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The cycle needs to break


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42 minutes ago, M j M said:

The key similarity between Leeds, Saints and Wigan is the productivity and excellence of their academy production lines compared to the other clubs.

Most definatley without saying, so why is it just kept to a few clubs to run academies whilst others who wish to do the same and applied for a licence have been refused.

Please do not tell me that some area's would be saturated with academies, any of them can go shopping wherever they please, your club for instance has done well from the Heavy Wollen, Wakefield and Oldham area's to name but 3, and it is up to the player who he wishes to sign on for.

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The way I look at it as well is that having a few big names can be a good thing because it creates the element of the giant killing and the fairytale champions which ensure great history and stories in the sport, the old boys in the pub decades from now talking about when they were at OT watching Catalans win the league. If we had a different team winning every year and every team in the league had won it or at least got to a final it wouldn't feel as special when they got there again and if Catalans had already won a final and been in a couple others it wouldn't feel anywhere near as special as it does now. 

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3 hours ago, Dunbar said:

Those outside of the game couldn't reel off the list of Super League Champions in the same way that I couldn't reel off the champions of the Union Premiership or name the last 5 darts or snooker World champions.

I would also argue that having familiar names in a final creates an element if recognition that would attract a neutral much more than a 'new name'.

As I have said before, I am far more likely to watch a Man City vs. Liverpool FA Cup final than Brentford vs. Burnley no matter how much the latter would be good for the competitive nature of football in England.

If it is Rugby League fans craving a change (and I agree it would be good to see Catalans win) then fine but it is not something that we should stress about otherwise. 

100%.

No club rugby team (either code, anywhere in the world) has ever had as high a profile as Wigan Warriors did, and not just due to Grandstand. They had it because they won, a lot, and did so with Offiah (accompanied by Tuigamala) running in try after try in an open, attacking era. 

The NBA was never more high profile when the Chicago Bulls dominated (it’s the last time I watched basketball), with Jordan and co. lighting up the court accompanied by this fabulous entrance music from the English prog rock band Alan Parsons project.

Barcelona and Real Madrid have become the two biggest sports teams on the planet because they compete at the very top (well, Barca did) with teams of stars...I barely missed a Barca game in decades with Ronaldo (R9) then Rivaldo then Ronaldinho then Messi, one genius after another, lining up for them. 

Federer dominating tennis elevated the sport, as Woods did with golf. People  watched NZ with Lomu (rugby’s last major star) to see them destroy the opposition. 

Watching excellence is very very appealing. It brings a wow factor that draws people in.

 

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1 hour ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

The way I look at it as well is that having a few big names can be a good thing because it creates the element of the giant killing and the fairytale champions which ensure great history and stories in the sport, the old boys in the pub decades from now talking about when they were at OT watching Catalans win the league. If we had a different team winning every year and every team in the league had won it or at least got to a final it wouldn't feel as special when they got there again and if Catalans had already won a final and been in a couple others it wouldn't feel anywhere near as special as it does now. 

Do you remember the 70's ?

Multiple RL Challenge Cup and RL championship winners 

Multiple Football division one and FA cup winners 

Every year you had no idea who would be winning what , every year you had half of the teams with the ' hope ' of a big trophy 

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9 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

Do you remember the 70's ?

Multiple RL Challenge Cup and RL championship winners 

Multiple Football division one and FA cup winners 

Every year you had no idea who would be winning what , every year you had half of the teams with the ' hope ' of a big trophy 

Why was that?

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It's an interesting debate because the opposite can also be true. Phil Taylor dominated darts for years, Ronnie o' Sullivan the same in snooker, Manchester United in football at the start of the PL era. In these sports, the dominance of one team built an aura around them and made less viewed sports such as darts and snooker popular, with those named above becoming household names. You could even say the same about Wigan's late 80's / early 90's dominance. It made Martin Offiah a well-known sporting personality, even to this day.

I think having a new name on the trophy is more important internally to externally. If Catalans win next week and say Warrington win next year, that would be two new names on the trophy in as many years. Would that give a material boost to the wider sport and its profile? I don't think it will. The same applies if Castleford won in 2017 or Salford in 2019. What I think it would do is a give a boost to the sport in those specific areas, which the clubs would then need to capitalise on.

I'm also not convinced that new names draw in new fans. I think a floating fan would be more likely to watch a Grand Final between St Helens and Wigan, because of their history if I'm being honest.

Where a new winner is important is to try and demonstrate the strength of our competition. Variety probably keeps existing fans more engaged as (understandably) nearly all fans apart from Saints will be disappointed if Catalans do not win.

I am biased, but this St Helens side is a special team and has dominated the last couple of years. It's easier said than done (and I'd find it hard to do if it was Wigan in this position) but perhaps the sport should embrace brilliance rather than be ashamed of it.

I'll be there cheering on Saints next week but equally I'm not blind to the benefits that Catalans winning Super League has the potential to bring to Perpignan and the Catalonia region more widely.

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9 hours ago, JohnM said:

It's a competition. Any club can win it. The fact that not every club has done so points to deficiencies in the way those other clubs are owned, run, structured,  managed and play. As a neutral, I can say I like nothing about St Helens other than they are deservedly in the GF and if they win, it will be on merit. The fact that they are playing Catalans indicates that it IS possible to build "new" and successful clubs, something the other 10 SL clubs should reflect on.

It is and usually the best team deservely wins. 

However in my opinion modern RL contains a number of structural inequalities that re-enforces the stranglehold of the elite.

One example are Academies-limited to a few clubs (fewer if the RFL had their way) and the subsequent salary cap exclusions.

Check the the Big Three NW clubs players within or around their first team squad who have been club trained. A third of each hails from outside Wigan/St Helens/ Warrington areas. Thus the structure is set up biased towards these three big clubs and net talent that would go to their local clubs.

This becomes even more enforced when if any of those club trained players succeed at this Big Three, then the RFL grants them a dispensation on the salary cap.

So in essence allowing those clubs more financial muscles to add the likes of Hastings, Coote and Widdop to the squad and this making them more likely to be successful.

Meanwhile the non favoured clubs would have to pay full whack for a Bateman or Newman, thus restricting their salary cap flexibility. Ironically they fill their squads will those who didn't succeed at the elites ie yer Hampshires, Burkes, etc.

This is just one of many soluble structural inequalities that could, if people wanted it, be changed. 

So irrespective if a club is or is not managed, then such inequalities prevent them.

 

 

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21 minutes ago, idrewthehaggis said:

It is and usually the best team deservely wins. 

However in my opinion modern RL contains a number of structural inequalities that re-enforces the stranglehold of the elite.

One example are Academies-limited to a few clubs (fewer if the RFL had their way) and the subsequent salary cap exclusions.

Check the the Big Three NW clubs players within or around their first team squad who have been club trained. A third of each hails from outside Wigan/St Helens/ Warrington areas. Thus the structure is set up biased towards these three big clubs and net talent that would go to their local clubs.

This becomes even more enforced when if any of those club trained players succeed at this Big Three, then the RFL grants them a dispensation on the salary cap.

So in essence allowing those clubs more financial muscles to add the likes of Hastings, Coote and Widdop to the squad and this making them more likely to be successful.

Meanwhile the non favoured clubs would have to pay full whack for a Bateman or Newman, thus restricting their salary cap flexibility. Ironically they fill their squads will those who didn't succeed at the elites ie yer Hampshires, Burkes, etc.

This is just one of many soluble structural inequalities that could, if people wanted it, be changed. 

So irrespective if a club is or is not managed, then such inequalities prevent them.

 

 

What are your thoughts on how to rectify these inequalities?

"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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1 hour ago, GUBRATS said:

Do you remember the 70's ?

Multiple RL Challenge Cup and RL championship winners 

Multiple Football division one and FA cup winners 

Every year you had no idea who would be winning what , every year you had half of the teams with the ' hope ' of a big trophy 

I wasn't born then mate.

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2 hours ago, GUBRATS said:

Do you remember the 70's ?

Multiple RL Challenge Cup and RL championship winners 

Multiple Football division one and FA cup winners 

Every year you had no idea who would be winning what , every year you had half of the teams with the ' hope ' of a big trophy 

5 english champions in that decade of the 70's....

Liverpool x5 times Derby x2 times - So 7 out of 10 years only two teams. Maybe not as good an example.

Similar in 80's decade... Liverpool 6 or 7 times winners depending if you include 89/90.

As likely hood it would be dominated by Liverpool.

In fact if we widen it to European cup/champions then only 4 teams won it in the 1970 decade... Ajax, Bayern, Liverpool each x3 times plus Notts Forest

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2 hours ago, Chris22 said:

It's an interesting debate because the opposite can also be true. Phil Taylor dominated darts for years, Ronnie o' Sullivan the same in snooker, Manchester United in football at the start of the PL era. In these sports, the dominance of one team built an aura around them and made less viewed sports such as darts and snooker popular, with those named above becoming household names. You could even say the same about Wigan's late 80's / early 90's dominance. It made Martin Offiah a well-known sporting personality, even to this day.

I think having a new name on the trophy is more important internally to externally. If Catalans win next week and say Warrington win next year, that would be two new names on the trophy in as many years. Would that give a material boost to the wider sport and its profile? I don't think it will. The same applies if Castleford won in 2017 or Salford in 2019. What I think it would do is a give a boost to the sport in those specific areas, which the clubs would then need to capitalise on.

I'm also not convinced that new names draw in new fans. I think a floating fan would be more likely to watch a Grand Final between St Helens and Wigan, because of their history if I'm being honest.

Where a new winner is important is to try and demonstrate the strength of our competition. Variety probably keeps existing fans more engaged as (understandably) nearly all fans apart from Saints will be disappointed if Catalans do not win.

I am biased, but this St Helens side is a special team and has dominated the last couple of years. It's easier said than done (and I'd find it hard to do if it was Wigan in this position) but perhaps the sport should embrace brilliance rather than be ashamed of it.

I'll be there cheering on Saints next week but equally I'm not blind to the benefits that Catalans winning Super League has the potential to bring to Perpignan and the Catalonia region more widely.

A quality post and I fully agree.

For me, the winners of the Super League and Challenge Cup is really only about the core fans... any neutral would be happy to watch their 1 or 2 games a year.

As I have said before, the pro level will never move the dial... what is important is international sport for raising awareness and grass roots for an opportunity for people to engage with the game if they choose to.

"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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4 hours ago, redjonn said:

5 english champions in that decade of the 70's....

Liverpool x5 times Derby x2 times - So 7 out of 10 years only two teams. Maybe not as good an example.

Similar in 80's decade... Liverpool 6 or 7 times winners depending if you include 89/90.

As likely hood it would be dominated by Liverpool.

In fact if we widen it to European cup/champions then only 4 teams won it in the 1970 decade... Ajax, Bayern, Liverpool each x3 times plus Notts Forest

Yes it was the start of Liverpool's dominance towards the end of the decade , but still 5 , and they didn't dominate the other top domestic trophy , yes we had 3 teams ( 4 in fact as Forest won it the year after as well , but we've also had Stauer Bucharest win it since ,that's the equivalent of Accrington Stanley winning the FA Cup ) dominate the European Cup , but that is from a much bigger ' pool ' 

The argument made about Darts and Snooker don't wash , we had earlier ' Stars ' in both sports elevate the profile of the games before the ones suggested on here , it was more TV stations that brought extra coverage , not really the players who dominated 

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Yes more different winners is more relevant specifically to those clubs fans than ' new ' non specific club ' newbies ' , but that is just as useful , it means more fans at those clubs , they attend a winning final and then ' believe ' they can do it again , so start attending more regularly and potentially buy a ST , this is why licencing kills the lower tiers , belief is taken away resulting in fans dropping away 

Which is of more use to the sport , more fans attending ,Hull,Wire,Cas,Salford and Catalans due to them winning a GF , or a few more around the country watching SL on SKY ( which they already have for the football ) ?

Constant winning teams results in those clubs fans becoming complacent , to the point where if they don't win something every year , they drop off ( see Wigan,Leeds and the Bulls ) 

Edited by GUBRATS
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11 hours ago, Dunbar said:

What are your thoughts on how to rectify these inequalities?

My thoughts. Well they are just that.

 

But in that alternative RL universe, there is -

Centre(s) of Excellence. Developing all players, officials and coaches to bring European RL up to the highest standards of the NRL, It is telling that we do not have them. 

Regional hub Academies for the elite youngsters. The emphasis on quality than quantity and exclusivity for the current Club trained Academies.

So goodbye club academies and the staff moved on as RFL employees for the Regions.

The Regions play each other in their own competition and on overseas tours. 

Continued community and college academies that offer an alternative pathway for late developers and non elite youngsters.

This assumes both a competent, respected and fair RFL or whoever succeeds them.

And all senior professionals clubs being well run and working towards the whole of the sport, not just their own privileged status.

This raises quality, increases fairness, expands revenue, decreases costs. 

And is based on good practice from elsewhere, rather than being run on debased practices that favour a few locations and a fewer number of clubs at an ever shrinking quality. 

 

 

Edited by idrewthehaggis
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10 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

Why was that?

forgive my late intrusion, maybe semi professionalism ? . Which was great in the past and teams could certainly cause an upset,Now, that we wish to be deemed more credible, perhaps to satisfy our 'sky overlords' the game we all fell in love with has become a chess piece in terms of money.

 

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14 hours ago, Chris22 said:

It's an interesting debate because the opposite can also be true. Phil Taylor dominated darts for years, Ronnie o' Sullivan the same in snooker, Manchester United in football at the start of the PL era. In these sports, the dominance of one team built an aura around them and made less viewed sports such as darts and snooker popular, with those named above becoming household names. You could even say the same about Wigan's late 80's / early 90's dominance. It made Martin Offiah a well-known sporting personality, even to this day.

I think the biggest counter to this argument is the Scottish Premiership. Only 2 teams can win it and it’s a hopeless joke. Even those 2 clubs want to join English football. 

Who wants to watch the same clubs win every single year?

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17 hours ago, Chris22 said:

If Catalans win next week and say Warrington win next year, that would be two new names on the trophy in as many years. 

Is next year Warrington’s year then? I’d got them down for 2025 but the pandemic makes time fly.

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On 02/10/2021 at 06:44, The Hallucinating Goose said:

I always like to chuck London into the lift of also rans as well seen as they were runners up before the grand final was introduced. So that is 10 teams as champions and/or runners up and we can have Huddersfield as league leaders as well so it's really not that uncompetitive, we've always had plenty of teams battling it out for the top honours, just 4 that have actually gone all the way. Doesn't matter though, we're just going through one of those phases all sports go through where a few teams dominate. Happened in football for a long time as well, arguably still is. 

Not even arguably, and in most football leagues around Europe it’s exactly the same. Only five teams have ever won the Portuguese league going back over 100 years and two of those have only won it once each. Scotland isn’t much better bar the brief Aberdeen/Dundee Utd spell in the early 80s and the Bundesliga now is a race to finish 2nd. 

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3 hours ago, goldcoaster said:

I think the biggest counter to this argument is the Scottish Premiership. Only 2 teams can win it and it’s a hopeless joke. Even those 2 clubs want to join English football. 

Who wants to watch the same clubs win every single year?

The Scottish league is the best attended football league per capita in the world, so it isn’t a hopeless joke. Though I do agree with you that the same teams winning all the time is deathly boring, as a Saints fan I think a Catalans win would be good for the game also, in England as well as France. 

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19 minutes ago, Eddie said:

Not even arguably, and in most football leagues around Europe it’s exactly the same. Only five teams have ever won the Portuguese league going back over 100 years and two of those have only won it once each. Scotland isn’t much better bar the brief Aberdeen/Dundee Utd spell in the early 80s and the Bundesliga now is a race to finish 2nd. 

You are correct, I only said arguably cos I was thinking of the Premier League; some people would say with Leicester and Liverpool winning in recent years that the 'cycle' has been broken in that league but if you look beyond the PL era then you've just got Liverpool winning yet another title. Leicester winning was extraordinary granted but in terms of teams fighting for the also ran spots it's always the same teams, the big 6 so to speak.

In RL however we've of course had all of those runners up mentioned as well as a number of other teams reaching playoffs and going far through that stage of the season, KR this year for example and when we have far less teams to potentially do that than football I think that shows a good lot of competitiveness. 

And if we include the Challenge Cup and the league leaders shield then we've got a number of teams winning a number of competitions, it isn't just about the league. Teams from outside the usual suspects to win those comps, you've got Huddersfield, Cas, Cats, Sheffield, Warrington, Hull, plenty of teams winning plenty of competitions. Rugby league is a competitive sport. 

Edited by The Hallucinating Goose
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18 hours ago, idrewthehaggis said:

It is and usually the best team deservely wins. 

However in my opinion modern RL contains a number of structural inequalities that re-enforces the stranglehold of the elite.

One example are Academies-limited to a few clubs (fewer if the RFL had their way) and the subsequent salary cap exclusions.

Check the the Big Three NW clubs players within or around their first team squad who have been club trained. A third of each hails from outside Wigan/St Helens/ Warrington areas. Thus the structure is set up biased towards these three big clubs and net talent that would go to their local clubs.

This becomes even more enforced when if any of those club trained players succeed at this Big Three, then the RFL grants them a dispensation on the salary cap.

So in essence allowing those clubs more financial muscles to add the likes of Hastings, Coote and Widdop to the squad and this making them more likely to be successful.

Meanwhile the non favoured clubs would have to pay full whack for a Bateman or Newman, thus restricting their salary cap flexibility. Ironically they fill their squads will those who didn't succeed at the elites ie yer Hampshires, Burkes, etc.

This is just one of many soluble structural inequalities that could, if people wanted it, be changed. 

So irrespective if a club is or is not managed, then such inequalities prevent them.

 

 

Yes very noticable MJM (above) was wallowing in his delight to tell us that the best three clubs based on success rates over the SL era have the best academies of which no one would doubt or could criticise, but as you so rightly point out the added finacial benefits of producing player's makes running an academy near self financing.

I can well understand the dilemma that the RFL/SL have in that they do not want to take too many player's from the community game if they granted every club that wished to run an academy a licence to do so, but would it not also be true that if there was more pathways to joining a professional club more lad's would play, this was an argument voiced in these pages by those who championed the NA excersize that they could be an enticement and reward for kids to play the game.

But this dilemma has been created by the RFL in sitting back and letting the community game go into decline over the years, and also the SL (big) clubs who have been totally insular in their own success and not helping in promoting and assisting the game at the amatuer level above token gestures.

So their combined solution to the problem is to choose a few clubs that can benefit by producing their own player's and bestow upon them various financial assistance and advantages to do so, if this was a political scenario all the labour voters would be crying "Bloody Tories" they only look after their own!

Edited by Harry Stottle
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1 hour ago, Eddie said:

The Scottish league is the best attended football league per capita in the world, so it isn’t a hopeless joke. Though I do agree with you that the same teams winning all the time is deathly boring, as a Saints fan I think a Catalans win would be good for the game also, in England as well as France. 

You can't use that "per capita" argument on this platform Eddie, it is all about bums on seats and tickets sold, with your "per capita" scenario Castleford are easily SL's best supported club and their near neighbours Leeds are way way down quite the lowest attended by a long way.

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On 02/10/2021 at 07:48, Gerrumonside ref said:

We should as well celebrate the success of St Helens, Wigan and Leeds and analyse what can be learned from them.

I can’t imagine sustained and consistent sporting success is easy to achieve.  How do they do it?  What are they doing in part that can be replicated elsewhere without overreaching.

It’s these types of discussions that are valuable too in generating new champions.

 

Well considering that these three clubs developed their own players and all their champion winning sides had a large proportion of home grown talent, that could be the main reason. And we should be championing this system of excellence.

however this is British rugby league, far easier complain about the success built this way and look for ways to level down.

having said that next week is no forgone conclusion and however wins will be deserving champions

 

 

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