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Funding cuts could mean the end for Coventry Bears


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Devastating news if it happens. League 1, especially considering that nearly half the teams are outside the heartlands, seems like excellent value for money. Especially if the clubs can push the community game alongside it as Coventry are doing very well.

I've said before that RL can't just put down random professional teams - it needs to have a whole ecosystem - so a pro/semi-pro club that people can go and watch, community clubs for kids and adults to play the game themselves, a number of schools playing so that kids are introduced to the sport. It's something that Cov seem to be building well. The crazy thing is that if they keep going with all of this (especially if the RFL invested it in better - a lot of the schools stuff should be under the RFL's remit not Cov Bears') then in 10-15 years you could have a really solid, sustainable professional club that has built its own supporter base and academy/player feed-through system. Not that they'd necessarily be Super League, but could get to a strong, full-time Championship club. Imagine if they could make the same thing happen in several large cities across the midlands and the south - it would make a huge difference in terms of players coming through the game and going on to play for England.

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20 minutes ago, welshmagpie said:

If I was an owner of a big club like Leeds, Wigan or Saints I’d genuinely be looking at funding a team like Coventry.

For £100,000 a year give or take you’re bringing into your umbrella an ambitious club in a city of 400,000, largely untapped financially and 3 community clubs. 
 

Makes absolute sense to me for the price of a 32 y/old Australian for a year. 

I've thought for a while that this approach could be used. SL clubs and any ambitious Championship clubs could adopt a League 1 club like Coventry, Skolars, Doncaster or adopt an ambitious club such as Bristol All Golds, Nottingham, Edinburgh to bring them into League 1. 

The SL club could loan them players, fund junior development, create pathways for local juniors and maybe play an 'on the road' game in the city. 

This would obviously have many benefits for the local professional club but it could also be beneficial for the SL club. They get to push their brand into a new market and any of the more promising juniors could be signed by the SL club

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12 minutes ago, zylya said:

Devastating news if it happens. League 1, especially considering that nearly half the teams are outside the heartlands, seems like excellent value for money. Especially if the clubs can push the community game alongside it as Coventry are doing very well.

I've said before that RL can't just put down random professional teams - it needs to have a whole ecosystem - so a pro/semi-pro club that people can go and watch, community clubs for kids and adults to play the game themselves, a number of schools playing so that kids are introduced to the sport. It's something that Cov seem to be building well. The crazy thing is that if they keep going with all of this (especially if the RFL invested it in better - a lot of the schools stuff should be under the RFL's remit not Cov Bears') then in 10-15 years you could have a really solid, sustainable professional club that has built its own supporter base and academy/player feed-through system. Not that they'd necessarily be Super League, but could get to a strong, full-time Championship club. Imagine if they could make the same thing happen in several large cities across the midlands and the south - it would make a huge difference in terms of players coming through the game and going on to play for England.

You mean like Newcastle or York ? Clubs that the RFL seem to love as examples of building a success in a non traditional RL area ...

Imagine ten (in Newcastles case )  or twenty years (York) ago, periods when these aforementioned clubs were more than in the doldrums at the bottom of the league structure if similar deveastating cuts had been placed on lower league clubs then ?  Short memories those in charge of our game ...

 

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8 minutes ago, Rach said:

You mean like Newcastle or York ? Clubs that the RFL seem to love as examples of building a success in a non traditional RL area ...

Imagine ten (in Newcastles case )  or twenty years (York) ago, periods when these aforementioned clubs were more than in the doldrums at the bottom of the league structure if similar deveastating cuts had been placed on lower league clubs then ?  Short memories those in charge of our game ...

 

Absolutely two good examples of clubs who are reaping the rewards for their investment - hopefully they're both at a stage where they'll survive any funding cuts.

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Does anybody know. If the splits we are now talking about are what the Championship Chairmen leaked to the media a couple of years back? 

I recall a sliding scale, and it was quite shocking numbers i.e. Nothing for lower divisions if it dropped below 30m for example. 

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43 minutes ago, Rach said:

You mean like Newcastle or York ? Clubs that the RFL seem to love as examples of building a success in a non traditional RL area ...

Imagine ten (in Newcastles case )  or twenty years (York) ago, periods when these aforementioned clubs were more than in the doldrums at the bottom of the league structure if similar deveastating cuts had been placed on lower league clubs then ?  Short memories those in charge of our game ...

 

That's quite true. The sport isn't strong enough nor big enough to cut any club. We need more clubs and more representation across the country, not less.

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3 minutes ago, Damien said:

We need more clubs and more representation across the country, not less.

And a professional, forward thinking management unit capable of taking the whole of rugby league into the modern era and embracing the communities they serve.

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I would add to this that the timing and size of the cuts here are what is so devastating. The club has lost revenue due to the pandemic and while work had been done to look at how to manage any cut in funding it was not expected to be such a large cut. 

The club has always had a model of building organically, building expertise and growing the game locally. This was never going to work quickly and in my view the club has shown steady progress over the last 6 years. There were plans to move the club forward and tap into the whole of the midlands and I am 100% sure if the club continued to receive its modest level of funding it would use the money very wisely. 

Not a single team has had an easy game against the Bears this season and I would love to see how far this group of players with some more additions could go. The club has shown it can adapt and I hope something can be pulled out of the bag to continue to move the club forward. Alan has put 23 years into growing the club and the game and I know he won't go down without a fight. On the other hand I wouldn't blame him if he walked away from it all.

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1 hour ago, OriginalMrC said:

I would add to this that the timing and size of the cuts here are what is so devastating. The club has lost revenue due to the pandemic and while work had been done to look at how to manage any cut in funding it was not expected to be such a large cut. 

The club has always had a model of building organically, building expertise and growing the game locally. This was never going to work quickly and in my view the club has shown steady progress over the last 6 years. There were plans to move the club forward and tap into the whole of the midlands and I am 100% sure if the club continued to receive its modest level of funding it would use the money very wisely. 

Not a single team has had an easy game against the Bears this season and I would love to see how far this group of players with some more additions could go. The club has shown it can adapt and I hope something can be pulled out of the bag to continue to move the club forward. Alan has put 23 years into growing the club and the game and I know he won't go down without a fight. On the other hand I wouldn't blame him if he walked away from it 

See below

 

Edited by Bearman
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Ron Banks

Bears and Barrow

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1 minute ago, Bearman said:

I attended a meeting with OMrC tonight with the player's and there were no holds barred. The future of the club was spelled out with the facts as they are. The hopes and aspirations and even a vision for the future. The players were thanked for their contributions in 2021

The one thing that was made clear was the thing we don't have is TIME.Our next ( last?) game  is on Sunday. As we go into the weekend NOTHING is decided. The format and finance for 2022 is still to be ratified. But, the player's have been told exactly how it is. Including even a plan in which if they want to be involved their input would be welcomed.

I have been involved with Coventry Bears since day 1. It has been part the best part of my existence for a third of my life ( for Alan Robertson that's half of his life). My children and even my Grandchildren have had to fill in their schedules to fit in with the Bears. Both Alan and myself are no not prepared to just say " oh #### it". We both believe there is a future for rugby league in the Midlands.

BUT, there is a hiccup ,,,,, Isn't there always? 

But for once we even have a plan, we want to use that hiccup to our advantage. In  2023 there is a golden opportunity....Trust me on this...unfortunately 2022 gets in the way. Coventry Bears have to just ride out next season and we have a plan to manage the interim season.  2021 is almost the story of Rugby league.  Covid, Sky's contribution and SLE short sightedness could see the end of CBRLFC just when there were viable plans afoot for a bright new day  a disaster happens

It's looking glum BUT, we are not quite out of the game yet  ( can you help?) Plenty of Rugby League clubs in the past have struggled but are still there fighting. 

You will see from my signature below that I support the Bears and Barow and I will unashamedly pick up on my home towns motto (Barrow) of

"Sempur Sursum "

EVER UPWARDS"

COYB    !!!!

 

 

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Ron Banks

Bears and Barrow

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7 hours ago, Dave T said:

It is just SL that is being being paid for though. If we further cut SL funding doesn't that further weaken the division and lead to further cuts next time? 

Im not sure the anger towards SL clubs is right here - they are the only ones who are bringing in the money. 

The challenge is that the game is not generating enough income at any level. It can't rely solely on SL funding, it isn't a big enough number. 

And I don't say this as someone who believes we should get rid of teams, I'm just not sure what the other options are. We'll, maybe they are what we all discussed 25 years ago. 

I'm largely with you on this, in that I think our sport needs to focus on SL (generates all our revenue), internationals (exposure) and the community game (player development). However, I don't see how cutting £600,000 from L1 clubs is really going to benefit any of those above priorities. The bigger wastage is the money we are (apparently) going to spend on an artificially 'professional' second tier under the 2x10s.

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

Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959

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3 hours ago, nadera78 said:

I'm largely with you on this, in that I think our sport needs to focus on SL (generates all our revenue), internationals (exposure) and the community game (player development). However, I don't see how cutting £600,000 from L1 clubs is really going to benefit any of those above priorities. The bigger wastage is the money we are (apparently) going to spend on an artificially 'professional' second tier under the 2x10s.

Yes, the 2 x 10 seems a load of nonsense. Its hard to give a full view because we also don't know what funding is for the Championship - we have already seen London announce their move to part time because of funding. 

I'm all for tough decisions needing to be made, but 2 x 10 doesn't seem to be it. 

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3 hours ago, nadera78 said:

The bigger wastage is the money we are (apparently) going to spend on an artificially 'professional' second tier under the 2x10s.

You mean you don’t think adding Leigh and Salford to the Championship and renaming it Super League 2 will land us a big Sky tv deal for our 2nd division?

2 x 10 SL’s is the dumbest idea of all, if it does happen (hopefully it doesn’t) I give it 2 years until Super League is back to 12 clubs. 

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2 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Yes, the 2 x 10 seems a load of nonsense. Its hard to give a full view because we also don't know what funding is for the Championship - we have already seen London announce their move to part time because of funding. 

I'm all for tough decisions needing to be made, but 2 x 10 doesn't seem to be it. 

£2million to share out between the Championship and League One is what’s been reported. 

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25 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

£2million to share out between the Championship and League One is what’s been reported. 

so £50k per L1 club and just over £100k per Champ club.... even it out a bit.

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cru....Cru.....CRUSADERS!!!!!!

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9 hours ago, Damien said:

That's quite true. The sport isn't strong enough nor big enough to cut any club. We need more clubs and more representation across the country, not less.

And for a sport far sighted enough to look beyond results on the field as a measure of success ........

All of the current (and the majority of former  ) L1 expansion clubs have some structures in place that quite frankly some M62 clubs would kill for .

Both Bears and Skolars were grown organically from Amateur Clubs and have successfully developed the Community game in their area (Skolars we are talking Wood Green / Tottenham why some people believe that they should work across the whole capital is beyond me  ) .

WW Raiders have been pro active taking a major share in Stebonheath Park to secure a home base of their own and along with Cru , the game is building nicely in Wales and Cru despite having to find a new base due to the Current COVID  Situation have been the L1 team of the season for me , absolutely killing it getting new fans and persuading old fans back to the game .

Of the former Clubs , Hemel are another who built a strong base in their community before joining the league and have a income generating home ground of their own  and the All Golds University Model should have been given more time to take advantage of the ever expanding student game .

But if this lot in charge are given their way we might as well just wave goodbye now to all this positivity and find people like Alan Robinson , Bearman and lots of other commited folk like them walk away from the game for good .

But hey we can go watch two teams of Aussies masquerading as Leeds and Wigan every week - no thanks 

 

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3 hours ago, nadera78 said:

I'm largely with you on this, in that I think our sport needs to focus on SL (generates all our revenue), internationals (exposure) and the community game (player development). However, I don't see how cutting £600,000 from L1 clubs is really going to benefit any of those above priorities. The bigger wastage is the money we are (apparently) going to spend on an artificially 'professional' second tier under the 2x10s.

Yep, I think that sums it up well. Any money spent outside SL should be divided equally among all non-SL clubs, dependent on community work. The clubs with the bigger fanbases will still naturally rise to the top as their higher gate receipts will allow them to recruit the best PT players. 

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33 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

£2million to share out between the Championship and League One is what’s been reported. 

So the whole talk of 2 x 10s, SL2 and closing the gap between SL and the Championship was a load of baloney. Who'd have known that.

It was obvious to anyone with half a brain cell that the money did not exist to do that. It was also obvious that SL clubs would not take the huge funding cuts necessary.

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7 minutes ago, Rach said:

And for a sport far sighted enough to look beyond results on the field as a measure of success ........

All of the current (and the majority of former  ) L1 expansion clubs have some structures in place that quite frankly some M62 clubs would kill for .

Both Bears and Skolars were grown organically from Amateur Clubs and have successfully developed the Community game in their area (Skolars we are talking Wood Green / Tottenham why some people believe that they should work across the whole capital is beyond me  ) .

WW Raiders have been pro active taking a major share in Stebonheath Park to secure a home base of their own and along with Cru , the game is building nicely in Wales and Cru despite having to find a new base due to the Current COVID  Situation have been the L1 team of the season for me , absolutely killing it getting new fans and persuading old fans back to the game .

Of the former Clubs , Hemel are another who built a strong base in their community before joining the league and have a income generating home ground of their own  and the All Golds University Model should have been given more time to take advantage of the ever expanding student game .

But if this lot in charge are given their way we might as well just wave goodbye now to all this positivity and find people like Alan Robinson , Bearman and lots of other commited folk like them walk away from the game for good .

But hey we can go watch two teams of Aussies masquerading as Leeds and Wigan every week - no thanks 

 

I was with you until your last paragraph. We need a strong, attractive SL with international players. We also need a community game bringing through English players, and L1 does a good job there at a cheap price. It's the mediocre middle where the waste is. 

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15 minutes ago, Damien said:

So the whole talk of 2 x 10s, SL2 and closing the gap between SL and the Championship was a load of baloney. Who'd have known that.

It was obvious to anyone with half a brain cell that the money did not exist to do that. It was also obvious that SL clubs would not take the huge funding cuts necessary.

So I'm glad we're not paying 500k or more to individual tier 2 clubs in some misguided attempt to make P&R work. It was never going to work. So divide the 2m relatively equally between the non-SL clubs, and we save clubs like Coventry and Skolars without wasting money on pipe dreams. People like Mr Beaumont can continue to fund such dreams out of their own pocket if they so wish. 

Edited by Toby Chopra
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10 hours ago, Davo5 said:

We really are talking a pittance in the broad scheme of things to give these clubs a future.

I appreciate your sincere concern, but the broad scheme of things is now survival. SKY didn't have to even renew the contract, and then when they did they only gave us two years.  To me it's two years to save the game.

The Bears are up against Coventry City, and then Wasps, and then Coventry RUFC Mr. Robinson has done a fantastic job against such opposition. We have clubs that need every penny to keep the game relevant in such as Batley, York, Swinton and Widnes - it's in these places where the game still has some strength.

I love the idea of "expansion" as much as you do but this is contraction, and if the game disappears from the TV screens then we are all done and Union will be expanding on the M62 led by Sale playing out of Salford's "old " ground. We are talking every penny counts to save the game Davo.

 

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13 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

I was with you until your last paragraph. We need a strong, attractive SL with international players. We also need a community game bringing through English players, and L1 does a good job there at a cheap price. It's the mediocre middle where the waste is. 

I have always said this too.

I think it's now clear that there needs to be separation in funding between the full time professional Super League and part time lower leagues. There is no reason that the Championship shouldn't be much closer to league 1 than in terms of funding than Super League. Funding full time lower league professional clubs and creating the illusion of giving the promoted club a chance is a luxury the sport cannot afford. That's not to say they can't choose to be full time but they shouldn't get 4 times the funding of others to do so.

Edited by Damien
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