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8 minutes ago, Scubby said:

They applied to join the competition when they were told to start at the bottom. Everything beyond that went out of the window when the SL starting throwing around a free SL place for anyone who wanted to apply (with kneecap caveats as Leigh are now finding out). This means that the pyramid system as we know it ended there and then IMO.

Now they are kicking around 2x10 14x12x10 12x12x12 or whatever dross they come up with. We are basically a game that destroys itself. Back your strongest operators to make the competition as strong as it possibly can be and earn the whole game as much money as it possibly can. That is how this game will survive. 

Poking fun because a former giant Bradford are now #### helps no one. This is a club that once had 10,000+ season ticket holders. We just love to hurt ourselves.

C'mon Scubby, yes they started at the bottom the same as Toronto did but whatever the reason Toronto defaulted led to the extraordinary circumstance that the Sky contract should be protected by the inclusion of a Championship club in SL bringing the numbers back to 12, 

Whatever format is brought into the game in my opinion it should not have a protectionist clause of no relegation to whoever the team it is, I remember when Leeds were under threat of relegation a few season's back, the clamour on these pages by some who said, if Leeds get relegated then the system is all wrong and they should be given a reprieve, that to me is as daft a suggestion as going forward we keep and enable P&R from the Championship to SL but the P bit applies to all clubs while the R bit does not apply to all.

If I was a Chairman spending my money on doing the best I could for my team then I would not want to be in the position that I can suffer a consequence which others are exempt from, it is simply not fair.

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2 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Super League has never, ever claimed to be the top tier of Northern Hemisphere RL. It is the top division of the British league that has an invited French team, in the same way that the NRL is an Aussie league with a Kiwi guest. 

You may want it to be that, and I don't disagree, but it has never set out to be that. You could argue it is the top Euro league, but even then there is no clear pathway and the French federation isn't a stakeholder.

Without going cross-code, and I make this point often, without setting up like the Pro14 comp where it is a joint venture with various federations it is hard to see how it will ever be anything different. The ultimate problem with that is that the only federations of note are the RFL and FFR.

I would be happy working towards a Pro14 type solution, but we also shouldn't be averse to being a British league and making the very best of it. 

It has though? Why do you think PSG were brought in and Relegation scrapped and sides hand picked even in England? It was literally called the European Super League.

The British League system way is fine, but treat everybody equally.

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Just now, Harry Stottle said:

C'mon Scubby, yes they started at the bottom the same as Toronto did but whatever the reason Toronto defaulted led to the extraordinary circumstance that the Sky contract should be protected by the inclusion of a Championship club in SL bringing the numbers back to 12, 

Whatever format is brought into the game in my opinion it should not have a protectionist clause of no relegation to whoever the team it is, I remember when Leeds were under threat of relegation a few season's back, the clamour on these pages by some who said, if Leeds get relegated then the system is all wrong and they should be given a reprieve, that to me is as daft a suggestion as going forward we keep and enable P&R from the Championship to SL but the P bit applies to all clubs while the R bit does not apply to all.

If I was a Chairman spending my money on doing the best I could for my team then I would not want to be in the position that I can suffer a consequence which others are exempt from, it is simply not fair.

Whether you like it or not, the money for central distribution is going down, down, down. No one wants to buy the rights to the Championship or show games. I has zero income at the moment for that competition in terms of TV revenue. The only value in terms of TV is a magnificent high quality elite level competition - earning enough money to provide support to other professional clubs.

The money is gone and if people are happy with this then yes, we should let anyone, #### ground or skint or not go up, and any club no matter how big disappear into the abyss. It is working so well at the moment.

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6 minutes ago, Scubby said:

Whether you like it or not, the money for central distribution is going down, down, down. No one wants to buy the rights to the Championship or show games. I has zero income at the moment for that competition in terms of TV revenue. The only value in terms of TV is a magnificent high quality elite level competition - earning enough money to provide support to other professional clubs.

The money is gone and if people are happy with this then yes, we should let anyone, #### ground or skint or not go up, and any club no matter how big disappear into the abyss. It is working so well at the moment.

I’d happily do away with relegation if incumbent Superleague clubs were assessed on their suitability by an independent panel against an enforced set of criteria and if found wanting replaced by a Championship club who can satisfy that criteria.

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12 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

It has though? Why do you think PSG were brought in and Relegation scrapped and sides hand picked even in England? It was literally called the European Super League.

The British League system way is fine, but treat everybody equally.

It's clear we wanted to expand and become a bigger player like Union in Europe - hence the natural starting points of France and Wales where we had decent presence and player pathways. But we then didn't actually restructure in any kind of international league way - hence my point about the Pro14.

We also never scrapped relegation at any point, even during licencing we guaranteed an element of P&R (one of the biggest mistakes of it imho!).

So I truly believe it is a British League within a pyramid that has some invitational teams in it.

My view is we either try and do this properly, with a more JV approach, or we give up the pretence as an international league (more than say, a couple of French teams) doesn't work under the current governance.

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1 hour ago, Tommygilf said:

Fundamental question - is Super League and international league or the top tier of the English/British League? It claims often throughout history to be the former but of late has acted merely as the latter. 

The answer to that question defines how you approach the topic. To me, Super League is the top tier of Northern Hemisphere RL. The Championship should be the top tier of British domestic RL just as elite 1 is for French RL. In that context I agree with having set number of places for each national league in the top flight and for each nation to decide how they want to choose those places.

If I were to take Harry's approach, then these are just clubs in the English League like any other. Except they are clearly not like any other club not just for the reasons you state but also because new quotas are placed uniquely on them to "provide a X national team" or to only have a maximum of 3 non British teams in the top flight - regardless of how good any of them are on merit. Its a world of paradoxes and gymnastics to ultimately resolve that ultimately a lot of people would rather they just weren't there at all. 

I distinctly remember a conversation with a Wakefield fan in the gym who said it was "disgusting" that Catalans won the challenge cup. Equally a Hull FC fan who said that liking Toronto was being a "union fan". This is the attitude at the heart here for some sadly.

Great post Tommy. And very thought provoking.

The top tier identifies as the "European" SL, yet for all intent and purposes, behaves like a national competition (with the invited French team).

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Just now, tiffers said:

Great post Tommy. And very thought provoking.

The top tier identifies as the "European" SL, yet for all intent and purposes, behaves like a national competition (with the invited French team).

Other than it's registered trading name, is there anywhere that the Betfred Super League identifies itself as the European Super League?

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27 minutes ago, Dave T said:

It's clear we wanted to expand and become a bigger player like Union in Europe - hence the natural starting points of France and Wales where we had decent presence and player pathways. But we then didn't actually restructure in any kind of international league way - hence my point about the Pro14.

We also never scrapped relegation at any point, even during licencing we guaranteed an element of P&R (one of the biggest mistakes of it imho!).

So I truly believe it is a British League within a pyramid that has some invitational teams in it.

My view is we either try and do this properly, with a more JV approach, or we give up the pretence as an international league (more than say, a couple of French teams) doesn't work under the current governance.

I believe it is a British league too de facto, but that is not what it could be, what it really needs to be for RL, and has its own limitations. 

For example the reason we have to say only 3 non British teams can be in the comp is because we leave that pretty massive commercial risk entirely to chance and will restrict clubs within our system arbritrarily when it suits.

The reason we can't secure a long term French TV deal is because 1, having 1 team in a relatively minor foreign league playing 14ish home games isn't really worth much. And 2, because the two potential teams they could be paying to broadcast could be out of that league on any given year making the rights uncomfortable.

To me we need to rationalise, and the current discussions around the future financing of the sport are likely going to force this on us unpreparedly.

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12 minutes ago, tiffers said:

Great post Tommy. And very thought provoking.

The top tier identifies as the "European" SL, yet for all intent and purposes, behaves like a national competition (with the invited French team).

Thank you.

Like I said it comes down to how you see Super League. Is it the top tier of Northern Hemisphere/European RL, or is it the English/British First division (with some add ins).

Without sounding all Big Picture, that is the crucial divide in understanding which will determine how the sport grows.

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14 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

I believe it is a British league too de facto, but that is not what it could be, what it really needs to be for RL, and has its own limitations. 

For example the reason we have to say only 3 non British teams can be in the comp is because we leave that pretty massive commercial risk entirely to chance and will restrict clubs within our system arbritrarily when it suits.

The reason we can't secure a long term French TV deal is because 1, having 1 team in a relatively minor foreign league playing 14ish home games isn't really worth much. And 2, because the two potential teams they could be paying to broadcast could be out of that league on any given year making the rights uncomfortable.

To me we need to rationalise, and the current discussions around the future financing of the sport are likely going to force this on us unpreparedly.

Yep - I'm all for Super League becoming something different, I just don't think we can sleepwalk into it - it was always my challenge around my approach to Canada and France - we need to properly restructure to facilitate that, not just let them in if they win some games and see what happens. 

Even just the logistics make that almost impossible, and even though it is a pandemic, ultimately it was logistics that goosed us.

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15 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Other than it's registered trading name, is there anywhere that the Betfred Super League identifies itself as the European Super League?

Correct in that it doesn't trade on the European angle today. But for a lot of people the SL brand is seen as being the pro-Europe/NH expansion competition.

Poss. partly fueled by the number of expansionist clubs that have been brought in since inception (PSG, Catalan, Crusaders, Toronto, Toulouse perhaps on the way). We have seen games played in Barcelona and across the south of France etc. All of this contributes to the way in which some people feel about brand SL. After all, a brand is defined by what people think and feel about it.

Equally, the SL brand talks to being the elite domestic league for a lot of other people too and those opinions are just as valid.

I think the crux of the issue is that there are distinct differences of opinion and we aren't clear what the long term strategy is for the competition with all this chopping and changing of structure. This muddies the brand message and what it stands for.

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1 hour ago, Scubby said:

Whether you like it or not, the money for central distribution is going down, down, down. No one wants to buy the rights to the Championship or show games. I has zero income at the moment for that competition in terms of TV revenue. The only value in terms of TV is a magnificent high quality elite level competition - earning enough money to provide support to other professional clubs.

The money is gone and if people are happy with this then yes, we should let anyone, #### ground or skint or not go up, and any club no matter how big disappear into the abyss. It is working so well at the moment.

Yes I agree with that, but you want to protect some clubs from that fate, while campaigning for others to be subject to it irrespective of if they perform better than the protected club.

You are a businessman I believe Scubby, are there any limitations placed on your company not of your own making that prevents you performing your buisness practises for doing nothing wrong but performing to best of your abillity and getting the results you strive for? Telling a SL club that they are going to be relegated in favour of worse performing team would be like restricting your buisness in favour of a company that underperforms In comparrison.

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21 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Yep - I'm all for Super League becoming something different, I just don't think we can sleepwalk into it - it was always my challenge around my approach to Canada and France - we need to properly restructure to facilitate that, not just let them in if they win some games and see what happens. 

Even just the logistics make that almost impossible, and even though it is a pandemic, ultimately it was logistics that goosed us.

I totally agree.

The 2 Canadian clubs and 2 French clubs created a genuine possibility. Yet again a lack of strategy blighted the sport again.

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1 hour ago, Davo5 said:

I’d happily do away with relegation if incumbent Superleague clubs were assessed on their suitability by an independent panel against an enforced set of criteria and if found wanting replaced by a Championship club who can satisfy that criteria.

It was supposedly an independent panel that put Leigh in SL, do you for one minute consider that the likes of Leneghan, McManus, Pearson would sanction any criteria that they have no influence on, I don't.

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2 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

Totally agree, but you don't want that you want to protect some clubs from relegation.

Of course I do, because as I set out I do not want Super League to be the top of the British league system.

If it is to be the British League system, then Toulouse, Catalans and anyone else who is in should be full signed up members not second class guest citizens. We should also accept that the commercial possibilities would be lessened and that expectations for the French or where-ever national teams should not be burdened on them just as is the case with any other club who is trying first and foremost to stay in the division.

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1 hour ago, tiffers said:

Great post Tommy. And very thought provoking.

The top tier identifies as the "European" SL, yet for all intent and purposes, behaves like a national competition (with the invited French team).

Off course it is and any other way it would be the tail wagging the dog, the name 'European' was an handle to make it look bigger than it actually is which as you simply put is the British game with some invitational clubs.

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41 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

It was supposedly an independent panel that put Leigh in SL, do you for one minute consider that the likes of Leneghan, McManus, Pearson would sanction any criteria that they have no influence on, I don't.

But those 3 you mention are owners of clubs that would in all likelihood meet the criteria,the owners of the habitual underperforming clubs would be the problem.

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51 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

Yes I agree with that, but you want to protect some clubs from that fate, while campaigning for others to be subject to it irrespective of if they perform better than the protected club.

You are a businessman I believe Scubby, are there any limitations placed on your company not of your own making that prevents you performing your buisness practises for doing nothing wrong but performing to best of your abillity and getting the results you strive for? Telling a SL club that they are going to be relegated in favour of worse performing team would be like restricting your buisness in favour of a company that underperforms In comparrison.

If my business was losing money year on year I would be going to the drastic action white board and shaking things up big time - cut where ineffective and identifying growth areas. Not moving the same staff and furniture around the office.

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4 minutes ago, Scubby said:

If my business was losing money year on year I would be going to the drastic action white board and shaking things up big time - cut where ineffective and identifying growth areas. Not moving the same staff and furniture around the office.

I said if it was outside influences that was preventing you doing your buisness, all of your staff has done everything possible and should have earned their bonus but someone has taken it away. 

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1 minute ago, Harry Stottle said:

I said if it was outside influences that was preventing you doing your buisness, all of your staff has done everything possible and should have earned their bonus but someone has taken it away. 

What outside influences are stopping RL in this country?

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1 hour ago, Scubby said:

What outside influences are stopping RL in this country?

For gods sake Scubby, we are talking of one particular thing and that is the protectionist system you want to adopt in respect of ring fencing French Clubs from relegation, the outside influences would somebody letting that happen and clubs could be relegated who have performed better on the field and relegated just save the French clubs, bolux to that, all teams performing in the same division should be subject to relegation.

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12 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

Absolutely ridiculous Scubs, play in the same League, strive for the same prizes but not suffer the same consequences, total recipe for that system to be used and abused. Teams protected from relegation can influence the final league placings as much as they see fit, if results don't matter they can choose to play weakened teams in some games that could adversely affect other teams, think about it.

Like saints did twice against London?

lots of teams did this last year too.

Ultimately you can win the league from 6th so can do what you suggest at the top end. Castleford did it before wembley this year

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20 hours ago, Davo5 said:

But those 3 you mention are owners of clubs that would in all likelihood meet the criteria,the owners of the habitual underperforming clubs would be the problem.

So again for the millionth time , you want a 6 team SL ?

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11 hours ago, yipyee said:

Like saints did twice against London?

lots of teams did this last year too.

Ultimately you can win the league from 6th so can do what you suggest at the top end. Castleford did it before wembley this year

Yes , and if somebody else had been relegated as a result of Saints behaviour , do you think it would have been fair ? , If you as a club owner lost your place because if that , would you continue to finance your club ? , Or would you walk away ?

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