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League Restructure Thread (Merged Threads)


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21 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

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

Cutting the top league rather than the whole sport is a different point though. The premier league cut the number of teams in its competition and it has grown (financially).

I think we have to be honest about where the sport is. The 2×10 is a way to get the handful of championship clubs, for whom the increased funding for that level was designed, on board. 

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1 minute ago, Tommygilf said:

Cutting the top league rather than the whole sport is a different point though. The premier league cut the number of teams in its competition and it has grown (financially).

From memory, the Premier League was required to cut its number of teams as a UEFA competition requirement. It could have gone even smaller.

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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When the next contract is up for negotiations and the money offered  is even less then do we cut from 10 to 8, of course not, making the league smaller is not the answer, clubs should cut their cloth accordingly as they should now,

 

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29 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

From memory, the Premier League was required to cut its number of teams as a UEFA competition requirement. It could have gone even smaller.

Was indeed - picking hairs here, both the Spanish and Italian top flights cut themselves to 18 and then re-expanded to 20

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42 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

We have to build with what we have rather than attacking the foundations and hoping for a miracle.

Absolutely.  The older brickworks need to be ‘encouraged’ to remedy their weaknesses and newer material encouraged as essential to help cement the whole.  A total promotional approach across rugby league would help too.  Sky isn’t the only player in the market…..A major break came last week (June 2021) when Amazon announced it was buying the rights to France's Ligue 1 football competition from the Professional Football League, to the detriment of local broadcaster Canal+ and the Qatari beIN Sports — in a move that instantly crowned the Seattle-based giant as France's main football broadcaster.  https://www.politico.eu/article/amazon-europe-sport-football-tv/

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48 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

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.

I agree - do nothing (with the structure) would broadly be my approach.

But the very first thing I would do would be to stop telling everyone that we need to make changes and the current structure is rubbish.

Interestingly in the latest press release SLE highlight that viewing figures on Sky are 10% up on 2020 and 25% up on 2017.

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1 hour ago, ShropshireBull said:

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. 

To be clear, I absolutely don't think this is a good use of the money, I'd rather the top tier and the community game had it. BUT, if the starting point is removing the cliff edge between tier 1 and tier 2 when revenues are falling, then you have to cut the size of tier 1 to fund it.

I wish it wasn't the starting point, but that's what all the clubs seem to be backing.   

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

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. 

I totally agree with this. But what you are calling for is licencing, and the clubs (or at least enough of them) just don't want to go there. So then the logical conclusion is where we end up today.

I'm not arguing a SL of 10 is desirable in itself, I'm saying that if you're not willing to take the tough decision you outlined above - which we're not -  then that's where you ultimately end up as the least worst option.

Not a great recommendation, but there we are.  

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57 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Cutting the top league rather than the whole sport is a different point though. The premier league cut the number of teams in its competition and it has grown (financially).

I think we have to be honest about where the sport is. The 2×10 is a way to get the handful of championship clubs, for whom the increased funding for that level was designed, on board. 

We've spent the entire Nigel Wood / Ralph Rimmer era making decisions with the aim of getting on board the bigger Championship clubs. All that's happened is we've damaged our top end (SL - the bit that actually makes us money) so that those clubs can pretend they are professional and have a serious shot at competing with the big boys. 2x10s is just another marker down that road to nowhere. 

If we were being honest about where the sport is we'd be focussing our (diminishing) resources on SL and the community game.

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"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."

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1 hour ago, gingerjon said:

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

The ones I had in mind were MLS and the CFL. So yes, franchise sports, not pyramids, so not perfect comparisons. But ultimately it was a question of revenues and sustainability that drove the numbers and I think we face some similarities.  

Do I WANT to contract? No. I'd prefer a 12 franchised top tier with further expansion invited.

But is contraction the least worst option given the desire to retain viable P&R? Probably in the short term, yes. And as a sport unfortunately we've lost the right to make long term plans.       

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32 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

To be clear, I absolutely don't think this is a good use of the money, I'd rather the top tier and the community game had it. BUT, if the starting point is removing the cliff edge between tier 1 and tier 2 when revenues are falling, then you have to cut the size of tier 1 to fund it.

I wish it wasn't the starting point, but that's what all the clubs seem to be backing.   

I think you were on the money before when you talked about either go to 14 funded and rest get nowt or accept removal of cliff edge. 

Have to agree I 'd go 1.5 to 12 SL teams and 1.05 going to two teams locked in by WRL and French Fed. 

So mine would be 12 + NWC, Toulouse .

Grow the internationals, grow the pie and gradually see the Salfords replaced by Newcastle and York. 

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53 minutes ago, glemiln said:

Absolutely.  The older brickworks need to be ‘encouraged’ to remedy their weaknesses and newer material encouraged as essential to help cement the whole.  A total promotional approach across rugby league would help too.  Sky isn’t the only player in the market…..A major break came last week (June 2021) when Amazon announced it was buying the rights to France's Ligue 1 football competition from the Professional Football League, to the detriment of local broadcaster Canal+ and the Qatari beIN Sports — in a move that instantly crowned the Seattle-based giant as France's main football broadcaster.  https://www.politico.eu/article/amazon-europe-sport-football-tv/

True but Amazon paid substaintially less and because Canal couldnt re bid they have told French football in no uncertain terms they are giving them nothing next time. 

So might be more players but amount for tv deals has probably peaked. So we need a New product to sell  (Internationals) or get some regular season games out from behind the paywall. 

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29 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

The ones I had in mind were MLS and the CFL. So yes, franchise sports, not pyramids, so not perfect comparisons. But ultimately it was a question of revenues and sustainability that drove the numbers and I think we face some similarities.  

Do I WANT to contract? No. I'd prefer a 12 franchised top tier with further expansion invited.

But is contraction the least worst option given the desire to retain viable P&R? Probably in the short term, yes. And as a sport unfortunately we've lost the right to make long term plans.       

We are a licensed/franchised sport, we always have been. 

All were doing now is massively cutting those licenses.

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44 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

I totally agree with this. But what you are calling for is licencing, and the clubs (or at least enough of them) just don't want to go there. So then the logical conclusion is where we end up today.

I'm not arguing a SL of 10 is desirable in itself, I'm saying that if you're not willing to take the tough decision you outlined above - which we're not -  then that's where you ultimately end up as the least worst option.

Not a great recommendation, but there we are.  

Indeed - and that is what my post is alluding to.

We either have P&R with unsustainable disparity in funding, or we scrap P&R. That is the choice. I don't really see the 2 x 10 nonsense as any kind of success.

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12 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

We are a licensed/franchised sport, we always have been. 

All were doing now is massively cutting those licenses.

I presume you mean in terms of all the pro/semi pro tiers together? So we have 36 licences? True in that sense, but that's not really what we mean by licensing.

In terms of the flagship competition, we don't have franchises, we have an open gangway determined by on field P&R. And all the proposed changes seem to be about finding a way to make that work sustainably.

 

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1 hour ago, glemiln said:

Absolutely.  The older brickworks need to be ‘encouraged’ to remedy their weaknesses and newer material encouraged as essential to help cement the whole.  A total promotional approach across rugby league would help too.  Sky isn’t the only player in the market…..A major break came last week (June 2021) when Amazon announced it was buying the rights to France's Ligue 1 football competition from the Professional Football League, to the detriment of local broadcaster Canal+ and the Qatari beIN Sports — in a move that instantly crowned the Seattle-based giant as France's main football broadcaster.  https://www.politico.eu/article/amazon-europe-sport-football-tv/

Viasat a Scandinavian broadcaster has secured the Premier League and F1 rights here in the Netherlands from Ziggo Sports.

As from next season no PL or F1 will be available on Dutch TV.

Viasat will only STREAM their broadcast. 

With Amazon, Disney and now the likes of Viasat  able to out muscle the old skool like SKY Bein,Canal + and Ziggo maybe its time the game looked for other options.

TV is dying as more and more companies move online yet the RFL can't even get that right looking at the fiasco of their streaming SL channel.

It seems like we need a shake up but don't have the people within the game to make decisions that will improve what's on offer and make the sport attractive enough to attract investment and greater exposure. 

Yep worrying times.

 

PS.

Don't ask me how it can be done.If I knew that I would be running the game 🙄

 

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I'm totally fine with a 10-club SL as I'm a TV punter with little interest in watching dross like Leigh, Salford & Wakefield.

In any case, those clubs are rarely shown now with 12 clubs, so I don't really buy that TV coverage will be noticeably more 'samey' with 10 clubs when Sky shows only two or maybe three games a week. Surely they would schedule it accordingly to avoid repetition.

The interesting thing is what they do with 'SL2'. Are we talking a straight 10-club second tier with playoffs for promotion? 'Cross-conference' games? Some sort of Middle 8 thing where the bottom clubs in SL1 play the top of SL2?

And is it a long-term solution or a 'holding pattern' to allow the cream to rise to the top and the sh*t to sink before SL1 is expanded again? 

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8 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Perhaps belongs best here - 

https://www.facebook.com/143253125699237/posts/4713504595340711/?sfnsn=scwspmo

Of particular note is the last role advertised. This is the way the game is going.

The last role link is no longer valid and, instead, takes me to a booking page for Air New Zealand.

Which was a surprise.

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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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12 minutes ago, yanto said:

It seems like we need a shake up but don't have the people within the game to make decisions that will improve what's on offer

I am not au fait with all those potential people within the game, but if none is capable, singly or as a collective body of decision and/or persuasion, then RL is truly fluked!  Or, perhaps trawl these forums!

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20 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

The last role link is no longer valid and, instead, takes me to a booking page for Air New Zealand.

Which was a surprise.

Lol, tbf with the game as it is that is perhaps quite apt...

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

Indeed - and that is what my post is alluding to.

We either have P&R with unsustainable disparity in funding, or we scrap P&R. That is the choice. I don't really see the 2 x 10 nonsense as any kind of success.

I think you are correct. 2 x 10s is real square pegs in a round hole stuff for me. It is attempting to solve a problem that doesn't exist. If the powers that be think that the games ills revolve around the promoted club not having much of a chance then they are even more out of touch than I thought. I genuinely find that deeply worrying. 

Such a structure can't possibly give SL clubs more money than they have now and it can't possibly improve Super League as a product. If I thought of all the things that I could think of that would improve the next TV deal it wouldn't even register. It does the exact opposite by pegging the big clubs back even further so a 2nd tier club can be more competitive. That doesn't make anything more attractive.

The sport is simply not big enough to have a fully professional 2nd tier, there is no shame in that. RU with far more resources at its disposal doesn't even try and do it. They know what sells to TV companies and what encourages investors and that is making the top tier as attractive as possible with as many star players as possible. That should be the focus.

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Thinking it through, I wonder if the long-term plan is for the 2x10 to have Super League voting rights with a view to eventually having an expanded 14 or 16-club closed shop SL down the track - including the high-potential clubs like York, Newcastle and London, who aren't ready yet but may be in a few years.

The 2x10 could be a staging post. Of course, that would mean a degree of forethought from Super League clubs and they aren't exactly renowned for it.

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