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IMG Grading System (Many Merged Threads)


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5 minutes ago, Dave T said:

1 - I agree with much of your point in part 1 of your post TT. I think there are better ways of doing this - I know radius has been mentioned for example, and I don't think that's a bad suggestion. However I do also think that has flaws too - if I think about the tribalism that a Town/City/Club name can have attached I don't think simply using radius is perfect either.

2 - On Leeds point I completely disagree. % doesn't help at all here. In fact, the % of population sort of supports the whole point that it is a numbers game and we should be having clubs in big cities. It's the very definition of a hollow victory, the likes of Cas claiming they get a better % of their population than Leeds, when Leeds are the richest club in UK RL, playing in front of large crowds in a great ground.

I'm afraid I don't get your points proposal - it has no logic for me. You give more points for things that you want - we don't want loads of small village clubs - so why would we give them more points?

Leeds are absolutely the model that we want SL to be full of - the fact that we are trying to make a case to suggest they are doing worse than the likes of Cas is perverse to me.

Thanks for the reply Dave T. 

I do take your point on the 'Leeds model' . I wasn't trying to suggest that Cas were doing better than Leeds or should indeed be higher up the rankings than Leeds . Of course not . Your original post was in response to catchment area . However , I do take on board and accept that there is a tendency in this sort of discussion to see things from your own clubs point of view . 

My points proposal was a little tongue in cheek to be fair , but I should have made that clear . It was more to highlight the significant advantage that a city club with a catchment area twice the size of any other SL club , already benefits from in other criteria as a result of this .

Although I don't want to speak for you , I think we can conclude from this , that we are both in agreement that the catchment area criteria as it stands is flawed and needs re-evaluating . This does seem to be the biggest area of concern from the majority of RL fans , so hopefully IMG/RFL will address this going forward .

Thanks again for the reply 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Taffy Tiger said:

Thanks for the reply Dave T. 

I do take your point on the 'Leeds model' . I wasn't trying to suggest that Cas were doing better than Leeds or should indeed be higher up the rankings than Leeds . Of course not . Your original post was in response to catchment area . However , I do take on board and accept that there is a tendency in this sort of discussion to see things from your own clubs point of view . 

My points proposal was a little tongue in cheek to be fair , but I should have made that clear . It was more to highlight the significant advantage that a city club with a catchment area twice the size of any other SL club , already benefits from in other criteria as a result of this .

Although I don't want to speak for you , I think we can conclude from this , that we are both in agreement that the catchment area criteria as it stands is flawed and needs re-evaluating . This does seem to be the biggest area of concern from the majority of RL fans , so hopefully IMG/RFL will address this going forward .

Thanks again for the reply 

 

 

My view overall is that broadly, the categories do their job - I think the rankings are (in the main) correct - but I do accept that it feels like some calibration work needs doing. I do find the TV viewers one a nonsense too - it was set at 150k when we had two games per week - yet we now have some on BBC, some on three channels, some hidden away on Mix etc - it isn't a great measure in its current form imo. 

I do accept that my view of 'broadly' fine doesn't really wash with clubs who may miss out on SL by a tiny fraction of a point when the scoring isn't watertight. So I absolutely can understand where people are getting frustrated with it. But tbh, I think that does come back to the poor implementation, which is disappointing, as I do think some of the original licensing was done a bit better than some of this stuff.

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3 minutes ago, Dave T said:

My view overall is that broadly, the categories do their job - I think the rankings are (in the main) correct - but I do accept that it feels like some calibration work needs doing. I do find the TV viewers one a nonsense too - it was set at 150k when we had two games per week - yet we now have some on BBC, some on three channels, some hidden away on Mix etc - it isn't a great measure in its current form imo. 

I do accept that my view of 'broadly' fine doesn't really wash with clubs who may miss out on SL by a tiny fraction of a point when the scoring isn't watertight. So I absolutely can understand where people are getting frustrated with it. But tbh, I think that does come back to the poor implementation, which is disappointing, as I do think some of the original licensing was done a bit better than some of this stuff.

Agree . In general the different criteria are a good measure of a team's overall preformance  . Any team achieveing a Category A under this system has set a solid foundation to build on in the future . 

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7 hours ago, Dave T said:

We don't really have to guess - the grading document states:

OBJECTIVE: To maximise growth of the sport in the largest markets to generate new fan bases

They want to pay in large markets like Toulouse, London etc and will give them a higher score than Batley etc.

I was talking about the specific metric being mention in the discussion above and assumptions being made about what its specific purpose was being used for... as distinct from speculating by assumptions what its purpose is even if trying to link to a wider strategic intent...

If the objective is clearly as stated then we wouldn't be limiting the number of clubs in SL in France (as is stated) nor ignoring too many clubs withing a 15min drive of each other plus having a clear expansion plan. In which case the metric would be more relevant rather than not being relevant in the current footprint and I would suggest a footprint that will be the case in the next 10 years.

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18 minutes ago, redjonn said:

I was talking about the specific metric being mention in the discussion above and assumptions being made about what its specific purpose was being used for... as distinct from speculating by assumptions what its purpose is even if trying to link to a wider strategic intent...

If the objective is clearly as stated then we wouldn't be limiting the number of clubs in SL in France (as is stated) nor ignoring too many clubs withing a 15min drive of each other plus having a clear expansion plan. In which case the metric would be more relevant rather than not being relevant in the current footprint and I would suggest a footprint that will be the case in the next 10 years.

That objective is the one-liner for the specific metric, not an overall strategy. 

It's spelling out that it's more points for being in bigger markets. 

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10 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

OK, what will they do about it?

I'm not sure who the 'they' are that you refer to.

But I go back to the original point. The principle of this one is really simple. With grading, they give more points for things that they want to see, and give fewer (or zero) for things that they don't want to see. This could be good finances, plenty of fans, a big screen etc.

In this one, they want teams to be based in big markets - they explicitly state that. And we can all interpret 'market' in slightly different ways, but in general I'm sure we'll agree that it means things like population, sponsors and partners (including councils etc), universities, schools, colleges etc. These are all things that clubs should engage with to be strong within the community and tap into the benefits, but if you are based in small areas that don't have these things, or you are sharing them with a few other clubs, it is clearly a challenge. 

I do think the scoring isn't amazing across a few areas (I also highlighted the viewing figure one), but we do also need to consider that the Community (population) metric gives a maximum benefit of 1pt, in reality a small number of clubs get a 0.5pt benefit over the majority of clubs, which is 2.5% of total scoring. 

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7 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I'm not sure who the 'they' are that you refer to.

But I go back to the original point. The principle of this one is really simple. With grading, they give more points for things that they want to see, and give fewer (or zero) for things that they don't want to see. This could be good finances, plenty of fans, a big screen etc.

In this one, they want teams to be based in big markets - they explicitly state that. And we can all interpret 'market' in slightly different ways, but in general I'm sure we'll agree that it means things like population, sponsors and partners (including councils etc), universities, schools, colleges etc. These are all things that clubs should engage with to be strong within the community and tap into the benefits, but if you are based in small areas that don't have these things, or you are sharing them with a few other clubs, it is clearly a challenge. 

I do think the scoring isn't amazing across a few areas (I also highlighted the viewing figure one), but we do also need to consider that the Community (population) metric gives a maximum benefit of 1pt, in reality a small number of clubs get a 0.5pt benefit over the majority of clubs, which is 2.5% of total scoring. 

I think it is the thing that will push a team over the edge compared to another but not do much else.. so if a Sheffield/Midlands (Birmingham)/Newcastle was scored exactly the same as a Castleford (for example) then the fact they have a bigger potential market would push them over the edge... and that seems the right way to do it, but its not going to get one of those teams to that level on its own or give a team from a big market so many points that they could be in a poor state and get in just becuase of catchment. 

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6 minutes ago, RP London said:

I think it is the thing that will push a team over the edge compared to another but not do much else.. so if a Sheffield/Midlands (Birmingham)/Newcastle was scored exactly the same as a Castleford (for example) then the fact they have a bigger potential market would push them over the edge... and that seems the right way to do it, but its not going to get one of those teams to that level on its own or give a team from a big market so many points that they could be in a poor state and get in just becuase of catchment. 

Yup - it's a kicker really rather than a core point. But then this is the case with most of them, I think we are getting too hung up on individual categories when the table did rather rank teams in a way that we would expect.

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48 minutes ago, Dave T said:

 

I do think the scoring isn't amazing across a few areas (I also highlighted the viewing figure one), but we do also need to consider that the Community (population) metric gives a maximum benefit of 1pt, in reality a small number of clubs get a 0.5pt benefit over the majority of clubs, which is 2.5% of total scoring. 

A maximum advantage of 1 point doesn't sound much until you realise its equivalent to 9 places on the IMG league ladder, 0.5 points is 5 places on the ladder.  So if Toulouse manage 13th Castleford need to average 4th just to overturn that "benefit". Likewise Leigh would have to average 8th. Doesn't really seem that inconsequential to me.

 

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7 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I'm not sure who the 'they' are that you refer to.

But I go back to the original point. The principle of this one is really simple. With grading, they give more points for things that they want to see, and give fewer (or zero) for things that they don't want to see. This could be good finances, plenty of fans, a big screen etc.

In this one, they want teams to be based in big markets - they explicitly state that. And we can all interpret 'market' in slightly different ways, but in general I'm sure we'll agree that it means things like population, sponsors and partners (including councils etc), universities, schools, colleges etc. These are all things that clubs should engage with to be strong within the community and tap into the benefits, but if you are based in small areas that don't have these things, or you are sharing them with a few other clubs, it is clearly a challenge. 

I do think the scoring isn't amazing across a few areas (I also highlighted the viewing figure one), but we do also need to consider that the Community (population) metric gives a maximum benefit of 1pt, in reality a small number of clubs get a 0.5pt benefit over the majority of clubs, which is 2.5% of total scoring. 

Reading between the lines of your thoughts from this explanation - thanks for that -, I may very well be wrong but would I be correct in thinking that in your version of SL you would not have any clubs in places were the population does not exceed a certain figure to 'target' for arguments sake let's say 200,000, that being so Leigh and Cas are the first to be ejected (I suppose they fall under your "Village Teams" description, next come Huddersfield and the City of Wakefield (not the district council, that as you know includes two other teams) are subject to debate, then controversially we have the town of Wigan (again not the Metro) with less than 120,000, and considering you are flying the flag for Toulouse we need to eject the team from the City of Perpignan also not a big place by any means. Non of those mentioned surely reach your IMG interpretation of "they want teams to be based in big markets - they explicitly state that"

But to balance those out, present members of the RFL which can come into consideration >200,000 are Oldham, Rochdale, Sheffield, Newcastle, Birmingham, Bradford, those are of the top of my head without really delving in, and obviously all the 'New Start' big city clubs nationwide that will be clamouring to jump on the back of the IMG bandwagon as it rolls along.

Now its here were we come to an impasse, either you and IMG are totally misguided in what you believe that this 'provincial game' can acheive, or I am setting my sights to low.

NB. Only last week I said on these pages in relation to London, should they not finish in bottom position and be relegated in this IMG system it should be reported on and put in the national press that they were relegated before a ball was kicked to show the British Sporting Public how calamitous this IMG system is, one of our prominent posters and very pro IMG supporter, said that the British Sporting Public would not be at all interested, I countered with isn't the British Sporting Public being those who reside within heartlands and also those outside who are not devotees, attendees or TV subscribers of Rugby League IMG's target's needless to say I did not recieve an answer.

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11 minutes ago, Jill Halfpenny fan said:

A maximum advantage of 1 point doesn't sound much until you realise its equivalent to 9 places on the IMG league ladder, 0.5 points is 5 places on the ladder.  So if Toulouse manage 13th Castleford need to average 4th just to overturn that "benefit". Likewise Leigh would have to average 8th. Doesn't really seem that inconsequential to me.

 

Again, you are looking too narrow. You are ignoring the other 16 or 17 points that are available. 

If Toulouse score as well as Cas on everything else, then being in a bigger market instead of a small town may be the benefit - I don;t think that is a flaw.

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17 minutes ago, Jill Halfpenny fan said:

A maximum advantage of 1 point doesn't sound much until you realise its equivalent to 9 places on the IMG league ladder, 0.5 points is 5 places on the ladder.  So if Toulouse manage 13th Castleford need to average 4th just to overturn that "benefit". Likewise Leigh would have to average 8th. Doesn't really seem that inconsequential to me.

 

Seems you make a good "point" - surprising the difference when you look at the reality of implementation and how important the small points can make to the future status of a club...

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8 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

Reading between the lines of your thoughts from this explanation - thanks for that -, I may very well be wrong but would I be correct in thinking that in your version of SL you would not have any clubs in places were the population does not exceed a certain figure to 'target' for arguments sake let's say 200,000, that being so Leigh and Cas are the first to be ejected (I suppose they fall under your "Village Teams" description, next come Huddersfield and the City of Wakefield (not the district council, that as you know includes two other teams) are subject to debate, then controversially we have the town of Wigan (again not the Metro) with less than 120,000, and considering you are flying the flag for Toulouse we need to eject the team from the City of Perpignan also not a big place by any means. Non of those mentioned surely reach your IMG interpretation of "they want teams to be based in big markets - they explicitly state that"

But to balance those out, present members of the RFL which can come into consideration >200,000 are Oldham, Rochdale, Sheffield, Newcastle, Birmingham, Bradford, those are of the top of my head without really delving in, and obviously all the 'New Start' big city clubs nationwide that will be clamouring to jump on the back of the IMG bandwagon as it rolls along.

Now its here were we come to an impasse, either you and IMG are totally misguided in what you believe that this 'provincial game' can acheive, or I am setting my sights to low.

NB. Only last week I said on these pages in relation to London, should they not finish in bottom position and be relegated in this IMG system it should be reported on and put in the national press that they were relegated before a ball was kicked to show the British Sporting Public how calamitous this IMG system is, one of our prominent posters and very pro IMG supporter, said that the British Sporting Public would not be at all interested, I countered with isn't the British Sporting Public being those who reside within heartlands and also those outside who are not devotees, attendees or TV subscribers of Rugby League IMG's target's needless to say I did not recieve an answer.

You don't need to read between the lines, I'll happily tell you my views.

I don't particularly wish for any team to be ejected. If teams from smaller towns can out-perform those in larger ones, then they should have the chance to be in there, and they do - we haven't given undue weighting to this metric for that reason. So whilst it may be preferable for the game to have a load of teams in larger towns and cities, I don't think you can force that necessarily (it was a huge flaw with the original proposal from Lindsay - you can't just pick city names and pretend they will be a strong club).

For a big city club to replace some of the clubs you mention, they would need to actually perform to at least their standard off the field - i.e. get those crowds, have those finances, sponsors, facilities etc. 

I will make the same point again - I think you are giving far too much weight to individual scores - Toulouse or other big cities are not making it into SL because they have a large population, they have to be a decent club too. 

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Dave T said:

You don't need to read between the lines, I'll happily tell you my views.

I don't particularly wish for any team to be ejected. If teams from smaller towns can out-perform those in larger ones, then they should have the chance to be in there, and they do - we haven't given undue weighting to this metric for that reason. So whilst it may be preferable for the game to have a load of teams in larger towns and cities, I don't think you can force that necessarily (it was a huge flaw with the original proposal from Lindsay - you can't just pick city names and pretend they will be a strong club).

For a big city club to replace some of the clubs you mention, they would need to actually perform to at least their standard off the field - i.e. get those crowds, have those finances, sponsors, facilities etc. 

I will make the same point again - I think you are giving far too much weight to individual scores - Toulouse or other big cities are not making it into SL because they have a large population, they have to be a decent club too. 

Good post, and if any of those teams get an 'A' grade then they will be in regardless of whether they come from a small town or big city. People that are fixated on one little aspect are missing the bigger picture, that the vast majority of the criteria is within a team's control.

Edited by Damien
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3 minutes ago, Damien said:

Good post, and if any of those teams get an 'A' grade then they will be in regardless of whether they come from a small town or big city. People that are fixated on one little aspect are missing the bigger picture, that the vast majority of the criteria is within a team's control.

And I would also add that the game has a recent history of bringing in new clubs at the expense of others already - Paris is the perfect example of a club just being given a place because it had a big city name. That won't happen any more. They have to have the basics right to be competitve on scores.

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48 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

 

NB. Only last week I said on these pages in relation to London, should they not finish in bottom position and be relegated in this IMG system it should be reported on and put in the national press that they were relegated before a ball was kicked to show the British Sporting Public how calamitous this IMG system is, one of our prominent posters and very pro IMG supporter, said that the British Sporting Public would not be at all interested, I countered with isn't the British Sporting Public being those who reside within heartlands and also those outside who are not devotees, attendees or TV subscribers of Rugby League IMG's target's needless to say I did not recieve an answer.

On this point. There is no evidence that people would care. We need to be careful not to over-represent the things that we personally care about, although I accept that is always inevitable as we are giving our personal opinions here.

Sports fans don't live in a bubble. They understand how the world of sport works. They understand that some comps use P&R, some franchises etc. They understand that different models are at play, both here and abroad. 

I have no doubts that some people will find it odd, but one thing that doesn't support your view here is that London's crowds are higher this season than they were under the last model. 

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19 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I have no doubts that some people will find it odd, but one thing that doesn't support your view here is that London's crowds are higher this season than they were under the last model. 

Yes London's crowds are higher this season, but what is the point you are actually trying to make, that will not matter one jot when they are relegated at the end of this season they will not have had the opportunity to build on that next season irrespective of their finishing position this model has peed on the chips of that, and with how this system is weighted in favour of the incumbent SL clubs once the initial bedding in period is over they will probably never make it back to the top.

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

Again, you are looking too narrow. You are ignoring the other 16 or 17 points that are available. 

If Toulouse score as well as Cas on everything else, then being in a bigger market instead of a small town may be the benefit - I don;t think that is a flaw.

Am I. Castleford and Leigh could double the average Toulouse attendance and it would count for nothing. They could lose significantly less financially and it would count for nothing. You can achieve anything you want playing around with band widths. You could relegate Leeds simply by  negating all their advantages and instead of gifting them points for population penalise them for under utilisation of of that advantage. Would that be ridiculous, absolutely, but probably no more so than this abomination.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Dave T said:

For a big city club to replace some of the clubs you mention, they would need to actually perform to at least their standard off the field - i.e. get those crowds, have those finances, sponsors, facilities etc. 

This system could throw up such a scenario this next season, in that a team could be replaced by one who doesn't match their standard both on and off the field  that is why I have shouted long and hard that there should be complete transparency of the scoring system.

Why could that not be done if there is nothing to hide, it is like when their was talk of all citizens having identity cards, again nothing wrong with that if you have nothing to hide.

Edited by Harry Stottle
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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

Yes London's crowds are higher this season, but what is the point you are actually trying to make, that will not matter one jot when they are relegated at the end of this season they will not have had the opportunity to build on that next season irrespective of their finishing position this model has peed on the chips of that, and with how this system is weighted in favour of the incumbent SL clubs once the initial bedding in period is over they will probably never make it back to the top.

I think the point with London is it never entered IMG's heads that London could get promoted in the first place.  IMG fans can dress it up all they like but a team being relegated before a ball is kicked is not a good look.

Edited by Jill Halfpenny fan
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27 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

Yes London's crowds are higher this season, but what is the point you are actually trying to make, that will not matter one jot when they are relegated at the end of this season they will not have had the opportunity to build on that next season irrespective of their finishing position this model has peed on the chips of that, and with how this system is weighted in favour of the incumbent SL clubs once the initial bedding in period is over they will probably never make it back to the top.

The point is that these people know that London are already relegated, but have still turned up. They haven't found it to be a farce. 

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Posted (edited)

They are basically trying to meet their requirements of big city clubs by almost completely ignoring PERFORMANCE.  Seems an odd thing to do when trying to 'improve' a sport.

Example of manipulation - A club who currently has say an average finish of 4th place and when the gradings are released find they are comfortably in SL in 2025.  They then release all their players and recruit a team made up of conference league players, who they pay £200 a game.  In 2025 they finish 12th, as a result their average finish drops to 6th, a reduction of say 0.22 (not exact).  the stadium is the same, the big screen the LED boards, press rooms etc all the same.  catchment stays the same, crowds still under 7.5k.  They take their central distrtibution and spend a million plus less on salaries, accountants report is more favourable or they can use what they save to fund the Foundation gaining another half point or whatever it is.

Now while all the above is unlikely to happen, it is entirely possible that nothing could be done about it if it did.  I just feel that the system and this seasons gradings when out will cause quite a bit of uproar.  Toulouse confident, Bradford confident .........how? or why? because not much is made about performance.

These thoughts are my own.

Edited by DemonUK
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Here we go again .....

 

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25 minutes ago, Jill Halfpenny fan said:

Am I. Castleford and Leigh could double the average Toulouse attendance and it would count for nothing. They could lose significantly less financially and it would count for nothing. You can achieve anything you want playing around with band widths. You could relegate Leeds simply by  negating all their advantages and instead of gifting them points for population penalise them for under utilisation of of that advantage. Would that be ridiculous, absolutely, but probably no more so than this abomination.

The way you will get relegated is if you don't score enough points across the range of criteria. You really do have to look at the whole thing, the whole 20 pts, not just get hung up on 1 element. 

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1 minute ago, DemonUK said:

They are basically trying to meet their requirements of big city clubs by almost completely ignoring PERFORMANCE.  Seems an odd thing to do when trying to 'improve' a sport.

By giving population only 5% weighting? 

It had more prominence in original licensing (a point for not having another SL club within 20 miles). 

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