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League Restructure Thread (Merged Threads)


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2 hours ago, Martyn Sadler said:

When Pete Rozelle was voted the Commissioner of the NFL in January 1960 there were twelve teams playing a twelve-game schedule in frequently half-empty stadiums, and only a few teams had television contracts.

The NFL was a basket case and its popularity was dwarfed by College Football, as well as by other American sports.

When he retired in 1989 he had transformed the NFL into the world's major football competition in terms of attendances and income generated.

I think that you and my other critics on here are seriously mistaken about the prospects for the game's future if we establish the right structure.

If we don't do that, then I'm afraid that the declining income you predict will surely come to pass.

Did they base their NFL growth plans around small towns and villages scattered either side of a highway? Some with populations of 10-20k.

Or did they expand to big population cities in a country of 300 million people.

Edited by Scubby
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35 minutes ago, Scubby said:

Did they base their NFL growth plans around small towns and villages scattered either side of a highway? Some with populations of 10-20k.

Or did they expand to big population cities in a country of 300 million people.

And was American Football the main winter sport in the US at the time?

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3 hours ago, Martyn Sadler said:

When Pete Rozelle was voted the Commissioner of the NFL in January 1960 there were twelve teams playing a twelve-game schedule in frequently half-empty stadiums, and only a few teams had television contracts.

The NFL was a basket case and its popularity was dwarfed by College Football, as well as by other American sports.

When he retired in 1989 he had transformed the NFL into the world's major football competition in terms of attendances and income generated.

I think that you and my other critics on here are seriously mistaken about the prospects for the game's future if we establish the right structure.

If we don't do that, then I'm afraid that the declining income you predict will surely come to pass.

well said - but again SL supporters will reject this

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3 hours ago, Martyn Sadler said:

When Pete Rozelle was voted the Commissioner of the NFL in January 1960 there were twelve teams playing a twelve-game schedule in frequently half-empty stadiums, and only a few teams had television contracts.

The NFL was a basket case and its popularity was dwarfed by College Football, as well as by other American sports.

When he retired in 1989 he had transformed the NFL into the world's major football competition in terms of attendances and income generated.

I think that you and my other critics on here are seriously mistaken about the prospects for the game's future if we establish the right structure.

If we don't do that, then I'm afraid that the declining income you predict will surely come to pass.

That really doesn't give the full story. Throughout the NFL's existence it also fended off rival leagues and much of the growth in the 1960s was fuelled by the rival AFL who came on the scene in 1960.

The AFL established 10 additional teams, many in new markets and teams like the AFL's Denver Broncos and New York Jets, who drew record crowds. They also introduced rule innovations, improved the game day experience for fans and had bumper TV contracts. This in turned forced the NFL to expand and improve. Players were getting paid huge amounts and there was fierce competition for players.

The effect on the NFL was to the extent that the NFL were the ones to instigate merger talks and it is that merger that resulted in 26 teams by 1970. The merger requirements, like teams must play in 50,000 stadiums, also fuelled subsequent growth (Minimum standards for Super League anyone!).

Edited by Damien
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5 hours ago, Martyn Sadler said:

If the only characteristic of my proposed structure were to have West Wales playing the Catalans, Hull FC playing Coventry or St Helens playing Workington, then clearly I wouldn't be promoting the idea.

But you are right to ask the question and there are several responses I could make.

But first of all, what do you think about the World Cup groups, that pits Scotland and Italy against Australia, or Greece against England, or Jamaica and Ireland against New Zealand?

And what do you make of the Rugby Union World Cup, where the difference in standards of teams in the same groups are even more stark?

But let me give you a practical example of how the disparities in standard eventually are ironed out.

In the 1995 World Cup, the All Blacks defeated Japan 145-17.

20 years later in the World Cup of 2015 Japan defeated South Africa 34-32.

In other words, current standards don't remain current forever.

Under my proposed structure, every club would be able to see a clear pathway to making that sort of improvement. West Wales would find it much easier to attract talented young Welsh players, for example, and investors who were prepared to inject the resources that would allow the club to improve. And that would be true of all the other clubs that currently play in League 1. But if that didn't happen they could be replaced by other more ambitious clubs, perhaps from France, for example.

Under my structure the first five fixtures would be intra-conference, and the bigger clubs would visit the home grounds of the smaller clubs to generate added interest at those venues.

In the competition as a whole, each club would play against 20 other clubs, with 15 of those fixtures against clubs in the rival Conferences, with the games being played against teams at the same levels.

For example, West Wales (assuming they were the bottom club in their Conference) would play against the three lowest-finishing clubs in each of the other Conferences, while the Catalans (assuming they were the top club in that Conference) would play 15 matches against the top three teams in each of the other Conferences.

I think that in a relatively short amount of time, the six Conferences would become much more competitive and there would be considerable scope for clubs moving up and down them and for shock results, which would surely add to the entertainment value of the competition as a whole.

It's also worth pointing out that if the competition were to be sold to one or more broadcasters, the fans of all the clubs, not just the top ten, would be incentivised to buy subscriptions.

I quite like the conference idea but maybe start with 4 x 6 teams as I agree with some that may be too big a drop in standard towards to the bottom end.

The remaining 12 could be in a development league with the aim of them being added to the conferences when the time is right.

The development league would probably need some  support from the RFL to help them with junior development and building the club's to the required standard though

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6 hours ago, Martyn Sadler said:

If you think that, then I'm afraid you don't understand it.

 

I'm using it to illustrate a principle, which you also don't seem to understand.

Yeah - I obviously don't understand it.

To me, it sounds like something out of the 1950s, and probable suicide for the game in England as a fully professional entity. 

All the best with it anyway.... You obviously understand it much better than me. I await with interest the TV viewing figures for the first St Helens v Workington "match".

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4 hours ago, Scubby said:

Did they base their NFL growth plans around small towns and villages scattered either side of a highway? Some with populations of 10-20k.

Or did they expand to big population cities in a country of 300 million people.

Many of the teams in the NFL at the time were located in what might be termed their own version of the M62 corridor.

And I would suggest that Green Bay was hardly a major population centre at the time.

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42 minutes ago, The Frying Scotsman said:

Yeah - I obviously don't understand it.

To me, it sounds like something out of the 1950s, and probable suicide for the game in England as a fully professional entity. 

All the best with it anyway.... You obviously understand it much better than me. I await with interest the TV viewing figures for the first St Helens v Workington "match".

One of the problems we have at the moment is not that St Helens would beat Workington easily, but that they are likely to beat most of the other teams in Super League easily also.

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27 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

Many of the teams in the NFL at the time were located in what might be termed their own version of the M62 corridor.

This is not remotely true.  In 1960 only four out of thirteen NFL teams were in the Midwest states where the league began: Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland and Green Bay.

27 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

And I would suggest that Green Bay was hardly a major population centre at the time.

Green Bay survived by expanding their catchment area to take in all of Wisconsin and becoming Wisconsin's team rather than just Green Bay's team.  They achieved that by initiatives such as moving two home matches a year (at a time when the season was only 12 rounds so they only had six home matches total) to Milwaukee.

That is clearly not something any of the traditional RL clubs in England could ever do; hemmed in as they are by other clubs in close proximity they're all stuck with very small catchment areas.

Edited by Big Picture
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57 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

This is not remotely true.  In 1960 only four out of thirteen NFL teams were in the Midwest states where the league began: Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland and Green Bay.

Green Bay survived by expanding their catchment area to take in all of Wisconsin and becoming Wisconsin's team rather than just Green Bay's team.  They achieved that by initiatives such as moving two home matches a year (at a time when the season was only 12 rounds so they only had six home matches total) to Milwaukee.

That is clearly not something any of the traditional RL clubs in England could ever do; hemmed in as they are by other clubs in close proximity they're all stuck with very small catchment areas.

The Hull clubs have the whole of East Yorkshire to themselves but I don't think it would work because if they did try to market themselves as East Yorkshires clubs, the majority of people from Withernsea, Bridlington, Hornsea, Driffield etc would say "No you're not you're Hulls teams."

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8 hours ago, Martyn Sadler said:

One of the problems we have at the moment is not that St Helens would beat Workington easily, but that they are likely to beat most of the other teams in Super League easily also.

There’s a world of difference between putting 30-40pts on Wakefield/Salford to 80-100pts on Workington. That’s  no disrespect to latter.

I am genuinely shocked by you on this thread. You have some influence in this game due to what you do. Write something sensible and addresses the core issues the sport faces; governance, investment, self regulation, club power, community development, lack of infrastructure at all levels etc etc. Just my opinion, but structures are not THE solution to the game’s ills.

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1 hour ago, GeordieSaint said:

There’s a world of difference between putting 30-40pts on Wakefield/Salford to 80-100pts on Workington. That’s  no disrespect to latter.

Not if the former happens in a supposedly elite 10-team league that is supposed to deliver an equal standard of competition.

1 hour ago, GeordieSaint said:

I am genuinely shocked by you on this thread.

What a curious thing to write! You need to lie down.

1 hour ago, GeordieSaint said:

You have some influence in this game due to what you do. Write something sensible and addresses the core issues the sport faces; governance, investment, self regulation, club power, community development, lack of infrastructure at all levels etc etc. Just my opinion, but structures are not THE solution to the game’s ills.

What a patronising character you clearly are!

Competition structures aren't the only solution to the game's problems, and I've never claimed that they are, but the constant changes over the years suggest that they are highly significant.

The other issues you mention are topics I've written about endlessly over many years, as in some of the more recent examples below.

Here's one on governance.

Here's one on investment.

Here's one on the community game.

Here's one on the power of the clubs.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

What a patronising character you clearly are!

Competition structures aren't the only solution to the game's problems, and I've never claimed that they are, but the constant changes over the years suggest that they are highly significant.

The other issues you mention are topics I've written about endlessly over many years, as in some of the more recent examples below.

Here's one on governance.

Here's one on investment.

Here's one on the community game.

Here's one on the power of the clubs.

I’ll ignore that insult…

The constant changes to structures suggest the game’s hierarchy don’t have a clue how to solve the game’s issues; not that structures are highly significant. Otherwise it would have been solved years ago. 

Write more and more and more and more. You are in a real position of influence; you can have an effect, which people like I can’t less not spending money at the clubs. 

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Anyone know what the structure is for the clubs outside the SL and Championship? Or dont those clubs count any more?

BTW stop pretending it's "Super League 2", it's not, it's still the Championship, just smaller as our great game decides the best policy is to keep shrinking the game rather than address the real problems.

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9 minutes ago, GeordieSaint said:

I’ll ignore that insult…

The constant changes to structures suggest the game’s hierarchy don’t have a clue how to solve the game’s issues; not that structures are highly significant. Otherwise it would have been solved years ago. 

Write more and more and more and more. You are in a real position of influence; you can have an effect, which people like I can’t less not spending money at the clubs. 

To say that the hierarchy don't have a clue is an understatement. You are being very kind to them. How clueless will be defined by me and many others IFToulouse win the Championship grand final and there is no P & R

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9 minutes ago, Wakefield Ram said:

Anyone know what the structure is for the clubs outside the SL and Championship? Or dont those clubs count any more?

BTW stop pretending it's "Super League 2", it's not, it's still the Championship, just smaller as our great game decides the best policy is to keep shrinking the game rather than address the real problems.

Remember Scott of Antarctic?

I think the plan for many of the lower division clubs as resources dwindle is a bit like the heroic sacrifice of Captain Oates on the frozen wastes.

”I’m just going outside and may be sometime…”

Edited by Gerrumonside ref
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18 minutes ago, GeordieSaint said:

I’ll ignore that insult…

The constant changes to structures suggest the game’s hierarchy don’t have a clue how to solve the game’s issues; not that structures are highly significant. Otherwise it would have been solved years ago. 

Write more and more and more and more. You are in a real position of influence; you can have an effect, which people like I can’t less not spending money at the clubs. 

The problem with this game is that the same unambitious, self serving individuals are (a decade+ on) still sat around the table basically sharing out pizza that went from a 20" to 18" to 14" to 10". Now they are stuck with a 10" pizza and they think jiggling around the toppings will stop it going to an 8" pizza. They seem to have written off ever achieving a 24" pizza in the future.

The fact that in 2021 the likes of Rimmer, Carter, Thewliss (Hudds CEO), Hetherington, Lenegan, Wood, Beaumont, Pearson, Hudgell still have the reins - basically the guys that had the 20" pizza 5-10 years ago and wasted it - is the real problem facing the game.

If RL in this country had changed for the better then new names, sponsors, owners, partnerships, initiatives would be announced. These deals would be record deals because the game was growing etc.

I really don't know why new exciting ambitious clubs like Toulouse stick with it when the game is hell bent on trying to suppress and make it difficult for them to be part of the growth that is so badly needed. They are certainly not welcome to a slice of the ever decreasing pizza.

Edited by Scubby
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One thing I have problems understanding is why dominance by a few clubs is so detrimental to RL. Last Sunday 'The Observer' published it's annual PL predictions from supporters of the clubs and all bar one had the top four in various orders as the two Manchester clubs, Chelsea and Liverpool ( the exception was the Leicester supporter who put his own club there instead of Man U). This could have been the result for a number of seasons but doesn't lessen people's interest or have Sky screaming about an uncompetitive structure.

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31 minutes ago, Scubby said:

The problem with this game is that the same unambitious, self serving individuals are (a decade+ on) still sat around the table basically sharing out pizza that went from a 20" to 18" to 14" to 10". Now they are stuck with a 10" pizza and they think jiggling around the toppings will stop it going to an 8" pizza. They seem to have written off ever achieving a 24" pizza in the future.

The fact that in 2021 the likes of Rimmer, Carter, Thewliss (Hudds CEO), Hetherington, Lenegan, Wood, Beaumont, Pearson, Hudgell still have the reins - basically the guys that had the 20" pizza 5-10 years ago and wasted it - is the real problem facing the game.

If RL in this country had changed for the better then new names, sponsors, owners, partnerships, initiatives would be announced. These deals would be record deals because the game was growing etc.

I really don't know why new exciting ambitious clubs like Toulouse stick with it when the game is hell bent on trying to suppress and make it difficult for them to be part of the growth that is so badly needed. They are certainly not welcome to a slice of the ever decreasing pizza.

Spot on.

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33 minutes ago, Scubby said:

The problem with this game is that the same unambitious, self serving individuals are (a decade+ on) still sat around the table basically sharing out pizza that went from a 20" to 18" to 14" to 10". Now they are stuck with a 10" pizza and they think jiggling around the toppings will stop it going to an 8" pizza. They seem to have written off ever achieving a 24" pizza in the future.

The fact that in 2021 the likes of Rimmer, Carter, Thewliss (Hudds CEO), Hetherington, Lenegan, Wood, Beaumont, Pearson, Hudgell still have the reins - basically the guys that had the 20" pizza 5-10 years ago and wasted it - is the real problem facing the game.

If RL in this country had changed for the better then new names, sponsors, owners, partnerships, initiatives would be announced. These deals would be record deals because the game was growing etc.

I really don't know why new exciting ambitious clubs like Toulouse stick with it when the game is hell bent on trying to suppress and make it difficult for them to be part of the growth that is so badly needed. They are certainly not welcome to a slice of the ever decreasing pizza.

Same clubs want a bigger slice of a smaller pizza, not realising their larger slice of a smaller pizza is worth less than a small slice of a big pizza 🍕

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36 minutes ago, Scubby said:

The problem with this game is that the same unambitious, self serving individuals are (a decade+ on) still sat around the table basically sharing out pizza that went from a 20" to 18" to 14" to 10". Now they are stuck with a 10" pizza and they think jiggling around the toppings will stop it going to an 8" pizza. They seem to have written off ever achieving a 24" pizza in the future.

The fact that in 2021 the likes of Rimmer, Carter, Thewliss (Hudds CEO), Hetherington, Lenegan, Wood, Beaumont, Pearson, Hudgell still have the reins - basically the guys that had the 20" pizza 5-10 years ago and wasted it - is the real problem facing the game.

If RL in this country had changed for the better then new names, sponsors, owners, partnerships, initiatives would be announced. These deals would be record deals because the game was growing etc.

I really don't know why new exciting ambitious clubs like Toulouse stick with it when the game is hell bent on trying to suppress and make it difficult for them to be part of the growth that is so badly needed. They are certainly not welcome to a slice of the ever decreasing pizza.

Great post.

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46 minutes ago, Scubby said:

The problem with this game is that the same unambitious, self serving individuals are (a decade+ on) still sat around the table basically sharing out pizza that went from a 20" to 18" to 14" to 10". Now they are stuck with a 10" pizza and they think jiggling around the toppings will stop it going to an 8" pizza. They seem to have written off ever achieving a 24" pizza in the future.

The fact that in 2021 the likes of Rimmer, Carter, Thewliss (Hudds CEO), Hetherington, Lenegan, Wood, Beaumont, Pearson, Hudgell still have the reins - basically the guys that had the 20" pizza 5-10 years ago and wasted it - is the real problem facing the game.

If RL in this country had changed for the better then new names, sponsors, owners, partnerships, initiatives would be announced. These deals would be record deals because the game was growing etc.

I really don't know why new exciting ambitious clubs like Toulouse stick with it when the game is hell bent on trying to suppress and make it difficult for them to be part of the growth that is so badly needed. They are certainly not welcome to a slice of the ever decreasing pizza.

Doesn't matter how big Pizza is if you are only going to cut into 10 or 12 slices and let everybody else starve!

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

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