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IMG - Vote on Wednesday


gingerjon
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4 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

Ok read it now. If you did a job application under one criteria, aced it and then the criteria was changed so it perfectly matches soneone but you,you’d be furious. Second you can go for another job but Keighley arent going to start playing union are they so it doesn’t work?

If it's proper for other clubs to come out publicly with their stance then it’s just as legitimate for Keighley to come out with theirs. They haven’t done to well under p and r because all their support melted away when people knew it didn’t matter what they did they were barred from the top. Imagine the frustration just as you got everything in place again you are going to get shafted...again

Next season they will probably pull in more than Fev and perhaps more than Bulls, so we should want them to believe in the process as the game needs a strong team in Bradford postcode and it probably can’t ever be the Bulls at the dump.

They have still publicly had a rant about the organisations that will be making the decisions on grading in the future and have probably done more harm than good to their own cause because of it. If they are sceptical about the proposals due to their own experiences they are entitled to that opinion but a measured diplomatic response would be better than a public rant. Even if only for the public image of the Keighley club.

Something like " we have viewed and listened to these early proposals by IMG for the future of Rugby League and have some concerns over the ways in which these proposals could be implemented and the clarity and transparency of the process involved. We will liaise with both IMG and the RFL to raise and address these concerns before deciding whether to lend our Club's support to these proposals or otherwise."

In the Cougarmania years they did grow considerably and especially given the ongoing travails of the Bulls there is the opportunity for a well run Keighley to grow again. There is the possibility for any club that can achieve sufficient growth to find itself elevated to the top tier under the IMG proposals. The only limit to how high a club like Keighley can climb should be determined by how much the club (business) can grow.

They seem to have assumed that the experience will be the same as in 1996 already. Lots has changed since then, the decision makers that changed the rules and relegated 6 clubs and denied Keighley (and Batley) promotion are all gone. In 1996 both Bradford and Halifax were top 6 clubs in the top tier with the Bulls about to become one of the pre-eminent clubs of the next decade, in 2022 Halifax have been outside the top flight for almost 20 years and Bradford are a pale shadow of what they were. Keighley are in the same division as both next year and have an opportunity to build to get ahead of both. If IMG are looking for a club in that area to elevate then Keighley are in a position where it can be achievable to be the best available option.

They may hold a position of scepticism and mistrust but the tone of their club statement was ill judged at best. The bits about expansion being a particularly poor choice.

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1 minute ago, Wakefield Ram said:

So just to clarify. If there is only one Grade B club in SL, they will be guaranteed relegation irrespective of results?

No, but if during the annual assessments a grade B club in the Championship was judged to be better suited for the SL place than the one in SL then they would exchange places.

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23 minutes ago, Buzzer90 said:

Whatever the reasons, ground, location, owners… Keighley‘s face will never fit in the eyes of the people who make the decisions.  

Exactly the same as it didn’t before, no matter how many years ago. 

I think not. Keighley have exactly the same opportunity as St Helens. They may indeed be on the way to taking the opportunity but have a long way to go yet.  The must get the chips in off their shoulders and rid themselves of the delusion that there is a conspiracy against them.

Edited by JohnM
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"Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth."

JohnM - 17/01/2023

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58 minutes ago, Derwent Parker said:

It did say L1 will still be guaranteed funding.  [Might be just one of those new shiny 50p pieces that they are issuing with KING Charles lll on?] but i did read that

Being Older and hopefully a little bit wiser i can remember before Super league - There were always a couple of great teams and a couple of perennial bad teams,

But there was no vast gap between leagues and teams as there is now. and teams could improve and move up and down leagues over a couple of seasons without bankrupting themselves.

And it was 4 up and 4 down - 16 in each league [approx.] - 30 games and 4 new faces every year [or 12 new faces if you moved] - more entertaining, more variety and with a few exceptions anybody could beat anybody.

There were not as many blowout scores as you see today, matches were always closer which is more entertaining.

The SKY money has been great for a few but bad for the game overall [IMHO]

When it first came in it should have been divvied out equally [ or as close to equal as poss] then we could have brought everybody up together and not just a few.

This is also a reason why the Challenge cup is dead. Because the teams were closer the top teams were brought in earlier which gave more teams chance to play top teams and giant killing chances. plus, a chance to get a bit of cash for amateur teams and the lower teams, but the top teams are only brought in at last minute now.

It's too late now - the chosen few on best part of 2M per season and the bottom on 20K per season - they are unplayable. The money and unfair distribution of it has ruined the game and the gap needs to be closed if possible, that is what i was suggesting.

Best thing that could have happened [IMHO} was for IMG to take the 2 Frenchie's and the top 8 Brits and give them all the Sky money and lock everybody else out of SL and let us all go back to a system of 2 leagues of 14 again.

We will have the challenge cup back [no SL teams] and everybody on equal [o] Sky money.

If someone comes in to cover matches like sky - them great but everyone gets same amount

I’m an old fart and I remember those halcyon days pre SL when there was no vast gap between the two leagues as most players played for their local team and were paid win/lose money and had to work 40 hours a week as well.  Also because players wages were relatively similar across clubs it really made little sense for players to move even if their club was relegated so clubs weren’t stripped of their best players.

However, SKY money disrupted this equilibrium, especially when some players went from £300 a win to £30,000 a year.  But that was the price to pay to save the game from the financial mire it was in.

It appears that you are suggesting that - apart from the top 10 clubs  - clubs revert back to those pre SL days and players become part time as no club could afford full time status especially as I doubt a league consisting of part time clubs could negotiate a TV deal.  Is that what you want?

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42 minutes ago, Buzzer90 said:

Whatever the reasons, ground, location, owners… Keighley‘s face will never fit in the eyes of the people who make the decisions.  

Exactly the same as it didn’t before, no matter how many years ago. 

It might if they bring their facilities into this millennium for a start.

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47 minutes ago, wiganermike said:

No, but if during the annual assessments a grade B club in the Championship was judged to be better suited for the SL place than the one in SL then they would exchange places.

So a Grade B club could finish 2-3 places from bottom of SL and then gets relegated on a subjective comparison against another Grade B club?

Devil's advocate here, if both Grade B clubs , Featherstone are in SL finish 10th, Leigh in the Championship and spend a lot of money on club and team and finish top, a committee decide that Leigh are a "better" Grade B so Leigh get promoted and Featherstone relegated?

Or if there's only 14 Grade A clubs and they are in SL, there's no promotion or relegation before the season starts?

**Clubs chosen just to illustrate the point.

These aren't unrealistic scenarios, this is no different to licensing proposal in 20+ years ago. 

Edited by Wakefield Ram
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1 hour ago, Adelaide Tiger said:

I’m an old fart and I remember those halcyon days pre SL when there was no vast gap between the two leagues as most players played for their local team and were paid win/lose money and had to work 40 hours a week as well.  Also because players wages were relatively similar across clubs it really made little sense for players to move even if their club was relegated so clubs weren’t stripped of their best players.

However, SKY money disrupted this equilibrium, especially when some players went from £300 a win to £30,000 a year.  But that was the price to pay to save the game from the financial mire it was in.

It appears that you are suggesting that - apart from the top 10 clubs  - clubs revert back to those pre SL days and players become part time as no club could afford full time status especially as I doubt a league consisting of part time clubs could negotiate a TV deal.  Is that what you want?

Change the number from 10 clubs at the top to as many as the clubs want (ie, its their decision), then yes. That's what i want.

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1 minute ago, Wakefield Ram said:

Not really a sound basis for re-structuring a sport - have you got a generous council who'll build you a ground at council taxpayers expense?

To an extent, it is.

We need support across the board to show demand for the game. 

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I'll no doubt get slated for my cynicism at these proposals but here's my observations.

I have worked with "strategic partners" before. They are not partners they are third parties looking to make as much money for themselves within the terms of their contract. Nothing wrong with that in itself, but always worth bearing in mind that their interests may diverge from interests of the sport. I imagine both sides will have exit clauses so 12 years is meaningless.

They have done the classic management consultant job of re-hashing old ideas to please the more powerful people in the organisation - in this case the biggest clubs in SL.

Grading - just a re-hash of licencing by another name with a few tweaks to make it seem different.  IMHO possibly changing the grading to annually will encourage fringe Grade A/B into more short term spending. The only way clubs can be graded objectively is to apply some minimum criteria like ground size. Everything else will be cyclical on team performance or open to manipulation. Number of season ticket holders? Easy, give them away to kids or sell 1st  x 000 at heavily discounted price.

Promotion and Relegation -  Until you have at least 12 Grade A clubs, there's scenarios which won't work. 

Not 2 x10 - not surprised -that would have reduced support for their proposals.

Challenge Cup Final in May - wow you mean back to where it was more successfully for 80 odd years. Thanks for that insight.

An international calendar - thank you for that insight.

No loop fixtures - will be interesting how SL clubs react to losing 3  home game revenue. They will have to increase revenue per home game by c25% to make up the difference.

Maximum 2 overseas clubs in SL - that's handy there's only 2 in RL. So if Toronto re-formed and got to Grade A, we just demote Toulouse or Catalan if they both are in SL? Or just tell Toronto they can never get in? Again a fairly meaningless sop to please existing SL clubs.

Not so much a "re-imagining" of sport more a "re-hashing" of old ideas. Classic management consultant exercise.

The last "Joint Venture" I witnessed in a work capacity ended with the client suing the "strategic partner". And they were a big consultancy group.

The major issues look like 

Agreeing the objective grading criteria which cannot be manipulated. Any subjective measures will be open legal challenge.

How SL clubs will replace 3 home game revenues 

Promotion and Relegation when there's Grade B clubs in SL 

Which of these proposals (apart from an international calendar) is going to make more people want to watch RL? Still predominantly the same players playing for the same clubs in the same stadiums to the same laws.

 

Edited by Wakefield Ram
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30 minutes ago, Wakefield Ram said:

I'll no doubt get slated for my cynicism at these proposals but here's my observations.

I have worked with "strategic partners" before. They are not partners they are third parties looking to make as much money for themselves within the terms of their contract. Nothing wrong with that in itself, but always worth bearing in mind that their interests may diverge from interests of the sport. I imagine both sides will have exit clauses so 12 years is meaningless.

They have done the classic management consultant job of re-hashing old ideas to please the more powerful people in the organisation - in this case the biggest clubs in SL.

Grading - just a re-hash of licencing by another name with a few tweaks to make it seem different.  IMHO possibly changing the grading to annually will encourage fringe Grade A/B into more short term spending. The only way clubs can be graded objectively is to apply some minimum criteria like ground size. Everything else will be cyclical on team performance or open to manipulation. Number of season ticket holders? Easy, give them away to kids or sell 1st  x 000 at heavily discounted price.

Promotion and Relegation -  Until you have at least 12 Grade A clubs, there's scenarios which won't work. 

Not 2 x10 - not surprised -that would have reduced support for their proposals.

Challenge Cup Final in May - wow you mean back to where it was more successfully for 80 odd years. Thanks for that insight.

An international calendar - thank you for that insight.

No loop fixtures - will be interesting how SL clubs react to losing 3  home game revenue. They will have to increase revenue per home game by c25% to make up the difference.

Maximum 2 overseas clubs in SL - that's handy there's only 2 in RL. So if Toronto re-formed and got to Grade A, we just demote Toulouse or Catalan if they both are in SL? Or just tell Toronto they can never get in? Again a fairly meaningless sop to please existing SL clubs.

Not so much a "re-imagining" of sport more a "re-hashing" of old ideas. Classic management consultant exercise.

The last "Joint Venture" I witnessed in a work capacity ended with the client suing the "strategic partner". And they were a big consultancy group.

The major issues look like 

Agreeing the objective grading criteria which cannot be manipulated. Any subjective measures will be open legal challenge.

How SL clubs will replace 3 home game revenues 

Promotion and Relegation when there's Grade B clubs in SL 

Which of these proposals (apart from an international calendar) is going to make more people want to watch RL? Still predominantly the same players playing for the same clubs in the same stadiums to the same laws.

 

Hallelujah, at least one other person who can see the wood for the trees and who understands "  consultation" and "strategic partnerships" especially where the contracting party are  weak as the management of Rugby league is. 

 

Edited by Hemi4561
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2 hours ago, Wakefield Ram said:

So a Grade B club could finish 2-3 places from bottom of SL and then gets relegated on a subjective comparison against another Grade B club?

Devil's advocate here, if both Grade B clubs , Featherstone are in SL finish 10th, Leigh in the Championship and spend a lot of money on club and team and finish top, a committee decide that Leigh are a "better" Grade B so Leigh get promoted and Featherstone relegated?

Or if there's only 14 Grade A clubs and they are in SL, there's no promotion or relegation before the season starts?

**Clubs chosen just to illustrate the point.

These aren't unrealistic scenarios, this is no different to licensing proposal in 20+ years ago. 

You say subjective but the proposal says that the criteria will be objective. Clearly you don't believe them.

Sport, amongst other things, is a dream-world offering escape from harsh reality and the disturbing prospect of change.

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1 hour ago, Wakefield Ram said:

Glad it's not just me. I thought IMG were going to reveal their marketing ideas, which is their specialism.

I couldn't agree more. I was perhaps naively expecting a whole raft of exciting new ideas and proposals to take the game forward in ways I hadn't imagined, no just a stale rehash of a selection of tired old boilers from the last 20 years. Who did IMG have working on this? The intern?

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3 hours ago, Wakefield Ram said:

So a Grade B club could finish 2-3 places from bottom of SL and then gets relegated on a subjective comparison against another Grade B club?

Devil's advocate here, if both Grade B clubs , Featherstone are in SL finish 10th, Leigh in the Championship and spend a lot of money on club and team and finish top, a committee decide that Leigh are a "better" Grade B so Leigh get promoted and Featherstone relegated?

Or if there's only 14 Grade A clubs and they are in SL, there's no promotion or relegation before the season starts?

**Clubs chosen just to illustrate the point.

These aren't unrealistic scenarios, this is no different to licensing proposal in 20+ years ago. 

On the face of it yes that would be how it would be expected to work as the initial proposal suggests B grade clubs will exchange places should one in the Championship be graded as stronger than one in SL. In practice you would expect that your hypothetical Featherstone would have been warned at their most recent review (and possibly the one before that) that they were in danger of not meeting required standards/being surpassed by a Championship club and so were at risk of demotion. It is very unlikely that clubs will be demoted/ promoted based on the events of a single season.

It is also possible that some amendment could be made before the proposals are adopted that will allow for expansion of SL by admitting additional strong B grade clubs rather than 1 up meaning 1 must go down (rather than only expanding by adding new A grade clubs). What we will likely see is some negotiation on specifics before the structure is finalised. Using your hypothetical it would be unfair to punish Featherstone if they had continued to meet the standards they had in previous seasons in SL simply because Leigh had also achieved what was asked of them to be elevated to SL.

In a scenario where every club in SL has an A grade the proposals put forward state that any club outside would need to attain an A grade to enter SL. As I said though I wouldn't be surprised to see that slightly amended as an A grade may be too difficult in practice to attain in the Championship (though the clubs won't know that until they are given details of what constitutes the minimum standards for each grade).

Edited by wiganermike
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1 hour ago, Wakefield Ram said:

Glad it's not just me. I thought IMG were going to reveal their marketing ideas, which is their specialism.

Maybe IMG thinks that these ideas will somehow make RL more marketable than it is now, or marketable in ways it isn't now.  In either case they'd be mistaken.

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37 minutes ago, Blind side johnny said:

You say subjective but the proposal says that the criteria will be objective. Clearly you don't believe them.

To me it is a about trust.

IMG may say that an academy is a non negotiable absolute objective criteria for an A grading  and also that they will have nothing to do with choosing who has an academy. So far so good, however it is the RFL who choose who gets an academy, so the reality is that it will be the puppet masters at the RFL who manipulate who can satisfy that "objective" criteria. 

Both IMG, and the RFL, then have cast iron alibis. IMG say we only provided a purely objective  criteria, whilst the RFL say we accepted IMG's advice and it  never crossed our minds that it we held the trump card over who could fulfil it. 

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