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IMG - Vote on Wednesday


gingerjon
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7 hours ago, Liverpool Rover said:

It could be to make room for another competition to sell to TV. As Super League is going to remain at 12 for now there could be a Super League Cup with three groups of four playing home and away, with the group winners and best runners up in the semi finals. Home group games counting on season tickets so there is still around the same number of home games as now. After the final there could then be a two or three week gap before Super League starts.

I don't see the point, not that you may be wrong. If the goal is to move to 14 teams in 4 years then I don't see the point of faffing about with a structure that will then change again after 2 years. 

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It all sounds extremely reasonable and not very controversial at all despite the response from the usuals. 

P&R is a quaint framework that, to me, isn't much different to the old Rah Rah view of amateurism. 

"If you're good enough on the field you deserve to be in the top flight" is such a strange view from a bygone era. The results are really the tip of the iceberg. The business is the main part of the club. It's 2022. It is an entertainment business, the same as WWE wrestling, soccer, darts and Netflix. We're in direct competition with anything else that people spend time and money on. 

EuroLeague Basketball has just re-signed with IMG after their initial partnership of 10 years. What does that tell you? Look at the stats they're quoting.

https://sbcnews.co.uk/sportsbook/2022/03/30/img-arena-and-euroleague-basketball-extend-long-standing-collaboration/

 

 

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4 hours ago, Adelaide Tiger said:

Got up to page 19 when a thought struck me.

Putting football to one side, all other major team sports in the UK such as RL, RU and Cricket are either at or approaching a watershed moment.

Cricket is only surviving because of its international presence.  But One-Day internationals and Test Cricket are under threat by the growth of 20/20 leagues around the world that can pay players exorbitant amounts for a few weeks work.  The ECCB’s response is the Hundred.  Can this plug the gap if there is a reduction in the number of One-Day internationals and Test Matches and TV income falls?

Rugby Union survives on the international game and deep pockets of wealthy backers.  If some of those backers decide to leave the club game then the income from international games will not cover existing costs at club level.  So RU will have to cut its cloth to survive or look at a more innovative structures for financial growth. 

Rugby League - IMHO the partnership with IMG is a reflection that the game finally realised that continuing ploughing the same old furrow is no longer practicable.  Fundamental change is needed, not just for today, but to be able to compete in tomorrows sporting landscape.

So this may be the point where RL leads the way in showing other sports that radical changes is the only way forward.

I agree with your general point but to pick up on that last paragraph, Cricket and RU have both had radical changes, I dont see RL as leading the way in this. 

It's early days but the detail so far isn't really that radical in my opinion. There's a fair bit of common sense and pragmatism in what we have seen and some things that should have been done ages ago. It's all quite sensible so far.

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13 minutes ago, Damien said:

I agree with your general point but to pick up on that last paragraph, Cricket and RU have both had radical changes, I dont see RL as leading the way in this. 

It's early days but the detail so far isn't really that radical in my opinion. There's a fair bit of common sense and pragmatism in what we have seen and some things that should have been done ages ago. It's all quite sensible so far.

Every sport has been eaten by football. Difference between us and rest is we are nowhere near when it comes to exploiting internationals whilst Cricket and Union in uk have reached their limit of value from internationals.

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Whilst I think there should have been a touch more detail on some of the structure stuff, I think some of the outrage over the announcements lack of 100% detail is OTT. 

What they have done is outlined where their head is, and it's killed 2 x 10 stone dead, and confirmed that traditional P&R will be going. They are very important points and stops a lot of the speculation on that (although it just moves speculation onto other things). 

One of the things that I'm interested in is how this fits in with broadcasting deals. Our current one ends at the end of 2023, and the proposal sees changes for 2024, with the new calendar in place and no standard relegation at the end of that season as the league is graded for 2025. So if I'm reading correctly, the lineup of 2024 will be based on traditional P&R and 2025 from grading. 

To get us through that period we need a new broadcasting deal, and ideally this would have been done at the start of a deal instead of 2024 being seen as a season of 'treading water' and prep for 2025.

I wonder whether 2024 will see the new branding, new calendar, internationals etc. 

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36 minutes ago, Damien said:

I agree with your general point but to pick up on that last paragraph, Cricket and RU have both had radical changes, I dont see RL as leading the way in this. 

It's early days but the detail so far isn't really that radical in my opinion. There's a fair bit of common sense and pragmatism in what we have seen and some things that should have been done ages ago. It's all quite sensible so far.

I often make this point, but imho RL did a lot of the essential radical stuff over 25 years ago. 

We scrapped three key trophies from the season, got rid of midweek games, rebranded the game, moved to summer, became professional, introduced a Grand Final, innovated with VR, culled some teams, launched new teams (Paris etc) launched extended multi-team World Cups etc. 

The challenge is that many things haven't been delivered very well. Hopefully this is where IMG come in. 

I do think the game needs some finessing and refinement rather than a huge revolution. 

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1 minute ago, Dave T said:

I often make this point, but imho RL did a lot of the essential radical stuff over 25 years ago. 

We scrapped three key trophies from the season, got rid of midweek games, rebranded the game, moved to summer, became professional, introduced a Grand Final, innovated with VR, culled some teams, launched new teams (Paris etc) launched extended multi-team World Cups etc. 

The challenge is that many things haven't been delivered very well. Hopefully this is where IMG come in. 

I do think the game needs some finessing and refinement rather than a huge revolution

Indeed. And now the excitement of the announcement has subsided, I'm left feeling that IMG's aim, with full agreement from the RFL, is to make the best of what we've got rather than reinvent the wheel. 

Obviously the non-structure stuff is all about that, but for me all the categorisation stuff fits in with that too.

If you stop looking at the the clubs through a sporting rivalry lens, and instead see them as different parts of a business, it kinda makes sense.

Make your most successful outlets market leading, and outline a structure for the next group of existing outlets to step up. 

They're explicit about not going into new countries, and even France is capped at what we have. This is the end of pins-in-map expansion in my view. It's about looking at where the game is strongest - defined in ways we're not quite sure yet - and making the most of that. 

Five years from now I wouldn't be surprised if the top tier was M62 plus France, and IMG being fine with that. 

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9 hours ago, Dave T said:

To be honest GUBRATS, you are making up your own points that don't relate to mine. Your arguments are dishonest here as you are stating things I haven't said, or believe. 

Happy to discuss it again when you aren't just being awkward because you are angry. 

Hi Dave, I am not angry and not quoting anything you have or haven't said, but on @GUBRATSgeographical concern, I think he is very correct in doing so, the same as Fev should be concerned, Leigh would be in an area under a large blanket so to speak with another 3 SL club's, Fev would be one of 3, can you really see 7 club's from such small areas making up 58.3% of the league structure, not a chance.

I will also say that if we need a pointer that geography will come into play, just reflect on how the academy licence's were awarded, if Leigh had been anywhere else other than next door to 3 club's with academies with the application and commitment, structure and £400K they offered they would have not been refused.

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49 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

Every sport has been eaten by football. Difference between us and rest is we are nowhere near when it comes to exploiting internationals whilst Cricket and Union in uk have reached their limit of value from internationals.

Exactly, cricket and RU probably pretty much know (though they might not like the answer) how much money they've either got or could have in their sports. RL is the usual bin fire of squabbling, missed opportunities and unfulfilled potential. We could all have a go at saying what RL 'could' be worth in the UK, but everyone's flying blind because no one really knows... As usual, it's a much harder place to start from, because all cricket and RU have got to do is let go of some delusions, whereas RL sometimes feels like it struggles to even dream.

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5 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

Hi Dave, I am not angry and not quoting anything you have or haven't said, but on @GUBRATSgeographical concern, I think he is very correct in doing so, the same as Fev should be concerned, Leigh would be in an area under a large blanket so to speak with another 3 SL club's, Fev would be one of 3, can you really see 7 club's from such small areas making up 58.3% of the league structure, not a chance.

I will also say that if we need a pointer that geography will come into play, just reflect on how the academy licence's were awarded, if Leigh had been anywhere else other than next door to 3 club's with academies with the application and commitment, structure and £400K they offered they would have not been refused.

I'm not sure what the problem is. Geography will come into it. Of course it will be a concern for the smaller of the clubs clustered together. You simply can't have 2 or 3 clubs within a stone's throw. It just doesn't make sense. 

I think some clubs will come to the conclusion that they'll have to merge or miss out by themselves.

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Not sure if its just me (not read all 28 pages) but is this not just incentivising investment and helping to potentially bring in larger backers who can make a difference?

The Cat A teams that are exempt from relegation are more than likely going to be the clubs that (partly due to them being run well with good income streams hence being Cat A) are unlikely to be relegated anyway (bar a really bad season like Warrington have had) but if they went down they'd bounce back up as they would buy the championship title, and really what is the point in that happening if we are being honest. The teams that get Cat B are the teams that are vying for promotion and relegation most seasons anyway. What you are now saying is that if you invest you can become Cat A and therefore be safe.. so incentivising the investment. Hopefully without the barriers put in the way that seem to be there at the moment ie 1 criteria being an academy but not allowing teams that want one to have one etc. 

It seems like tinkering but IMHO its a clever/good move as long as it is quite obvious how you can get from one category to another and how a team can get promoted etc.. it has to be really clear to the supporter otherwise you will lose people. Clear and transparent is really important.

The rest has been called for on these boards for a while, less loop fixtures, more internationals etc just more sense. Rebranding too is often spoken about here so they will look at it and get, potentially, to something easier to "sell". 

I quite like it, if its clear and transparent. I like the fact they see that London is a key area for expansion, and that doesnt mean a team but could (I hope) be about grassroots with a team to follow.. I like the fact that if there are enough cat A teams they will expand the league, the exact way it should work IMHO.. that is the carrot that is needed. 

With the extra bits the GJ has pointed out around the new media and marketing this can show investors and owners that investing the money to get yourself to Cat A can bring some real rewards because they are doing the work to monetise the product. But it needs the teams/clubs to actually invest too to get the product, and their product especially, up to the standard that can maximise the exposure the IMG can get us.

Its now going to be all about the execution (as so many things are) but so far I think its a really positive step.

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1 minute ago, Pulga said:

I'm not sure what the problem is. Geography will come into it. Of course it will be a concern for the smaller of the clubs clustered together. You simply can't have 2 or 3 clubs within a stone's throw. It just doesn't make sense. 

I think some clubs will come to the conclusion that they'll have to merge or miss out by themselves.

Why should they if geography bans clubs I hope they dont vote for it. If the aim is to get to two conferences and Fev get criteria and can give sport 8k derby vs Wakefield wouldn’t we take it?

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2 minutes ago, Pulga said:

I'm not sure what the problem is. Geography will come into it. Of course it will be a concern for the smaller of the clubs clustered together. You simply can't have 2 or 3 clubs within a stone's throw. It just doesn't make sense. 

I think some clubs will come to the conclusion that they'll have to merge or miss out by themselves.

I really can't see any clubs coming to the conclusion that they'll merge, not in UK rugby league. 

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I think the grading of clubs is a good thing and if a few clubs have to merge in order to get to Cat A or more than likely Cat B then I'm all for it.

Some of our professional clubs are professional in name only as most of the top amateur clubs have more assets and better facilities than their professional counterparts.

This may be the kick up the backside that these club's need and will give them some leverage with primarily the local councils to help them identify potential sites for long term base which would allow them to gradually develop their infrastructure. 

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  Only clubs so far i can see on the A list are Catalan,Wigan,Saints,Warrington,Leeds,and Hull K.R. loop fixtures dropped is a  good thing .Think Magic has been good for the games exposure and see no need to drop it.Can't see SKY paying the same or more under the new proposals i think they will not renew.We have to give it a chance the game is nor progressing under the present structure.Grass roots need money to help future player development.

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10 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

Like Moran?

Actually yes. If we dropped down a division and Moran funded a squad that our revenues alone could never support it would be exactly the same scenario. Within the rules but not exactly giving a lot of hope to the Yorks and Halifaxs of this world.

FWIW I don't think Moran has put in much money in years: his contributions have usually been transfer fees for 'bauble' players like Johns and Inglis, not propping up running costs. It's a nice luxury to have had.

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I can confirm 30+ less sales for Scotland vs Italy at Workington, after this afternoons test purchase for the Tonga match, £7.50 is extremely reasonable, however a £2.50 'delivery' fee for a walk in purchase is beyond taking the mickey, good luck with that, it's cheaper on the telly.

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9 hours ago, Dave T said:

but if people are going to highlight structures as a success or failure, then it is hard to ignore the fact that the game has been on a downward trend in many areas since licensing was abandoned. 

My view is that isn't the core reason, but for many it will be. 

I think there are many other considerations as to why the game has been on a downward trend since Licencing was revoked and it has nothing to do with licensing being abandon, if SL had seen as much resurgence as the Championship has in this same period IMG would not be required.

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15 minutes ago, Pulga said:

I'm not sure what the problem is. Geography will come into it. Of course it will be a concern for the smaller of the clubs clustered together. You simply can't have 2 or 3 clubs within a stone's throw. It just doesn't make sense. 

I think some clubs will come to the conclusion that they'll have to merge or miss out by themselves.

We'll have to wait and see for the actual criteria, but nothing I've read so far suggests that geography will be massive dealbreaker for a club, ahead of other factors. IMG are looking to improve and enhance existing strengths, not take a punt on speculative projects. 

If I were a Leigh fan, for instance, I'd be quite confident that Leigh would be ranked higher than London or Newcastle as things stand today. 

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5 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

I think there are many other considerations as to why the game has been on a downward trend since Licencing was revoked and it has nothing to do with licensing being abandon, if SL had seen as much resurgence as the Championship has in this same period IMG would not be required.

Perhaps if super league had had funding for clubs increased 5 fold then we would have seen a few more punters, yes.

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27 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

Hi Dave, I am not angry and not quoting anything you have or haven't said, but on @GUBRATSgeographical concern, I think he is very correct in doing so, the same as Fev should be concerned, Leigh would be in an area under a large blanket so to speak with another 3 SL club's, Fev would be one of 3, can you really see 7 club's from such small areas making up 58.3% of the league structure, not a chance.

I will also say that if we need a pointer that geography will come into play, just reflect on how the academy licence's were awarded, if Leigh had been anywhere else other than next door to 3 club's with academies with the application and commitment, structure and £400K they offered they would have not been refused.

I think it is sensible that geography comes into play, but that works as a positive and a negative depending on the circumstances. I don't think it is something we need to be afraid of.

But what we have seen is that a ) they have tried to reaffirm that this is the British league (it is the RFL's pyramid and partnership with IMG - not Canada's or France) - if we want to expand, it has to be of benefit to the British league/game. and b ) that historically, we have always had space for clubs from a tight geographical area, so there is no reason to think this is an area of major concern. 

I think it is fair that if in future we have two equal strength clubs, say, Featherstone and Birmingham, where both are performing identically - that the kicker would be that Birmingham's geographical position. I don't think that is controversial. The controversy comes when clubs are elevated above their level due to one factor and other areas are ignored.

For example, one or two posters here would choose the likes of London and Newcastle in their current form over some other clubs, which would be crazy tbh. Hopefully this structure would tell Newcastle and London that they need to be stronger clubs before they come in. Rather than London or Batley getting a bit of a leftfield victory and finding themselves in the top tier out of the blue.

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9 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

I think there are many other considerations as to why the game has been on a downward trend since Licencing was revoked and it has nothing to do with licensing being abandon, if SL had seen as much resurgence as the Championship has in this same period IMG would not be required.

I agree that there are many other considerations, I acknowledged as such in my post, but when the likes of Gubrats want evidence based on cold hard things like revenue, then we can't pick and choose what we use. 

If we look at crowds, revenues and TV money, I think they are broadly de-linked from the structures in place.

You put a lot of onus on the Championship resurgence, but I do think you are swayed by what is happening at your club. And I don't criticise you for that, I often have a more positive outlook on the game being a Wire fan than some others who are disillusioned (apart from this year obviously!). I appreciate how lucky I am with the current setup at Wire. But I'm sure the likes of Bradford, Newcastle and London aren't feeling as positive about the Championship.

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