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League Restructure Thread (Merged Threads)


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6 hours ago, 17 stone giant said:

The Hundred has done a lot more than just shorten further T20 cricket. They realised that 18 counties with names like Middlesex and Glamorgan perhaps don't resonate with some people, and they realised that having a smaller number of elite teams, playing a smaller number of matches in a shortish period of time, is likely to give people better opportunities to engage with the 'tournament' than might otherwise be possible.

It has certainly worked for me. I've watched all the Southern Brave matches and a fair number involving neutral teams too. I feel more able to commit to it because I know that I've only got to find time for 8 matches over the space of a few weeks. If it was 30 matches over several months, I wouldn't be able to sustain my interest, as football and other things would encroach on that.

I will always try to watch England play, including test matches (the Ashes is still the pinnacle for me), and I'll try and keep an eye on Hampshire when I can (mostly in the T20's), but I'm trying to juggle a lot of things. To have an elite and condensed tournament, with all the trimmings such as top coaches like Shane Warne, new kits and names, big stadiums etc. is really great for me. It's making me watch more cricket than I otherwise would have done. That surely must be a good thing from the perspective of the sport in general.

It cost more than double the RFL's entire income for a normal year to create.

That bit is kind of important too.

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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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9 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

If someone suggested RL clubs joined forces and formed regional mash-up 9s teams like West Yorkshire Tykes, Cumbria Lakers, Humber Eels, Merseyside Storm, France Revolution, Jamaica Bolts, Welsh Dragons, London Pride etc you’d be laughed at.

But that’s what cricket has done with The Hundred and it’s a hit. Would it be so mad to try it, with a view to having a cities circuit with the emphasis on having a good time in high summer, e.g Newcastle 9s at Kingston Park, Leeds 9s at Headingley and London 9s at Wimbledon? 

Sponsor would be easy enough 

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11 hours ago, GUBRATS said:

But we wouldn't be promoting RL , we'd be promoting 9s , just as twenty/20 promotes twenty/20 , not one day or 4/5 day cricket 

7s rugby union bears no relation to a boring 80 minutes ( 110 if it's a SA v Lions brawl ) kickfest , hence why it has become a completely different sport with little if any overlap with the players 

20/20 is very popular and as someone who likes cricket as well,it is in my eyes still cricket,just a different format of it.My late dad who was a purist when it came to cricket liked watching it and liked watching the Indian Premier League.

And 20/20 gets asses on seats a plenty(or certainly did before Covid)and will no doubt continue to do so.

As for our sport I think we need to look at ourselves in the mirror and find ways of getting asses on seats because our game is frankly on it’s ass and is dying a slow painful death.

 And this is why I suggest having a 9’s format of rugby league where hopefully we would see some exciting rugby on the field of play where the ball is thrown around more and that it will benefit the backs so we see plenty of tries.

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5 hours ago, Wholly Trinity said:

This is the fundamental issue, but...

I can accept a 2 divisions of 10 SL as long as it's a time-limited stepping stone to the 2 conferences version. It has to be a means to an end.

The only good thing to come out of the 8s debacle is that it increased the quality and interest of the second tier by playing regular games against the top flight teams.

So, here's my take:

Initially, 2 divisions of 'SL 10s' for limited time only (say, 5 years, but coordinated with selling the TV rights) after which two equal conferences. This allows time for new teams to develop and existing teams to get up to speed. All teams should be full time with reserves and academies by the end of the phasing-in period.

Each team plays home and away against its own division and 5 home 5 away against the other division. The cross-divisional games are spread through the season. The same structure would apply to the conferences. At the moment, the gap between the top 10 and bottom 10 is too wide, so any mixed conferences would involve more than half the games (15/28) as one-sided affairs.

18 + 10 = 28 regular fixtures (14 home games)

Challenge cup, potentially up to 5 games - SL1 only enter at last 16, so 4 rounds

Play-offs, up to 4 games - top 16, highest placed at home against lowest placed, straight knock-out. With 2 conferences it would be top 8 from each one. Having expanded play-offs means that it makes it one competition as all teams can (in theory) win the main prize at the start of the season. Each year, the bottom 4 teams' places will be up for review and compared with teams outside the 20 (franchise style)

Magic (if retained) as a 9s comp with proper sponsorship and an irresistible prize fund to ensure 1st team representation. All teams would play on both days, keeping more fans attending both days. The 9s have never been done properly over here and the magic weekend is an ideal opportunity to establish it. Invitational teams, women's comp etc. fill the whole weekend.

A total of between 31 and 38 games.

Internationals can be played on weekends of cross-division games. All teams must release players selected. I have no issue with games played on the same weekend, just not the same day.

P & R between the 2 divisions - 2 up to down initially and maybe increasing to 3 up 3 down towards the end of the divisions.

Sky money initially divided by 30 with SL1 getting 2 shares (1/15) and SL2 getting one share (half of SL1). Money to be gradually equalised as the conference structure approaches.

Some of this but no need for faf with CC,  we need space for 2 mid season int.  Magic is finished in a 2 10's structure. 

1 weekend int 9's then 1 weekend proper int.  Definitely not top 8 in playoffs.  Playoffs need to be cut down and a lose you are out.  

So top 3 in each conference.  2nd vs 3rd then winner takes on 1st (Who get a bye week) for place in GF. 

Two lowest ranked sides in each conference have a relegation playoff. 

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Ive got a semi solution to the games problems but it all boils down to the big clubs simply wont like it. For me one of the main issues in the game is the SL clubs go to amateur clubs and sign up anyone between the ages of 14-16 who looks like they might be able to play rugby. Most these lads when they get to the SL clubs simply have nowhere to play games to help their development and the majority of them become disalusioned with the game and either go back to their amateur clubs or simply quit the game all together. Its really no surprise theres a shortage of players when no efforts are made to stop this happening.

So why can't the RFL take some money off the clubs and throw it at the junior clubs that are producing the players? For a start this gives amateur teams incentives to run junior sections or improve junior sections which gets more young kids playing the game. Secondly why can't the RFL do some sort of gradings or similar on those players from the age of 12-16 and any within a certain grade are given some sort of central contract and sent to their local pro/semi-pro team.

Any not graded can do as the ones not picked up by SL clubs do at the moment, either carry on playing open age or get trials at semi pro clubs. Provisions would have to be put in place for areas without junor set ups but the money thrown at junior clubs to start with would eventually hep with that or thats the hope.

Take for example Siddal's 2017 U16's off the top of my head at least 13 of them signed with SL teams and a lot of them have already played the odd game or two. Now in the grading system players like Morgan Smithies who would likely be top grade would be sent to Halifax but teams would be able to negotiate with Halifax to take over that contract with part of the money going to Halifax and part to his amateur team. Again this further spreads the money around the grass roots of the game and could obviously include payments for international appearances and such. 

The grading system should eventually make it so the graded players are actually playing at a level that is appropriate to them compared to at the moment where the top teams simply sign all the juniors just incase they make it. this simply stops that happening because when push comes to shove Wigan are not going to want to pay money for someone like say Amir Borrough just incase he makes it when he is so far off first team level. That leaves Amir playing for Fax or a similar level club and getting regular game time to develop his game to the point where he might be able to play in SL. This keeps more of the young lads in the system and more playing regular Rugby League.

A system similar to that makes for a stronger grass roots and eventually a stronger proffesional game. What is happening at the moment simply makes for a strong top flight, which keeps getting weaker because of lack of players, and a weaker grass roots. We are trying to build from the top down rather from the bottom up but that is solely down to self interest from SL clubs out to protect only themselves and from the RFL which has been run like a shambles for a number of years.

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34 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

Some of this but no need for faf with CC,  we need space for 2 mid season int.  Magic is finished in a 2 10's structure

1 weekend int 9's then 1 weekend proper int.  Definitely not top 8 in playoffs.  Playoffs need to be cut down and a lose you are out.  

So top 3 in each conference.  2nd vs 3rd then winner takes on 1st (Who get a bye week) for place in GF. 

Two lowest ranked sides in each conference have a relegation playoff. 

I don't see why Magic is dead under 2 Tens. People always seem keen to do away with one of the most successful events we have. Sky love it and will want to see it continue.

We've had Championship games added before, so just have - for instance - Fev vs Bradford open up day one, job done. 

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2 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

I'd change Magic to the Challenge Cup quarter finals instead. You could also have the 1895 quarters included.

So you’d do away with an existing successful event, too. 

Magic could and should remain. Three games on the Saturday and three on the Sunday. One Championship game added, as they did in 2018 with Toronto v Toulouse and as they planned in 2020 with Newcastle vs whoever it was (Doncaster?). 

Needlessly fiddling about with Magic would be proper Rugby League behaviour. 

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56 minutes ago, The Blues Ox said:

Ive got a semi solution to the games problems but it all boils down to the big clubs simply wont like it. For me one of the main issues in the game is the SL clubs go to amateur clubs and sign up anyone between the ages of 14-16 who looks like they might be able to play rugby. Most these lads when they get to the SL clubs simply have nowhere to play games to help their development and the majority of them become disalusioned with the game and either go back to their amateur clubs or simply quit the game all together. Its really no surprise theres a shortage of players when no efforts are made to stop this happening.

So why can't the RFL take some money off the clubs and throw it at the junior clubs that are producing the players? For a start this gives amateur teams incentives to run junior sections or improve junior sections which gets more young kids playing the game. Secondly why can't the RFL do some sort of gradings or similar on those players from the age of 12-16 and any within a certain grade are given some sort of central contract and sent to their local pro/semi-pro team.

Any not graded can do as the ones not picked up by SL clubs do at the moment, either carry on playing open age or get trials at semi pro clubs. Provisions would have to be put in place for areas without junor set ups but the money thrown at junior clubs to start with would eventually hep with that or thats the hope.

Take for example Siddal's 2017 U16's off the top of my head at least 13 of them signed with SL teams and a lot of them have already played the odd game or two. Now in the grading system players like Morgan Smithies who would likely be top grade would be sent to Halifax but teams would be able to negotiate with Halifax to take over that contract with part of the money going to Halifax and part to his amateur team. Again this further spreads the money around the grass roots of the game and could obviously include payments for international appearances and such. 

The grading system should eventually make it so the graded players are actually playing at a level that is appropriate to them compared to at the moment where the top teams simply sign all the juniors just incase they make it. this simply stops that happening because when push comes to shove Wigan are not going to want to pay money for someone like say Amir Borrough just incase he makes it when he is so far off first team level. That leaves Amir playing for Fax or a similar level club and getting regular game time to develop his game to the point where he might be able to play in SL. This keeps more of the young lads in the system and more playing regular Rugby League.

A system similar to that makes for a stronger grass roots and eventually a stronger proffesional game. What is happening at the moment simply makes for a strong top flight, which keeps getting weaker because of lack of players, and a weaker grass roots. We are trying to build from the top down rather from the bottom up but that is solely down to self interest from SL clubs out to protect only themselves and from the RFL which has been run like a shambles for a number of years.

I don't totally disagree. Though I think it most likely that such money would come from the pot currently earmarked for the lower divisions.

Restricting players to local clubs however would not work and I believe would be illegal. They could have a gentleman's agreement about sourcing players but this is professional sport afterall.

The continued pillaging of smaller and smaller player pool is utterly unsustainable. The only way out of that is to invest time and money in creating and finding new player pools and in the short term, restricting who can go fishing in the current ones.

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41 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

So you’d do away with an existing successful event, too. 

Magic could and should remain. Three games on the Saturday and three on the Sunday. One Championship game added, as they did in 2018 with Toronto v Toulouse and as they planned in 2020 with Newcastle vs whoever it was (Doncaster?). 

I don't believe that switching it from Super League games to Challenge Cup games would impact the success of the event to be honest. But it I do believe it would (a) get rid of the lopsided SL fixture list, and (b) help to create more interest in the Cup quarter finals which have traditionally been poorly attended due to not being included in the season ticket.

45 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

Needlessly fiddling about with Magic would be proper Rugby League behaviour. 

This makes it sound like Magic has been a consistent format in a consistent location every year since its inception. It hasn't. The powers-that-be have made regular changes to the event throughout its history. I don't see changing it to a Challenge Cup/1895 quarter final making it less appealing. Fans of clubs who aren't there are less likely to go. Fans of clubs who are there are more likely to go. Neutrals aren't likely to be impacted either way.

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29 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

I don't believe that switching it from Super League games to Challenge Cup games would impact the success of the event to be honest. But it I do believe it would (a) get rid of the lopsided SL fixture list, and (b) help to create more interest in the Cup quarter finals which have traditionally been poorly attended due to not being included in the season ticket.

This makes it sound like Magic has been a consistent format in a consistent location every year since its inception. It hasn't. The powers-that-be have made regular changes to the event throughout its history. I don't see changing it to a Challenge Cup/1895 quarter final making it less appealing. Fans of clubs who aren't there are less likely to go. Fans of clubs who are there are more likely to go. Neutrals aren't likely to be impacted either way.

Magic has been around for nearly fifteen years, it’s become a staple in the calendar. While it has moved venue (not necessarily a bad thing either) and moved throughout the year (again, not necessarily a bad thing), it’s a constant and shouldn’t be fiddled about with needlessly to attempt to try and solve another issue. Losing a successful event (in our top five or six best attended events) is just plain stupid. 

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So it seems Sky are behind the proposal for a 10 team SL based on the fact that they are disgruntled by the quality of the games recently. If that's the case then you can forget about decent funding for the second league of 10 as Sky will insist that the funding goes to the top tier to improve the quality of teams in it.

It reminds me of speedway in this country, at one time Sky were all over it and pumping money in to attract the world's leading riders to the British Elite League. There were 12 teams in the league. Then Sky decided there should be 8 teams and changes were made. A couple of years later Sky walked away and left the sport in disarray to the point that there are only 6 teams in the top tier now.

I’m not prejudiced, I hate everybody equally

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9 minutes ago, Derwent said:

So it seems Sky are behind the proposal for a 10 team SL based on the fact that they are disgruntled by the quality of the games recently. If that's the case then you can forget about decent funding for the second league of 10 as Sky will insist that the funding goes to the top tier to improve the quality of teams in it.

It reminds me of speedway in this country, at one time Sky were all over it and pumping money in to attract the world's leading riders to the British Elite League. There were 12 teams in the league. Then Sky decided there should be 8 teams and changes were made. A couple of years later Sky walked away and left the sport in disarray to the point that there are only 6 teams in the top tier now.

And hasn't been on Sky for years. I think it's on Eurosport now.

Decent comparison though. Especially now that that 'top tier' over here is lower on quality than at pretty much any point in history despite those reductions.

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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2 hours ago, ShropshireBull said:

Some of this but no need for faf with CC,  we need space for 2 mid season int.  Magic is finished in a 2 10's structure. 

1 weekend int 9's then 1 weekend proper int.  Definitely not top 8 in playoffs.  Playoffs need to be cut down and a lose you are out.  

So top 3 in each conference.  2nd vs 3rd then winner takes on 1st (Who get a bye week) for place in GF. 

Two lowest ranked sides in each conference have a relegation playoff. 

Seem to remember Scotchy posting a similar strategy.

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5 minutes ago, Derwent said:

So it seems Sky are behind the proposal for a 10 team SL based on the fact that they are disgruntled by the quality of the games recently. If that's the case then you can forget about decent funding for the second league of 10 as Sky will insist that the funding goes to the top tier to improve the quality of teams in it.

It reminds me of speedway in this country, at one time Sky were all over it and pumping money in to attract the world's leading riders to the British Elite League. There were 12 teams in the league. Then Sky decided there should be 8 teams and changes were made. A couple of years later Sky walked away and left the sport in disarray to the point that there are only 6 teams in the top tier now.

So, to use the phrase that someone smartly did earlier in this thread, Sky put speedway on probation. Just like they've done with us. But the alternative is that they walk away today, and the game would most surely be in disarray if that happened, and we can't blame Sky. 

It's not Sky's job to sort out all the problems our sport has. They do have some obligations as media partner which we should make sure they meet, but they certainly aren't the root cause of our issues. 

Seems to me 2x10 is the best shot at maintaining a quality competition that Sky (or anyone else) will want to televise after 2023, but there's lots of work to do alongside that if it's going to work. 

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13 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

Magic has been around for nearly fifteen years, it’s become a staple in the calendar. While it has moved venue (not necessarily a bad thing either) and moved throughout the year (again, not necessarily a bad thing), it’s a constant and shouldn’t be fiddled about with needlessly to attempt to try and solve another issue. Losing a successful event (in our top five or six best attended events) is just plain stupid. 

I disagree. Our top 5/6 best attended events make it a pretty low bar. The SL Grand Final and Challenge Cup final should definitely not be tampered with too much IMO. Outside of those and Magic, what are the other 3 best attended events? Magic has had loads of tampering already (location, date, numbers of games, derby games vs random draw), and I don't see how turning it in to a Challenge Cup weekend would suddenly turn people off going.

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Just now, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

I disagree. Our top 5/6 best attended events make it a pretty low bar. The SL Grand Final and Challenge Cup final should definitely not be tampered with too much IMO. Outside of those and Magic, what are the other 3 best attended events? Magic has had loads of tampering already (location, date, numbers of games, derby games vs random draw), and I don't see how turning it in to a Challenge Cup weekend would suddenly turn people off going.

Two days of Magic and the Cup Semi Double Header, I would imagine, make up our top five best attended events. I see no need to mess with Magic as a concept too much (cosmetic changes like fixtures are inevitable when we have relegation anyway and the venue isn’t a big deal) and the Semi Double Header has worked pretty well, so I don’t know why we’d lose two events for the sake of one or even have two basically identical events in the QF and SF of the Cup. 

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1 hour ago, Hela Wigmen said:

So you’d do away with an existing successful event, too. 

Magic could and should remain. Three games on the Saturday and three on the Sunday. One Championship game added, as they did in 2018 with Toronto v Toulouse and as they planned in 2020 with Newcastle vs whoever it was (Doncaster?). 

Needlessly fiddling about with Magic would be proper Rugby League behaviour. 

It seems t be a successful event but not sure on what criteria. It seems to resonate with a good sub set of existing RL fans, which is excellent.  I  have no idea how successful financial it is for the clubs. Any idea - I'm not knocking it just interested to know if its also financial successfully and lead to new fans, sponsors, etc.  distinct from good for Sky costs wise - does that also bring in extra viewers, etc etc...

As I say just wondering how successful.

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31 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

Magic has been around for nearly fifteen years, it’s become a staple in the calendar. While it has moved venue (not necessarily a bad thing either) and moved throughout the year (again, not necessarily a bad thing), it’s a constant and shouldn’t be fiddled about with needlessly to attempt to try and solve another issue. Losing a successful event (in our top five or six best attended events) is just plain stupid. 

The issue with Magic is that it doesn't really resonate with anyone outside the typical RL bubble. 

It's a great event - one we should keep and build - but it simply sells to the same people who already buy the 20-odd other rounds on sale (nd throws in the hassle of getting to Newcastle in the process). As a mechanism for appealing to a new audience it's ineffective because it doesn't offer anything that the other 20-odd rounds don't offer. It's another round of loop fixtures - something which the clubs know aren't popular - wrapped in a bow. It could be so much more than that. 

And that, to me, applies to any conversation about any structure changes you care to come up with. 

  • How does a 14 team league appeal to people who don't already watch RL?
  • How does a 16-team league appeal to anyone who doesn't watch RL? 
  • How does 2x10 appeal to anyone who doesn't watch RL?
  • How do more loop fixtures appeal to anyone who doesn't watch RL? 

Unless you can come up with a positive answer to any of those or similar questions, the sport is wasting it's time (at least as far as growth is concerned). 

Edited by whatmichaelsays
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5 minutes ago, whatmichaelsays said:

The issue with Magic is that it doesn't really resonate with anyone outside the typical RL bubble. 

It's a great event - one we should keep and build - but it simply sells to the same people who already buy the 20-odd other rounds on sale (nd throws in the hassle of getting to Newcastle in the process). As a mechanism for appealing to a new audience it's ineffective because it doesn't offer anything that the other 20-odd rounds don't offer. It's another round of loop fixtures - something which the clubs know aren't popular - wrapped in a bow. It could be so much more than that. 

And that, to me, applies to any conversation about any structure changes you care to come up with. 

  • How does a 14 team league appeal to people who don't already watch RL?
  • How does a 16-team league appeal to anyone who doesn't watch RL? 
  • How does 2x10 appeal to anyone who doesn't watch RL?
  • How do more loop fixtures appeal to anyone who doesn't watch RL? 

Unless you can come up with a positive answer to any of those or similar questions, the sport is wasting it's time (at least as far as growth is concerned). 

Don't disagree except to say that if one of the options leads to a better product on the pitch that in itself can help with growing a new audience... note I say help as in of itself what's on the pitch is only a  part of the overall equation to having an offering that appeals beyond its current fanbase.

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8 minutes ago, redjonn said:

It seems t be a successful event but not sure on what criteria. It seems to resonate with a good sub set of existing RL fans, which is excellent.  I  have no idea how successful financial it is for the clubs. Any idea - I'm not knocking it just interested to know if its also financial successfully and lead to new fans, sponsors, etc.  distinct from good for Sky costs wise - does that also bring in extra viewers, etc etc...

As I say just wondering how successful.

Yes it being successful is one of these RL things some people constantly state as fact with no basis. The financials are never disclosed and attendances are often less than we'd get anyway for the same matches played individually. People say Sky love it but I've never seen a quote saying that. It seems a great weekend that some fans love but beyond that I don't really see the big success.

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19 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

Two days of Magic and the Cup Semi Double Header, I would imagine, make up our top five best attended events.

I'd included Magic in my top 3. Realistically it's daylight, then the cup semi double header. Just shows how few big events are in the domestic calendar.

19 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

the Semi Double Header has worked pretty well, so I don’t know why we’d lose two events for the sake of one or even have two basically identical events in the QF and SF of the Cup. 

Don't understand why we'd lose 2 events? I'm still proposing a Magic weekend - just involving the CC instead of SL. Why would the fans of the clubs involved suddenly not be interested in attending? Why would neutrals no longer be interested in attending?

15 minutes ago, redjonn said:

It seems t be a successful event but not sure on what criteria. It seems to resonate with a good sub set of existing RL fans, which is excellent.  I  have no idea how successful financial it is for the clubs. Any idea - I'm not knocking it just interested to know if its also financial successfully and lead to new fans, sponsors, etc.  distinct from good for Sky costs wise - does that also bring in extra viewers, etc etc...

I think this is a fair point. I don't know the breakdown of fans purchasing tickets for Magic in terms of % locals, % club fans etc. I have read people breaking down the attendance stats and highlighting that the attendances are not significantly any better than the aggregate for the corresponding league fixtures.

11 minutes ago, whatmichaelsays said:

The issue with Magic is that it doesn't really resonate with anyone outside the typical RL bubble. 

This is a big issue. And unless we're talking internationals or bums on seats star players who transcend the sport, then I've got no knowledge on how to resonate with people outside of the RL bubble. My worry is that people running the sport don't know either.

Edited by RugbyLeagueGeek
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16 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

Two days of Magic and the Cup Semi Double Header, I would imagine, make up our top five best attended events. I see no need to mess with Magic as a concept too much (cosmetic changes like fixtures are inevitable when we have relegation anyway and the venue isn’t a big deal) and the Semi Double Header has worked pretty well, so I don’t know why we’d lose two events for the sake of one or even have two basically identical events in the QF and SF of the Cup. 

I tend to agree with you but have doubts about the semi double header. I always see that as admittance of failure to attract a large enough gate for each game.  Far better for me if we had two semi's, packed out and on different weekend days on the BBC/FTA and hence potential of different audiences too.

Having the joint semi is pragmatic to the issue of being unable to attract large number of fans to each CC semi's. That in itself says a lot.

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3 hours ago, Derwent said:

So it seems Sky are behind the proposal for a 10 team SL based on the fact that they are disgruntled by the quality of the games recently. If that's the case then you can forget about decent funding for the second league of 10 as Sky will insist that the funding goes to the top tier to improve the quality of teams in it.

It reminds me of speedway in this country, at one time Sky were all over it and pumping money in to attract the world's leading riders to the British Elite League. There were 12 teams in the league. Then Sky decided there should be 8 teams and changes were made. A couple of years later Sky walked away and left the sport in disarray to the point that there are only 6 teams in the top tier now.

Sky walked away from speedway because the riders were choosing not to ride in the UK. Partly the money from the more professional Polish league and partly due to the non fixed race nights. 
 

Some of the world’s best riders constantly chose to miss out on the British League even during Sky’s peak period with the sport.
 

Sky’s financial backing of sports is dictated by the product it serves. If it gets numbers, they will keep showing it. I’ve seen it with numerous ‘minor sports’. British Basketball had a boom period in the 90s but was built on sand as the clubs mostly rented arenas. I wouldn’t put RL in that bracket of minor sports, simply because of its match going fans are in such greater numbers meaning it can pull in good sponsors with decent marketing by authorities 

Edited by LongbridgeH
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