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Would a French Style IPL work?


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Posted (edited)

I am having fun playing with ideas here but hear me out.

  • A French IPL style tournament with perhaps 6 teams
  • 6 week tournament - 5 rounds and a final
  • Two existing French teams plus 4 franchise city/town teams (owned jointly by FFR13/SL/RFL)
  • Play it across Feb/March before SL begins

Catalans and Toulouse initially run with existing squads - 4 other franchise teams can bid/select/recruit any players they like from France, NRL and SL to make up their squads so Team 1 (e.g. Avignon/Bordeaux whatever) can have Lomax/Field/Connor/Johnstone/Sio/Munster in the same team. Players earn an extra salary outside their SL club contract - clubs earn money from the commercial side.

Has TV appeal because it is a new exciting franchise tournament, France will not care that one of their teams is full of one club players over another (like UK). There is no way this would work in England because of club rivalries, but it would have the potential for more/fresh TV income, sponsorships, new markets etc. It could also sell well to other countries and it is not trying to fight RU as this is a self-packaged tournament done in 6 weeks. UK fans can adopt a second team as it is not in competition with theirs. Young French talent can also be blooded into the squads as per IPL and maybe earn professional contracts.

This would then roll into a slight leaner SL from April to October - as was the original plan in 1996. That is all. Lol

Edited by Scubby
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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Damien said:

This reminds me a little of Jacques Fouroux's idea which never really happened.

That was 1996 before the internet, worldwide media and full time professionalism. I am talking about a franchise owned (maybe even FFR13/NRL/SL/RFL) concept using existing successful models to drive revenue in new markets without hurting core club products. Imagine if the NRL sanctioned 1/2 centrally contracted marquee players for each franchise from the NRL.

It is fun stuff to kick around on a Wednesday but it is the sort of thinking that is needed. It might even work with one of the franchises being London or another big city (really kicking it around here lol).

It's the sort of short form high profile thing that a Billy Slater or Jonathan Thurston or Cameron Smith would have bolted on at the end before they retire. Six weeks work for a wedge.

Edited by Scubby
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1 minute ago, Scubby said:

That was 1996 before the internet, worldwide media and full time professionalism. I am talking about a franchise owned (maybe even FFR13/NRL/SL/RFL) concept using existing successful concepts to drive revenue in new markets without hurting core club products. Imagine if the NRL sanctioned 1/2 centrally contracted marquee players for each franchise from the NRL.

It is fun stuff to kick around on a Wednesday but it is the sort of thinking that is needed.

Oh dont get me wrong, I didn't mean your idea wouldn't work because that never took off. I was just saying the concept reminded me of that. From memory SL coming along and PSG killed off/superseded his idea as much as anything.

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, Scubby said:

I am having fun playing with ideas here but hear me out.

  • A French IPL style tournament with perhaps 6 teams
  • 6 week tournament - 5 rounds and a final
  • Two existing French teams plus 4 franchise city/town teams (owned jointly by FFR13/SL/RFL)
  • Play it across Feb/March before SL begins

Catalans and Toulouse initially run with existing squads - 4 other franchise teams can bid/select/recruit any players they like from France, NRL and SL to make up their squads so Team 1 (e.g. Avignon/Bordeaux whatever) can have Lomax/Field/Connor/Johnstone/Sio/Munster in the same team. Players earn an extra salary outside their SL club contract - clubs earn money from the commercial side.

Has TV appeal because it is a new exciting franchise tournament, France will not care that one of their teams is full of one club players over another (like UK). There is no way this would work in England because of club rivalries, but it would have the potential for more/fresh TV income, sponsorships, new markets etc. It could also sell well to other countries and it is not trying to fight RU as this is a self-packaged tournament done in 6 weeks. UK fans can adopt a second team as it is not in competition with theirs. Young French talent can also be blooded into the squads as per IPL and maybe earn professional contracts.

This would then roll into a slight leaner SL from April to October - as was the original plan in 1996. That is all. Lol

I like it. It's not a million miles from what we need to do.

It's a shame, as you say, that we can't do it in England. A six-week self-contained summer tournament in big English football stadiums with a player draft could shake things up. But the rejection from existing teams' fans would likely be even more intense than county cricket fans have shown to Hundred franchises. They overcame it with the huge latent cricket fanbase. I don't think ours is anywhere near big enough to make it a success.

But for France, maybe the hook is to do it for three years in the run up to the French World Cup.

(p.s. NRL involvement is a dream I'm afraid, but no reason SL players couldn't be part of it.)     

Edited by Toby Chopra
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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

I like it. It's not a million miles from what we need to do.

It's a shame, as you say, that we can't do it in England. A six-week self-contained summer tournament in big English football stadiums with a player draft could shake things up. But the rejection from existing teams' fans would likely be even more intense than county cricket fans have shown to Hundred franchises. They overcame it with the huge latent cricket fanbase. I don't think ours is anywhere near big enough to make it a success.

But for France, maybe the hook is to do it for three years in the run up to the French World Cup.

(p.s. NRL involvement is a dream I'm afraid, but no reason SL players couldn't be part of it.)     

It is definitely not a dream, the NRL are basically scouring the world looking for opportunities at the moment. If this was to give them quality content and a slice of the pie in pre-NRL period Feb/Mar then they would probably want to be at the table. They may want men's and women's versions.

It is so short and self contained that players like Thurston, Cordner, Smith, Cronk etc. would probably have tagged it on for a year at the end of their careers. You could also run with skinny squads of 21/22 filled out with French players in case of an injury crisis.

I'm also warming to the idea of perhaps a single British based franchise based in London or Birmingham (or god forbid Manchester lol) alongside the French cities. Five weeks is 2 or 3 showpiece home games to sell per city plus a final.

Edited by Scubby
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15 minutes ago, Jughead said:

Who would it be set out to work for? Whose going to finance it?

Based on those two things looking uncertain, I can’t see it working. 

It is a product created by the world of RL. The FFR13/NRL/RFL/SL are stakeholders of the whole product

Franchising means individual teams are owned by a franchisee. That could be a corporation, individual, NRL club, SL club, other sports club, CVC, Local Authority

We are talking a completely different concept to what exists here. Hence the IPL reference. It lives and dies on its ability to create revenues for its stakeholders - hence everyone in it together.

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1 hour ago, Scubby said:

I am having fun playing with ideas here but hear me out.

  • A French IPL style tournament with perhaps 6 teams
  • 6 week tournament - 5 rounds and a final
  • Two existing French teams plus 4 franchise city/town teams (owned jointly by FFR13/SL/RFL)
  • Play it across Feb/March before SL begins

Catalans and Toulouse initially run with existing squads - 4 other franchise teams can bid/select/recruit any players they like from France, NRL and SL to make up their squads so Team 1 (e.g. Avignon/Bordeaux whatever) can have Lomax/Field/Connor/Johnstone/Sio/Munster in the same team. Players earn an extra salary outside their SL club contract - clubs earn money from the commercial side.

Has TV appeal because it is a new exciting franchise tournament, France will not care that one of their teams is full of one club players over another (like UK). There is no way this would work in England because of club rivalries, but it would have the potential for more/fresh TV income, sponsorships, new markets etc. It could also sell well to other countries and it is not trying to fight RU as this is a self-packaged tournament done in 6 weeks. UK fans can adopt a second team as it is not in competition with theirs. Young French talent can also be blooded into the squads as per IPL and maybe earn professional contracts.

This would then roll into a slight leaner SL from April to October - as was the original plan in 1996. That is all. Lol

Before SL begins that's a bit hopeful when club coaches are in full flow with pre season training, and which clubs will allow their stars to participate in such a competitive series of games risking injury before the season starts, good idea but not much chance of ever taking off, I shouldn't think.

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Just now, Harry Stottle said:

Before SL begins that's a bit hopeful when club coaches are in full flow with pre season training, and which clubs will allow their stars to participate in such a competitive series of games risking injury before the season starts, good idea but not much chance of ever taking off, I shouldn't think.

They said that before IPL and BBL cricket and now the players have it written into their contracts as it is so lucrative for such a short gig. It may be worth it for a player like James Roby for example to earn more pro rata for 6/7 weeks than to sign another contract for St Helens to slog his body for 9 months.

It is a franchise concept meaning if it generates enough money that filters back into the game/clubs. If it did they would not care

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3 minutes ago, Scubby said:

It is a product created by the world of RL. The FFR13/NRL/RFL/SL are stakeholders of the whole product

Franchising means individual teams are owned by a franchisee. That could be a corporation, individual, NRL club, SL club, other sports club, CVC, Local Authority

We are talking a completely different concept to what exists here. Hence the IPL reference. It lives and dies on its ability to create revenues for its stakeholders - hence everyone in it together.

There’s less than zero chance of NRL clubs or Super League clubs releasing their players to play for the Pyrenees Panthers and that’s completely understandable. 

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1 minute ago, Scubby said:

They said that before IPL and BBL cricket and now the players have it written into their contracts as it is so lucrative for such a short gig. It may be worth it for a player like James Roby for example to earn more pro rata for 6/7 weeks than to sign another contract for St Helens to slog his body for 9 months.

It is a franchise concept meaning if it generates enough money that filters back into the game/clubs. If it did they would not care

If you’re trying to compare the physical exertion on a human body of a game of Rugby League to a game of cricket, you won’t get very far, I’m afraid. 

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1 minute ago, Jughead said:

If you’re trying to compare the physical exertion on a human body of a game of Rugby League to a game of cricket, you won’t get very far, I’m afraid. 

Going forward players will want to play no more than say 30 games in a calendar year etc. The more financial options they have, the more they will decide what is the maximum return they can get for pulling on a shirt 30 times each year. The world is changing you only have to look at what is happening with Golf (LIV) and Cricket (The Hundred) atm to see player power is at work.

Players want to earn as much as possible in a short career. Even Blake Ferguson has gone for a quick buck for a few weeks running around in lower grades.

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2 minutes ago, Scubby said:

Going forward players will want to play no more than say 30 games in a calendar year etc. The more financial options they have, the more they will decide what is the maximum return they can get for pulling on a shirt 30 times each year. The world is changing you only have to look at what is happening with Golf (LIV) and Cricket (The Hundred) atm to see player power is at work.

Players want to earn as much as possible in a short career. Even Blake Ferguson has gone for a quick buck for a few weeks running around in lower grades.

Says who? 

Until there is the financial backers for this (of which, does anyone even want to invest in a sporting franchise of a niche sport in France for six weeks a year?), it’s a non-starter of an idea and I’m fine with that. 

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