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League Restructure Thread (Merged Threads)


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1 hour ago, Tommygilf said:

I wouldn't totally disagree, I think the lethargy and malaise has set in over the past 5 years. If crowds don't recover next season as I think everyone is hoping, then we're going to be very stuck with the confirmation.

On the spot Tommy, not your hope's or aspirations what is your honest opinion on a recovery of attendances next season, and by a recovery to when?

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2 hours ago, Big Picture said:

 

@Harry Stottle

@GUBRATS

There would certainly be obstacles, but to us new worlders obstacles are just things to overcome.

 

I assume you are or have been a businessman in the past ? , Both Harry and myself share that distinction , myself setting up from scratch with  a couple of grand a business that turned over 20 odd million , and sporned others 

One thing about business is it's a good way of making money , but also of losing money even faster , sports businesses generally are much better at the latter , than the former 

Best of luck in finding the billionaires 

Edited by GUBRATS
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1 hour ago, Wellsy4HullFC said:

The issue wasn't SL voting Hull in, it was NFP voting Hull out. Had they not done that, they would have been relegated. You seem to have ignored this fact.

I don't know why you think I have anything to spin? I have no vested interest either way, it's not like I'm a supporter of a club that should have been relegated or anything.

I've not heard, read or seen anything about the NFP voting to keep Hull out. I also find it difficult to believe that they would. I cannot fathom a reason why a chairman/BOD of a NFP club, would turn away a home game against Hull, instead of the less well supported Hunslet.

This is what I read:-

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/gateshead-fold-as-league-agrees-merger-741473.html%3famp

Super League clubs yesterday gave their unanimous backing for a merger between Gateshead and Hull Sharks. The move brings to an end Super League rugby in Gateshead as the newly-formed club will play in Hull.

It doesn't mention anything about the lower league club's having any sort of say in the matter. They certainly haven't had any say in SL matters before or since.

Excuse me for not responding to any more of your posts on the matter, but you seem to be making things up that frankly defy logic, to try and cloud what is a very "black and white" issue.

Edited by DOGFATHER
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43 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

I assume you are or have been a businessman in the past ? , Both Harry and myself share that distinction , myself setting up from scratch with  a couple of grand a business that turned over 20 odd million , and sporned others 

One thing about business is it's a good way of making money , but also of losing money even faster , sports businesses generally are much better at the latter , than the former 

Best of luck in finding the billionaires 

In North America sports businesses are good at making money thanks to the franchise model and the practices which go with it.  In Europe where that model is not followed, they're not so good at making money.

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2 hours ago, fighting irish said:

I thought we were mates?

Let me say at the outset, that I'm grateful that you have taken the time to write this lengthy post. It is a kindness to be taken seriously and not abused (as has happened) in the manner so prevalent on this and other ''social'' media websites.

Perhaps, I should explain first, my treatment of BP and his one idea. I find it to be flawless, to his credit. I just feel that his time would be better spent canvassing for the billionaires he needs to bring his plan to fruition than spending it in here telling us all how foolish we are to waste our time, trying to deal with what actually exists.

Unless he has some practical helpful advice, which might actually improve things for someone/anyone involved in the game, then his incessant (and invariably repetitive)doomsaying is more likely to depress everyone exposed to it and on that basis it is tantamount to trolling.

Now onto Martin's plan:

I'm a rugby league fan. A true fanatic, you could say. Who, like most in here, feels aggrieved that the game is not hugely popular here and abroad. More than that, I find it hard to accept the reality of the reduced funding from SKY and the perilous position it puts the whole game in. I'm upset that this could be a turning point (a downturn) for the game on the way to oblivion. So I'm interested in potential solutions.

When I first heard of Martins plan, I hadn't read it but became aware of it because of the barrage of negative comments, so I sought it out. It is complex and I hadn't had much time to think it through, so merely asked others what their (almost exclusively negative) opinions were based on.

I'm well aware from my own life's experiences, that even ''the best laid schemes o mice an men. Gang aft agley,. An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain'', so in my first response to Martin I expressed my fears that (without much time to give it serious consideration) it might contain a flaw, similar to the middle 8's which brought more attention to the relegation battle than the Grand Final. He urged me to read it. Meanwhile, my initial request for a detailed critical appraisal of Martin's ideas met with a spate of unsatisfactory one liners. So I pressed on. I could see early on that there were elements of the plan I liked and wanted to canvass a broad spectrum of opinion (because I didn't have the time, and probably lack the ability to do it on my own) to really vet the plan and test it, for pro's and cons.

I'm still thinking about it, and haven't come to a final summing up, but despite some valid criticisms (from those who eventually relented and chipped in) I'm unwilling to throw the baby out with the bath water. Ultimately, if the plan is insufficient to solve the games problems, it doesn't mean that it doesn't have merit, like the curate's egg, good in parts. Without going into great detail, (because my conclusions aren't fully formed) I liked it for a number of reasons: 

It is rife with novelty,

It can still provide top class, intensely competitive matches for SKY.

It attempts a ''whole game'' solution, valuing the poorer clubs, rather than the heinous attitude of some, seeing them as gangrenous extremities.

It protects the clubs from fear of relegation and the horrendous financial damage it invariably inflicts.

It creates an environment where ambitious clubs can invest, over the long term and reach whatever level they aspire to, without the SuperLeague or bust imperative in todays system. 

It would engender a ''one game'' mentality where we are ''all in it together'' rather than the current dog eat dog rivalry which fuels envy and hatred amongst the fans, which I believe is responsible for many turning away, disheartened. Where is Parksider? He had a very serious grievance if I remember correctly.

It would allow failing clubs, to bow out with dignity, or be bought up (if an investor/benefactor appeared) and perhaps be moved to a different location, a la, Hemel Hempstead/Ottawa.

The list might be longer, but it's all I've got at the moment.

I'd like to finish by say I like Scubby's plan where you create a millionaires club of clubs and am eager for more detail if he'll provide it. Perhaps, a valid solution to the games problems is some kind of amalgam of the best bits of both.

Finally, to Blind Side Johnny, I'd like to think this discussion isn't futile maybe SL/RFL are watching! 

Thanks for the lengthy reply. As you can probably guess I disagree with much of it. As I said previously I often agree with your posts on other matters but I think we are polar opposites on this. 

Without going into too much detail and repeating myself it requires money and investors on a far larger scale than other plans for it to work or grow the game. If none of those fantasy backers come foward the game is stuck with the same failing clubs and huge inequalities in funding between clubs in the same conference.

In the short term I think it would destroy the game. The quality of the top games will plummet and our 6 top clubs will have a paltry £1.25 million funding, two thirds the amount now. There will be less or no stars and we won't retain any of our top players. Any player worth their salt wouldn't want to play in such a competition. I think it will even be a battle to attract the best young players to the game and young players will be increasingly tempted by RU. The only players that will benefit are lower league average journeymen players who will get a bump in pay from the 2nd, 3rd and 4th placed teams. That is just money wasted to the game, nothing will be improved.

This certainly does not provide top class, intensly competitive matches to Sky. Matches against all other teams will result in larger mismatches than now because those teams will have less funding. I think this is the exact opposite of what Sky want. I think fans will also turn off in droves and think that attendances will fall, drastically for the big clubs.

It also doesn't allow failing clubs to bow out any more gracefully or move any more than now. Again that scenario, and the fix for failing clubs, is fantasy mystery backers. The type Big Picture is relying on.

Edited by Damien
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25 minutes ago, Damien said:

Thanks for the lengthy reply. As you can probably guess I disagree with much of it.

Without going into too much detail and repeating myself it requires money and investors on a far larger scale than other plans for it to work or grow the game. If none of those fantasy backers come foward the game is stuck with the same failing clubs and huge inequalities in funding between clubs in the same conference.

In the short term I think it would destroy the game. The quality of the top games will plummet and our 6 top clubs will have a paltry £1.25 million funding, two thirds the amount now. There will be less or no stars and we won't retain any of our top players. Any player worth their salt wouldn't want to play in such a competition. I think it will even be a battle to attract the best young players to the game and young players will be increasingly tempted by RU. The only players that will benefit are lower league average journeymen players who will get a bump in pay from the 2nd, 3rd and 4th placed teams. That is just money wasted to the game, nothing will be improved.

This certainly does not provide top class, intensly competitive matches to Sky. Matches against all other teams will result in larger mismatches than now because those teams will have less funding. I think this is the exact opposite of what Sky want. I think fans will also turn off in droves and think that attendances will fall, drastically for the big clubs.

It also doesn't allow failing clubs to bow out any more gracefully or move any more than now. Again that scenario, and the fix for failing clubs, is fantasy mystery backers. The type Big Picture is relying on.

Well let's not argue indefinitely.

What ever the perfect solution is, I believe it ought to provide all the things I thought Martin's plan tried to achieve, and all the things you say the game needs.

I did say that perhaps the best solution would be a scheme, an amalgam, which achieved some or all of Martins goals and the kind of millionaires club (at the top end) that Scubby espouses.

I'm just wary of jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire, with the knee jerk reaction, simplistic, quick fixes we've attempted in the recent past.

We need a well thought out, fully integrated plan, which addresses all the games problems and lays a foundation for long term stability and growth, without alienating sections of the game, which will continue to tear us apart.

Even if I can't convince you that Martin's plan provides some solutions, at least it identified some worthy goals, that any future plan, ought to strive to achieve. 

 

 

Edited by fighting irish
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I’ve never quite understood the urgency for a “level playing field” or the need for more clubs of an alleged certain size. Rugby League hasn’t ever been a level playing field and each era has had a dominant side(s) going back to Oldham in the early 1900’s through to the Leeds side who won Grand Final after Grand Final. Sport isn’t a level playing field either. Financial power, whether it’s through clubs being able to buy the best players, others investing into their infrastructure or a combination of the two, paints the story of sport and also that of Rugby League. I think we’re far too bothered about the opinions of people who don’t have an opinion and worried too much, as fans, about people that don’t like Rugby League and probably won’t ever like Rugby League. Let’s be honest, whether Saints go and do the “threepeat” this year or whether Warrington or Catalans get a first Super League crown, it’s not going to have a huge effect on the sport. A new name on the trophy isn’t going to suddenly fill the emptying stands, it’s not going to wrestle some more column inches in 2022 away from other sports, billionaires aren’t going to buy up the teams or the competition and we won’t suddenly be awash with new fans of the sport across the country here or in France. 

We get far too hung up on how many teams have won Super League. Since 1996, Football’s Premier League has had six different winners. Since 1996, Super League has had seven different teams who have ended the season as league leaders. Even if we open it to include every Premier League season, it only increases to seven different winners. For the most part, people aren’t that bothered that the “title race”, at very, very best, four teams have a serious chance of winning the competition and most seasons, there’s a clear gap between 1st and 2nd or 1st and 3rd. There’s much more to play for in football mind but anyone with an interest in that league aren’t shouting for Everton or West Ham United (unless they support them) to win the league, however, that’s the case in Rugby League. To compare with Rugby Union, who have had Grand Finals since 2003, we have had four winners of our Grand Final since 2003, whereas Union has had seven different winners. Even then, like Super League and like the Premier League, Wasps have won 4, Leicester have won 4, Saracens have won 5 (I don’t know if they were stripped, mind) and Harlequins and Exeter have won 2 apiece, so there’s definite signs of dominant clubs there, too. I’m not the person to ask here because I’ve had to look all of that up in regards to Union as I’m not a fan but I can’t imagine that fans or journalists are particularly stamping their feet for Gloucester or Worcester to win their Grand Final, either. Are we really that bad in comparison? We’ve had eight Grand Finalists since RU copied us and started having Grand Finals, RU has had eleven. 

I support a football team that’s spent the twenty-three years I’ve supported them flitting between the fifth and sixth tier, so pretty comparable to some teams outside of Super League and probably bigger than some too. I don’t expect nor want the same funding or Sky money as Manchester City, I’m not sure why anyone with a straight face or any level of seriousness would suggest we must do that in Rugby League or put part-time teams into the same league or ‘conference’ and double down on it, too, especially a journalist in the sport, who’s now compared himself to Bill Gates. It’s abundantly clear that what is good for St Helens isn’t what is good for Widnes or what is good for Swinton or West Wales, sorting a strategy that suits everyone is impossible and there’ll be some “losers” from any strategy or structure change. Any new structure has to allow the current best to take off whilst also offering opportunities to everyone else, regardless of their level and what their relative idea of opportunity is. 

I don’t think we particularly need anything that radical or daft. I certainly don’t see how you can put teams on the same pitch with such vast financial and physical disparities and call it level or a league structure, as Sadler has suggested. I certainly don’t think we need to overcomplicate things in terms of how a league table lies or how winners are determined (please for the love of God not ‘Club Call’ again). Personally, I think there’s more to Rugby League than domestic league games and I’d like to see fewer league games whilst either attempting the rejuvenation of the Challenge Cup in the form of group games or more importance shown to it or through any other tournament or format that someone sees fit, whilst doing it properly by giving it time to actually grow into something and for the finances required to push the sport as a whole. 

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12 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

Good, so if a licence is not granted for any team for that matter then running an academy should not be used as an entry mechanism to SL, in fact it should be the reverse any club THAT IS GRANTED A SL LICENCE then has to without question run an academy or the licence us withdrawn.

How's about that then?

PS. 

The 10 clubs awarded elite Academy Licences for 2022-27 are: Catalans Dragons, Huddersfield Giants, Hull FC, Leeds Rhinos, London Broncos, Newcastle Thunder, St Helens, Wakefield Trinity, Warrington Wolves, Wigan Warriors.

Do you notice a glaring omission being Toulouse and Fev two clubs that could be promoted this season, the Licences awarded are for a 5 year period what happens this season if Toulouse get promoted and then in '23 licences are brought back and entry is that academies are a stipulation, I should imagine that Toulouse may get the nod, but I would love it to be Fev and see what would happen with Cas, Wakey and not to far away Leeds also running academies, if as I say the selection process was based on geographical position (baring the 3 North West clubs), it doesn't take a genius to look at the list and realise that.

And as I say the RFL didn't have the bottle to weed out one of the 3 NW clubs.

If they do go to 2 x 10 then I think every club should have an academy. Money needs to be spent on expanding the junior game to help feed into these academies. 

Outside of the 2 x 10 I think clubs can run tier 3 academies but not an elite academy as any players would be snapped up by bigger clubs anyway. Heartlands clubs in League 1 can sign players released from SL academies. My exceptions would be Coventry, Newcastle, North Wales, London Skolars, West Wales. The RFL should invest in academies and junior development for these clubs, as they need to produce their own players to have any chance of long term success because they dont have SL academies on their doorstep to bulk up their squads. 

Edited by JM2010
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2 hours ago, DOGFATHER said:

I don't know why you think I have anything to spin? I have no vested interest either way, it's not like I'm a supporter of a club that should have been relegated or anything.

I've not heard, read or seen anything about the NFP voting to keep Hull out. I also find it difficult to believe that they would. I cannot fathom a reason why a chairman/BOD of a NFP club, would turn away a home game against Hull, instead of the less well supported Hunslet.

This is what I read:-

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/gateshead-fold-as-league-agrees-merger-741473.html%3famp

Super League clubs yesterday gave their unanimous backing for a merger between Gateshead and Hull Sharks. The move brings to an end Super League rugby in Gateshead as the newly-formed club will play in Hull.

It doesn't mention anything about the lower league club's having any sort of say in the matter. They certainly haven't had any say in SL matters before or since.

Excuse me for not responding to any more of your posts on the matter, but you seem to be making things up that frankly defy logic, to try and cloud what is a very "black and white" issue.

Hull did want to drop down and the NFP clubs said no. From what I remember Hull KR were one of the clubs instrumental in stopping it.

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On 05/08/2021 at 16:42, 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.

So, I was talking to one of the players I used to coach tonight, (ex Lebanon international) and he played in this tournament last weekend. His team actually won it in fact. 

I had a really good chat with him about it, and he said the atmosphere was fantastic. He said there was a team from Montenegro as well as Serbia, and about 18 mens teams in total as well as 8 women's teams, and even a few U19 teams. He has actually played in the last 3 tournaments, and says he plans to keep going back. Sounds like a really great event, and a useful contribution towards European development.

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5 hours ago, DOGFATHER said:

I don't know why you think I have anything to spin? I have no vested interest either way, it's not like I'm a supporter of a club that should have been relegated or anything.

I've not heard, read or seen anything about the NFP voting to keep Hull out. I also find it difficult to believe that they would. I cannot fathom a reason why a chairman/BOD of a NFP club, would turn away a home game against Hull, instead of the less well supported Hunslet.

This is what I read:-

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/gateshead-fold-as-league-agrees-merger-741473.html%3famp

Super League clubs yesterday gave their unanimous backing for a merger between Gateshead and Hull Sharks. The move brings to an end Super League rugby in Gateshead as the newly-formed club will play in Hull.

It doesn't mention anything about the lower league club's having any sort of say in the matter. They certainly haven't had any say in SL matters before or since.

Excuse me for not responding to any more of your posts on the matter, but you seem to be making things up that frankly defy logic, to try and cloud what is a very "black and white" issue.

http://www.rlfans-hosting.co.uk/?p=2854&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-dentists-diary-684th

Read from about halfway down.

Then tell me which part I made up 

I'll await your apology.

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9 hours ago, Liverpool Rover said:

Hull did want to drop down and the NFP clubs said no. From what I remember Hull KR were one of the clubs instrumental in stopping it.

Are you sure? I thought I'd made everything up, it defies so much logic...

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Various posts removed.

Look, we have a general rule on here and it is as old as the hills and you all know what it is:

Basically, don't slag other forum members off, and if you see anyone else doing it, don't respond to it, just report it.

Now, back on topic while I go and bang my head against the nearest wall.

Thank you.

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When I first saw @Martyn Sadler 's idea, I thought it was nuts.  But having thought about it some more, there are some aspects of conferencing that could work.

I don't see the inclusion of teams that are many orders of magnitude weaker than the top clubs as a way forward, but for what it's worth, here's my idea:

Two conferences of 10, made up of the top 20 clubs at the end of whichever season.

This gives 18 games in each conference, if you then had 9 cross conference games you'd have the 27 games that clubs seem to want. (Magic would be included in the 27, which I'd have as the launch of the cross conference section of the season).

Play-offs would be top 3 in each conference (2nd & 3rd play eliminator for the right to play league leaders), then both conference champions play the grand final to be champions of European Rugby League, or ERL (copyright me 😀).

To keep the hope alive for the smaller clubs and to allow natural progression of new and/or ambitious clubs, the bottom team in each conference play off for survival with the loser being relegated and the champions of whatever we call the league below being promoted to the vacant conference slot.

It would give the broadcaster(s) top draw games in each conference and there's potential for some of the cross conference games to be belters, instead of the rinse and repeat tedium of loop fixtures.

Fans get a wider variety of opposition to enjoy and new places to visit, which I believe would encourage better attendances.

There's high drama a both ends of the competition at season end and a blockbuster grand final.

Two crucial things need to happen too:

1. Salary cap to be a percentage of club revenue. We've got to stop this race to the bottom and enforced mediocrity.

2. Club owners to have absolutely no influence on the governance of the sport.

 

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Regardless, what do people think about the idea of starting SL fixtures as late as we can get away with? Maybe do 2 rounds of the Challenge Cup (now the final is in May) at the beginning and start SL in mid-March if we can.

Looking at the attendance thread, it appears clubs will need as long as they can to build up anticipation and market season tickets for 2022. The extra time wouldn't hurt the promoted club either, giving them as much time as is feasible to get themselves sorted. 

Of course, we have to keep in mind the World Cup but I think the pay off during the SL season is worth it.

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13 hours ago, Hela Wigmen said:

especially a journalist in the sport, who’s now compared himself to Bill Gates.

Do you realise that when you make such an utterly stupid comment that shows your basic inability to understand the construction of and the principles underlying the English language, in particular the use of analogies, then the rest of what you post is tarred by association with that idiocy.

A hat tip to @fighting irishfor pointing out the same thing in a marginally less diplomatic way than I did that met with the disapproval of the moderators.

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1 hour ago, John Drake said:

Various posts removed.

Look, we have a general rule on here and it is as old as the hills and you all know what it is:

Basically, don't slag other forum members off, and if you see anyone else doing it, don't respond to it, just report it.

Now, back on topic while I go and bang my head against the nearest wall.

Thank you.

4 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

Do you realise that when you make such an utterly stupid comment that shows your basic inability to understand the construction of and the principles underlying the English language, in particular the use of analogies, then the rest of what you post is tarred by association with that idiocy.

A hat tip to @fighting irishfor pointing out the same thing in a marginally less diplomatic way than I did that met with the disapproval of the moderators.

Maybe an in-house huddle is required here?

Edited by Scubby
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20 minutes ago, Scubby said:

Regardless, what do people think about the idea of starting SL fixtures as late as we can get away with? Maybe do 2 rounds of the Challenge Cup (now the final is in May) at the beginning and start SL in mid-March if we can.

Looking at the attendance thread, it appears clubs will need as long as they can to build up anticipation and market season tickets for 2022. The extra time wouldn't hurt the promoted club either, giving them as much time as is feasible to get themselves sorted. 

Of course, we have to keep in mind the World Cup but I think the pay off during the SL season is worth it.

Certainly no to the Challenges Cup at the start of the season. The last time it was a pre season competition it was a disaster. Im not sure why the final isn't just in June or July.

I do think the season should be starting in March. The end of January is just too early and daft for a supposed summer sport.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

Do you realise that when you make such an utterly stupid comment that shows your basic inability to understand the construction of and the principles underlying the English language, in particular the use of analogies, then the rest of what you post is tarred by association with that idiocy.

A hat tip to @fighting irishfor pointing out the same thing in a marginally less diplomatic way than I did that met with the disapproval of the moderators.

Your analogy, much like your doubling down despite many far better constructed, realistic and thought provoking posts from people here explaining how poor the idea actually was, was beyond daft. 

You’ve really not come across very well here and now congratulating someone for violating the rules here whilst suggesting someone else suffered substance abuse and/or a learning difficultly is another low point for yourself in a week of many, many low points. 

Edited by Hela Wigmen
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19 hours ago, Padge said:

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.

Then I would be genuinely interested to know what they were.

The one that I pointed out was in operation from 1960 to 1973 (apart from when we had two divisions in '63  and '64). because at the end of every season I used to work out which teams Wakefield would play in the following season based on that formula.

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7 minutes ago, Scubby said:

Maybe an in-house huddle is required here?

I wasn't "slagging off" @Hela Wigmen.

I was criticising him and explaining why, because of his wilful misrepresentation of something I posted.

I would regard "slagging off" as making derogatory remarks about someone that are ad hominem.

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2 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

I wasn't "slagging off" @Hela Wigmen.

I was criticising him and explaining why, because of his wilful misrepresentation of something I posted.

I would regard "slagging off" as making derogatory remarks about someone that are ad hominem.

 

12 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

Do you realise that when you make such an utterly stupid comment that shows your basic inability to understand the construction of and the principles underlying the English language, in particular the use of analogies, then the rest of what you post is tarred by association with that idiocy.

A hat tip to @fighting irishfor pointing out the same thing in a marginally less diplomatic way than I did that met with the disapproval of the moderators.

I think you need a re-read of your post, Martyn. 

 

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On 18/08/2021 at 10:24, Harry Stottle said:

Bad example Martyn, Japan found Bobby Susuki, Jason Yamamoto and Greg Takahashi along with another 5 or 6 6'-8" white caucasian Japanese nationals to make them more competitive, just saying.

You are actually making the point for me.

Poor teams don't necessarily remain poor teams forever, if they operate within an environment that encourages them to get better.

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

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