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This Promotion/Relegation is a Farce


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45 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

We need to strengthen the standards

I find this the hardest thing to achieve of them all.

The quality of a league should be that at any given season any team can win the comp. This used to said of the NRL. It certainly isn't true of SL. If we can only argue for inequality on the basis that lower teams have to try harder there is little point in bothering cos that is simply the case for keeping things as they are which is great for some.

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46 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

Sometimes we don’t see the wood for the trees. There’s a World Cup this autumn that will be huge for British RL across the three comps. Then there’s a World Cup in 2025 in France.

But, from what I can find, there is literally nothing in the European international calendar in between World Cups. Not men’s, nor women’s, nor wheelchair RL. This is the lowest hanging fruit.

Is it though? There is zero commercial value in that. 

Now, I agree with you we should be doing it, and it's disgraceful that we have no plan, but the commercial opportunity looks miniscule and probably very, very long term. But, the sooner we start, the sooner we get there. 

So I agree we should do it, but not that it is low hanging fruit at all. 

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8 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

I'm on board with that, and maybe IMG would be too. But those things are very different to setting up Superleague sides in Dublin and Glasgow.  Sometimes I think it gets conflated 

Dublin wouldn't be Day 1, no, yet it appears they are thinking bigger and more strategically than the usual Sky TV negotiations and which M62 clubs should be in Super League. 

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2 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Is it though? There is zero commercial value in that. 

Now, I agree with you we should be doing it, and it's disgraceful that we have no plan, but the commercial opportunity looks miniscule and probably very, very long term. But, the sooner we start, the sooner we get there. 

So I agree we should do it, but not that it is low hanging fruit at all. 

I call it the lowest hanging fruit because it's just an organisational effort with negligible cost. The value is in the TV content.  

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Just now, Man of Kent said:

I call it the lowest hanging fruit because it's just an organisational effort with negligible cost. The value is in the TV content.  

Yes, agree with that, I think the risk is low, I just don't think the benefits are anything close to short term. 

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6 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Yes, agree with that, I think the risk is low, I just don't think the benefits are anything close to short term. 

We're not even sure if France v Wales has a UK TV broadcast partner.

That's the starting point we're at when it comes to interest in international rugby league in 2022.

We're relying an awful lot on the World Cup to change that.

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3 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

We're not even sure if France v Wales has a UK TV broadcast partner.

That's the starting point we're at when it comes to interest in international rugby league in 2022.

Bein are showing it, apparently, which is encouraging.

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1 minute ago, Man of Kent said:

Bein are showing it, apparently, which is encouraging.

Yes, it should follow that it could find a UK partner. It's the sort of thing that S4C are pretty good at snapping up. Hopefully someone will.

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24 minutes ago, Oxford said:

The quality of a league should be that at any given season any team can win the comp. This used to said of the NRL. It certainly isn't true of SL. If we can only argue for inequality on the basis that lower teams have to try harder there is little point in bothering cos that is simply the case for keeping things as they are which is great for some.

So what you actually saying you want the whole league to 'level down' to the worst teams so they have an equal chance of winning the title.

Here's a novel idea - why don't the worst teams in the league improve themselves to the level of those clubs who do put themselves in with a chance of winning the title each year. !!!

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18 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

We're not even sure if France v Wales has a UK TV broadcast partner.

That's the starting point we're at when it comes to interest in international rugby league in 2022.

We're relying an awful lot on the World Cup to change that.

Indeed. If we are to build on the World Cup we need to know what is going on next year to sell to fans, sponsors and TV companies. If ever there is a time we can elevate the status of internationals its next year off the back of games played in big stadiums on national TV. For all the talk about building on the World Cup I'm not sure if anything is actually in place to do that.

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2 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

yet it appears they are thinking bigger and more strategically than the usual Sky TV negotiations

I'd hope they are, that's what we've got them on board for. But that could mean a lot of things and this flurry of talk about some sort of imminent Celtic expansion seems down to a couple of rather unreliable sources and people rushing to fill the gap.

In the cold light of day it doesn't seem the obvious move to me. If we're talking trying to get more European internationals played, fine. I'd watch them. (Probably) But given the structure and location of the player pools we'd have to realistic about what that could achieve. We'll see.

But promoting and selling what we already have in a more effective way is a still going to be the major part of what IMG do. Indeed it's two of the three areas that IMG said they'd be looking at - see Martyn's interview with the IMG guy Matt Dwyer. His quotes remain a good guide of what to expect: 

“There are three elements of our business. IMG Media, where I sit, this is the part where we will look at the competition structure. We have our digital agency called Seven League, who will be doing the digital transformation of the league. Then we have the brand and marketing agency 160over90, which will be doing a lot of the re-imagining of the sport." 

 "If we can get to a position where we can significantly grow the revenue with clubs that are strong financially and high levels of interest and awareness of the sport across the country, as well as looking at where we are in Europe, then we will have made progress.”

“There are some clear strengths that Rugby League has in the market already and you want to play to your strengths. I’m not looking at the regionality as a weakness but as a positive base from which we can move forward. It’s finding that balance between expansion and the existing strengths. The clear strength is its popularity in significant parts of the north of England.”

 

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7 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

But promoting and selling what we already have in a more effective way is a still going to be the major part of what IMG do. Indeed it's two of the three areas that IMG said they'd be looking at - see Martyn's interview with the IMG guy Matt Dwyer. His quotes remain a good guide of what to expect: 

“There are three elements of our business. IMG Media, where I sit, this is the part where we will look at the competition structure. We have our digital agency called Seven League, who will be doing the digital transformation of the league. Then we have the brand and marketing agency 160over90, which will be doing a lot of the re-imagining of the sport." 

 "If we can get to a position where we can significantly grow the revenue with clubs that are strong financially and high levels of interest and awareness of the sport across the country, as well as looking at where we are in Europe, then we will have made progress.”

“There are some clear strengths that Rugby League has in the market already and you want to play to your strengths. I’m not looking at the regionality as a weakness but as a positive base from which we can move forward. It’s finding that balance between expansion and the existing strengths. The clear strength is its popularity in significant parts of the north of England.”

 

I don't disagree with you and nobody is suggesting they will, or should, rip up what we've got. I see it as more augmentation; taking what we've got and making it bigger and better. 

Your IMG quotes allude to that, ie "looking at where we are in Europe" and "finding that balance between expansion and the existing strengths"

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1 hour ago, Saint Toppy said:

So what you actually saying you want the whole league to 'level down' to the worst teams so they have an equal chance of winning the title.

I'm afraid this is one of those illogical argument wheeled out more often the soft mick, and only marginally less than why don't they improve?

The old ones never tire do they? Like farting in the lift.

A) It wasn't what I was actually saying actually!

B) Like most debates, these two ideas signal how pointless discussing things is.

Is there any evidence on here of someone chaging their mind on anything? The fact that I don't recall it doesn't mean it hasn't happened.

The issue of improvement like any other discussion🤣 seems to bring out the ideologically disposed which is good for the start of debate and useless for it going anywhere. One thing that never happens is that we discuss how quality is improved and what might be preventing standards from rising. Whilst the onus is all on individual clubs rather than a game wide set of processes and programmes for those we think might find it hardest to bring improvement on all we have is the delusion that it's their fault they can't manage.

 

 

 

Edited by Oxford

2 warning points:kolobok_dirol:

#CorbynwasrightandFordesaidso!  Trusssomewhereovertherainbow v Keithcrisisstickingplaster a moral and ethical choice.

 

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36 minutes ago, Oxford said:

I'm afraid this is one of those illogical argument wheeled out more often the soft mick, and only marginally less than why don't they improve?

The old ones never tire do they? Like farting in the lift.

A) It wasn't what I was actually saying actually!

B) Like most debates, these two ideas signal how pointless discussing things is.

Is there any evidence on here of someone chaging their mind on anything? The fact that I don't recall it doesn't mean it hasn't happened.

The issue of improvement like any other discussion🤣 seems to bring out the ideologically disposed which is good for the start of debate and useless for it going anywhere. One thing that never happens is that we discuss how quality is improved and what might be preventing standards from rising. Whilst the onus is all on individual clubs rather than a game wide set of processes and programmes for those we think might find it hardest to bring improvement on all we have is the delusion that it's their fault they can't manage.

 

Jeeze you waffle worse than a politician - lots of words with no real substance, answers or ideas !!

The truth is the clubs who consistently languish near the bottom of the league are poorly run compared to the top clubs. They tend to lurch from one financial crisis to the next and having to penny pinch and only able to pick up players the top clubs generally don't want. 

They can't invest to the same level in the stadium, their junior development, backroom staff & facilities etc. So as an overall package they're just not as attractive to the next generation of young players coming through so they tend to go the better clubs, again leaving these other clubs with the ones the top clubs don't want.

Its not for the governing body to interfere in the running of individual clubs, however it is for them to set minimum standards to which all clubs must adhere to. Those that can't should then be cut from the top tier.

You'll only get a league where every club has an equal chance of winning the title every year when every club in that league can match each other in all aspects both on & off the field.

The top, title winning clubs set the benchmark and every other club should be aiming to match & better them. Only then will you get an improvement across the whole league.

This isn't some amateur school team competition where 'every kid should get a chance', this is professional sport. 

Edited by Saint Toppy

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21 minutes ago, Saint Toppy said:

The truth is the clubs who consistently languish near the bottom of the league are poorly run compared to the top clubs.

That's part of the myth yes. It's based on hearsay and the relative amount of success but very little else.

and you avoid discussion like a politician.

There is substance in they get the same sum of money from Sky so the argument would be some use well some don't. I find it intriguing that mostly this kind of argument comes from people/clubs who have.

Even if it was wholly true that one club is better run than another for no other reason than they're fantastic has this become a model for others to follow, are there courses and resources availablefor those considered not so well run? Have coaches, board members and admin staff all been urged or even made to visit these well run places?

And has there ever been any research done to look at why successful sides are successful because when we say well run that's what we're really talking about?

Edited by Oxford

2 warning points:kolobok_dirol:

#CorbynwasrightandFordesaidso!  Trusssomewhereovertherainbow v Keithcrisisstickingplaster a moral and ethical choice.

 

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2 hours ago, Oxford said:

I find this the hardest thing to achieve of them all.

The quality of a league should be that at any given season any team can win the comp. This used to said of the NRL. It certainly isn't true of SL. If we can only argue for inequality on the basis that lower teams have to try harder there is little point in bothering cos that is simply the case for keeping things as they are which is great for some.

Calling on those middle range senior RL clubs to "man up" and "up their game"  is a bit like Etonians saying the same to Mr and Miss Average Student from average school.

The system is rigged. Man up as much you can do, but.......

Anyway better standards.

I would argue - as a matter of commonsense not politics - that collective actions would help our RL. Not a race to the bottom, but using the skills of the successful to improve actions together. Good practice not just as words, but actions.

The standards KPIs being revenue production, developing talent/participation, facilities and attendances.

But we all know this anyway.

 

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15 hours ago, Dave T said:

1. I suppose the question that needs answering is would there be any real commercial value in having a Scottish, Irish and Welsh team in the league? Even if we got a relatively decent presence in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Dublin, I wonder whether that would really move the dial on commercial value. 

2. I think maybe the objective is how we get 12+ strong teams.........

1. Dublin etc is Laughable. Anyone actually Remember Cardiff City? The Aussies didn't stray too far from the Heartlands when they landed in Gateshead to show us how expansion works, and landed their team a creditable mid-table finish in the first season Then their accountants produced the year end financial report and the Aussies shut shop and went straight home. Thing is it's the Aussies that know a bit about expansion. 

2. "Strong teams" is a good aim, but it appears things are going the other way. The player pyramid is shrinking and the recent results between Wigan and Castleford's first and second teams appear to conform this.

3. "Even teams" could be the answer. The top clubs were awarded the Marquee player deal, and quality players have at times refused bigger offers to go play for a trophy winning club. This means a top few clubs have advantages over the rest.  That is another serious problem as regards staying at 12 let alone go to 14. 

Will the powerful Chairman of the top clubs wave through  IMG's plans, if that waives away their dominance?

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1 hour ago, Oxford said:

That's part of the myth yes. It's based on hearsay and the relative amount of success but very little else.

and you avoid discussion like a politician.

There is substance in they get the same sum of money from Sky so the argument would be some use well some don't. I find it intriguing that mostly this kind of argument comes from people/clubs who have.

Even if it was wholly true that one club is better run than another for no other reason than they're fantastic has this become a model for others to follow, are there courses and resources availablefor those considered not so well run? Have coaches, board members and admin staff all been urged or even made to visit these well run places?

And has there ever been any research done to look at why successful sides are successful because when we say well run that's what we're really talking about?

Exactly how is it a myth when the facts are there for all to see.

These clubs 1st teams generally languish at or near the bottom of the SL table most years. Their junior teams usually languish at or near the bottom of their respective leagues most years as well. Their stadia & off field facilities are generally pretty poor compared to most of the top clubs. Their ability to generate revenue falls a long way short of most of the top clubs. Their ability to attract good crowds is poor despite some of these clubs have much wider catchment areas than some of the top clubs.

Do you really think its a coincidence that the 3 most successful clubs in SL just happen to be the 3 with the best structures & investment in youth development and in then bringing through those youngsters into the first team consistently year after year. It really doesn't take a genius to see what these clubs are doing and the success it brings them. Surely the penny must have dropped by now that this is the kind of structure they should be following if they too want to be up there challenging year after year ?

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Saints Men's team - Triple Champions & Double Winners ; Saints Women's team - Treble Winners ; Thatto Heath - National Conference Champions

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27 minutes ago, steve oates said:

1. Dublin etc is Laughable. Anyone actually Remember Cardiff City? The Aussies didn't stray too far from the Heartlands when they landed in Gateshead to show us how expansion works, and landed their team a creditable mid-table finish in the first season Then their accountants produced the year end financial report and the Aussies shut shop and went straight home. Thing is it's the Aussies that know a bit about expansion. 

2. "Strong teams" is a good aim, but it appears things are going the other way. The player pyramid is shrinking and the recent results between Wigan and Castleford's first and second teams appear to conform this.

3. "Even teams" could be the answer. The top clubs were awarded the Marquee player deal, and quality players have at times refused bigger offers to go play for a trophy winning club. This means a top few clubs have advantages over the rest.  That is another serious problem as regards staying at 12 let alone go to 14. 

Will the powerful Chairman of the top clubs wave through  IMG's plans, if that waives away their dominance?

Maybe the player pool is shrinking because increasingly fewer young men want to play a game with minimal exposure in a small time league, a small financial reward, and a hell of a lot of pain...

Standing still, which "invest in the heartlands" amounts to, is going backwards. 

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5 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Maybe the player pool is shrinking because increasingly fewer young men want to play a game with minimal exposure in a small time league, a small financial reward, and a hell of a lot of pain...

Standing still, which "invest in the heartlands" amounts to, is going backwards. 

Invest in heartlands absolutely does not equal going backwards. It might not be the best use of funds, but it is just factually wrong to state that its going backwards. 

Unless of course you think we are as big as we ever can be in those areas. 

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3 minutes ago, Saint Toppy said:

Exactly how is it a myth when the facts are there for all to see.

There are facts there but they are open to interpretaion which forms opinion.

I said it was mostly based on success levels and you've just asserted a few point which are good ones but they're all based on the success you mention in almost every phrase.

Facts are certainly some clubs are more successful than others.

You didn't respond to any of the points I made which were all about how we might approach this issue as a game.

It seems to me if the penny hasn't dropped as you put it there must be a reason or a number of reasons for this.

I suppose that this means there's no point in these clubs continuing as they can't manage and will never be successful or well run or all three. And I think while that's the case a League of the top six to eight would be all we can manage, hope for or deserve.

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44 minutes ago, steve oates said:

1. Dublin etc is Laughable. Anyone actually Remember Cardiff City? The Aussies didn't stray too far from the Heartlands when they landed in Gateshead to show us how expansion works, and landed their team a creditable mid-table finish in the first season Then their accountants produced the year end financial report and the Aussies shut shop and went straight home. Thing is it's the Aussies that know a bit about expansion. 

2. "Strong teams" is a good aim, but it appears things are going the other way. The player pyramid is shrinking and the recent results between Wigan and Castleford's first and second teams appear to conform this.

3. "Even teams" could be the answer. The top clubs were awarded the Marquee player deal, and quality players have at times refused bigger offers to go play for a trophy winning club. This means a top few clubs have advantages over the rest.  That is another serious problem as regards staying at 12 let alone go to 14. 

Will the powerful Chairman of the top clubs wave through  IMG's plans, if that waives away their dominance?

On point 2, the fact things are going the other way is surely the point this needs to be a focus. 

Focusing on being even is a poor strategy. It'd be vert easy to deliver 12 even poor clubs. The aim absolutely has to be bigger clubs. 

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47 minutes ago, Dave T said:
53 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Maybe the player pool is shrinking because increasingly fewer young men want to play a game with minimal exposure in a small time league, a small financial reward, and a hell of a lot of pain...

Standing still, which "invest in the heartlands" amounts to, is going backwards. 

Invest in heartlands absolutely does not equal going backwards. It might not be the best use of funds, but it is just factually wrong to state that its going backwards. 

Unless of course you think we are as big as we ever can be in those areas. 

Investing in the heartlands = doing more of what the game has always offered the public. If @Tommygilfand I are correct that the part of his post which I highlighted is the true reason why the player pool is shrinking, how exactly would you expect doing more of the same to make the game bigger?

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46 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Invest in heartlands absolutely does not equal going backwards. It might not be the best use of funds, but it is just factually wrong to state that its going backwards. 

Unless of course you think we are as big as we ever can be in those areas. 

It does mean that to people who do not think we can have professional teams anywhere else.

FWIW, I do think there is a saturation point in the heartlands where growth and popularity of the sport in the rest of the country etc is needed to grow more in those areas. Especially when these areas aren't cultural leaders on the national, regional or local levels.

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6 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

Investing in the heartlands = doing more of what the game has always offered the public. If @Tommygilfand I are correct that the part of his post which I highlighted is the true reason why the player pool is shrinking, how exactly would you expect doing more of the same to make the game bigger?

 

6 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

It does mean that to people who do not think we can have professional teams anywhere else.

FWIW, I do think there is a saturation point in the heartlands where growth and popularity of the sport in the rest of the country etc is needed to grow more in those areas. Especially when these areas aren't cultural leaders on the national, regional or local levels.

Investing in the existing areas doesn't have to mean doing the same things, you are putting your additional slant on that. 

@Tommygilf - of course there is a saturation point, I think we are miles away. 

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