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League Restructure Thread (Merged Threads)


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2 minutes ago, nadera78 said:

It's not worth engaging with anyone who thinks TV revenue is a handout.

Excellent point. It speaks volumes about the mindset and in some ways just shows the problems within the sport when clubs see it that way too.

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4 hours ago, Griff said:

Nice - but it doesn't really solve Sky's issue with there being too many one-sided games.  It just makes it worse,

not in the short term for sure... but it might have enabled those clubs to keep the stars coming through or attract back the stars that have left. That in itself may help in the long term to improve standards, initially within those few clubs but then further down if it brings increased media and sponsorship money.

As I've said before its an ideology issue... constraining the stronger clubs to the level of the weakest in the hope more even games versus allowing the few elite clubs to drive the sport in the field from which increased interest arises and eventually benefits other clubs.

Of course now we can't afford to wait for the long term benefit that in my opinion is likely to accrue, whereas we may have been able to with the previous sky broadcast deals.

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3 hours ago, Adelaide Tiger said:

Nice … but your response doesn’t really solve SKY’s issues either as it appears that you are advocating to retain what we already have tried which has failed to deliver increased income and investment.

We have to accept that creating an artificial level playing field has failed … that is why we have 31 pages on here … and in the idea I put forward clubs irrespective of size will still get their share of the SKY money.

What I am proposing is that the sport needs an incentive to attract investors.  If we had scrapped the SC a few years ago then possibly Salford with Koucash’s investment may be the leading club in SL.  And maybe, just maybe that might have attracted other investors.  And who knows a club currently struggling might attract a investor.

Finally, what is wrong with having some clubs that are bigger than others.  I have supported Cas all my life but I am totally frustrated that because the game has failed to grow we have to have a SC than rewards smaller or less well run clubs.

Or do you have a cunning plan that you would like to share?

 

No - I'm not advocating any plan.  I'm just pointing out that Sky don't want to pay for the scenario you suggest.  They don't want a few big clubs getting bigger and leaving smaller clubs behind.   As the game relies very much on the Sky money, it's foolish to suggest a solution that exacerbates something they've already complained about.

As a wise man once said, coming up with a plan is easy.  Getting enough self-interested clubs to vote for the plan is much more difficult.

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

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11 minutes ago, redjonn said:

not in the short term for sure... but it might have enabled those clubs to keep the stars coming through or attract back the stars that have left.

That may - or may not - be so, depending on how our competitors react to the strategy.

But as we only have two years, apparently, we don't have enough time to consider anything but the short term at the moment.

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

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47 minutes ago, nadera78 said:

It's not worth engaging with anyone who thinks TV revenue is a handout.

Such a good point.

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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21 hours ago, Lowdesert said:

Classy Cas propose ...

Lightning Rugby is an eight-a-side game, with 12 men in each club's squad for every game. A minimum of four of those players must be under 21, which enables youngsters to get much-needed development and game-time. By using reserve, academy and first-team players, that would eliminate the risk of clubs going into the community game to fill squads.

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/lightning-rugby-castleford-tigers-hundred-21228033

The idea a alternative competition aimed to attract new fan base and excite the existing of itself is a good idea - especially following the example of the cricket. Although many have been saying similar in this forum for years but if it takes another sport to show what can be done and we copy that's fine

Pity we don't have the innovation the sport use to have to do something before the rest.

Anyway whilst not clear why 8 players I like the name Lightening Rugby as a start and the discussion as to try and achieve something.   The number exact number of players is immaterial. Key is coming up with a format then the number of players. A format that can be marketed appropriate and to be exciting and sufficient different.

Of course have to come up with a set of rules that help achieve that fast based game...try's only game, limit number of tacklers, no need for PTB just a foot touch to restart... whatever, whatever, whatever...

The focus on the number of players just to make wider spaces wouldn't be my starting point, my start would be the format and rules, then the number.

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8 minutes ago, Griff said:

That may - or may not - be so, depending on how our competitors react to the strategy.

But as we only have two years, apparently, we don't have enough time to consider anything but the short term at the moment.

I agree, in the short term it doesn't provide an answer. In the long term it will do better I think than the current ideology in the sport that we seem stuck with.

In the short term, going down to 10 clubs as a sort of holding pattern with a view to growing again after a period for me is as good a restarting point as anything I've seen or can think of. Despite many peoples reaction to it.

For me it is a pragmatic solution.

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What is factual is that Sky have us by the danglies and have given us a two year stay of execution to improve the product/perception

imo it starts with camera work, atmosphere mic’s  and commentators on Sky

it moves onto referees players and coaches to encourage the spectacle and stop the professional stuff

it moves onto clubs to sell out games and bring in the £ needed from sponsors etc

2022 is the transition year and Leigh/Fev/TO will get less funding than others and below SL will get scraps

2023 we must have our best 10 clubs filling grounds and creating a great spectacle for Sky

2023 we must have a Ft second tier creating pressure on the elite by being a viable replacement through P&R

get rid of the cap as it stops wealthy individuals getting involved, individuals who will throw in millions for success, a mindset most RL fans do not understand

 

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2 hours ago, gingerjon said:

I wish more people had understood this when we entirely rejigged the structure so that the *relegation* end of Super League would be more exciting than the championship play offs.

That wasn't the intention , but that is what it became 

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47 minutes ago, redjonn said:

The idea a alternative competition aimed to attract new fan base and excite the existing of itself is a good idea - especially following the example of the cricket. Although many have been saying similar in this forum for years but if it takes another sport to show what can be done and we copy that's fine

Pity we don't have the innovation the sport use to have to do something before the rest.

Anyway whilst not clear why 8 players I like the name Lightening Rugby as a start and the discussion as to try and achieve something.   The number exact number of players is immaterial. Key is coming up with a format then the number of players. A format that can be marketed appropriate and to be exciting and sufficient different.

Of course have to come up with a set of rules that help achieve that fast based game...try's only game, limit number of tacklers, no need for PTB just a foot touch to restart... whatever, whatever, whatever...

The focus on the number of players just to make wider spaces wouldn't be my starting point, my start would be the format and rules, then the number.

This is happening this weekend, in Istanbul - teams from Turkey, Serbia, Bulgaria, Lebanon & Iran.  The video is from a past event - loads more on Youtube.

 

Standard is not great - lots of scratch teams, clearly, and you wouldn't want to watch it every week. Looks like everyone is enjoying themselves.  But it's a lot more innovative than anything I've seen here for a long while. A world away from a load of old blokes moaning and swearing at the ref.

Edited by JonM
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3 hours ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

Martyn,

Is this a proposal that you have discussed with unnamed sources within the sport such as SL, Championship and League One club representatives in your capacity as a respected journalist within the game?

Or are you just floating this?

My proposal emanates from a discussion I had with a former Student Rugby League player who I got to know from my days as Chairman of the SRL in the 1980s and kept in intermittent contact with.

He is now a big shot in the venture capital world in the USA and I was discussing with him the proposed private equity investment into Super League that Robert Elstone tried to bring into the sport. We all saw what happened to that idea, and that Novalpina, the company he wanted to introduce, is now on the rocks.

Essentially I wanted to know what would be attractive for companies like that to persuade them to invest in Rugby League.

His response (and he originates from a town that is now in the Championship) was that the only sensible way to invest in Rugby League would be to invest in the whole professional/semi-professional game,  because to invest only in a 12- or 10-team Super League would in all probability alienate a significant part of the Rugby League community. Those companies would want to steer clear of controversy.

And, if the game were targeting American venture capital companies, a Conference structure is something they could immediately understand and, more importantly, know how to develop. And they would also know how to promote such a competition structure. The weak clubs certainly wouldn't remain weak forever. The ultimate logic of that position is that a venture capital company would take a major share in the competition and, if successful, get their money back, possibly with a share flotation.

Having said that, I don't think the Super League clubs would go for it. They want to preserve their current status at all costs. I don't think they have any realistic vision of the future.

 

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6 minutes ago, JonM said:

This is happening this weekend, in Istanbul - teams from Turkey, Serbia, Bulgaria, Lebanon & Iran.  The video is from a past event - loads more on Youtube.

 

Standard is not great - lots of scratch teams, clearly, and you wouldn't want to watch it every week. Looks like everyone is enjoying themselves.  But it's a lot more innovative than anything I've seen here for a long while. A world away from a load of old blokes moaning and swearing at the ref.

I love this video.

Thanks a lot for sharing.

Exactly as you say.... Standard is low, but it is a universe away from people screaming abuse at a referee in the shadow of a West Yorkshire slag heap, or some doddery old guy blethering on about an England game in 1959.

I am seriously going to take a look at travelling to this next year if it is on again. 

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11 minutes ago, JonM said:

This is happening this weekend, in Istanbul - teams from Turkey, Serbia, Bulgaria, Lebanon & Iran.  The video is from a past event - loads more on Youtube.

 

Standard is not great - lots of scratch teams, clearly, and you wouldn't want to watch it every week. Looks like everyone is enjoying themselves.  But it's a lot more innovative than anything I've seen here for a long while. A world away from a load of old blokes moaning and swearing at the ref.

Now come on, you cant come on here throwing that kind of thing around willy nilly, I mean people enjoying themselves playing and watching rugby League? Is that even allowed anymore?

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7 minutes ago, JonM said:

This is happening this weekend, in Istanbul - teams from Turkey, Serbia, Bulgaria, Lebanon & Iran.  The video is from a past event - loads more on Youtube.

 

Standard is not great - lots of scratch teams, clearly, and you wouldn't want to watch it every week. Looks like everyone is enjoying themselves.  But it's a lot more innovative than anything I've seen here for a long while. A world away from a load of old blokes moaning and swearing at the ref.

chuckle - looked as if they are really enjoying themselves. Liked some of the flamboyant diving tries...

Beach RL, why not.

Whatever innovative new concept all you need to do is keep a backward pass and a simple restart rather than a faffing PTB with opposition  players having to be square - just have them having to return to defending line and the attacking player having to touch with foot and pass.... then it can be a fast paced short game.

The rest is about what you build around the play on the field to make a compelling product.

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2 minutes ago, The Frying Scotsman said:

I am seriously going to take a look at travelling to this next year if it is on again. 

It's the fifth time it's been on. Take a few mates and enter a team...

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2 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

My proposal emanates from a discussion I had with a former Student Rugby League player who I got to know from my days as Chairman of the SRL in the 1980s and kept in intermittent contact with.

He is now a big shot in the venture capital world in the USA and I was discussing with him the proposed private equity investment into Super League that Robert Elstone tried to bring into the sport. We all saw what happened to that idea, and that Novalpina, the company he wanted to introduce, is now on the rocks.

Essentially I wanted to know what would be attractive for companies like that to persuade them to invest in Rugby League.

His response (and he originates from a town that is now in the Championship) was that the only sensible way to invest in Rugby League would be to invest in the whole professional/semi-professional game,  because to invest only in a 12- or 10-team Super League would in all probability alienate a significant part of the Rugby League community. Those companies would want to steer clear of controversy.

And, if the game were targeting American venture capital companies, a Conference structure is something they could immediately understand and, more importantly, know how to develop. And they would also know how to promote such a competition structure. The weak clubs certainly wouldn't remain weak forever. The ultimate logic of that position is that a venture capital company would take a major share in the competition and, if successful, get their money back, possibly with a share flotation.

Having said that, I don't think the Super League clubs would go for it. They want to preserve their current status at all costs. I don't think they have any realistic vision of the future.

 

There are also Venture Capitalists who would invest in something, immediately realise there is dead wood and rationalise to try and make the biggest return on investment.

Some of the pieces in your proposed structures are towns of 10-20,000 people (essentially large villages).

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13 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

Having said that, I don't think the Super League clubs would go for it. They want to preserve their current status at all costs. I don't think they have any realistic vision of the future.

 

And there is the ultimate barrier to the problem.

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

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1 minute ago, Griff said:

And there is the ultimate barrier to the problem.

no vision - often the problem isn't a vision, its given were you are and how best to get their. That means some pragmatic steps. Most of which upset many...

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8 minutes ago, Scubby said:

There are also Venture Capitalists who would invest in something, immediately realise there is dead wood and rationalise to try and make the biggest return on investment.

Some of the pieces in your proposed structures are towns of 10-20,000 people (essentially large villages).

I reckon an investment firm could do a better job at marketing their team than a ageing oil trader.

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10 minutes ago, The Frying Scotsman said:

I love this video.

Thanks a lot for sharing.

Exactly as you say.... Standard is low, but it is a universe away from people screaming abuse at a referee in the shadow of a West Yorkshire slag heap, or some doddery old guy blethering on about an England game in 1959.

I am seriously going to take a look at travelling to this next year if it is on again. 

Hear hear!

It almost brought me to tears.

The unbridled joy of being involved with Rugby League!

Could the RFL, or SL learn something from that? you bet they could.

Could something like this be organised around our big events, like Magic or the Challenge Cup?

It kills me to hear people talking about them as ''mickey mouse'' just because they are newcomers to the sport.

They might not be able to beat England on the field, but they are doing a lot right.

That attitude is so condescending, it's very off-putting to newcomers and we need to change it asap.

These people are Rugby League people and we should welcome them with open arms. 

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So one sided games = Leigh in SL over Tolouse or Toronto, Fev or even London

Leigh to be kept in SL even though they are the worst team to ever play in SL

This gets better and better,

Questions on here of no millionaires wanting to fund RL but we turned away one in Canada and ignore Hughes at London (even though his side was the best relegated team in SL history AND produced home grown players)

Ultimatley its a few pit villages and bigger clubs wanting to remain at the top thats ruining what could be a great sport.

Edited by yipyee
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53 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

His response (and he originates from a town that is now in the Championship) was that the only sensible way to invest in Rugby League would be to invest in the whole professional/semi-professional game,  because to invest only in a 12- or 10-team Super League would in all probability alienate a significant part of the Rugby League community. Those companies would want to steer clear of controversy.

Honestly, this is a bluff that needs to be called. The idea that you couldn't invest in a new competition with our 12 biggest teams because you'd hurt the feelings of a tiny number of people who preferred the sport in the 1970s should be entirely dismissed.

I agree that we could do with some more teams actively challenging do the title - but that means lifting it from 3 or 4 to 8 or 9 - but whoever that 8-9 it has nothing to do with the Swintons and Hunslets of this world. Those clubs do have a place in the sport, but it's not as prospective members of a flagship VC backed competition. Anyone who's willing to look at things rationally can see that and so would your VC mate once he actually looked at the facts. 

I'm sorry if this upsets people but frankly people need to get real if they want the game to be around in anything like the current state in 10-15 years time. Although I suspect there's a fair few who don't really care about the long term, they just want to see their clubs have one last dance through the old songs before they shuffle off.

                

Edited by Toby Chopra
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2 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

Honestly, this is a bluff that needs to be called. The idea that you couldn't invest in a new competition with our 12 biggest teams because you'd hurt the feelings of a tiny number of people who preferred the sport in the 1970s should be entirely dismissed.

I agree that we could do with some more teams actively challenging do the title - but that means lifting it from 3 or 4 to 8 or 9 - but whoever that 8-9 it has nothing to do with the Swintons and Hunslets of this world. Those clubs do have a place in the sport, but it's not as prospective members of a flagship VC backed competition. Anyone who's willing to look at things rationally can see that and so would your VC mate once he actually looked at the facts. 

I'm sorry if this upsets people but frankly people need to get real if they want the game to be around in anything like the current state in 10-15 years time. Although I suspect there's a fair few who don't really care about the long term, they just want to see their clubs have one last dance through the old songs before they shuffle off.

                

You can dismiss it if you like, and after all it was only one man's opinion (although someone who had a foot in both the financial and the Rugby League camps, although admittedly some years ago in the latter case).

But if the sport is going to be unified under the control of the RFL, essentially because SLE failed as a separate organisation, I think you're barking up the wrong tree if you think someone will come along wanting to invest in something that was clearly a commercial failure and that created conflict with the governing body.

And you're making the mistake of many people on here, which is thinking statically rather than dynamically.

Things don't stay the same forever.

Swinton and Hunslet in ten years' time could either be much bigger than they are now, but still based in Manchester and Leeds respectively, or they could be playing elsewhere, having been taken over by new investors and relocated. Or they may no longer exist.

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9 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

 

Swinton and Hunslet in ten years' time could either be much bigger than they are now, but still based in Manchester and Leeds respectively, or they could be playing elsewhere, having been taken over by new investors and relocated. Or they may no longer exist.

Given that neither has any assets or a large latent fanbase or a unsaturated market (both for sport generally and rugby league), the latter is quite clearly the most likely of those 3 options.

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

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