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IMG - Thought's, suggestions and comments to move the game forward


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8 minutes ago, Damien said:

A great well thought out and well reasoned post. Posts like this are why I like this forum. I think you have nailed why simplistic arguments that revolve around just copying other sports or the NRL are shallow and poor.

I don't necessarily agree with your last paragraph, as I think it depends on how well it is done and and on a heap of other things.

Agreed,  I don't necessarily come to the same conclusion as @Barley Mow,  but I think the rationale and context explanations are welcome in this thread. 

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49 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I suppose that is to be seen,  but a conflicting viewpoint is that people are worried that IMG won't have much power. 

I suspect the reality will be somewhere in the middle -  which is where it needs to be! 

I think IMG will come out with their recommendations privately to the RFL and the Clubs at the end of September, if they aren't accepted they'll walk away from their involvement in the sport.

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On 03/09/2022 at 11:27, Live after death said:

But the product on the field has declined over the last 10 years or so and most will agree, and all my points have contributed to that.  I have found fans want straight hone away whether thats 12-or 14 teams and want to know who they are playing and when. I scrapped my season tickets after the middle 8’s i have hobbies and i always fitted these around games, not knowing what half the fixtures were going to be until mid June just ended up missing too many games as they then clashed with other commitments, and now with loop fixtures you just think nah i’l pick and choose games. Thats my experience and many have similar stories. Its just stopped being the “not to be missed” event for me anymore. 

I agree with regard to the product, the game on the pitch as well as the stadium experience.

Their are probably a number of reasons we could debate as to why we think the product has declined.  Irrespective of what aspects we could identify the problem starts with the overall philosophy or culture which leads RL to always trying to level out clubs to the lowest denominator.

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1 minute ago, Big Picture said:

You mistake my view, I'd never suggest a new franchised league in the UK alone, I know that would never work.  My concept is a lot bigger than that.

Re solving the game's problems in other ways, just what "realistic objectives" do you have in mind considering that the traditional clubs have no access to the sort of money needed to turn the game's decline around because that sort of money simply doesn't exist in the smallish, unfashionable, economically disadvantaged towns where they are based?  Bear in mind too that the financial growth of soccer and RU during the last 25-30 years means that a lot more money is needed to compete with them now than back then.

The biggest issue I have with your posts on this is you never come close to explaining how it can happen without unicorn billionaires paying a fortune for franchises.

I think we would all like teams called Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham, London etc in Super League. However unless you have a serious post on how it can happen its just a needless diversion.

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1 minute ago, redjonn said:

I agree with regard to the product, the game on the pitch as well as the stadium experience.

Their are probably a number of reasons we could debate as to why we think the product has decline.  Irrespective of what aspects we could identify the problem starts with the overall philosophy or culture which leads RL to always trying to level out clubs to the lowest dominator.

That wouldn't be an issue if the lowest common denominator was still at a good level!

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13 minutes ago, Pulga said:

Scrap P&R.

Make STRICT minimum requirements for grounds/player pathways/population size/geographical spread.

Actually market your product. Look at the difference between the NRL and SL in this regard.

If you have to start at 10 teams then do so but leave the door open for applications from new franchises that make a compelling business argument.

Make sure it's accessible to everyone if they want to find it. All games MUST be televised. Don't schedule games to be on at the same time. 

Focus certain media on personalities within the game. 

 

There's so much more but it's not rocket science.

 

 

I don't disagree with too much of the above,  but let's challenge some of them to play devil's advocate. 

1. Scrap P&R -  the risk is you turn off much of the game below the closed shop,  lose some of your grassroots and take a real short term hit.  The benefits are not necessarily realised when you still ultimately have some weak teams bumblibg along at the bottom. 

2. Minimum reqts.  I agree,  but in reality,  facilities are very good across the majority of SL,  the level of player development is good -  not many sports sustain themselves from such a modest pool. Populations aren't an issue really,  we are in densely populated areas and have tiny % of that. 

3. Market. Sure,  agreed. But its a bit basic really. 

4. All games televised -  meh.  UK sports fans don't seem to interested in this.  It's not gonna grow the game.  But I would push for it in some form. Its an Aussie/American thing tho. 

5.  Personalities.  Its a nice soundbite,  but we have a very unhelpful media.  The way to grow these players is to play major games on terrestrial,  put players in front of people-  which we do. 

So,  nothing controversial in your views,  decent enough stuff,  but nothing game changing imho.  The game would still look similar with the above in place. But thanks for adding context to your posts. 

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1 minute ago, Tommygilf said:

That wouldn't be an issue if the lowest common denominator was still at a good level!

Of course but it ain't the reality and so to bridge the gap we set out to lessen the best rather than how to improve the worst.

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5 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

I think IMG will come out with their recommendations privately to the RFL and the Clubs at the end of September, if they aren't accepted they'll walk away from their involvement in the sport.

I think this is very true and now you mention it is a reason why it seems hard to see the RFL and clubs going against IMG.

If what IMG recommend is not implemented then I think it's fair to assume IMG will think they are banging their heads against a wall and there is no point them being involved. I have no idea where the sport goes from that point, considering the reasons why we have got to this stage in the first place. Consequently I do think the sport is probably more bought in to IMG's recommendations then is being let on.

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8 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

I think IMG will come out with their recommendations privately to the RFL and the Clubs at the end of September, if they aren't accepted they'll walk away from their involvement in the sport.

There is nothing that supports that view.

This partnership has been months and months in the making, plenty will have been ironed out on governance. 

There are likely to be some break clauses etc,  but the game can't be in a position where the recommendation is terrible,  the existing sport says as much and IMG just walk away and give up. 

It won't happen imho. 

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Just now, redjonn said:

Of course but it ain't the reality and so to bridge the gap we set out to lessen the best rather than how to improve the worst.

Yes, and we fundamentally cripple the lower teams too by not allowing investors to spend to overcome the disparities, and by constantly threatening them with relegation in a 12 team league (too small for it imo). 

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1 hour ago, GUBRATS said:

Am I telling you they should have P and R in Australia ? , No 

So don't tell me we shouldn't have it in the UK , simple really 

You haven't a clue 

pulga has as much right to his/her point of view as you have, and who are you to tell somebody whether they have a clue or not? Talk about arrogant.

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1 minute ago, Damien said:

I think this is very true and now you mention it is a reason why it seems hard to see the RFL and clubs going against IMG.

If what IMG recommend is not implemented then I think it's fair to assume IMG will think they are banging their heads against a wall and there is no point them being involved. I have no idea where the sport goes from that point, considering the reasons why we have got to this stage in the first place. Consequently I do think the sport is probably more bought in to IMG's recommendations then is being let on.

I do think it's also important to remember that this is a 12y partnership.  I'd be stunned if IMG are making this one presentation and it is job done and we go into delivery mode. 

In 5 years the world will look different from now.  This will be an ongoing piece of work. In reality I expect it'll be some initial recommendations around structure etc. 

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1 minute ago, Dave T said:

There is nothing that supports that view.

This partnership has been months and months in the making, plenty will have been ironed out on governance. 

There are likely to be some break clauses etc,  but the game can't be in a position where the recommendation is terrible,  the existing sport says as much and IMG just walk away and give up. 

It won't happen imho. 

IMG aren't going to waste time flogging a dead horse Dave. They won't stick their reputation on something they fundamentally don't believe in, it isn't worth it to them.

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

Indeed.  Everton is famous because of the football team.  In the same way that people have heard of Castleford because of their RL team. 

Just as everyone knows Saracens is an area of London because of the RU team called that. 

BP's argument is all over the place 

I never knew there was an area of London called saracens. 

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1 minute ago, Tommygilf said:

IMG aren't going to waste time flogging a dead horse Dave. They won't stick their reputation on something they fundamentally don't believe in, it isn't worth it to them.

But that doesn't mean anything. You are putting your own negative slant on this. 

There will absolutely be disagreements,  and various iterations throughout the 12 years. 

They will not be presenting a silver bullet in September. 

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3 minutes ago, Damien said:

I think this is very true and now you mention it is a reason why it seems hard to see the RFL and clubs going against IMG.

If what IMG recommend is not implemented then I think it's fair to assume IMG will think they are banging their heads against a wall and there is no point them being involved. I have no idea where the sport goes from that point, considering the reasons why we have got to this stage in the first place. Consequently I do think the sport is probably more bought in to IMG's recommendations then is being let on.

I agree. I suspect a lot of it is already known to key figures, they are now just making it acceptable and passable for the sport (2x10 for example being a handy way to guarantee over half the current clubs vote in favour, even with dissenters).

There is no way IMG will persist with the sport if even relatively minor recommendations aren't accepted initially.

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18 hours ago, GUBRATS said:

Worcester pop 102 K 

Gloucester pop 166 K 

Cities yes because they've got a big church , but not massive population centres 

big enough, and no rival clubs or sports nearby, although Worcester have major financial issues at the moment. 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Dave T said:

But that doesn't mean anything. You are putting your own negative slant on this. 

There will absolutely be disagreements,  and various iterations throughout the 12 years. 

They will not be presenting a silver bullet in September. 

Of course, but ultimately they will present a vision for the sport and if it is not passed in the first stage they're not going to bang their head against a brick wall for the fun of it.

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1 hour ago, GUBRATS said:

As it has been for the last 4/5 years , don't recall anybody complaining when it was Toronto or Toulouse outspending everybody ? 

I wasn't complaining. I was pointing out that it was the case, since it puts into context your 'vibrant competition' comment. I think Toronto and Toulouse attracted their fair share of opprobrium. 

 

1 hour ago, GUBRATS said:

As it has been for the last 4/5 years , don't recall anybody complaining when it was Toronto or Toulouse outspending everybody ? 

 

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4 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I don't disagree with too much of the above,  but let's challenge some of them to play devil's advocate. 

1. Scrap P&R -  the risk is you turn off much of the game below the closed shop,  lose some of your grassroots and take a real short term hit.  The benefits are not necessarily realised when you still ultimately have some weak teams bumblibg along at the bottom. 

2. Minimum reqts.  I agree,  but in reality,  facilities are very good across the majority of SL,  the level of player development is good -  not many sports sustain themselves from such a modest pool. Populations aren't an issue really,  we are in densely populated areas and have tiny % of that. 

3. Market. Sure,  agreed. But its a bit basic really. 

4. All games televised -  meh.  UK sports fans don't seem to interested in this.  It's not gonna grow the game.  But I would push for it in some form. Its an Aussie/American thing tho. 

5.  Personalities.  Its a nice soundbite,  but we have a very unhelpful media.  The way to grow these players is to play major games on terrestrial,  put players in front of people-  which we do. 

So,  nothing controversial in your views,  decent enough stuff,  but nothing game changing imho.  The game would still look similar with the above in place. But thanks for adding context to your posts. 

My biggest issue is that it shows zero awareness of where the game is in the UK.

Things like marketing and media personalities are nice but how much do the NRL spend on marketing and media? How much contra advertising does the NRL get? How much does all this coverage comes from a compliant media and wall to wall coverage? In the UK we are lucky to get a column inch in some newspapers and its big news if Tommy Makinson is on Soccer AM.

Ditto with things like all games being televised when SL has been shown to essentially get offered like it or lump it TV deals. Now I'm not saying the game couldn't do better, we all know it can, but the whole compare it to the NRL and Australia argument is a little pointless. It's like comparing Football in Australia and saying why does it not do these things as good as the Premier League.

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1 minute ago, Damien said:

The biggest issue I have with your posts on this is you never come close to explaining how it can happen without unicorn billionaires paying a fortune for franchises.

I think we would all like teams called Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham, London etc in Super League. However unless you have a serious post on how it can happen its just a needless diversion.

Unicorn billionaires?  Those billionaires do exist, as their presence in other sports indicates.  I wouldn't expect them to pay a fortune for franchises though, I'm well aware that a brand new league couldn't charge as much as the 325 million US$ and up which established major pro leagues charge.  Though it would need to be a fee suited to the sort of league I have in mind, it would have to be less than that amount.  And in a world where the value of some major pro franchises exceeds 1 billion US$, even 325 million US$ isn't a fortune.

It could happen if I can get a partner whose name and reputation are known to men like them, then I'd have a way in to present my plan which is very detailed now.  As it happens there is a suitable person who would fill that bill and I happen to know his uncle slightly, so just possibly I might be able to do something about making things happen.  Toronto would be the logical place to seek the first franchise owner and it's only a short drive from where I live, it's the one place where the concept's had a trial run albeit on a much smaller scale than I envision.

And I when I say my plan is very detailed, one of the details which I've worked out is how much ad revenue per minute the broadcast partners I have in mind would need to break even if they all came in at the price points I envision for them and it's a surprisingly modest amount.  Those price point amounts added together would supply enough TV revenue to put the League on a solid foundation from day one, and the broadcaster partners could all make money on the deal too.  The latter would be a necessity if we want them to renew, which of course is definitely desired.

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12 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Yes, and we fundamentally cripple the lower teams too by not allowing investors to spend to overcome the disparities, and by constantly threatening them with relegation in a 12 team league (too small for it imo). 

This is one of the biggest bug bears of mine and why a salary cap, anything like what we have now at least, is not compatible with P&R or fair.

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3 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

Of course, but ultimately they will present a vision for the sport and if it is not passed in the first stage they're not going to bang their head against a brick wall for the fun of it.

They aren't stupid,  they will have discussed terms,  scope,  outcomes etc ass part of the pre-contractual stuff. 

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