The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

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The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Pot Hale on Sat 16 Jul 2016, 1:18 am

First topic message reminder :

We've had the discussion on how does the PRO12 move forward for much of last season.

Towards the end of the season, PR012 CEO, Martin Anayi gave several media interviews on his own, and with PRO 12 chairman, Gerald Davies, on where the PRO12 needs to go to cope with changes in rugby within Six Nations and globally.

Anayi and Davies identified and acknowledged a number of the issues raised by PRO clubs CEOs and fans including increase in TV monies, match-day attendances, marketing, standard of refereeing, season structure and test window matches,  scheduling of season matches/kick-off times including Sunday games, European competitions, player welfare/concussion, growing "event" weekends, etc.

Anayi and Davies met with PRO12 CEOs over the last season to discuss issues and get feedback on a number of proposals that would mark out the future for the PRO 12 and its member unions.  

From various media interviews and reports - some unsubstantiated - a number of key decisions are being considered by PRO 12 and its 12 member clubs along with their representative organisations and unions.  In summary, these would appear to include:


  • Changes to season scheduling to make it more accessible, consistent, and appealing to fans across the four unions territories starting from next season 2016/17.
  • Further investment in a referee development programme to deal with issues/perceptions of bias and neutrality for league fixtures
  • Stronger and more localised marketing and promotion of league games by the PRO12 and by the individual clubs to attract fans to games and make it more appealing to broadcasters.
  • More promotion and stronger branding/marketing of games by TV partners
  • Changing the structure of the league from home & away 22 games to a conference/pool structure that can accommodate more teams in the future from other unions/territories e.g. North America and South Africa, with East Coast of America being the first target to develop a franchise with operational and coaching expertise being provided by the four unions.
  • Development of Big Event Weekends to drive crowd numbers, create a more appealing product for TV companies/sponsors, and generate more revenues for the PRO12
  • Reduce number of games played during season and re-strucure so that no "league" games are played during the test windows in November and Feb/March
  • Consequently, this would allow a greater proportion of league games to have test players involved and increase quality of product.
  • During test windows, the PRO CEOs want rugby to continue, and a revised development competition is being proposed for these periods for development of academy and young players within squads not involved in test rugby.  This may involve changes to the British & Irish Cup and the Anglo-Wlesh Cup.  One report indicates that Premier Rugby may be interested in discussing the creation of a British & Irish development cup to replace the current AW Cup that would attract increased sponsorship and TV money than currently.


It's clear that changes need to occur for the PRO12.   The current structure and set-up is neither sufficient nor sustainable.   The most recent comments on this from the CEO of the IRFU in publishing their annual report indicate this clearly, and what changes need to occur.  He also commented on the plans to develop a franchise in the US.

The potential for the development of a B&I league has been regularly discussed on 606v2, but for the purposes of this topic, it's not being included as the Premiership has commitments for the next 6-7 years on its TV deals that would not countenance such a move.  

Feel free to comment/dispute/argue on what is being proposed - any errors are entirely mine.


Last edited by Pot Hale on Sat 16 Jul 2016, 4:55 pm; edited 4 times in total

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 11:32 am

Thought Saracens and London Irish (and the like) were the antidote to the blazers?

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by SecretFly on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 11:35 am

Look on the bright side. If the IRFU got an American Pipe dream off the ground, that might be the very development that the Pan Welsh/England Leagueists would quite like, as it might allow the Welsh to sneak back into yon Anglo-Welsh League without being noticed or indeed missed.

So opportunities for all sides of the PrO'12 divide ahead, it seems....IF the very ambitious plans become more than a pipe dream.

But first, the Regions need to give up this old idea of Private ownership. Cool Even most of the PRL sides laugh at the idea as they can't go for a pee unless the Saracens owner nods his assent. Wink

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by carpet baboon on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 11:55 am

PhilBB wrote:
Sin é wrote:Phil, an exhibition hurling game got 30K in the Red Sox stadium in Boston last year. They plan on doing it as an annual event. It was sponsored by AIG who also sponsor the ABs and who are pushing rugby in the US.

And just so you know, Munster already have a US Supporters Club based in New York.

Awesome.

Munster also can't afford to pay back Irish rugby €9m.

Remind me again how that London Irish game went against expectations?

This nonsense is just the last attempt to cling on to power by a Blazer set that has been shamed and embarrassed in recent years by the private market. This attempt to play to the American market is where Cobner had the WRU in 1998. That didn't work out and neither will this nonsense.

Ah phill this is nonsense but your ridiculous dream of joining the PRL isn't?

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 12:48 pm

carpet baboon wrote:

Ah phill this is nonsense but your ridiculous dream of joining the PRL isn't?

That's right.

One is commercial common sense, the other is a commercial punt into the unknown designed to keep Blazers clinging to control by their fingertips.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by SecretFly on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 12:55 pm

Do I detect a break down in a well cultivated cool and calculated exterior?

The Language doth be heating up and becoming more emotional.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by carpet baboon on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 1:03 pm

Phil not a hope for at least 8 years of any Anglo welsh league. Better start rooting for the Pro12

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 1:30 pm

carpet baboon wrote:Phil not a hope for at least 8 years of any Anglo welsh league. Better start rooting for the Pro12

The PrO'12 won't last 8 years.

The idea that agreements can't be changed, augmented or altered is rather hilarious.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 1:31 pm

It's just that there's nothing in it for the English.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Sin é on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 1:32 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Sin é wrote:Phil, an exhibition hurling game got 30K in the Red Sox stadium in Boston last year. They plan on doing it as an annual event. It was sponsored by AIG who also sponsor the ABs and who are pushing rugby in the US.

And just so you know, Munster already have a US Supporters Club based in New York.

Awesome.

Munster also can't afford to pay back Irish rugby €9m.

Remind me again how that London Irish game went against expectations?

This nonsense is just the last attempt to cling on to power by a Blazer set that has been shamed and embarrassed in recent years by the private market. This attempt to play to the American market is where Cobner had the WRU in 1998. That didn't work out and neither will this nonsense.

Yea, the Irish Americans are not easily conned. They know that London Irish is an English club playing in the English league! Saracens should have gone for the real (Irish) deal and played Munster over there in Champs Cup when they had the chance.

Saracens wouldn't be the first to try and jump on the Irish American connection coat tails (I'm looking at you All Blacks!)



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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by carpet baboon on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 1:34 pm

PhilBB wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:Phil not a hope for at least 8 years of any Anglo welsh league. Better start rooting for the Pro12

The PrO'12 won't last 8 years.

The idea that agreements can't be changed, augmented or altered is rather hilarious.

Oh they can they always can. At a cost.
Have you read the wording of the break clause yet phill?

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 1:34 pm

carpet baboon wrote:
Oh they can they always can. At a cost.
Have you read the wording of the break clause yet phill?

A break clause is only exercised by one party.

Whoops, eh?

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 1:35 pm

Sin é wrote:
Yea, the Irish Americans are not easily conned. They know that London Irish is an English club playing in the English league! Saracens should have gone for the real (Irish) deal and played Munster over there in Champs Cup when they had the chance.

Saracens wouldn't be the first to try and jump on the Irish American connection coat tails (I'm looking at you All Blacks!)


Why didn't Munster play their game there?

Oh...

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by carpet baboon on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 1:41 pm

PhilBB wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:
Oh they can they always can. At a cost.
Have you read the wording of the break clause yet phill?

A break clause is only exercised by one party.

Whoops, eh?

Yet you have repeatedly referred to it as a break clause?.

Poi t being phill an Anglo welsh league has not a hope in hell.
A European wide league similar to the super rugby style is still just a fantasy.
In ten years time there will still be the 3 leagues. And if the english one keeps growing they will have no interest in the welsh irish or Scottish survival. There in it for the money phill so it makes good business sense to destroy your opposition and pick off its assets on the cheep.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by SecretFly on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 1:44 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:It's just that there's nothing in it for the English.

The Welsh!  That's what's in it for the English.  That's the selling point.  The wonderful Welsh, who are more than prepared to demote themselves to a Tier 2 League within the Anglo-Welsh Organisation.

They are willing not to be a nuisance in the Higher Tier 1 League and to be obedient to PRL teachings as long as they get a lot of free money from someone to make the 'investors' happy.  The owners and investors are, after all, the people Phil cares about most.  As long as they are keeping their head above water and paying their mortgages, to hell with the Welsh based fans who want more than a 2nd Tier League in an Anglo/Welsh Show.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Sin é on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 1:46 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Sin é wrote:
Yea, the Irish Americans are not easily conned. They know that London Irish is an English club playing in the English league! Saracens should have gone for the real (Irish) deal and played Munster over there in Champs Cup when they had the chance.

Saracens wouldn't be the first to try and jump on the Irish American connection coat tails (I'm looking at you All Blacks!)


Why didn't Munster play their game there?

Oh...

We didn't need to since we have a decent sized stadium with an transatlantic airport just out the road for people to fly into.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by carpet baboon on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 1:47 pm

SecretFly wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:It's just that there's nothing in it for the English.

The Welsh!  That's what's in it for the English.  That's the selling point.  The wonderful Welsh, who are more than prepared to demote themselves to a Tier 2 League within the Anglo-Welsh Organisation.

They are willing not to be a nuisance in the Higher Tier 1 League and to be obedient to PRL teachings as long as they get a lot of free money from someone to make the 'investors' happy.  The owners and investors are, after all, the people Phil cares about most.  As long as they are keeping their head above water and paying their mortgages, to hell with the Welsh based fans who want more than a 2nd Tier League in an Anglo/Welsh Show.

Phil dosent care about the fans. It's phills ego that wants this to come true. So he can stand on the ashes of welsh rugby head held high proclaiming proudly
"I told you they wanted us"

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 3:55 pm

carpet baboon wrote:

Yet you have repeatedly referred to it as a break clause?.

Poi t being phill an Anglo welsh league has not a hope in hell.
A European wide league similar to the  super rugby style is still just a fantasy.
In ten years time there will still be the 3 leagues. And if the english one keeps growing they will have no interest in the welsh irish or Scottish survival. There in it for the money phill so it makes good business sense to destroy your opposition and pick off its assets on the cheep.

Sorry? Where have I 'repeatedly referred to it as a break clause'?

I wonder how BT Sport would view your take on things.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 3:56 pm

Sin é wrote:

We didn't need to since we have a decent sized stadium with an transatlantic airport just out the road for people to fly into.

But there's a €9m+ debt to be paid. Remember?

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 3:57 pm

carpet baboon wrote:
Phil dosent care about the fans. It's phills ego that wants this to come true. So he can stand on the ashes of welsh rugby head held high proclaiming proudly
"I told you they wanted us"

Fair play, only a complete idiot would think that an AW League would see 'the ashes of Welsh rugby'. A complete and total idiot.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by carpet baboon on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 3:58 pm

Bt sport? Haha they probably still waiting for all of niges promises to apoear

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 3:58 pm

SecretFly wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:It's just that there's nothing in it for the English.

The Welsh!  That's what's in it for the English.  That's the selling point.  The wonderful Welsh, who are more than prepared to demote themselves to a Tier 2 League within the Anglo-Welsh Organisation.

They are willing not to be a nuisance in the Higher Tier 1 League and to be obedient to PRL teachings as long as they get a lot of free money from someone to make the 'investors' happy.  The owners and investors are, after all, the people Phil cares about most.  As long as they are keeping their head above water and paying their mortgages, to hell with the Welsh based fans who want more than a 2nd Tier League in an Anglo/Welsh Show.

Mate, you're making an arse of yourself. Again.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 3:59 pm

carpet baboon wrote:Bt sport? Haha they probably still waiting for all of niges promises to apoear

Were they waiting when they agreed a new contract at a higher rate?

Oh dear.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by carpet baboon on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 4:05 pm

Phill phill phill. As much fun as it is laughing at your really witty put downs, I think I will just sit back and wait a few weeks. Then we can talk about the prospect of your AW league,

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 4:07 pm

carpet baboon wrote:Phill  phill phill. As much fun as it is laughing at your really witty put downs, I think I will just sit back and wait a few weeks. Then we can talk about the prospect of your AW league,

Great.

During those few weeks I'll remind myself of your postings here and chuckle away happily.

Thanks.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by carpet baboon on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 4:15 pm

Phil I see you still can't get above childish Insults. I thought you may have tried to raise the standard a little

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Dai Llewod on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 4:15 pm

carpet baboon wrote:
In ten years time there will still be the 3 leagues. And if the english one keeps growing they will have no interest in the welsh irish or Scottish survival. There in it for the money phill so it makes good business sense to destroy your opposition and pick off its assets on the cheep.

I'm still confused as to why there is this stoic defence of the Celtic League, when even Irish rugby chiefs have admitted that the Pro12 isn't the mechanism to secure the funding / income it's clubs deserve, and that a British and Irish League is "the ultimate goal".

With that in mind, and knowing that the Celtic League is harming the income generation of the clubs that compete in it, why do Irish rugby fans (or any rugby fans) not push for an alternative competition more? (I'm assuming that you're Irish, I have no idea.)

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by SecretFly on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 4:16 pm

PhilBB wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:It's just that there's nothing in it for the English.

The Welsh!  That's what's in it for the English.  That's the selling point.  The wonderful Welsh, who are more than prepared to demote themselves to a Tier 2 League within the Anglo-Welsh Organisation.

They are willing not to be a nuisance in the Higher Tier 1 League and to be obedient to PRL teachings as long as they get a lot of free money from someone to make the 'investors' happy.  The owners and investors are, after all, the people Phil cares about most.  As long as they are keeping their head above water and paying their mortgages, to hell with the Welsh based fans who want more than a 2nd Tier League in an Anglo/Welsh Show.

Mate, you're making an arse of yourself. Again.

Mate, you're losing your cool. Is it the heat in the air or the first pangs of fear that your well thought out plans are being completely ignored by the PrO'12 elite Blazers?

The lines above, that you try to ridicule? - Merely repeats of your very own sentiments and opinions over the course of your time here. So don't smirk at the messenger - the messages come from you. OK

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by SecretFly on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 4:20 pm

Dai Llewod wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:
In ten years time there will still be the 3 leagues. And if the english one keeps growing they will have no interest in the welsh irish or Scottish survival. There in it for the money phill so it makes good business sense to destroy your opposition and pick off its assets on the cheep.

I'm still confused as to why there is this stoic defence of the Celtic League, when even Irish rugby chiefs have admitted that the Pro12 isn't the mechanism to secure the funding / income it's clubs deserve, and that a British and Irish League is "the ultimate goal".

With that in mind, and knowing that the Celtic League is harming the income generation of the clubs that compete in it, why do Irish rugby fans (or any rugby fans) not push for an alternative competition more? (I'm assuming that you're Irish, I have no idea.)

You have the 'Clubs'', we have the Provinces. But good attempt at implying we're all the same. Wink

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Dai Llewod on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 4:23 pm

SecretFly wrote:
Dai Llewod wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:
In ten years time there will still be the 3 leagues. And if the english one keeps growing they will have no interest in the welsh irish or Scottish survival. There in it for the money phill so it makes good business sense to destroy your opposition and pick off its assets on the cheep.

I'm still confused as to why there is this stoic defence of the Celtic League, when even Irish rugby chiefs have admitted that the Pro12 isn't the mechanism to secure the funding / income it's clubs deserve, and that a British and Irish League is "the ultimate goal".

With that in mind, and knowing that the Celtic League is harming the income generation of the clubs that compete in it, why do Irish rugby fans (or any rugby fans) not push for an alternative competition more? (I'm assuming that you're Irish, I have no idea.)

You have the 'Clubs'', we have the Provinces.  But good attempt at implying we're all the same. Wink

That wasn't really the intent of the message. They are all professional rugby teams trying to compete with the next level up. So why do some people seem non plussed about trying to compete with that next level up?

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 4:33 pm

carpet baboon wrote:Phil I see you still can't get above childish Insults. I thought you may have tried to raise the standard a little

Good Lord. Have you had your self awareness surgically removed?

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 4:35 pm

SecretFly wrote:

Mate, you're losing your cool.  Is it the heat in the air or the first pangs of fear that your well thought out plans are being completely ignored by the PrO'12 elite Blazers?

The lines above, that you try to ridicule? - Merely repeats of your very own sentiments and opinions over the course of your time here.  So don't smirk at the messenger - the messages come from you.  OK

No cool lost here, sunshine. I'm just smirking at your woeful interpretation of my posts. It's almost as though, but it can't be, you deliberately try to be contrary just to get a bite as you're incapable of joining in the discussion otherwise.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by PhilBB on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 4:36 pm

Dai Llewod wrote:So why do some people seem non plussed about trying to compete with that next level up?

Indeed

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by SecretFly on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 4:58 pm

PhilBB wrote:
SecretFly wrote:

Mate, you're losing your cool.  Is it the heat in the air or the first pangs of fear that your well thought out plans are being completely ignored by the PrO'12 elite Blazers?

The lines above, that you try to ridicule? - Merely repeats of your very own sentiments and opinions over the course of your time here.  So don't smirk at the messenger - the messages come from you.  OK

No cool lost here, sunshine. I'm just smirking at your woeful interpretation of my posts. It's almost as though, but it can't be, you deliberately try to be contrary just to get a bite as you're incapable of joining in the discussion otherwise.

Like I keep reminding you, Petal, you don't like people who synopsise you and cut to the chase.  You and Sin and a few others can handle the detailed accounts and broadcasting contracts - I'll keep you true to your overview opinions - as published in these here threads.

You said you'd much prefer have Welsh sides compete in a second tier Anglo/Welsh League than the Pro12 alternative?  Yes - you have made such a statement.
You said that in such a set-up (a full League below the big boys of Saracens and Leicester etc) they Regions would still be making more money than in the Pro12?  Yes - you have made such a statement.
The inference is that you'd accept the largesse from the earning potential of the tier 1 PRL League as it would at least make the Regions viable; ie free money handed down from a League you're potentially not even in?  Yep, you made such assumptions.

Don't forget your opinions.  It keeps us all honest.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by SecretFly on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 5:23 pm

Dai Llewod wrote:

That wasn't really the intent of the message. They are all professional rugby teams trying to compete with the next level up. So why do some people seem non plussed about trying to compete with that next level up?

They'll be trying to compete with the 'next level up' next season in the Champions Cup.  Is that not competing?

Is joining up to a B&I League competing?  Like I've asked Phil a few times, predict for me which teams would be in the top five of a B&I League in say five years from now if the B&I League was created today?  The bottom of a top League isn't competing.  The top of a secondary league isn't competing - it's excusing mediocrity for the lure of 'more money'.

Too often people just feel mentioning  a B&I League and mentioning possible 'more money' is a definition of a better competition FOR ALL and one that will be more competitive FOR ALL.

'Competing with the best' means you have a guaranteed system where you will be allowed compete with the best.  There is no such detailed guarantee coming from any B&I League(s) supporter.  The logistics of it, in my mind, suggests the utopia could quickly evaporate within a few short years.  

If Welsh fans and Regions are happy to contemplate the lovely 2nd tier League competitiveness of a B&I model then so be it, I wouldn't share that view.  The top would still be the top and the wealth (and administrative power) of central English clubs would always preclude the 'Celtic' fringes of ever 'competing' on a equal footing.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Dai Llewod on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 6:26 pm

SecretFly wrote:

They'll be trying to compete with the 'next level up' next season in the Champions Cup.  Is that not competing?

Is joining up to a B&I League competing?  Like I've asked Phil a few times, predict for me which teams would be in the top five of a B&I League in say five years from now if the B&I League was created today?  The bottom of a top League isn't competing.  The top of a secondary league isn't competing - it's excusing mediocrity for the lure of 'more money'.

Too often people just feel mentioning  a B&I League and mentioning possible 'more money' is a definition of a better competition FOR ALL and one that will be more competitive FOR ALL.

'Competing with the best' means you have a guaranteed system where you will be allowed compete with the best.  There is no such detailed guarantee coming from any B&I League(s) supporter.  The logistics of it, in my mind, suggests the utopia could quickly evaporate within a few short years.  

If Welsh fans and Regions are happy to contemplate the lovely 2nd tier League competitiveness of a B&I model then so be it, I wouldn't share that view.  The top would still be the top and the wealth (and administrative power) of central English clubs would always preclude the 'Celtic' fringes of ever 'competing' on a equal footing.

Ah sorry, I don't think I explained myself properly. By competitiveness I mean the ability to generate more revenue meaning that all pro teams have a better chance of being in the black. They'll then be able to spend more on facilities, quality of overseas players, their academy etc. Isn't that something any pro team would want?

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Sin é on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 6:55 pm

Dai Llewod wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:
In ten years time there will still be the 3 leagues. And if the english one keeps growing they will have no interest in the welsh irish or Scottish survival. There in it for the money phill so it makes good business sense to destroy your opposition and pick off its assets on the cheep.

I'm still confused as to why there is this stoic defence of the Celtic League, when even Irish rugby chiefs have admitted that the Pro12 isn't the mechanism to secure the funding / income it's clubs deserve, and that a British and Irish League is "the ultimate goal".

With that in mind, and knowing that the Celtic League is harming the income generation of the clubs that compete in it, why do Irish rugby fans (or any rugby fans) not push for an alternative competition more? (I'm assuming that you're Irish, I have no idea.)

I think Irish fans are Cup fans rather than League fans. Its hardwired into a lot of us from GAA - the League is just a warm up for the All Ireland Championship. It hasn't helped that the Irish Provinces haven't really had to try very hard to win the Pro12 either, with all Provinces having won it at least once in the last 10 years.

You should also remember that the Pro12 is a new, crossborder league. I personally wouldn't like a B&I League as I like the novelty of coming up against English teams in the Champs Cup, with new places to go every year.

On the financial end of things in the Pro12. I think the IRFU are well on top of their finances - the problem is the Welsh Regions are finding the going difficult and want someone to bail them out.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by SecretFly on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 7:11 pm

Dai Llewod wrote:
SecretFly wrote:

They'll be trying to compete with the 'next level up' next season in the Champions Cup.  Is that not competing?

Is joining up to a B&I League competing?  Like I've asked Phil a few times, predict for me which teams would be in the top five of a B&I League in say five years from now if the B&I League was created today?  The bottom of a top League isn't competing.  The top of a secondary league isn't competing - it's excusing mediocrity for the lure of 'more money'.

Too often people just feel mentioning  a B&I League and mentioning possible 'more money' is a definition of a better competition FOR ALL and one that will be more competitive FOR ALL.

'Competing with the best' means you have a guaranteed system where you will be allowed compete with the best.  There is no such detailed guarantee coming from any B&I League(s) supporter.  The logistics of it, in my mind, suggests the utopia could quickly evaporate within a few short years.  

If Welsh fans and Regions are happy to contemplate the lovely 2nd tier League competitiveness of a B&I model then so be it, I wouldn't share that view.  The top would still be the top and the wealth (and administrative power) of central English clubs would always preclude the 'Celtic' fringes of ever 'competing' on a equal footing.

Ah sorry, I don't think I explained myself properly. By competitiveness I mean the ability to generate more revenue meaning that all pro teams have a better chance of being in the black. They'll then be able to spend more on facilities, quality of overseas players, their academy etc. Isn't that something any pro team would want?

But Dai, for every pound or euro extra that let's say Glasgow or Ospreys or Munster would get from a B&I competition, the English clubs, with their denser population areas and therefore more attractiveness to sponsors etc, they'd be able to generate an extra four or five pounds.  
More money for everyone from a B&I competition is relative to what everyone would be drawing from such a competition.  The English sides (heartland of the competition) would still be pulling in more bucks than the outlying teams in the other Nations.  More money would become a relative state that might not necessarily buy anything more than what these 'Celtic' sides already can afford now.  
If a top player is worth 500,000 now and can't be afforded by most Pro12 sides, then having 600,000 for a player in B&I whilst a side like Saracens can afford 800,000 is still an inability to buy or hold onto best players.
The best players, from all Nations, would still be attracted into the heartland, where all the money is.  The best overseas players would still be attracted to the highest salary areas - France+England.  The facilities would only be potentially improved in relation to how they were in Pro12 not in relation to how they would be judged against the mega-wealthy sides in England.
So, you say being in the black is what any pro team should want.  Well all that is relative.  Being successful is what makes fans want to follow these pro sides in the first place.  How would the system be constructed that fringe Nations and sides are allowed compete when the truth is their very isolation or low density populations make the effort always a struggle. Sinking down in such a league is still more a logical prediction than rising in one.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Pot Hale on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 10:21 pm

Sin é wrote:
Dai Llewod wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:
In ten years time there will still be the 3 leagues. And if the english one keeps growing they will have no interest in the welsh irish or Scottish survival. There in it for the money phill so it makes good business sense to destroy your opposition and pick off its assets on the cheep.

I'm still confused as to why there is this stoic defence of the Celtic League, when even Irish rugby chiefs have admitted that the Pro12 isn't the mechanism to secure the funding / income it's clubs deserve, and that a British and Irish League is "the ultimate goal".

With that in mind, and knowing that the Celtic League is harming the income generation of the clubs that compete in it, why do Irish rugby fans (or any rugby fans) not push for an alternative competition more? (I'm assuming that you're Irish, I have no idea.)

I think Irish fans are Cup fans rather than League fans. Its hardwired into a lot of us from GAA - the League is just a warm up for the All Ireland Championship. It hasn't helped that the Irish Provinces haven't really had to try very hard to win the Pro12 either, with all Provinces having won it at least once in the last 10 years.

You should also remember that the Pro12 is a new, crossborder league. I personally wouldn't like a B&I League as I like the novelty of coming up against English teams in the Champs Cup, with new places to go every year.

On the financial end of things in the Pro12. I think the IRFU are well on top of their finances - the problem is the Welsh Regions are finding the going difficult and want someone to bail them out.

Smug much?

Irish fans are cup fans rather than league fans? Hardwired from GAA?

First I heard of it.

I can recall that Leinster tried really hard to win the PRO12 - and the Ospreys had other things to say about it - twice.

The IRFU are well on top of their finances? Munster are finding the going difficult and wanted someone to bail them out. And someone did, their union. There goes the surplus the Union generated. And Browne is of the view that Munster won't be able to pay back the loan on Thomond - I presume he wasn't speaking idly off the top of his head. In contrast, Ulster who also sought a loan, repaid it promptly - a face remarked upon by the Treasurer.

Things ain't sweetness and light in Irish rugby. The position that the Welsh Regions are in could easily become a reality in Irish rugby if change isn't made and people don't get their act together.


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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Sin é on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 11:13 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
Sin é wrote:
Dai Llewod wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:
In ten years time there will still be the 3 leagues. And if the english one keeps growing they will have no interest in the welsh irish or Scottish survival. There in it for the money phill so it makes good business sense to destroy your opposition and pick off its assets on the cheep.

I'm still confused as to why there is this stoic defence of the Celtic League, when even Irish rugby chiefs have admitted that the Pro12 isn't the mechanism to secure the funding / income it's clubs deserve, and that a British and Irish League is "the ultimate goal".

With that in mind, and knowing that the Celtic League is harming the income generation of the clubs that compete in it, why do Irish rugby fans (or any rugby fans) not push for an alternative competition more? (I'm assuming that you're Irish, I have no idea.)

I think Irish fans are Cup fans rather than League fans. Its hardwired into a lot of us from GAA - the League is just a warm up for the All Ireland Championship. It hasn't helped that the Irish Provinces haven't really had to try very hard to win the Pro12 either, with all Provinces having won it at least once in the last 10 years.

You should also remember that the Pro12 is a new, crossborder league. I personally wouldn't like a B&I League as I like the novelty of coming up against English teams in the Champs Cup, with new places to go every year.

On the financial end of things in the Pro12. I think the IRFU are well on top of their finances - the problem is the Welsh Regions are finding the going difficult and want someone to bail them out.

Smug much?

Irish fans are cup fans rather than league fans?   Hardwired from GAA?

First I heard of it.

I can recall that Leinster tried really hard to win the PRO12 - and the Ospreys had other things to say about it - twice.

The IRFU are well on top of their finances?    Munster are finding the going difficult and wanted someone to bail them out.   And someone did, their union.   There goes the surplus the Union generated.   And Browne is of the view that Munster won't be able to pay back the loan on Thomond - I presume he wasn't speaking idly off the top of his head.   In contrast, Ulster who also sought a loan, repaid it promptly - a face remarked upon by the Treasurer.

Things ain't sweetness and light in Irish rugby.  The position that the Welsh Regions are in could easily become a reality in Irish rugby if change isn't made and people don't get their act together.  


Its a fact about the GAA - the League is used as a warmup for the All Ireland Championship.
Leinster tried hard to win the league one year, after that they put all of their effort into the Heineken Cup. Interesting to note that despite making the final of the PRO12, Leinster had the biggest loss in attendances in the league this year from last year (and that was when Leinster were not doing well with MOC at the helm).
The IRFU are well on top of their finances. The loss making Aviva Stadium paid off. Half the number of central contracts they give out and Denis O'Brien picking up the tab for Sexton. BofI picking up the tab for Heaslip & SOB.
Believe it or not, the IRFU holds a 50% share of Thomond Park even though they haven't lifted a finger to raise any money for that share. Munster are dead right to hang onto whatever cash they got. I hope Rassie tells the whole lot of them to take a running jump.

How much did Ulster have to borrow? You do know that their stadium redevelopment was compliments of the Stormont Executive? For all you know it was a bridging loan. Munster had to raise 40m to redevelop Thomond Park. It would be interesting to see how Leinster & Ulster's finances would look like if they had to do that.

I actually think the IRFU are doing the poor mouth on it. Not too long ago we were hearing that the IRFU couldn't afford to run a 7s team. I also think it suits them to depower the Provinces as it was getting to a stage when people had more loyalty to their Province than to Team Ireland. The IRFU has reserves of 70m, which is amazing considering most other Unions are up to their neck in debt.


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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Munchkin on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 11:41 pm

What was a bridging loan?

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Pot Hale on Tue 19 Jul 2016, 11:45 pm

The 50% shareholding held by IRFU is for one purpose only. It's not their job to raise the funds to repay the loan they provided.

I just think the smug comments are a little much. The smell of schadenfreude is overpowering.


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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Sin é on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:09 am

Munchkin wrote:What was a bridging loan?

Just pointing out that Pot Hale doesn't know the circumstances of the Ulster loan. It could have been the loan David Humphreys got 6 or 7 years ago or it could have been a loan to do some work on Ravenhill and the loan was a bridging loan until the funds came in from Stormont.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by St John The Enforcer on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:14 am

Sin é wrote:
Its a fact about the GAA - the League is used as a warmup for the All Ireland Championship.
Leinster tried hard to win the league one year,


That's complete horse, dog and pony schidt.

Leinster tried hard to win the League EVERY year since Gary Ella in 03/04. They have only finished outside the top 3 ONCE in the intervening 12 seasons (And that was last year) The 2 defeats to the Ospreys were hard to take especially the 2nd one (the week after the All Ireland Final in Twickenham) where we were pipped at the death.

Just coz Munster couldn't be arsed a lot of the time don't make up some tenuous bullschidt from Gaa that covers the whole Island of Ireland.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Sin é on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:14 am

Pot Hale wrote:The 50% shareholding held by IRFU is for one purpose only.  It's not their job to raise the funds to repay the loan they provided.  

I just think the smug comments are a little much.  The smell of schadenfreude is overpowering.


Munster (& Connacht) are disadvantaged with regard to stadia. Ulster getting the cost of refurbishment met by Stormont Gov., Leinster in that they have access to the Aviva, the stadium everyone else has had to take the hit for so that the IRFU doesn't carry any debt.

And you are not being smug about Munster owing 9m to IRFU? The Schadenfreude odour is coming from yourself.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by LeinsterFan4life on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:17 am

St John The Enforcer wrote:
Sin é wrote:
Its a fact about the GAA - the League is used as a warmup for the All Ireland Championship.
Leinster tried hard to win the league one year,


That's complete horse, dog and pony schidt.

Leinster tried hard to win the League EVERY year since Gary Ella in 03/04. They have only finished outside the top 3 ONCE in the intervening 12 seasons (And that was last year) The 2 defeats to the Ospreys were hard to take especially the 2nd one (the week after the All Ireland Final in Twickenham) where we were pipped at the death.

Just coz Munster couldn't be arsed a lot of the time don't make up some tenuous bullschidt from Gaa that covers the whole Island of Ireland.
Leinster have tried to win the league every year but it has always played second fiddle to Europe, I think that's what Sine was alluding to. Leinster's coaches have always been judged by how they did in Europe.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Sin é on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:32 am

St John The Enforcer wrote:
Sin é wrote:
Its a fact about the GAA - the League is used as a warmup for the All Ireland Championship.
Leinster tried hard to win the league one year,


That's complete horse, dog and pony schidt.

Leinster tried hard to win the League EVERY year since Gary Ella in 03/04. They have only finished outside the top 3 ONCE in the intervening 12 seasons (And that was last year) The 2 defeats to the Ospreys were hard to take especially the 2nd one (the week after the All Ireland Final in Twickenham) where we were pipped at the death.

Just coz Munster couldn't be arsed a lot of the time don't make up some tenuous bullschidt from Gaa that covers the whole Island of Ireland.

If Kilkenny were arsed about the League, they would have won more of them. They have 17 League wins, and 36 All Irelands.

The reason why Leinster has been so successful is perhaps a reflection of the effort put in by all teams, some prefer to concentrate their efforts on either their national team or Heieneken Cup.


Last edited by Sin é on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:34 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Sin é on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 12:33 am

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
St John The Enforcer wrote:
Sin é wrote:
Its a fact about the GAA - the League is used as a warmup for the All Ireland Championship.
Leinster tried hard to win the league one year,


That's complete horse, dog and pony schidt.

Leinster tried hard to win the League EVERY year since Gary Ella in 03/04. They have only finished outside the top 3 ONCE in the intervening 12 seasons (And that was last year) The 2 defeats to the Ospreys were hard to take especially the 2nd one (the week after the All Ireland Final in Twickenham) where we were pipped at the death.

Just coz Munster couldn't be arsed a lot of the time don't make up some tenuous bullschidt from Gaa that covers the whole Island of Ireland.
Leinster have tried to win the league every year but it has always played second fiddle to Europe, I think that's what Sine was alluding to. Leinster's coaches have always been judged by how they did in Europe.

Exactly. Matt O'Connor wins the league but still got the sack. None of the fans places much store on the Pro12.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Munchkin on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 1:27 am

Sin é wrote:
Munchkin wrote:What was a bridging loan?

Just pointing out that Pot Hale doesn't know the circumstances of the Ulster loan. It could have been the loan David Humphreys got 6 or 7 years ago or it could have been a loan to do some work on Ravenhill and the loan was a bridging loan until the funds came in from Stormont.

Ah, fair enough. I know Ulster were given an IRFU loan for the first stand (2009?), although much of the £4.5m costs were raised by Ulster Rugby.

Why is everyone arguing about costs anyway. Nobody should allow Phil to stir things up.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by Pot Hale on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 3:08 am

Munchkin wrote:
Sin é wrote:
Munchkin wrote:What was a bridging loan?

Just pointing out that Pot Hale doesn't know the circumstances of the Ulster loan. It could have been the loan David Humphreys got 6 or 7 years ago or it could have been a loan to do some work on Ravenhill and the loan was a bridging loan until the funds came in from Stormont.

Ah, fair enough. I know Ulster were given an IRFU loan for the first stand (2009?), although much of the £4.5m costs were raised by Ulster Rugby.

Sin - I do know the circumstances of the loan which is why I referenced it.   It's in the Ulster Rugby Annual Report and in IRFU's Annual Reports.  The loan was £2.5m for the Corporate Stand - separate from the grants provided by Stormont.    All of the loan and interest costs were repaid by Ulster from their own resources.   They repaid the final amount early this year due to better cash flow management and seeking obviously to reduce interest due.

You stated previously that Ulster Rugby got Stormont Executive money towards its redevelopment.   And, in contrast, you said that Munster had to raise the €40m all on its own, and that the IRFU has done nothing to help raise money for its 50% in the TP company.   I presume you're aware that Munster Rugby with its 50% stake in the Thomond Park Stadium Company received monies from a number of different sources to meet the €39m development cost.   Even before that cost arose, the IRFU bought out the house owners around the ground who would be affected by the development to the tune of €4.5m.   The Government provided €9m through Lottery grants to the IRFU; and the initial loan from IRFU to Munster was about €11.5m with the potential to increase to €19m for a short period.  Debenture tickets sales for 2008-2018 raised much of the remaining monies.  The IRFU hold 50% of TP Stadium Company Ld against the loan monies it is due.  

In short, upbraiding the IRFU and the Irish Government for not providing help or financial resources doesn't stand up to the facts.

The problem on repaying the remaining debt is that Thomond Park Company is not making money, it's making losses.  That's down to Munster's management, not the IRFU.  And yes I'm sure there's some finger pointing to be done about how the IRFU didn't sanction some match to be played there, but ultimately the buck stops with the club as a business that made this investment, not the Union.  

Problem is that if Munster default on the payment schedule - a big chunk due to be paid next year - how does that affect overall funding for the other provinces?  It'll be interesting to see how much Browne wants to play hardball. He's certainly set his stall out very publicly with his latest statements around the provinces and their various finances.

Maybe that's why he's so exercised in getting people in Irish rugby to focus on developing and improving the PRO 12 - hence why he talked about the potential for a franchise in the US.

And we're back on topic..... Smile

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 8:13 am

Thats one of the MAJOR things wrong with our league, the Irish have never seen it as their bread and butter.

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Re: The Future for the PRO 12 - Part 2 - USA Expansion

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