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European rugby, the interest just isn't there

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 26 Apr 2016, 1:36 pm

First topic message reminder :

I know I will get a bashing off some quarters on here, but sorry it has to be said, looking at the crowds for the two semi-finals on the weekend, it would seem the interest is not there. The aggregate figure for the two games was a paltry 38,968 people, there was more people than that for the Cardiff Blues V Leicester semi final a few years ago 44,212 turned up that day.

This proves that the greedy club owners have ruined a once prestigious competition, admired by thousands and getting better year on year. Where are all these new massive sponsorship deals ? Where is all this money we are supposed to be swimming in ? 

All I saw on the weekend was empty seats, the future of the European club competition for me looks bleak, dwindling crowds, the same teams ALL the time in the knockout stages, lack of interest, the French already consider their own league a priority, for me something drastic needs to be done as it would seem the writing is on the wall for one of our favourite club competitions, it's sad, as it's been well and truly ruined by the greedy club owners.

Take a read of some of these, you might find them interesting:-

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2016/04/25/empty-seats-as-saracens-and-racing-92-won-through-must-be-a-wake/
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/much-better-europe-champions-cup-11238143

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Post by Jimpy Tue 26 Apr 2016, 3:54 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Jimpy wrote:Hardly surprising when the venues for both semi-finals were football stadium with capacities well in excess of 30 000

What kind of an excuse is this bollox

What cannot speak, cannot lie, the crowd for Cardiff V Leicester a few years ago had more people in attendance that BOTH this years semi finals. The fact that the two stadiums used could not be filled should start alarm bells ringing.

Oh shut up you pathetic little man.

No Pro12, specifically a Welsh Region, was good enough to make a semi-final this year. Get over it.

I'm not making excuses for empty seats, there were probably several causal factors. However, not filling stadiums for these events doesn't mean the tournament is somehow not as good as it once was for some reason.


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Post by LordDowlais Tue 26 Apr 2016, 3:59 pm

Jimpy wrote:I'm not making excuses for empty seats, there were probably several causal factors. However, not filling stadiums for these events doesn't mean the tournament is somehow not as good as it once was for some reason. 


You are making excuses, you are saying that both semi-finals were poorly attended because they were in football stadiums well in excess of 30,000. That is a p1ss poor excuse.

Also, I did not say the tournament is not as good, I said the interest is not there, which is correct, because under the old format we were getting bigger crowds for one game than we did for two games put together this year.

Jimpy wrote:Oh shut up you pathetic little man.

Bravo. picard

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Tue 26 Apr 2016, 4:00 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Looking at the crowds for the two semi-finals on the weekend, it would seem the interest is not there... This proves that the greedy club owners have ruined a once prestigious competition... All I saw on the weekend was empty seats, the future of the European club competition for me looks bleak... it would seem the writing is on the wall for one of our favourite club competitions, it's sad, as it's been well and truly ruined by the greedy club owners.

Wouldn't it be an idea to wait more than one season before jumping to conclusions?

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 26 Apr 2016, 4:01 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Wouldn't it be an idea to wait more than one season before jumping to conclusions?

It has been under this current regime for more than one season. OK

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Post by lostinwales Tue 26 Apr 2016, 4:06 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Jimpy wrote:I'm not making excuses for empty seats, there were probably several causal factors. However, not filling stadiums for these events doesn't mean the tournament is somehow not as good as it once was for some reason. 


You are making excuses, you are saying that both semi-finals were poorly attended because they were in football stadiums well in excess of 30,000. That is a p1ss poor excuse.

Also, I did not say the tournament is not as good, I said the interest is not there, which is correct, because under the old format we were getting bigger crowds for one game than we did for two games put together this year.

Jimpy wrote:Oh shut up you pathetic little man.

Bravo. picard

The personal insult was out of order. However, as far as the bold stuff goes he's not saying that. He's just saying that there are 'a range of factors' - and you have read into that what you want.


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Post by LordDowlais Tue 26 Apr 2016, 4:09 pm

lostinwales wrote:The personal insult was out of order. However, as far as the bold stuff goes he's not saying that. He's just saying that there are 'a range of factors' - and you have read into that what you want.

OK, if you can point out to me what "range of factors" you can get out of:-

"Hardly surprising when the venues for both semi-finals were football stadium with capacities well in excess of 30 000"


Then I will concede and apologise.

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Post by beshocked Tue 26 Apr 2016, 4:15 pm

Lorddowlais I think 6th is impressive for Edinburgh so far. Their highest league position in years, since 2009-10 actually.

Shows they are on an upwards curve.

Helps the competition if the Pro12 teams aren't so weak. Time to sort yourselves out.

In the old competition Welsh,Scottish and Italians were weak anyway, the problem is the 3 Irish have joined them this year.

Doesn't mean it will be the same next year. Hope it isn't.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 26 Apr 2016, 4:17 pm

OK beshocked, I get what you are saying, but the interest is not there though is it ? As was proven by the p1ss poor turn out for the semi-finals. This has bugger all to do with Pro12 teams, as they were not there.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Tue 26 Apr 2016, 4:19 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Wouldn't it be an idea to wait more than one season before jumping to conclusions?

It has been under this current regime for more than one season. OK

So it has. I'll get my coat...

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Post by Recwatcher16 Tue 26 Apr 2016, 4:29 pm

Just to be a little contrary - a few points to consider ;
it would be a good thing if the euro comps became secondary to the leagues as they are what give access to fans in all parts of a country to a professional or semi professional games to watch throughout a season.

Rugby in both hemispheres has lost its way when there has to be this consolidation of the best players into a few elite sides.

We already have a euro competition - it is called the six nations.

You do not need a euro comp to bridge the gap between test & league level - look at Wales.

I for one would be perfectly happy for the English clubs to drop the euro comps and reintroduced an English club knockout comp instead to give Championship sides access to playing Premiership sides - FA Cup style and build a new history.

The other countries should reintroduce leagues and resurrect their historic clubs and English clubs should increase their 70%+ level of EQ players to stop non English recruitment to protect those leagues.

Give rugby back its roots and market that instead.

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Post by beshocked Tue 26 Apr 2016, 4:39 pm

Lorddowlais the lack of competitiveness of the Pro12 clubs is not good for the competition. It depends who you want to blame that lack of competitiveness on.

The new format? I would say no because Welsh,Scottish and Italian clubs were performing poorly anyway.

Maybe for the Irish but then again, the english sides like Leicester and Wasps have got stronger, Saracens have been strong in Europe for a few years even before this new format.

It's up to you to perform. England won the 6 nations, is it a coincidence they had 3 sides in the semis?


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Post by LordDowlais Tue 26 Apr 2016, 4:41 pm

beshocked wrote:Lorddowlais the lack of competitiveness of the Pro12 clubs is not good for the competition. It depends who you want to blame that lack of competitiveness on.

The new format? I would say no because Welsh,Scottish and Italian clubs were performing poorly anyway.

Maybe for the Irish but then again, the english sides like Leicester and Wasps have got stronger, Saracens have been strong in Europe for a few years even before this new format.

It's up to you to perform. England won the 6 nations, is it a coincidence they had 3 sides in the semis?



Yes but what has any of this got to do with the lack of interest for the two semi-finals ?

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Post by SecretFly Tue 26 Apr 2016, 4:51 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:Just to be a little contrary - a few points to consider ;
it would be a good thing if the euro comps became secondary to the leagues as they are what give access to fans in all parts of a country to a professional or semi professional games to watch throughout a season.

Rugby in both hemispheres has lost its way when there has to be this consolidation of the best players into a few elite sides.

We already have a euro competition - it is called the six nations.

You do not need a euro comp to bridge the gap between test & league level - look at Wales.

I for one would be perfectly happy for the English clubs to drop the euro comps and reintroduced an English club knockout comp instead to give Championship sides access to playing Premiership sides - FA Cup style and build a new history.

The other countries should reintroduce leagues and resurrect their historic clubs and English clubs should increase their 70%+ level of EQ players to stop non English recruitment to protect those leagues.

Give rugby back its roots and market that instead.

Much to be agreed on....but you won't find many agreeing with where it counts most... the ownership councils of the elite sides.

Professional Rugby is only going one way.  There is no going back.  The elites will become only more elite and begin to attract even more elite purchasers with big war chests of billions.  The 'Meritocrats' will have their way; there is much too much money potential to put the genie back in the bottle now.

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Post by Don Alfonso Tue 26 Apr 2016, 5:08 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
beshocked wrote:Lorddowlais the lack of competitiveness of the Pro12 clubs is not good for the competition. It depends who you want to blame that lack of competitiveness on.

The new format? I would say no because Welsh,Scottish and Italian clubs were performing poorly anyway.

Maybe for the Irish but then again, the english sides like Leicester and Wasps have got stronger, Saracens have been strong in Europe for a few years even before this new format.

It's up to you to perform. England won the 6 nations, is it a coincidence they had 3 sides in the semis?



Yes but what has any of this got to do with the lack of interest for the two semi-finals ?

Nothing. It's a straw man argument.

If we could get comparative viewing TV figures, we have a better sense of its wider popularity. But it's certainly not getting bums on seats.

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Post by SecretFly Tue 26 Apr 2016, 5:31 pm

That's the sad thing.  So much broadcasting money...and clubs willing to move locations at the drop of a hat (given that Privately owned entities never are a location - Saracens could as easily base themselves in Belgium if they were coaxed there and not skip a beat.)

The new way - massive broadcasting deals that are getting themselves into markets around the world.... they don't need full stadiums, as of course the real paying audience becomes that watching on TV.  
So there is probably the potential of a developing comfort with the idea that low crowds are being substituted by larger viewing figures.

But image IS everything.  If viewers are watching half filled stadiums, they'll begin to think the show isn't worth tuning in to see.

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Post by The Great Aukster Tue 26 Apr 2016, 6:11 pm

PhilBB wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
The PRO12 sides get less money relative to the PRL/LNR teams so are less competitive.

That is wholly untrue.

Each league gets €20m.

Do the maths.

Apologies, I didn't realise teams bought their squads solely on European money. To think I actually believed all that talk about BT pumping money into the AP, and all this time they've been coping on exactly the same.

Then there were those endless debates about the Unions getting an unfair slice of the pie in the old Heineken days when in fact the new structure has made no relative difference. It's a pity you weren't around to defend the Unions then PhilB - would have saved hours of wasted time.

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Post by HammerofThunor Tue 26 Apr 2016, 7:07 pm

Munchkin wrote:
One thing that does stand out, the ERC, although not perfect, was a success, as far as hosting the competition goes.

That all sounds very bleak, but EPCR might still make it work yet. Time will tell.

The problem with that is that the board is basically exactly the same as it was before. The only difference is commercial group is made up from one from each league.

Now the funny bit is it seems the competition hasn't made the money that was promised, meaning the clubs lose the money because the Pro12 money was guaranteed, but at the same time it's been changed to get more money from the greedy clubs. Not sure how those things come together but I'm sure it's all legit.

But the 2 years of cowpat, from day one, generally put off rugby in general. Capped with a Poopie World Cup (for the England team), cancelling BT Sport to save some money, I've struggled to care.

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Post by SecretFly Tue 26 Apr 2016, 7:33 pm

Despite all the propaganda to the contrary in recent years, the French v English club 'rivalry'.... (it doesn't even sound right saying it) is just not real.  There is no blood sport feel to it.  It's business, it's money.  There is no emotion.  It's professionalism - not tribalism.

I've always said, 'club' competition in a European context Should be tribal and therefore should sustain the National element - as in Six Nations playing against each other Internationally and six National 'club/regional/provincial systems fighting against each other in a club competition - the big one - and rules to sustain that.

English clubs and their fans can pretend there is something more exotic about playing their League rivals in a European context, but there simply isn't.  The 'European' element is just basically an extended AP season.  And I'm sure for the French...well, were they ever interested fully in Europe anyway?

In order to interest Europe - and further afield - the competition needs to be genuinely populated by teams from the main European rugby Nations.  The 'meritocracy' of the contest is in how much the competition can stir the blood across Europe.  It's entertainment.  It's a show.  Sport is a show.  The meritocracy is in giving the public what they want.

I haven't got to watch much rugby this season at all but I haven't honestly watched one European game.  Never felt that nervous twitch and cold shiver of greed and need that I often felt in other years when I had more of a vested interest. It was easy to overlook it completely. Other priorities were allowed in.

It doesn't matter to me emotionally whether one English team gets it or another one does.  I'm sure English fans felt much of that too when Irish sides were populating the end stages.

Super Clubs in England or France will simply not BUY the allegiances of fans that have no allegiance.  Therefore the competition needs to appreciate the truth of marketing and realise this 'European' contest must be European.  6 teams apiece between England and France is too many auto places - that's the killer.  And there is no meritocracy in having that lead-in number each and every year.

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Post by Guest Tue 26 Apr 2016, 7:55 pm

HammerofThunor wrote:
Munchkin wrote:
One thing that does stand out, the ERC, although not perfect, was a success, as far as hosting the competition goes.

That all sounds very bleak, but EPCR might still make it work yet. Time will tell.

The problem with that is that the board is basically exactly the same as it was before. The only difference is commercial group is made up from one from each league.

Now the funny bit is it seems the competition hasn't made the money that was promised, meaning the clubs lose the money because the Pro12 money was guaranteed, but at the same time it's been changed to get more money from the greedy clubs. Not sure how those things come together but I'm sure it's all legit.

But the 2 years of cowpat, from day one, generally put off rugby in general. Capped with a Poopie World Cup (for the England team), cancelling BT Sport to save some money, I've struggled to care.

But the inescapable fact is that it has changed. It is no longer ERC, but EPCR, and with a shift in power from Union to Club. I get your point though. In some ways it hasn't changed much at all but, possibly for a variety of reasons, it hasn't sparkled, as the old ERC did.

You hit on a great irony, Hammer, that because the money was guaranteed, for the PRO12, others might lose out. Having said that, I don't know the financials, so don't know if EPCR hasn't made enough to spread fairly. It was said at the time that getting that guarantee was a shrewd bit of business, and it might just prove to be.

I know of a few fans that cancelled their BT Sport subscription. It doesn't help that the broadcasting is split. That is far from ideal, and something that EPCR must rectify.

I think the next Champions Cup will better inform us of how this competition rates in the minds of supporters, with no RWC, and hopefully an improved PRO12 showing. Hopefully.

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Post by Notch Tue 26 Apr 2016, 8:47 pm

Who decides the pricing for the semi-finals? The nominal 'home' team, or the EPCR?

Also, how much were tickets for the two games?
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Post by Recwatcher16 Tue 26 Apr 2016, 9:07 pm

SecretFly wrote:Despite all the propaganda to the contrary in recent years, the French v English club 'rivalry'.... (it doesn't even sound right saying it) is just not real.  There is no blood sport feel to it.  It's business, it's money.  There is no emotion.  It's professionalism - not tribalism.

I've always said, 'club' competition in a European context Should be tribal and therefore should sustain the National element - as in Six Nations playing against each other Internationally and six National 'club/regional/provincial systems fighting against each other in a club competition - the big one - and rules to sustain that.

English clubs and their fans can pretend there is something more exotic about playing their League rivals in a European context, but there simply isn't.  The 'European' element is just basically an extended AP season.  And I'm sure for the French...well, were they ever interested fully in Europe anyway?

In order to interest Europe - and further afield - the competition needs to be genuinely populated by teams from the main European rugby Nations.  The 'meritocracy' of the contest is in how much the competition can stir the blood across Europe.  It's entertainment.  It's a show.  Sport is a show.  The meritocracy is in giving the public what they want.

I haven't got to watch much rugby this season at all but I haven't honestly watched one European game.  Never felt that nervous twitch and cold shiver of greed and need that I often felt in other years when I had more of a vested interest.  It was easy to overlook it completely.  Other priorities were allowed in.

It doesn't matter to me emotionally whether one English team gets it or another one does.  I'm sure English fans felt much of that too when Irish sides were populating the end stages.

Super Clubs in England or France will simply not BUY the allegiances of fans that have no allegiance.  Therefore the competition needs to appreciate the truth of marketing and realise this 'European' contest must be European.  6 teams apiece between England and France is too many auto places - that's the killer.  And there is no meritocracy in having that lead-in number each and every year.

Absolutely but cast your mind back twenty years and the unions wanted a competition to raise playing standards to compete at Test level. The RFU wanted the old North, Midlands, Southwest and London invitation sides to compete in a euro comp.The clubs however contracted the players and we're not willing to miss the party. The celtic unions were happy with French and English clubs because simply put it provided critical playing mass and commercial appeal to add to union nominated new elite teams. An uneasy alliance was born and investing the last two decades in domestic leagues for those tribal rivalries has been lost from many famous historic clubs.

We now have in an ever escalating arms race, SH coaches dictating playing styles in order to be successful in 'Europe'. Celtic Union top down structures are vulnerable without playing success in their critically small number of teams. English and French clubs have simply adopted a commercial approach and some will sink and some will swim - it was ever thus.

NH rugby should be concentrating on its roots and make that work before making competitions that have no real loyalty other than when you have fleeting success.

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Post by Fanster Tue 26 Apr 2016, 10:19 pm

It's such a chore trying to care about a competition that has tied 4 nations out of the 6 hands behind their backs.

It was always so easy to watch French clubs money, and squads of talent fail, teams like Racing, Cleremont, and Stade packed with talent and playing like mercenaries.

What the restructure has done is give the big clubs even more Carte blanche, so in order to combat the failure they double down on their spending and bang, there are 4/5 clubs plowed with world class internationals, SH coaches, and playing styles designed to beat the huge packs they have created.

French rugby has been forward focused for a while, but this new influx in recent seasons of size first has made backplay all but useless in the T14, when this is translated to the euro comp there are very few teams with beef to compete. Saracens have developed a similar strategy.

It is now succesfull to win withut playing rugby, and this has left the competition in a state of watching 20 players smash and rumble around the park with 10 or so by standers walking in tries.

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Post by VinceWLB Tue 26 Apr 2016, 10:20 pm

I give it another 2 seasons like this one and the new competition will be gone.

Bring in a salary cap or a rule about foreign players and then we can talk.

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Post by quinsforever Tue 26 Apr 2016, 10:29 pm

If Irish teams perform better I am sure there will be more bums on seats.

However I guarantee you BT/SKY are thrilled there were 3 English semi finalists. And an English french club final.

I think the competitions in great shape. Watching Leinster or Munster con their way through to semis in recent years almost made me quit watching. The current semis are a very fair reflection of the club ranking within Europe.

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Post by Fanster Tue 26 Apr 2016, 10:32 pm

Off the field there are a number of issues the EPCR still have to address even before trying to appease the many Celtic and Italian fans wo have walked away:

1. From the very off, they change the name from ECR to EPCR (not even an original stretch), yet move the 3 men and dog to a new venue to do what it was they did, despite arguing them incompetant!!!

2. The huge injustice of Italy finally being near hosting the comp for the first time, they had waited and prepped, this was going to be the earth changing event that puts rugby on the Italian map, to have it swiped away for London, who hadn't seen it for a massive 2/3 years?

3. Splitting the comp over tv providers!!!

4. Allowing the comp to be dominated year in year out by English and French clubs.

5. Taking away the qualification from the 2nd tier comp

And these are just starters!

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Post by quinsforever Tue 26 Apr 2016, 10:37 pm

Celtic fans follow success

The rest of your points are laughable.

Split coverage is EVERYONES fault.

Franglo dominance is nothing to do with tournament change.

Qualification from 2nd tier comp was vetoed by pro12z

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Post by Guest Tue 26 Apr 2016, 10:49 pm

quinsforever wrote:If Irish teams perform better I am sure there will be more bums on seats.

However I guarantee you BT/SKY are thrilled there were 3 English semi finalists. And an English french club final.

I think the competitions in great shape. Watching Leinster or Munster con their way through to semis in recent years almost made me quit watching. The current semis are a very fair reflection of the club ranking within Europe.

Quins, you're not a stupid man, so why the stupid post? Do you actually believe what you have just typed?, or maybe it is a rage driven response to criticism of the new competition? Either way, get a grip.

If you think the competition is in great shape you are deluding yourself. It's simply not true for this season, or last. It might improve, and it might be a great success, but only time will tell.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Tue 26 Apr 2016, 10:53 pm

quinsforever wrote:If Irish teams perform better I am sure there will be more bums on seats.

However I guarantee you BT/SKY are thrilled there were 3 English semi finalists. And an English french club final.

I think the competitions in great shape. Watching Leinster or Munster con their way through to semis in recent years almost made me quit watching. The current semis are a very fair reflection of the club ranking within Europe.
What?

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Post by Fanster Tue 26 Apr 2016, 11:03 pm

quinsforever wrote:Celtic fans follow success

The rest of your points are laughable.

Split coverage is EVERYONES fault.

Franglo dominance is nothing to do with tournament change.

Qualification from 2nd tier comp was vetoed by pro12z

Firstly ALL fans follow success (except maybe Sarries fans)

All my points are laughable? So when Qentin Smith comes out and slates the ERC, it's running and claiming 'it wasn't fir for purpose' isn't the PRL slagging the ECR directly before employing all of the employees, and moving nearly all of them from Dublin to Switzerland. Adding the word proffessional in the name isn't fooling anyone, the EPCR is the ERC with a bulked up staff, new shiny offices, doing the same old Poopie but costing a hell of a lot more!

So your telling me Twickenham hosting the innaugral final 3 years after hosting it is fair considering Italy never has and had started to build up to hosting?

Split coverage is clearly the PRL's and BT's fault, who negotiated an illegal contract, had the HC survived it would still be on Sky, and would be an actual spectacle event again!

It doesn't matter who decided what about the 2nd tier comp, it was a mistake to take away the spot!

Quins, you seem to think this is a tribal argument, it isn't. I blame the Welsh regions as much as anyone for this disaster that will kill off Celtic rugby, I have no dog in this fight, have ties to 2 nations, yet loved the HC for all the pomp and drama it gave, Edinburghs 'it was written in the stars' run to a semi final, Cardiff Leinster penalty kick off, The Howley Wapss steal of the trophy, classic moments from a tournament that inspired, sold to the highest bidder and rebranded, teams full of mercenaries playing in colours they don't care about, in front of half empty stadiums they don't care about, for owners who care little about anything but their own pockets. A nation literally clawing on for dear life as a direct result merely 2 seasons in, and a media circling the carcass of it's body claiming they should be thrown out.

Italy are circling the drain, Scotland and Wales should be watching them while clinging to the sides of that kitchen sink!

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Post by Pot Hale Wed 27 Apr 2016, 12:37 am

Going back to the original post and the lower attendances, this is true of the quarter-final and semi-final stages.

There are a number of reasons possibly for the drop in attendances in comparison to previous seasons.

1. RWC has exhausted fan's spending money somewhat.
2. The Premiership and probably Top 14 provide enough glamour and excitement, and not all English fans are going to pay out for much increased ticket prices to see teams they've already seen in the league, and the step-up in quality is not that great - in comparison to step up in quality and performance from PRO12 to European competition.
3. Sarries and Wasps do not have massive travelling fan bases.
4. Racing 92 managed to attract about 300 fans over to the match.
5. The new organisers EPCR have to operate the sales of the knockout matches under the changed timing in the new comp demanded - primarily by Top 14 - and supported by PRL  to move the final back to beginning of May last year, and then middle of May this year.   The time to sell tickets to the knockout matches is reduced.   At the same time, EPCR is under the cosh to deliver gate income to the home teams for their matches.  
6. I think they got their pricing strategy wrong and they carry the can for that.   The board of the EPCR has got a majority through the English and French leagues, so the two leagues that brought in the revised tournament can't complain that they didn't have the necessary clout to impose any changes they might have wanted.  It's a learning point, and ultimately it was the home teams who suffered through loss of gate money. I don't think the problem is fixed yet, and I wonder if the stages may get changed again.

TV broadcasters never like swathes of empty seats - whether in European comps or in PRO12, or anywhere else.   So they may push a little harder next season to ensure that numbers are up.

One suggestion could be to make the semis a double header in a neutral stadium.  I'm sure Murrayfield or Millennium would welcome the opportunity to host the semis for the English and French teams and their fans next year. Or maybe the San Siro in Milan... Smile

On the other hand, if Leinster, Ulster, Connacht, Munster, Glasgow and Scarlets get their act together next year, maybe they'll have to host the semis in Twickenham.
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Post by quinsforever Wed 27 Apr 2016, 12:58 am

well the proof will be in the pudding. bums on seats are irrelevant compared to tv rights. and if the next deal is bigger than the current deal then i think we can safely say the the OP is BS. because the interest is clearly there as measure by someone who is prepared to pay for it.

rather than random comments about attendance at games which have max 2 weeks notice.

fwiw i went to the quins challenge cup game vs grenoble. wanted to go to wasps vs sarries but family commitments prevented it.

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Post by quinsforever Wed 27 Apr 2016, 12:58 am

well the proof will be in the pudding. bums on seats are irrelevant compared to tv rights. and if the next deal is bigger than the current deal then i think we can safely say the the OP is BS. because the interest is clearly there as measure by someone who is prepared to pay for it.

rather than random comments about attendance at games which have max 2 weeks notice.

fwiw i went to the quins challenge cup game vs grenoble. wanted to go to wasps vs sarries but family commitments prevented it.

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Post by Guest Wed 27 Apr 2016, 1:50 am

quinsforever wrote:well the proof will be in the pudding. bums on seats are irrelevant compared to tv rights. and if the next deal is bigger than the current deal then i think we can safely say the the OP is BS. because the interest is clearly there as measure by someone who is prepared to pay for it.

rather than random comments about attendance at games which have max 2 weeks notice.

fwiw i went to the quins challenge cup game vs grenoble. wanted to go to wasps vs sarries but family commitments prevented it.

Bums on seats are vital for the broadcasters. They want, and need, atmosphere.

I would be amazed if the next TV deals are bigger, on present showing. That may change, but only if EPCR can generate more interest from the fans, and that means bums on seats.

What interest is clearly there? Who is paying for what, and what are the reported figures?

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Post by Jimpy Wed 27 Apr 2016, 7:55 am

LordDowlais wrote:
lostinwales wrote:The personal insult was out of order. However, as far as the bold stuff goes he's not saying that. He's just saying that there are 'a range of factors' - and you have read into that what you want.

OK, if you can point out to me what "range of factors" you can get out of:-

"Hardly surprising when the venues for both semi-finals were football stadium with capacities well in excess of 30 000"


Then I will concede and apologise.

You are quite clearly rather challenged.

Its been explained to you that there are a range of factors that may have contributed to stadiums not being full.

As has already been pointed out, you've only read what you wanted to see.

I stand by my original comment. your attitude is smacks of bitterness and is pathetic.

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Post by Fanster Wed 27 Apr 2016, 8:12 am

Nicely avoiding the questions there quins...

The problem with terms like 'the proof will be in the pudding' is that it is an easy out for someone who claimed this tournament would be X, Y, and Z when over 2 seasons now it has shown not only absolutely no sign of those claims, but now upswing from the poor show it was last year.

Ironically, someone jokes above thath maybe it should be Twickenham to hold the finals again next year, but this would probably be the only viable option. A nightmare scenario for the EPCR is holding the final at say Murrayfield or the San Siro in front of a crowd of 20-30k!

Twickenham in year 1 was the safe option, Lyon in year 2 also another safe option, with French and English clubs predictably dominating the first 2 seasons, PRL and LNR desperately needed to ensure some interest for the final in the first 2 years, year 3, if following on from years 1 and 2 is the make or break season!

If year 3 produces the same results we've seen so far, not only will the TV revenue not increase, it'll run for the hills, well until the PRL and LNR can renegotiate for that pesky Pro 12 unfair guarentee of payment.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 27 Apr 2016, 8:27 am

Jimpy wrote:Its been explained to you that there are a range of factors that may have contributed to stadiums not being full.

As has already been pointed out, you've only read what you wanted to see.

I stand by my original comment. your attitude is smacks of bitterness and is pathetic.

I agree there are other factors, but YOU did not say them. 

The fact that you keep insulting me suggests that you are the one with the issues.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 27 Apr 2016, 8:28 am

I can take points of the comp having ticket prices placed too high or when fixtures are scheduled but ultimately what happens on the pitch has little to do with how the comp is organised.

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Post by Fanster Wed 27 Apr 2016, 8:46 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:I can take points of the comp having ticket prices placed too high or when fixtures are scheduled but ultimately what happens on the pitch has little to do with how the comp is organised.

2 points to that statement:

1. Due to the organisation restructure there are physically more French and English clubs than previous, meaning statistically more English and French clubs have to be in the latter stages. That isn't an opinion it's fact.

2. Matches and players respond to crowds, if Wasps play Saracens for the third time in one season, motivational levels have to be reduced. Playing in front of a full crowd aids performance. There are numerous studies to prove this! Badly run comp = low attendances = lower quality of match.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 27 Apr 2016, 8:50 am

1. Fair enough, the 3 leagues are now pretty much equal. I understand that that annoys people.

2. Fair enough probably correct to an extent but when there's only 3 leagues involved it's going to happen, and has happened throughout both 'different' comps. Full crowd can send some teams into a downward spiral of course but atmosphere is great to have.

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Post by Fanster Wed 27 Apr 2016, 9:16 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:1. Fair enough, the 3 leagues are now pretty much equal. I understand that that annoys people.

2. Fair enough probably correct to an extent but when there's only 3 leagues involved it's going to happen, and has happened throughout both 'different' comps. Full crowd can send some teams into a downward spiral of course but atmosphere is great to have.

The problem with '3 leagues are equal' theory is that you don't consider the social effect on fans, both hardcore and fringe.

The Welsh regions play at the millenium stadium this weekend in front of 63k (and still growing, projected 70k) yet the Blues averaged what, 4.5k per home game in their RCC fixtures? the massive amount of support is from fringe fans who feel included in something.

Wales have 2 clubs in the RCC, meaning the interest in Wales in that tournament is isolated to 2 sets of key fans, probably around 50k people in the entire country. Welsh fans have been disenfranchised by the PRL's power grab when they claimed despite having more than double the amount of clubs in the comp than Welsh they beleived Welsh clubs weren't deserving enough and deserved less. Every fringe fan in Wales loses interest automatically.

You see, interest in rugby is tribal, and fans do not view the pro 12 as their league to support, wether you like it or not it is divided into 4 nations, and 4 sets of fans who want to support their 2/4 teams.

The irony that English and French fanbase is larger, so appeasing them for the numbers through the gates and watching on TV despite losing a subset of Celtic fans, this has proved incorrect, and neutral interest from 4 nations hass lessened, and possibly soon be lost all together.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 27 Apr 2016, 9:18 am

Like Saracens having 9000 and England getting 70000 plus?

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Post by HammerofThunor Wed 27 Apr 2016, 9:22 am

Fanster wrote:2 points to that statement:

1. Due to the organisation restructure there are physically more French and English clubs than previous, meaning statistically more English and French clubs have to be in the latter stages. That isn't an opinion it's fact.

No it isn't. That would be true if we were playing a dice game. For a start, there aren't "physically more French and English teams". There are 6, there could be 7. same as it has been for years. Did you mean 'relatively'? Even the second part in nonsense. If we added more Italian teams would that mean there more in the latter stages? Or more Welsh teams? Then relatively extra teams are of a worse quality, English v English games are avoided where possible and therefore the Pro12 teams will benefit the most by these teams being added.

2. Matches and players respond to crowds, if Wasps play Saracens for the third time in one season, motivational levels have to be reduced. Playing in front of a full crowd aids performance. There are numerous studies to prove this! Badly run comp = low attendances = lower quality of match.

Reference the studies if you're going to use them. You are aware that due to the number of leagues that enter teams into the competition, that every single pool has to have 2 teams from the same league, who will therefore play each other 4 times in a season? Previously that was at least 4 pools had two teams from the Pro12 in them. Now you have one double from the English, one from the French, two from the Pro12, the last being decided by play-off.

As for being badly run. The exact same people are running it.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 27 Apr 2016, 9:25 am

I did count up the same number of league vs league in comparison earlier in the season and there wasn't more of these games. But ultimately what is meant by that Hammer is tehy want all the Pro 12 league involved and 4 teams each from the English and french. Unfortunately until people accept it's a club comp and not an international one this view will be about.

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Post by Fanster Wed 27 Apr 2016, 10:25 am

You can run the club not country line all you like, but fact is fans base their loyalty and motivation to watch as a neutral on nationality. Unlike football which is supported based on brand and not the area the club is based, Welsh and Irish rugby fans will not go out and buy Toulon shirts and show up/tune in to everyone of their games en masse.

Saracens fans have a rough time of things after their globetrotting to create a global brand escepades, and a lot of English fans view Saracens poorly, hence when they make the latter stages of the comp noone is particularly interested in going to watch them, and I bet less people will have tuned in to watch also.

The competition can be as club based as it likes, without a nationally loyal audience inclusion itll struggle, the hardcore of 20k plus isn't at any club like it is at football.

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Post by munkian Wed 27 Apr 2016, 10:29 am

I hope both teams lose.
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Post by Notch Wed 27 Apr 2016, 10:35 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Unfortunately until people accept it's a club comp and not an international one this view will be about.

I accept that is what it is, but that also means I have lost some measure of interest in it over the years to be honest. You might find that happens. I'm always going to be interested in watching England vs France but I could care less about Saracens vs Racing. Much more limited appeal. I'm sure that won't have that much of an impact on the competition. After all, they are basically catering to the two largest markets for TV and that should ensure it remains profitable. I don't think it's going to grow as a competition though- I think it has plateaued and will remain at this level.
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Post by munkian Wed 27 Apr 2016, 10:45 am

Its not really a European competition anymore is it ?
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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 27 Apr 2016, 10:48 am

Fans need to change that view then Fanster.

Fair point Notch, I'll watch what's on, some won't. I'd say that I'd be more likely to watch a Clermont vs Munster than Saracens vs Wasps in the Euro comp as it's 2 teams that don't play every season but that applies over Munster vs Glasgow. I'm not bothered they're from different countries, it's a game thats played every year.

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Post by rodders Wed 27 Apr 2016, 10:53 am

The Irish, Welsh, Scots and Italians should pull out of this sham and set up their own competition where they play each other... maybe sell the coverage rights to sky sports.
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Post by Jimpy Wed 27 Apr 2016, 10:55 am

LordDowlais wrote:
Jimpy wrote:Its been explained to you that there are a range of factors that may have contributed to stadiums not being full.

As has already been pointed out, you've only read what you wanted to see.

I stand by my original comment. your attitude is smacks of bitterness and is pathetic.

I agree there are other factors, but YOU did not say them. 

The fact that you keep insulting me suggests that you are the one with the issues.

No, I'd suggest that the 'one' with issues is the Pro12, now its teams don't get the sympathy shag of automatic qualification.

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