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Adam Pearson and Private Equity rear their ugly heads again


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19 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

Sure, the success or not of the Hundred won't be known for a while, but the problem it was designed to deal with has been studied by the cricket authorities for years, and shares many similarities with rugby league's challenges. 

Oh god, this demonstrably false statement zombie idea again.

No.

The Hundred was designed to respond to one problem and one problem only: the ECB wanting total control over the top tier domestic competition.

The justifications followed this. They did not lead the event's development.

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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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8 minutes ago, whatmichaelsays said:

Does it? To me it reads that the sport wants to spread the risk, rather than make the investment itself. 

To me, the reason why this problem seems so big, so insurmountable and - importantly - so expensive is because the issue has been left to snowball for so long. 

Centuries of marketing research shows that those businesses that invest in both long-term and short-term marketing make more money (in the long run) than those that just invest in short-term marketing. This isn't a closely guarded industry secret. 

For years, the clubs have just focused on the short-term - selling tickets to the next game, hitting the season ticket target, selling short-term sponsorship deals (how many clubs change their shirt sponsor year after year?), neglecting the longer-term challenges - where is the next generation of supporter coming from, how do we add value to the next TV deal and how do we use digital to overcome our geographic disadvantages? The strategy to add value to the TV deal should have started the second the ink dried on the last one but, given what we saw played out in public, it had all of the hallmarks of schoolkids rushing their homework the night before it was due. 

Now that lack of investment in long-term strategy has come home to roost and, unsurprisingly, it looks too expensive. The clubs have been penny wise and pound foolish, and now they want to sell the farm to fix their mistakes - mistakes that Peason himself has to share responsibility for. 

Well yes, one can agree with all of that diagnosis that years of mismanagement has delivered us to the point of crisis.

But we are where we are and if anything the picture you paint shows why such radical options may have to be considered. 

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3 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

Well yes, one can agree with all of that diagnosis that years of mismanagement has delivered us to the point of crisis.

But we are where we are and if anything the picture you paint shows why such radical options may have to be considered. 

I don't think there is anything radical about PE. It's the lazy option that requires no effort and no hard decisions. The status quo get a little money to solidfy their SL place and to hell with the long term consequences.

Some of the other options are far more radical from a Rugby League perspective and for real change to be made becomes akin to Turkeys voting for Christmas.

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11 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Oh god, this demonstrably false statement zombie idea again.

No.

The Hundred was designed to respond to one problem and one problem only: the ECB wanting total control over the top tier domestic competition.

The justifications followed this. They did not lead the event's development.

Debating this point will take us cross code, so we'll have to leave it. 

But I will say that even if you were right, I wish we had a governing body strong enough to wrestle control of the sport and drive it forward in challenging ways. 

The RFL, being almost wholly in the hands of just 36 club chairmen, is structurally incapable of doing anything so radical, mores the shame. 

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1 minute ago, Damien said:

I don't think there is anything radical about PE. It's the lazy option that requires no effort and no hard decisions. The status quo get a little money to solidfy their SL place and to hell with the long term consequences.

Some of the other options are far more radical from a Rugby League perspective and for real change to be made becomes akin to Turkeys voting for Christmas.

How would Superleague clubs handing over control of their competion to an outsider not be a hard decision? It's a huge risk, and indeed the unwillingness to take it is why the last attempt foundered. 

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Just now, Toby Chopra said:

Debating this point will take us cross code, so we'll have to leave it. 

But I will say that even if you were right, I wish we had a governing body strong enough to wrestle control of the sport and drive it forward in challenging ways. 

The RFL, being almost wholly in the hands of just 36 club chairmen, is structurally incapable of doing anything so radical, mores the shame. 

It would be the kind of “solution” that would be driven by outside direct control from (say) Matchroom.

How it would look would be anyone’s guess but you could guarantee it would feature none - not one - of the clubs currently in existence.

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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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10 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

How would Superleague clubs handing over control of their competion to an outsider not be a hard decision? It's a huge risk, and indeed the unwillingness to take it is why the last attempt foundered. 

The current Super League clubs would be protected. They get the PE money and in no way will a PE company then let them get relegated. It defeats the point of them getting money in the first place. It's an easy decision for the likes of Pearson and Carter because they constantly moan about having no money and have shown an inability to grow their clubs.

The last attempt floundered because the PE backers would have got their money back with a TV deal. The clubs that were not sighted and desperate saw what a pathetic deal this would be and how it would hurt revenues going forward. For clubs like Leeds and Warrington it would be absolutely ridiculous. 

Edited by Damien
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17 minutes ago, JohnM said:

Pearson has just been on BBC Radio 5 Live  sports news 

Great, the weekend of the derby games and we get this ##### distracting, talking the sport down.

Unbelievable.

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Why should the pro clubs hand over control anyway?  Its a mistake in my view to think that any "independent"  commission could formulate and implement a plan to "make the game great again".  

In any case, we STILL live in uncertain times so making any sort of huge decisions  about the future of the game is dangerous.

And now that the WC has been proposed, the Aussies have shut up (a triumph in it own right) so maybe they are developing their master plan for us.

Four legs good - two legs bad

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46 minutes ago, M j M said:

Great, the weekend of the derby games and we get this ##### distracting, talking the sport down.

Unbelievable.

Totally agree, it seems pearson is almost willing the sport to fail.

all i heard was a clip of him saying the sport will be dead in 6 months.

 

Cheers Adam, really helpful that.

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55 minutes ago, M j M said:

Great, the weekend of the derby games and we get this ##### distracting, talking the sport down.

Unbelievable.

I completely agree with you.

Saying the sport is in danger of dying isn't necessarily a strong selling point if you're also saying you want someone to pump in £100 million.

His club is due to attract its best crowd of the season on Saturday.

You might have thought he would have been trying to talk it up.

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12 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

I completely agree with you.

Saying the sport is in danger of dying isn't necessarily a strong selling point if you're also saying you want someone to pump in £100 million.

His club is due to attract its best crowd of the season on Saturday.

You might have thought he would have been trying to talk it up.

This is a good point. Even if people thought PE was the right way to go show some sense for goodness sake. Talk the game up, show the positives and say how strong it is to get a better deal. The people who are desperate for PE seem to have the approach of a car salesman who says how rubbish a car is and that he will sell it for £5,000 before even talking it up and not realising you'd have paid £10,000

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12 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

I completely agree with you.

Saying the sport is in danger of dying isn't necessarily a strong selling point if you're also saying you want someone to pump in £100 million.

His club is due to attract its best crowd of the season on Saturday.

You might have thought he would have been trying to talk it up.

Its getting to the point where its becoming a self fulfilling prophecy with some fans and now people like Pearson talking down the sport.

 

Yes it has issues, yes there needs to be some change of some sort but as an owner of a club just before their biggest fixture of the season coming out and basically saying the sport is dying is just ridiculous and annoying.

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7 minutes ago, Chrispmartha said:

Its getting to the point where its becoming a self fulfilling prophecy with some fans and now people like Pearson talking down the sport.

 

Yes it has issues, yes there needs to be some change of some sort but as an owner of a club just before their biggest fixture of the season coming out and basically saying the sport is dying is just ridiculous and annoying.

If Adam wants an influx of capital into the sport - as we all do in one form or another - the best selling point would be being able to put a 'sold out' sign up on Saturday.

And we need to be able to do that at a few more games.

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Love the way he blandly discusses mergers - let’s see him moan when a joint Hull club is proposed - based out of HKR….

 

Edited by Pie tries
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3 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

If Adam wants an influx of capital into the sport - as we all do in one form or another - the best selling point would be being able to put a 'sold out' sign up on Saturday.

And we need to be able to do that at a few more games.

Pearson has been largely a failure at Hull. 

His perception of our sport is misguided

 

I'd even get rid of the sky dictatorship and revert to two league of 16 teams, superleagie 1 and super league 2. 

 

Sky's performance in recent times has been poor 

 

With all games kicking off on a Sunday at 3pm or on a Saturday night we reduce our over exposure and attract fans back. 

 

Pearson is our of his comfort zone here 

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3 minutes ago, The storm said:

Pearson has been largely a failure at Hull. 

His perception of our sport is misguided

 

I'd even get rid of the sky dictatorship and revert to two league of 16 teams, superleagie 1 and super league 2. 

 

Sky's performance in recent times has been poor 

 

With all games kicking off on a Sunday at 3pm or on a Saturday night we reduce our over exposure and attract fans back. 

 

Pearson is our of his comfort zone here 

Clubs like Leeds make most of their money from Friday night games, Saturday games would be a disaster IMO

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3 hours ago, Wellsy4HullFC said:

He's invested heavily in our academy and training facilities, he's not been afraid to sack underperforming coaches, he's signed some big players, all of which it contributed to a period of success for the club. I think it's disingenuous to suggest he's not invested much.

He's not a big money backer, but he's put a lot of what he can in to this club and he's allowed his say. I might not agree with everything he is saying, but he's completely correct that the game is in a state. It's the worst it's been in for over 20 years for sure.

I agree with that.

I think Hull have largely benefited from his ownership. Let's not forget that they won the Challenge Cup twice.

Even so, people can do some very good things but still occasionally say something publicly that hits the wrong note.

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16 minutes ago, Chrispmartha said:

Its getting to the point where its becoming a self fulfilling prophecy with some fans and now people like Pearson talking down the sport.

I agree this is becoming a genuine concern now as this sort of talk is becoming pervasive on social media:

bad refereeing decisions, the game's on its ######,

a poor game with more knock ons than desirable, the sport is dead,

your club loses badly, the game is done.

 

Now social media isn't real life (and of course the game has issues we need to face up to) but it can set perceptions and to get them reinforced by someone at the top is hugely dangerous.

I am starting to think we need a serious reset, just to change those perceptions which are spreading amongst some of the sport's most loyal supporters. But it's renewed fan engagement and perhaps a couple of rule changes to deal with some of the less appealing aspects of the modern game that matter (the latter if only to give the reset something to play off), not yet more tinkering with league structures which is in itself a part of the reason for malaise.

And a positive line from the top can take the form of some negative talk. Imagine if Pearson had used his time to talk about how much he loathed Hull Kingston Rovers and everything about them. A bit OTT perhaps but too many people involved in the sport don't seem to understand the fan mindset and the media mindset. We need more heroes and more bogeymen, more excitement and more grudges, more people talking about the game and its personalities and less leadership saying how bad things are.

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7 minutes ago, The storm said:

Pearson has been largely a failure at Hull. 

His perception of our sport is misguided

 

I'd even get rid of the sky dictatorship and revert to two league of 16 teams, superleagie 1 and super league 2. 

 

Sky's performance in recent times has been poor 

 

With all games kicking off on a Sunday at 3pm or on a Saturday night we reduce our over exposure and attract fans back. 

 

Pearson is our of his comfort zone here 

Sky's performance in recent times has been poor 

In what respect has it been poor?  Overexposure is not something that comes to mind.

What would be the figures look like if if Sky paid for just 2 games a week and the others played on Sat night/Sunday afternoon.

What level would crowds have to reach to make up for the loss of Sky revenue?

How much would you personally stake on fans coming back of a Sunday or Saturday night?

Weren't the peak attendance figures for the game in the 1950s when it was played on a Saturday?   

 

Four legs good - two legs bad

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Pearson is mainly taking about himself. He is under-funded to support Hull FC, and is thrashing around for a solution enabling him to exit with at least something. That’s all this is about. 
 

It reminds me of the dying days of the David Lloyd era - he’d have happily moved the club to Timbuktu as long as he could get his ‘sunk’ money out (and nearly moved it to Gateshead, until Shane Richardson stabbed the Thunder community in back) 

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23 minutes ago, M j M said:

I agree this is becoming a genuine concern now as this sort of talk is becoming pervasive on social media:

bad refereeing decisions, the game's on its ######,

a poor game with more knock ons than desirable, the sport is dead,

your club loses badly, the game is done.

True and very frustrating.

25 minutes ago, M j M said:

Now social media isn't real life (and of course the game has issues we need to face up to) but it can set perceptions and to get them reinforced by someone at the top is hugely dangerous.

It's the Ratner principle, which many people in Rugby League don't seem to have learned from.

26 minutes ago, M j M said:

I am starting to think we need a serious reset, just to change those perceptions which are spreading amongst some of the sport's most loyal supporters. But it's renewed fan engagement and perhaps a couple of rule changes to deal with some of the less appealing aspects of the modern game that matter (the latter if only to give the reset something to play off), not yet more tinkering with league structures which is in itself a part of the reason for malaise.

The problem is that there is wide disagreement about what sort of reset we need, as seen frequently on this forum.

28 minutes ago, M j M said:

And a positive line from the top can take the form of some negative talk. Imagine if Pearson had used his time to talk about how much he loathed Hull Kingston Rovers and everything about them. A bit OTT perhaps but too many people involved in the sport don't seem to understand the fan mindset and the media mindset. We need more heroes and more bogeymen, more excitement and more grudges, more people talking about the game and its personalities and less leadership saying how bad things are.

I agree with your general sentiment, but one of the odd things about professional sport compared to many other areas of economic activity, is that matches involve two clubs but only one, for the most part, gets the financial benefit from the paying customers at an individual match.

If Hull FC and Hull KR were to split the gate equally on Saturday, for example, it would give both of them the incentive to maximise the paying audience and to engage in the sort of promotion you envisage.

As it is, Hull KR will get some payback from tickets they sell, but not from the other ticket sales for that event.

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