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Club World Cup?

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Post by Irish Londoner on Mon 06 Apr 2020, 2:13 pm

From The Guardian today:
"A radical proposal for an annual Club World Cup featuring 20 teams from around the globe will be put to leading unions this week as part of an effort to boost rugby’s finances. The competition, proposed by the French federation president, Bernard Laporte, could mean the end of the European Champions Cup in order to create space in the already cluttered calendar.
Laporte, who is vying to be World Rugby’s vice-chairman next month, has been formulating the plan alongside the governing body’s chairman, Bill Beaumont, since the World Cup last year.
The Club World Cup, part of their manifesto before the World Rugby elections next month, would involve four pools of five teams, made up of four from the Premiership, the Pro14 and the Top14, six from Super Rugby and one each from the USA and Japan. The tournament would take place over six weeks – every year except for World Cup years – and would be introduced at the expense of the Champions Cup, which Laporte believes does not make enough money."

Apart from the usual FOAD to World Rugby, I like it that Laporte is complaining about the Champions Cup not making any money when the French were the cheerleaders with England for the "all new" revised version which was going to be so much better, bring in bigger and better sponsorship funding and attract global attention.

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Post by Old Man on Mon 06 Apr 2020, 2:24 pm

So France is going to buy the club world champions.

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 06 Apr 2020, 2:29 pm

Soooo many issues to pick apart on this hair brained idea

1. The SH and NH club seasons are not aligned. Who has to play out of kilter for this to work?
2. Why does the Pro 14, with 5 nations playing in that comp only get 4 entries while Super rugby who also have 5 nations get 6 spots???
3. Why does the European competition have to be binned in order for the SH clubs to get a new tournament?

Stupid idea, why Laporte is championing this is beyond me. hopefully it goes the way of the international world league!

I'm all for a club cup, but this should be either a end of season tournament for the champions of each league in a straight knock out, or every two years (non WC or lions years) where everyone can play in some form of mini tournament.
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Post by Irish Londoner on Mon 06 Apr 2020, 2:44 pm

tigertattie wrote:Soooo many issues to pick apart on this hair brained idea

1. The SH and NH club seasons are not aligned. Who has to play out of kilter for this to work?
2. Why does the Pro 14, with 5 nations playing in that comp only get 4 entries while Super rugby who also have 5 nations get 6 spots???
3. Why does the European competition have to be binned in order for the SH clubs to get a new tournament?

Stupid idea, why Laporte is championing this is beyond me. hopefully it goes the way of the international world league!

I'm all for a club cup, but this should be either a end of season tournament for the champions of each league in a straight knock out, or every two years (non WC or lions years) where everyone can play in some form of mini tournament.

1 - In RL the world club championship is usually held at the start of NH season - of course the NRL/RL run more or less concurrent seasons, RL in the NH summer, NRL in the SH winter.
2 - I'm assuming that the six SH spots are two each for SA, NZ and Australia?
3 - No idea - again assumption is that this is going to get more TV money than the European Cup as I don't see where else the revenue is going to come from.

Also I'm not sure what a "US" team brings to the party, the Americans may (or may not) be getting more into rugby but I can't see them being interested in watching the "New York Ruggers" getting done by fifty points in every game by the likes of Exeter, Crusaders or Munster.

Also with only four places for the whole of the PRO14 - how will Scottish and Welsh fans feel with no or minimal representation - you'd expect at least two and probably three of the PRO14 sides to be Irish provinces, so that leaves a place for Glasgow and no Welsh club sides....

I'd be happy with a very short "end of season" tournament featuring the champions of the PRO14, Premiership, TOP14 and SR playing in a series of one off games: 1 v 2, 3 v 4, winners to play in the final losers in a third/fourth place game or even a HEC vs SR winners game as a one off but no more. The question of where it fits in with the other competitions and internationals would need sorting though.

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Post by Old Man on Mon 06 Apr 2020, 3:05 pm

tigertattie wrote:Soooo many issues to pick apart on this hair brained idea

1. The SH and NH club seasons are not aligned. Who has to play out of kilter for this to work?
2. Why does the Pro 14, with 5 nations playing in that comp only get 4 entries while Super rugby who also have 5 nations get 6 spots???
3. Why does the European competition have to be binned in order for the SH clubs to get a new tournament?

Stupid idea, why Laporte is championing this is beyond me. hopefully it goes the way of the international world league!

I'm all for a club cup, but this should be either a end of season tournament for the champions of each league in a straight knock out, or every two years (non WC or lions years) where everyone can play in some form of mini tournament.

More importantly why does England and France get four spots each?

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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 06 Apr 2020, 3:09 pm

Old Man wrote:
tigertattie wrote:Soooo many issues to pick apart on this hair brained idea

1. The SH and NH club seasons are not aligned. Who has to play out of kilter for this to work?
2. Why does the Pro 14, with 5 nations playing in that comp only get 4 entries while Super rugby who also have 5 nations get 6 spots???
3. Why does the European competition have to be binned in order for the SH clubs to get a new tournament?

Stupid idea, why Laporte is championing this is beyond me. hopefully it goes the way of the international world league!

I'm all for a club cup, but this should be either a end of season tournament for the champions of each league in a straight knock out, or every two years (non WC or lions years) where everyone can play in some form of mini tournament.

More importantly why does England and France get four spots each?

Take either country out the equation and there's no money.

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Post by 123456789. on Mon 06 Apr 2020, 4:07 pm

I like the idea of this in principle. I very much think some form of 'Club Final' could or should be played simply for the spectacle. However the idea that an integrated Club World Cup would be more successful is ridiculous. The World Cup works because it's once every four years and supporters from an entire nation come to support their team. A Club World Cup three out of four years won't have the same effect. The Worlds best players will play out in empty cathedrals and when they win the club game's pinnacle the stadium announcer will be the only person cheering. At least with the Champions Cup twenty sets of fans get to see their players at the top of the club game. Five or Six Nations have their players developing at a high standard. There's the emotional toll on the players too. Most of the top players in the world would be signed up to at least six solid weeks away from their family each year.

I don't doubt that the club game has a lot of untapped potential. It's also clear that Super Rugby is struggling. It would be better if New Zealand and Australia broke with South Africa to form a conventional league, perhaps with some Pacific Islander involvement. There are five teams from New Zealand, four from Australia, a Pacific Islander side would round it up to 10. South Africa's Currie Cup could return to it's status at the top of the domestic game. Super Rugby could reform to be genuinely super - the top teams from each of those divisions and Japan involved as well. The Champions Cup and Challenge Cup should look to engage with the North Americans. Get the American teams into the Challenge Cup and you'd see the Russians invest heavily in their rugby too. Rugby's route forward is to look at what works, reform them to make them better and more global gradually. Super Rugby's last decade has been a lesson in overstretching and over-expanding.

What would be good would be to have meaningful domestic leagues that filter into Hemisphere competitions with winners of each competition playing each other. Rugby could become unique in having teams from Moscow, Tokyo and New York filtering up to the same elite system with all the money that brings. It's pipe dream stuff because of the finances but with all the talent in the Pacific Islands with the right coaching and the right guidance they could form the best club in the World. The spectacle of a group of Pacific Islanders playing a properly funded American team at one of sport's iconic stadium is something within Rugby's potential to achieve. Bernard Laporte's vision is a way for the big rugby nations to tap into the finances of the richest countries. Leaving behind Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and Georgia in the process. Making it harder for fans in Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Italy to see top class rugby in the process.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 07 Apr 2020, 12:04 pm

USA and Japan teams added for the potential money

6SR teams so that it's not 4 NZ teams so no money from SA or Oz.

4 Pro14 team cause well he views the 3 euro leagues as equals.

Super Rugby Views
The pros.
More money short term like the smaller leagues in the early days of the champions league.
Greater brand exposure
The cons
When they are just making up the numbers (Which potential they could be already except crusaders) how do they sell the league to players and money men. Again look to the champions league and how the second Teir of English football is bigger than any league outside of the big 5.
SA has more motive to dump SR and just take two places for their Currie Cup teams

NH views
Pros
They can establish the NH club game as the pinnacle
More control for the club's at a global level (see Craig Bruce comments)
Cons
Top 8-10 teams pulling futher ahead of the rest in their leagues
More difficulty for struggling clubs
Alot less enjoyment from European weekends

This is a ploy to get elected to get the SH vote knowing the NH teams won't dump the competition they had a war over to just hand control over to WR and the SH

I do think there will be a worl competition at club level but it will be the champions of Europe. That is if the SR competition has any value when we are allowed see rugby again. Alot of cheap players with contract issues available to NH clubs.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 07 Apr 2020, 12:19 pm

From a pro14 point of view the 4 places would be
2 Irish (most likely Leinster and Munster)
1 Welsh/Scottish (most likely Glasgow)
1 Welsh/Scottish/Irish (most likely Ulster/Edinburgh/Scarlets)

The IRFU will do what they did in 2015 and still believe that they could get 3 teams into it and would manually remove the bottleneck from the Leinster Academy making Ulster and Munster's squads much improved meaning that rest weeks of star players would have less affect than they do now.

Taking half of Leinster B team and giving 5/6 players each to the other two would also make a big difference to the National team.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 07 Apr 2020, 12:31 pm

Ulster finished 4th in the 14/15 and 15/16 season
They finished 5th in the 16/17 season 1 pts off 4th
They finished 4th in Conference B in the 17/18 season 8pts off 1st & 2nd
Last year they finished 2nd in Conference B
This year were comfortably second in Conference A

So without getting the extra help they would be top 4 in 66% of the seasons. With the help the other non irish teams would have a real fight to get pass them

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Post by 123456789. on Tue 07 Apr 2020, 10:38 pm

I just think it's a joke of an idea. It's based on some fairly basic maths and no real notion of geography or emotion. The idea that if a team covers 4 million people it will automatically attract more people than a local one. The Border Reivers are the real sign that doesn't work; the Borders were the rugby hotbed in Scotland. At their last professional game before disbandment was announced they attracted fewer than 2000 fans to watch. The Borders were rugby people but take away the rivalries between the sides and replace it with a whole new entity and people won't flock to it just to see rugby.
We have two Premier domestic competitions in Professional Rugby. One is the Champions Cup, one is Super Rugby. The Champions Cup has been far more successful. There's good reasons for that, the economics being a huge part of it. French and English clubs have all the money and suck up the best Southern Hemisphere talent. The top Irish provinces are able to hold onto their best players through International selection rules. The other reason is that it's been, apart from it's facelift after the Anglo-French stop, a relatively consistent competition. The English and French clubs have kept their existing rivalries and added more, the Celtic teams have developed rivalries in their own leagues and in Europe on top of that. Glasgow and Saracens, in recent years, have developed a certain animosity. Ulster and Saracens too. The great Leinster and Clermont teams as well. It also has a tremendous way of putting the best teams up against each other on great occasions. In contrast Super Rugby has expanded beyond measure, it's geographically too disparate for travelling fans and teams chop and change far too often for any degree of continuity to develop.

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Post by Irish Londoner on Wed 08 Apr 2020, 8:40 am

The other question is of course with domestic rugby in the NH all but bankrupt after the CV19 issues, and clubs relying either on their owners or unions to bail them out, and we all know that financially SH rugby is on its uppers as well, where's the money going to come from to fly squads around the world so that Bath can play Auckland?
Also in an age where long haul travel for the sake of it is coming under increasing criticism, can rugby really justify teams criss crossing the the world every week to play each other?

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 08 Apr 2020, 8:46 am

Brendan wrote:USA and Japan teams added for the potential money


You know the US Union has filed for bankruptcy right?

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 08 Apr 2020, 9:57 am

Gooseberry wrote:
Brendan wrote:USA and Japan teams added for the potential money


You know the US Union has filed for bankruptcy right?

US rugby isnt going away though. They will start again without the debt.

The money in the US is there but it is untapped. The money is the people and if Americans start tuning in to US rugby matches then this opens the door for increased sponsorship.
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Post by Brendan on Wed 08 Apr 2020, 11:32 am

tigertattie wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
Brendan wrote:USA and Japan teams added for the potential money


You know the US Union has filed for bankruptcy right?

US rugby isnt going away though. They will start again without the debt.

The money in the US is there but it is untapped. The money is the people and if Americans start tuning in to US rugby matches then this opens the door for increased sponsorship.

The money was more for the economy.

Western US has large populations of PI especially states like Utah and California. Plus add in all the expats and you have a nice tidy figure. If Munster or Leinster played in Boston or New York they would sell out 40k if the Irish community were involved. It would be like a home game for the Irish team but is that any different to when either of those teams play in big stadiums in Europe that aren't the teams main home ground.

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Post by Irish Londoner on Wed 08 Apr 2020, 12:14 pm

tigertattie wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
Brendan wrote:USA and Japan teams added for the potential money


You know the US Union has filed for bankruptcy right?

US rugby isnt going away though. They will start again without the debt.

The money in the US is there but it is untapped. The money is the people and if Americans start tuning in to US rugby matches then this opens the door for increased sponsorship.

Are the US audience going to pay to watch a US team get it's bottom smacked on a weekly basis by the best teams from Europe and the SH? The American TV audience (by and large) are only interested in sports where the US does well. It'll be years before the US has a side that can compete - I'd put good money on the better NH/SH club teams being able to beat the US international side never mind a club side.

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Post by 123456789. on Wed 08 Apr 2020, 2:43 pm

7s in the Olympics will expedite American rugby development somewhat. Rugby, however, would, quite literally, be looking to occupy the same space as Football which it will never oust. I am in two minds as to whether rugby taking off in America would be good for the game. On the one hand the money they would bring and the athletic ability would take the sport to a new level. America's GDP is larger than the rest of the top 20's combined. It's population only marginally smaller than the combined total of the Top 10. Rugby's emerging pro countries of Japan and America have a combined population of almost double the combined 'Top 10'. Of course, this is no surprise, that's why they are able to support pro-leagues.

However we know the Americans to be rather 'America First'. I am pretty sure that Major League Rugby has tweaked certain laws already although I can't find where I read that. If the Americans decide they don't like elements of the way rugby is then they will not hesitate to throw their weight around. I suppose some might consider that a good thing. The smaller nations have long cried for change knowing that ultimately, when it comes down to it, the Rugby World doesn't really need them apart from as filler for World Cups. America and Japan bring money to the table and a vested interest in changing the established order of things. Unlike football, the Americans don't actually have to jump that far to play at the top table. They are firmly established in the top 20. At the moment they wouldn't compete with any team's first choice but it wouldn't take a huge amount for that to change. They beat Scotland's largely second XV in 2018 and came close to beating Ireland's in 2013. They recorded almost identical results in 2019 to Japan in 2011. Japan had a firmly established pro-league at that stage whereas America's is only just getting going. America certainly doesn't have to overcome the issues the Japanese had of a genetically smaller population. If things go right, with a bit of luck, they could be in the World Cup knockout stages within a decade and bring changes that will put a rocket up the Home Nations 'boring old farts' (I'm a traditionalist, I like the boring old farts) of the like Bernard Laporte wouldn't consider in his wildest dreams. It would be interesting to see the sheer confusion of the Murrayfield crowd if the American rugby team ran out American football style to play a November test under the lights.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety on Wed 08 Apr 2020, 2:50 pm

So Laporte wants a WR position. He'll get the French vote and probably feels that 6ns wise he can pick those votes up too. Sounds like he needs USA, Japan. and trying to maybe split away one of the classic 3Ns.

Who is he running against?

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Post by tigertattie on Thu 09 Apr 2020, 1:21 pm

Laporte will not get support from this from the PRO14 unions as it takes away spots for them at the top table.

I also highly doubt that he'll get support from the English clubs as they wont want thier TV revenues to be slpit out across the SH nations who join in rather than keeping what they get from the Euro cups. Also the cost of travelling to SANZARR to play in the competition, along with the toll on players travelling, will put them right off.
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