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Ralph Rimmer gives an Interview


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48 minutes ago, whatmichaelsays said:

Isn't the issue here in people seeing this as an issue of "the leader" rather than "a leadership team"? 

I agree with you - this is a tough gig and a new CEO doesn't necessarily answer the problem. But we (by which I mean the supporter base and commenters on here) don't often talk about key roles beyond the CEO or Chairman and I don't think that's helpful. There's no mention of a Chief Customer Officer, a Chief Marketing Officer, a Chief Digital Officer, a Creative Director or a Media Director. I'm sure many of those roles (or at least, someone to take on the responsibilities of those roles) exist within the RFL, SLE in one guise or another but it seems that many seem to think that Ralph, or whoever is the RFL leader, should be, with the possible exception of a CFO, all of those things in one (hence the Eddie Hearn clamour). 

Again, I think that's something that Elstone did understand with the appointment of Lee Hicken as Creative Director, and some of the content output in the early part of Elstone's tenure was a marked improvement that I'm sure was down to the work of Hicken. 

Sure, all of those people attract a cost, but isn't that the cost of doing business in modern sport? 

I totally agree... but the role of a CEO is to ensure the right organisation and the right people, within the constraints of the money available of course.

Their upon lies the problem, has the new CEO (as he was when he came on board as CEO) done anything organisationally and changed people to suit the circumstances of the situation as in sporting/Rugby economy, future direction etc etc.

From the outside in he seems more an administrator not CEO - maybe the job title is incorrect.

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1 hour ago, redjonn said:

From the outside in he seems more an administrator not CEO - maybe the job title is incorrect.

I agree with that

If Ralph was, like, number 3 in the organisation, working away behind the scenes on delivering services, disciplinary, referees, HR and so on, then I think he'd be great. He's clearly competent at administration, and passionate about the sport.

The problem comes with him being catapulted into the head role. He's way out of his depth, and the very epitome of being promoted above his level. 

In an ideal world he'd be a guy in the background, and we'd have one - or more likely several - people with vision, strategy and media savvy driving the sport forward and engaging with the media, supporters and potential investors.

But this is Rugby League, and we've just got Ralph 😟

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4 hours ago, idrewthehaggis said:

Supporters a whispering voice on the periphery. Thrashing around in the dark either on here or on the terraces.

Without a doubt, we as the people who provide the greatest emotional and financial input (match tickets, etc) yet our voice is barely considered.

How this changes I don't know, but it needs to change.

Tell that to one Maurice Lyndsey with his club merger strategy, the supporters were not a whispering voice on that occasion in fact it was that loud he gave into it.

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4 hours ago, Damien said:

I think that's quite true. I perhaps gave Elstone more time than many and that is because of the positive changes he initially made and what he originally said. He initially seemed to have a vision and seemed to want to make Super League bigger. However as time went on it became very apparent that he wouldn't\couldn't make real change and Super League was just going towards more of the same. He began to pander more and more to existing clubs, probably to protect his position somewhat, and he seemed to retreat more and more to the status quo and heartland clubs. You don't need to pay a SL CEO big money for that and that's basically what we had before the split.

Do you not consider that Mr Elstone was somewhat hampered by your own Chairman and a couple or 3 more of the let's say influential bodies in SL, in my humble opinion he was brought in to do a job as was described in his televised unveiling, he was set up with his own team but then had to go back to the 'Bosses' for sanctioning his decisions before he could implement things, I do believe he resigned out of frustration.

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On 13/09/2021 at 05:50, Jeff Stein said:

I know that verbatim accounts are not particularly fluent at time, but surely we could have a figurehead that can do better than this: “Although the team on the park has suddenly, or not suddenly, after a few seasons, is credible now, and there’s still a majority of Midlands players although I know there’s perhaps five that come down from the north". It is almost as if he was surprised to get a question about Coventry.

He also chucked David Hughes and possibly Hector McNeil under a bus by saying that London Owners haven't listened to the RFL. It seems all the successes in London RL are down to the RFL and all failures down to the clubs. While the issues of the Broncos management are well reported, this suggestion would still lead to eyebrows being raised by anyone who follows all parts of the game down here

I thought it was well put IMO and he was definitely directing it to Hughes. 
The RFL sees the value in the academy and understands that a fully pro team is an important carrot to attract kids. But similarly to Hughes and his reluctance to listen to the fans, Hughes is also reluctant to listen to the RFL. 
#shambles

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On 13/09/2021 at 13:33, John Drake said:

Ideally, yes, if the RL family could ever actually agree on anything, of course.

That's the point I was making about assuming 'fans' are some kind of single entity who all have the same opinion on where the game should be heading and how to get there.

These forums alone demonstrate that there are wild variations on that score.

Oh course. The discord is legendary. In truth each supporter is partisan towards their own club and whatever scenario would benefit it. It is all on show here, every day. Sometimes serious and other times hilarious, whether they meant it or not. 

There is no uniform "fan." I mean it embraces big city Manchester/Salford, Leeds, Toulouse and London down to small town Featherstone, Villeneuve, Carpentras and Maryport, which in itself would imply diversity of lifestyle, prosperity, culture and thought.

But although RL is not a democracy, there is plenty of evidence abound that real and meaningful consultation creates solutions and cements solidarity, especially when change is needed. If the RFL and the club owners think they can act without the support of the fans, then it will even more deteriorate the sport. 

As for Rimmer's job being challenging. I'd be honest so is a nurse, or a teacher and especially a RL journalist!  

21 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

Tell that to one Maurice Lyndsey with his club merger strategy, the supporters were not a whispering voice on that occasion in fact it was that loud he gave into it.

Yeah I remember all that back then. Maybe we need to be as boisterous now as we were then. 

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1 hour ago, Man of Kent said:

Rimmer seems pretty sold on 2x10 but it’s not “over the line” yet while Johnson says he’d prefer not to have private equity but some sort of external investment seems highly likely. 

10x2 would be excruciatingly dull, there are already too many repeat fixtures with 12 teams.
 

The only benefits I can think of are if 20 teams get a decent slice of the pie instead of 11, there is 2 up 2 down rather than 1, and ‘SL2’ games also get shown on Sky. I’d also want P&R with the third tier, however that looks. 

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1 hour ago, Eddie said:

10x2 would be excruciatingly dull, there are already too many repeat fixtures with 12 teams.
 

The only benefits I can think of are if 20 teams get a decent slice of the pie instead of 11, there is 2 up 2 down rather than 1, and ‘SL2’ games also get shown on Sky. I’d also want P&R with the third tier, however that looks. 

The rationale from the RFL seems to be concentrating talent (and I daresay resources) in fewer teams, more P&R interest for TV and less of a cliff-edge between the top two tiers.

As I say, it’s not a done deal. Rimmer doesn’t seem convinced he knows what he wants. 

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On 14/09/2021 at 02:51, dealwithit said:

I thought it was well put IMO and he was definitely directing it to Hughes. 
The RFL sees the value in the academy and understands that a fully pro team is an important carrot to attract kids. But similarly to Hughes and his reluctance to listen to the fans, Hughes is also reluctant to listen to the RFL. 
#shambles

What is the amount of community clubs currently developed by London?  Genuine question I asked MoK a few days ago.

The real key to the academy is those CC’s.  Rimmer mentions them in his recent interview.  Can you or anyone else advise?  Doesn’t seem that many on the RFL website.

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1 minute ago, Lowdesert said:

What is the amount of community clubs currently developed by London?  Genuine question I asked MoK a few days ago.

The real key to the academy is those CC’s.  Rimmer mentions them in his recent interview.  Can you or anyone else advise?  Doesn’t seem that many on the RFL website.

Its not just London tbf, its everywhere South of Sheffield... ok maybe that is exaggerating but the South East certainly. 

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1 minute ago, Tommygilf said:

Its not just London tbf, its everywhere South of Sheffield... ok maybe that is exaggerating but the South East certainly. 

You'd need someone like @Archie Gordonto tell you about the active set ups with regards to community/development clubs in and around London.

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11 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Its not just London tbf, its everywhere South of Sheffield... ok maybe that is exaggerating but the South East certainly. 

My question asked just that Tom.  

Genuinely, I would like to look at the the development by London as a club and the RFL.

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1 hour ago, M j M said:

Being for 2 x 10 should be disqualifying in its own right for top job.

It should. The thing is would 2 x 10s even be being discussed if it wasn't for the reduced TV contract? I don't think it would.

Therefore the logic behind it becomes immediately flawed when we are thinking how to best progress the sport and build Super League to make it better and more valuable. It is being done for all the wrong reasons. This is not a proactive plan or strategy, it is reactive and wrong. Even the reasons given about closing the gap and p&r stand up to absolutely no scrutiny when it comes to the financials.

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1 hour ago, gingerjon said:

You'd need someone like @Archie Gordonto tell you about the active set ups with regards to community/development clubs in and around London.

I'll have a go but in doing so I'll flag that there are other posters on here who've been centrally involved in London community clubs much longer than me ...

First, numbers. For the 2021 season, the London Junior League ran comps at u18 (8 teams), u16 (11 teams), u14 (8 teams), u12 (6 teams). These numbers are in line with pre-Covid, possibly a little better. So far as I can tell, they seem on a par with junior competitions in Cumbria, the North East, and Hull. That said, I imagine that we have many more 'union first' players than those other competitions. But clearly there is a decent production line of rugby league juniors.

In recent pre-Covid times, London Broncos has sent Rob Powell to league meetings, sent players/coaches out to clubs for training, hosted the Junior Grand Finals day at Trailfinders, held ETP days, and been active in setting up the North vs South 'Origin' series at the different age groups. 

Despite getting the competitions up-and-running again in 2021, some of these extra Broncos resources seem not to have returned - Trailfinders is no longer home to Grand Finals, no ETP days this year, and the Origin series hasn't taken place. But it's been a hard year for everyone so whilst I'm personally disappointed that some of these things didn't happen, let's see what 2022 brings. 

A cloud on the horizon for me is the fact that Rob Powell is now employed by Richmond RU and it's not clear how this fits with the club's promise to put more money into the scholarship/academy. Another cloud is the loss of the Wards who took a clear interest in what was happening below scholarship level. But JC will likely be good at this stuff.

Given that the league and its community clubs have run a pretty successful 2021, I'm confident that we could and would carry on without a pro team at the head of the pyramid - though where the talented 16-18yo would end up is not clear. The bigger threat to the league's existence is not a failing Broncos but a decline in volunteers - league committee members, coaches, team managers, refs. We're getting desperately short of these people who are already overburdened. Who fixes that?

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5 hours ago, Eddie said:

10x2 would be excruciatingly dull, there are already too many repeat fixtures with 12 teams.
 

The only benefits I can think of are if 20 teams get a decent slice of the pie instead of 11, there is 2 up 2 down rather than 1, and ‘SL2’ games also get shown on Sky. I’d also want P&R with the third tier, however that looks. 

We have few financial resources as it is, and they're about to be reduced substantially. In that context, spreading them over 20 clubs instead of 12 is insane. We are actively choosing to make our elite competition poorer.

"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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Who fixes it?

I'd say the RFL, but hey we know the answer to that.

The Magic Ten seems to be cast by the sorcery of Mammon rather than any other concerns.

If it was a spell then it would be enchanted by Wizards Ian, Simon and Gary as:

"Less money=less teams=same money for the same clubs."

In truth the number of teams is not the issue. Surely it is whether there is an adequately funded second tier to stop those unlucky to be relegated to stop disappearing into the abyss such as has happened to Oldham, Workington, Sheffield and Widnes.

Again this demonstrates a revolting RFL mistake. Re-alignment of the structure does not address the real big issues. 

 

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1 hour ago, Archie Gordon said:

I'll have a go but in doing so I'll flag that there are other posters on here who've been centrally involved in London community clubs much longer than me ...

First, numbers. For the 2021 season, the London Junior League ran comps at u18 (8 teams), u16 (11 teams), u14 (8 teams), u12 (6 teams). These numbers are in line with pre-Covid, possibly a little better. So far as I can tell, they seem on a par with junior competitions in Cumbria, the North East, and Hull. That said, I imagine that we have many more 'union first' players than those other competitions. But clearly there is a decent production line of rugby league juniors.

In recent pre-Covid times, London Broncos has sent Rob Powell to league meetings, sent players/coaches out to clubs for training, hosted the Junior Grand Finals day at Trailfinders, held ETP days, and been active in setting up the North vs South 'Origin' series at the different age groups. 

Despite getting the competitions up-and-running again in 2021, some of these extra Broncos resources seem not to have returned - Trailfinders is no longer home to Grand Finals, no ETP days this year, and the Origin series hasn't taken place. But it's been a hard year for everyone so whilst I'm personally disappointed that some of these things didn't happen, let's see what 2022 brings. 

A cloud on the horizon for me is the fact that Rob Powell is now employed by Richmond RU and it's not clear how this fits with the club's promise to put more money into the scholarship/academy. Another cloud is the loss of the Wards who took a clear interest in what was happening below scholarship level. But JC will likely be good at this stuff.

Given that the league and its community clubs have run a pretty successful 2021, I'm confident that we could and would carry on without a pro team at the head of the pyramid - though where the talented 16-18yo would end up is not clear. The bigger threat to the league's existence is not a failing Broncos but a decline in volunteers - league committee members, coaches, team managers, refs. We're getting desperately short of these people who are already overburdened. Who fixes that?

Thanks Archie.  Although I’ve looked on my phone which isn’t the best, Hull & District it around 36 clubs at those age groups but some clubs have 2 teams in a league so London are a bit behind but not so much..  Better than I thought.

RB is then, a big loss.  The community game development is the nucleus for recruitment and in my opinion needs to be improved upon if London have any long term aspirations but, as you say, loss of many volunteers doesn’t help.

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8 minutes ago, idrewthehaggis said:

Who fixes it?

I'd say the RFL, but hey we know the answer to that.

It's in the RFL's court, yes, because lack of volunteers is a game-wide problem. (And I think the RFL community game staff are really helpful as individuals). But pro clubs could do something too - my view is that all academy players should reach the end of their spell armed with coaching and reffing qualifications. I am sure that it would make them better players but also better RL citizens. Possibly this happens at some clubs.

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2 minutes ago, Archie Gordon said:

It's in the RFL's court, yes, because lack of volunteers is a game-wide problem. (And I think the RFL community game staff are really helpful as individuals). But pro clubs could do something too - my view is that all academy players should reach the end of their spell armed with coaching and reffing qualifications. I am sure that it would make them better players but also better RL citizens. Possibly this happens at some clubs.

One that I fully agree with. It would also assist with the attrition or players “lost” to the game

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