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Promotion & Relegation/Licencing hybrid system


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Promotion & Relegation/Licencing hybrid system.

The 4-year cycle “Era League” table

The Proposal: With an inevitable league restructure on the way I would like to propose a hybrid P&R/Licencing system to determine which clubs should have Super League status. I believe Super League status should be judged by on-field performance rather than off-field criteria. However, I appreciate simple yearly promotion and relegation causes as many problems as it solves. I believe there is a hybrid solution. I propose introducing 4-year league table consisting of the results of 4 consecutive seasons of each of the Super League, Championship and League One divisions. These leagues could be called Legacy or Era League tables (working title). After 4 seasons, or one 4-year Era cycle, the 3 teams found at the bottom of the Super League Era League table will be relegated to the Championship (at least 3 teams, 4 being my personal preference). The three teams at the top of the Championship Era League are promoted to Super League. The three teams at the bottom of the Championship Era table are relegated to League One. The three teams at the top of the League One table are promoted to the Championship. The following season will begin the next 4-year cycle.

The Positives: It creates the opportunity for clubs to compete for a special exclusive honour/trophy awarded to the club who finishes top of their respective Era League. The Era leagues will not create any extra fixtures as they are compiled from existing results from regular rugby seasons. Every single fixture will count toward something no matter how good or bad a single season might be going for any particular club. No club will be disproportionally punished for having one rare, disappointing, unlucky season. Clubs will have more certainty to plan over a 4-year period and ends the desperate scramble for survival which comes with yearly one up one down P&R. It removes the chance of lower league clubs and fans becoming disenfranchised with a ring-fenced Super League licensing system. A promoted club has time to establish and grow in their new league without becoming a “yo-yo” club between two leagues year on year. The 4-year cycle can co-inside with a World Cup cycle helping establish World Cups as the pinnacle of the sport and give a sense of renewal after a World Cup tournament with refreshed looking leagues and clean slate Era league tables. The number of teams promoted or relegated over a cycle can be increased/decreased through either desire or necessity. Fans would have a greater sense of justice and understanding if a league was visible and available to them to show how consistent or inconsistent their club has been over a 4-year cycle.

The Negatives: With play-off systems currently in place, not all teams will play the exact same number of games in a season and not all those games are of the same significance. A Grand Final is not the same as any other play-off game and a play-off game is not the same as a regular season game. A play-off victory would therefore need to count as more in the Era League standings than a regular season fixture in recognition of it’s significance and difficulty, while a Grand Final victory would have to count significantly more than any other game. For example, and for Era League purposes only, a play-off victory could count as 3 Era League points and winning a Grand Final could count as 6 Era League points rather than the standard 2 league points. This does make things slightly less straight forward in terms of calculating the Era league toward the end of a 4-year cycle.

However, this can be avoided with a simple table calculated by a win percentages over the 4 year cycle or a table comprised of Era competitions points decided by final league standings each year. E.g league finish 1st = 12pts, 12th = 1pt.

This hybrid model also lessens the number of teams who would normally get promoted in the same time scale with the simple one up one down P&R system, although that could be altered (I propose 4 teams as the cycle lasts 4 years). A poorer performing or weaker club could potentially take up valuable space in a particular league not suited for them for a longer period of time (However, this is less likely due to the consistency needed over the 4 year cycle to gain promotion in the first place). This system operates fairest if every team completes their entire season with no cancelled fixtures, but hopefully those days are behind us.

Conclusion: I believe this model works better for clubs as it gives them a greater sense of certainty, stability and more time to prepare for promotion or relegation. It provides a greater indicator of clubs who are deserving or undeserving of their current league placement. It retains a sense of peril fans still want the leagues to possess. It offers enough security for clubs to operate with confidence and it offers ambitious up and coming clubs the chance to progress. All the while it creates a brand new trophy top teams can compete for with extra significance and prestige without creating any added fixtures.

 

What do you think?

Edited by JAG
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Problem is a team like Leigh for example have a bad first year,  slowly improve,  build up something, and in year 4 really have got something,  but overall are in bottom three because of poor years 1 and 2 so are relegated.  A waste of four years building,  so a no for me.

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I appreciate that but Leigh were not a strong club going into Super League, they were cherry picked above more deserving clubs. A team that can demonstrate consistently they are strong on and off the pitch over a period of 4 years would make them much more capable of being a success in Super League and even retaining a spot for another 4 years.

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The number of teams relegated/promoted can be altered as desired. If there's faith enough teams in the Championship could be a success in SL and relegating some SL clubs feels a bit too harsh or detrimental to the game than you can just increase the size of SL. The idea is with one up- one down P&R at the moment is not enough dead weight has been trimmed and too much potential is squandered, but there needs to be a far and consistent measure of who stays and who goes.

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1 minute ago, Damien said:

Too long and too convoluted. 

Its really simple. Doesn't restructure the league, doesn't change season schedules or even add or subtract any fixtures. Life goes on as normal, then after 4 years you swap 2,3 or even 4 teams.

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1 minute ago, Mumby Magic said:

FFS what is it with people seriously. Think my epitaph will be "The sport needs stability and leadership". Sorry but I'm sick to the back teeth of all these ideas. 

This has the zero effect on Super League in it's current structure. It would only come into effect after every 4th season. This offers the stability the sport dearly needs.

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All part of the debate JAG. The more the better.

To summarize, in essence the suggestion is four year licences, with promotion/relegation based on the collective form of those four seasons.

A brief calculation of the last four seasons would place St Helens top, Wigan second. No surprize there.

Bottom would be FC (87), Leeds (84), SRD (76), Huddersfield (75), KR (73) and Wakefield (69)

Note I have not included the 18 top 8/qualifying rounds and of course the number of games played is unequal. Nor the records of Widnes, London or Leigh who have only played one season have been included.

 I would rather people did air their ideas here and elsewhere. 

Sooner that than it being secretly decided in a back room by our clubs' owners based on their needs not ours as supporters.

But always remember whatever the structure, it will not solve all of RL's pressing concerns.

 

Edited by idrewthehaggis
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1 minute ago, idrewthehaggis said:

All part of the debate JAG. The more the better.

To summarize, in essence the suggestion is four year licences, with promotion/relegation based on the collective form of those four seasons.

A brief calculation of the last four seasons would place St Helens top, Wigan second. No surprize there.

Bottom would be FC (87), Leeds (84), SRD (76), Huddersfield (75), KR (73) and Wakefield (69)

Note I have not included the 18 top 8/qualifying rounds and of course the number of games played is unequal. Nor the records of Widnes, London or Leigh who have only played one season have been included.

 

Yes, nailed it. It does get a bit murky with play-off fixtures but they should be counted as a benefit of being a successful club for having reached the play-offs. It is a hybrid of both systems, licencing by on field performance. There could even be a trophy for finishing top of the Era league the prestige being it's only awarded every 4 years. 

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Unlike Mumby, I enjoy thinking about these fresh ideas.

Some of you will recall, I thought Martin Sadlers, idea had merit.

I think JAG's idea would add some much needed stability.

It might mean though, (perhaps) that at the end of each 4 year Era, there may not be as many as 3 teams eager, or even capable of taking up the challenge of promotion.

Maybe under those circumstances the number relegated could be adjusted to a maximum of 3 dependent on how many Championship clubs ''applied'' for promotion and were judged worthy, by being eligible due to on-field performance and demonstrating sufficient financial capital for the duration.  

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Just now, JAG said:

Yes, nailed it. It does get a bit murky with play-off fixtures but they should be counted as a benefit of being a successful club for having reached the play-offs. It is a hybrid of both systems, licencing by on field performance. There could even be a trophy for finishing top of the Era league the prestige being it's only awarded every 4 years. 

With the qualifying 8's and Toronto Wolfpack and last years postponed season providing an example of what it would look like is very hard. If we're going to restructure or get bored/impatient every 3-4 years lets have the plan in place to renew the leagues in that time frame.

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21 minutes ago, JAG said:

This has the zero effect on Super League in it's current structure. It would only come into effect after every 4th season. This offers the stability the sport dearly needs.

It needs to be easy for potential fans and sponsors to understand let alone regular fans. We have tried countless times to change structure/licensing particularly in the last thirty years. 

Like poor jokes? Thejoketeller@mullymessiah

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1 minute ago, fighting irish said:

Unlike Mumby, I enjoy thinking about these fresh ideas.

Some of you will recall, I thought Martin Sadlers, idea had merit.

I think JAG's idea would add some much needed stability.

It might mean though, (perhaps) that at the end of each 4 year Era, there may not be as many as 3 teams eager, or even capable of taking up the challenge of promotion.

Maybe under those circumstances the number relegated could be adjusted to a maximum of 3 dependent on how many Championship clubs ''applied'' for promotion and were judged worthy, by being eligible due to on-field performance and demonstrating sufficient financial capital for the duration.  

Exactly. The exact number of teams P/R can be tinkered with. The idea is that there is a recognised league providing that information to clubs and supporters as to who has earnt their promotion or unfortunately deserved their relegation. Licensing feels a bot cold and unfair when a team is just granted a SL licence but also relegation after a single SL season is cruel. I also think of a repeat of the Leigh Centurions "promotion" to super league only annoys and disenfranchises fans.

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14 minutes ago, Mumby Magic said:

It needs to be easy for potential fans and sponsors to understand let alone regular fans. We have tried countless times to change structure/licensing particularly in the last thirty years. 

It's not an extra competition. It's just a league table that calculates clubs form over 4 seasons instead of 1. Super League would carry on as normal with normal fixtures, play-offs and grand finals. 

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1 hour ago, JAG said:

I appreciate that but Leigh were not a strong club going into Super League, they were cherry picked above more deserving clubs. A team that can demonstrate consistently they are strong on and off the pitch over a period of 4 years would make them much more capable of being a success in Super League and even retaining a spot for another 4 years.

Please explain the cherry picking and how Leigh were not a strong club.

I will help, an independent panel reviewed the tenders/applications.

Leigh had a greater fan base than all bar Bradford, they had a greater credit rating, they had more cash in the bank, had the best facilities for Sky and the most likely to allow SL to fulfill its Sky contract

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The proposal is licensing without increasing the number of FT clubs. Those excluded must sell 4 seasons of nothing to fans and sponsors, and those outside SL know the impact that had last time

Two FT tens ticks every box imaginable but fans still can’t see it, we have about 20 viable FT clubs so engage them by creating a true elite

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28 minutes ago, JAG said:

Its really simple. Doesn't restructure the league, doesn't change season schedules or even add or subtract any fixtures. Life goes on as normal, then after 4 years you swap 2,3 or even 4 teams.

I understand that and the logic but to the lay person it's daft. There is nothing attractive to fans or sponsors about it. When we talk about 2 league tables to know what's going on that just seems way to complicated and like the middle 8s it's just complicating something that doesn't need complicating. A team could even get promoted without winning a thing at the expense of someone that has the far strongest team and who were the recent champions. Yes we need more churn between leagues but the salary cap is part of the reason we don't get it and that doesn't change in this. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the bottom 3 or 4 SL teams after 4 years were the promoted teams.

There is also no way 3 or 4 Super League teams will be swapped en masse. The quality would plummet overnight. It also means new ambitious teams with money to burn, the likes of Toronto and Toulouse, would be kicking their heals in League 1 for 4 years for pretty much no reason. Investors don't want to wait years when so much can change in that time.

For existing clubs a investor may have to wait 11 years if they invest in a League 1 club already in their cycle. It would certainly put off investors in all leagues and could see clubs going out of business. If a Salford were struggling financially in their cycle who in their right mind would invest in year 3 if they were a cert to go down anyway. Its literally throwing money down the drain. I can literally see loads of scenarios, and can think of plenty that have happened in RL over the years, that would see clubs suffer.

I understand the plan and the logic but RL doesn't half look to over complicate things.

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2 minutes ago, sweaty craiq said:

Please explain the cherry picking and how Leigh were not a strong club.

I will help, an independent panel reviewed the tenders/applications.

Leigh had a greater fan base than all bar Bradford, they had a greater credit rating, they had more cash in the bank, had the best facilities for Sky and the most likely to allow SL to fulfill its Sky contract

This wasn't meant to turn into a Leigh bashing topic at all. But let's be honest Leigh were not the best team in The Championship last year and as recently as 2018 there was reports of players not being paid so there wasn't great consistency in the regard. However, Leigh have been a strong Championship team in the past and were either denied promotion due to licensing or convoluted qualifying 8's system. Now they're set to be relegated after one season in SL. Had this hybrid system been in effect years previous Leigh would have been rightly promoted to SL and enjoyed at the very least 4 seasons there.

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4 minutes ago, sweaty craiq said:

The proposal is licensing without increasing the number of FT clubs. Those excluded must sell 4 seasons of nothing to fans and sponsors, and those outside SL know the impact that had last time

Two FT tens ticks every box imaginable but fans still can’t see it, we have about 20 viable FT clubs so engage them by creating a true elite

With SL licensing only fans of lower league clubs have nothing to play for, yearly one up-one down P&R doesn't give newly promoted clubs the time to establish themselves against seasoned SL clubs. If competition gets strong enough in the Championship but we don't want to lose a club from Super League for four years you simply expand the size of Super League.

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Definitely not the worst idea we've had on here. It attempts to reward on field performance and gives teams a bit of a platform. Even the idea of four years without a structure change in RL is inviting.

I would definitely try to simplify it. Maybe for finishing 12th in a season you get 12 points and for finishing first you get 1 point, and the team(s) with the most points after four years goes down? 

I can confirm 30+ less sales for Scotland vs Italy at Workington, after this afternoons test purchase for the Tonga match, £7.50 is extremely reasonable, however a £2.50 'delivery' fee for a walk in purchase is beyond taking the mickey, good luck with that, it's cheaper on the telly.

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If we were to go for promotion/relegation every 4 years I’d prefer a play off between the previous 3 Championship Grand Final Winners and the Championship League Leaders that year. If the same club qualified twice they’d go straight to the promotion final while the other top teams had a play off game. If only 2 clubs qualified they’d play a promotion final straight away and if it was just the 1 club they’d earn promotion outright.

For example if this system was to start next year the promotion play off in 2025 would have the following.

Championship 2022 Grand Final Winner

Championship 2023 Grand Final Winner

Championship 2024 Grand Final Winner

Championship 2025 League Leaders Shield Winner

This system could easily be adapted to have promotion and relegation every 2 or 3 years.

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7 minutes ago, Damien said:

I understand that and the logic but to the lay person it's daft. There is nothing attractive to fans or sponsors about it. When we talk about 2 league tables to know what's going on that just seems way to complicated and like the middle 8s it's just complicating something that doesn't need complicating. A team could even get promoted without winning a thing at the expense of someone that has the far strongest team and who were the recent champions. Yes we need more churn between leagues but the salary cap is part of the reason we don't get it and that doesn't change in this. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the bottom 3 or 4 SL teams after 4 years were the promoted teams.

There is also no way 3 or 4 Super League teams will be swapped en masse. The quality would plummet overnight. It also means new ambitious teams with money to burn, the likes of Toronto and Toulouse, would be kicking their heals in League 1 for 4 years for pretty much no reason. Investors don't want to wait years when so much can change in that time.

For existing clubs a investor may have to wait 11 years if they invest in a League 1 club already in their cycle. It would certainly put off investors in all leagues and could see clubs going out of business. If a Salford were struggling financially in their cycle who in their right mind would invest in year 3 if they were a cert to go down anyway. Its literally throwing money down the drain. I can literally see loads of scenarios, and can think of plenty that have happened in RL over the years, that would see clubs suffer.

I understand the plan and the logic but RL doesn't half look to over complicate things.

Even in that scenario the 4 teams promoted to super league wouldn't necessarily be the same four to get relegated again. If you have a scenario where recent champions can get relegated then you already have an ultra competitive awesome competition. 

 

Who would invest in Salford if they were struggling one season and they could get relegated by the end of it anyway? or the year after that? and the year after that? 

 

In the 25 years of summer rugby league who has made it from League one to Super League besides Toronto Wolfpack? Whom we then threw out as soon as they did.

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15 minutes ago, JAG said:

This wasn't meant to turn into a Leigh bashing topic at all. But let's be honest Leigh were not the best team in The Championship last year and as recently as 2018 there was reports of players not being paid so there wasn't great consistency in the regard. However, Leigh have been a strong Championship team in the past and were either denied promotion due to licensing or convoluted qualifying 8's system. Now they're set to be relegated after one season in SL. Had this hybrid system been in effect years previous Leigh would have been rightly promoted to SL and enjoyed at the very least 4 seasons there.

3 teams were unbeaten in 2020 one won the application to help out SL. 2019 was dominated by TW, nobody with a brain was going to throw money at competing with them but somebody would come second.

your system is backward and is licensing, in 2013 the Championship averaged 1100 when it had nothing to play for, it is now more than double that for a regular non covid season.

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6 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

If we were to go for promotion/relegation every 4 years I’d prefer a play off between the previous 3 Championship Grand Final Winners and the Championship League Leaders that year. If the same club qualified twice they’d go straight to the promotion final while the other top teams had a play off game. If only 2 clubs qualified they’d play a promotion final straight away and if it was just the 1 club they’d earn promotion outright.

For example if this system was to start next year the promotion play off in 2025 would have the following.

Championship 2022 Grand Final Winner

Championship 2023 Grand Final Winner

Championship 2024 Grand Final Winner

Championship 2025 League Leaders Shield Winner

This system could easily be adapted to have promotion and relegation every 2 or 3 years.

The Era League would take care of that, you'd already know who the best teams/most appropriate fro promotion were. Also a team could have one great season and fall from grace quite quickly. Many teams go through peaks and valleys financially speaking. The idea is to reward the most consistent clubs.

These games unless I'm understanding it wrong have a Million Pound Game vibe to them which a lot of people want to avoid. Imagine losing a game that makes the last four years count for absolutely nothing, I know in sport sometimes you can't avoid those scenarios but to Championship RL clubs that to me is harsh.

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  • JAG changed the title to Promotion & Relegation/Licencing hybrid system

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