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Heartlands League

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Topic: Heartlands League
Posted By: Richard Lowther
Subject: Heartlands League
Date Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 15:56
Anyone want to comment, speculate, praise, moan on the article in today's Rugby Paper about plans for a 16 team Heartlands League?

Gist is two pools of 8, top four go into Cup format, bottom four fight it out to avoid relegation. 

Also combined XV to play touring Tier 2 sides. 

No mention of automatic promotion for winners. 


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Replies:
Posted By: Robb
Date Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 16:47
Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

Anyone want to comment, speculate, praise, moan on the article in today's Rugby Paper about plans for a 16 team Heartlands League?

Gist is two pools of 8, top four go into Cup format, bottom four fight it out to avoid relegation. 

Also combined XV to play touring Tier 2 sides. 

No mention of automatic promotion for winners. 

Not another provincial style system....


Posted By: Dalesman
Date Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 18:14
Not enough home games to keep the Treasurers happy.
But I like the concept.


Posted By: cheshire exile
Date Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 18:19
In what way is it a “provincial style system”??
It makes a lot of sense to me, provided enough Nat1 clubs can be persuaded to regard it as a worthwhile objective.
Regionalising the first stage would reduce travelling costs significantly for many clubs and getting rid of the Championship Cup would be very welcome. 
The question of promotion is frankly being taken out of the Championship clubs’ hands.  This proposal also reflects the fact that RFU funding is likely to disappear altogether and that the gap between Premiership and Championship likely to widen further with CVC’s involvement.
According to Paul Myners’ report, 100 Premiership players are currently paid £300k per season or more. 
Hopefully promotion to the Premiership can be kept on the table, even if it’s not guaranteed every season, but in light of the RFU’s recent behaviour and the pandemic there is no way the Championship clubs can just sit and leave the competition unchanged beyond next season.


Posted By: Hopping Mad
Date Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 20:11
Next season going to be a “complete disaster” and Championship clubs have lost faith in the RFU to make appropriate decisions. The funding for Championship will end at completion of 20/21 season and when Sarries are promoted it will then be a ringfenced 13.

There will be no route left open. If it is PRL will breakaway itself. When it’s confirmed the Championship clubs will lead a breakaway of their own.

View that RFU will do a deal that will allow PRL to keep TV revenues in future in return for reduced RFU subsidy for supporting the “13”.

The Championship wants to run the “Heartland” competition which would comprise the National Leagues. Lots of clubs see if the NCA as irrelevant as it’s delivered no improvement in profile, revenues or sustainability as a whole.

Discussions between clubs at all levels been ongoing now for weeks. Reason for regional conferences is to level up the representation to ensure buy in and attract more national and regional sponsors to pool monies into one pot. In return clubs will only be able to join if they agree to strict criteria on facilities, infrastructure etc. Some current clubs aren’t going to be given long to get up to speed.

Clear division on salary cap levels still to be resolved. This will not be a full time professional entity. It will be semi pro with club sustainability at the forefront. 


Posted By: JonDee
Date Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 20:13
prior to making any comment could someone post a link please


Posted By: gerg_861
Date Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 20:26
Originally posted by JonDee JonDee wrote:

prior to making any comment could someone post a link please

This was just in The Rugby Paper today, so I don't think that a public link will be available until next week.

It is interesting that the article stated that their plan was to "get back to grassroots" and "away from being a business.", however the way that they've put together these proposals, circulated them, and gotten out in front of whatever the RFU might have been planning (probably nothing but more malicious neglect), was a very business-oriented way of thinking. I applaud the clubs involved for seeing the writing on the wall and taking the initiative.

I'm also a fan of the minimum ground standards. My highschool in a town of 500 people in the US had floodlights for our American Football games; if you can't achieve that, then I don't think there's enough ambition to compete in level 2.

In terms of number of teams/pro vs. semi-pro, I can only say that I'd be a fan of anything that gave meaningful games on a regular schedule. The cup just wasn't working, and last year's schedule sometimes caused teams to go a month without a home game.


Posted By: Hopping Mad
Date Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 20:32
Also need to forget of this new structure as being “Level 2”.

The Championship will be dead. The pro game will have sailed off into the distance. This is a new club structure led by the clubs for the clubs. 


Posted By: Camquin
Date Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 21:20
Why not a top level National League with sixteen teams  made up of the 11 Championship clubs  (10 if Ealing get included in the Premiership) and the top National 1 sides.

Then regionalise below that if wanted.

And if any of the Championship sides want to step down to the regional tier I am sure there would be Nat 1 sides who would be prepared to step up. We are used to a National league with no support. Actually many clubs find getting sponsors easier when in a National League.

As the the NCA's ability to promote the game, I am not sure FDR have done any better. 
However, John Inverdale has stated that he will make promotion of the game a priority.
Let's give him a little time.




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Sweeney Delenda Est


Posted By: Raider999
Date Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 21:25
Originally posted by Camquin Camquin wrote:

Why not a top level National League with sixteen teams  made up of the 11 Championship clubs  (10 if Ealing get included in the Premiership) and the top National 1 sides.

Then regionalise below that if wanted.

And if any of the Championship sides want to step down to the regional tier I am sure there would be Nat 1 sides who would be prepared to step up. We are used to a National league with no support. Actually many clubs find getting sponsors easier when in a National League.

As the the NCA's ability to promote the game, I am not sure FDR have done any better. 
However, John Inverdale has stated that he will make promotion of the game a priority.
Let's give him a little time.




Doesn't the RFU survey indicate teams only want a maximum of 14 teams in a division?

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RAID ON


Posted By: Raider999
Date Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 21:26
Originally posted by Hopping Mad Hopping Mad wrote:

Also need to forget of this new structure as being “Level 2”.

The Championship will be dead. The pro game will have sailed off into the distance. This is a new club structure led by the clubs for the clubs. 


It will still be level 2

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RAID ON


Posted By: Camquin
Date Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 23:07
The point of self determination is to ask the question to the correct constituency.
And that survey did not include the Championship clubs.

But if there are 20 clubs and 800 players who want to be in a sixteen team National league that is enough to fill it and ensure there are plenty competing to replace them. 

If the players need breaks, they could play into May as their players would not be playing in the County Championship.
As I understand it breaks were the main reason most wanted 28 games  plus the county championship. 

This does not prevent the remaining clubs from having 14 team leagues.
Indeed one sixteen team league and three 14 team leagues would take fifty eight teams, which as there are currently sixty Championship and National 1 sides 

Which would put the Regional Premiership and some of the Regional 1 sides and possibly some second XVs filling the next tier. Which if we follow a pattern would be nine leagues of 14.

And if I was drawing up the tables, everyone else in county leagues: thus keeping the Lancastian sides happy and bring them back into the pyramid.

But fortunately I am not involved in organisation as it is obviously more complex than I can comprehend. 




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Sweeney Delenda Est


Posted By: JonDee
Date Posted: 20 Jul 2020 at 08:19
Originally posted by Raider999 Raider999 wrote:

Originally posted by Hopping Mad Hopping Mad wrote:

Also need to forget of this new structure as being “Level 2”.

The Championship will be dead. The pro game will have sailed off into the distance. This is a new club structure led by the clubs for the clubs. 


It will still be level 2


The Championship has been dead since it was forced on the clubs by the RFU Council, from Wikipedia which is basically true

On 10 November 2008 it was proposed by the Rugby Football Union that the second tier of the English rugby union system should be a fully professional twelve club Championship. The proposal was criticised by the then National League One chairman Geoff Irvine, representing the clubs, who described it as "financial suicide", although six League One clubs subsequently supported the proposal. The proposals required five clubs to be relegated to National Division Two, with only one club being promoted from that division and one club joining the league from the Premiership.[2] On 15 November 2008 the RFU Council voted overwhelmingly in favour of the new proposal, which began in September 2009.[3] Under the proposal the RFU paid £2.3 million a year to help fund the change, with future rises due through television rights.[2]

The last comment re TV rights is the most laughable


Posted By: Richard Lowther
Date Posted: 20 Jul 2020 at 20:59
The game needed to change before the current pandemic at all levels but people are slow to recognise the fact. 

The pandemic has opened peoples eyes and closed others wallets and will hopefully act as a catalyst for that change. 

We can all debate what that change will look like but i guarantee no one will fully accept what ever is proposed but I hope all clubs survive to participate in whatever new structure emerges. 


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Posted By: Halliford
Date Posted: 20 Jul 2020 at 21:46
This might upset a few posters but I do think the RFU has handled the crisis pretty well. They are constrained by the agreement with PRL which was poorly conceived and didn’t see this coming (!). So far few Clubs have taken advantage of their loan funding or other support. Most NCA Clubs have, like mine, used the Government grant and furlough schemes to manage our cash flow. My club has lost approx £160k in revenue so far but remain in operation and looking ahead.

NCA Clubs have learned to live without RFU money and until international matches with full crowds can be staged, many more Clubs will have to live on their own resources. Wales is in an even worse position!


Posted By: Camp Freddie
Date Posted: 20 Jul 2020 at 22:49
Camquin, after the recent webinars I think that putting 2nd XVs in leagues in the North will have the effect of more clubs leaving the pyramid than rejoining.

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The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.


Posted By: islander
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 11:19
Link to Sunday's TRP front page article...

https://www.therugbypaper.co.uk/latest-news/37596/exclusive-championship-clubs-plan-massive-shake-up-following-review-by-ex-saracens-ceo-ed-griffiths/" rel="nofollow - https://www.therugbypaper.co.uk/latest-news/37596/exclusive-championship-clubs-plan-massive-shake-up-following-review-by-ex-saracens-ceo-ed-griffiths/


Posted By: Rabbie Burns
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 12:36
First I have seen that and the formula seems okay. In Nat 1 we have operated in 16 team leagues for a while now and it works. Would prefer it rejiggeda little to spread the free weekends out so it’s not stop-start after Christmas. The mute point is always about player welfare but I think very few players played in all 30 games

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So many Christians not enough Lions


Posted By: islander
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 12:48
Originally posted by Rabbie Burns Rabbie Burns wrote:

First I have seen that and the formula seems okay. In Nat 1 we have operated in 16 team leagues for a while now and it works. Would prefer it rejiggeda little to spread the free weekends out so it’s not stop-start after Christmas. The mute point is always about player welfare but I think very few players played in all 30 games

The proposed Heartland league may have 16 teams, but does that necessarily mean teams would play 30 games? In some conference arrangements elsewhere I believe teams play H/A against teams in their own conference while having just one game against teams from the other conference... more likely, surely, if play-offs were to be added? Although that might mean the end of the Championship Cup, which could lead to massive nationwide upset... Wink


Posted By: Camquin
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 13:04
Not a lot more detail.
Why would a National One side want to be promoted to a competition that seems to only offers 14 games. How on earth could that generate sufficient income.

What is the divisional championship - how does that relate to the heartland championship.
Is that the current national Leauges

If you do have two pools I think the Northern Pool is
Ampthill
Bedford
Coventry
Chinnor
Doncaster
Harpury
Jersey
Nottingham

Jersey becuae someone has to come North and once you have to fly you may as well fly to East Midlands or manchester as Gatwick.

The South have the London clubs, Rams and Pirates and if not Saracens then Plymouth.

Tough of course the exact sides promoted will depend on next seasons results and could be very different.

And yes I know I have utterly discounted Leeds Tykes.


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Sweeney Delenda Est


Posted By: PiffPaff
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 15:28
CQ, you seemed to have glossed over the other bit.....

"Heartland Championship here would also see a re-invigoration of the county and divisional rugby......"

One would assume those who produced this plan have already been discussing it with the CBs.........bet they haven''t.


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Crouch, Bind, Tweet!


Posted By: islander
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 16:33
Originally posted by Camquin Camquin wrote:

Not a lot more detail.
Why would a National One side want to be promoted to a competition that seems to only offers 14 games. How on earth could that generate sufficient income.

What is the divisional championship - how does that relate to the heartland championship.
Is that the current national Leauges

If you do have two pools I think the Northern Pool is
Ampthill
Bedford
Coventry
Chinnor
Doncaster
Harpury
Jersey
Nottingham

Jersey becuae someone has to come North and once you have to fly you may as well fly to East Midlands or manchester as Gatwick.

The South have the London clubs, Rams and Pirates and if not Saracens then Plymouth.

Tough of course the exact sides promoted will depend on next seasons results and could be very different.

And yes I know I have utterly discounted Leeds Tykes.

Camquin: you have assumed this league would involve clubs playing 14 league games, just as Rabbie B inferred earlier that there would be 30 games. I think both assumptions are wrong...


Posted By: hrplaneman
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 17:34
Whilst a number of brains are being made to work on all of the possible options of the piece written, I have a number of questions that do not appear to be clarified in the journalistic pieces I've read to date.  Firstly who appointed Mr Griffiths to the role of reviewer? There is certainly no reference made as being attributable to the RFU. Why would someone who represents a team that still isn't technically in the Championship have such an interest. I was under the impression that he was more in line with that same club and its gaining instant promotion back to the land of milk and honey, which again to remind members is not an RFU organised league. Finally, I though the championship was an RFU funded and organised league, managed by a management board, under the leadership of Mssrs Irvine and Lloyd, none of whom appear to have been quoted or referenced in the initial article? 
Im sure the management board and all of the other representatives of the Championship have other things to discuss with the RFU, the re-organising and funding issues being pretty close to the top of the agenda. 
Finally, when does the Green King sponsorship deal end? I thought it ran until the end of the 2020 season? 


Posted By: cheshire exile
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 20:13
IIRC Griffiths’ last sojourn at Saracens lasted a month. It is several months since it was reported that the “Championship clubs” had commissioned him to do this work and we have to assume that the RP piece was sanctioned by whatever group originally briefed and recruited Griffiths.
It’s Greene King and, given their change of ownership a few months ago, I would be amazed if they were interested in renewing the sponsorship, unless there were to be unexpected TV coverage.


Posted By: islander
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2020 at 09:08
Originally posted by hrplaneman hrplaneman wrote:

Whilst a number of brains are being made to work on all of the possible options of the piece written, I have a number of questions that do not appear to be clarified in the journalistic pieces I've read to date.  Firstly who appointed Mr Griffiths to the role of reviewer? There is certainly no reference made as being attributable to the RFU. Why would someone who represents a team that still isn't technically in the Championship have such an interest. I was under the impression that he was more in line with that same club and its gaining instant promotion back to the land of milk and honey, which again to remind members is not an RFU organised league. Finally, I though the championship was an RFU funded and organised league, managed by a management board, under the leadership of Mssrs Irvine and Lloyd, none of whom appear to have been quoted or referenced in the initial article? 
Im sure the management board and all of the other representatives of the Championship have other things to discuss with the RFU, the re-organising and funding issues being pretty close to the top of the agenda. 
Finally, when does the Green King sponsorship deal end? I thought it ran until the end of the 2020 season? 

Can't answer all your Qs hrp, but am pretty sure Mr G was engaged by the CCs as an independent, not as any sort of representative of an individual club. This news story has come from an inside source, which is why you won't find quotes from Mssrs Irvine & Lloyd (former & new CC chairmen), or any other named person, in what's been written so far.


Posted By: islander
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2020 at 20:08
Update on this by Mick Cleary in Telegraph tonight (or tomorrow's paper I imagine)...

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2020/07/22/former-saracens-chief-executive-present-proposals-radical-restructuring/" rel="nofollow - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2020/07/22/former-saracens-chief-executive-present-proposals-radical-restructuring/


Former Saracens chief executive to present proposals for radical restructuring of Championship

Edward Griffiths will present a radical remodelling of the Championship to the Rugby Football Union on Thursday that will include the stipulation that contracted players must also have a secondary activity, be it employment, education or apprentice-style training.

Griffiths, the former Saracens chief executive who on Wednesday was mandated by Championship clubs to present the plan, will also recommend that the 12-team division is split into into a northern and southern conference, with promotion to the Premiership based on agreed criteria between the leagues rather than a first-past-the-post format.

The meeting at Twickenham with RFU chief executive, Bill Sweeney, and Director of Performance rugby, Conor O’Shea, is envisaged to be the start of a consultation process lasting for six to eight weeks before a blueprint is agreed for the 2021-22 season.  There is also provision for a National Cup, some clubs will opt to train during the day and others in the evening. Welfare and nurturing are top of the agenda.  

Nine Championship representatives, plus two from Jersey Reds and Cornish Pirates on conference call, attended the three and a half hour meeting at Harpenden RFC on Wednesday, in which they agreed on the core principles of the 76-page document. Griffiths has put it together over the last four months, working with Nick Johnston of Coventry Rugby and Nottingham’s Steve Smith. The report was sent to the clubs a fortnight ago. Griffiths’ involvement was triggered by a drastic reduction in their funding from the RFU in early February.

Sweeney initially announced that future distribution of central funds would see almost a 50% cut from £534,000 a year per club, a figure that was revised after uproar from the clubs by the RFU agreeing to stagger cuts over the next couple of seasons with the initial reduction pegged at £135,000pa.

Several clubs feared for their future as a result and anticipated the need for widespread job losses. Griffiths was tasked with carrying out a root-and-branch review.

“The clear message in the post Covid-19 world is that everyone has to live within their means,” said Griffiths who insists that the talks are about exploring all options within his presented framework and that initial fears of a Championship breakaway from the RFU is ‘100% wide of the mark.’  

“We want to work with the RFU, the Premiership clubs and all stakeholders. In the 25 years since the game went professional too much energy has been wasted on fighting. There has been too much antagonism. This is about all aiming in to get in the same boat and row forward together. We also need to get away from the model whereby a club is dependent solely on one benefactor to keep things going. The league needs to be viable and sustainable. Commercial rights and monies will be pooled and shared. There will be an element of promotion and relegation so as to maintain some sort of ladder.”

The clear aim is to maximise the advantage that English rugby has over many other countries and that is numbers playing the game. It appears that rugby will only be one part of a player’s portfolio, an acknowledgement that this tier of rugby needs a more holistic approach with an emphasis on fewer games and better player welfare provision.   

“The game can’t keep hammering players and creating issues that will only present themselves in 20 years’ time,” said Griffiths. “We need a pathway for these players, to use the universities’ set-up as well. We have an idea of our preferred model but we are open to revision of these ideas as well. Our clubs have a diverse range of resources as well as ambitions. There is overwhelming support for our core principles, a desire to nurture all rugby staff, to look after the players and to drive standards.”

Saracens did not take part in the gathering as they are a Premier Rugby Ltd shareholder.  


Posted By: islander
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2020 at 21:50
Also covered, with some additional (albeit possible) detail by Hugh Godwin in the i paper (ex-Indy)

https://inews.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/championship-revamp-premiership-promotion-relegation-change-edward-griffiths-560272" rel="nofollow - https://inews.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/championship-revamp-premiership-promotion-relegation-change-edward-griffiths-560272

Championship revamp seeks to change Premiership promotion criteria as Edward Griffiths prepares to meet RFU

Former Saracens CEO Edward Griffiths to meet RFU on Wednesday to outline blueprint for a revamped English second division.

Promotion from the Championship to the Premiership will continue, but under a changed set of entry criteria, according to Edward Griffiths, the former chief executive of Saracens, who will meet the Rugby Football Union on Wednesday with a blueprint for a revamped English second division.

Amid constant conjecture that the Premiership (PRL) will be ring-fenced from 2021, with relegated Saracens tipped to bounce back up next year, Griffiths was backed unanimously at a meeting of the Championship clubs on Tuesday to negotiate a new arrangement, possibly in time for the 2021-22 season.

“It is definitely not an end to promotion and relegation,” Griffiths told i. “What we are proposing is a better, more fair, form of promotion and relegation, by criteria.

“It is a complicated mechanism but clubs will be judged according to performance on the field, crowd figures, stadium and training ground, infrastructure and financial resources. If a club is promoted by that mechanism, they will operate off a level playing field when they get to the Premiership.

“I think this will be something that will make sense to PRL clubs as well.”

Representatives of the 11 Championship clubs – not including Saracens, who are one of the 13 Premiership shareholders – met Griffiths at Harpenden RFC on Tuesday, with Cornish Pirates and Jersey Reds taking part remotely.

He was mandated to pursue his idea for a second tier with two conferences, split north and south. The working title is “TEC – The English Championship”, and the core principles include financial self-sustainability and nurturing young English players and coaches.

Griffiths says he has spoken informally to several Premiership club owners and he will now negotiate formally with PRL and the RFU. The aim is an agreement by the end of August, and it is likely to also need the approval of clubs in and below the third-division National League One.

The RFU had indicated it would end central funding of the Championship, even before the Covid-19 pandemic hit revenues at Twickenham.

Griffiths was first consulted by the Championship committee in March, and he delivered a 76-page report two weeks ago.

The 12 Championship clubs would each play 16 league matches: home and away within their northern or southern conference, and home or away against the teams in the other conference. The division could expand to 16 clubs in future.

“We want to promote fewer, bigger games,” Griffiths said. “The tendency in rugby has been to say more games equals more revenue but you end up devaluing the product, and it doesn’t work for player welfare, either.

“This is a time to be innovative and creative and maybe a little bold. It is not a breakaway.”   



Posted By: Richard Lowther
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2020 at 22:19
Quote The 12 Championship clubs would each play 16 league matches: home and away within their northern or southern conference, and home or away against the teams in the other conference. The division could expand to 16 clubs in future.

“We want to promote fewer, bigger games,” Griffiths said. “The tendency in rugby has been to say more games equals more revenue but you end up devaluing the product, and it doesn’t work for player welfare, either.

8 home games?  5 from the games in your own conference and then 3 out of the 6 from the other conference.

How can any club survive on 8 home games?

Seems utter bananas to me!


Quote “It is definitely not an end to promotion and relegation,” Griffiths told i. “What we are proposing is a better, more fair, form of promotion and relegation, by criteria.

“It is a complicated mechanism but clubs will be judged according to performance on the field, crowd figures, stadium and training ground, infrastructure and financial resources. If a club is promoted by that mechanism, they will operate off a level playing field when they get to the Premiership.

Or in plain English... Bye Bye promotion. Hello closed shop Premiership. 


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Posted By: gerg_861
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2020 at 22:39
Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

Quote The 12 Championship clubs would each play 16 league matches: home and away within their northern or southern conference, and home or away against the teams in the other conference. The division could expand to 16 clubs in future.

“We want to promote fewer, bigger games,” Griffiths said. “The tendency in rugby has been to say more games equals more revenue but you end up devaluing the product, and it doesn’t work for player welfare, either.

8 home games?  5 from the games in your own conference and then 3 out of the 6 from the other conference.

How can any club survive on 8 home games?

Seems utter bananas to me!


Quote “It is definitely not an end to promotion and relegation,” Griffiths told i. “What we are proposing is a better, more fair, form of promotion and relegation, by criteria.

“It is a complicated mechanism but clubs will be judged according to performance on the field, crowd figures, stadium and training ground, infrastructure and financial resources. If a club is promoted by that mechanism, they will operate off a level playing field when they get to the Premiership.

Or in plan English... Bye Bye promotion. Hello closed shop Premiership. 

This reporting must be somehow wrong. 8 home games is madness, and requiring all players to be part time makes any possibility of competing with the premiership clubs a joke.


Posted By: kempstonblue
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 07:58
Agree 8 home games seems a bit drastic.
However if we look at 2020/21 which might be a late start, due to attendance issues might be the best solution.

For the 2021/22 surely you need 16 teams?
7+4 matches in the league.
But does it need a cup competition alongside say, National 1 clubs? Could have 32 clubs in a cup, split into groups of four, trying to keep each group in regions (could be overlaps), would add another 3 matches, but unlike the current cup it’s not playing the same sides all the time.



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Looking forward to new beginnings.


Posted By: Camquin
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 08:17
No 
Because if the Championship extends to 1 teams the the if unlikely to be a single 16 team league below it. 
It is more likely to be three 14 team leagues.
Reduced to 14 as that is apparently the optimal number of games to give the player sufficient rest.
Therefore they will not have spare fixtures to devote to a cup.

If there was a 1 team league below you, then they have a 30 game season already.

In fact I am sure the promoted clubs would prefer a simple double round robin over a complex league and cup structure. Because I am sure the cup would be seen as second class games and therefore be harder to find sponsors and lunch guests.







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Sweeney Delenda Est


Posted By: Richard Lowther
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 09:36
Originally posted by kempstonblue kempstonblue wrote:

Agree 8 home games seems a bit drastic.
However if we look at 2020/21 which might be a late start, due to attendance issues might be the best solution.

For the 2021/22 surely you need 16 teams?
7+4 matches in the league.


To me the article is clear 12 teams is the norm, but with room for expansion if the new clubs meet some form of criteria, not all of it based on playing strength/results.

The league isn't suddenly going to to expand from 12 to 16 in one season if the consensus is less games means better quality.

On this last point maybe the same principle can be applied to the Premiership club and their constant need to overplay.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander. 


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Posted By: Stalwart
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 10:00
"“It is a complicated mechanism but clubs will be judged according to performance on the field, crowd figures, stadium and training ground, infrastructure and financial resources. If a club is promoted by that mechanism, they will operate off a level playing field when they get to the Premiership."

So, presumably, the parachute payment will stay and the level playing field won't apply to The Championship. If that is the case, then surely if a club manages to overturn the odds, beat the relegated Prem team and win the league they should receive a massive payment (rocket payment?) to enable them to compete in the Prem on a "level playing field."



Posted By: billesleyexile
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 10:11
Originally posted by Stalwart Stalwart wrote:

"“It is a complicated mechanism but clubs will be judged according to performance on the field, crowd figures, stadium and training ground, infrastructure and financial resources. If a club is promoted by that mechanism, they will operate off a level playing field when they get to the Premiership."

So, presumably, the parachute payment will stay and the level playing field won't apply to The Championship. If that is the case, then surely if a club manages to overturn the odds, beat the relegated Prem team and win the league they should receive a massive payment (rocket payment?) to enable them to compete in the Prem on a "level playing field."


Feels more like when the RFL tried licensing - and to an extent what they've also done with Catalans and Toronto (although they had to fudge it because they didn't actually have enough clubs capable of meeting the criteria) so something like:

To be promoted a team will have all of:

performance on the pitch (however defined)
average attendance of x
stadium size of x
financial reserves of x (fudged to whatever the poorest club in the prem has got)

Essentially - if there's a flatpack club 14 with a sugar daddy and resources then welcome to the club. All other clubs "we haven't actually closed the door to you because we've set out clearly what you need to have...."

another way of putting it is "match our criteria and you can have our money" - so no need for rocket payments;  if Moseley, Pirates, or Tonbridge Juddians get a Steve Lansdown of their own then "come on in the water's lovely".

Another way putting it (yet another) is that this is a perfect cynical opportunity to seize the opportunity provide by pandemic chaos to write proper MSC for the premiership that go far wider than just having a suitable stadium. If this goes through, the drawbridge is not so much drawn up as boarded up, bricked up, rendered in pebbledash and then acid pumped into the moat.





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keep the faith


Posted By: Camquin
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 10:14
You mean if you have access to Headingley and a sugar daddy your in. :-)

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Sweeney Delenda Est


Posted By: Richard Lowther
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 10:17
The (normal- pandemic excepted) club season (excluding pre season friendlies) is 35 weeks, from the beginning of September to the last week of April. You then have a window for County games in the five weeks of May. 

The proposed idea is only 16 of these 35 weeks will be used.  If you accept one weekend a month as a 'rest/bad weather/Christmas/Easter off/watch the internationals at HQ' then you lose another 8 weeks, leaving 27 potential game weekends. 11 of these are still going to be spare. 

As a club treasurer I would be asking what we do about those 11 weeks - potentially 5 or 6 home games without a first team fixture and there the bulk of club income. 

What solutions spring to mind? One is games against local rivals who aren't in the new league; these are usually good for increasing the gate. But that idea only works if your rivals are in a league where there are also spare weekends which match up with your spare weekends - easier said than done. 

A similar idea would be to go back to the 'Easter' tours of old and have something different for your players and supporters. 

Second would be a form of cup competition - either within the league or outside it, such as a return to competing in County Cups for some teams.  However the traditional cup formats do not guarantee above one fixture - and no guarantee that will be at home. So you bring in a convoluted pool system and defeat the original point - However, if the consensus is 'less is better quality', why schedule any other games - just book the club treasurer a hospital bed now to recover from the shock. 


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Remember Wakefield RFC


Posted By: billesleyexile
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 10:26
Originally posted by Camquin Camquin wrote:

You mean if you have access to Headingley and a sugar daddy your in. :-)

to be honest, massively anti-ringfence as I am, I can at least respect that stance. At least we all know where we stand if they basically announce that if any club can match all the things they're looking for then they'll add them, and all other rugby is amateur. It's the US sport model writ large. Don't cast adrift any of the pro clubs, and admit additional clubs as and when individuals are stupid enough to provide them, oven ready, with ground, training ground, academy, £100m float, bond/guarantee to PRL, etc.

That at least is transparent and not saying "oh promotion and relegation is key but we really don't want anyone else that just happens to have come top of the tier below."


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keep the faith


Posted By: Richard Lowther
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 10:37
In a league structure I would never advocate ring fencing but if the RFU said the league structure is over and cast a drift the top 12/13 clubs, then so be it.

But legally (and morally) if you are having entry criteria into that closed shop it must apply to all, not just the new applicants. 


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Remember Wakefield RFC


Posted By: Halliford
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 10:59
And the elephant in the room continues to be PRL which is not under the control of anyone except the Club Owners who seek a financial return. I need to read the full report but the idea of Minimum Standards is mentioned and has also been mention ed by the new Chair of the NCA who is less than impressed by the facilities at some National 1 Clubs.

The Adult Game Review Consultation for the NCA Clubs has ruled out a National Cup, there is no interest from Clubs or players. 14 team Leagues was an almost unanimous recommendation from Directors of Rugby who were concerned about player welfare. 

I think the Championship should take heed of both of those lines and go to a 14 team League with minimum standards, including seating for 500+ and other facilities, particularly widely-spaced urinals!


Posted By: Raider999
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 11:05
Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

In a league structure I would never advocate ring fencing but if the RFU said the league structure is over and cast a drift the top 12/13 clubs, then so be it.

But legally (and morally) if you are having entry criteria into that closed shop it must apply to all, not just the new applicants. 


No objection to casting the Premiership adrift as long as the funding stops - it is not viable to keep throwing millions at the top level in the Covid era.

Why not move to a system where all clubs are subsidised by the same amount whatever level they play at?

The RFU could also pay a fee to clubs for each player in each England squad as compensation/incentive to use English players.

Clubs could also demand a fee to other International boards for releasing their players.

Yes it is radical, but now may well be the time to seriously look at the structure of the whole game, not just the recreational 99.9%

Additionally, I cannot believe CG has produced a report suggesting less games at level 2 - there seems to be a fascination with Cup competitions whic from the posts on this forum, very few actually want.

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RAID ON


Posted By: billesleyexile
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 11:24
Originally posted by Halliford Halliford wrote:


I think the Championship should take heed of both of those lines and go to a 14 team League with minimum standards, including seating for 500+ and other facilities, particularly widely-spaced urinals!

To be honest, I think that goes for National 1 too - that and floodlights. No team should be in a national league without a grandstand*, catering, and the ability to light their pitch

*I say this as someone who chooses/prefers to stand



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keep the faith


Posted By: The Joy of (Level) 7
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 13:19
Originally posted by billesleyexile billesleyexile wrote:

Originally posted by Halliford Halliford wrote:


I think the Championship should take heed of both of those lines and go to a 14 team League with minimum standards, including seating for 500+ and other facilities, particularly widely-spaced urinals!

To be honest, I think that goes for National 1 too - that and floodlights. No team should be in a national league without a grandstand*, catering, and the ability to light their pitch

*I say this as someone who chooses/prefers to stand


Tonbridge Juddians will be an experience for you then!


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TJOS


Posted By: Raider999
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 13:39
Originally posted by The Joy of (Level) 7 The Joy of (Level) 7 wrote:

Originally posted by billesleyexile billesleyexile wrote:

Originally posted by Halliford Halliford wrote:


I think the Championship should take heed of both of those lines and go to a 14 team League with minimum standards, including seating for 500+ and other facilities, particularly widely-spaced urinals!


To be honest, I think that goes for National 1 too - that and floodlights. No team should be in a national league without a grandstand*, catering, and the ability to light their pitch

*I say this as someone who chooses/prefers to stand




Tonbridge Juddians will be an experience for you then!


I dunno, there is plenty of standing -for your sake I hope it hasn't rained for a month before you visi

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RAID ON


Posted By: billesleyexile
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 13:40
Originally posted by The Joy of (Level) 7 The Joy of (Level) 7 wrote:

Originally posted by billesleyexile billesleyexile wrote:

Originally posted by Halliford Halliford wrote:


I think the Championship should take heed of both of those lines and go to a 14 team League with minimum standards, including seating for 500+ and other facilities, particularly widely-spaced urinals!

To be honest, I think that goes for National 1 too - that and floodlights. No team should be in a national league without a grandstand*, catering, and the ability to light their pitch

*I say this as someone who chooses/prefers to stand


Tonbridge Juddians will be an experience for you then!

No more so than some who are already up here. TBH I've got no issues with the teams who have totally properly come up the leagues under the rules as they stand. I've got more of an issue with the rules... It's not TJ's fault they haven't been forced to do more lower down - looking forward to going down there in due course.


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keep the faith


Posted By: Richard Lowther
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 13:59
The trouble with minimum criteria is that they are 'fixed' and don't take into effect the environment of the club. 

For example if we just look at minimum ground criteria; then it is fine to say a club must have X, Y and Z of whatever but what if those criteria are not under the club control because they share facilities with another sport or don't own the premises or can't get planning permission for larger changing rooms or floodlights etc. 

Do you cast them adrift despite they meet the rest of the criteria - kids, colts, women's, disabled, community outreach etc?

What if one of the criteria is to have two XV - a first and seconds but the geographic nature or physical nature doesn't allow this but the club is plays a valuable role in its local community. 

Minimum standards are a worthy idea but benefit the older, larger, richer (in context) clubs who have inherited or developed thier facilities over time.


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Remember Wakefield RFC


Posted By: Camquin
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 13:59
Cambridge do not have liigts and have had long runing planning batles as he neighbours have objected. 
There are lights on the training pitch.


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Sweeney Delenda Est


Posted By: billesleyexile
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 14:16
Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

The trouble with minimum criteria is that they are 'fixed' and don't take into effect the environment of the club. 

For example if we just look at minimum ground criteria; then it is fine to say a club must have X, Y and Z of whatever but what if those criteria are not under the club control because they share facilities with another sport or don't own the premises or can't get planning permission for larger changing rooms or floodlights etc. 

Do you cast them adrift despite they meet the rest of the criteria - kids, colts, women's, disabled, community outreach etc?

What if one of the criteria is to have two XV - a first and seconds but the geographic nature or physical nature doesn't allow this but the club is plays a valuable role in its local community. 

Minimum standards are a worthy idea but benefit the older, larger, richer (in context) clubs who have inherited or developed thier facilities over time.

I agree with you in general, although on the highlighted bit on grounds specifically I well remember Kidderminster Harriers, my hometown club, winning the Vauxhall Conference (as was) in 1993/4 with their ground not up to football league standard but scheduled to be upgraded by the start of the next season.

The FA turned round and said "sorry, win it again with your facilities finished on time" so they didn't go up for another 6 years and no one went down that season.

The effect of this (which also I think happened to both Woking and Stevenage) was that conference clubs got a grip and realised that they could have all the ambition in the world but until they were sorted on and off the pitch they weren't moving up the pyramid. Worth also bearing in mind that this was conference football in the early 1990s, so not the money pit football has now become.

Over the years all of that came up at that level - clubs were denied planning permission, they moved, they built new stands, and eventually the overall standard of plant in the league was much higher than it had been previously. Other clubs accepted their level and stayed happily where they were. One or two high profile casualties, like Rushden and Diamonds, blued silly money on brand new out of town grounds then collapsed because the money ran out. But they were the exception overall.

Basically I know exactly what it's like to be the supporter of a club who has been denied promotion because of ludicrous rules - there was never any argument that Aggborough would meet and indeed exceed the standards of the football league by the time the first ball of the next season was kicked, but they were still denied because it hadn't been finished by the previous January or whenever.

I do, however, quietly think that the RFU could learn something from the FA of nearly 30 years ago here though and start enforcing standards and yes, just start saying no to clubs until they can meet them. 


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keep the faith


Posted By: Richard Lowther
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 14:23
Originally posted by billesleyexile billesleyexile wrote:

Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

The trouble with minimum criteria is that they are 'fixed' and don't take into effect the environment of the club. 

For example if we just look at minimum ground criteria; then it is fine to say a club must have X, Y and Z of whatever but what if those criteria are not under the club control because they share facilities with another sport or don't own the premises or can't get planning permission for larger changing rooms or floodlights etc. 

Do you cast them adrift despite they meet the rest of the criteria - kids, colts, women's, disabled, community outreach etc?

What if one of the criteria is to have two XV - a first and seconds but the geographic nature or physical nature doesn't allow this but the club is plays a valuable role in its local community. 

Minimum standards are a worthy idea but benefit the older, larger, richer (in context) clubs who have inherited or developed thier facilities over time.

I agree with you in general, although on the highlighted bit on grounds specifically I well remember Kidderminster Harriers, my hometown club, winning the Vauxhall Conference (as was) in 1993/4 with their ground not up to football league standard but scheduled to be upgraded by the start of the next season.

The FA turned round and said "sorry, win it again with your facilities finished on time" so they didn't go up for another 6 years and no one went down that season.

The effect of this (which also I think happened to both Woking and Stevenage) was that conference clubs got a grip and realised that they could have all the ambition in the world but until they were sorted on and off the pitch they weren't moving up the pyramid. Worth also bearing in mind that this was conference football in the early 1990s, so not the money pit football has now become.

Over the years all of that came up at that level - clubs were denied planning permission, they moved, they built new stands, and eventually the overall standard of plant in the league was much higher than it had been previously. Other clubs accepted their level and stayed happily where they were. One or two high profile casualties, like Rushden and Diamonds, blued silly money on brand new out of town grounds then collapsed because the money ran out. But they were the exception overall.

Basically I know exactly what it's like to be the supporter of a club who has been denied promotion because of ludicrous rules - there was never any argument that Aggborough would meet and indeed exceed the standards of the football league by the time the first ball of the next season was kicked, but they were still denied because it hadn't been finished by the previous January or whenever.

I do, however, quietly think that the RFU could learn something from the FA of nearly 30 years ago here though and start enforcing standards and yes, just start saying no to clubs until they can meet them. 

I understand the point. Emley football ended up moving, ultimately to the vacant College Grove, for the same reasons and it came to an ignominious end. 

We may as well end up with leagues built around off the field criteria and do away with any pretence of performance on the pitch being indicative of how good a club is. As you say it would make certain teams think twice about paying players if they know promotion isnt available due to lack of club facilities. 

It really needs that general conversation about how you measure success: results are only one way. 


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Remember Wakefield RFC


Posted By: Rabbie Burns
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 14:32
As I have said many times there are or were expected standards and used to be inspected annually. This has not happened for many years now. They used to be available on the NCA site but not sure now. Most teams in this league have the required standard as lights were only included if fitted but it was hard to check if the inspection happened during the day. 

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So many Christians not enough Lions


Posted By: Camquin
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 15:40
The FA standards are clearly set out and well known and increase with each step on the pyramid.

The NCA standards are limited in that they simply requre

- a minimum size pitch,
- a barrier from the field of play,
- minimum standards for lights - if they are present
- provision of changing facilities.

There are detailed rules about who is permitted in the technical area. However, nobody is given the duty to police these and I have never seen them enforced. 

I believe lights are meant to be certified at least every three years.
But they are not a requirment, so if you fail you can I believe simply state you have no lights.


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Sweeney Delenda Est


Posted By: JonDee
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 15:41
Originally posted by billesleyexile billesleyexile wrote:

Originally posted by The Joy of (Level) 7 The Joy of (Level) 7 wrote:

Originally posted by billesleyexile billesleyexile wrote:

Originally posted by Halliford Halliford wrote:


I think the Championship should take heed of both of those lines and go to a 14 team League with minimum standards, including seating for 500+ and other facilities, particularly widely-spaced urinals!


To be honest, I think that goes for National 1 too - that and floodlights. No team should be in a national league without a grandstand*, catering, and the ability to light their pitch

*I say this as someone who chooses/prefers to stand




Tonbridge Juddians will be an experience for you then!


No more so than some who are already up here. TBH I've got no issues with the teams who have totally properly come up the leagues under the rules as they stand. I've got more of an issue with the rules... It's not TJ's fault they haven't been forced to do more lower down - looking forward to going down there in due course.


There used to be a minimum standard in 2008 when we moved to Lady Bay we had to have lighting up to certain level stand for 500 and various other improvements . It wasa right pain so presumably they have been forgotten since


Posted By: Hopping Mad
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 17:00
Totally agree BE. Minimum criteria a must. Behaviours must be challenged. 


Posted By: Camquin
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 17:34
Yes but outside the 13 Premiership sides there are only 8 clubs that can regularly attract more than 1,000 people to their games.

Indeed only Coventry, Cornish and Bedford got 1,000 to every game.

Lets not put unnecessary financial requirements on clubs - especially at this time.
Why would Preston need a stand for 500 when only 300 turn up to most games.

Frankly if they ring fence the premiership - then the desire to buy promotion will become less, as that faint hope of doing an Exeter will have been taken away.


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Sweeney Delenda Est


Posted By: Hopping Mad
Date Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 17:46
Camquin, I agree in the main but minimum criteria need to be across clubs not just applied to 1st XV (although the majority would be required to house crowds of any size).

From a game that has always been about participation to one that now needs to meet the needs of spectators, it is unacceptable to not invest in both.

Clearly some clubs would be able to grow club wide participation better than others for instance but that shouldn’t mean there isn’t responsibilities for all to promote the game. As was said, clubs can run community schemes if running a range of rugby is not their preferred approach.

But simply expecting some clubs to be the real grassroots of the game with the associated costs but absolving others of this isn’t really going to wash if we are all part of the same “heartland/community” league structure. 


Posted By: kempstonblue
Date Posted: 24 Jul 2020 at 09:37
Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

The (normal- pandemic excepted) club season (excluding pre season friendlies) is 35 weeks, from the beginning of September to the last week of April. You then have a window for County games in the five weeks of May. 

The proposed idea is only 16 of these 35 weeks will be used.  If you accept one weekend a month as a 'rest/bad weather/Christmas/Easter off/watch the internationals at HQ' then you lose another 8 weeks, leaving 27 potential game weekends. 11 of these are still going to be spare. 

As a club treasurer I would be asking what we do about those 11 weeks - potentially 5 or 6 home games without a first team fixture and there the bulk of club income. 

What solutions spring to mind? One is games against local rivals who aren't in the new league; these are usually good for increasing the gate. But that idea only works if your rivals are in a league where there are also spare weekends which match up with your spare weekends - easier said than done. 

A similar idea would be to go back to the 'Easter' tours of old and have something different for your players and supporters. 

Second would be a form of cup competition - either within the league or outside it, such as a return to competing in County Cups for some teams.  However the traditional cup formats do not guarantee above one fixture - and no guarantee that will be at home. So you bring in a convoluted pool system and defeat the original point - However, if the consensus is 'less is better quality', why schedule any other games - just book the club treasurer a hospital bed now to recover from the shock. 

Are you suggesting Christmas off?
Boxing Day home matches at Bedford are often the highest attendance of the season.
Last two years we had Ampthill in friendly and league.

Although I appreciate at lower levels it is time off, and if the league is amateur then raising teams might be a problem. But even in the 1980s Bedford, Boxing Day was Old Paulines matches.


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Looking forward to new beginnings.


Posted By: Richard Lowther
Date Posted: 24 Jul 2020 at 12:27
Originally posted by kempstonblue kempstonblue wrote:

Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

The (normal- pandemic excepted) club season (excluding pre season friendlies) is 35 weeks, from the beginning of September to the last week of April. You then have a window for County games in the five weeks of May. 

The proposed idea is only 16 of these 35 weeks will be used.  If you accept one weekend a month as a 'rest/bad weather/Christmas/Easter off/watch the internationals at HQ' then you lose another 8 weeks, leaving 27 potential game weekends. 11 of these are still going to be spare. 

As a club treasurer I would be asking what we do about those 11 weeks - potentially 5 or 6 home games without a first team fixture and there the bulk of club income. 

What solutions spring to mind? One is games against local rivals who aren't in the new league; these are usually good for increasing the gate. But that idea only works if your rivals are in a league where there are also spare weekends which match up with your spare weekends - easier said than done. 

A similar idea would be to go back to the 'Easter' tours of old and have something different for your players and supporters. 

Second would be a form of cup competition - either within the league or outside it, such as a return to competing in County Cups for some teams.  However the traditional cup formats do not guarantee above one fixture - and no guarantee that will be at home. So you bring in a convoluted pool system and defeat the original point - However, if the consensus is 'less is better quality', why schedule any other games - just book the club treasurer a hospital bed now to recover from the shock. 

Are you suggesting Christmas off?
Boxing Day home matches at Bedford are often the highest attendance of the season.
Last two years we had Ampthill in friendly and league.

Although I appreciate at lower levels it is time off, and if the league is amateur then raising teams might be a problem. But even in the 1980s Bedford, Boxing Day was Old Paulines matches.

Personally no, I'm putting forward reasons for the lack of fixtures under this bananas of an idea. 




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Remember Wakefield RFC


Posted By: Richard Lowther
Date Posted: 24 Jul 2020 at 12:37
Take Worcester for example. In the fully completed 2018/19 season they played 3 preseason friendlies, 22 Premiership games, 7 European games and 5 Premiership Cup games. 

34 competitive fixtures. Yet we are told less is better and the Championship clubs are expected to play LESS than HALF that number of fixtures and remain financially viable doing so. 




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Remember Wakefield RFC


Posted By: Camquin
Date Posted: 24 Jul 2020 at 12:41
The problem with local derbies is finding then.
Either the rival is in your league - when you will be playing them. Bedford v Ampthill.
Or not - in which case it is likely to be a mis-match.
Cambridge v Shelford would be a big draw, if it were competitive. So the season we were both in Nat 2S it was a goldmine for the two clubs.
But cambridge got promoted and Shelford were relegated.
And now it is a three league gap - Level 3 against level 6.


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Sweeney Delenda Est


Posted By: kempstonblue
Date Posted: 24 Jul 2020 at 12:45
Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

Originally posted by kempstonblue kempstonblue wrote:

Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

The (normal- pandemic excepted) club season (excluding pre season friendlies) is 35 weeks, from the beginning of September to the last week of April. You then have a window for County games in the five weeks of May. 

The proposed idea is only 16 of these 35 weeks will be used.  If you accept one weekend a month as a 'rest/bad weather/Christmas/Easter off/watch the internationals at HQ' then you lose another 8 weeks, leaving 27 potential game weekends. 11 of these are still going to be spare. 

As a club treasurer I would be asking what we do about those 11 weeks - potentially 5 or 6 home games without a first team fixture and there the bulk of club income. 

What solutions spring to mind? One is games against local rivals who aren't in the new league; these are usually good for increasing the gate. But that idea only works if your rivals are in a league where there are also spare weekends which match up with your spare weekends - easier said than done. 

A similar idea would be to go back to the 'Easter' tours of old and have something different for your players and supporters. 

Second would be a form of cup competition - either within the league or outside it, such as a return to competing in County Cups for some teams.  However the traditional cup formats do not guarantee above one fixture - and no guarantee that will be at home. So you bring in a convoluted pool system and defeat the original point - However, if the consensus is 'less is better quality', why schedule any other games - just book the club treasurer a hospital bed now to recover from the shock. 

Are you suggesting Christmas off?
Boxing Day home matches at Bedford are often the highest attendance of the season.
Last two years we had Ampthill in friendly and league.

Although I appreciate at lower levels it is time off, and if the league is amateur then raising teams might be a problem. But even in the 1980s Bedford, Boxing Day was Old Paulines matches.

Personally no, I'm putting forward reasons for the lack of fixtures under this bananas of an idea. 



Thanks. It was clarifying, I know below Championship no league matches are played. 
If, big if, the season doesn’t begin until January I hope clubs play friendlies over the festive season.

I earlier suggested 16 team Championship and National 1. Some ideas maybe 14 team.
So 14 teams, each conference 7 sides, 12 matches + 7. Would that mean half the clubs have 10 home games, the others 9?

agree too few fixtures is a real Banaba skin.


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Looking forward to new beginnings.


Posted By: kempstonblue
Date Posted: 24 Jul 2020 at 12:48
Originally posted by Camquin Camquin wrote:

The problem with local derbies is finding then.
Either the rival is in your league - when you will be playing them. Bedford v Ampthill.
Or not - in which case it is likely to be a mis-match.
Cambridge v Shelford would be a big draw, if it were competitive. So the season we were both in Nat 2S it was a goldmine for the two clubs.
But cambridge got promoted and Shelford were relegated.
And now it is a three league gap - Level 3 against level 6.

Guess the powers that be, if you had to play a local rival would choose Cambridge and Bishops Stortford?




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Looking forward to new beginnings.


Posted By: FHLH
Date Posted: 24 Jul 2020 at 15:36
Originally posted by kempstonblue kempstonblue wrote:

Cambridge and Bishops Stortford?


Hardly a local derby, there's no history. Both Bury St Edmunds and especially Shelford would be local derbies, but Cambridge v Shelford is war 😂! 


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"My father told me big men fall just as quick as little ones, if you put a sword through their hearts."


Posted By: Halliford
Date Posted: 24 Jul 2020 at 16:18
Originally posted by Camquin Camquin wrote:

The problem with local derbies is finding then.
Either the rival is in your league - when you will be playing them. Bedford v Ampthill.
Or not - in which case it is likely to be a mis-match.
Cambridge v Shelford would be a big draw, if it were competitive. So the season we were both in Nat 2S it was a goldmine for the two clubs.
But cambridge got promoted and Shelford were relegated.
And now it is a three league gap - Level 3 against level 6.

Or they are strange, two seasons ago in National 1 Esher's local derby was away to Plymouth on the basis that we were the nearest Club to Plymouth!


Posted By: cheshire exile
Date Posted: 24 Jul 2020 at 18:36
Spare a thought for us in Penzance! 


Posted By: Capt Sparrow
Date Posted: 25 Jul 2020 at 09:27
Originally posted by cheshire exile cheshire exile wrote:

Spare a thought for us in Penzance! 

We used to have some tasty local rivalries but unfortunately two (Bristol & Exeter) got promoted and two (Launceton & Plymouth Albion) got relegated. Most inconsiderate of themWink


Posted By: CJB1
Date Posted: 25 Jul 2020 at 18:47
Originally posted by Capt Sparrow Capt Sparrow wrote:

Originally posted by cheshire exile cheshire exile wrote:

Spare a thought for us in Penzance! 

We used to have some tasty local rivalries but unfortunately two (Bristol & Exeter) got promoted and two (Launceton & Plymouth Albion) got relegated. Most inconsiderate of themWink
Bristol?  Local to Penzance?  In which universe?

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"What I need is a strong drink and a peer group"


Posted By: Stalwart
Date Posted: 25 Jul 2020 at 20:38
Originally posted by CJB1 CJB1 wrote:

Originally posted by Capt Sparrow Capt Sparrow wrote:

Originally posted by cheshire exile cheshire exile wrote:

Spare a thought for us in Penzance! 

We used to have some tasty local rivalries but unfortunately two (Bristol & Exeter) got promoted and two (Launceton & Plymouth Albion) got relegated. Most inconsiderate of themWink
Bristol?  Local to Penzance?  In which universe?

It's as local as it gets, a mere 3 hours from PZ.


Posted By: Bartman
Date Posted: 26 Jul 2020 at 10:12
Originally posted by Stalwart Stalwart wrote:

Originally posted by CJB1 CJB1 wrote:

Originally posted by Capt Sparrow Capt Sparrow wrote:

Originally posted by cheshire exile cheshire exile wrote:

Spare a thought for us in Penzance! 

We used to have some tasty local rivalries but unfortunately two (Bristol & Exeter) got promoted and two (Launceton & Plymouth Albion) got relegated. Most inconsiderate of themWink
Bristol?  Local to Penzance?  In which universe?

It's as local as it gets, a mere 3 hours from PZ.

Not this time of year more like 5 by car and its always been between 4.15 to 5.30 by train. Been there an done that many times, good drinking time though by train.LOL


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Posted By: Halliford
Date Posted: 26 Jul 2020 at 11:09
Originally posted by Bartman Bartman wrote:

Originally posted by Stalwart Stalwart wrote:

Originally posted by CJB1 CJB1 wrote:

Originally posted by Capt Sparrow Capt Sparrow wrote:

Originally posted by cheshire exile cheshire exile wrote:

Spare a thought for us in Penzance! 

We used to have some tasty local rivalries but unfortunately two (Bristol & Exeter) got promoted and two (Launceton & Plymouth Albion) got relegated. Most inconsiderate of themWink
Bristol?  Local to Penzance?  In which universe?

It's as local as it gets, a mere 3 hours from PZ.

Not this time of year more like 5 by car and its always been between 4.15 to 5.30 by train. Been there an done that many times, good drinking time though by train.LOL
I’ve always thought the Penzance local derby was with Rennes or Neath. Both seem closer as the crow flies than Bristol!😂😂


Posted By: Stalwart
Date Posted: 26 Jul 2020 at 11:36
Slightly off topic, and I apologise in advance . Regarding local derbies - Penzance and Newlyn were separate clubs until 1945 (amalgamated partly as so many men were lost in the war). So the local derby before that was PZ v Newlyn. The games were pretty brutal and riots ensued on occasion! When the clubs amalgamated The Pirates were slightly left out on a limb for derby games. The nearest clubs were Hayle and St Ives, who play each other. Camborne play Redruth, so we ended up with the Boxing Day derby being against Truro - which is 28 miles away. When we began our ascent up the leagues Launceston were pretty successful and were in the same league as us for a few seasons, so that was the derby game - Launceston is right on the Devon border (70 miles from PZ). Then it was Plymouth Albion (80 miles from PZ). Then Bristol. Now the nearest club as the crow flies is probably Jersey, and then Hartpury in Gloucestershire!



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