretched volunteers have no more time to give to be the medical cover and, at the other, an England team who cannot find genuine national opponents to play. In between, all manner of nonsense and increasing irrelevance.

I'm not convinced a ten team top division comprising names we already know, doing exactly what they do now but with a little bit more money, and with the added 'benefit' of exactly these same teams controlled by exactly the same people running a 9s tournament that'll last one season, is going to make any difference to the issues the whole game faces.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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The player pool is an argument against it. You’d like to think though that 10 teams at the top tier would be required to be top academies. It would take a couple of years to rebalance 


I think player availability and welfare is forgotten here, the intense of the game has racked up (not necessarily for the better) and injuries are increasing. COVID has proven when teams are short of 5 or more players, the quality drops off considerably. Less fixtures can increase the available recovery time. 
 

Also talking of the women’s game, if there’s a reduction in the number of home fixtures due to a SL reformatting. All clubs should be looking hosting their women’s team at their home ground with the same presentation of their male team. 

Edited by LongbridgeH
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57 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

It's this. We're literally running out of people in all areas of the game. At one extreme we have games cancelled in the top tier of the women's game because overstretched volunteers have no more time to give to be the medical cover and, at the other, an England team who cannot find genuine national opponents to play. In between, all manner of nonsense and increasing irrelevance.

I'm not convinced a ten team top division comprising names we already know, doing exactly what they do now but with a little bit more money, and with the added 'benefit' of exactly these same teams controlled by exactly the same people running a 9s tournament that'll last one season, is going to make any difference to the issues the whole game faces.

Exactly. If they are wanting to have just 10 teams, then those 10 cannot be decided on a musical chairs basis. 

This decision needs to be long term, growth focused and holistic, incorporating every stakeholder in the future growth of the game.

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22 minutes ago, LongbridgeH said:

The player pool is an argument against it. You’d like to think though that 10 teams at the top tier would be required to be top academies. It would take a couple of years to rebalance 


I think player availability and welfare is forgotten here, the intense of the game has racked up (not necessarily for the better) and injuries are increasing. COVID has proven when teams are short of 5 or more players, the quality drops off considerably. Less fixtures can increase the available recovery time. 
 

Also talking of the women’s game, if there’s a reduction in the number of home fixtures due to a SL reformatting. All clubs should be looking hosting their women’s team at their home ground with the same presentation of their male team. 

My worry is with a 10 team SL, 9 home games will not satisfy the clubs and they’ll want loop fixtures again. 
 

I don’t know how they’re going to decide who these clubs are when they restructure, surely you’d want the 10 best clubs in the system so a licensing system would be used like last year when they decided to promote Leigh.

Perhaps two leagues of 10 could work and focus on stadia, academies, growth and expansion. It’s an unpopular opinion but we don’t need 3 clubs with a WF postcode. Of course keep traditional clubs who keep up to standards but help the likes of London, Newcastle and Coventry to grow the player pool and fan bases 

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Just now, Tommygilf said:

Exactly. If they are wanting to have just 10 teams, then those 10 cannot be decided on a musical chairs basis. 

This decision needs to be long term, growth focused and holistic, incorporating every stakeholder in the future growth of the game.

If 10 (or even 2x10) is wanted then, as far as I can see, there are basically two options to do it right (i.e. in the way that meets the apparent justification for making the change).

Option 1 is that you revisit franchising and set out some criteria and then mark the teams against those criteria. Those with the highest scores get in the right division.

Option 2 - "The Hundred" way - is that you take ownership of X number of teams and ensure that those standards are met because you are controlling them.

We will, of course, pursue option 3 of having some level of minimum standards (unenforced) and maintain the purity of competition by trusting that luck gets us the right teams in the right divisions for long enough.

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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1 hour ago, gingerjon said:

If 10 (or even 2x10) is wanted then, as far as I can see, there are basically two options to do it right (i.e. in the way that meets the apparent justification for making the change).

Option 1 is that you revisit franchising and set out some criteria and then mark the teams against those criteria. Those with the highest scores get in the right division.

Option 2 - "The Hundred" way - is that you take ownership of X number of teams and ensure that those standards are met because you are controlling them.

We will, of course, pursue option 3 of having some level of minimum standards (unenforced) and maintain the purity of competition by trusting that luck gets us the right teams in the right divisions for long enough.

Agreed.

This could be an elite 10 team, 18 round competition with the space created used for Mid Season international programmes, a remphasised challenge cup, greater collaboration with the French League, and/or a summer 9s circuit. 

However, this most likely will be a random allocation of 10 clubs based on absolutely no thought or strategy for the future whatsoever (edit: and loop fixtures).

Edited by Tommygilf
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8 hours ago, Damien said:

So cutting 2 teams makes no difference to quality. Clubs could already do that.

If there is a 10 team super league i think the thinking behind that is that the games will be more intense as the players will be fresher from not playing so many games. I'M NOT endorsing a 10 team super league, but it's embarrassing for Super League when most weeks Leigh get a pasting. Just saying

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8 hours ago, Cake Tiger said:

Isn't it about time we had a top division of 14, a middle division of 8 and then a bottom division of 14. 

One for the oldies out there 🤔

Oh yes please, Mansfield Marksmen are surely waiting in the wings to compete! 😆

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7 minutes ago, lucky 7 said:

If there is a 10 team super league i think the thinking behind that is that the games will be more intense as the players will be fresher from not playing so many games. I'M NOT endorsing a 10 team super league, but it's embarrassing for Super League when most weeks Leigh get a pasting. Just saying

I totally agree with the thinking. It's just too likely that SL owners will want more than 9 home games and introduce loop fixtures again. 

They don't want to split the money too thinly but then they won't accept that that fewer teams means fewer fixtures!

Pure Greed! 😡

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10 minutes ago, lucky 7 said:

If there is a 10 team super league i think the thinking behind that is that the games will be more intense as the players will be fresher from not playing so many games. I'M NOT endorsing a 10 team super league, but it's embarrassing for Super League when most weeks Leigh get a pasting. Just saying

But thats a very simple arguement for not setting them up to fail with half the cash. Not a ten team league.  

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For all those who wanted two French teams in the top division, all this must look very ominous.

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

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14 minutes ago, lucky 7 said:

If there is a 10 team super league i think the thinking behind that is that the games will be more intense as the players will be fresher from not playing so many games. I'M NOT endorsing a 10 team super league, but it's embarrassing for Super League when most weeks Leigh get a pasting. Just saying

It will likely not be that however - as it will likely mean 9 home 9 away and then 9 loop fixtures plus the cup giving 27 regular season fixtures. Ironically that is 1 more fixture than a 14 team league with home and away.

I agree an 18 round competition would likely be of a higher quality, but I do not expect that is what we will be getting.

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10 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

But thats a very simple arguement for not setting them up to fail with half the cash. Not a ten team league.  

I did say I'm not endorsing it and was just expressing my opinion about the thinking if it happens

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11 minutes ago, Griff said:

For all those who wanted two French teams in the top division, all this must look very ominous.

I have no idea.  If they go up and draw well but go straight back down do they pack it in?

Or do they come up,  show the value to the sport of giving us 2 French teams and we switch again?  

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3 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

It will likely not be that however - as it will likely mean 9 home 9 away and then 9 loop fixtures plus the cup giving 27 regular season fixtures. Ironically that is 1 more fixture than a 14 team league with home and away.

I agree an 18 round competition would likely be of a higher quality, but I do not expect that is what we will be getting.

I certainly get the impression that Sky don't want another Leigh in Super League, as it turns people off the game, and is embarrassing for the game

In my opinion for what it's worth i would keep a 12 team Super League and do away with the loop fixtures, and the only way to get into Super League is by winning the Championship grand final. No more gifting of Super League places to teams to make up the numbers

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none of these suggestions will satisfy all the member clubs, as has been said multiple times on here and other forums, Sky TV are the puppet masters and the RFL must dance to their tune, and clubs will only vote for what suits their own circumstances today!

throughout the game, all clubs have different needs, the likes of Leeds, Saints, Wire have modern stadiums with the ability to have 365 day usage and control their own income steams. Wigan, Hull, Salford etc. have modern stadiums but no non-matchday stadium income, the likes of Castleford and Wakefield have their own stadiums but are unable to generate non-matchday income as they can't facilitate it in their aging stadiums.

The target for the likes of Cas, Wakefield and Bradford must be to build one new grandstand along the lines of the AJ Bell main stand at Salford. That would be enough to get them away, but I'm guessing the cost could be anywhere between £6-10 million depending on the size and facilities and as always the question is how could they finance it?

Salary cap should be a percentage of income, we've tried the maximum cap in an effort to make a more competitive league, but the same teams pretty much occupy the top and bottom positions, so why should clubs who get their houses in order to raise revenue be forced to lower their expectations to allow clubs to compete who won't invest? 

Academy rugby

At the risk of being shot down, I would also do away with Academies and go back to all clubs running a reserve team as a condition of their membership. Over the last few years, how many times have we seen clubs unable to name 17 players on game day !! - for a professional sport that's absolutely shocking. The lack of Reserve rugby also sees the pro clubs unable to retain players as they get sick of not getting a game and either pack in or return to their amateur club leaving the pro clubs wafer thin when they get injuries, not to mention players lacking game time being thrown in to an injury ravaged side which isn't good for player welfare.

We do not have a large enough pool of players at 16-18 year old to sustain and continually restock Academy sides, which, if we are being honest are there to showcase 2, possibly 3 players on average with the remaining members of the squad being nothing more than shirt fillers to make up a team, so how does that develop the game ?? 

What I would like to see instead, is the professional clubs link in with the community clubs/leagues to offer weekly Elite Training camps for the best youngsters in every area, designated fixture dates for the Regionals to play games against other areas. 2 or 3 tournaments a season where these players attend camps for high level training with mini-tournament games culminating in district or county sides being selected from these players with the carrot of international games (ie like BARLA used to offer). One look at old BARLA Under 18/19 touring sides shows that this system worked as the majority of the BARLA touring sides signed professional and made their mark on the game. The likes of Schofields, Edwards, O'Loughlins, Sculthorpes, Crooks, McDermott's  etc all came thought his system.

That to me is the ideal scenario of leaving players with the community clubs, whilst offering them Elite training and a pathway to achieve their full potential, either at the top of the community game or as a professional without alienating the community clubs as has happened for the last 20 years !

There's probably 600 players currently linked in to Super League clubs, out of which maybe 5% will make it as a professional. What percentage of the rejected players go back to their community clubs - does anyone know, has this ever been monitored or recorded up by the RFL?

How many community teams folded when they lost their best players to the Academy, seeing more players walk away from the game?

These are real problems which have blighted the community game for years, but these concerns have been continually ignored  

We do not have the luxury of unlimited players that the RFU and Football enjoy, so we have to manage our resources accordingly and start to think outside the box to see how we can satisfy everyone and make the sport as competitive as possible

Edited by Death to the Rah Rah's
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11 minutes ago, Griff said:

For all those who wanted two French teams in the top division, all this must look very ominous.

Paradoxically, given the form of Toulouse and Catalans in their respective leagues, this may be the best chance we have of seeing 2 french sides included in the competition if, as expected, there is no strategy and it is simply the top 10 teams at the end of next season who make the cut. 

If they are forced out, in an "England for the English" approach, then at least it will indicate some thought has gone into things - even if it means the people doing the thinking are stupid.

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5 minutes ago, lucky 7 said:

I certainly get the impression that Sky don't want another Leigh in Super League, as it turns people off the game, and is embarrassing for the game

In my opinion for what it's worth i would keep a 12 team Super League and do away with the loop fixtures, and the only way to get into Super League is by winning the Championship grand final. No more gifting of Super League places to teams to make up the numbers

I agree, and the current cancellation chaos is unlikely to be helping either.

If the lack of bums on seats in grounds is being reflected in the viewership numbers too then that is where Sky will be pressuring the sport. If the game isn't trying to gain relevance in new areas/markets/demographics and has a diminishing relevance in those it already has, then it is stuffed by problems of its own making.

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9 hours ago, Cake Tiger said:

Isn't it about time we had a top division of 14, a middle division of 8 and then a bottom division of 14. 

One for the oldies out there 🤔

Used to quite like that system . Always thought you could have 4 up and 4 down for a completely new league each year 😬

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10 minutes ago, Death to the Rah Rah's said:

Salary cap should be a percentage of income, we've tried the maximum cap in an effort to make a more competitive league, but the same teams pretty much occupy the top and bottom positions, so why should clubs who get their houses in order to raise revenue be forced to lower their expectations to allow clubs to compete who won't invest? 

We've tried this before too. It was even worse.

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52 minutes ago, lucky 7 said:

If there is a 10 team super league i think the thinking behind that is that the games will be more intense as the players will be fresher from not playing so many games. I'M NOT endorsing a 10 team super league, but it's embarrassing for Super League when most weeks Leigh get a pasting. Just saying

Leigh getting a pasting most weeks is a situation entirely of Super Leagues own making. 10 or 12 clubs has nothing to do with that.

No one has said there will be less games either and as clubs have consistently said they need more games and loop fixtures then talk of 18 or 19 games a season is just fantasy. 

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

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