"Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

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"Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by Dai Llewod on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 11:38 am

Ouch. The anti Pro12 bandwagon seems to be rolling.

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/a-cesspool-stench-mediocrity-guinness-11679522

One of Ireland’s best known rugby pundits has launched a blistering attack on the Guinness Pro12, calling for his country’s four provinces to quit the cross-border competition.

Veteran TV broadcaster George Hook has condemned the league as “a dead horse”, claiming no-one cares about it, and he insists the Irish teams must find a way “out of the cesspool”.

Hook says Leinster, Munster, Ulster and Connacht cannot compete financially with the top English and French clubs because of the disparity in TV revenue generated by the respective European leagues.

The broadcast deal for coverage of the top two flights of French domestic rugby brings in £75m a year, while the Aviva Premiership teams receive around £42m per annum through their contract with BT.

In contrast, the total TV revenue from the Pro12’s various agreements with Sky, BBC, S4C and TG4 amounts to around £11.6m.

Hook says Irish professional rugby is in danger of fizzling out into the abyss and he insists a move away from the Pro12 - either by joining the English sides or setting up a new all-Ireland club league - is “the only viable solution”.

“The Celtic League is a dead horse no matter what way you look at it,” he said in his Irish Independent column.

“The competition is repeatedly whipped and cajoled by Sky Sports in an admirable attempt to make it into something it is not, but the declining attendance figures and sub-standard performances by the teams involved expose the grim reality of life in the Pro12.

“The Irish provinces need to find a way out of the cesspool. The future of the professional game in this country depends on having a competitive, financially stable league to play in.

“The truth is that nobody cares a jot for the Celtic league; not the players, not the television executives and certainly not the fans.”

He continues: “The time for pleasantries is over.

“The Italian club experiment has utterly failed. Treviso and Zebre continue to prop up the table, as they have done almost every season since their inception.

“The best players in Wales are playing their club rugby in France or England and one half of Scotland’s professional set-up looks more like a South African third-string club side than a fair reflection of home grown Scottish talent.

“If the current mess is left to fester, revenues for the provinces will continue to decline and interest in the league will drop off to base-line level, if it isn’t at that stage already.

“A move away from Celtic league is the only viable solution. Whether that means banging the door down on our neighbours, to join up with the Aviva Premiership, or, much more radically, disbanding the provinces in favour of a new professional All-Ireland club league, time will tell.

“But if nothing is done to arrest the slide, it won’t be long before the professional game in this country dies off altogether.”

Hook points to the Champions Cup to illustrate the scale of the problem, with no Pro12 team having reached the quarter-finals of last season’s event.

He says past Irish glories in Europe have now been replaced by an “all-consuming stench of mediocrity”.

“There is a major problem brewing in Irish professional rugby that cannot resolve itself if the status quo remains intact,” he said.

“Last week’s announcement by Aviva Premiership of a new deal to televise matches with NBC Sports Group in America, in addition to its lucrative agreement with BT, is the latest progressive step for a league that continues to outclass the Pro12 in terms of resources, talent and financial muscle.


Not sure when the Hook article was published but that's a stinging inditement.

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by Munchkin on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 12:22 pm

The article was first published on 11/03/2016 HookOnPRO12

Hook may be one of the best known rugby pundits in Ireland, but 'best known' for spouting nonsense.


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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by St John The Enforcer on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 12:27 pm

I realise that you probably don't know who he is but he is the kind of bloke that would admit to terrorist activities against women and children just to get himself attention.

He has been challenged on the basis that he regularly says stuff he doesn't believe just to be controversial.

Last time it happened he got very upset about it...... Just to get even more attention.

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by Irish Londoner on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 12:29 pm

I believe the phrase is "Gobshoite" ?

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by marty2086 on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 12:30 pm

I love this line

Hook says Irish professional rugby is in danger of fizzling out into the abyss and he insists a move away from the Pro12 - either by joining the English sides or setting up a new all-Ireland club league - is “the only viable solution”.

There is an all Ireland league and the quality is a huge drop and he expects Irish broadcasters to pay tens of millions to broadcast it?

As Munchkin says he is known for the poop he talks, mainly because his brain died a long time ago

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by munkian on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 12:54 pm

He is always 'acting the maggot'

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by Dai Llewod on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 12:59 pm

I think the issue is that you have to wonder why the Welsh media have chosen to write an article on it now. There is increasing angst in Wales about the Pro12 and it seems to be gaining momentum.

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by St John The Enforcer on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 1:03 pm

Dai Llewod wrote:I think the issue is that you have to wonder why the Welsh media have chosen to write an article on it now.
Off season. Slow news day?

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by Munchkin on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 1:05 pm

So Simon Thomas on Wales Online represents the Welsh media. Wales must have a serious lack of credible pundits if that's true.

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by mckay1402 on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 1:06 pm

I have to say that he's not wrong. Pro 12 is not commercially successful and unless something is done to change the quality of the rugby it will drag its clubs, provinces or regions down with it.

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by munkian on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 1:07 pm

I think the improved kick match days/times will help things

I also believe 3 of the regions will do better this year as they've made some interesting signings - especially the Turks.#


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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by Munchkin on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 1:09 pm

munkian wrote:I think the improved kick match days/times will help things

I also believe 3 of the regions will do better this year as they've made some interesting signings - especially the Turks.#


Think Scarlets will do well, and believe Cardiff will be the team to watch this season.

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by munkian on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 1:14 pm

Munchkin wrote:
munkian wrote:I think the improved kick match days/times will help things

I also believe 3 of the regions will do better this year as they've made some interesting signings - especially the Turks.#


Think Scarlets will do well, and believe Cardiff will be the team to watch this season.


vomit

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by St John The Enforcer on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 1:15 pm

munkian wrote:I think the improved kick match days/times will help things

I also believe 3 of the regions will do better this year as they've made some interesting signings - especially the Turks.#


Absolutely. Moving in the right direction however late and slowly. I just wish people would fight for it and buy into it in ALL countries that it represents.

At the end of the day it is better to die on your feet in the pro 12 than live on your knees in the 2nd division in England.

Personally I have no objection to a B&I league or a European one but it tends to make the sport smaller rather than grow it.

However, as Brian Moore says would you trust the people running the PRL to do basically anything in the light of their Salary cap scandal and general wish to "own" the game at club and international level.

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by Munchkin on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 1:16 pm

munkian wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
munkian wrote:I think the improved kick match days/times will help things

I also believe 3 of the regions will do better this year as they've made some interesting signings - especially the Turks.#


Think Scarlets will do well, and believe Cardiff will be the team to watch this season.


vomit

You're not a Cardiff fan then?

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by munkian on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 1:23 pm

Munchkin wrote:
munkian wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
munkian wrote:I think the improved kick match days/times will help things

I also believe 3 of the regions will do better this year as they've made some interesting signings - especially the Turks.#


Think Scarlets will do well, and believe Cardiff will be the team to watch this season.


vomit

You're not a Cardiff fan then?

I'm not PhillBB if that's what you are asking ? Very Happy

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by marty2086 on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 1:25 pm

munkian wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
munkian wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
munkian wrote:I think the improved kick match days/times will help things

I also believe 3 of the regions will do better this year as they've made some interesting signings - especially the Turks.#


Think Scarlets will do well, and believe Cardiff will be the team to watch this season.


vomit

You're not a Cardiff fan then?

I'm not PhillBB if that's what you are asking ? Very Happy

Thankfully, we couldn't have 3 of him around Whistle


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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by Munchkin on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 1:32 pm

munkian wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
munkian wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
munkian wrote:I think the improved kick match days/times will help things

I also believe 3 of the regions will do better this year as they've made some interesting signings - especially the Turks.#


Think Scarlets will do well, and believe Cardiff will be the team to watch this season.


vomit

You're not a Cardiff fan then?

I'm not PhillBB if that's what you are asking ? Very Happy

No, I would never accuse you of such a thing, munkian. I reserve my suspicions about Dai though. Chunky or Philbb, or just Dai? o0

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by Pot Hale on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 1:49 pm

Simon Thomas reheating a three month old article by George Hook?

Shameless.

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by profitius on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 1:56 pm

Pot Hale wrote:Simon Thomas reheating a three month old article by George Hook?

Shameless.


And they practically ignore the pro 12 final and playoffs. Rolling Eyes

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by profitius on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 1:57 pm

Pot Hale wrote:Simon Thomas reheating a three month old article by George Hook?

Shameless.


And they practically ignore the pro 12 final and playoffs. Rolling Eyes

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by funnyExiledScot on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 2:10 pm

His proposals for the Irish provinces to either join the Aviva or simply set-up an all Irish league are not credible. The first would not fly with the English set-up. We already have a crowded schedule with a European competition in place. I can't see the benefit. The second would irreparably damage Irish rugby, as it could never sustain its own league with the quality required to produce leading international players. Any Irishman with an iota of talent would just play elsewhere.

The Pro12 is, in my view, the correct structure. Like all things it takes time to build and develop, and I would agree that the introduction of the Italian teams hasn't really worked (not that I necessarily support kicking them out).

The comment about Edinburgh looking "more like a South African third-string club side than a fair reflection of home grown Scottish talent" is, of course, unfair. I suspect if I asked Mr Hook to name the NSQ South African players in the Edinburgh squad he'd struggle, but in the 1st XV next season I think there will be just the one: Anton Bresler (Du Preez becomes SQ next season). In fact the biggest NSQ contingent we'll have will be Irish (Scholes and Allan).

I know he's looking to provoke a reaction, he's that sort of "journalist", but as it's a slow Friday I'll say this: next time please, pretty please, do a little bit of research before writing stuff. Don't just stop at the headline figures over TV revenue.

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by munkian on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 2:15 pm

Especially when there are a few Siffas in the Oirish national team.

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by marty2086 on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 2:18 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:The Pro12 is, in my view, the correct structure. Like all things it takes time to build and develop, and I would agree that the introduction of the Italian teams hasn't really worked (not that I necessarily support kicking them out).

The Italians should have been made to put certain structures in place before joining, they are now so hopefully that'll see them at least improve. Especially with a few internationals heading back and adding a bit more quality and experience

funnyExiledScot wrote:I know he's looking to provoke a reaction, he's that sort of "journalist", but as it's a slow Friday I'll say this: next time please, pretty please, do a little bit of research before writing stuff. Don't just stop at the headline figures over TV revenue.

Hook is like Phil with an Irish accent, always right, pompus and belligerent to those who disagree

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by marty2086 on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 2:19 pm

munkian wrote:Especially when there are a few Siffas in the Oirish national team.

Don't even start him on that

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by RDW_Scotland on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 2:23 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:

The comment about Edinburgh looking "more like a South African third-string club side than a fair reflection of home grown Scottish talent" is, of course, unfair. I suspect if I asked Mr Hook to name the NSQ South African players in the Edinburgh squad he'd struggle, but in the 1st XV next season I think there will be just the one: Anton Bresler (Du Preez becomes SQ next season). In fact the biggest NSQ contingent we'll have will be Irish (Scholes and Allan).


Worth reiterating that once Du Preez qualifies all but 3 of the forwards in our entire squad will be SQ.

Plus, we've got rid of the really crap South African that we had (Strauss)!

Badly researched journalism indeed.

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by funnyExiledScot on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 2:27 pm

Quite, and nothing wrong with that. He seems to think the French league is awesome, and yet look at the number of NFQ players in teams like Toulon and Toulouse, and the dire state of the French national team. Ireland and Wales both have better national teams than France, which has not, historically, typically been the case. I'm not saying the state of the national side is the be all and end all, but I don't look to France with any particular envy.

Here's the debt fuelled romp that was their season finale:

Toulon: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Jonathan Pélissié; 1 Xavier Chiocci, 2 Guilhem Guirado (c), Levan Chilachava, 4 Samu Manoa, 5 Konstantin Mikautadze, 6 Mamuka Gorgodze, 7 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, 8 Steffon Armitage.


Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Johan Goosen, 12 Henry Chavancy, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Maxime Machenaud; 1 Eddy Ben Arous, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski (c), 3 Benjamin Tameifuna, 4 Bernard le Roux, 5 Manuel Carizza, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 7 Yannick Nyanga, 8 Chris Masoe.

Not sure how Hook can honestly throw stones at Edinburgh on the one hand for not reflecting local talent, and yet trumpet the T14 as a success.

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by Munchkin on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 2:38 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:His proposals for the Irish provinces to either join the Aviva or simply set-up an all Irish league are not credible. The first would not fly with the English set-up. We already have a crowded schedule with a European competition in place. I can't see the benefit. The second would irreparably damage Irish rugby, as it could never sustain its own league with the quality required to produce leading international players. Any Irishman with an iota of talent would just play elsewhere.

The Pro12 is, in my view, the correct structure. Like all things it takes time to build and develop, and I would agree that the introduction of the Italian teams hasn't really worked (not that I necessarily support kicking them out).

The comment about Edinburgh looking "more like a South African third-string club side than a fair reflection of home grown Scottish talent" is, of course, unfair. I suspect if I asked Mr Hook to name the NSQ South African players in the Edinburgh squad he'd struggle, but in the 1st XV next season I think there will be just the one: Anton Bresler (Du Preez becomes SQ next season). In fact the biggest NSQ contingent we'll have will be Irish (Scholes and Allan).

I know he's looking to provoke a reaction, he's that sort of "journalist", but as it's a slow Friday I'll say this: next time please, pretty please, do a little bit of research before writing stuff. Don't just stop at the headline figures over TV revenue.

Cry


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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by SecretFly on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 2:39 pm

A lot of bluster as usual from George - as is his right of course - not everyone can be greyscale Gary Lineker Wink

Anyway, a lot of pomp and spittle and fury but he's spot on.  The Pro12 is dead.  
The Irish (in general terms) are constantly trying to talk it up, and even boring themselves in the constant effort to show their allegiance.  The Welsh (in general terms) are equally as motivated to talk it all down  - hence a four month old (?) article appearing in WalesOnline, a publication Hook would be right at home in if he was Welsh.
The Scots are just wanting to survive in some contest and mostly quiet on their opinion of the overall Pro12 product.
And the Italians are never part of the debate because ...well, so few of them join in the debate.

So on the blunt level of mutual feelings of positivity about the product between all partners - it's a failure.  
The growing propaganda about mucho money lying elsewhere over some rainbow is winning the debate.  Fans see faraway hills always being greener now.  The fever is unstoppable.  They want the proverbial 'something new' and it seems a good chunk of them... Whistle ..want it now!

So instead of throwing even more divisive missiles across the Irish sea at each other, where do we all go from here?  Pro12Brexit mood means next season will be as full of moans, groans and discontent as the last few.  

In isolation then  - not as a disunited unit of four - in isolation, how do the Welsh, the Irish, the Scots and the Italians now frame a future that will selfishly try to achieve what they should all naturally want - full blown competitiveness with the best teams in Europe and the ability to keep, nurture and benefit from the best indigenous players coming through?

Perhaps the time is ripe to even divide up the threads; the Welsh discussing their options, in isolation and in depth.  The Irish doing likewise, etc, etc.  We're evidently oil and water - in truth, it was always so.

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by Pot Hale on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 2:41 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:

Not sure how Hook can honestly throw stones at Edinburgh on the one hand for not reflecting local talent, and yet trumpet the T14 as a success.

You'd need to see/read his writings/radio musings over a period of time and then you'd be sure why.

Disgruntled, ex-rugby coach, who's been cast to the sidelines.

Spends his time working out how he can create headlines. And he's good at it too. Lat weekend came the revelation in a Sunday newspaper interview that he liked wearing ladies underwear at a couple of points in his life. The newspaper ate it up and used that as the headline.

Spent last season eulogising Connacht and Pat Lam (he used to coach Connacht), has no time for Schmidt since his first season, and thinks Pat Lam is the Second Coming. His comments on Edinburgh are rich given that a good chunk of the Connacht team is built on foreign players since they are not subject to the foreign player restrictions of the other three provinces.



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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by SecretFly on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 2:46 pm

Pot Hale wrote:

Spent last season eulogising Connacht and Pat Lam (he used to coach Connacht), has no time for Schmidt since his first season, and thinks Pat Lam is the Second Coming.  His comments on Edinburgh are rich given that a good chunk of the Connacht team is built on foreign players since they are not subject to the foreign player restrictions of the other three provinces.



Stop it! Stop it, Pot - don't be letting them auld facts get in the way of a good argument.

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by RDW_Scotland on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 2:47 pm

SecretFly wrote:
don't be letting them auld facts get in the way of a good argument.

The V2 Rugby motto!

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by marty2086 on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 2:49 pm

SecretFly wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:

Spent last season eulogising Connacht and Pat Lam (he used to coach Connacht), has no time for Schmidt since his first season, and thinks Pat Lam is the Second Coming.  His comments on Edinburgh are rich given that a good chunk of the Connacht team is built on foreign players since they are not subject to the foreign player restrictions of the other three provinces.



Stop it!  Stop it, Pot - don't be letting them auld facts get in the way of a good argument.

Connacht had the same number of NIQ as some of the other provinces last season

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by Munchkin on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 2:53 pm

SecretFly wrote:A lot of bluster as usual from George - as is his right of course - not everyone can be greyscale Gary Lineker Wink

Anyway, a lot of pomp and spittle and fury but he's spot on.  The Pro12 is dead.  
The Irish (in general terms) are constantly trying to talk it up, and even boring themselves in the constant effort to show their allegiance.  The Welsh (in general terms) are equally as motivated to talk it all down  - hence a four month old (?) article appearing in WalesOnline, a publication Hook would be right at home in if he was Welsh.
The Scots are just wanting to survive in some contest and mostly quiet on their opinion of the overall Pro12 product.
And the Italians are never part of the debate because ...well, so few of them join in the debate.

So on the blunt level of mutual feelings of positivity about the product between all partners - it's a failure.  
The growing propaganda about mucho money lying elsewhere over some rainbow is winning the debate.  Fans see faraway hills always being greener now.  The fever is unstoppable.  They want the proverbial 'something new' and it seems a good chunk of them... Whistle ..want it now!

So instead of throwing even more divisive missiles across the Irish sea at each other, where do we all go from here?  Pro12Brexit mood means next season will be as full of moans, groans and discontent as the last few.  

In isolation then  - not as a disunited unit of four - in isolation, how do the Welsh, the Irish, the Scots and the Italians now frame a future that will selfishly try to achieve what they should all naturally want - full blown competitiveness with the best teams in Europe and the ability to keep, nurture and benefit from the best indigenous players coming through?

Perhaps the time is ripe to even divide up the threads; the Welsh discussing their options, in isolation and in depth.  The Irish doing likewise, etc, etc.  We're evidently oil and water - in truth, it was always so.

I wouldn't talk up the PRO12 simply out of some sense of loyalty. I genuinely love the PRO12. I think it's a great competition.

I do recognise the threat the Aviva and the T14 pose, but the most effective, and only, means of countering that is to make changes to PRO12, as is happening, while each of the Unions/Regions invest more into developing homegrown talent. PRO12 is all we have, and the pointless bitching, the talking down, of the PRO12 is incredibly counter productive.

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by SecretFly on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 3:44 pm

Munchkin wrote:

I wouldn't talk up the PRO12 simply out of some sense of loyalty. I genuinely love the PRO12. I think it's a great competition.

I do recognise the threat the Aviva and the T14 pose, but the most effective, and only, means of countering that is to make changes to PRO12, as is happening, while each of the Unions/Regions invest more into developing homegrown talent. PRO12 is all we have, and the pointless bitching, the talking down, of the PRO12 is incredibly counter productive.

It's a battle lost, Munch.  Too much propaganda now to the contrary - backed by people who always have a vested interest in 'making more money'.  There is always more money somewhere else.  Next season will be the same old moan stories - refs, lack of intensity, lack of people at grounds, comparisons by the bucket-load with the 'Great' Leagues to our right on the map.  I won't be around for most of it - but I'll no doubt see many threads on all that garbage if I pop in for a look-see anytime during the season.  

We Irish should be thinking about, and the IRFU should be planning serious contingency plans to be ready for a breakup.  It might not happen, but we should be realistic about the yearly whisper and bite campaign against Pro12 and have something ready on a go-it-alone basis if necessary when current contracts end.  
I absolutely feel that a B&I League is the wrong direction - for us.  If I felt it was good for Irish rugby I'd be cheerleading it - but I think it is the most dangerous prospect on the horizon.
A B&I League is an even more ideal model for centralising power and influence into heartland England and an even more opportunistic model for stealing away best players and coaches to that English heartland.  
Yet inncreasingly the propaganda is heading in that direction, and not only from Hook.  People are eyeing that money and greed is addictive.  People want a bigger slice of that money, and indeed they would also quite fancy increased their wages in the sideline industries too - and that includes Irish pundits, commentators, presenters, newspapers, TV network executives etc.  For some it isn't about strength of Irish rugby at all but an involvement in a Larger Product that puts more money into their personal pockets.

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by Irish Londoner on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 4:28 pm

I think a full on GB & I league may be something for the longer term and might provide the best chance of maintaining competitive rugby but to be realistic it's not going to happen in the next decade unless the finances change considerably. Any expansion of the Avivia is going to be with the Championship clubs not us, assuming that at some point they just don't ring fence it.

The reality we have to face is that the PRO12 is the "little brother" to the Avivia and what we have to work on is how to make the best of it. Personally I think that trying to drop in teams that have not organically grown either from mainland Europe or from the US/Canada is a complete waste of time and money, unless there is some multi millionaire fronting up the money who can commit to a long term investment plan and is happy to pi55 their money away until such times as the investment might bear fruit its not worth it - look at the desperate attempts to establish League outside of the M62 corridor.


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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by RDW_Scotland on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 4:37 pm

Are we not comparing apples with oranges here?

The AP teams are run by private investors whose main focus is on making money and having a successful club team.

The Pro 12 teams are run by national Unions, whose main purpose (for their club teams) is to provide a competitive playing environment that prepares their players for International Rugby, and gives a development pathway for the next generation of internationalists.  Pro 12 club teams don't make money for their Unions (most probably operate at a loss) - they are funded by international gate receipts and sponsorship.

So of course the AP is going to be a more cash rich league as each individual club is out to make as much money as possible as a business.  The Pro 12 teams are part of a much larger organisation that also makes money from International Rugby, and focus for the clubs is very different.

I don't really know where I'm going with this, and it is quite simplistic, but basically I don't think they are comparable as a business entity.

The AP and Top 14 are directly comparable though, for example.

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by marty2086 on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 4:42 pm

RDW, the Welsh Regions are privately owned as are Treviso.

One of the aims of the teams is to develop players for Test level but they also should be self sufficient and place less of a burden on the Unions as they way things are going the unions will not be able to keep up with the accelerated growth in Europe at club level

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by RDW_Scotland on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 4:44 pm

You're right, but Wales is complicated because they are privately owned but the Union now has a load of centrally contracted players...

I absolutely agree that Pro 12 clubs need to try to be more sustainable but that isn't going to happy at an overly quick pace when they have the financial backup of a Union behind them.

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by marty2086 on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 4:51 pm

Phillip Browne the CEO of the IRFU pretty much said they need some quick fixes

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by SecretFly on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 5:57 pm

Just how much growth is realistically going to happen at club level in Europe?

The fairy tale so far is that it's all up and up.  The best players will increasingly come from SH for better and better pay and the product in England and in France will therefore command more and more money from TV rights/sponsors.

But where exactly is the ceiling on that tale?  Every plan has one - as we see in the English football model where it might seem that Premier League has the wealthiest/best marketed product but, as many commentators from quite a number of nationalities stated during the Euros, the quality in that League isn't by any means the best.

When will wages level out?  Will £1Million be the ceiling on average yearly salaries or will they get into multi-millions?  And if they get into multi-millions then that means that football begins to see a real competitor for finite investment in the ring.
If football feels overly threatened it'll undoubtedly use its power to lobby behind the scenes to make rugby's growth and growth less rosey a prospect.  There are only so many hours on the weekend to fight for those sponsors and viewers and football will want most of them.... that greed gene again.

So, there is a lot of panic right now in Pro12 about the money coming into France and England, and the super players they are attracting.  And for some reason most people feel that is an everlasting upward arrow that can't now ever be stopped.  
Well maybe it is.  But maybe it might level out quicker than we think.  BT were doing a degree of speculative investment when they injected so much money into English rugby - but some business stresses are already in the air with the rap on the knuckles about underinvestment in Openreach from Ofcom.  So business stresses come and go and who is to know when the feverish 'growth' of rugby in France and England might level off as sources of investment move their moods and interests yet again.

We might hit lucky and find the level they steady off at is not as unreachable as we now think.  We might see ourselves contemplating crossing that divide.  But for now.............. panic is in the air Wink

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 30 Jul 2016, 11:31 am

munkian wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
munkian wrote:I think the improved kick match days/times will help things

I also believe 3 of the regions will do better this year as they've made some interesting signings - especially the Turks.#


Think Scarlets will do well, and believe Cardiff will be the team to watch this season.

vomit

Well we've been saying that for a few seasons now as these teams always make some interesting signings, and the way each team performed in all competitions was disappointing to say the least; although there is a noticeable improvement in the way Cardiff played so I hope for all our sakes that continues.

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by Totallybiasedscarlet on Sat 30 Jul 2016, 11:46 am

Lazy, lazy journalism on both counts. There have long been complaints about the Celtic League. However it's up to the participants to make it better. Better scheduling and neutral refs would be a good place to start, although to be fair the powers that be seem to have listened to fan feedback and we have some decent kick off times this year.

Above all the biggest factor is getting your best players on the pitch as often as possible and playing a great brand of high tempo, high skill rugby to bring the fans in. Why can't we do that? It is just 44 homo sapiens and one oval shaped ball at the end of the day. It's up to all the stakeholders to commit to it and uphold the standards. If we play better rugby than the franglais world XV's we may just increase our viewers and the cash to go with it.

Come on! Instead of bitching about the league all the time we should put our efforts into making it better. Fill out those surveys, join your local supporters club and buy a season ticket.

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by Pot Hale on Sat 30 Jul 2016, 1:57 pm

Totallybiasedscarlet wrote:Lazy, lazy journalism on both counts. There have long been complaints about the Celtic League. However it's up to the participants to make it better. Better scheduling and neutral refs would be a good place to start, although to be fair the powers that be seem to have listened to fan feedback and we have some decent kick off times this year.

Above all the biggest factor is getting your best players on the pitch as often as possible and playing a great brand of high tempo, high skill rugby to bring the fans in. Why can't we do that? It is just 44 homo sapiens and one oval shaped ball at the end of the day. It's up to all the stakeholders to commit to it and uphold the standards. If we play better rugby than the franglais world XV's we may just increase our viewers and the cash to go with it.

Come on! Instead of bitching about the league all the time we should put our efforts into making it better. Fill out those surveys, join your local supporters club and buy a season ticket.

I like fighting talk!

More please. Smile

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by doctor_grey on Sat 30 Jul 2016, 4:08 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:
SecretFly wrote:
don't be letting them auld facts get in the way of a good argument.

The V2 Rugby motto!
F**kin A, Bubba!

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by doctor_grey on Sat 30 Jul 2016, 4:26 pm

SecretFly wrote:Just how much growth is realistically going to happen at club level in Europe?

The fairy tale so far is that it's all up and up.  The best players will increasingly come from SH for better and better pay and the product in England and in France will therefore command more and more money from TV rights/sponsors.

But where exactly is the ceiling on that tale?  Every plan has one - as we see in the English football model where it might seem that Premier League has the wealthiest/best marketed product but, as many commentators from quite a number of nationalities stated during the Euros, the quality in that League isn't by any means the best.

When will wages level out?  Will £1Million be the ceiling on average yearly salaries or will they get into multi-millions?  And if they get into multi-millions then that means that football begins to see a real competitor for finite investment in the ring.
If football feels overly threatened it'll undoubtedly use its power to lobby behind the scenes to make rugby's growth and growth less rosey a prospect.  There are only so many hours on the weekend to fight for those sponsors and viewers and football will want most of them.... that greed gene again.

So, there is a lot of panic right now in Pro12 about the money coming into France and England, and the super players they are attracting.  And for some reason most people feel that is an everlasting upward arrow that can't now ever be stopped.  
Well maybe it is.  But maybe it might level out quicker than we think.  BT were doing a degree of speculative investment when they injected so much money into English rugby - but some business stresses are already in the air with the rap on the knuckles about underinvestment in Openreach from Ofcom.  So business stresses come and go and who is to know when the feverish 'growth' of rugby in France and England might level off as sources of investment move their moods and interests yet again.

We might hit lucky and find the level they steady off at is not as unreachable as we now think.  We might see ourselves contemplating crossing that divide.  But for now.............. panic is in the air Wink
Not sure if real panic is brewing, but now is certainly the time to look to the future before the golden goose is cooked.  I cannot see the French model as sustainable.  Too much money, too quickly, is a recipe for disaster.  American sporting history shows that clearly (including Donald Trump overspending and destroying a rival football league to the NFL).  There will also be a reckoning between the national team and the clubs.  And the national team will have support from the government who is very aware of, and emotionally invested in, their national pride.  Doom on them.

For us in our islands the only way to ensure pro Rugby grows to its potential is to merge the damn leagues.  The tv monies will therefore balance off to a significant degree.  The tv networks will go orgasmic because of more - and predictable - big-boy matches.  This brings ratings, and ratings brings money.  There is a finite amount of growth in England because of the generally smaller sizes of the stadiums in England, compared to Ireland for instance, Leicester and Wasps the exceptions.  Connacht playing at a dog track is the obvious exception to the bigger Irish buildings.    

In my personal opinion, there would likely be the added benefit of a common season, common standards for when Internationals can play (driven by the networks need to showcase stars), and improvement in the national teams.

To me, the time is now to get this obvious and necessary merger done.  Clearly there is a massive amount of brain surgery necessary with some senior leaders, and others will have to learn how to be grown-ups and put their pride and emotions on the shelf.  Eventually money talks and bullsh!t walks.  Time to do the right thing.

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by Irish Londoner on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 8:41 am

Dr Grey, the problem with a merged league is very simple, what are the benefits for the English clubs ?
They've just signed a TV deal that (in rugby terms) is huge, the top clubs are getting big crowds anyway (Saracens excepted) and the smaller clubs are happy to be given enough to stay sustainable in the medium term.
If anything I'd say the mood in the Avivia is more towards ring fencing and it would happen in a heartbeat if they thought they could get away with it, without the wrath of the RFU and Championship clubs falling on their backs.
The RFU are filling Twickenham for every game, the RWC overall was a huge success and the England team are in the ascendant.
So what do England get out of it that they don't get now ?

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 8:50 am

Irish Londoner wrote:
So what do England get out of it that they don't get now ?

Exciting trips away to Zebre? Whistle

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by Griff on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 9:12 am

Doesn't this sort of talk from the Irish media paint the league in a bad light, devalue the league and put off potential sponsors and investors? For shame Ireland! "Get your house in order" Shocked

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

Post by Pot Hale on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 12:22 pm

Griff wrote:Doesn't this sort of talk from the Irish media paint the league in a bad light, devalue the league and put off potential sponsors and investors?  For shame Ireland!  "Get your house in order" Shocked  

Well it was published 3-4 months ago and had sunk without trace or subsequent commentary.

Then Wales Online decided to write about the article and try to portray it as something new and recent.

Crappy journalism standards frankly, Griff. Welsh media reheating it three months later doesn't look good.

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Re: "Pro12 = A cesspool with the stench of mediocrity'

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