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Funding cuts could mean the end for Coventry Bears


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Amazing how people can come into this topic and start throwing around suggestions for an amateur league for Cov to play in like that sorts everything out.

A pro/semi-pro club can be in a league with extra travel because they have the funding to do so.

An amateur club needs to be in a league that's relatively local because, get this, they don't have the funding for travel and their players aren't getting paid.

Believing that you can stick Coventry in an amateur league with round trips of over 200 miles and think that's going to work out is the height of delusion. Creating a situation where they have to take a significant step backwards and do extra work to fulfil fixtures - assuming the opposition even travel for the away games. Absolute madness.

As though anyone outside the heartlands would try to build their club towards the pro ranks when they see how easily the RFL will abandon them over £50,000. 

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39 minutes ago, zylya said:

Amazing how people can come into this topic and start throwing around suggestions for an amateur league for Cov to play in like that sorts everything out.

A pro/semi-pro club can be in a league with extra travel because they have the funding to do so.

An amateur club needs to be in a league that's relatively local because, get this, they don't have the funding for travel and their players aren't getting paid.

Believing that you can stick Coventry in an amateur league with round trips of over 200 miles and think that's going to work out is the height of delusion. Creating a situation where they have to take a significant step backwards and do extra work to fulfil fixtures - assuming the opposition even travel for the away games. Absolute madness.

As though anyone outside the heartlands would try to build their club towards the pro ranks when they see how easily the RFL will abandon them over £50,000. 

You have heard of the National Conference League haven’t you?

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1 hour ago, zylya said:

 

Believing that you can stick Coventry in an amateur league with round trips of over 200 miles and think that's going to work out is the height of delusion. Creating a situation where they have to take a significant step backwards and do extra work to fulfil fixtures - assuming the opposition even travel for the away games.

I’m not saying they should do it but the above isn’t really a valid reason for not doing it. The Cumbrian clubs in the NCL do that sort of travelling routinely and seem to manage ok.

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If the funding does drop to £20k a year would Coventry, West Wales Raiders and London Skolars be better splitting into a League One South. Bring back in teams like Hemel, Gloucestershire all golds, Oxford, and South Wales Scorpions. Yes the standard would be lower than the current League One (to be renamed League One North) but the teams in League One South could run on much smaller budgets.

Edited by Sir Kevin Sinfield
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33 minutes ago, Spidey said:

You have heard of the National Conference League haven’t you?

The point is that the RFL is essentially saying that it's worth potentially ruining a semi-pros club future so that the Super League clubs can share an extra £50,000 a year and everyone's solution is "well we could stick them in an amateur league." I don't get why you guys are so fixated on the amateur leagues - it's not the solution here. I'm sure they're great for the clubs that are in them, but that doesn't make it the best place to put a League 1 club because the RFL can't stick with anything for more than 10 minutes. 

To take a club that has turned itself semi-pro and say "sorry that we set you up with all this stuff and sorry that you've worked hard to build your club up on that basis - how do you feel about 200+ mile trips every other week for no money instead?" Shambles.

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16 minutes ago, Derwent said:

I’m not saying they should do it but the above isn’t really a valid reason for not doing it. The Cumbrian clubs in the NCL do that sort of travelling routinely and seem to manage ok.

I'm not saying that SOME amateur teams don't do an amazing job getting fixtures played - that's not the issue here and we shouldn't conflate the two.

And though Cumbrian clubs in the NCL will often have to play a handful of away games in East Yorks, they'll also have some games that are a lot closer - e.g. other Cumbrian teams. Coventry won't have any close games, no local derbies to create any interest. They'd also be playing against amateur in teams in a league that, IIRC, doesn't allow any payment. They'd be done as a semi-pro outfit.

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1 minute ago, zylya said:

I'm not saying that SOME amateur teams don't do an amazing job getting fixtures played - that's not the issue here and we shouldn't conflate the two.

And though Cumbrian clubs in the NCL will often have to play a handful of away games in East Yorks, they'll also have some games that are a lot closer - e.g. other Cumbrian teams. Coventry won't have any close games, no local derbies to create any interest. They'd also be playing against amateur in teams in a league that, IIRC, doesn't allow any payment. They'd be done as a semi-pro outfit.

London Skolars started in the NCL before League One (or whatever it’s called). It’s doable and Coventry have done it before also. I don’t this Travel is a blocker

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16 minutes ago, zylya said:

The point is that the RFL is essentially saying that it's worth potentially ruining a semi-pros club future so that the Super League clubs can share an extra £50,000 a year and everyone's solution is "well we could stick them in an amateur league." I don't get why you guys are so fixated on the amateur leagues - it's not the solution here. I'm sure they're great for the clubs that are in them, but that doesn't make it the best place to put a League 1 club because the RFL can't stick with anything for more than 10 minutes. 

To take a club that has turned itself semi-pro and say "sorry that we set you up with all this stuff and sorry that you've worked hard to build your club up on that basis - how do you feel about 200+ mile trips every other week for no money instead?" Shambles.

No offence to the likes of Wigan St Pats, Wigan St Judes etc but they are amateur clubs through and through with zero aspirations to be professional or to ever progress further than that. They will be the first to admit that and are great at what they do. However that is not the level that clubs representing entire towns and areas like Coventry, London, West Wales, and lets not forget towns and historic areas like Rochdale, Keighley Doncaster etc, should be playing at. Rochdale should be playing at a level above Rochdale Mayfield or what is the point.

This issue is partly the result of never properly building a pyramid, base and infrastructure that exists in other sports. That is 100% the games fault but we are where we are and cant change that. However League 1 is meant to be the base of the professional pyramid and provides an important role for the game. It has allowed heartland clubs like Barrow to drop down, regroup and build again and provides an important role for the introduction of new clubs. To cast it aside and/or inflict death by a thousand cuts would be one of the worst things the game has ever done in my opinion.

Edited by Damien
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16 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

If the funding does drop to £20k a year would Coventry, West Wales Raiders and London Skolars be better splitting into a League One South. Bring back in teams like Hemel, Gloucestershire all golds, Oxford, and South Wales Scorpions. Yes the standard would be lower than the current League One (to be renamed League One North) but the teams in League One South could run on much smaller budgets.

I've heard this suggestion before and I'm sorry it just won't work. There is just not the clubs to make it work. Hemel are happy where they are, All Golds talk a good game but didn't even finish their season this year, Oxford no longer exist, and South Wales no longer exist. Its pointless even thinking about it until the Southern conference manages to grow further and clubs finish a full season. 

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42 minutes ago, Derwent said:

I’m not saying they should do it but the above isn’t really a valid reason for not doing it. The Cumbrian clubs in the NCL do that sort of travelling routinely and seem to manage ok.

They’ve never been semi pro and competitive in league one though? 

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28 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

If the funding does drop to £20k a year would Coventry, West Wales Raiders and London Skolars be better splitting into a League One South. Bring back in teams like Hemel, Gloucestershire all golds, Oxford, and South Wales Scorpions. Yes the standard would be lower than the current League One (to be renamed League One North) but the teams in League One South could run on much smaller budgets.

It would be a tin pot league no better than the current southern conference (as Cov and Skolars would have to drop down to their level). The best team in it would be worse than the worst team in League One North. 

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10 minutes ago, Eddie said:

It would be a tin pot league no better than the current southern conference (as Cov and Skolars would have to drop down to their level). The best team in it would be worse than the worst team in League One North. 

Indeed. On paper it sounds great but the reality would be very different. The former professional clubs get dragged down to a very poor level, and one that even struggles to fulfil fixtures, against teams consisting of RU players playing in the off season. It will be much harder for those clubs to attract players and they certainly wont grow. In time the likes of Coventry and Skolars will struggle to even survive and/or may end up with few teams to even play against based on past history. That route only goes one way at this moment in time.

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32 minutes ago, Eddie said:

They’ve never been semi pro and competitive in league one though? 

No and I’m not saying it’s what Coventry should do. I was merely pointing out that the travelling issue isn’t really an argument against it. There are other perfectly valid reasons against it but that isn’t one of them.

I’m not prejudiced, I hate everybody equally

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1 minute ago, Derwent said:

No and I’m not saying it’s what Coventry should do. I was merely pointing out that the travelling issue isn’t really an argument against it. There are other perfectly valid reasons against it but that isn’t one of them.

It is, they’ll have amateur players and no income. Amateur players won’t want to travel for hours every other weekend for no remuneration to play in a low standard competition, and even if they did it would cost too much. There’s a reason why as you go down sports pyramids the leagues get more and more regionalised / local. 

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1 hour ago, zylya said:

The point is that the RFL is essentially saying that it's worth potentially ruining a semi-pros club future so that the Super League clubs can share an extra £50,000 a year and everyone's solution is "well we could stick them in an amateur league."

This nonsense needs challenging - the RFL have no authority over what the Super League clubs do with their money.

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2 minutes ago, Eddie said:

It is, they’ll have amateur players and no income. Amateur players won’t want to travel for hours every other weekend for no remuneration to play in a low standard competition, and even if they did it would cost too much. There’s a reason why as you go down sports pyramids the leagues get more and more regionalised / local. 

Expecting Coventry to play in an amateur competition where you will have players spending 10 hours traveling there and back to somewhere like Egremont just isn't feasible. For London Skolars that is probably more like 14 hours. Yes its doable but players will quickly be put off that when they can play in a nice little regional RU league and earn a little bit of money on the side.

Again though why would the teams behind these clubs, who have professional aspirations, bother going down this path anyway. The door is being firmly closed on them with little prospect of being professional again unless something like League 1 comes back. That of course would then make the entire exercise pointless. Maybe some of the people that have done all the sterling work to build these clubs up over the years will just think why bother.

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1 hour ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

If the funding does drop to £20k a year would Coventry, West Wales Raiders and London Skolars be better splitting into a League One South. Bring back in teams like Hemel, Gloucestershire all golds, Oxford, and South Wales Scorpions. Yes the standard would be lower than the current League One (to be renamed League One North) but the teams in League One South could run on much smaller budgets.

If I could be bothered I'd do a search and work out how many times you've proposed this now on threads but I suspect it's into double figures now over the years - what's the personal attraction of it by the way? - so here's my also traditional reply...

The answer is *still* no, just as it was last year, the year before, etc.

Oxford are gone, Scorpions are West Wales Raiders - so that's two out to start with.

It also betrays a misunderstanding of what RL is down here outside a few very dedicated amateur clubs and the L1 sides - basically a bit of fluff throwaround for a mix of die hard fanatics and RU players out of season. The really committed amateur sides work wonders on a shoestring (and we all know who they are), but you can't just wave a wand and turn points on a map, or current semi pro clubs into really committed amateur sides - it's not what many of them put their hands in their pockets for, or play for.

A national League 1 validated/s the Southern semi pro sides, who *want* to play 'proper' RL clubs, and whose fans want to see the same.

In my previous posts on this subject to you I've said that the quickest way to kill the southern semi-pro clubs would be to put them in a southern league. I was, I'll admit wrong, because the quickest way as it turns out is actually to just cut all their central funding.

But your alternative will still kill them.

Bluntly, cutting all the funding to League 1 is the stupidest way of handling southern rugby league I can think of, and a League 1 South is the second stupidest. Given the choice of either I would bet most people would still walk away (fans, players, backers, volunteers). You'll get the die hards, but you always get the die hards.

Edited by iffleyox
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20 minutes ago, Damien said:

Expecting Coventry to play in an amateur competition where you will have players spending 10 hours traveling there and back to somewhere like Egremont just isn't feasible. For London Skolars that is probably more like 14 hours. Yes its doable but players will quickly be put off that when they can play in a nice little regional RU league and earn a little bit of money on the side.

Again though why would the teams behind these clubs, who have professional aspirations, bother going down this path anyway. The door is being firmly closed on them with little prospect of being professional again unless something like League 1 comes back. That of course would then make the entire exercise pointless. Maybe some of the people that have done all the sterling work to build these clubs up over the years will just think why bother.

Just to add to this and the other comments. This is spot on. Anyone who thinks if Coventry drops out of league one they will go and play in amateur leagues with loads of travel are deluded. Its not going to happen! The likely outcome if the club was to continue is that it would just keep developing Juniors. As it stands the Southern conference is just not suitable. 

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2 minutes ago, iffleyox said:

If I could be bothered I'd do a search and work out how many times you've proposed this now on threads but I suspect it's into double figures now over the years - what's the personal attraction of it by the way? - so here's my also traditional reply...

The answer is *still* no, just as it was last year, the year before, etc.

Oxford are gone, Scorpions are West Wales Raiders - so that's two out to start with.

It also betrays a misunderstanding of what RL is down here outside a few very dedicated amateur clubs and the L1 sides - basically a bit of fluff throwaround for a mix of die hard fanatics and RU players out of season. The really committed sides work wonders on a shoestring, but you can't just wave a wand and turn points on a map, or current semi pro clubs into really committed amateur sides - it's not what many of them put their hands in their pockets for, or play for.

A national League 1 validated/s the Southern semi pro sides, who *want* to play 'proper' RL clubs, and whose fans want to see the same.

In my previous posts on this subject to you I've said that the quickest way to kill the southern semi-pro clubs would be to put them in a southern league. I was, I'll admit wrong, because the quickest way as it turns out is actually to just cut all their central funding.

But your alternative will still kill them.

Bluntly, cutting all the funding to League 1 is the stupidest way of handling southern rugby league I can think of, and a League 1 South is the second stupidest. Given the choice of either I would bet most people would still walk away (fans, players, backers, volunteers). You'll get the die hards, but you always get the die hards.

Spot on 👆

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3 hours ago, zylya said:

The point is that the RFL is essentially saying that it's worth potentially ruining a semi-pros club future so that the Super League clubs can share an extra £50,000 a year and everyone's solution is "well we could stick them in an amateur league." I don't get why you guys are so fixated on the amateur leagues - it's not the solution here. I'm sure they're great for the clubs that are in them, but that doesn't make it the best place to put a League 1 club because the RFL can't stick with anything for more than 10 minutes. 

To take a club that has turned itself semi-pro and say "sorry that we set you up with all this stuff and sorry that you've worked hard to build your club up on that basis - how do you feel about 200+ mile trips every other week for no money instead?" Shambles.

A good way to look at it is ‘what would be the opportunity cost if the £50k was diverted to the RFL’s operations or to Super League clubs?’

The first thing that needs investigating is ‘what % of midlands players took up rugby league because Coventry exists as a semi-pro team?’ That is a pretty simple thing to do. You can then start working out my first question regarding opportunity cost. 

Without doing the above we’re all simply hypothesising. Of course the owner is going to advocate for maintaining or increasing funding - as he should. But any decision should go through the above rigour. 
 

If the £50k is to be divided by 12 SL clubs, you’d be asking what value £4,000 pounds has for a SL club. 

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2 hours ago, Dave T said:

This nonsense needs challenging - the RFL have no authority over what the Super League clubs do with their money.

I'll take the hit on this for being lazy with my wording. You're right that it's the Super League clubs that made the decision on total funding to the RFL, although it is still the RFL that makes the decision on how to distribute that funding that SL gives them, for example between operations, Championship and League 1 etc so they're not entirely blameless. Especially considering that the RFL haven't done near enough to increase their own commercial revenues.

Massively missing the point to hone in on that pedantic issue when there's a much more important discussion going on about where the money would be best spent.

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57 minutes ago, newbe said:

Didn't Hemel win NCL 3, the season before they joined League 1. It can be done I suppose. 

Would that not have been Rugby League Conference (National), or whatever the former National League Three was called at the time?

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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