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Why 10 teams?

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billesleyexile View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote billesleyexile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2023 at 11:58
Originally posted by Robb Robb wrote:

Originally posted by billesleyexile billesleyexile wrote:

Originally posted by Camquin Camquin wrote:

Why would a franchise do any better than the clubs that already play in those areas?
What would they do to attract a crowd?
Where do they get here players from?
And above all, are Saracens and Tigers giving up their place for these new sides?
If not, why on earth do they expect other clubs to?


The RFL did it with Catalans Dragons, but that was a slightly different approach where they basically granted a licence to a French side to be the standard bearer for French RL, and based in its heartland. Sort of like Cornish Pirates, but with more air travel.


But likewise what the RFL with Toronto. Their little pet project that got too big for its boots and started challenging the established clubs. Then they find the first chance to get rid of them. Then replaced them with Cornwall and just quietly let them struggle for they learnt their lesson.

not quite - and probably better not to go too far down this tangent before we get told off... - but no one actually wanted Toronto except Toronto. They approached the RFL, with the money to do it (or they said they had), and the RFL said yes. There was no actual strategy behind it, just opportunity. Ditto Cornwall. Catalans at least makes sense, or rather can be properly justified. 

Essentially the RFL has never said 'what we need is a team in Toronto, or Cornwall, in our leagues' - but they have said 'it would be good for us long term and for French RL if we had a French side.'

Cornwall and Toronto essentially just turned up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2023 at 12:02
Originally posted by billesleyexile billesleyexile wrote:

Originally posted by Robb Robb wrote:

Originally posted by billesleyexile billesleyexile wrote:

Originally posted by Camquin Camquin wrote:

Why would a franchise do any better than the clubs that already play in those areas?
What would they do to attract a crowd?
Where do they get here players from?
And above all, are Saracens and Tigers giving up their place for these new sides?
If not, why on earth do they expect other clubs to?


The RFL did it with Catalans Dragons, but that was a slightly different approach where they basically granted a licence to a French side to be the standard bearer for French RL, and based in its heartland. Sort of like Cornish Pirates, but with more air travel.


But likewise what the RFL with Toronto. Their little pet project that got too big for its boots and started challenging the established clubs. Then they find the first chance to get rid of them. Then replaced them with Cornwall and just quietly let them struggle for they learnt their lesson.

not quite - and probably better not to go too far down this tangent before we get told off... - but no one actually wanted Toronto except Toronto. They approached the RFL, with the money to do it (or they said they had), and the RFL said yes. There was no actual strategy behind it, just opportunity. Ditto Cornwall. Catalans at least makes sense, or rather can be properly justified. 

Essentially the RFL has never said 'what we need is a team in Toronto, or Cornwall, in our leagues' - but they have said 'it would be good for us long term and for French RL if we had a French side.'

Cornwall and Toronto essentially just turned up.

Which does explain why the RFL were so keen on getting rid of them and using covid as an excuse. (not to mention all the restrictions they put on them that they fought through: No home games in the first few months, no Challenge Cup home games in Canada and you have to pay £750,000 to enter etc.)


Edited by Robb - 08 Jun 2023 at 12:02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WEvans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2023 at 12:26
Originally posted by tigerburnie tigerburnie wrote:

There was a lesson to be learnt from the mistakes of others re "franchises", the Border Reivers in Scotland was a classic example, get a bunch of pro players drop them in a rugby mad area full of proper clubs and....................................................nothing, no-one went to watch, plan axed very quickly, never to be seen again.
You cannot buy history it has to be worked at, classic example, my old club Leicester Lions as they are now known, formed in 1998, best part of 25 years to build the club from scratch, it won't happen over night. Wigston and Westleigh fans and players from the amalgamated clubs are still there, supporting and some running the club, you cannot buy that, I'm guessing that's how London Welsh did it too, by working at it not buying a golden ticket.

I don't like the idea of franchises at all either but the counter argument to yours is that Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh were two other Scottish franchises which were dropped into areas with lots of proper rugby clubs and they are still very much in existence and playing at the highest level with the former playing in a European South African final only a matter of weeks ago.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tigerburnie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2023 at 12:56
Originally posted by WEvans WEvans wrote:

Originally posted by tigerburnie tigerburnie wrote:

There was a lesson to be learnt from the mistakes of others re "franchises", the Border Reivers in Scotland was a classic example, get a bunch of pro players drop them in a rugby mad area full of proper clubs and....................................................nothing, no-one went to watch, plan axed very quickly, never to be seen again.
You cannot buy history it has to be worked at, classic example, my old club Leicester Lions as they are now known, formed in 1998, best part of 25 years to build the club from scratch, it won't happen over night. Wigston and Westleigh fans and players from the amalgamated clubs are still there, supporting and some running the club, you cannot buy that, I'm guessing that's how London Welsh did it too, by working at it not buying a golden ticket.

I don't like the idea of franchises at all either but the counter argument to yours is that Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh were two other Scottish franchises which were dropped into areas with lots of proper rugby clubs and they are still very much in existence and playing at the highest level with the former playing in a European South African final only a matter of weeks ago.
Ah if only that was the case, Glasgow and Edinburgh play in the 1872 cup every year, it is the oldest inter district match in the world which began on the 23rd November funnily enough in 1872, so a bit before the game went pro and definitely before the word franchise had been invented, so you see my argument about history and not buying a golden ticket was true after all, just like there are clubs in Ireland that always had inter province games, so again history is on their side.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote billesleyexile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2023 at 13:15
Originally posted by tigerburnie tigerburnie wrote:

Ah if only that was the case, Glasgow and Edinburgh play in the 1872 cup every year, it is the oldest inter district match in the world which began on the 23rd November funnily enough in 1872, so a bit before the game went pro and definitely before the word franchise had been invented, so you see my argument about history and not buying a golden ticket was true after all, 

LOL

I'm not sure that you can claim that Edinburgh and Glasgow are really just a continuation of the Districts so that's why they work, *and* that Border Reivers were a failed made up side when they were a continuation of South! One of your Scottish examples must be wrong, because they point in opposite directions! 

Unless your argument is really that some things work in some places and not others within the same country? Or that district loyalty was stronger in Edinburgh and Glasgow than club loyalty, and vice versa in the borders? Or that the name is the problem - as long as fans in Edinburgh and Glasgow got their 1872 cup still they were happy, whereas if Border Reivers had just been a pro side called South it would have been dandy? 


Edited by billesleyexile - 08 Jun 2023 at 13:29
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billesleyexile View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote billesleyexile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2023 at 13:30
I'm on holiday tomorrow, this is basically Friday afternoon for me, so I'm musing....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tigerburnie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2023 at 13:54
Originally posted by billesleyexile billesleyexile wrote:

Originally posted by tigerburnie tigerburnie wrote:

Ah if only that was the case, Glasgow and Edinburgh play in the 1872 cup every year, it is the oldest inter district match in the world which began on the 23rd November funnily enough in 1872, so a bit before the game went pro and definitely before the word franchise had been invented, so you see my argument about history and not buying a golden ticket was true after all, 

LOL

 One of your Scottish examples must be wrong, because they point in opposite directions! 


Something you need to understand, whilst I am not always right........................................I'm never wrong....................................Wink


Edited by tigerburnie - 08 Jun 2023 at 13:54
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tigerburnie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2023 at 14:08
The point I made was that a new franchise failed in the borders because the fans were not interested, that is true and it was axed.
The point about Glasgow and Edinburgh is that they were very different as they had a history that Border Reivers did not, which is also right.
The borders rugby is still thriving as it always did based on fierce historical rivalry between clubs, something Reivers did not have.
I don't think Scottish fans view either Warriors or Edinburgh( who were the Gunners at their inception) as franchises at all, they refer to themselves as clubs born from regions, just like the Irish, who also consider themselves to be anything except a franchise.
Scarlets in particular still have association with their roots as a club, don't know about the other Welsh sides as I don't frequent their forums, Ospreys did have one but it seems to have vanished.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2023 at 14:28
I'd say the Welsh regions are essentially Llanelli, Cardiff, Swansea and  Newport.
They have new names now but the bulk of the season ticket holders are the same people.

Newport to Dragons was the bumpiest ride.

I've ignored the new names and my lad knows what i mean when I say Newport or Swansea.

The regions have responsibility for player development in defined areas. This is a sore point with some.


It isn't working in Wales and we're in trouble in every which way..

Regions don't work unless they're already here.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark W-J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2023 at 16:02
Ironically, the most successful Welsh region was the one which was genuinely a merger between two historic clubs - the Neath-Swansea Ospreys.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2023 at 16:24
Originally posted by Mark W-J Mark W-J wrote:

Ironically, the most successful Welsh region was the one which was genuinely a merger between two historic clubs - the Neath-Swansea Ospreys.

The Ospreylia Galacticos.

What a team!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Se7en Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2023 at 20:52
With all the uncertainty and farce around top level domestic rugby, losing 3 established clubs in one season, wouldn't this be a good time to revamp the whole pro and semi pro model (ie levels 1 to 4 inclusive)?

I don't doubt that I'm probably missing lots of factors surrounding this and don't know the intricacies involved, but why not take this time to reset and reconfiger the Premiership requirements (nonsensical ground capacity numbers etc) to include the existing Prem clubs and ALL those recognised fully professional clubs from the Championship (ie ET, Jersey, Cov, Pirates, Bedford (I think?) and Knights).

The Championship at level 2 itself would then include the remaining existing semi-pro Championship clubs and the top clubs from Nat 1 which are obviously semi-pro also. This seems far more logical and balanced, with more competitive and fair fixtures where clubs are on the same footing.

Aside from some anomalies (Caldy beating ET, Pirates, Blues during an amazing debut season), it is rare to see the semi pro Championship clubs go toe to toe with the fully professional clubs and take the 5 points regularly, and who could expect any other outcome really. I can't think of a single other mainstream team sport where fully and semi pro clubs compete in the same league?

In all likelihood the top tier would be ringfenced on the grounds of clubs needing to be fully professional, but so be it I say. What is wrong with having an exciting and balanced Premiership and Championship as their own entities, as it is clear to me that some clubs are not cut out to go fully professional, or just don't aspire to be and would rather stick to their means and entertain their fans week in week out which is really what it's all about in my book when you remove the £££.

The clubs at levels 3 and 4 would be adjusted accordingly. Like I say, I have no doubt missed some major details or faults with this plan, which I accept is wholly idealistic too, but thought the fully pro vs semi pro observation was worth raising as unique and a little odd, as many outsiders to rugby have commented on to me before.

What are all of your thoughts?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Blues Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2023 at 21:31
I will start with Blues are semi-pro, which is partly why our away form is generally so poor. However, despite being semi-pro they do operate very much like a pro team, just lack that extra time with the players. With our crowd and historically we have been towards the top end, I would include them in your top 6 though.

With your suggestion you end up with about 8 in each league.

To take your idea a step forward, I think what they should do is merge the Champ and Prem, so taking the cup one stage further, so you may have 8, but you could so this with 10 or 12 in each league.

Prem clubs would always play each other when there were no internationals, and the the Champ Clubs would play the Prem clubs during the international windows or against themselves (depending on how many weeks it is). This would help with mis-matches in the short term before Champ clubs become bigger and better. It would also encourage the Prem clubs to rest some players against Champ clubs and give academy players more of an opportunity.

At the end of the season then you have play offs in whatever way throughout the 2 leagues to get an ultimate winner. Or you could have mini league at the end of the season between the top 4/5, bottom 4/5 a lot like what happened to the Championship before the cups came in. 

You could include ND1 sides in the relegation section to ensure there was still the opportunity to rise up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote *Stalwart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2023 at 21:41
The only problem I have with that, Se7en, is the ring fencing bit. For me there must be a pathway to the top flight for every club, even if 99% will never make it. Take away the jeapordy of promotion and relegation and you have a stagnant and frankly boring product with too many meaningless games. Having said that it's clear that the current model doesn't work and every club needs to operate within its means and not rack up ridiculous debts. One of the most shocking things about the L Irish debacle was seeing that they were paying a fairly run of the mill player almost a million pounds. There clearly needs to be a reset on what clubs are spending on player salaries.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote front5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2023 at 22:19
It’s about time a second ‘governing body’ create clubs an option away from RFU. Potentially one focused on community and regional representation with clubs offering a good game, sensible pricing and travel. All be it there could be less quality but a sustainable sport and a solution for all could be achieved 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tigerburnie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2023 at 22:28
Originally posted by *Stalwart *Stalwart wrote:

. One of the most shocking things about the L Irish debacle was seeing that they were paying a fairly run of the mill player almost a million pounds. There clearly needs to be a reset on what clubs are spending on player salaries.

This is the legacy of clubs trying to keep up with Saracens  and trying to compete in Europe, now the RFU are up a creek without a paddle, if the clubs don't pay these unsustainable wages, players will go to France of Japan that England want access to.
It has taken several years for high salaries and high player expectations, it will probably take longer for it to fall. In the aftermath of covid, Tigers asked the players to take a pay cut to help out as the games were played behind closed doors with no income, some players refused, left and took the club to court. It's a business now, it's not a club game, indeed they might roughly play to the same rules as the amateur game, but it is not the same game at all. Three clubs go to the wall and some clubs and looking at the forums a lot of their fans, are still wanting to spend more, it is absolute madness. The pro game if left to the PRL system to run will be bust in a couple of years, sheer greed has taken over at some clubs with so called sugar daddies who want to be able to pay more and buy more players to try and win the European Cup. This is not clubs wanting spend money they have earnt, a couple of them have few supporters, some don't own their own ground, so are earning little funds, exactly what happened to the three other clubs one way or another, but no-one is learning any lessons here.
Someone is going to have to take charge, but I don't see who that is likely to be, maybe the RFU's new structure will sort it out, or maybe it won't.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Se7en Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2023 at 22:42
Prem:

Saracens
Sharks
Saints
Tigers
Bath
Bristol
Gloucester
Quins
Falcons
Chiefs
Ealing T
Blues
Jersey Reds
Cov
Pirates
Donny

Champ:

Richmond
Scottish
Caldy
Archers
Ampthill
Hartpury
Cambridge 
Sale FC
Rams
Albion
Rosslyn P
Cinderford
Stortford
Chinnor
Moseley
DMP

30 game, hard-fought season and scrap the distraction of a Cup competition. These Prem and Champ clubs look better matched to each other than the current fully pro/semi pro Champ mix I think. Also gives the existing fully pro Champ clubs a go with the big boys too, no exclusion due to fround size etc.

Obviously the remainder of Nat 1 merges with Nat 2 and so on whatever guise that takes - N, E, S, W etc. 

It looks so easy when it's all written it down! Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Se7en Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2023 at 22:58
Originally posted by front5 front5 wrote:

It’s about time a second ‘governing body’ create clubs an option away from RFU. Potentially one focused on community and regional representation with clubs offering a good game, sensible pricing and travel. All be it there could be less quality but a sustainable sport and a solution for all could be achieved 

Aside from my idealistic idea and slight fantasy leagues, what you have said actually sums up what the average genuine fan is after and makes sense. The key being sustainability for the future so that rugby union doesn't die a death like county cricket has over the decades, for example.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FHLH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 2023 at 01:00
Originally posted by Se7en Se7en wrote:


Prem:

Champ:

It looks so easy when it's all written it down! Smile

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 2023 at 06:50
Originally posted by Se7en Se7en wrote:


It looks so easy when it's all written it down! Smile

Just one problem. 

You now have to find funding for 32 clubs, when the game can only afford to fund at best 10.


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