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League Restructure Thread (Merged Threads)


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19 minutes ago, Damien said:

Exactly. Go to 14, grow the pie and stick to it. If TV funding goes down then clubs just get less. Ultimately less TV funding is a sign of clubs and the game doing something wrong. They have not performed and must face the consequences. The answer is certainly not to just cut back while doing the same mistakes that led to less TV money in the first place. No sport grows by contracting.

Sure, things aren't going in the right direction, but I don't see keeping 12, or going to 14 will do anything to make it better. 

People say loop games are the problem, but do we really think adding games against - say, Leigh and Fev - will prove more attractive to crowds or TV viewers than another round of Wigan vs Warrington. There's no evidence it will, especially when the TV money is lower and the quality gap between the top and bottom will be even bigger than it is now.  It'll be two or three teams getting walloped all season like Leigh did. Doesn't help anyone.  

Yes, we need a better long term plan, and of course, "well, I wouldn't start from here" is very tempting. But here is where we are and things are very serious.

 

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4 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

Sure, things aren't going in the right direction, but I don't see keeping 12, or going to 14 will do anything to make it better. 

You won't expand the sport by cutting its numbers.

And that's what every proposal being seriously considered seems to want to do.

I think that's creating very real problems for the game in addition to the issues we already face.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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Ken davys proposal and outcome with funding 

Wigan 1.2 million per team 
St Helens 
Hull
Catalan 
Warrington 
Hull kr 
Leeds 
Castleford 
London
Newcastle  or Toulouse 

York £600,000 per team 
Huddersfield 
Widnes 
Toulouse 
Salford 
Wakefield 
Halifax
Bradford bulls
Featherstone Rovers
Leigh

Dewsbury£200,000 per team 
Workington
Barrow
Whitehaven
Oldham
Swinton
Crusaders
Coventry bears
Batley 
Rochdale hornets
London skolatrs
Keighley cougars 
Doncaster 
 West Wales 

 

Sorry if I missed any team out but for me it is essential that all teams are funded in some way so the reduction goes to super league clubs who themselves have created this over reliance on sky and potential equity deals. 

Super league does not speak for the whole sport 

Huddersfield will at best be in super league 2 I'm afraid Ken old boy 

 

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24 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

Sure, things aren't going in the right direction, but I don't see keeping 12, or going to 14 will do anything to make it better. 

People say loop games are the problem, but do we really think adding games against - say, Leigh and Fev - will prove more attractive to crowds or TV viewers than another round of Wigan vs Warrington. There's no evidence it will, especially when the TV money is lower and the quality gap between the top and bottom will be even bigger than it is now.  It'll be two or three teams getting walloped all season like Leigh did. Doesn't help anyone.  

Yes, we need a better long term plan, and of course, "well, I wouldn't start from here" is very tempting. But here is where we are and things are very serious.

 

No but Toulouse and Bradford/York/Newcastle would be likely to be more attractive to TV,  both in the UK and France. Plus three of those clubs could financially be more than just also rans. 

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2 minutes ago, The storm said:

Ken davys proposal and outcome with funding 

Wigan 1.2 million per team 
St Helens 
Hull
Catalan 
Warrington 
Hull kr 
Leeds 
Castleford 
London
Newcastle  or Toulouse 

York £600,000 per team 
Huddersfield 
Widnes 
Toulouse 
Salford 
Wakefield 
Halifax
Bradford bulls
Featherstone Rovers
Leigh

Dewsbury£200,000 per team 
Workington
Barrow
Whitehaven
Oldham
Swinton
Crusaders
Coventry bears
Batley 
Rochdale hornets
London skolatrs
Keighley cougars 
Doncaster 
 West Wales 

 

Sorry if I missed any team out but for me it is essential that all teams are funded in some way so the reduction goes to super league clubs who themselves have created this over reliance on sky and potential equity deals. 

Super league does not speak for the whole sport 

Huddersfield will at best be in super league 2 I'm afraid Ken old boy 

 

In this model we are giving over 8 million away a year to teams who will contribute 0 to the TV deal.  That is insane.  You could build a new stadium every year with that money. 

The champ and league 1 is competitive. SL's problem is an absurd bottleneck that protects the weakest teams  (Salford Wakefield ) who are contributing far less to the sport than they should. 

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3 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

In this model we are giving over 8 million away a year to teams who will contribute 0 to the TV deal.  That is insane.  You could build a new stadium every year with that money. 

The champ and league 1 is competitive. SL's problem is an absurd bottleneck that protects the weakest teams  (Salford Wakefield ) who are contributing far less to the sport than they should. 

I sometimes look out of the window to see a lot of things that I initially think don't contribute to anything 

 

In your eyes the sky deal is everything 

In my eyes supporting clubs like Coventry, London skolars and Newcastle is essential 

 

I think I forgot Barrow off my list I will have to reedit 

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  If the two tens gets the go ahead surely the second ten should receive !.2m and the top ten 600k that would help bring a more even player distribution making a more equal competition.Any club relying on SKY money to stay in SL does not deserve to be in the top tier.Scrap the salary cap and clubs can only spend 70% of their total income on players wages.Surplus money to invest in academy or running a A team and ground roots including more youngsters playing in schools.

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2 minutes ago, The storm said:

I sometimes look out of the window to see a lot of things that I initially think don't contribute to anything 

 

In your eyes the sky deal is everything 

In my eyes supporting clubs like Coventry, London skolars and Newcastle is essential 

 

I think I forgot Barrow off my list I will have to reedit 

It was Sheffield & Hunslet that were missing.

It is a 16 team 3rd tier that is the issue for me (aside from how the central funding should be split - which I don't have an answer to).

No matter what system we implement and through all the many changes over the years, it always seems to be that the third tier gets no thought put into it. It's just whatever is 'left over'.

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Just now, The storm said:

I sometimes look out of the window to see a lot of things that I initially think don't contribute to anything 

 

In your eyes the sky deal is everything 

In my eyes supporting clubs like Coventry, London skolars and Newcastle is essential 

 

I think I forgot Barrow off my list I will have to reedit 

At 200,000 grand? I think you can make an argument for 50,000 for L1 and a max of 100,000 for champ if they hit criteria  (attendances, community engagement, participation numbers in their area) but I look back at the last 40 mil and only see waste. 

Could have built a stadium for Salford/Swinton one year. Could have built stadium for Welsh RL the next or Oldham or a dozen teams without infrastructure who giving money to contributes nowt. Or funded an academy in the city of Manchester and Cardiff.  All better investments.

As a Champ Club fan, Champ has talen millions with little to show for it. Step 3 should be on 50 k, Step 2 100 k max and increase SL to 14 so the clubs that can grow the sport  (Toulouse,  Newcastle, York) can actually grow the pie. 

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4 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

You won't expand the sport by cutting its numbers.

And that's what every proposal being seriously considered seems to want to do.

I think that's creating very real problems for the game in addition to the issues we already face.

We're not cutting "the sport", we're just cutting Superleague - the shop window top tier - to a number which it can sustain a decent product on the current funds available.  

If we can stabilise things, and then grow the revenues in future, then we can expand the top tier again. Plenty of sports leagues have done this. 

Is it ideal? No, of course not. Is it guaranteed to work? Even ore doubtful given past history.  But it's the reality of where we are, and other solutions quickly dissolve into wishful thinking and will likely only make things worse in my view.

I wish it were different, but frankly the damage was done over the several years running up to now. The smaller, and shorter TV deal was just the outcome of what went before, and now we're living with the reality that has created.       

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51 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

Sure, things aren't going in the right direction, but I don't see keeping 12, or going to 14 will do anything to make it better. 

People say loop games are the problem, but do we really think adding games against - say, Leigh and Fev - will prove more attractive to crowds or TV viewers than another round of Wigan vs Warrington. There's no evidence it will, especially when the TV money is lower and the quality gap between the top and bottom will be even bigger than it is now.  It'll be two or three teams getting walloped all season like Leigh did. Doesn't help anyone.  

Yes, we need a better long term plan, and of course, "well, I wouldn't start from here" is very tempting. But here is where we are and things are very serious.

 

Plenty of fans have said they don't want loop fixtures and want more variety. Attendances are in decline and it's evident that many are bored and fed up with the game as it is. Plenty on here have said the prospect of a 10 team league bores them. I don't know anyone in the real world who wants 10.

If we do go to 10 that is just more evidence that those running the game simply don't listen. Ken Davys comments fill me with dread and strike me as the comments of someone who has no idea what the problems even are. Fans have been ignored for years so that clubs can cut a shrinking pie less ways. No wonder things are now as bad as they are.

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5 hours ago, The storm said:

It's sky that are the risk 

Sky that are playing games whenever they feel like 

Sky who are turning our game into a farce 

And Sky who are actually providing the money for a lot of SL, Championship and L1 clubs just to get a team on the field. 

What's your immediate solution if tommorow Sky were to pull the plug, in fact it does not have to be tommorow, lets say at the end of the two year contract they walk away, do you really honestly believe that would be enough time for the RFL /SL to find an alternative source of capital to satisfy their requirements?

Not a snowball in hells chance of them succeeding, a good number of clubs would be closing their doors till further notice.

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28 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

In this model we are giving over 8 million away a year to teams who will contribute 0 to the TV deal.  That is insane.  You could build a new stadium every year with that money. 

The champ and league 1 is competitive. SL's problem is an absurd bottleneck that protects the weakest teams  (Salford Wakefield ) who are contributing far less to the sport than they should. 

To sky you may as well just burn the money for all the benefit that sky are getting from all of that money going to 2nd tier clubs. It adds nothing for the next TV deal and having something bigger and better to sell. Then people will be shocked when in the next TV deal sky give £8 million less as the sport isn't spending it on what sky are actually paying for. A little like we have seen with this TV deal.

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27 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

No but Toulouse and Bradford/York/Newcastle would be likely to be more attractive to TV,  both in the UK and France. Plus three of those clubs could financially be more than just also rans. 

See, this is where we descend into wishful thinking. There is no evidence that the three English clubs that you list will generate the sort of revenues that will be necessary to be a competitive, especially with reduced TV funding. A new stadium or even a rich(-ish) owner in Newcastle's case won't guarantee anything, the most likely scenario is 3-4,000k a week to start with and then falling once the defeats mount up. We've been here before. As for Bradford, listen to the more honest Bradford fans on here and they'll tell you the reality of what would happen to the club if put back in SL.

There's also no evidence that they will drive the Sky deal higher. There won't be a flood of subscriptions in those towns just because they're in SL. Certainly not enough to push the TV distribution per team upwards. 

Toulouse might have a chance for a variety of reasons, but frankly I expect them to be part of the 10 anyway. And if they can't finish above the likely teams 11 and 12 then it's not going to work for them either.

Obv licensing could change all these calculations but that's not the scenario being proposed so there's no point going there.    

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Just now, Damien said:

To sky you may as well just burn the money for all the benefit that sky are getting from all of that money going to 2nd tier clubs. It adds nothing for the next TV deal and having something bigger and better to sell. Then people will be shocked when in the next TV deal sky give £8 million less as the sport isn't spending it on what sky are actually paying for. A little like we have seen with this TV deal.

The compromise is that there is severly less money at the 2nd tier (100 máx) but there are more seats at the top table.  More rooms for the new kids on the block to show what they can add. 

If clubs cannot survive in the champ who are currently in SL they are the exact clubs that are going to get dumped from SL under any other model  (Franchise,  10's). Sport cannot be held back because Salford/Giants play in oversized boxes and Wakey ground is still a joke. 

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I just don't get the cut to 10 idea. Having 12 teams isn't the problem here, so I don't understand why cutting numbers will improve it. I agree with those saying move to 14 and remove loop fixtures.

It appears that they are trying to spread the central funding too thinly to me. The immediate challenge is to make sure you have a top division funded at the right levels - based on the fact that this is the comp that is broadcast on TV and brings in the sponsorship and TV money. There is nothing Super 'Greed' about that - it is just common sense.

That said, underneath that it is important that we support the wider game - I don't believe we should cut any team free - but we can only spend what we can afford and that should be a sensible decision with some of the emotion taken out.

The challenge this brings is that ultimately you will end up with a huge funding gap between the top 14 and the rest. So this then poses the question is P&R feasible. And the answer is probably no based on that and that is the reality that the game needs to face into, because ultimately that does bring us back to a closed shop. But it is clear that we are spending far too much time and money on trying to force P&R to work - and it does work to an extent - but at what cost? Are we better giving serious funding to the top 14 and adequate funding to the rest - rather than serious funding to 20 etc. 

I actually think that the 80/20 split that they have gone with is reasonable - SL keeping 80% of their TV income is appropriate - and I actually think that this should be an ongoing model. If we decide that this means that the Championship teams can't afford P&R because of the funding gap - well that needs to be the tough decision. 

At some stage we need to decide whether auto-P&R is worth the millions of quid we spend on it each year. I should caveat that I am a fan of a standard pyramid model which includes P&R, but not at any cost. 

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4 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

See, this is where we descend into wishful thinking. There is no evidence that the three English clubs that you list will generate the sort of revenues that will be necessary to be a competitive, especially with reduced TV funding. A new stadium or even a rich(-ish) owner in Newcastle's case won't guarantee anything, the most likely scenario is 3-4,000k a week to start with and then falling once the defeats mount up. We've been here before. As for Bradford, listen to the more honest Bradford fans on here and they'll tell you the reality of what would happen to the club if put back in SL.

There's also no evidence that they will drive the Sky deal higher. There won't be a flood of subscriptions in those towns just because they're in SL. Certainly not enough to push the TV distribution per team upwards. 

Toulouse might have a chance for a variety of reasons, but frankly I expect them to be part of the 10 anyway. And if they can't finish above the likely teams 11 and 12 then it's not going to work for them either.

Obv licensing could change all these calculations but that's not the scenario being proposed so there's no point going there.    

Newcastle owner is minted.  We've not been here before because Newcastle have never been in this position  (no Gateshead really isnt the same) .

If Newcastle started on 4000 they would already be better than Salford and will gradually compete with the top 6. As would Toulouse.  

It's also about viewership that Newcastle vs Leeds or Toulouse vs Catalan can get more eyeballs from current subscribers than Salford vs Giants. 

The wishful thinking is believing renaming the Championship as SL2 (Its the championship) and throwing the best part of 6 million quid away on a comp that contributes 0 to any tv deal is a good roi. 

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4 minutes ago, Damien said:

To sky you may as well just burn the money for all the benefit that sky are getting from all of that money going to 2nd tier clubs. It adds nothing for the next TV deal and having something bigger and better to sell. Then people will be shocked when in the next TV deal sky give £8 million less as the sport isn't spending it on what sky are actually paying for. A little like we have seen with this TV deal.

So, this I agree with. And if we could use that money to properly fund 12/14 SL teams then I'd be happy to keep the top tier numbers higher. But (to respond to your other reply) in the absence of that I doubt the interest in replacing loops with seeing underfunded deadwood getting walloped will survive contact with reality.   

But it seem the proposal is going in the opposite direction - increase funding to the second tier to remove the "cliff edge" and then mitigate the damage to the standard of Superleague this causes by cutting numbers.

Do I like this scenario? No, I'd prefer the bulk of the money to go to SL with the rest of the tiers part time. But if we're not going to go there, which no-one among the clubs seems to want to, then the scenario they have does have a certain logic to it.

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11 minutes ago, Damien said:

To sky you may as well just burn the money for all the benefit that sky are getting from all of that money going to 2nd tier clubs. It adds nothing for the next TV deal and having something bigger and better to sell. Then people will be shocked when in the next TV deal sky give £8 million less as the sport isn't spending it on what sky are actually paying for. A little like we have seen with this TV deal.

I agree on the amounts you refer to there, it is a ludicrous amount of money to spend - but we do need to be careful of unintended consequences here - if we don't support the lower divisions at any level, we risk a further retraction and a further fading of the game's presence in many communities. From Batley, to Newcastle, to Whitehaven, to London, to Coventry, to West Wales.

But I totally agree that we shouldn't be overpaying in these areas just to retain P&R.

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24 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

If we can stabilise things, and then grow the revenues in future, then we can expand the top tier again. Plenty of sports leagues have done this.    

Genuine Q: Which sports have cut their top tier, restabilished/grown, and then expanded the top tier again?

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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56 minutes ago, The storm said:

Ken davys proposal and outcome with funding 

Wigan 1.2 million per team 
St Helens 
Hull
Catalan 
Warrington 
Hull kr 
Leeds 
Castleford 
London
Newcastle  or Toulouse 

York £600,000 per team 
Huddersfield 
Widnes 
Toulouse 
Salford 
Wakefield 
Halifax
Bradford bulls
Featherstone Rovers
Leigh

Dewsbury£200,000 per team 
Workington
Barrow
Whitehaven
Oldham
Swinton
Crusaders
Coventry bears
Batley 
Rochdale hornets
London skolatrs
Keighley cougars 
Doncaster 
 West Wales 

 

Sorry if I missed any team out but for me it is essential that all teams are funded in some way so the reduction goes to super league clubs who themselves have created this over reliance on sky and potential equity deals. 

Super league does not speak for the whole sport 

Huddersfield will at best be in super league 2 I'm afraid Ken old boy 

 

This is the sort of funding I'd like to see but unfortunately it's fantasy. For example league 1 currently gets £60-75k per year and next year it will be £15-20k per year. There is no way Superleague would agree to funding of this level. 

The split next year will be around 1.8m for the whole of the championship and 200k for the whole of league 1. Basically any club outside the top 10 in the championship will be on peanuts. Its a huge change. 

Its clear the way they are going with this is that only the top 20 clubs will receive any distribution going forward. I've said it before but I am astonished that not a single journalist has picked this up 

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4 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Genuine Q: Which sports have cut their top tier, restabilished/grown, and then expanded the top tier again?

Rugby League. 

1995 Championship - 16 Teams (ave crowd of 5.5k)

1996 -2008 SL - 12 Teams (1 year of 14) (ave crowd of 10.5k in 2008)

2009 - 2014 SL - 14 teams

2015 we moved to Super 8s.

This isn't to demonstrate a good example by the way - although there is an argument that says moving to 12 from 16 in 1996 was the right thing to do, and the move to 14 in 2009 should really have been the start of an expanding league - potentially through international teams. 

This area we are playing in now - novelty - is dangerous imo. We are constantly telling everyone that our product isn't good enough and that we need some novelty - and that includes fans, craving for darts or T20(Hundred) style comps - when in reality our biggest growth was just by having a pyramid with standards and cracking on with it. 

In 2013/14 we bottled it - talked ourself into a crisis and we are still in that state of chaos 7 years later.

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7 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I agree on the amounts you refer to there, it is a ludicrous amount of money to spend - but we do need to be careful of unintended consequences here - if we don't support the lower divisions at any level, we risk a further retraction and a further fading of the game's presence in many communities. From Batley, to Newcastle, to Whitehaven, to London, to Coventry, to West Wales.

But I totally agree that we shouldn't be overpaying in these areas just to retain P&R.

I do wholeheartedly support the lower leagues, including League 1 being funded and have already said so. Just not at ridiculous £600,000 and £200,000 levels, which is actually far in excess of now with a reduced TV deal.  Championship clubs like Batley have got by perfectly fine on circa £150k funding. That is a sensible part time level of funding in my opinion.

League 1 at 75k, as now, is again pretty sensible and let's face it any reduction is chicken feed in savings anyway compared to the good it does for the games footprint.

When we struggle to have enough bone fide full time professional clubs as is in Super League, and that should be much more than just having a squad of full time players,  it seems crazy trying to prop up more in the lower leagues.

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2 minutes ago, Dave T said:

In 2013/14 we bottled it - talked ourself into a crisis and we are still in that state of chaos 7 years later.

Those are good examples. Who'd have thought I should be thinking about rugby league on a rugby league forum?

But, ultimately, yes, I think we are where we are because around the time of the 2013 World Cup we both utterly failed to build international momentum on the back of a successful tournament *and* got hooked on 'jeopardy' to the detriment of strategy.

There are no really good solutions right now which is why I lean towards almost a 'do nothing' approach. We have to build with what we have rather than attacking the foundations and hoping for a miracle.

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