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Funding cuts could mean the end for Coventry Bears


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10 hours 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 ...

 

York have been members of the RFL for over 100 years, having beating the touring Australasians and reached a CC final..... 

Edited by Les Tonks Sidestep
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6 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

So I'm glad we're not paying 500k or more to 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. 

But we are already seeing criticism of reduced funding in Championship (London going PT thread). 

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16 minutes ago, Les Tonks Sidestep said:

York have been members of the RFL for over 100 years, having beating the touring Australasians and reached a CC final..... 

I know York's history but all I'm saying is go back 20 years or so and you had a club that was massively struggling and look at them now.. By expansion I meant non M62.

Apologies for not making myself clear, on my last cuppa whilst steeling myself for a classroom of 15 year olds all day  .. 😀😀😀

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11 minutes ago, steve oates said:

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.

 

The problem is that survival mode only works if there's a light at the end of the tunnel. For example, clubs going into survival mode due to COVID is fine because we can reasonably assume that, at some point, COVID will end.

At the moment, there is no light at the end. The survival strategy is "hope that more money comes in." No one has put forward a plan to increase these revenues, or get more fans into the game. So it's not survival, just slowing down the death.

Now, let me be clear - I don't want ANY club to fail. However, if we're getting into the business of chopping of limbs to save the host, then all of the clubs you listed have clubs within a 30 minute drive of them. If they went under, there would still be Rugby League in the areas you describe - so any one of those individual clubs isn't required to keep the game relevant in that area. If Coventry goes under, then there's no club in the area any more at all. The game, as a whole, dies out in that area.

Additionally, given that these areas already "have some strength" as you put it, then surely they'll be more resilient to a drop in funding than a club that's out of the heartlands like Coventry? If we need to keep pumping money into these clubs, who have existed for a long time, just for them to survive then how can you claim there's strength there? Coventry has existed as a semi-pro club for 6 years... surely we can agree that a club that has existed for over 60 can take a small hit to ensure the game is moving forward?

 

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19 minutes ago, Les Tonks Sidestep said:

York have been members of the RFL for over 100 years, having beating the touring Australasians and reached a CC final..... 

I mean, the previous York club resigned from the RFL in 2002 with a new club formed to enter the league in 2003. Even if you count as continuous history between the two, there was a complete change of management, so not the same entity. It's only really since then that they've built the community profile stuff that we've been talking about.

Your point is also irrelevant to the discussion - since the question was would they have survived if they'd had an 80% reduction in funding around that sort of time.

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Coventry having done what they have done - basically on a central distribution equivalent of 2 development officers - is nothing short of staggering. What is the point of the 2021 RLWC committee giving a grant to Coventry as an area to help it grow when the governing body then paralyses its shining light (the professional club) by slashing its funding?

Who is fighting for these clubs? Where are the actual figureheads of our game?

 

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1 minute ago, Scubby said:

Coventry having done what they have done - basically on a central distribution equivalent of 2 development officers - is nothing short of staggering. What is the point of the 2021 RLWC committee giving a grant to Coventry as an area to help it grow when the governing body then paralyses its shining light (the professional club) by slashing its funding?

Who is fighting for these clubs? Where are the actual figureheads of our game?

 

The RFL should be strong-holding the SL clubs, remember it was SL who came begging to the RFL to reunite after the Elstone experiment went wrong. But as ever they’re inept at showing who’s actually in charge

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10 minutes ago, Spidey said:

The RFL should be strong-holding the SL clubs, remember it was SL who came begging to the RFL to reunite after the Elstone experiment went wrong. But as ever they’re inept at showing who’s actually in charge

People have defended Rimmer in the past but when we don't even know his views on the current situation (or his vision for the game) then really what the hell is the point?

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19 minutes ago, Spidey said:

The RFL should be strong-holding the SL clubs, remember it was SL who came begging to the RFL to reunite after the Elstone experiment went wrong. But as ever they’re inept at showing who’s actually in charge

Whoever holds the pursestrings is in charge. 

The RFL and lower divisions have been woeful at generating additional income streams. 

This argument over funding has been going on for years - it was made public that if there was a reduction it would come from the lower divisions. I have some sympathy that the international game has been shattered, but it looks like zero additional funding has been identified to cover any gaps. Gaps that were signposted years ago. 

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14 hours ago, lucky 7 said:

I seriously doubt anyone from the RFL reads these or any other forums related to Rugby League. In my opinion the RFL are the most incompetent professional sport governing body in the UK. If anybody knows a worse governing body of a professional sport in the UK please post it here

I’ll give you British Speedway Promoters Ltd (formerly the British Speedway Promoters Association). A sport that as recently as the 1970s claimed to be second only to football at the turnstiles now attracts a national weekly aggregate attendance of about 25,000. Since the mid-1980s, the number of clubs has more than halved - and not one continues to operate in London. Long gone are the days when the world’s top riders were desperate to ride in Britain. The Eastbourne club, founded in 1929, closed a few weeks ago. Compared to BSP, the RFL is doing a wonderful job.

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8 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Whoever holds the pursestrings is in charge. 

The RFL and lower divisions have been woeful at generating additional income streams. 

This argument over funding has been going on for years - it was made public that if there was a reduction it would come from the lower divisions. I have some sympathy that the international game has been shattered, but it looks like zero additional funding has been identified to cover any gaps. Gaps that were signposted years ago. 

For many sports the governing body has the national team and international aspect to generate funds. The performance of the RFL in the 8 years following the 2013 World Cup has been significantly below par. Allowing pet projects like Great Britain to interrupt brand growth and failing to capitalise on the opportunities it did create was small time and short sighted.

Clubs like Coventry and Newcastle should be feeding off the energy created by the governing body's vision for the whole game. Not hoping for scraps thrown by SL clubs.

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9 minutes ago, Hopping Mad said:

I’ll give you British Speedway Promoters Ltd (formerly the British Speedway Promoters Association). A sport that as recently as the 1970s claimed to be second only to football at the turnstiles now attracts a national weekly aggregate attendance of about 25,000. Since the mid-1980s, the number of clubs has more than halved - and not one continues to operate in London. Long gone are the days when the world’s top riders were desperate to ride in Britain. The Eastbourne club, founded in 1929, closed a few weeks ago. Compared to BSP, the RFL is doing a wonderful job.

I keep seeing analogies with speedway on this forum. Not being a speedway fan my initial instinct is always to rubbish them and say speedway is nothing like Rugby League. Then I read what people have to say and read a little about speedway and the decline and the parallels are uncanny.

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9 minutes ago, Damien said:

I keep seeing analogies with speedway on this forum. Not being a speedway fan my initial instinct is always to rubbish them and say speedway is nothing like Rugby League. Then I read what people have to say and read a little about speedway and the decline and the parallels are uncanny.

As you say, uncanny parallels (these days, speedway, too, is similarly ignored by the national media and participation has dropped off a cliff).

Speedway squandered - by simply giving most of the money to the riders - the relative fortune it received in recent years for Sky’s live coverage of top-flight meetings. Then, Sky pulled the plug...

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3 hours ago, Dave T said:

But we are already seeing criticism of reduced funding in Championship (London going PT thread). 

Well, yes, teams are always going to complain about less money, but no club in the Championship is going to go out of business because of the cuts, providing they adjust their player payments appropriately. I do share some of the concerns about L1, where there is much less room to make cost reductions and this needs to be addressed.

London going part time is a complete red herring: their full time status has been entirely dependent on Hughes for years, but he's using the funding change as cover for getting out. I'll also be interested to see what Leigh says their approach will be from 2023, assuming they get some sort of parachute 2022.

In the end, due to the strength of their gate money, we'll still see the same clubs rising to the top of the RFL tiers. (Apart from London) 

Edited by Toby Chopra
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21 minutes ago, Hopping Mad said:

I’ll give you British Speedway Promoters Ltd (formerly the British Speedway Promoters Association). A sport that as recently as the 1970s claimed to be second only to football at the turnstiles now attracts a national weekly aggregate attendance of about 25,000. Since the mid-1980s, the number of clubs has more than halved - and not one continues to operate in London. Long gone are the days when the world’s top riders were desperate to ride in Britain. The Eastbourne club, founded in 1929, closed a few weeks ago. Compared to BSP, the RFL is doing a wonderful job.

It's a good comparison.

I would say that my understanding about Eastbourne is that it was already a phoenix operation and was basically surviving on goodwill and hope of jam tomorrow.

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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4 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

It's a good comparison.

I would say that my understanding about Eastbourne is that it was already a phoenix operation and was basically surviving on goodwill and hope of jam tomorrow.

A very frank Q&A about Eastbourne’s recent closure (would the average rugby league club chairman/owner - Alan Robinson aside - be this open?):

https://www.eastbourne-speedway.com/ian-jordan-qa/

Edited by Hopping Mad
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35 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Whoever holds the pursestrings is in charge. 

The RFL and lower divisions have been woeful at generating additional income streams. 

This argument over funding has been going on for years - it was made public that if there was a reduction it would come from the lower divisions. I have some sympathy that the international game has been shattered, but it looks like zero additional funding has been identified to cover any gaps. Gaps that were signposted years ago. 

The RFL are the governing body and should act as so. SL tried to breakaway then went back. Both as bad as each other in their ineptness

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14 minutes ago, Hopping Mad said:

A very frank Q&A about Eastbourne’s recent closure (would the average rugby league club chairman/owner - Alan Robinson aside - be this open?):

https://www.eastbourne-speedway.com/ian-jordan-qa/

I'm not sure I've seen such an articulate, open and detailed discussion about a club closure before. That's really interesting.

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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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2 hours ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

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

It's a little more than that and is taken from the £5m to be given to the RFL. L1 will get just over £200k for the whole league and Championship around £1.8m. Make of that what you will 

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37 minutes ago, Hopping Mad said:

As you say, uncanny parallels (these days, speedway, too, is similarly ignored by the national media and participation has dropped off a cliff).

Speedway squandered - by simply giving most of the money to the riders - the relative fortune it received in recent years for Sky’s live coverage of top-flight meetings. Then, Sky pulled the plug...

As well as having a management structure in the hands of clubs who never agree on anything and an annual obsession with changing the league structure

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1 hour ago, zylya said:

The problem is that survival mode only works if there's a light at the end of the tunnel. For example, clubs going into survival mode due to COVID is fine because we can reasonably assume that, at some point, COVID will end.

At the moment, there is no light at the end. The survival strategy is "hope that more money comes in." No one has put forward a plan to increase these revenues, or get more fans into the game. So it's not survival, just slowing down the death.

Now, let me be clear - I don't want ANY club to fail. However, if we're getting into the business of chopping of limbs to save the host, then all of the clubs you listed have clubs within a 30 minute drive of them. If they went under, there would still be Rugby League in the areas you describe - so any one of those individual clubs isn't required to keep the game relevant in that area. If Coventry goes under, then there's no club in the area any more at all. The game, as a whole, dies out in that area.

Additionally, given that these areas already "have some strength" as you put it, then surely they'll be more resilient to a drop in funding than a club that's out of the heartlands like Coventry? If we need to keep pumping money into these clubs, who have existed for a long time, just for them to survive then how can you claim there's strength there? Coventry has existed as a semi-pro club for 6 years... surely we can agree that a club that has existed for over 60 can take a small hit to ensure the game is moving forward?

 

This is it. 100%. 

If it's a call between do we let Hunslet go amateur/fold or do we we let Coventry go amateur/fold do we chose the former or latter? Do we base it on which club is potentially more resilient to zero funding and which club if it just went under would their still be local strong amateur clubs. Or do we not. 

"The game" will choose Hunslet, Workington, Swinton, Oldham every time.

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2 hours ago, steve oates said:

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.

 

So your answer to “save” the game in 2 yrs is to do the same we’ve done for over 100 yrs,good luck with that.

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1 hour ago, zylya said:

Now, let me be clear - I don't want ANY club to fail. However, if we're getting into the business of chopping of limbs to save the host, then all of the clubs you listed have clubs within a 30 minute drive of them. If they went under, there would still be Rugby League in the areas you describe - so any one of those individual clubs isn't required to keep the game relevant in that area. If Coventry goes under, then there's no club in the area any more at all. The game, as a whole, dies out in that area.

Wakefield, Cas and Fev? Can we just keep Wakey? and all will be OK?

Hull & HKR   do we only need one of them? Step HKR down??

Fax and Huddersfield? Do we only save one of them??

Leigh and Wigan - only needs Wigan??

To lose five clubs and consequently lose 30,000 dedicated fans of the axed clubs and lose investors like Fulton, Campbell, Hudgell and Beaumont will instantly kill the game.

Are you actually serious here??

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10 minutes ago, Davo5 said:

So your answer to “save” the game in 2 yrs is to do the same we’ve done for over 100 yrs,good luck with that.

You yourself admit that doing the same thing has meant we have survived from 1895 to 2022.

We can't spread the game because Soccer and Rugby Union have things sown up outside the M62.

Scores of RL clubs have popped up outside the M62 most notably big cities like London and Sheffield. 

They have been around for decades, please tell me how they are doing right now?? 

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