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Please Remove Automatic Relegation


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After watching the Toulouse game earlier this morning full of excitement and hope, only for it to end with a feeling that I've seen this before too many times. The promoted team has next to no chance of staying up and avoiding relegation which is why automatic relegation needs to end.

How many years does it have to take before people realise that it just doesn't work? The last couple of years, Toronto, Leigh. Toulouse haven't lost a game in a long time and are a country mile ahead of the rest of the Championship and have great potential to grow the game but it all rests on chance and an outdated system that is designed to kneecap the promoted team from the beginning. P and R doesn't work when most of us know who will be relegated each year, while there is possibility that a current part time club will be promoted at the end of this year. Are they going to fair any better than the full time Toulouse?      

My solution is either allow the two French clubs exemption from relegation or have P and R every two years to allow the promoted team an opportunity to compete on a level playing field by allowing time to build a squad. You only have to look at the difficulties the Dolphin's are having in the Nrl with 18monhs to prepare. I understand that P and R is a decisive topic in the Uk and my view is from an Aussie perspective.

Covid killed the North American dream, let's not let stupidity ruin the French dream.    

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Totally disagree. It is because Super Dooper League became closed shop, that so many clubs on the outside of it are struggling. 

I would even suggest going to 3 up, 3 down. It would kick the perennial strugglers up the backside and encourage more investment in Championship clubs.

 

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And so we shall again…

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1 hour ago, Omott91 said:

After watching the Toulouse game earlier this morning full of excitement and hope, only for it to end with a feeling that I've seen this before too many times. The promoted team has next to no chance of staying up and avoiding relegation which is why automatic relegation needs to end.

How many years does it have to take before people realise that it just doesn't work? The last couple of years, Toronto, Leigh. Toulouse haven't lost a game in a long time and are a country mile ahead of the rest of the Championship and have great potential to grow the game but it all rests on chance and an outdated system that is designed to kneecap the promoted team from the beginning. P and R doesn't work when most of us know who will be relegated each year, while there is possibility that a current part time club will be promoted at the end of this year. Are they going to fair any better than the full time Toulouse?      

My solution is either allow the two French clubs exemption from relegation or have P and R every two years to allow the promoted team an opportunity to compete on a level playing field by allowing time to build a squad. You only have to look at the difficulties the Dolphin's are having in the Nrl with 18monhs to prepare. I understand that P and R is a decisive topic in the Uk and my view is from an Aussie perspective.

Covid killed the North American dream, let's not let stupidity ruin the French dream.    

I just can`t see it going away unless a big investor comes in and says enough. Therefore the question becomes how do you make it easier for clubs to have a greater fighting chance of remaining in the Super League once they have got there.

I posted a list recently of the 172 current NRL players who are unsigned for the 2023 season and a pretty handy list it was. I imagine it would be a pretty similar sized list every year. I don`t know how many players a Championship club is allowed to sign once they reach Super League and in particular what is the foreign born player quota. But I have to wonder are clubs that think they are in a position of being promoted at the end of the year scouring that list and approaching agents and talking to those available players about contracts for next year, with possible get out clauses and perhaps a break-fee if they don`t win promotion. It might cost money but what`s the alternative, bumble along the bottom of Super League and then straight back out.

 Key signings in three or four positions could make all the difference and I saw some pretty handy players on list.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, devonhawk said:

Totally disagree. It is because Super Dooper League became closed shop, that so many clubs on the outside of it are struggling.

 

No it isn't - there are many reasons way more significant than SL. They were struggling for years - selling grounds they owned, paying beyond their means for success, lazily using the community game for their development program and so on.

Featherstone have done pretty much everything right and aren't stuggling. If they finish top they will go up and face similar issues - they deserve a chance to stabilise otherwise they'll be back in the Championship in 2024.

The income difference between SL and Championship is huge. Trying to reconcile that within a few months when other clubs have already sorted out their squads leads to bringing in players from the relegated club, Aussies who the other clubs don't want and asking the existing squad to make a massive step up week-in, week-out.

Anyway, this has been rehashed many times. The funding cuts to the lower leagues are going to have a serious effect on the semi-pro game to the point where it will be reduced to a single league of clubs who will learn to live with that status until a multi-billionaire buys the game.

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"I am the avenging angel; I come with wings unfurled, I come with claws extended from halfway round the world. I am the God Almighty, I am the howling wind. I care not for your family; I care not for your kin. I come in search of terror, though terror is my own; I come in search of vengeance for crimes and crimes unknown. I care not for your children, I care not for your wives, I care not for your country, I care not for your lives." - (c) Jim Boyes - "The Avenging Angel"

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Promotion and relegation has to stay in some form otherwise what's the point outside Super League? 

It's all very well saying win promotion and then raid the NRL for talent but that isn't building a club. That's buying a club. 

Realistically are there any clubs in the Championship who wouldn't want promotion? I don't think there are so it's not like you could make a sixteen team Super League and everyone would be happy.

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Just get the SL teams to agree to the 11th team to be relegated if the promoted team finishes 12th in their first year. Its a simple solution that would benefit the game over a longer period. Obviously short term it would not be agreed to because too many SL clubs are on a cushy number just treading water knowing any promoted team stands little chance of keeping their place.

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3 hours ago, Omott91 said:

After watching the Toulouse game earlier this morning full of excitement and hope, only for it to end with a feeling that I've seen this before too many times. The promoted team has next to no chance of staying up and avoiding relegation which is why automatic relegation needs to end.

How many years does it have to take before people realise that it just doesn't work? The last couple of years, Toronto, Leigh. Toulouse haven't lost a game in a long time and are a country mile ahead of the rest of the Championship and have great potential to grow the game but it all rests on chance and an outdated system that is designed to kneecap the promoted team from the beginning. P and R doesn't work when most of us know who will be relegated each year, while there is possibility that a current part time club will be promoted at the end of this year. Are they going to fair any better than the full time Toulouse?      

My solution is either allow the two French clubs exemption from relegation or have P and R every two years to allow the promoted team an opportunity to compete on a level playing field by allowing time to build a squad. You only have to look at the difficulties the Dolphin's are having in the Nrl with 18monhs to prepare. I understand that P and R is a decisive topic in the Uk and my view is from an Aussie perspective.

Covid killed the North American dream, let's not let stupidity ruin the French dream.    

Maybe if Superleague stops handicapping the promoted team financially they would be more competitive although that would mean that the existing Superleague clubs would have to reverse their ideology of self interest & lack of ambition.

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Promotion and relegation just doesn’t really work in Rugby League and we probably need to rethink or remove it from the top of the game. 

Firstly, promoted clubs aren’t aided by Super League, which is terrible. Toulouse having to pay opposition team flights and Toronto and Leigh not getting their full amount of funding. With friends like these, who needs enemies? How precarious are some Super League clubs finances that they need to collectively sabotage a club who already have it stacked against them?

Jon Wilkin mentioned it on Thursday about recruitment when you’re newly promoted. Winning the Championship at the earliest, late September, the vast majority of players are signed up to clubs for the following year and the ones that are left are largely players from the relegated side you’re replacing or players with question marks over their name, be it through injury problems or other issues. It’s a vicious cycle that holds the clubs and the sports back. This process must then be even harder for promoted clubs if they’re part-time, as is the case with the majority of the Championship.

We don’t have the national infrastructure that football and even rugby union has and we end up with commercially dull clubs coming up as an attempt of keeping hold of the hope it suddenly works. Without the threat of relegation, Hull KR went from bottom in 2020 to eighty minutes from the Grand Final less than twelve months later, have recruited well again for 2022 and have some really positive things happening or that have happened at Craven Park. Would relegating them have provided any of that?

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I understand the arguments for removing relegation, though I think it would make for a turgid pointless bottom half of the table, and would clearly send a message to Champ and L1 teams that they might as well not be bothering. 

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1 hour ago, The Rocket said:

Therefore the question becomes how do you make it easier for clubs to have a greater fighting chance of remaining in the Super League once they have got there.

 

The simplest solution is to go to 14 teams in Super League. 

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1 hour ago, Phil W said:

Promotion and relegation has to stay in some form otherwise what's the point outside Super League? 

 

Look at the NRL model. Clubs outside the NRL exist perfectly happily, knowing that winning their Championship is its own reward. Other sports manage it as well.

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"I am the avenging angel; I come with wings unfurled, I come with claws extended from halfway round the world. I am the God Almighty, I am the howling wind. I care not for your family; I care not for your kin. I come in search of terror, though terror is my own; I come in search of vengeance for crimes and crimes unknown. I care not for your children, I care not for your wives, I care not for your country, I care not for your lives." - (c) Jim Boyes - "The Avenging Angel"

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1 hour ago, Phil W said:

Promotion and relegation has to stay in some form otherwise what's the point outside Super League? 

It's all very well saying win promotion and then raid the NRL for talent but that isn't building a club. That's buying a club. 

Realistically are there any clubs in the Championship who wouldn't want promotion? I don't think there are so it's not like you could make a sixteen team Super League and everyone would be happy.

Playing in a good quality and competitive semi-professional league.

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Just now, Mattrhino said:

We have spent decades trying to emulate soccer but it doesn't work for us.

Soccer wouldn't have P&R if the clubs below the PL were Ossett Town and Dover Athletic 

Clubs below include Bradford and Newcastle. London may get their act together one day. Why should the Cumbria clubs be locked out? Barrow has a bigger population than Castleford.

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2 minutes ago, NW10LDN said:

Clubs below include Bradford and Newcastle. London may get their act together one day. Why should the Cumbria clubs be locked out? Barrow has a bigger population than Castleford.

Part-time Bradford who play in a rented hovel with a terrible pitch and newly full time Newcastle, who played in front of less than 700 people in their opening game of the year. 

 

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11 minutes ago, tim2 said:

Look at the NRL model. Clubs outside the NRL exist perfectly happily, knowing that winning their Championship is its own reward. Other sports manage it as well.

I'm out 

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Just now, Jughead said:

Part-time Bradford who play in a rented hovel with a terrible pitch and newly full time Newcastle, who played in front of less than 700 people in their opening game of the year. 

 

I'm not going to bother with this ###### anymore.

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Also coming from an Australian perspective I naturally found P&R to be a rather bizarre concept, however following the English/French game more closely over the last few years I've come to understand it's importance in a European context.

I'm as big a supporter of the French sides and expansion as anyone on the board but I think stating P&R works only in opposition to these goals is a surface-level appraisal of the system. Prior to the funding cuts in the lower tiers that have occurred this year we've seen many "expansion" clubs begin to thrive and improve throughout the championship and league one.

One has to wonder whether Toronto would have ever existed without a P&R system for them to come into, would Argyle types be willing to part with extensive funds into a club that has no guarantee of progressing past the third tier? There's no chance Toronto would have ever been parachuted straight into SL given how foreign Canada is to RL so would they have even attempted to enter the system without P&R? I doubt it. Newcastle Thunders transition to fulltime this season could probably be considered another good example of investment that may not have occurred without the carrot of a possible promotion within the next 5 or so years. I'm sure others who are more closely connected to clubs than I could point out  examples of investment within various lower tier clubs that would not have occurred in a closed shop context.

From a purely expansionist perspective, I'd pose there is a solid argument that we create more investment in expansion areas spread across the 37 clubs with P&R than we would with the few that would be in SL with a closed shop. 

 

As most have already pointed out above the real problem with recent promoted sides has been the handicaps placed upon them by incumbents in SL (Toronto's withheld distribution, Leigh's half of distribution withheld, Toulouse seemingly being required to pay for travel). Additionally, the promoted team must be decided much sooner than is the case in the current format, whether that occurs by shifting the Championship season forward or by changing to a first-past-the-post system doesn't really matter but something needs to be done to allow the promoted side time to build a competitive outfit. Finally, the cap needs to be raised in order to allow those with the right backing to actually use their financial clout to overcome the remaining challenges that exist for a newly promoted side in comparison to their competing incumbents. Adjust these issues and the playing field becomes much more level with a greater chance of the cream rising to the top.

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6 minutes ago, UTK said:

Also coming from an Australian perspective I naturally found P&R to be a rather bizarre concept, however following the English/French game more closely over the last few years I've come to understand it's importance in a European context.

I'm as big a supporter of the French sides and expansion as anyone on the board but I think stating P&R works only in opposition to these goals is a surface-level appraisal of the system. Prior to the funding cuts in the lower tiers that have occurred this year we've seen many "expansion" clubs begin to thrive and improve throughout the championship and league one.

One has to wonder whether Toronto would have ever existed without a P&R system for them to come into, would Argyle types be willing to part with extensive funds into a club that has no guarantee of progressing past the third tier? There's no chance Toronto would have ever been parachuted straight into SL given how foreign Canada is to RL so would they have even attempted to enter the system without P&R? I doubt it. Newcastle Thunders transition to fulltime this season could probably be considered another good example of investment that may not have occurred without the carrot of a possible promotion within the next 5 or so years. I'm sure others who are more closely connected to clubs than I could point out  examples of investment within various lower tier clubs that would not have occurred in a closed shop context.

From a purely expansionist perspective, I'd pose there is a solid argument that we create more investment in expansion areas spread across the 37 clubs with P&R than we would with the few that would be in SL with a closed shop. 

 

As most have already pointed out above the real problem with recent promoted sides has been the handicaps placed upon them by incumbents in SL (Toronto's withheld distribution, Leigh's half of distribution withheld, Toulouse seemingly being required to pay for travel). Additionally, the promoted team must be decided much sooner than is the case in the current format, whether that occurs by shifting the Championship season forward or by changing to a first-past-the-post system doesn't really matter but something needs to be done to allow the promoted side time to build a competitive outfit. Finally, the cap needs to be raised in order to allow those with the right backing to actually use their financial clout to overcome the remaining challenges that exist for a newly promoted side in comparison to their competing incumbents. Adjust these issues and the playing field becomes much more level with a greater chance of the cream rising to the top.

Widnes got promoted in 2001 , winning the 2 nd tier GF 8 weeks prior to the end of the SL regular season , they finished 6/7 th the following year 

That is the most important point , yes it will create a problem for the relegated team , but gives the promoted club it's best chance 

Edited by GUBRATS
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3 minutes ago, UTK said:

One has to wonder whether Toronto would have ever existed without a P&R system for them to come into, would Argyle types be willing to part with extensive funds into a club that has no guarantee of progressing past the third tier?

Rugby League has too many people who despise people who bring something new to the sport. Making part-time players in League One fly to Canada was bonkers. Doing that with fully pro teams, not so much. Look at the United Rugby Championship in that other rugby, which has so much more going for it apart from the actual sport bit.

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"I am the avenging angel; I come with wings unfurled, I come with claws extended from halfway round the world. I am the God Almighty, I am the howling wind. I care not for your family; I care not for your kin. I come in search of terror, though terror is my own; I come in search of vengeance for crimes and crimes unknown. I care not for your children, I care not for your wives, I care not for your country, I care not for your lives." - (c) Jim Boyes - "The Avenging Angel"

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I used to be in the closed shop party, but I have changed opinion, citing my similar stance that any unnecessary reduction in the number of Sydney teams in the NRL would be a mistake.

The foundations at three professional leagues is there. Remove the opportunity now and it will be significantly harder to bring it back the day that the sport is flourishing and could really do with having a P&R system.

Similar to @The Rocket, the real dilemma is how to make P&R work for those that are calling for its removal. 

I am happy for the sake of expansion to ringfence expansion clubs in SL for say three years, once they have earned their place there like Toronto and Toulouse both did.

@devonhawk’s earlier idea about 3 up and 3 down does have a reasonably good theory to it. I would consider tweaking that a touch to a 2 up, 2 down system, with a reward for the highest placed promoted club from last year to be exempt from relegation in their after their first season. 

That would really throw the cat amongst the pigeons and ensure mainstay bottom placed clubs rest less on their laurels.

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14 minutes ago, UTK said:

 

One has to wonder whether Toronto would have ever existed without a P&R system for them to come into, would Argyle types be willing to part with extensive funds into a club that has no guarantee of progressing past the third tier? There's no chance Toronto would have ever been parachuted straight into SL given how foreign Canada is to RL so would they have even attempted to enter the system without P&R? I doubt it. Newcastle Thunders transition to fulltime this season could probably be considered another good example of investment that may not have occurred without the carrot of a possible promotion within the next 5 or so years. I'm sure others who are more closely connected to clubs than I could point out  examples of investment within various lower tier clubs that would not have occurred in a closed shop context.

 

Conversely, where could a well-run, bill paying Toronto Wolfpack be right now had they not had to waste three or four years hammering the vast majority of part-time clubs? The same of Toulouse Olympique. They’ve spent five years in the lower leagues,  where would they be had we added them straight to Super League with no relegation, like Catalans had when they arrived?

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Scrapping relegation is a no for me. 

Hapoening on a 2-year cycle though is an excellent idea and one I have mentioned before also.

Personally, I do think the second season should be more important than the second, however, there shoukd be some carry over from the first season. Perhaps the bottom team starts the following (relegation) season on -4, next team -3, -2, -1, then the rest just all start on zero. 

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I think there's a case, for protecting the promoted club from relegation, for their first few seasons (one, two or even three) to give them time to settle in. I didn't fully understand Gubrats point about Widnes knowing they were promoted weeks before the Super League season ended. I assume he's saying they had a little more time to access available players (please confirm?). I can see the potential crippling damage, immediate relegation does to the newly promoted team, so something needs to be done. 

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