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League Restructure Thread (Merged Threads)


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2 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

So says the boy from the big shiney house at the top of the hill Tommy.

If we do go to 14 teams do you honestly believe there are enough quality player's to go round?

If an announcement is made that 14 teams will be in SL next year just watch the clamour in the transfer market or clubs extending contracts for bang average players, there are simply not enough good ones to go around, I would say that good player's in comparrison to even 10 -15 years ago is down by 50%.

There has never been enough athletes in the Northern RL heartlands playing RL to sustain the game. It has always had to import players from predominantly 2 sources - (Welsh) RU and Australian/Pacific RL. The former was a source of full squads for some teams up to 1995.

What has happened in the past 25 years is that the cost of those imports has increased massively whilst the League's spending has not increased to compensate. The reasons for this are 3 fold. 2 groups have a vested interest in keeping it low - the big clubs who like winning whilst spending little, and the small teams, who like being able to spend minimal to stay in the league. The third group of clubs want to spend to compete with the big boys are neither large enough in number or well organised enough to force change.

So whilst the spending on our regular imports has gone down, the RL player base has not increased to compensate. Only "professional" academies have mitigated the impact of those factors. But as you say there are now plenty of bang average players.

Looking at the last time we cut clubs, the clubs facing the chop weren't rubbish because they were spending loads of money poorly, they were simply not spending nearly enough money at all. We are currently in a similar scenario with at least 3 clubs at any given moment not spending anywhere near the salary cap.

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28 minutes ago, redjonn said:

Agree in general, but the flip side our enjoyment was spoiled the other day at Headingly having a bunch of drunks sitting behind... all thinking their comments funny but in essence abusive, balancing drinks that spilled as they moved and went back for more... My family often don't attend much saying such is a factor, especially for the little un's.  

It is/was good that Headingly had a family stand section..

As Dave T said, it's about segmentation of the customer base.  You go to Old Trafford for the cricket - there's a party stand for people that want to make beer snakes and get slaughtered and sing/ shout abuse. There's a members stand if you want to wear your tie and blazer and applaud both teams politely. 

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2 hours ago, Wakefield Ram said:

If you look at Toronto's match day experience, it looked like a beer festival with a game of rugby. And it was successful. Most professional sports are part drinking events - Test cricket,  darts (not a real sport I know but look at the crowds), horse racing (went to Ascot and by the end more hammered people staggering around than a city centre on a Saturday night)

Well quite, but there are other things too.

As I said fundamentally now sport stadium managers want to make sure people who come through the turnstiles have a good time. If you let the match itself be the main determining factor of that then it is leaving a lot of risk. So increasingly stadiums are focusing on things they can control.

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1 hour ago, Tommygilf said:

There has never been enough athletes in the Northern RL heartlands playing RL to sustain the game. It has always had to import players from predominantly 2 sources - (Welsh) RU and Australian/Pacific RL. The former was a source of full squads for some teams up to 1995.

What has happened in the past 25 years is that the cost of those imports has increased massively whilst the League's spending has not increased to compensate. The reasons for this are 3 fold. 2 groups have a vested interest in keeping it low - the big clubs who like winning whilst spending little, and the small teams, who like being able to spend minimal to stay in the league. The third group of clubs want to spend to compete with the big boys are neither large enough in number or well organised enough to force change.

So whilst the spending on our regular imports has gone down, the RL player base has not increased to compensate. Only "professional" academies have mitigated the impact of those factors. But as you say there are now plenty of bang average players.

Looking at the last time we cut clubs, the clubs facing the chop weren't rubbish because they were spending loads of money poorly, they were simply not spending nearly enough money at all. We are currently in a similar scenario with at least 3 clubs at any given moment not spending anywhere near the salary cap.

If this were true then England doesn't have enough footballers to service the Premier League, proof is the clubs importing players. 

If we had more money, more if these 'bang average' players would get better contracts, more coaching, player pathways etc.  They are some of the reasons we have so many semi pro players not the lack of talent.

Top players are on good money but the fringe 1st teamers, those we want to develop are often not, world of work can be more attractive and maybe then play semi pro and be better off. I know players who have turned down SL because if this 

Money is the problem. Fewer teams make it less attractive, which leads to less income and the downward spiral continues. If you reduce your assets you have a smaller business and attract fewer players 

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5 hours ago, lucky 7 said:

It is the actions or lack of actions by the RFL and the Super League clubs which has led to falling crowds. A reduced TV contract and fewer juniors playing the game.

no its not, it is down to sky, go back about four or five years to when sky started picking ramdom days to put games on mondays and thursdays in particular. wigan v saints or leeds was a guaranteed 20,000 crowd since then we are down to perhaps 12000. this was the same with other top derbys across super league

i really belive sky new exactly what they were doing and have manipulated super league crowds and viewers in order to give a lower deal.

the total randomness of games now is complete nonsense and someone needs to challenge sky about it.

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8 minutes ago, my missus said:

no its not, it is down to sky, go back about four or five years to when sky started picking ramdom days to put games on mondays and thursdays in particular. wigan v saints or leeds was a guaranteed 20,000 crowd since then we are down to perhaps 12000. this was the same with other top derbys across super league

i really belive sky new exactly what they were doing and have manipulated super league crowds and viewers in order to give a lower deal.

the total randomness of games now is complete nonsense and someone needs to challenge sky about it.

Monday Night Football has been a thing on Sky for nudging thirty years and yet we don't see empty seats at Premier League grounds as a result.

Rugby league needs to stop blaming its own failings on conspiracies or outsiders. The biggest damage done to the game, throughout our history, has often been done by those within the game.

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24 minutes ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

If this were true then England doesn't have enough footballers to service the Premier League, proof is the clubs importing players. 

If we had more money, more if these 'bang average' players would get better contracts, more coaching, player pathways etc.  They are some of the reasons we have so many semi pro players not the lack of talent.

Top players are on good money but the fringe 1st teamers, those we want to develop are often not, world of work can be more attractive and maybe then play semi pro and be better off. I know players who have turned down SL because if this 

Money is the problem. Fewer teams make it less attractive, which leads to less income and the downward spiral continues. If you reduce your assets you have a smaller business and attract fewer players 

Yeah I think when people say the player pool isn´t there we are ignoring that the money isn´t there to get lots of the best part timers to give up their day jobs. 

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19 minutes ago, my missus said:

no its not, it is down to sky, go back about four or five years to when sky started picking ramdom days to put games on mondays and thursdays in particular. wigan v saints or leeds was a guaranteed 20,000 crowd since then we are down to perhaps 12000. this was the same with other top derbys across super league

i really belive sky new exactly what they were doing and have manipulated super league crowds and viewers in order to give a lower deal.

the total randomness of games now is complete nonsense and someone needs to challenge sky about it.

Thursday definitely doesn´t help but if the travel distance from Cas to Wakey or Leeds to Hull is small enough to finish work at 5 and still get to the game in good time. 

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21 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

Yeah I think when people say the player pool isn´t there we are ignoring that the money isn´t there to get lots of the best part timers to give up their day jobs. 

Exactly, plenty of very good players, but the drop our rate from 15 ish is huge and there isn't the financial attraction in full time SL for all but the young elite. 

More money, more good players and part timers could develop through the full time systems, obviously some wouldn't make it but more would 

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and we come back to the salary cap which has strangled super league for to long nearly every club has a millionaire owner sack the cap and let them spend their money.

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3 hours ago, JonM said:

As Dave T said, it's about segmentation of the customer base.  You go to Old Trafford for the cricket - there's a party stand for people that want to make beer snakes and get slaughtered and sing/ shout abuse. There's a members stand if you want to wear your tie and blazer and applaud both teams politely. 

Yep, agree as per my comment on the family section of stand at Headingly the other day.

Look forward to the cricket approach... without the blazer and tie

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34 minutes ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

If this were true then England doesn't have enough footballers to service the Premier League, proof is the clubs importing players. 

If we had more money, more if these 'bang average' players would get better contracts, more coaching, player pathways etc.  They are some of the reasons we have so many semi pro players not the lack of talent.

Top players are on good money but the fringe 1st teamers, those we want to develop are often not, world of work can be more attractive and maybe then play semi pro and be better off. I know players who have turned down SL because if this 

Money is the problem. Fewer teams make it less attractive, which leads to less income and the downward spiral continues. If you reduce your assets you have a smaller business and attract fewer players 

England hasn't historically produced enough elite level footballers. This is not controversial news. Though a lot of that is a result of historically poorer training (which the FA have spent a decade plus trying to rectify) and the relative strength of football's global talent pool which the Premier League disproportionately attracts talent from around the world meaning it is one of the most highly competitive domestic competitions. 

With regards to the point about money that is exactly what I have said. Leeds, Saints and Wigan etc can be pretty happy to keep the current scenario as they keep winning everything and if their best players are poached its only by "non direct competitors" like the NRL or Rugby Union. Likewise Wakefield, Castleford, Salford and (dependent on which way the wind is blowing) Hull KR can't afford to spend the current limit let alone see the gap widen significantly. Only really Huddersfield, Warrington, Catalans, and any other well backed newbie (Leigh, Toronto, Toulouse) would be inclined to push for major changes.

I don't disagree at all that money on the fringes of Super League is low, a disgrace in fact. And I have said plenty of times on this board alone how this is a deeply exploitative situation from academy to the fringes of the first team. 

Money, and the lack of it, has meant we have recruited less RU players than ever before and lesser quality Antipodeans. That Super League under Elstone introduced specific measures to address these two key issues in recruiting star talent is a clear point in favour of my view. Indeed, one of the only reasons we ever played as GB, rather than England, was because despite the fans, the clubs, the management and venues being English, the team was regularly populated by a significant contingent of Welshmen. Junior RL, which has exploded relative to where it was at points in the last 50 years, simply hasn't grown enough to fill the void that the declining quality of imports has resulted in.

I'm actually in favour of limiting the number of academies, or at least serious reform of that part of the game.

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3 hours ago, JonM said:

As Dave T said, it's about segmentation of the customer base.  You go to Old Trafford for the cricket - there's a party stand for people that want to make beer snakes and get slaughtered and sing/ shout abuse. There's a members stand if you want to wear your tie and blazer and applaud both teams politely. 

And there are also alcohol free stands, which when you book by accident is devastating 😂 (but actually good for those who want them)

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45 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

Yeah I think when people say the player pool isn´t there we are ignoring that the money isn´t there to get lots of the best part timers to give up their day jobs. 

Tbf that is because in recent years we have also funded part time RL to a ridiculously high level rather than investing into a fully professional environment.

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48 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Monday Night Football has been a thing on Sky for nudging thirty years and yet we don't see empty seats at Premier League grounds as a result.

Rugby league needs to stop blaming its own failings on conspiracies or outsiders. The biggest damage done to the game, throughout our history, has often been done by those within the game.

maybe, but their was and continues huge demand for soccer grounds attendance. So that doing Monday isn't a big hit due to that demand.

We have never had such demand so it is/was more risky to ground attendance.

Don't blame Sky for wanting to fill its schedules but RFL/SL for allowing non of its own control over prime fixtures. Although I recognise that may have been difficult given need for money, short term v mid to longer term impact.

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On 05/08/2021 at 11:58, Martyn Sadler said:

It's difficult to imagine a more wrong-headed post than this one.

Football is a different sport with different pressures, but it doesn't need to reform.

What we need to do is widen the pool of clubs that can actually win something, while allowing clubs to grow bigger over time.

Our current structure doesn't allow them to do this.

My proposal, because of the way fixtures would be structured, would go a significant way towards achieving that aim.

Martin, I've read your paper.

I think the idea has real merit.

I remember the old days, when a high profile (RaRa) team would visit a local junior club and the whole town would turn out to watch them. 

I have to say that it's such a radical idea, such a huge change, that I'm nervous of a possible negative outcome.

I say this because of the unforeseen problem, where interest in the Middle 8's undermined the SuperLeague playoffs.

It would be great if we could run a 'virtual trial' and see how it behaved over time.

Let's bring in AI to try it out?

May I ask, have you had any response from the SL/RFL to your paper? 

Edited by fighting irish
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I'm not against SL going to ten clubs, but I don't agree with some views that their are only a few strong teams. Yes only a few have won silverware but that's no different than soccer.

From my perspective we have x5 relatively strong financial clubs that could go beyond the salary cap.  On top of that we have Hull FC whom could be added, we have Castleford who ignoring this Covid year are very competitive to any of the clubs. We have Hull KR building well and Huddersfield.

To me we have seven to nine competitive clubs, that's a fair percentage of the current 12 and even more so if 10 clubs. All-be-it only a few have won silverware.  That's no different than soccer whom have gone from top 4, to top 6 and now top 8 over the decade or so, with only x3 or x4 winning the main prize..

Yep, I think the standard on the field could be improved but that to me is a salary cap issue. Either unable to keep the "best" for longer o attracting higher standard as well as playing a good sum to young players coming through as an incentive to stay in the sport and improve - don't think I would be highly incentivised to stay in SL if a young inexperienced  player to maintain the focus on improving if getting relative pitiful money.  Not surprised we lose so many, given themselves a chance to reach peak performance.

 

Edited by redjonn
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11 minutes ago, redjonn said:

I'm not against SL going to ten clubs, but I don't agree with some views that their are only a few strong teams. Yes only a few have won silverware but that's no different than soccer.

From my perspective we have x5 relatively strong financial clubs that could go beyond the salary cap.  On top of that we have Hull FC whom could be added, we have Castleford who ignoring this Covid year are very competitive to any of the clubs. We have Hull KR building well and Huddersfield.

To me we have seven to nine competitive clubs, that's a fair percentage of the current 12 and even more so if 10 clubs. All-be-it only a few have won silverware.  That's no different than soccer whom have gone from top 4, to top 6 and now top 8 over the decade or so, with only x3 or x4 winning the main prize..

Yep, I think the standard on the field could be improved but that to me is a salary cap issue. Either unable to keep the "best" for longer o attracting higher standard as well as playing a good sum to young players coming through as an incentive to stay in the sport and improve - don't think I would be highly incentivised to stay in SL if a young inexperienced  player to maintain the focus on improving if getting relative pitiful money.  Not surprised we lose so many, given themselves a chance to reach peak performance.

 

Spot on. 

My club has never won a SL Grand Final, so technically can be put in the pack instead of up with Wigan, Saints, Leeds and Bradford as winners. But that completely ignores the contribution to the comp that Wire have made to SL. Same goes for Hull, Catalans, Cas, Hudds etc. 

Many of the clubs have contributed well to SL, imho there are 2 or 3 real weak links. 

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I would put Huddersfield below Wire and Catalan and more with the Wakefields and Salford´s tbh. Too big stadium so games always look poor on tv and haven´t been a playoff team in how many years. At least when wakey upgrade their ground might be a bit better and improve the look for games. 

Edited by ShropshireBull
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45 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

I would put Huddersfield below Wire and Catalan and more with the Wakefields and Salford´s tbh. Too big stadium so games always look poor on tv and haven´t been a playoff team in how many years. At least when wakey upgrade their ground might be a bit better and improve the look for games. 

But I don't think we need to over think it. Hudds are clearly a weaker team, but they have played in Cup Finals and played their part in that epic LLS decider for example. Salford have played above their weight making the Cup Final and Grand Final in recent years, Hull KR have contributed to some brilliant Derby games in front of huge crowds, and played their part at many Magic Weekends. Cas were a joy when they won the LLS, and have appeared in a Grand Final and Cup Final. 

I think we are sometimes overly critical of what some of these teams bring to the table. 

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I posted this on a L1 game thread, but thought it would get a few more people thinking about the knock on effect of any restructuring if it was in this thread as well (not that any of the SL clubs/rfl/people who will end up calling the shots will read this forum 😳)

10 clubs @ £75K = £750,000 ... 3% of the supposed new £25 million tv deal.

By the time the £750,000 has been split between the 10/12/14 🤔😂 SL clubs & the remaining champ/SL2 (or whatever the new structure might be) is the amount really going to make much difference other than half an aged aussie player wage per team - is that amount really going to make the difference and save/reinvigorate the SL brand or individual team. Culling the league 1 current teams & the devastating effect it would have on their community work/youth development etc is just short sighted madness, let alone the indignity of the possibility of completely removing some clubs with a rich history of RL.

I could be even raise a few eyebrows by commenting that £750,000 is significantly less than some of the SL/champ clubs have failed to pay back to investors/creditors/council when they have gone into administration or chosen to default on repayment terms 😳

(don’t know why the font keeps changing size - it’s my lack of IT skills)

Edited by dead man inc
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2 hours ago, my missus said:

and we come back to the salary cap which has strangled super league for to long nearly every club has a millionaire owner sack the cap and let them spend their money.

Remove the upper limit or at least control it as a percentage of turnover but have a floor I.e, the minimum a club must spend which would be based on the levels of central funding

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8 minutes ago, dead man inc said:

I posted this on a L1 game thread, but thought it would get a few more people thinking about the knock on effect of any restructuring if it was in this thread as well (not that any of the SL clubs/rfl/people who will end up calling the shots will read this forum 😳)

10 clubs @ £75K = £750,000 ... 3% of the supposed new £25 million tv deal.

By the time the £750,000 has been split between the 10/12/14 🤔😂 SL clubs & the remaining champ/SL2 (or whatever the new structure might be) is the amount really going to make much difference other than half an aged aussie player wage per team - is that amount really going to make the difference and save/reinvigorate the SL brand or individual team. Culling the league 1 current teams & the devastating effect it would have on their community work/youth development etc is just short sighted madness, let alone the indignity of the possibility of completely removing some clubs with a rich history of RL.

I could be even raise a few eyebrows by commenting that £750,000 is significantly less than some of the SL/champ clubs have failed to pay back to investors/creditors/council when they have gone into administration or chosen to default on repayment terms 😳

(don’t know why the font keeps changing size - it’s my lack of IT skills)

Over on the Doncaster forum,a supporter makes a very valid point,that if the 2 divisions of 10,named SL1 & SL2,is planned for 2023 - then there is no point to League 1 in 2022.

How lucky for those clubs who were allocated central funding for being in the top League without improving their stadia.

How lucky those top League clubs that Tesco were able to assist;not to mention politicians and wealthy individuals. 

How fortunate one club,merged,with another.

Still,any concern for rugby league followers have been ignored be they in Gateshead or Toronto.

Some clubs who may be abandoned have even spent more than one season in Super League. 

This could really get interesting...

     No reserves,but resilience,persistence and determination are omnipotent.                       

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5 minutes ago, LeeF said:

Remove the upper limit or at least control it as a percentage of turnover but have a floor I.e, the minimum a club must spend which would be based on the levels of central funding

 

Ah yes - paying the same players more money is guaranteed to make them play better.

The problem is the paucity of top class players available, rather than what they're paid.

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

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