Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

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Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by yappysnap on Tue 27 Mar 2018, 8:50 pm

The Times have run a story about the RFU's and PRL's discussions on ringfencing the Aviva Premiership.

It's behind a pay wall but the Bristol Post have some info...

According to a report in The Times , automatic promotion and relegation between the Aviva Premiership and Greene King IPA Championship could come to an end as soon as next year.


And a dreaded two leg play-off could be introduced to decide who plays in the Premiership and who plays in the Championship for the next four or five years.

According to The Times the RFU and Premiership Rugby Limited (RPRL), who run the Aviva Premiership, are considering ring fencing the top flight for five years, with a play-off at the end of next season between the bottom placed Premiership club, and top placed Championship club to decide who gets that final place.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by yappysnap on Tue 27 Mar 2018, 8:52 pm

Tbh I like the idea, it will change the dynamics of the AP and stop done yo-yoing that we see. I'd love a two conference system like in other leagues too, to cut down on the number of games played, but can't see that happening.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Hazel Sapling on Tue 27 Mar 2018, 9:58 pm

Presumably
Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Gloucester, Harlequins, Leicester, Newcastle, Northampton, Sale, Saracens, Wasps, Worcester  

Would really hurt Yorkshire Carnegie and the London Exile clubs. It may at least help some more clubs to turn a profit and slow the continuous march of increasing player salaries. Certainly allow some clubs to invest in infrastructure for the long run.

Not sure 2 conferences due to how many clubs would be needed. 14 is uneven home/away (21 games), 12 is too small (16 games which may be ideal in a perfect world) and not sure England could support 16 top sides (assuming you add London Irish, Welsh, Yorkshire and Doncaster(?))

Be interesting to see the legal challenges and whether it could lead to the addition of London clubs to the Pro 14 (who really could do with going to 16 (London Scots and London Irish being the most likely to get Union support)) to stop the SRU's propositioning potentially ringfenced clubs?

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 27 Mar 2018, 10:37 pm

Leeds/ Yorkshire would have to be in it - they provide a stream of players to other clubs. If they were alloed to hold on to them they'd be some side.



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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 27 Mar 2018, 10:53 pm

Balls to that. Leeds (the shear arrogance of Yorkshire) are good way behind the leaders.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Heaf on Wed 28 Mar 2018, 12:38 am

The exiles really will be exiled if the plans go ahead as described - the 2nd time in a row that a change comes in at just the wrong time for London Irish - starting to think the RFU don't like them.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by SirBurger on Wed 28 Mar 2018, 6:44 am

Hazel Sapling wrote:

Would really hurt Yorkshire Carnegie and the London Exile clubs. It may at least help some more clubs to turn a profit and slow the continuous march of increasing player salaries. Certainly allow some clubs to invest in infrastructure for the long run.


Which London Exile clubs are you referring to? In reality it will only hurt London Irish as Yorkshire and the other 'exile' clubs you mention are a long way from being Premiership ready.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by LondonTiger on Wed 28 Mar 2018, 10:09 am

We have 14 regional academies so I would rather have 14 teams in the ring fenced competition.

Ideally that would be a conference system, but that would mean just 19 fixtures (12 vs clubs in your conference, 7 vs other one) or some fixture manipulation. Clubs will never agree to a reduction in home games

Alternative would be an AP14 - which is 26 fixtures. The extra 4 fixtures could be accommodated by the dropping of the A/W cup, but strict rules would need to be in place capping game time for all players.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Hazel Sapling on Wed 28 Mar 2018, 11:03 am

SirBurger wrote:
Which London Exile clubs are you referring to? In reality it will only hurt London Irish as Yorkshire and the other 'exile' clubs you mention are a long way from being Premiership ready.

London Welsh have recent history in the Premiership even if they have fallen on their face recently as do Yorkshire (Leeds). Only 13 clubs are able to meet the rules at the moment and sometimes a 14th comes out of relative obscurity.

As for 26 fixtures, that goes down the French route. There are already loud complaints about international availability and use in England. Increasing the amount of meaningful fixtures could potentially be a worst case scenario for the RFU.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Brendan on Wed 28 Mar 2018, 11:24 am

I think it is a good move but hard to swallow for some teams. While certain teams might not be ready now ring fencing will remove any hope of a team breaking in via the playoffs because it would be men v boys. If the teams have the academy and some fans the rest comes with time and money which both would have if included.

A left fielded idea is you make the under 20s/23s a club (plus the current 12 & Bristol) to make 14.

The under 20s/23s could be 40 players the RFU can develop. They get higher level playing standards. Are in the shop window for the other clubs to pick up a contract. They can play all their games away so every club gets 2 extra home games. RFU could pay a development fee to the academy the play comes from thus reinvesting back in youth. I am sure they would give LI a run for their money.

Because of player management in the Pro 14 younger players get more game time out of need where they play seasoned professionals. In the Pram it seems it's the LV which is a be league of sorts or take the place because they are so good.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Pot Hale on Wed 28 Mar 2018, 1:13 pm

London Irish must be really peeved if this development occurs. Some clubs sought to persuade them to sell their P shares in the Premiership but current maj shareholder, Crossan has refused.

There’s another group of Irish biz heads waiting to step in if the time and price is right. Kidney and Kiss appointed as new coaching team. And about to go down the sinkhole through relegation. LI players must be thinking about their futures.
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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Fuzzy Dunlop on Wed 28 Mar 2018, 2:24 pm

Really hope this doesn't go ahead but it has been on the cards for years now and it's starting to feel like it's inevitable. Fingers crossed it's about as successful as it was in League and we soon see at least yearly play-offs between the bottom AP team and top Championship team.

In my experience the London Irish fans have been overwhelmingly the most vocal in their support for ring-fencing so I can't deny there'd be more than a touch of poetic justice if they were to find themselves on the wrong side of the drawbridge.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Brendan on Wed 28 Mar 2018, 3:22 pm

The RFU were talking of growing rugby in the North. Surely you would need to included Yorkshire/Leeds in any ring fence. Plus Newcastle need a rival. Ring fencing with just 12 would not work if it is going to limit growth for 5 years.

Once the Prem is Ring fenced the championship will drop in standards, interest and money. No team that does not make the jump will improve. As has been shown in Pro 14 clubs left behind just fall more behind nd getting them back up takes many many years.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by SirBurger on Wed 28 Mar 2018, 4:39 pm

Pot Hale wrote:London Irish must be really peeved if this development occurs.   Some clubs sought to persuade them to sell their P shares in the Premiership but current maj shareholder, Crossan has refused.  

There’s another group of Irish biz heads waiting to step in if the time and price is right.  Kidney and Kiss appointed as new coaching team.  And about to go down the sinkhole through relegation.  LI players must be thinking about their futures.

Crossan deserves a lot of credit for not selling. Would have covered most of the loss he has made on the club since he bought it.

Personally pretty gutted at how it looks like our club is about to be shafted.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Heaf on Wed 28 Mar 2018, 4:43 pm

I suspect fans of LI, Wuss & Falcons have all been keen on the idea of ring-fencing at various times in the past for obvious reasons but I see a big difference between ring-fencing that includes teams that have been long-standing in the prem and have gone through some rough times (even though it's harsh on aspiring teams that have never been in the prem) and locking out a team that's happened to find itself relegated at just the wrong time after years as a prem team.

I'd be surprised if any team could ever get back up after this as they'd lose all investment and any decent players.

Just imagine if this had happened in previous years we could now be missing any of Falcons, Quins, Saints, Wuss ...

Of course I would say this ...

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by LeinsterFan4life on Wed 28 Mar 2018, 5:51 pm

Brendan wrote:The RFU were talking of growing rugby in the North.  Surely you would need to included Yorkshire/Leeds in any ring fence.  Plus Newcastle need a rival.  Ring fencing with just 12 would not work if it is going to limit growth for 5 years.

Once the Prem is Ring fenced the championship will drop in standards, interest and money.  No team that does not make the jump will improve.  As has been shown in Pro 14 clubs left behind just fall more behind nd getting them back up takes many many years.
How is the Pro14 an example of this??? Glasgow and Connacht have quadrupled their support base through their performances domestically and have won the league. You cant judge the Italian teams the same.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Heaf on Wed 28 Mar 2018, 5:59 pm

If this does go ahead as rumoured I'd also find the timing highly suspicious (just like waiting until LI had to go through the old play-offs, restricting their ability to recruit, before scrapping them) - and now as LI could be looking to come back up they have to go through another new play-off - with the odds massively stacked against them.

Of course this is now just coming out as LI are all but certain to be relegated - call me paranoid but I wonder if it would have happened if a different team were in the firing line.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Brendan on Wed 28 Mar 2018, 6:10 pm

Teams like Ponty once on a par with Newport now soon to be playing in a league with Dragons u23s. My Dad lived in Wales back in the 70s and followed the rugby. I was explaining to him the changes that were being discussed and pulled up the Prem for him. He could not believe how little clubs like Carmathan could be where they were. Because the Scarlets are a region clubs in their region have progressed drastically. Same would happen to Leeds or any other team that was lucky to get in.

Same for the Boarder teams in Scotland and the soon to be Super 6

As you pointed out (maybe I worded it badly) teams that made the jump at Ring fence time such as Connacht Treviso and Glasgow are in a far better position because they were included and developed.

Back in the day quite a few Irish clubs would have beaten a connacht team.

So just to be clear any English team that is not included will regress. Ones included will grow substantially

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Brendan on Wed 28 Mar 2018, 6:14 pm

Heaf wrote:If this does go ahead as rumoured I'd also find the timing highly suspicious (just like waiting until LI had to go through the old play-offs, restricting their ability to recruit, before scrapping them) - and now as LI could be looking to come back up they have to go through another new play-off - with the odds massively stacked against them.  

Of course this is now just coming out as LI are all but certain to be relegated - call me paranoid but I wonder if it would have happened if a different team were in the firing line.

Does this need RFU approval. If it does I think it will expand rather than contract. They have seen how the Conference has worked in the Pro 14 and can choose to follow that or the T14 model. Most if the clubs in the championship are happy there so only 2-3 clubs would complain if not included

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Pot Hale on Wed 28 Mar 2018, 7:35 pm

Here's the article from yesterday:

"Automatic promotion and relegation between the Premiership and Championship could end as soon as next year, with a play-off introduced to decide who stays up and who stays down for the next five seasons. The move being considered by the RFU and top clubs could be terminal for whoever loses the play-off.

There are 13 clubs considered to be of Premiership calibre — the 12 in the top flight plus Bristol, who are set to be promoted at the end of this season. While those 13 agree that they wish to ring-fence the competition for five years, the big headache has been how to keep 12 clubs in the division and decide which club should face exile. Enlarging a ring-fenced Premiership to 13 clubs is one possibility, but that would mean extending the season by two more weeks — a prospect that has received little backing. The proposal being pursued is therefore a home-and-away play-off between the team at the bottom of the Premiership and the team at the top of the Championship. The winner could stay up for five seasons, the loser would have to wait just as long for the opportunity to return.

Missing out on the Premiership for so many years would destroy the finances of the affected club. The best players and coaches would leave and the crowd would shrink. It could finish the club off for good.

There are moves to get agreement in time for the fence to go up at the end of next season. May 2019 would then see the most high-stakes matches in the history of English club rugby.

As it stands, London Irish would almost certainly be one of the two contenders. The battle they are fighting against relegation this season looks more hopeless with each passing week. Assuming that they are relegated, though, they will almost certainly finish top of the Championship next year. They would then play the team who are bottom of the Premiership. Form suggests that they would play Worcester Warriors or Bristol, who are investing big money to hopefully stay in the Premiership, so the likely two teams in the kiss-of-death play-off would be London Irish versus Worcester.

In that scenario, London Irish would be at a huge disadvantage because they would have been playing Championship teams all season.

It may, however, be another year before the fence can go up. A change as fundamental as this would have to be led by the RFU, which has flipped its position and is now in favour of ending promotion and relegation. The RFU would then have to carry the Premiership clubs (PRL) and the Championship clubs with it.

PRL is certainly in favour of ring- fencing in principle but has yet to vote on the controversial play-off system. The Championship clubs have not had the proposal put to them officially yet, though The Times understands that they would agree to the plan on the condition that the ring-fence is lifted after four or five years — and that they receive an improved financial agreement with the RFU.

For the ring-fence to go up at the end of next season, this multilateral agreement would have to be signed off before the season starts. The RFU therefore needs to move fast.

Semore Kurdi, the Newcastle owner who is chairman of PRL, told The Times that any ring-fencing deal would require incentives for more clubs to be promoted into the Premiership after the first four or five years.

“We have indicated to the RFU in principle that we don’t want promotion and relegation,” he said. “But I don’t think we should have a restriction on numbers. I don’t think the Premiership would ever want to stifle ambition. The best teams should be in the Premiership.”
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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Heaf on Wed 28 Mar 2018, 8:46 pm

I'm still unclear why they can't just ditch the AW cup to avoid increasing the season?

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by stub on Wed 28 Mar 2018, 9:18 pm

If it does happen I think that LI need to be kept in somehow. Maybe a 14 team league is the way to go with eventual play offs to give the Championship a way in.... I say this as Worcester supporter who can empathise.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by rosbif on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 9:06 am

Surely there are some potential Exeter clubs with the right business plan and region to recruit which would benefit the premier league lurking in the championship.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by SirBurger on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 11:51 am

Heaf wrote:If this does go ahead as rumoured I'd also find the timing highly suspicious (just like waiting until LI had to go through the old play-offs, restricting their ability to recruit, before scrapping them) - and now as LI could be looking to come back up they have to go through another new play-off - with the odds massively stacked against them.  

Of course this is now just coming out as LI are all but certain to be relegated - call me paranoid but I wonder if it would have happened if a different team were in the firing line.

My only hope is that the reputation and catchment area of our academy saves us from what is increasingly looking like a deliberate ploy to force us out of the top league.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Hazel Sapling on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 12:04 pm

SirBurger wrote:
Heaf wrote:If this does go ahead as rumoured I'd also find the timing highly suspicious (just like waiting until LI had to go through the old play-offs, restricting their ability to recruit, before scrapping them) - and now as LI could be looking to come back up they have to go through another new play-off - with the odds massively stacked against them.  

Of course this is now just coming out as LI are all but certain to be relegated - call me paranoid but I wonder if it would have happened if a different team were in the firing line.

My only hope is that the reputation and catchment area of our academy saves us from what is increasingly looking like a deliberate ploy to force us out of the top league.

Would London Irish consider joining the Pro 14 (expanded to 16) as an IRFU backed side if that were available?

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Exiledinborders on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 3:42 pm

SirBurger wrote:
Heaf wrote:If this does go ahead as rumoured I'd also find the timing highly suspicious (just like waiting until LI had to go through the old play-offs, restricting their ability to recruit, before scrapping them) - and now as LI could be looking to come back up they have to go through another new play-off - with the odds massively stacked against them.  

Of course this is now just coming out as LI are all but certain to be relegated - call me paranoid but I wonder if it would have happened if a different team were in the firing line.

My only hope is that the reputation and catchment area of our academy saves us from what is increasingly looking like a deliberate ploy to force us out of the top league.
From a league point of view this is the right time for ring fencing. Assuming Bristol are in and LI out, all the teams will own their grounds.

I have always been again ring fencing but it is increasingly clear that the Championship is not fit for purpose as a feeder league.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by doctor_grey on Sun 01 Apr 2018, 8:45 pm

Philosophically I don't have a problem with ring-fencing. However, this almost seems like putting the Premiership in some form of suspended animation whilst the clubs hash out what they want the Premiership to be. I don't see any real vision from the constituent clubs for a solid and financially stable future. So for these people the best way to avoid making any hard decisions now or having the tough negotiations from within is to institutionalize indecision for 4 or 5 years and hope something good comes out the other end. Not that I am being critical or negative or anything.....

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by kingelderfield on Sun 01 Apr 2018, 10:02 pm

Can you imagine the carve up? Brexit? Small beer.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by carpet baboon on Mon 02 Apr 2018, 7:58 am

I thought the fear of relegation is what makes the prem so exciting? You dont want it to become like the pro 14 now do you?
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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 02 Apr 2018, 9:59 am

Exiledinborders wrote:
SirBurger wrote:
Heaf wrote:If this does go ahead as rumoured I'd also find the timing highly suspicious (just like waiting until LI had to go through the old play-offs, restricting their ability to recruit, before scrapping them) - and now as LI could be looking to come back up they have to go through another new play-off - with the odds massively stacked against them.  

Of course this is now just coming out as LI are all but certain to be relegated - call me paranoid but I wonder if it would have happened if a different team were in the firing line.

My only hope is that the reputation and catchment area of our academy saves us from what is increasingly looking like a deliberate ploy to force us out of the top league.
From a league point of view this is the right time for ring fencing. Assuming Bristol are in and LI out, all the teams will own their grounds.

I have always been again ring fencing but it is increasingly clear that the Championship is not fit for purpose as a feeder league.

Call me a cynic but to be honest I reckon this has been on the cards for years
Troubles is the wrong teams kept coming up from the Championship - exiles
Now Bristol have made it, it can proceed

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by doctor_grey on Mon 02 Apr 2018, 6:00 pm

Maybe I am being thick, but why would the Premiership clubs want to get rid of London Irish? Is it because they don't own their own ground? There must be more to it than that?

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Pot Hale on Mon 02 Apr 2018, 6:29 pm

Reduces the shareholding/more profits.

There also rumours emerging of reducing the importance of the European Cup, number of teams/games so that an expanded premiership with proper breaks during test windows can be planned.
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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Pot Hale on Mon 02 Apr 2018, 6:42 pm

I'll just leave this here:

The Guardian:https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/apr/02/champions-cup-rugby-premiership-wrangle

Downsizing the European Champions Cup has been proposed as a way to protect player welfare if the Premiership is ring-fenced with more than 12 teams. Twenty clubs – including up to seven from England – currently take part in Europe’s elite competition but streamlining is among the suggestions made by powerbrokers of the English game in the event of an expanded Premiership.

Both the Premiership and the Rugby Football Union are in favour of removing promotion and relegation to and from England’s top flight but the major sticking point is how big it will be. There are 13 Premiership shareholders – the current 12 teams plus Bristol – and a handful of Championship clubs who have the ambition to join the elite.

It is understood the Premiership clubs do not want to expand beyond a 12-team ring-fenced league and as a result suggested a play-off between the bottom club and the winners of the Championship – to take place as early as next May – but the Guardian understands it has been rejected out of hand. The Championship’s heads of agreement with the RFU runs until the summer of 2020 so any structural changes before then would have required unanimous approval from the 12 second-tier clubs.

Nonetheless, there is an expectation that ring-fencing will be pushed through to start from the 2020-21 season when that agreement has ended. At present the Championship clubs receive in the region of £550,000 and that is likely to increase in the event of ring-fencing. As the current deal will have ended only a majority vote will be required and it is hard to imagine that not happening considering most Championship clubs are so reliant on the funding that comes from the RFU and Premiership Rugby Ltd.

But while ring-fencing seems increasingly inevitable, the issue of how to fit at least 13 clubs into a 12-team league remains. With relegation looming for London Irish, some clubs have looked into buying their shares from them but the Exiles have no intention of selling. Ealing Trailfinders, second in the Championship behind Bristol, have demonstrated the ambition – and significantly possess the requisite finances – to join the top flight, and it is understood the RFU has not ruled out a 14-team league, even if PRL is digging its heels in. Yorkshire Carnegie, who had their own Premiership shares until the end of last year, and Cornish Pirates have also demonstrated their ambitions with new stadiums planned, while Doncaster Knights have expressed an interest in joining the Premiership. Coventry, who will join the Championship next season, are also thinking big.

And if a 13- or 14-team Premiership were to materialise, it may be the European competitions that feel the pinch. There is a feeling that the Champions Cup has lost its aura with more than half of the Premiership taking part this season and fewer European matches would allow for an expanded top flight in England without adding to player workload.

While truncated European competitions could help solve the problem of determining how many teams occupy a ring-fenced top flight, there remain fears over how accessible it will be in the long term. Rather, access to the Premiership after either a four- or five- year hiatus would depend on certain criteria, including things such as supporter base and playing budget, exceeding that of one of the existing Premiership teams.


Cue furore.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Brendan on Mon 02 Apr 2018, 8:28 pm

If England wanted to put less teams into the euro cups I don't think people would mind if they were replaced by the South African teams in the Pro 14

If it went ahead it would cause the league to have "the haves" and "have nots" as has happened in soccer. Teams taking part in Europe would need big wage caps for the extra games and top players would want to be in those top teams.

I am sure if the top English players were in about 4 teams the RFU would appreciate it.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 02 Apr 2018, 10:09 pm

I think the next move to Europe is definitely allowing the south Africans into contention. That will inevitably lead to a switch in format again as I don't think the pro 14 teams will want the same amount of places.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Pot Hale on Tue 03 Apr 2018, 2:00 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:I think the next move to Europe is definitely allowing the south Africans into contention. That will inevitably lead to a switch in format again as I don't think the pro 14 teams will want the same amount of places.

Make that unions, not teams. And I reckon you'd be right. Particularly if it moves to 16 teams. A lot of things in flux at the moment with Saracens the latest to be putting up the For Sale signs.

Not good signs for anyone involved in the game with potential investors, broadcasters, sponsors, etc.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by yappysnap on Tue 03 Apr 2018, 6:53 am

Ring fencing could be the best bet in the long term.

If we could ring fence with 14 teams ( Bris + another). Then have them split into two pools that'd be optimal to me.

I think Europe does feel like a side show to a lot of people. Probably because of a lack of success from popular clubs. But also the split coverage is a shambles, the stop start nature loses a lot of momentum and it just seems to drag.

Maybe just the two top teams in each English pool could go into it? But that'd potentially cause all kinds of issues.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 03 Apr 2018, 7:07 am

I'm sure the unions would pot but I doubt that'll happen as long as 5 of them are in 1 league. They could agree 1 place each but it vastly reduces the draw and vastly favours 1 league. Its just about equal at present but I do think discussions around sa needs to happen if their teams are going to be around for a while.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 03 Apr 2018, 9:52 am

I would be fine with a 16 Championship cup 6 Pro14, 5 from England and France
Would make the 2nd tier more meaningful as well.
Second tier could extend to 32 with 8 Pro14, 7 from England, 9 from France and 8 others
One minnow in each group.


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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Pot Hale on Tue 03 Apr 2018, 10:37 am

If Premiership moves to 14 teams with ringfencing then that’s 26 regular season games same as Top14. If the idea is to reduce the overall number of game weeks for the top flight players then the Euro pool rounds needs to reduce to 4.



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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by stub on Tue 03 Apr 2018, 11:01 am

Just posted this on the Saracens thread but I think that it fits better on this one. Apologies for the repetition:

Interesting times, I can’t see Saracens struggling to attract the investment they need though. I think a few factors have hit home at the same time which are perhaps making things look a bit bleaker than they really are. In my opinion the English players are clearly tired and do need to be managed better and this has been accentuated by resurgent and impressive Irish, Welsh and Scottish sides. Therefore I think that lessons need to be learnt from this situation and implemented as quickly as possible within the constraints of the structure that we are working with. Finances are obviously part of the problem - could the RFU financially encourage improved player management? Also ring fencing, even if temporary, could lead to better stability and more financial certainly for some clubs. I know there’s an agreement in place until 2020 so how about expanding the Premiership over the next 2 years (no relegation only promotion) bringing it up to 14? The championship would be exciting for those years whilst the premiership could build...

Just musing out loud really and looking forward to seeing how the English structure evolves to meet the obvious challenges it faces. I’m sure that solutions will be found and necessary improvements will be made. I’m hopeful that these changes will protect smaller teams like Worcester and give aspirational championship teams a possible route in.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Brendan on Thu 05 Apr 2018, 2:49 pm

While it would never happen on solution could be to let Necastle and Yorkshire play in the Pro14 and and Bristol in Newcaste's place.  RFU could show they are serious about improving Union in the North and games in Scotland and Wales aren't much if any further.  Flights to Newcastle from Ireland are about €30 sometimes less so easy to get to.

It fixes the premiership being to big and would allow Necastle to keep and develop their players they constantly bring through.  The Premership have mentioned they think less should qualify for Europes Elite so give the extra place to Newcastle and the Pro 14/16

Pro 14 could then do four areas
North - Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Yorkshire
West - Munster Ulster Leinster Connacht
South (Wales) - Dragons Blues Ospreys Scarlets
Exotic - Treviso Zebre Cheetahs Kings
Two areas paired together for home and away conference and rotate each year.  You play the other eight teams once.

English players who didn't want to get flogged could move North and the SRU and RFU could come to some agreement to spend some of the SRU money they have and are looking to invest.

Again I can't see it happening but would solve people's problems.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by TightHEAD on Thu 05 Apr 2018, 3:49 pm

Terrible idea, Lower tier teams have to have something to aim for.

Two words...................................................................................Exeter Chiefs.
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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Brendan on Thu 05 Apr 2018, 4:08 pm

TightHEAD wrote:Terrible idea, Lower tier teams have to have something to aim for.

Two words...................................................................................Exeter Chiefs.

London Welsh not just once but twice

Since 2000 who has made it up to the premiership that was previously not there other than Exeter. While great story others like Welsh have ruined themselves trying to stay up and spend money they didn't have or hoped to get.

Exeter up and Leeds down rest were yo-yos as far as I know

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 05 Apr 2018, 4:58 pm

The season Exeter won promotion, the Salary Cap was £4m. This season it is £7m + £600k academy allowance + 2 Marquee players. Add in injury dispensations it is quite possible that at some clubs the effective cap is £9m.

Since that time the money given to Championship sides has not even matched inflation.

It would be almost impossible for a team to do an Exeter now. What we have seen are repeated Yo-Yo-ing of sides. The relegated team is usually far too strong for the Championship (unless like LW they have gone bust to fuel a dream) but struggle to have a competitive side in the premiership and usually lose their best young players when relegated.)

What we also tend to see is teams recruiting a lot of players to dramatically change their Championship side - rarely to create a cohesive result.

Exeter have shown that it is possible, but it takes a plan - well two plans: a rugby plan and a business plan. Exeter were planning their success for several years (versus the arguably opportunistic approach adopted by LW). They had solid finances in place before promotion, managed their finances once promoted and built slowly. The same approach applied to their team with 10 of teh side that started (and won) on their Premiership debut having featured in their last match in the championship. of the other 5 I think just 1 was a recruit. Of that team only Tom Johnson went on to be capped and many were replaced over time (Dollman and Steenson still playing though).

Thus I do agree that routes to the top flight should not be cut of forever, but feel that a ring fencing with periodic review may have some benefits.

If we are to keep promotion and relegation and have meaningful competition for places we need to fund the second tier better. this would mean reducing the money given to the top tier and reducing the salary cap accordingly unless other sources of funding are generated.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by Margin_Walker on Thu 05 Apr 2018, 5:10 pm

Salary Cap point is a valid one. Much harder to bridge the gap these days than it was when Exeter came up.

It is still possible though, but probably only for a club with a benefactor wealthy enough to plough a huge amount of money in to be competitive imo. Can't see it being done more organically at the moment in the manner that Exeter did (not that they didn't have a few quid behind them)

Ealing are the obvious candidate at the moment with Mike Gooley backing them, despite not having a strong fan base.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by LondonTiger on Sun 08 Apr 2018, 2:12 pm

Just reported that Wuss made an 8.1m loss in the year up to June 2017 ( Accounts just filed at Companies House)

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by stub on Sun 08 Apr 2018, 6:03 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Just reported that Wuss made an 8.1m loss in the year up to June 2017 ( Accounts just filed at Companies House)

Gulp, that’s a big loss. I’m not sure if there are any big one off items in that period like laying the artificial pitch...

How does it compare to other clubs?

Exeter turn a profit I believe? Perhaps also Gloucester and Leicester??


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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by yappysnap on Sun 08 Apr 2018, 8:42 pm

From what I read Ex turned a profit.

All other clubs are down. Sarries for example -3mil I think, Quins was around -4mil. This is all off the top of my head from the Quins board as I can't be bothered to go double check, but even if i'm out by a little way it's still not good.

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Re: Plans to Ringfence the AP for 5 Years

Post by stub on Sun 08 Apr 2018, 9:00 pm

Thanks Yappy - from what you recall then in comparison the Wuss loss look massive.

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