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Adam Pearson and Private Equity rear their ugly heads again


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43 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

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.

The challenge cup is largely a distraction. 

 

Is give the perception that pearsons leadership has been beneficial when in actual fact Hull have failed to deliver. 

 

Pearson and sites like loverugbyleahue present our sportbin negative terms and this is no way to sell what we have 

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3 hours ago, whatmichaelsays said:

Indeed. But those of us who have come on here saying that the sport needs to invest in market research and audience profiling are just told that we "want the sport to spaff it's money on consultants". 

But @Toby Choprais bang on when he says that "like cricket, the existing fans don't see the need for change". 

I think most people see it isn´t working, but people don´t trust the people who´ve been in charge to make a decision that would improve the game. Internationals are the only real growth area in my book, so all expansion plans or systems have to involve strengthening potential teams for England to play. 

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16 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

True and very frustrating.

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

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

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.

To be fair it’s not that bad a deal - Hull KR get 25% of the gross on the tickets they sell, with limited overheads. It’s likely not that far off the net margin they make on home tickets at Craven Park.
 

For this match Rovers have already sold out the North Stand directly, and now selling the NE corner - so could be circa 5,000 tickets sold by the club, clearing about £30k for us

 

 

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Hull FC are in deep financial trouble due to Pearson's unsustainable spending.

His way out is to trouser money from private equity who would want at least 30% of TV money and to control the running of the sport.

He must be stopped.

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21 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

I think most people see it isn´t working, but people don´t trust the people who´ve been in charge to make a decision that would improve the game. Internationals are the only real growth area in my book, so all expansion plans or systems have to involve strengthening potential teams for England to play. 

I don't think that we should put all of our eggs in the internationals basket. International RL relies on the cooperation of other nations and, what the last few months have shown, is that we can't rely on that. The sport has to work with what it can work with. 

What the sport needs to do is understand what strengths it can promote, repackage and take to a new audience. There is so much that can be done with RL domestically in this country, but it starts by people - just like Adam Pearson - identifying just who it is that they want to get watching Hull FC and RL, what those people want and how RL can deliver that using the tools that are readily available. I don't think that work has been done, and it is people like Pearson and the rest of the SL ownership who are to blame for that. 

You also don't need Eddie Hearn to do that for you. 

Edited by whatmichaelsays
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36 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

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.

In fairness, that model is the one that applies for cup games and they are generally the worst attended games of the season. It's not as if the prospect of a shared gate kicks either advertising team into life. 

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16 minutes ago, whatmichaelsays said:

I don't think that we should put all of our eggs in the internationals basket. International RL relies on the cooperation of other nations and, what the last few months have shown, is that we can't rely on that. The sport has to work with what it can work with. 

What the sport needs to do is understand what strengths it can promote, repackage and take to a new audience. There is so much that can be done with RL domestically in this country, but it starts by people - just like Adam Pearson - identifying just who it is that they want to get watching Hull FC and RL, what those people want and how RL can deliver that using the tools that are readily available. I don't think that work has been done, and it is people like Pearson and the rest of the SL ownership who are to blame for that. 

You also don't need Eddie Hearn to do that for you. 

No it relies on us building up the northern hemisphere rivals. Spending the best part of a decade begging australians to play will leave you vulnerable. Internationals offer the sport exposure to a audience significantly greater than the club game and you filter those people into the club game. 

We´ve got two French teams so lock them in. Get a team in Wales done properly and lock them in. Have your four nations and grow from there. French TV would be more interested in getting RL on FTA or pay if they know they are getting one home game a week plus a month´s worth of internationals end of season. 

That means French RL can start to ask for some sponsorship commercial income based on those audience figures. That´s probably a couple of million just sitting on the table if you have that consistent schedule. 

Edited by ShropshireBull
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21 minutes ago, Hull Kingston Bronco said:

To be fair it’s not that bad a deal - Hull KR get 25% of the gross on the tickets they sell, with limited overheads. It’s likely not that far off the net margin they make on home tickets at Craven Park.
 

For this match Rovers have already sold out the North Stand directly, and now selling the NE corner - so could be circa 5,000 tickets sold by the club, clearing about £30k for us

 

 

Which is not to be sniffed at.

But that doesn't change the principle I was outlining.

One of the best things about this season (if not the best) is the revival of the Robins.

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3 minutes ago, whatmichaelsays said:

I don't think that we should put all of our eggs in the internationals basket. International RL relies on the cooperation of other nations and, what the last few months have shown, is that we can't rely on that. The sport has to work with what it can work with. 

What the sport needs to do is understand what strengths it can promote, repackage and take to a new audience. There is so much that can be done with RL domestically in this country

Do you think the domestic game is going to resonate with the vast majority of the country who don't really know what RL is, let alone whether they like it or not? I can only speak from personal experience, but Internationals are what got me hooked, and then I started following the club game after that. Likewise, internationals are pretty much the only thing (barring maybe the Challenge Cup final from time to time) that pique the interest of friends and work colleagues who otherwise have little engagement with the sport.

We've seen The Hundred being promoted all over the place the past few weeks, but it's cost the ECB an absolute fortune to do it. Other than the Premier League, I can't think of any other domestic sport in the UK that receives widespread attention. 

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9 minutes ago, whatmichaelsays said:

In fairness, that model is the one that applies for cup games and they are generally the worst attended games of the season. It's not as if the prospect of a shared gate kicks either advertising team into life. 

Good point.

The sad thing is that everyone in the game seems resigned to those games being badly attended.

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40 minutes ago, DimmestStar said:

Hull FC are in deep financial trouble due to Pearson's unsustainable spending.

His way out is to trouser money from private equity who would want at least 30% of TV money and to control the running of the sport.

He must be stopped.

A lot of us feel that Pearson is out of his depth here 

 

I certainly do 

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1 hour ago, Martyn Sadler said:

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.

Isn't that the incentive they use in the Cup? It does horrendously.

Splitting the gate does not maximise the inventive, it actually halves it from the home team's perspective (the one you'd expect to bring the most fans in).

At best, you'd think there'd be more incentive for the away team to add to the gate through financial reward. Splitting the entire gate though is ludicrous.

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33 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

No it relies on us building up the northern hemisphere rivals. Spending the best part of a decade begging australians to play will leave you vulnerable. Internationals offer the sport exposure to a audience significantly greater than the club game and you filter those people into the club game. 

We´ve got two French teams so lock them in. Get a team in Wales done properly and lock them in. Have your four nations and grow from there. 

I'm not saying that it's not part of the answer, but it is a long-term play as part of a much bigger picture. My concern is that people talk about the international game "being our only hope" kind of resigns the domestic game to the sort of malaise that we see it in now and creates an excuse not to do anything. It isn't an either/or situation - it requires both - but improving France, Scotland, Wales or Ireland still relies on the cooperation and support of the French, Scottish, Welsh and Irish because, frankly, the RFL is trying to arrest a participation decline in England. 

Do I think it would be useful to play France more often? Yes. Do I also think that, even with Toulouse in SL, we're a long way from seeing a competitive, attractive series against France? Also yes. 

28 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

Do you think the domestic game is going to resonate with the vast majority of the country who don't really know what RL is, let alone whether they like it or not? I can only speak from personal experience, but Internationals are what got me hooked, and then I started following the club game after that. Likewise, internationals are pretty much the only thing (barring maybe the Challenge Cup final from time to time) that pique the interest of friends and work colleagues who otherwise have little engagement with the sport.

We've seen The Hundred being promoted all over the place the past few weeks, but it's cost the ECB an absolute fortune to do it. Other than the Premier League, I can't think of any other domestic sport in the UK that receives widespread attention. 

I think the domestic game can capture the attention of people outside the RL bubble, but I think the mindset needs to change. I think SL probably sees itself as a collection of 12 clubs trying to sell tickets and expensive t-shirts to the locals, where it really needs to see itself as a media and entertainment property. 

RL produces, and has the potential to produce, so much incredible content and engaging stories, but it is so incredibly behind the times at capturing that content and telling those stories. There's no reason why those stories can't resonate with people outside of the typical RL bubble and out of earshot of the M62 if they are packaged, told and shared in the right way. Formula1 won back audiences by using data and analytics to predict when overtaking moves might happen - that keeps people from switching off their TVs. The TV graphics on The Hundred, as garish as they are, makes it dead easy to understand what is going on. TV shows like Drive to Survive and America's Game take audiences into the "inner sanctum" of the sport and are massively popular with new audiences. Other sports film every game from every angle, sharing highlight moments on social media seconds after they happen and offer multiple ways for viewers to follow the sport on their terms. That's the mindset RL needs - it's about content, image and attention, not "how many tickets did we sell?" and "what press release can we send to the hack from the local evening rag?"

A comment further up the thread talked about how social media has allowed a narrative of "the game is on its ######" to take hold - the question I would ask is what, amongst the SL social media presence and those of the 12 clubs, attempt has been made to challenge that narrative and set one of our own? Because that's exactly what every other professional sport would try to do. 

Edited by whatmichaelsays
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1 hour ago, DimmestStar said:

Hull FC are in deep financial trouble due to Pearson's unsustainable spending.

His way out is to trouser money from private equity who would want at least 30% of TV money and to control the running of the sport.

He must be stopped.

100%. I wouldn't trust him on anything to do with the game. 

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32 minutes ago, whatmichaelsays said:

RL produces, and has the potential to produce, so much incredible content and engaging stories, but it is so incredibly behind the times at capturing that content and telling those stories.

How do you rate the NRL on-line presence.

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Just read his comments on BBC Sport. He says SL needs to realign with the RFL sooner than later. When Elstone was appointed wasn't he one of the loud voices being all for breaking away from the RFL and saying how better things would be once that happened? 

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20 minutes ago, Gooleboy said:

Just read his comments on BBC Sport. He says SL needs to realign with the RFL sooner than later. When Elstone was appointed wasn't he one of the loud voices being all for breaking away from the RFL and saying how better things would be once that happened? 

Yup. I don't think we can attribute much credibility to anything that he says, other than that Hull FC are in a tight spot financially.

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2 hours ago, whatmichaelsays said:

I'm not saying that it's not part of the answer, but it is a long-term play as part of a much bigger picture. My concern is that people talk about the international game "being our only hope" kind of resigns the domestic game to the sort of malaise that we see it in now and creates an excuse not to do anything. It isn't an either/or situation - it requires both - but improving France, Scotland, Wales or Ireland still relies on the cooperation and support of the French, Scottish, Welsh and Irish because, frankly, the RFL is trying to arrest a participation decline in England. 

Do I think it would be useful to play France more often? Yes. Do I also think that, even with Toulouse in SL, we're a long way from seeing a competitive, attractive series against France? Also yes. 

Yes we are a long way from a competitive series but that doesn´t mean the commercial income wont be there from the beginning for a well marketed tournament on fta. 

For me, the internationals sit on top as the pinnacle and also our biggest untapped financial growth area. Thus, my decisions are based around growing that. For me , Int and SL need to be sold as a 10-11 month bundle to start to claw back some of the 14 million we have lost. 

So changing SL for me has to be built around how it strengthens the NH international game too. By having that regular international tournament on fta and combined with some SL games FTA, it starts to be able to grow again in the wider public´s thoughts.

Plus for places like Wales and Ireland , it is only by packaging sponsorships together (So you don´t just sponsor Wales but NWC/Cardiff AND Wales for example) that can generate the money needed for them to provide the long term foundations. Giving brands and products whole year exposure. 

Again though, this means a joined up one vision approach and not selling SL and the International game as two solely seperate products. As a non heartlander, I actually think the game is closer to achieving this then it may think with France now headed by an able team. Toulouse and Catalan offering a fresh rivalry. Teams like York and Newcastle with modern tv sized stadiums. Wakefield and Hull KR might even pull their fingers out to renovate. 

We just need someone to lay down the 12 year plan and stick to it. 

Edited by ShropshireBull
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7 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

For me, the main attraction of PE is it would reduce the power of the owners and force the sport to up its game due to profit motive.  

What would you spend it on ?

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7 hours ago, Johnoco said:

I aren't sure PE is a good idea, I don't know enough about it to really form an opinion.

But what I do know is that doing nothing is equally as risky. Getting a mortgage is risky.... anything could happen but we still buy houses.

I must stress I aren't pro PE, just that sitting back and hoping for the best will probably have the same end result for RL, ie irrelevance.

What would you spend the money on ?

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31 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

What would you spend the money on ?

OK hear me out, the Super League Super Yacht. 

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I was born to run a club like this. Number 1, I do not spook easily, and those who think I do, are wasting their time, with their surprise attacks.

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1 hour ago, GUBRATS said:

What would you spend the money on ?

A classic Capri, definitely (but put some aside for spares, they’re expensive) Then probably another holiday. 

Edited by Johnoco
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This is the whole point of this PE nonsense , just what would the money be spent on ? , and who would have control of it ?

I must have asked this question 20/30 times , and nobody has provided a genuine answer , that's because there isn't one 

The solutions to RLs problems ( which are being exaggerated due to covid ) don't lie in more structure changes , they lie in making the game less attritional , working harder at making the overall game experience better , clubs can start to work on this next year 

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