Whither Relegation?

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Whither Relegation?

Post by doctor_grey on Wed 11 Jan 2017, 12:11 am

To me, London Irish, make a mockery of the concept of relegation.  As with Saints and Quins before them, they rocket through their relegated season and come right back up as if they never left.  To be clear, this is not a shot at LI.  Just the opposite it shows they are a Premiership club taking a sabbatical year to recover from a poor Premiership season.  

Without Worcester, Bristol, Leeds/Yorkshire, Newcastle, and London Welsh there would be no need for relegation at all.  I was never the biggest fan of relegation because I think it hinders the financial strength of the Premiership in addition to pushing the lower level teams to play not to lose instead of playing more attacking Rugby, and overall inhibiting any long range planning for growth.  The second season London Welsh were up in the Premiership when they were beyond poor seemed to free the the other bottom level teams to open up and play better, more risky Rugby since they had no fear of Relegation.  

In the more romantic days of yore, more clubs had the possibility of promotion.  But now with financial requirements, stadium requirements, and more, very few clubs have the capability to meet promotion requirements, let alone compete.  London Welsh tried and failed so miserably they are now virtually insolvent, and are out of the equation.  This leaves Leeds/Yorkshire as the only contenders for LI to move back up, and I bet the Queen's fortune they don't have a chance.   So the vicious circle continues to play out with Bristol or Worcester going down again to compete with Leeds/Yorkshire for the next chance at promotion.  Sale are making a go of it, of course, but in usual fashion will fail even that and will remain in the Premiership for another poor to mediocre season.  

Yes, we all know the once in a generation story which is Exeter.  And their performance cannot be minimised.  But that is once in 15-20 years.  Truly an advertisement for outstanding management and planning.  But once in a generation is not really a justification.    

I believe it is time to drop this artifact of the amateur era and take another step towards being a professional league.   It is certainly a valuable debate how many clubs could be involved in the new non-relegated league.  And provision for continued under-performance to be punished as well as superior performance by lower level clubs to be added.

But I think the current set-up doesn't help the league and doesn't help the sport in England.

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by marty2086 on Wed 11 Jan 2017, 9:13 am

Sorry but you are looking at it the wrong way, instead of closing things off they should be looking to open it up. The problem is the gap between those in Tier 1 and Tier 2, if you widen it by closing of Tier 1 you widen the gap and make it harder for players to jump between the two which in the long run hurts everyone.

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by SirBurger on Wed 11 Jan 2017, 9:26 am

You are right that there are currently only 13/14 Premiership worthy clubs but I don't agree with closing off relegation altogether. There are ambitious sides with a long term plan in the Championship, with Cornish Pirates being the most obvious one. The solution has to be a compromise where the Prem is expanded to 14 sides, but there is a means by which ambitious clubs can still apply for promotion. What that solution looks like is the million dollar question, but the reality is that those ambitious Championship sides are still a couple of years away from being ready, so a temporary halt on promotion and relegation may not be the worst thing.

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by Recwatcher16 on Wed 11 Jan 2017, 9:39 am

marty2086 wrote:Sorry but you are looking at it the wrong way, instead of closing things off they should be looking to open it up. The problem is the gap between those in Tier 1 and Tier 2, if you widen it by closing of Tier 1 you widen the gap and make it harder for players to jump between the two which in the long run hurts everyone.

Absolutely right - just as every other NH Union has scandalously ignored their second tier, the RFU has made half hearted attempts at best to address the aspirations of Championship clubs.

The recent communication from Melville at the RFU on formally linking AP clubs with Championship sides and loaning players is a start but ultimately at this stage in the professional development of this league, it comes down to funds.
The monies from the fourth test outside of the WR window should be invested in coaches and facilities across the board in the Championship. The playoffs should be abandoned as should the LV comp in the AP and a knockout comp between the two leagues with a TV tie-up should be devised. The RFU has the money to make this happen.

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by marty2086 on Wed 11 Jan 2017, 10:07 am

Recwatcher16 wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Sorry but you are looking at it the wrong way, instead of closing things off they should be looking to open it up. The problem is the gap between those in Tier 1 and Tier 2, if you widen it by closing of Tier 1 you widen the gap and make it harder for players to jump between the two which in the long run hurts everyone.

Absolutely right - just as every other NH Union has scandalously  ignored their second tier, the RFU has made half hearted attempts at best to address the aspirations of Championship clubs.

The recent communication from Melville at the RFU on formally linking AP clubs with Championship sides and loaning players is a start but ultimately at this stage in the professional development of this league, it comes down to funds.
The monies from the fourth test outside of the WR window should be invested in coaches and facilities across the board in the Championship. The playoffs should be abandoned as should the LV comp in the AP and a knockout comp between the two leagues with a TV tie-up should be devised. The RFU has the money to make this happen.

Outside of the RFU there only is FFR and the ProD2 and there is less of a gap between it and the Top 14.

The proposal from Melville is a roundabout way of buying off the Championship clubs, as you say if the RFU put more into the clubs to help them grow and improve then it would be highly beneficial. It would also make the league a more valuable commodity for fans and tv broadcasters which will then generate more revenue and can grow the game.

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by Fuzzy Dunlop on Wed 11 Jan 2017, 10:16 am

In terms of my enjoyment of the domestic competition ring-fencing would be a massive blow, possibly even fatal. I do agree that something needs to change though, as the current system is something of a pseudo ring-fencing enforced by a lopsided funding model. Perhaps Welsh wouldn't have failed so miserably if they weren't receiving just over 1/3rd of the central revenue that the rest of the premiership were getting. I would love to see the Championship teams in the same organisation as the PRL, with the funds more evenly distributed. Not that there's any chance of that, the richer clubs would argue that it would stop them competing with the French clubs.

Aside from my personal preference I just don't think it would work, the game would shrink rather than grow. Ring-fenced franchises didn't work out too well for league. Promotion and relegation through leagues is so strongly ingrained in the sporting culture of England that there'd have to be some pretty massive benefits for people to accept it.

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by Recwatcher16 on Wed 11 Jan 2017, 10:24 am

I think the welsh premiership and the Scottish border clubs would see otherwise, Marty.
Ireland does seem to differ with their historic clubs bowing to the Union diktat.

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by marty2086 on Wed 11 Jan 2017, 10:42 am

Recwatcher16 wrote:I think the welsh premiership and the Scottish border clubs would see otherwise, Marty.
Ireland does seem to differ with their historic clubs bowing to the Union diktat.

They're not 2nd tiers though, if anything they are top tiers

If you include the Pro12 as a top tier, I'd love to see a 2nd tier brought in with clubs from across Europe and potentially extra from Wales, Scotland and Italy

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by Cumbrian on Wed 11 Jan 2017, 11:05 am

I always feel conflicted when this debate comes up, you have to balance romanticism with pragmatism. I wonder if a system like the Super League used to have might be in order? You invite Championship clubs to tender an application to join the league every three years. Rather than relegating a team in this situation we could simply added them to the league until we have enough to form two divisions again. I know it may only increase the size of the league to 17-18, but you could start looking down the Super rugby organisational route to avoid overplaying. I would include Yorkshire and London Irish straight off the bat in this situation.


It gives the Championship clubs a route in and offers long term security to relegation threatened Premiership sides.
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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 11 Jan 2017, 11:19 am

In the past few years Doncaster have been the top team in Yorkshire not Leeds so just pick some regions rather than teams who deserve it then? Why not stick with who goes up deserves it but say you can't be relegated in the first year of promotion.gives teams a foothold.

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by Cumbrian on Wed 11 Jan 2017, 12:16 pm

I chose Yorkshire rather than Doncaster based on the facilities and the Premiership level players they have produced. Doncaster wouldn't quality for promotion right now.
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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by Kingshu on Wed 11 Jan 2017, 12:25 pm

Maybe the best idea it to leave it as it is, and introduce a new higher tier with out Promotion and relegation?

The County Championship
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/County_Championship_(rugby_union)

Every one in England has a team in the top tier to support (I think). The Aviva premiership becomes a development to this superior League. It would bring England in line with other top leagues like the Pro 12 and Super Rugby?

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 11 Jan 2017, 12:51 pm

Relegation has proved to be a useful tool for struggling clubs to rebuild and return stronger. Saints, Quins and Newcastle were all improved sides after a spell in the Championship. If there was no relegation they'd have been no overhaul and they'd have continued to drag along for a season or two longer in a failing format.

LW is a terrible example. They get a lucky promotion via the playoffs without having bothered to spend anytime planning or building for the AP. Teams that actually build coming up from the Championship tend to do ok.

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by Recwatcher16 on Wed 11 Jan 2017, 12:57 pm

Ha, Kingshu - if the English system was to copy Pro12 or S18, we would only have 4/5 teams and create the elitist closed shop approach with other unions. Then focus on two of those teams to consolidate the majority of Test squad players to create experienced combinations in all playing positions.

If you ever met anyone involved in the county rugby scene you won't find many if anyone interested in being in a professional league.

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by marty2086 on Wed 11 Jan 2017, 1:25 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:Relegation has proved to be a useful tool for struggling clubs to rebuild and return stronger. Saints, Quins and Newcastle were all improved sides after a spell in the Championship. If there was no relegation they'd have been no overhaul and they'd have continued to drag along for a season or two longer in a failing format.

LW is a terrible example. They get a lucky promotion via the playoffs without having bothered to spend anytime planning or building for the AP. Teams that actually build coming up from the Championship tend to do ok.

If relegation was closed off also, whats to stop an owner from selling of the silver and then assembling a squad well under the salary cap and milking the tv revenues?

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by SecretFly on Wed 11 Jan 2017, 5:29 pm

Regionalise English rugby.  If that's not Union controlled then make it a 'union' of Private teams. They know how to work together already in that PRL thing so no excuses about stopping any further refinement/link-ins.

The idea should always be, in any sport in my opinion, that all sections of society feel represented.  And the concept of Regionalisation, if done well, allows people across a Nation to feel involved and part of the circus - thus why Provinces work so well for Ireland (all citizens feel they have a team to shout for) and probably why Regionalism hasn't yet worked for Wales so much (all four 'Regions' stuck in one Southern Region of Wales).

People feel left out - and when they feel left out they lose interest... in many areas of life.  Sport is no different.  So Twelve English Regions, serviced by the clubs of each region, who will play the lesser Leagues as the Regions play the big AP League and Europe.

There - it's settled.  The PRL should pay me through my usual Swiss Bank account.

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by doctor_grey on Wed 11 Jan 2017, 11:18 pm

marty2086 wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:Relegation has proved to be a useful tool for struggling clubs to rebuild and return stronger. Saints, Quins and Newcastle were all improved sides after a spell in the Championship. If there was no relegation they'd have been no overhaul and they'd have continued to drag along for a season or two longer in a failing format.

LW is a terrible example. They get a lucky promotion via the playoffs without having bothered to spend anytime planning or building for the AP. Teams that actually build coming up from the Championship tend to do ok.

If relegation was closed off also, whats to stop an owner from selling of the silver and then assembling a squad well under the salary cap and milking the tv revenues?
This solution is simple.  Follow the lead of the NFL.  Require, as part of the qualification to be in the Premiership, each club has to pay a minimum % of the salary cap in player salaries.  Under the current contract with the NFL Player's Association each NFL club must pay a minimum of 89% of the salary cap in player salaries.  There are certain rules around that, but the fundamentals are right.  

I do agree with earlier posters there should be a method for truly worthy clubs to be able to join the Premiership.  But as we saw, the number of clubs currently appearing mostly ready and performing in the Championship is very small.

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by Griff on Thu 12 Jan 2017, 9:44 am

SecretFly wrote:Regionalise English rugby.  If that's not Union controlled then make it a 'union' of Private teams. They know how to work together already in that PRL thing so no excuses about stopping any further refinement/link-ins.

The idea should always be, in any sport in my opinion, that all sections of society feel represented.  And the concept of Regionalisation, if done well, allows people across a Nation to feel involved and part of the circus - thus why Provinces work so well for Ireland (all citizens feel they have a team to shout for) and probably why Regionalism hasn't yet worked for Wales so much (all four 'Regions' stuck in one Southern Region of Wales).

People feel left out - and when they feel left out they lose interest... in many areas of life.  Sport is no different.  So Twelve English Regions, serviced by the clubs of each region, who will play the lesser Leagues as the Regions play the big AP League and Europe.

There - it's settled.  The PRL should pay me through my usual Swiss Bank account.

I tend to agree with this Fly, but the one thing that makes it easy in Ireland and tough in Wales and England is that very thing you mention: provinces. You have them in Ireland already. Someone is born a Munster man or a Leinster man. But they don't exist in neat enough numbers for sport in England and Wales. 4 seems perfect (in terms of teams) for Ireland, and 4 provinces is what you have. Nice and simple. Those sports teams represent the people in them because the province (I'm guessing) was established first.

Our closest thing would be counties, but there are far too many. For England and Wales to try to emulate the Irish model would then require engineering of regions/provinces, which as shown in Wales doesn't work because people don't feel represented by something that is engineered, is false, and only exists in rugby (e.g. 'Ospreylia'!). So provinces work well across Ireland as people are already part of the province before they even decide whether they like rugby, and the province exists in other avenues of life such as administration, government, etc.

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by marty2086 on Thu 12 Jan 2017, 9:51 am

Griff wrote:
SecretFly wrote:Regionalise English rugby.  If that's not Union controlled then make it a 'union' of Private teams. They know how to work together already in that PRL thing so no excuses about stopping any further refinement/link-ins.

The idea should always be, in any sport in my opinion, that all sections of society feel represented.  And the concept of Regionalisation, if done well, allows people across a Nation to feel involved and part of the circus - thus why Provinces work so well for Ireland (all citizens feel they have a team to shout for) and probably why Regionalism hasn't yet worked for Wales so much (all four 'Regions' stuck in one Southern Region of Wales).

People feel left out - and when they feel left out they lose interest... in many areas of life.  Sport is no different.  So Twelve English Regions, serviced by the clubs of each region, who will play the lesser Leagues as the Regions play the big AP League and Europe.

There - it's settled.  The PRL should pay me through my usual Swiss Bank account.

I tend to agree with this Fly, but the one thing that makes it easy in Ireland and tough in Wales and England is that very thing you mention: provinces.  You have them in Ireland already.  Someone is born a Munster man or a Leinster man.  But they don't exist in neat enough numbers for sport in England and Wales.  4 seems perfect (in terms of teams) for Ireland, and 4 provinces is what you have.  Nice and simple.  Those sports teams represent the people in them because the province (I'm guessing) was established first.

Our closest thing would be counties, but there are far too many.  For England and Wales to try to emulate the Irish model would then require engineering of regions/provinces, which as shown in Wales doesn't work because people don't feel represented by something that is engineered, is false, and only exists in rugby (e.g. 'Ospreylia'!).  So provinces work well across Ireland as people are already part of the province before they even decide whether they like rugby, and the province exists in other avenues of life such as administration, government, etc.  

If only there was a sport that already utilised the model that didn't require engineering

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/county-championship-division-one/table

Whistle

Then again could always just do North, East, South and West which is essentially what the provinces are

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by Griff on Thu 12 Jan 2017, 10:02 am

marty2086 wrote:
Griff wrote:
SecretFly wrote:Regionalise English rugby.  If that's not Union controlled then make it a 'union' of Private teams. They know how to work together already in that PRL thing so no excuses about stopping any further refinement/link-ins.

The idea should always be, in any sport in my opinion, that all sections of society feel represented.  And the concept of Regionalisation, if done well, allows people across a Nation to feel involved and part of the circus - thus why Provinces work so well for Ireland (all citizens feel they have a team to shout for) and probably why Regionalism hasn't yet worked for Wales so much (all four 'Regions' stuck in one Southern Region of Wales).

People feel left out - and when they feel left out they lose interest... in many areas of life.  Sport is no different.  So Twelve English Regions, serviced by the clubs of each region, who will play the lesser Leagues as the Regions play the big AP League and Europe.

There - it's settled.  The PRL should pay me through my usual Swiss Bank account.

I tend to agree with this Fly, but the one thing that makes it easy in Ireland and tough in Wales and England is that very thing you mention: provinces.  You have them in Ireland already.  Someone is born a Munster man or a Leinster man.  But they don't exist in neat enough numbers for sport in England and Wales.  4 seems perfect (in terms of teams) for Ireland, and 4 provinces is what you have.  Nice and simple.  Those sports teams represent the people in them because the province (I'm guessing) was established first.

Our closest thing would be counties, but there are far too many.  For England and Wales to try to emulate the Irish model would then require engineering of regions/provinces, which as shown in Wales doesn't work because people don't feel represented by something that is engineered, is false, and only exists in rugby (e.g. 'Ospreylia'!).  So provinces work well across Ireland as people are already part of the province before they even decide whether they like rugby, and the province exists in other avenues of life such as administration, government, etc.  

If only there was a sport that already utilised the model that didn't require engineering

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/county-championship-division-one/table

Whistle

Then again could always just do North, East, South and West which is essentially what the provinces are

Marty, you think there's only those 8 cricket counties in England?  How does that represent the whole of England, as 'Fly was suggesting rugby should?  You need a Geography lesson!  That's no different than English rugby has now, with only a few 'areas' in the top flight and the rest in lower/amateur divisions.

And with North, South, East, West again you'd need to engineer it.  You'd need to draw a map and say 'you're in the East team so support them, you're in the West team so that's your team', etc.  That's basically what happened in Welsh rugby.  You can't be just told what team to support because some blazer draws a line on the map.  The provinces in Ireland existed already, and sports teams developed from them.  Much easier to then get fans to support something that they're born into, that exists in other sports, that exists outside of that sport in everyday life.

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by marty2086 on Thu 12 Jan 2017, 10:23 am

Griff wrote:
Marty, you think there's only those 8 cricket counties in England?  How does that represent the whole of England, as 'Fly was suggesting rugby should?  You need a Geography lesson!  That's no different than English rugby has now, with only a few 'areas' in the top flight and the rest in lower/amateur divisions.

Im well aware there are more than 8, its not just English counties in county cricket either but I was using that to highlight what I meant Rolling Eyes

Griff wrote:And with North, South, East, West again you'd need to engineer it.  You'd need to draw a map and say 'you're in the East team so support them, you're in the West team so that's your team', etc.  That's basically what happened in Welsh rugby.  You can't be just told what team to support because some blazer draws a line on the map.  The provinces in Ireland existed already, and sports teams developed from them.  Much easier to then get fans to support something that they're born into, that exists in other sports, that exists outside of that sport in everyday life.

Were the regions not originally not meant to be along the lines of the counties with some containing more than one but all the bickering and poor leadership at the WRU saw it all just crumble and it became a bad version of a good idea?

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by Griff on Thu 12 Jan 2017, 10:32 am

marty2086 wrote:
Griff wrote:
Marty, you think there's only those 8 cricket counties in England?  How does that represent the whole of England, as 'Fly was suggesting rugby should?  You need a Geography lesson!  That's no different than English rugby has now, with only a few 'areas' in the top flight and the rest in lower/amateur divisions.

Im well aware there are more than 8, its not just English counties in county cricket either but I was using that to highlight what I meant Rolling Eyes

Griff wrote:And with North, South, East, West again you'd need to engineer it.  You'd need to draw a map and say 'you're in the East team so support them, you're in the West team so that's your team', etc.  That's basically what happened in Welsh rugby.  You can't be just told what team to support because some blazer draws a line on the map.  The provinces in Ireland existed already, and sports teams developed from them.  Much easier to then get fans to support something that they're born into, that exists in other sports, that exists outside of that sport in everyday life.

Were the regions not originally not meant to be along the lines of the counties with some containing more than one but all the bickering and poor leadership at the WRU saw it all just crumble and it became a bad version of a good idea?

No, the regions were always based on reducing the number of pro clubs (which all happened to be in the south) from 11 (if memory serves) down to 5 by joining together those in a close-ish proximity. There was no funding to build new stadia to house these new entities, so they had to go with existing stadia (and fans) in the most populous areas where they were most likely to work (in terms of getting people through the gates from day one), hence the use of the existing teams in Newport, Cardiff, Swansea, Llanelli and Bridgend (now defunct).

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by englishborn on Thu 12 Jan 2017, 10:34 am

doctor_grey wrote:  Sale are making a go of it, of course, but in usual fashion will fail even that and will remain in the Premiership for another poor to mediocre season.  

Got to say Sale getting into Europe more often than not recently is better than Mediocre. To be perfectly honest this season where we are flirting with relegation currently has made me go to more games to cheer them on, as have a number of my friends. If the competition was closed we would be more likely to be just content to catch highlights or watch it live via streaming. I believe relegation should be kept as it gives something to aim for be it getting promoted or avoiding relegation, instead it would be boring pointless matches if you are nowhere near European qualifications spots.

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by Cumbrian on Thu 12 Jan 2017, 11:08 am

Griff wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Griff wrote:
SecretFly wrote:Regionalise English rugby.  If that's not Union controlled then make it a 'union' of Private teams. They know how to work together already in that PRL thing so no excuses about stopping any further refinement/link-ins.

The idea should always be, in any sport in my opinion, that all sections of society feel represented.  And the concept of Regionalisation, if done well, allows people across a Nation to feel involved and part of the circus - thus why Provinces work so well for Ireland (all citizens feel they have a team to shout for) and probably why Regionalism hasn't yet worked for Wales so much (all four 'Regions' stuck in one Southern Region of Wales).

People feel left out - and when they feel left out they lose interest... in many areas of life.  Sport is no different.  So Twelve English Regions, serviced by the clubs of each region, who will play the lesser Leagues as the Regions play the big AP League and Europe.

There - it's settled.  The PRL should pay me through my usual Swiss Bank account.

I tend to agree with this Fly, but the one thing that makes it easy in Ireland and tough in Wales and England is that very thing you mention: provinces.  You have them in Ireland already.  Someone is born a Munster man or a Leinster man.  But they don't exist in neat enough numbers for sport in England and Wales.  4 seems perfect (in terms of teams) for Ireland, and 4 provinces is what you have.  Nice and simple.  Those sports teams represent the people in them because the province (I'm guessing) was established first.

Our closest thing would be counties, but there are far too many.  For England and Wales to try to emulate the Irish model would then require engineering of regions/provinces, which as shown in Wales doesn't work because people don't feel represented by something that is engineered, is false, and only exists in rugby (e.g. 'Ospreylia'!).  So provinces work well across Ireland as people are already part of the province before they even decide whether they like rugby, and the province exists in other avenues of life such as administration, government, etc.  

If only there was a sport that already utilised the model that didn't require engineering

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/county-championship-division-one/table

Whistle

Then again could always just do North, East, South and West which is essentially what the provinces are

Marty, you think there's only those 8 cricket counties in England?  How does that represent the whole of England, as 'Fly was suggesting rugby should?  You need a Geography lesson!  That's no different than English rugby has now, with only a few 'areas' in the top flight and the rest in lower/amateur divisions.

And with North, South, East, West again you'd need to engineer it.  You'd need to draw a map and say 'you're in the East team so support them, you're in the West team so that's your team', etc.  That's basically what happened in Welsh rugby.  You can't be just told what team to support because some blazer draws a line on the map.  The provinces in Ireland existed already, and sports teams developed from them.  Much easier to then get fans to support something that they're born into, that exists in other sports, that exists outside of that sport in everyday life.

To be fair English age grade rugby below the age of 16 is organised in roughly that way. It is North, Midlands, South West and South East. Once upon a time they used to have representative sides (certainly the North and the Midlands had them because the Northern Counties beat the All Blacks in 1970 something). I could be wrong but I seem to remember reading somewhere that when the Heineken Cup was set up and English teams were thinking about entering they were considering The North, Midlands, South West and South East representative teams, the clubs vetoed it though.
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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by beshocked on Thu 12 Jan 2017, 11:16 am

doctor grey I disagree.

I think when Saints and Quins were relegated it allowed them to re organise and they benefitted from the process.

Hopefully for LI it will do the same.

Ultimately it depends what your priorities are. Strengthening the Championship? Strengthening the AP?

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by Griff on Thu 12 Jan 2017, 11:22 am

Cumbrian wrote:
Griff wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Griff wrote:
SecretFly wrote:Regionalise English rugby.  If that's not Union controlled then make it a 'union' of Private teams. They know how to work together already in that PRL thing so no excuses about stopping any further refinement/link-ins.

The idea should always be, in any sport in my opinion, that all sections of society feel represented.  And the concept of Regionalisation, if done well, allows people across a Nation to feel involved and part of the circus - thus why Provinces work so well for Ireland (all citizens feel they have a team to shout for) and probably why Regionalism hasn't yet worked for Wales so much (all four 'Regions' stuck in one Southern Region of Wales).

People feel left out - and when they feel left out they lose interest... in many areas of life.  Sport is no different.  So Twelve English Regions, serviced by the clubs of each region, who will play the lesser Leagues as the Regions play the big AP League and Europe.

There - it's settled.  The PRL should pay me through my usual Swiss Bank account.

I tend to agree with this Fly, but the one thing that makes it easy in Ireland and tough in Wales and England is that very thing you mention: provinces.  You have them in Ireland already.  Someone is born a Munster man or a Leinster man.  But they don't exist in neat enough numbers for sport in England and Wales.  4 seems perfect (in terms of teams) for Ireland, and 4 provinces is what you have.  Nice and simple.  Those sports teams represent the people in them because the province (I'm guessing) was established first.

Our closest thing would be counties, but there are far too many.  For England and Wales to try to emulate the Irish model would then require engineering of regions/provinces, which as shown in Wales doesn't work because people don't feel represented by something that is engineered, is false, and only exists in rugby (e.g. 'Ospreylia'!).  So provinces work well across Ireland as people are already part of the province before they even decide whether they like rugby, and the province exists in other avenues of life such as administration, government, etc.  

If only there was a sport that already utilised the model that didn't require engineering

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/county-championship-division-one/table

Whistle

Then again could always just do North, East, South and West which is essentially what the provinces are

Marty, you think there's only those 8 cricket counties in England?  How does that represent the whole of England, as 'Fly was suggesting rugby should?  You need a Geography lesson!  That's no different than English rugby has now, with only a few 'areas' in the top flight and the rest in lower/amateur divisions.

And with North, South, East, West again you'd need to engineer it.  You'd need to draw a map and say 'you're in the East team so support them, you're in the West team so that's your team', etc.  That's basically what happened in Welsh rugby.  You can't be just told what team to support because some blazer draws a line on the map.  The provinces in Ireland existed already, and sports teams developed from them.  Much easier to then get fans to support something that they're born into, that exists in other sports, that exists outside of that sport in everyday life.

To be fair English age grade rugby below the age of 16 is organised in roughly that way.  It is North, Midlands, South West and South East.  Once upon a time they used to have representative sides (certainly the North and the Midlands had them because the Northern Counties beat the All Blacks in 1970 something).  I could be wrong but I seem to remember reading somewhere that when the Heineken Cup was set up and English teams were thinking about entering they were considering The North, Midlands, South West and South East representative teams, the clubs vetoed it though.

My point is that to do it to pro rugby you'd need to get Wasps and Northampton (and maybe Worcester) to join together and form a midlands region, while relegating those clubs sides to semi-pro. Would the fans get behind it? Would the owners of the clubs agree to it? I just don't feel that it would work as well as it does now with your clubs, and I cite the Welsh problems as a 14 year case study in this!

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by englishborn on Thu 12 Jan 2017, 11:31 am

Griff wrote:
My point is that to do it to pro rugby you'd need to get Wasps and Northampton (and maybe Worcester) to join together and form a midlands region, while relegating those clubs sides to semi-pro.  Would the fans get behind it?  Would the owners of the clubs agree to it?  I just don't feel that it would work as well as it does now with your clubs, and I cite the Welsh problems as a 14 year case study in this!

This is a very good point, most of the clubs have a well developed fan base, if all of a sudden regions popped up I am not sure how the clubs and fans would react. As a Sale fan I feel betrayed that the club I support is suddenly not in the highest tier of rugby in England and if I wish to see it I need to be supporting a region that may or may not be near me.

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by Cumbrian on Thu 12 Jan 2017, 12:15 pm

Griff wrote:
Cumbrian wrote:
Griff wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
Griff wrote:
SecretFly wrote:Regionalise English rugby.  If that's not Union controlled then make it a 'union' of Private teams. They know how to work together already in that PRL thing so no excuses about stopping any further refinement/link-ins.

The idea should always be, in any sport in my opinion, that all sections of society feel represented.  And the concept of Regionalisation, if done well, allows people across a Nation to feel involved and part of the circus - thus why Provinces work so well for Ireland (all citizens feel they have a team to shout for) and probably why Regionalism hasn't yet worked for Wales so much (all four 'Regions' stuck in one Southern Region of Wales).

People feel left out - and when they feel left out they lose interest... in many areas of life.  Sport is no different.  So Twelve English Regions, serviced by the clubs of each region, who will play the lesser Leagues as the Regions play the big AP League and Europe.

There - it's settled.  The PRL should pay me through my usual Swiss Bank account.

I tend to agree with this Fly, but the one thing that makes it easy in Ireland and tough in Wales and England is that very thing you mention: provinces.  You have them in Ireland already.  Someone is born a Munster man or a Leinster man.  But they don't exist in neat enough numbers for sport in England and Wales.  4 seems perfect (in terms of teams) for Ireland, and 4 provinces is what you have.  Nice and simple.  Those sports teams represent the people in them because the province (I'm guessing) was established first.

Our closest thing would be counties, but there are far too many.  For England and Wales to try to emulate the Irish model would then require engineering of regions/provinces, which as shown in Wales doesn't work because people don't feel represented by something that is engineered, is false, and only exists in rugby (e.g. 'Ospreylia'!).  So provinces work well across Ireland as people are already part of the province before they even decide whether they like rugby, and the province exists in other avenues of life such as administration, government, etc.  

If only there was a sport that already utilised the model that didn't require engineering

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/county-championship-division-one/table

Whistle

Then again could always just do North, East, South and West which is essentially what the provinces are

Marty, you think there's only those 8 cricket counties in England?  How does that represent the whole of England, as 'Fly was suggesting rugby should?  You need a Geography lesson!  That's no different than English rugby has now, with only a few 'areas' in the top flight and the rest in lower/amateur divisions.

And with North, South, East, West again you'd need to engineer it.  You'd need to draw a map and say 'you're in the East team so support them, you're in the West team so that's your team', etc.  That's basically what happened in Welsh rugby.  You can't be just told what team to support because some blazer draws a line on the map.  The provinces in Ireland existed already, and sports teams developed from them.  Much easier to then get fans to support something that they're born into, that exists in other sports, that exists outside of that sport in everyday life.

To be fair English age grade rugby below the age of 16 is organised in roughly that way.  It is North, Midlands, South West and South East.  Once upon a time they used to have representative sides (certainly the North and the Midlands had them because the Northern Counties beat the All Blacks in 1970 something).  I could be wrong but I seem to remember reading somewhere that when the Heineken Cup was set up and English teams were thinking about entering they were considering The North, Midlands, South West and South East representative teams, the clubs vetoed it though.

My point is that to do it to pro rugby you'd need to get Wasps and Northampton (and maybe Worcester) to join together and form a midlands region, while relegating those clubs sides to semi-pro. Would the fans get behind it? Would the owners of the clubs agree to it? I just don't feel that it would work as well as it does now with your clubs, and I cite the Welsh problems as a 14 year case study in this!

I was agreeing with you really, it was vetoed getting on for 20 years ago when professionalism was in it's infancy so there is no chance it would ever happen now. Just thought it was an interesting concept from English rugby history.
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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by Griff on Thu 12 Jan 2017, 1:18 pm

Cumbrian wrote:
I was agreeing with you really, it was vetoed getting on for 20 years ago when professionalism was in it's infancy so there is no chance it would ever happen now.  Just thought it was an interesting concept from English rugby history.

Ah, sorry I misunderstood. Missed the it about veto. Yes, I think it would be a very difficult thing for the English to do, and not very popular. It was needed in Wales (i.e. reducing teams, restricting the league. Although perhaps not the way they did it). However, the English game and leagues seem to be thriving so I'm not sure if the meddling is needed.

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by doctor_grey on Thu 12 Jan 2017, 3:01 pm

beshocked wrote:doctor grey I disagree.

I think when Saints and Quins were relegated it allowed them to re organise and they benefitted from the process.

Hopefully for LI it will do the same.

Ultimately it depends what your priorities are. Strengthening the Championship? Strengthening the AP?
So you are OK with (mostly) the same few teams bouncing up and down? Saints, Quins, and London Irish are anomalies since they bottomed out only once each. To me, we need to strengthen each team in the Premiership, not have what seems mostly the same teams fighting to avoid being the worst team in the Premiership.

Also, I don't see how having London Irish zipping through the Championship helps that league. So few teams there qualify for the Premiership based upon ground capacity, facilities, and so on, it almost seems the Premiership is a closed league already. As I wrote before a club like Exeter is almost once in a generation.


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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by beshocked on Thu 12 Jan 2017, 3:51 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
beshocked wrote:doctor grey I disagree.

I think when Saints and Quins were relegated it allowed them to re organise and they benefitted from the process.

Hopefully for LI it will do the same.

Ultimately it depends what your priorities are. Strengthening the Championship? Strengthening the AP?
So you are OK with (mostly) the same few teams bouncing up and down?  Saints, Quins, and London Irish are anomalies since they bottomed out only once each.  To me, we need to strengthen each team in the Premiership, not have what seems mostly the same teams fighting to avoid being the worst team in the Premiership.

Also, I don't see how having London Irish zipping through the Championship helps that league.  So few teams there qualify for the Premiership based upon ground capacity, facilities, and so on, it almost seems the Premiership is a closed league already.  As I wrote before a club like Exeter is almost once in a generation.  


London Irish zipping through the Championship will hopefully mean LI are more competitive in the AP, they basically have a year to prepare for their return.

Changes are sometimes needed to change the fortunes of a club.

Leicester sacking Cockerill might seem brutal but Leicester have been in a gradual decline for a few years. Saints are another side which could benefit from a change in management.

The problem with closing the league is that if you're in that exclusive group of clubs then great but if not then you are screwed. The AP also can't really afford to add games.

Improving as a team isn't exclusively about money. If it was then the French teams would dominate the HC.

People like to focus on sides having superior resources for why teams are better. I don't think it's that straightforward.

Sure Wasps got an influx of funding and have made the most of their move to Coventry but bringing in Dai Young has been an inspired move.

They've developed players well and built on a solid gameplan which is working. They haven't missed Billy V because they've turned Hughes into a very good no 8.

I don't believe Saracens strong performance in the last years is exclusively because of superior resources. Sure it helps but you need the structure in place.

Your own side Saints I think have the personnel to be better than they are but for whatever reason Saints aren't performing.

The point I am making is that chucking money at something doesn't guarantee success.


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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by doctor_grey on Thu 12 Jan 2017, 6:26 pm

beshocked wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
beshocked wrote:doctor grey I disagree.

I think when Saints and Quins were relegated it allowed them to re organise and they benefitted from the process.

Hopefully for LI it will do the same.

Ultimately it depends what your priorities are. Strengthening the Championship? Strengthening the AP?
So you are OK with (mostly) the same few teams bouncing up and down?  Saints, Quins, and London Irish are anomalies since they bottomed out only once each.  To me, we need to strengthen each team in the Premiership, not have what seems mostly the same teams fighting to avoid being the worst team in the Premiership.

Also, I don't see how having London Irish zipping through the Championship helps that league.  So few teams there qualify for the Premiership based upon ground capacity, facilities, and so on, it almost seems the Premiership is a closed league already.  As I wrote before a club like Exeter is almost once in a generation.  


London Irish zipping through the Championship will hopefully mean LI are more competitive in the AP, they basically have a year to prepare for their return.

Changes are sometimes needed to change the fortunes of a club.

Leicester sacking Cockerill might seem brutal but Leicester have been in a gradual decline for a few years. Saints are another side which could benefit from a change in management.

The problem with closing the league is that if you're in that exclusive group of clubs then great but if not then you are screwed. The AP also can't really afford to add games.

Improving as a team isn't exclusively about money. If it was then the French teams would dominate the HC.

People like to focus on sides having superior resources for why teams are better. I don't think it's that straightforward.

Sure Wasps got an influx of funding and have made the most of their move to Coventry but bringing in Dai Young has been an inspired move.

They've developed players well and built on a solid gameplan which is working. They haven't missed Billy V because they've turned Hughes into a very good no 8.

I don't believe Saracens strong performance in the last years is exclusively because of superior resources. Sure it helps but you need the structure in place.

Your own side Saints I think have the personnel to be better than they are but for whatever reason Saints aren't performing.

The point I am making is that chucking money at something doesn't guarantee success.

I agree with most of what you said.  Absolutely throwing money at a problem isn't the answer (to most things in life, not just the Rugby).  And that was not my point: I personally don't see the value in having only a small number of teams capable of joining the Premiership and a few others in the Premiership just hanging on.  

I would rather curtail relegation, but as I said, leave open some process for superior Championship teams to make it up and teams which consistently underperform to be dropped.  I do see the value in all clubs meeting certain financial requirements and also having some financial certainty, and curtailing relegation would help that (though not the over-arching answer).  

I also think part of the problem is the Championship clubs are existing in some strange limbo which has not been clearly defined.  We know the Premiership has a plan to make many of the Championship clubs virtual feeder clubs to the Premiership clubs.  Is that the right thing?  Or should it exist as a stand-alone semi-pro league?  Or something else?  This complicates the situation.

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by Kingshu on Thu 12 Jan 2017, 7:56 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
beshocked wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
beshocked wrote:doctor grey I disagree.

I think when Saints and Quins were relegated it allowed them to re organise and they benefitted from the process.

Hopefully for LI it will do the same.

Ultimately it depends what your priorities are. Strengthening the Championship? Strengthening the AP?
So you are OK with (mostly) the same few teams bouncing up and down?  Saints, Quins, and London Irish are anomalies since they bottomed out only once each.  To me, we need to strengthen each team in the Premiership, not have what seems mostly the same teams fighting to avoid being the worst team in the Premiership.

Also, I don't see how having London Irish zipping through the Championship helps that league.  So few teams there qualify for the Premiership based upon ground capacity, facilities, and so on, it almost seems the Premiership is a closed league already.  As I wrote before a club like Exeter is almost once in a generation.  


London Irish zipping through the Championship will hopefully mean LI are more competitive in the AP, they basically have a year to prepare for their return.

Changes are sometimes needed to change the fortunes of a club.

Leicester sacking Cockerill might seem brutal but Leicester have been in a gradual decline for a few years. Saints are another side which could benefit from a change in management.

The problem with closing the league is that if you're in that exclusive group of clubs then great but if not then you are screwed. The AP also can't really afford to add games.

Improving as a team isn't exclusively about money. If it was then the French teams would dominate the HC.

People like to focus on sides having superior resources for why teams are better. I don't think it's that straightforward.

Sure Wasps got an influx of funding and have made the most of their move to Coventry but bringing in Dai Young has been an inspired move.

They've developed players well and built on a solid gameplan which is working. They haven't missed Billy V because they've turned Hughes into a very good no 8.

I don't believe Saracens strong performance in the last years is exclusively because of superior resources. Sure it helps but you need the structure in place.

Your own side Saints I think have the personnel to be better than they are but for whatever reason Saints aren't performing.

The point I am making is that chucking money at something doesn't guarantee success.

I agree with most of what you said.  Absolutely throwing money at a problem isn't the answer (to most things in life, not just the Rugby).  And that was not my point:  I personally don't see the value in having only a small number of teams capable of joining the Premiership and a few others in the Premiership just hanging on.  

I would rather curtail relegation, but as I said, leave open some process for superior Championship teams to make it up and teams which consistently underperform to be dropped.  I do see the value in all clubs meeting certain financial requirements and also having some financial certainty, and curtailing relegation would help that (though not the over-arching answer).  

I also think part of the problem is the Championship clubs are existing in some strange limbo which has not been clearly defined.  We know the Premiership has a plan to make many of the Championship clubs virtual feeder clubs to the Premiership clubs.  Is that the right thing?  Or should it exist as a stand-alone semi-pro league?  Or something else?  This complicates the situation.

I was just think that if you had some process for superior Championship teams to make it up and teams which consistently underperform to be dropped

It would prob be performance over X number of years, bu tI think that it would be hard on the championship tam if they couldn't get up every 2nd year at most, as each year they finish top the teams from the league above would pick off all their best players. It would be easy to entice them to playing a level above, even if they were loyal to the club they would have to stay there for 2 or more years to play at that level and that is a long time. I think that the championship teams would have ever rotating squads as players get picked off, and they become feeder clubs in all but name anyway.

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by doctor_grey on Thu 12 Jan 2017, 7:59 pm

Kingshu wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
beshocked wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
beshocked wrote:doctor grey I disagree.

I think when Saints and Quins were relegated it allowed them to re organise and they benefitted from the process.

Hopefully for LI it will do the same.

Ultimately it depends what your priorities are. Strengthening the Championship? Strengthening the AP?
So you are OK with (mostly) the same few teams bouncing up and down?  Saints, Quins, and London Irish are anomalies since they bottomed out only once each.  To me, we need to strengthen each team in the Premiership, not have what seems mostly the same teams fighting to avoid being the worst team in the Premiership.

Also, I don't see how having London Irish zipping through the Championship helps that league.  So few teams there qualify for the Premiership based upon ground capacity, facilities, and so on, it almost seems the Premiership is a closed league already.  As I wrote before a club like Exeter is almost once in a generation.  


London Irish zipping through the Championship will hopefully mean LI are more competitive in the AP, they basically have a year to prepare for their return.

Changes are sometimes needed to change the fortunes of a club.

Leicester sacking Cockerill might seem brutal but Leicester have been in a gradual decline for a few years. Saints are another side which could benefit from a change in management.

The problem with closing the league is that if you're in that exclusive group of clubs then great but if not then you are screwed. The AP also can't really afford to add games.

Improving as a team isn't exclusively about money. If it was then the French teams would dominate the HC.

People like to focus on sides having superior resources for why teams are better. I don't think it's that straightforward.

Sure Wasps got an influx of funding and have made the most of their move to Coventry but bringing in Dai Young has been an inspired move.

They've developed players well and built on a solid gameplan which is working. They haven't missed Billy V because they've turned Hughes into a very good no 8.

I don't believe Saracens strong performance in the last years is exclusively because of superior resources. Sure it helps but you need the structure in place.

Your own side Saints I think have the personnel to be better than they are but for whatever reason Saints aren't performing.

The point I am making is that chucking money at something doesn't guarantee success.

I agree with most of what you said.  Absolutely throwing money at a problem isn't the answer (to most things in life, not just the Rugby).  And that was not my point:  I personally don't see the value in having only a small number of teams capable of joining the Premiership and a few others in the Premiership just hanging on.  

I would rather curtail relegation, but as I said, leave open some process for superior Championship teams to make it up and teams which consistently underperform to be dropped.  I do see the value in all clubs meeting certain financial requirements and also having some financial certainty, and curtailing relegation would help that (though not the over-arching answer).  

I also think part of the problem is the Championship clubs are existing in some strange limbo which has not been clearly defined.  We know the Premiership has a plan to make many of the Championship clubs virtual feeder clubs to the Premiership clubs.  Is that the right thing?  Or should it exist as a stand-alone semi-pro league?  Or something else?  This complicates the situation.

I was just think that if you had some process for superior Championship teams to make it up and teams which consistently underperform to be dropped

It would prob be performance over X number of years, bu tI think that it would be hard on the championship tam if they couldn't get up every 2nd year at most, as each year they finish top  the teams from the league above would pick off all their best players. It would be easy to entice them to playing a level above, even if they were loyal to the club they would have to stay there for 2 or more years to play at that level and that is a long time. I think that the championship teams would have ever rotating squads as players get picked off, and they become feeder clubs in all but name anyway.
This would also have to include financials, stadium, other facilities, in addition to excellent performance on the pitch. Likely a bit complicated, but I don't think simply having a good season works any more.

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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by Kingshu on Thu 12 Jan 2017, 8:26 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
Kingshu wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
beshocked wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
beshocked wrote:doctor grey I disagree.

I think when Saints and Quins were relegated it allowed them to re organise and they benefitted from the process.

Hopefully for LI it will do the same.

Ultimately it depends what your priorities are. Strengthening the Championship? Strengthening the AP?
So you are OK with (mostly) the same few teams bouncing up and down?  Saints, Quins, and London Irish are anomalies since they bottomed out only once each.  To me, we need to strengthen each team in the Premiership, not have what seems mostly the same teams fighting to avoid being the worst team in the Premiership.

Also, I don't see how having London Irish zipping through the Championship helps that league.  So few teams there qualify for the Premiership based upon ground capacity, facilities, and so on, it almost seems the Premiership is a closed league already.  As I wrote before a club like Exeter is almost once in a generation.  


London Irish zipping through the Championship will hopefully mean LI are more competitive in the AP, they basically have a year to prepare for their return.

Changes are sometimes needed to change the fortunes of a club.

Leicester sacking Cockerill might seem brutal but Leicester have been in a gradual decline for a few years. Saints are another side which could benefit from a change in management.

The problem with closing the league is that if you're in that exclusive group of clubs then great but if not then you are screwed. The AP also can't really afford to add games.

Improving as a team isn't exclusively about money. If it was then the French teams would dominate the HC.

People like to focus on sides having superior resources for why teams are better. I don't think it's that straightforward.

Sure Wasps got an influx of funding and have made the most of their move to Coventry but bringing in Dai Young has been an inspired move.

They've developed players well and built on a solid gameplan which is working. They haven't missed Billy V because they've turned Hughes into a very good no 8.

I don't believe Saracens strong performance in the last years is exclusively because of superior resources. Sure it helps but you need the structure in place.

Your own side Saints I think have the personnel to be better than they are but for whatever reason Saints aren't performing.

The point I am making is that chucking money at something doesn't guarantee success.

I agree with most of what you said.  Absolutely throwing money at a problem isn't the answer (to most things in life, not just the Rugby).  And that was not my point:  I personally don't see the value in having only a small number of teams capable of joining the Premiership and a few others in the Premiership just hanging on.  

I would rather curtail relegation, but as I said, leave open some process for superior Championship teams to make it up and teams which consistently underperform to be dropped.  I do see the value in all clubs meeting certain financial requirements and also having some financial certainty, and curtailing relegation would help that (though not the over-arching answer).  

I also think part of the problem is the Championship clubs are existing in some strange limbo which has not been clearly defined.  We know the Premiership has a plan to make many of the Championship clubs virtual feeder clubs to the Premiership clubs.  Is that the right thing?  Or should it exist as a stand-alone semi-pro league?  Or something else?  This complicates the situation.

I was just think that if you had some process for superior Championship teams to make it up and teams which consistently underperform to be dropped

It would prob be performance over X number of years, bu tI think that it would be hard on the championship tam if they couldn't get up every 2nd year at most, as each year they finish top  the teams from the league above would pick off all their best players. It would be easy to entice them to playing a level above, even if they were loyal to the club they would have to stay there for 2 or more years to play at that level and that is a long time. I think that the championship teams would have ever rotating squads as players get picked off, and they become feeder clubs in all but name anyway.
This would also have to include financials, stadium, other facilities, in addition to excellent performance on the pitch.  Likely a bit complicated, but I don't think simply having a good season works any more.  

I suppose the flip side of this is that when the champion ship team does get up, it has a few years to consolidate, and pick up the best championship players itself and grow.


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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by PhilBB on Tue 17 Jan 2017, 9:30 am

England is learning that they have only 16 teams that can sustain pro rugby and three of those will be doing it at a very low level. The 'Buddy' system is just the first, little, step to the necessary ring fencing that is inevitable.

The lessons from Jersey and London Welsh this season are plain to see for all.

The leap from having a £1m wage bill in the Championship to competing with teams on £7m-8m wage bills is obviously far too great and is why so many teams have chosen to be 'Buddies' rather than to be promoted.

Once this beds in and the RFU gain agreement that it cannot have a league of 16 but has 16 pro clubs, the obvious expansion plan can be PRL led and BT Sport backed.
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Re: Whither Relegation?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 17 Jan 2017, 9:35 am

Not going to happen Phil. Nothing in it for the English clubs.

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Re: Whither Relegation?

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