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League Restructure Thread (Merged Threads)


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2 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

Yes but the conversation has been about centering on the big 6 to improve the chance of more investment done deem that to be the best way to go forward.

As a fan of one of the big 6 Damien would you not like to see your club in a comp of nothing but meaningful games against the other top 5 club's?

That hasn't been the conversation though. For me, and others based on posts on this page, it is about how that big 6 can become a big 12 or 14. How as a game we can best facilitate and encourage growth of existing, or new clubs, to add value to the competition and compete and even overtake the big 6.

To answer your question, no I wouldn't like to see that. I am completely against the 2x10s idea and have outlined my reasons why. Magnify those reasons by 100 for why I would be against 6.

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29 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

Yes then it is time for the big 6 to break away, isn't it, why have the no hopers hanging off their shirt tails any longer?

You’re clearly not interested in constructing anything of note and have completely missed the point here. 

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1 minute ago, Hela Wigmen said:

You’re clearly not interested in constructing anything of note and have completely missed the point here. 

When did our sport become about bringing the best down to the rest, as opposed rest chasing the best?

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21 minutes ago, Scubby said:

I remember as a kid from West Yorks wanting Wigan to get bigger and bigger. To sign bigger stars and get bigger crowds so they could break all records and RL would be on TV more. It was exciting. When they played the club I followed being part of a huge crowd at Central Park was amazing and shaped my view of the game - even if they handed out a thrashing.

What has changed that so many people want the best and biggest parts of our game to fail or be held back, or to be humbled? Why don't we want Wigan and Leeds getting 20k+ crowds again and signing top stars? 

I remember thinking similar about Bradford when they had their stars, players like Hape and Vainakolo, and remember thinking immense pride as a RL fan when they destroyed everyone in the Middlesex 7s. At their height they seemed a huge club and it was exciting.

On Wigans dominance people forget that the league was often very, very close. Other teams were littered with stars and were strong also, Leeds were very, very close. Teams like Warrington had Jonathan Davies, Saints Scott Gibbs, Cas had Nikau and Ritchie Blackmore. In the early days the Widnes team that won a couple of Championships and beat Canberra were as good as any side I've seen. This was a time when the league attracted some of the best Kiwis and could compete with the ARL for star players. I'm not really one for rose tinted glasses but the game has certainly fallen down in the pecking order compared to all our main rivals.

Edited by Damien
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15 minutes ago, Scubby said:

When did our sport become about bringing the best down to the rest, as opposed rest chasing the best?

For as long as I can remember, unfortunately. Which is also part of the reason we are where we are. 

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11 minutes ago, Spidey said:

1996 😉

Fair point.

I think circa 2008-2010 was the crucial time. The RFL/SL should have been ruthless and axed one or two of those clubs basically being given a licence because there was no one else (and they were a little less ####). If that meant having to go with 13 or even 12 clubs at the time then so be it. It would have sent out a message of where the bar was set - no compromise.

They didn't and the bar has been falling ever since and those that felt aggrieved by that have rightfully treated everything else with scepticism. 

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52 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

Yes then it is time for the big 6 to break away, isn't it, why have the no hopers hanging off their shirt tails any longer?

There is no "big 6" though, those clubs aren't big, they're just less small than the rest.  With their small town locations and small time ways such as depending on "away fans" they can never be the basis of a new league to lift the game's profile, stature and income.

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30 minutes ago, Damien said:

That hasn't been the conversation though. For me, and others based on posts on this page, it is about how that big 6 can become a big 12 or 14. How as a game we can best facilitate and encourage growth of existing, or new clubs, to add value to the competition and compete and even overtake the big 6.

To answer your question, no I wouldn't like to see that. I am completely against the 2x10s idea and have outlined my reasons why. Magnify those reasons by 100 for why I would be against 6.

I knew it, Martyn's got to @Damien and he is now warming to the 36-team NFL model! Did he chuck in a free subscription?

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36 minutes ago, Scubby said:

When did our sport become about bringing the best down to the rest, as opposed rest chasing the best?

Two huge turning points were the introduction of the salary cap and the RU going pro. Wigan went from spending over £3.2 million in wages (over £5.5 million in todays money) to £1.8 million in 2003 to comply with the new salary cap. Leeds were against it too. Even that £1.8 million salary cap figure would be over £3 million today. Wigan weren't even really the best at this time. That is a very real reduction in player quality and restricts the ability to compete for the best players. Throughout the 90s Wigan sought to be the biggest Rugby club in the world. The likes of Widnes did previously and even Leeds when it came to players without the success. That all stopped. Now clubs are content to trundle through the season and finish in the play offs to peak for the Grand Final.

Also at this time RU had an identical salary cap but the game seemed to just give up and doff its cap. RU's cap went onwards and upwards where as the RL salary cap actually declined. Now 18 years later it is now practically the same with a few exemptions. RL seemed to just give up any attempt to take on RU.

Edited by Damien
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18 hours ago, Wellsy4HullFC said:

The club wanted to be relegated but were voted out of going into the then NFP. They did not finish in a relegation spot. There would have been no club.

Gateshead were losing money hand over fist. Their owners took the offer of the merger as they deemed it more likely to survive. It was either one club or no clubs.

Hull were definitely not deemed too big to go down playing out of the Boulevard with crowds circa 4k finishing in the bottom few each season for the 2 years they'd been in SL at that point.

Were Huddersfield also deemed too big to go down in their 2 wooden spoon seasons on crowds of 3k?

I think you have most certainly invented a narrative to fit your agenda here. Unfortunately, it just isn't true.

Sorry Wellsy, but please enlighten me.

I've no agenda, just putting the pieces together from what I can see and have read.

Why were Featherstone not included in SL? They were not in a significantly worse position financially than many other clubs at that time, nor did they finish in a relegation place, but we're not allowed in SL, why if not for size?

What reason do you think the rest of SL voted to keep Hull in SL, if, as you say,  Hull so desperately wanted to drop down a division? Or indeed, why did SL keep Bradford in more recently?

For the good of the game, perhaps? That was certainly published on both occasions.

If this was true, why was it good for the game? 

The only good reason I can conclude, is financially. Hull have traditionally been well supported, and have fans that travel to away games in good numbers. The 4k fans you mentioned, was quite high for the time. Ask Padge if you can borrow his Rothman's year books, to see for yourself.

It certainly wasn't good, if you look at it in terms of integrity, or from a moral perspective. 

Was it good for the club's in the NFP in terms of bringing new fans or investment in to their clubs, knowing, even if 2 teams were run so badly they went bust, they still were not deemed worthy/big enough to replace them?

Hull were artificially kept up, in favour of Hunslet who had earned the right, why was that, if not based on size? Hunslet had ground improvement plans ready to go once they were given the green light, to get to the required standards, 

Why did the SL choose to keep Bradford in SL, throughout the various administrations, if it was not because the other SL clubs were scared of losing the income from the Bulls travelling support, or the possible damage it might do to the TV deal, losing such a big club from the top flight?

I'm sorry, but as hard as I try, I cannot see any other reason other than, SL deemed them "too big to go down"

Please point out where am I going wrong with my analysis?

Edited by DOGFATHER
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2 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

This was the big lesson of Super League for the past 25 years.

In the first 15 years, Wigan, Leeds, Saints and particularly Bradford really took the concept on and pushed hard. Increasing crowds by significant amounts. Whilst Bradford's star faded, Warrington and to a certain extent Hull FC carried on in their place and we've had the addition of Catalans doing the same in France. 

Behind that however, growth stumbled. Cas, Huddersfield and Hull KR (for various reasons) haven't kicked on as hoped and made the jump from 7k on a good day crowds to 5 figure regulars with the top clubs. The first 2 have dropped off those figures and KR were relegated so have done well to maintain them. Leigh could potentially be included in this group, though in this current predicament they are slipping away.

Then we have the likes of Salford, Wakefield, Widnes and London Broncos who have been unable to grow at all in the past 15 years despite extended spells in Super League in that time. 

When seen like that you can appreciate why the whole game now seems stumbling and without momentum. Perhaps these other clubs were never capable of kicking on to join the big boys and we should have been looking elsewhere all along, but it is undeniable that in the past 10 years the momentum of Super League has stalled.

Ideally we want more clubs to grow to the size of the first group, even overtaking them if possible. The only thing the structure has to do is facilitate that.

 Thanks, it`s interesting to see it all laid out.

Your third and particularly fourth paragraphs make for tough reading and your fifth probably sums it all up.

You`re certainly in an interesting fix and I in no way mean that flippantly, I`ll be following with great interest your attempts to find a way out of it. I`m sure the answer is in there somewhere. Good luck.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Harry Stottle said:

When I read comments like this Tommy and others that state the game should be centered around the big club's with more funding so that they can get stronger and attract more investment and fans I wonder if everyone wants best for the sport or just a few select club's.

It is like the argument that the SC should increase, who would benefit from that more than those 6 top clubs it would create an already big gap between them and the rest into much bigger wider chasm.

I posted something an hour or so ago - tongue in cheek - in allowing the "have's" - being those 6 club's who operate on different financial level from the rest of the "minions" to formulate their own competition, those 6 I am sure would be ecstatic in having the lions share of the funding, they would not get all the funding as I am sure Sky would most definitely broadcast games from the 15 team League that I suggested it would give much more variety than Wigan v Wire or Leeds v Saints 5 times a season, that is if Sky did not pull out the plug altogether.

So what was a "throw away" suggestion from me could really have if only it could be adopted have some substance to it, those top SL club's could feasibly get what they desire a bigger gap between them and the rest, and the division below could generate a lot of interest, get stronger and attract more people and sponsorship to a competitive division.

Would supporters of those top 6 back this idea, and if not why not?

Your first 2 paragraphs are spot on, - they all want the gap wider and more of the Pot "if not all".

And nobody is ever going to get agreement. and nothing will work structure wise when you've got the Have's and Have nots - funding wise.

So let the the Big 6 go their own way and the remaining 30 can split into 2 league of 15 ,a nice 28 games each playing each other home and away no loops.

So the Elites can play each other as many times as they want and the rest can go back to the tradition pre superleague type Rugby as we have done for hundred + years

Championship and L1 rugby far better to watch than SL anyway - Even if we are Plebs or ex Miners from small towns and Pit villages.

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2 hours ago, Damien said:

No one is saying the big clubs should have all the funding or that there should be unequal funding like we have seen in the Championship. Fans of some Championship clubs have been quite happy with that gap when it suits.

There is nothing unfair in allowing clubs that generate more income to spend more if they so desire.

Correct - There is nothing unfair in allowing clubs that generate more income to spend more if they so desire.

But you must be joking about your first point - Mention equal funding and all the SL supporters go ballistic - if you have not read that then you need to put your glasses on

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19 hours ago, Blind side johnny said:

It doesn't inspire me and I don't feel the need to justify my opinion.

Of course you don't need to justify it.

I was just inviting people to ''try the idea on for size'' like a new pair of shoes and tell me (and Martin) what it felt like.

Where it felt comfortable, where it was pinching a bit, and whether you wanted the brown ones or the black ones. 

Seems you don't want any of them and would rather stick with the threadbare, open toed sandals, we had last year?

Either that, or you've got your eye on something entirely different?

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2 hours ago, Scubby said:

It is little different from someone coming into a business to identify its strengths if cut backs are needed. All 36 clubs can currently spend the £1.9m salary if they choose to but only perhaps 8 are doing do (all in SL). Four in the top flight are paying less or significantly less and Toulouse may be close or similar to those four.

What the game needs is a significant investment in a stable 12-team competition initially. Don't pss about.

Invite early applications for 8 year participation licences - which requires a bond. At this stage, the top 6 clubs could do this straight away based on any criteria that SL wanted to create. They are in for 8 years and protected - done! They can help with the fund raising, planning ahead of a start in 2-3 years time (say 2024).

Those not anywhere near 8 year level can go for 4 years or 2 years on any individual basis until you fill places - the bond would be incremental. They are also against any new bids from outside SL.

If you are only awarded a 2 year licence - you are effectively on a one year standby and clubs can bid against you for renewal (either 2 or 4 years) with a year remaining. If Wakefield or Salford were only on a 2 year and Leigh or Newcastle or York or Bradford bid against them successfully they would be gone and back in the pot to reapply against whoever was lowest in terms of years remaining in the future.

This is all done by an independent commission - formed with the sole intention of strengthen the game and its financial growth. Not 12 existing SL member turkeys voting for Christmas FFS.

The idea is to get as many 8 year licence holders as possible with future applicants only bidding for 4 or 8 years based on how they built their club. So 12 can become 14 (or even 16 if you wanted) based only on those bids strong enough to earn a 4 or 8 year licence. If you fail to uphold standards or go into financial meltdown you can be stripped of years on your licence (e.g. 6 left down to 2)

P&R is basically unsustainable if you actually want to fund the semi professional game IMO. However, those struggling SL clubs scraping along with 2 year licences have basically a single target on their backs. New successful bids also have a year's preparation to be included into SL.

The other teams just go about building the strongest clubs they can possibly build and generate as much revenue as the possibly can. The aim is to raise standards to as high as you can not lower them. This I believe is much more palatable for outside investment than a race to the bottom. Some might not want to hear it but this is where we are after most clubs have had 50-100 years to figure it out.

A percentage of any SL pot then trickles into the semi professional and community game as a fixed levy. The more successful SL is the more money the other semi-pro clubs get.

 

I like it Scubby, you`re grasping the nettle, I`ll take my time now to digest it and hopefully read some constructive responses.

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1 minute ago, Derwent Parker said:

Correct - There is nothing unfair in allowing clubs that generate more income to spend more if they so desire.

But you must be joking about your first point - Mention equal funding and all the SL supporters go ballistic - if you have not read that then you need to put your glasses on

Super League clubs do get equal funding. League 1 clubs get equal funding. The only oddity is the Championship. 

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19 hours ago, Scubby said:

I went to a game Crown Flatt after the stand burnt down. How long ago was that?

My father played at Crown Flatt, but I doubt you saw him play. 

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2 hours ago, Scubby said:

It is little different from someone coming into a business to identify its strengths if cut backs are needed. All 36 clubs can currently spend the £1.9m salary if they choose to but only perhaps 8 are doing do (all in SL). Four in the top flight are paying less or significantly less and Toulouse may be close or similar to those four.

What the game needs is a significant investment in a stable 12-team competition initially. Don't pss about.

Invite early applications for 8 year participation licences - which requires a bond. At this stage, the top 6 clubs could do this straight away based on any criteria that SL wanted to create. They are in for 8 years and protected - done! They can help with the fund raising, planning ahead of a start in 2-3 years time (say 2024).

Those not anywhere near 8 year level can go for 4 years or 2 years on any individual basis until you fill places - the bond would be incremental. They are also against any new bids from outside SL.

If you are only awarded a 2 year licence - you are effectively on a one year standby and clubs can bid against you for renewal (either 2 or 4 years) with a year remaining. If Wakefield or Salford were only on a 2 year and Leigh or Newcastle or York or Bradford bid against them successfully they would be gone and back in the pot to reapply against whoever was lowest in terms of years remaining in the future.

This is all done by an independent commission - formed with the sole intention of strengthen the game and its financial growth. Not 12 existing SL member turkeys voting for Christmas FFS.

The idea is to get as many 8 year licence holders as possible with future applicants only bidding for 4 or 8 years based on how they built their club. So 12 can become 14 (or even 16 if you wanted) based only on those bids strong enough to earn a 4 or 8 year licence. If you fail to uphold standards or go into financial meltdown you can be stripped of years on your licence (e.g. 6 left down to 2)

P&R is basically unsustainable if you actually want to fund the semi professional game IMO. However, those struggling SL clubs scraping along with 2 year licences have basically a single target on their backs. New successful bids also have a year's preparation to be included into SL.

The other teams just go about building the strongest clubs they can possibly build and generate as much revenue as the possibly can. The aim is to raise standards to as high as you can not lower them. This I believe is much more palatable for outside investment than a race to the bottom. Some might not want to hear it but this is where we are after most clubs have had 50-100 years to figure it out.

A percentage of any SL pot then trickles into the semi professional and community game as a fixed levy. The more successful SL is the more money the other semi-pro clubs get.

 

How can All 36 clubs spend the £1.9m salary if they choose to when only 12 are given the £1,8 Million?

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16 hours ago, Martyn Sadler said:

I don't think so.

The top team in each League (Yorkshire and Lancashire) would play the top three teams in the other league.

Team 2 in each league would play teams 1, 2 and 4

Team 3 would play teams 1, 3 and 5, and so on.

One reason why crowds were very high for inter-county games was because the visits from the top teams on the other side of the Pennines were relatively rare. They had a scarcity value then that they no longer have.

Martyn there were many different formats, used, proposed and attempted from post WWII to 1973, I was using one of them to illustrate. There were even a couple of attempts at P&R in the mix 1973/74 wasn't the first.

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2 minutes ago, Derwent Parker said:

How can All 36 clubs spend the £1.9m salary if they choose to when only 12 are given the £1,8 Million?

Didn't you want to take £1m away from Saints and Warrington?

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

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