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Should the top two English leagues be merged?

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Should the top two English leagues be merged? Empty Should the top two English leagues be merged?

Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 16 Jun 2020, 6:45 pm

Ruck.co.uk have put together a rather pie in the sky piece about league reform in England.

https://www.ruck.co.uk/what-would-the-premiership-look-like-if-it-was-split-into-conferences-like-the-nfl/

It suggests splitting the top two divisions into 5 NFL style conferences. 

NORTHERN DIVISION
Doncaster Knights
Newcastle Falcons
Sale Sharks
Yorkshire Carnegie

LONDON DIVISION
Ealing Trailfinders
Harlequins
London Irish
Saracens

MIDLANDS 1
Bedford Blues
Leicester Tigers
Northampton Saints
Nottingham

MIDLANDS 2
Bristol Bears
Gloucester
Wasps
Worcester Warriors

SOUTHERN DIVISION
Bath
Cornish Pirates
Exeter Chiefs
Jersey

The issues emerge immediately as outraged Bristol fans want to know why they are a Midlands team and Bath are a Southern one. Midlands 2 would be much better re-badged as West.

Yorkshire/Leeds or whatever their name is this week obviously aren't fit to enter and Coventry would probably be annoyed by being overlooked after finishing last season on 4th. Not sure the Prem teams would be keen on sharing the television coverage pie but more games should mean more coverage options and maybe some shared coverage.

The West Country teams would probably want to be in the same group for derby game purposes but this would make their conference extremely harsh.

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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 16 Jun 2020, 8:17 pm

Big clubs playing big clubs is what generates the money and ensures the elite players get the level of competition required. The only way this works is if theres a series of regional teams sat above it for the international players, but the big clubs will never sign up to that and it would alienate a huge number of long term fans.
The premiership as it is has had games with attendances almost as large as the entire population of Jersey. Its laughable really. England cant sustain 20 full time professional rugby sides.

The economic situation makes a cut down ring fenced premiership pretty inevitable IMO.

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Post by Duty281 on Tue 16 Jun 2020, 8:47 pm

The gap between the Premiership and the Championship is far too big in terms of quality for this to work. In the last Championship season, Newcastle won all 15 of their games and on only three occasions was the margin of victory 7 points or fewer. And they're the weakest of the, effectively, 13 Premiership teams that currently exist!

Where would the fun be in watching Jersey or Doncaster getting beaten out of sight most weeks?

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 17 Jun 2020, 10:53 am

I think some form of merger should happen, but not like this.

Either two divisions of 10 (but agree with Goose that we cannot fund or have depth for 20 teams) or two conferences of 7 or 8 teams.

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Post by formerly known as Sam on Wed 17 Jun 2020, 11:29 am

I agree 20 teams is far too many. If you look at that list there's a few clubs on there that will never be able to compete at Prem level in the next few years. Nottingham are part time, Yorkshire are bankrupt and I doubt either Donny or Bedford are able to push on (ditto Coventry).

I don't dislike the conference idea though I'd have though four conferences of four would be adequate. A championship operating underneath with a play off between their winner and the lowest ranked top level team just to keep clubs honest.

North & Midlands
Tigers
Saints
Sale
Newcastle

West
Wasps
Worcester
Gloucester
Bath

London
Ealing 
LI
Sarries
Quins

South
Jersey
Pirates
Chiefs
Bristol

Means there's the still arbitrary split between Bath and Bristol.

Jersey and Pirates would have a tough time of it though Jersey have a tough pack and with actual funding they'd be able to retain more of their best players.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 17 Jun 2020, 7:51 pm

Wasps can’t seem to find a place. They’re originally a London team but now play out of Coventry which is midland right?

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Post by Brendan on Wed 17 Jun 2020, 10:07 pm

I think it would be a good idea if it was for combining the A teams and championship sides and ringfencing it so that teams like Richmond could establish themselves on a sure footing. I know they didn't go professional because of the bad experince they had when they went bankrupt.

Doing the conference system should reduce travel costs

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Post by PhilBB on Sun 13 Sep 2020, 1:59 pm

13 PRL clubs
4 Welsh clubs
3 more English teams

Two league, professional set up
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 13 Sep 2020, 2:43 pm

Nah

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Sun 13 Sep 2020, 9:59 pm

Nearly all the evidence suggests that the Super Rugby model of conferences contributes to the medium term decline and even destruction of domestic rugby apart from the wealthiest union/team(s) within that conference system. Alternatively, the two strongest competitions in the world are contained domestic leagues based on a pyramid structure with relegation and promotion and have seen growth and decline across a number of clubs in the last 15 years. They are by far the best 'products' in world rugby outside NZ where the standards are so much higher based on internal competence and competition from grassroots.

I have no idea what the fascination is in trying to resurrect the Super Rugby format in Europe and elsewhere. It seems to come from some kind of pigheaded denial of the reality that Super Rugby had failed even before covid. It also seems to be from the Pichot manifesto of 'plague Europe and the moneymakers of world rugby with all the bad ideas we have' out of envy and hatred of Europe's imperfect successes.

The vast majority of the Championship teams in England are also-rans and nobodies with a few hundred fans. Several of them are in football towns where the capacity for growth is minimal. Conference systems don't work in growing the game, all they do is provide 'more' - more games, more matches, a little more TV reveune under the illusion of 'growth', more corporate interest, and then eventually after pushing the 'product' beyond its means for several years the whole thing collapses in on itself.

We don't need to Americanise rugby for it to go global; it will not help rugby break in to the North American market. The conference system is far more alien and confusing than a league structure which is something the majority of the world understands and accepts.

The solution is incredibly simple. The national Super Rugby tournaments have shown what the solution is. Return to domestic leagues and have a more global club competition to replace the current Super Rugby and Champions Cup competitions. Make every game of international rugby count like the Nations League in football but without ringfencing it and arbitrarily punishing Georgia, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Canada, and anyone else who isn't the USA and Japan (who would be the likely 2 additional teams to the top 10). Integrate the Lions in to part of this mid-RWC-cycle competition or 'system' of meaningful international games that aren't just friendlies. Don't try to grow the game artificially and end up scorching the grassroots of the sport as has happened in many historical countries and can be seen in the way cricket is a rapidly declining game in England despite significant investment at the top of the game.

No one wants pointless exhibition matches. No one wants meaningless domestic league games where teams are going through the paces and/or resting key players for half the season. Many of the top clubs already manage this by resting players and focusing on key domestic and European games. Just standardise the system so clubs aren't playing fodder from Italy or South Africa, or Argentina or Japan down South. Have the best playing the best and make it monetarily sensible for national competitions to be sustainable without losing talent overseas/having to import from overseas.

Returning to national competitions with elite crossborder competitions for the best to play the best, whatever that looks like in the modern game, is the only thing that makes sense. If England ringfence their club system they will live to regret it.

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Post by PhilBB on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 10:23 am

rugby racing and beer wrote:Nearly all the evidence suggests that the Super Rugby model of conferences contributes to the medium term decline and even destruction of domestic rugby apart from the wealthiest union/team(s) within that conference system.

Except, of course, for the NFL.

Regardless of that, English pro rugby has a huge problem caused by the barrier of entry to professional rugby: the cost. That's why English pro rugby has a yo-yo team and the others in the league it drops down to can't really compete with it. So if English pro rugby wants a two division set up for the pro game, it can't do it on its own.

So it has too many teams for one division but too few for two divisions - hence the solution is obvious.

Let's hope that CVC see it that way.
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Post by Irish Londoner on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 1:26 pm

PhilBB wrote:13 PRL clubs
4 Welsh clubs
3 more English teams

Two league, professional set up

Happy playing in the English second division forever then ? Very Happy

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Post by PhilBB on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 1:28 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
PhilBB wrote:13 PRL clubs
4 Welsh clubs
3 more English teams

Two league, professional set up

Happy playing in the English second division forever then ? Very Happy

I'd take that over the PrO'14, yes. I'm pretty confident it wouldn't happen, mind you, when you consider teams like Leicester, Newcastle, Sale, Gloucester, Worcester and London Irish can play Premiership rugby.
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Post by rugby racing and beer on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 1:34 pm

PhilBB wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:Nearly all the evidence suggests that the Super Rugby model of conferences contributes to the medium term decline and even destruction of domestic rugby apart from the wealthiest union/team(s) within that conference system.

Except, of course, for the NFL.

Exactly. Apart from the NFL, where teams and franchises are constantly going broke or moving halfway across the country, in a competition that has failed to extend its reach outside North America in any meaningful way despite the vast wealth it has within the sport.

It's a model that doesn't work for rugby. We've seen this. Why keep trying? It's the definition of madness. Super Rugby only benefitted the Kiwis and the Pro14 only benefits the Irish i.e. the on field winners and in the case of the Irish the commercial winners of each competition as well. South Africa, Argentina, Austalia, Wales, Scotland and even Italy are all weaker than they were 15 years ago in either international or domestic terms, or both (this applies to Australia certainly).

The very best argument against this sort of thing is the best team in England, ironically: Exeter. Demographics, businesses, clubs etc all change. You cannot ringfence rugby. If we'd done it in the 90s or 00s it would have been on the hope that Leicester and Bath (and then Wasps) were always the biggest and best teams and clubs in England. There's no room for real success or failure from outside the status quo. It's like freezing rugby and saying 'this is what it will be like for the rest of time' until, inevitably, a team goes broke (instead of just dropping down a division and still existing at a lesser level) and is replaced by some wealthy owner with a vanity club. Personally, I'm not a fan of sport becoming full of Man Citys and Toulons, I'd like there to be some variety to the ebb and flow of who deserves to exist in rugby, but perhaps not everyone feels this way.

I would have thought Welsh fans from the Valleys would be a good group of people to ask about this. Same goes for Western Force fans in Australia.


Last edited by rugby racing and beer on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 1:39 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Irish Londoner on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 1:38 pm

PhilBB wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:Nearly all the evidence suggests that the Super Rugby model of conferences contributes to the medium term decline and even destruction of domestic rugby apart from the wealthiest union/team(s) within that conference system.

Except, of course, for the NFL.

Regardless of that, English pro rugby has a huge problem caused by the barrier of entry to professional rugby: the cost. That's why English pro rugby has a yo-yo team and the others in the league it drops down to can't really compete with it. So if English pro rugby wants a two division set up for the pro game, it can't do it on its own.

So it has too many teams for one division but too few for two divisions - hence the solution is obvious.

Let's hope that CVC see it that way.

The NFL is very different set up though, the salary cap is strictly enforced, the money involved is far greater and most importantly the players come through the college system and are shared out equally through the draft - the worst teams get to pick the best of the new draft each season, I can't imagine any of the top teams letting Newcastle, Irish, Leicester or Worcester having the pick of their best players!

If the English clubs wanted to expand the obvious answer is to have a team in the north, some sort of hybrid of Doncaster/Rotherham/Leeds to keep the geographical spread, plus whichever of the Championship clubs who actually want full time rugby - I can really only see Ealing, Jersey and Cornwall who'd have the financial wherewithall to make the jump. Add four to the current twelve and have two conferences of eight.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 1:40 pm

So increase it to 14 teams in England then? The current 11 plus Saracens, Newcastle and Yorkshire (or are they back to Leeds Carnegie again?).

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 1:41 pm

If you give Cornwall a 'proper' club it will weaken Exeter dramatically. Part of Exeter's success is the geographical spread they have.

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Post by PhilBB on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 1:42 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:
Exactly. Apart from the NFL, where teams and franchises are constantly going broke or moving halfway across the country, in a competition that has failed to extend its reach outside North America in any meaningful way despite the vast wealth it has within the sport.

I'm sorry but, before we go any further, please could you tell me in what year the last NFL franchise went 'broke'?
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Post by PhilBB on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 1:43 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:

The NFL is very different set up though, the salary cap is strictly enforced, the money involved is far greater and most importantly the players come through the college system and are shared out equally through the draft - the worst teams get to pick the best of the new draft each season, I can't imagine any of the top teams letting Newcastle, Irish, Leicester or Worcester having the pick of their best players!

If the English clubs wanted to expand the obvious answer is to have a team in the north, some sort of hybrid of Doncaster/Rotherham/Leeds to keep the geographical spread, plus whichever of the Championship clubs who actually want full time rugby - I can really only see Ealing, Jersey and Cornwall who'd have the financial wherewithall to make the jump. Add four to the current twelve and have two conferences of eight.

As the Conference set up in NFL isn't dependent on the college draft, I've no idea why you've even mentioned that.

You're also struggling with the concept that the clubs you mentioned can't afford pro rugby.
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Post by PhilBB on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 1:44 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:
It's a model that doesn't work for rugby. We've seen this.

We haven't. We've never seen anything like the NFL idea.
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Post by Irish Londoner on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 1:44 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:
PhilBB wrote:13 PRL clubs
4 Welsh clubs
3 more English teams

Two league, professional set up

Happy playing in the English second division forever then ? Very Happy

I'd take that over the PrO'14, yes. I'm pretty confident it wouldn't happen, mind you, when you consider teams like Leicester, Newcastle, Sale, Gloucester, Worcester and London Irish can play Premiership rugby.

Maybe if Welsh teams were more successful in the "PrO'14" (oh my sides Very Happy ) they might be able to make a case for playing in England ?

You said a two division league so even if the Welsh sides were able to match the above teams, they'd still be in lower level with them. The current top eight is Exeter, Saracens, Wasps, Bath, Sale, Bristol, Quins and Saints, with Gloucester just outside it - you think any of the Welsh teams could sustain a league season at that level and compete in Europe?

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Post by PhilBB on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 1:47 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:
The very best argument against this sort of thing is the best team in England, ironically: Exeter. Demographics, businesses, clubs etc all change. You cannot ringfence rugby. If we'd done it in the 90s or 00s it would have been on the hope that Leicester and Bath (and then Wasps) were always the biggest and best teams and clubs in England. There's no room for real success or failure from outside the status quo. It's like freezing rugby and saying 'this is what it will be like for the rest of time' until, inevitably, a team goes broke (instead of just dropping down a division and still existing at a lesser level) and is replaced by some wealthy owner with a vanity club. Personally, I'm not a fan of sport becoming full of Man Citys and Toulons, I'd like there to be some variety to the ebb and flow of who deserves to exist in rugby, but perhaps not everyone feels this way.

I would have thought Welsh fans from the Valleys would be a good group of people to ask about this. Same goes for Western Force fans in Australia.

Except, of course, Exeter doesn't prove anything like you've written. Exeter proves the case for expansion via business case rather than promotion. Exeter's huge financial spend and leverage via a bond issue, plus their geography and existing assets, allowed them to be the perfect case of expansion via franchise / business plan / whatever you want to call it.

Nobody suggests a ring fenced league remains like that forever. Nobody.

"Welsh fans from the Valleys" (and what Valleys do you mean - Neath, Gwent, Cynon, Silicon?) may understand that "no money = no team" which, of course, is the argument in favour of expansion via finance - the very thing you're trying to argue against.

If you want to know what happens under your idea, ask London Welsh.
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Post by Irish Londoner on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 1:50 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:

The NFL is very different set up though, the salary cap is strictly enforced, the money involved is far greater and most importantly the players come through the college system and are shared out equally through the draft - the worst teams get to pick the best of the new draft each season, I can't imagine any of the top teams letting Newcastle, Irish, Leicester or Worcester having the pick of their best players!

If the English clubs wanted to expand the obvious answer is to have a team in the north, some sort of hybrid of Doncaster/Rotherham/Leeds to keep the geographical spread, plus whichever of the Championship clubs who actually want full time rugby - I can really only see Ealing, Jersey and Cornwall who'd have the financial wherewithall to make the jump. Add four to the current twelve and have two conferences of eight.

As the Conference set up in NFL isn't dependent on the college draft, I've no idea why you've even mentioned that.

You're also struggling with the concept that the clubs you mentioned can't afford pro rugby.

Because the draft is the keystone of NFL - it's what stops it becoming a league where the richest teams get all the best players. The conference set up doesn't matter, it's the player recruitment and salary caps that keep the playing field reasonably level.

I didn't say they could afford it, I said they are the only English teams who have it as an ambition and who might be able to.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 1:50 pm

PhilBB wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:
The very best argument against this sort of thing is the best team in England, ironically: Exeter. Demographics, businesses, clubs etc all change. You cannot ringfence rugby. If we'd done it in the 90s or 00s it would have been on the hope that Leicester and Bath (and then Wasps) were always the biggest and best teams and clubs in England. There's no room for real success or failure from outside the status quo. It's like freezing rugby and saying 'this is what it will be like for the rest of time' until, inevitably, a team goes broke (instead of just dropping down a division and still existing at a lesser level) and is replaced by some wealthy owner with a vanity club. Personally, I'm not a fan of sport becoming full of Man Citys and Toulons, I'd like there to be some variety to the ebb and flow of who deserves to exist in rugby, but perhaps not everyone feels this way.

I would have thought Welsh fans from the Valleys would be a good group of people to ask about this. Same goes for Western Force fans in Australia.

Except, of course, Exeter doesn't prove anything like you've written. Exeter proves the case for expansion via business case rather than promotion. Exeter's huge financial spend and leverage via a bond issue, plus their geography and existing assets, allowed them to be the perfect case of expansion via franchise / business plan / whatever you want to call it.

Nobody suggests a ring fenced league remains like that forever. Nobody.

"Welsh fans from the Valleys" (and what Valleys do you mean - Neath, Gwent, Cynon, Silicon?) may understand that "no money = no team" which, of course, is the argument in favour of expansion via finance - the very thing you're trying to argue against.

If you want to know what happens under your idea, ask London Welsh.

Of course it does. If you ringfence a competition then no one can be promoted in to it through gradual improvement. The only teams that get added in are either cannon fodder that get ejected from other competitions (as we've seen in the Pro14), other countries for 'new' markets, or massively wealthy teams who can promise immediate impact. That's a very simple idea, I'm surprised you're struggling with it.

I have no idea what relevance you think London Welsh has. Tbh I don't think you've even read what I've said. You're not making much sense in the slightest.

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Post by Irish Londoner on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 1:52 pm

PhilBB wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:
The very best argument against this sort of thing is the best team in England, ironically: Exeter. Demographics, businesses, clubs etc all change. You cannot ringfence rugby. If we'd done it in the 90s or 00s it would have been on the hope that Leicester and Bath (and then Wasps) were always the biggest and best teams and clubs in England. There's no room for real success or failure from outside the status quo. It's like freezing rugby and saying 'this is what it will be like for the rest of time' until, inevitably, a team goes broke (instead of just dropping down a division and still existing at a lesser level) and is replaced by some wealthy owner with a vanity club. Personally, I'm not a fan of sport becoming full of Man Citys and Toulons, I'd like there to be some variety to the ebb and flow of who deserves to exist in rugby, but perhaps not everyone feels this way.

I would have thought Welsh fans from the Valleys would be a good group of people to ask about this. Same goes for Western Force fans in Australia.

Except, of course, Exeter doesn't prove anything like you've written. Exeter proves the case for expansion via business case rather than promotion. Exeter's huge financial spend and leverage via a bond issue, plus their geography and existing assets, allowed them to be the perfect case of expansion via franchise / business plan / whatever you want to call it.

Nobody suggests a ring fenced league remains like that forever. Nobody.

"Welsh fans from the Valleys" (and what Valleys do you mean - Neath, Gwent, Cynon, Silicon?) may understand that "no money = no team" which, of course, is the argument in favour of expansion via finance - the very thing you're trying to argue against.

If you want to know what happens under your idea, ask London Welsh.

Exeter's business plan meant nothing without success on the field though - if there had been a ringfenced league the clubs already inside it the fence would not have let Exeter in.

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Post by PhilBB on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 1:55 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:

Because the draft is the keystone of NFL - it's what stops it becoming a league where the richest teams get all the best players. The conference set up doesn't matter, it's the player recruitment and salary caps that keep the playing field reasonably level.

I didn't say they could afford it, I said they are the only English teams who have it as an ambition and who might be able to.

Mate, it's the salary cap that stops the richest teams getting all the best players, as you recognise, not the draft.

They can't afford it. That's the problem I raised above.
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Post by PhilBB on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 1:57 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
Exeter's business plan meant nothing without success on the field though - if there had been a ringfenced league the clubs already inside it the fence would not have let Exeter in.

No, mate, that's not how 'expansion by business case' works. You first prove that you can afford the team on the pitch to be competitive and Exeter could easily have done that.

So, yes, by any sane measure of expansion, Exeter would have been one of the chosen new participants.
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Post by PhilBB on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 1:59 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:

Of course it does. If you ringfence a competition then no one can be promoted in to it through gradual improvement. The only teams that get added in are either cannon fodder that get ejected from other competitions (as we've seen in the Pro14), other countries for 'new' markets, or massively wealthy teams who can promise immediate impact. That's a very simple idea, I'm surprised you're struggling with it.

I have no idea what relevance you think London Welsh has. Tbh I don't think you've even read what I've said. You're not making much sense in the slightest.

I'll explain London Welsh to you: they were promoted through "gradual improvement" (what you favour) but couldn't afford to survive at that level and went bust.

So that's why portion through "gradual improvement" doesn't work in an environment where the barrier to entry is finance. See now?

So when the barrier to entry is finance, that is why ring fencing is overcome (as you recognise) by "massively wealthy teams".

So you either grow by "massively wealthy teams" as new entrants or you repeat the disaster of London Welsh. It's a very, very simple concept and it really should make sense to you.
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Post by PhilBB on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 2:00 pm

PhilBB wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:
Exactly. Apart from the NFL, where teams and franchises are constantly going broke or moving halfway across the country, in a competition that has failed to extend its reach outside North America in any meaningful way despite the vast wealth it has within the sport.

I'm sorry but, before we go any further, please could you tell me in what year the last NFL franchise went 'broke'?

Any answer to this one, "rugby racing and beer"? Thanks.
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Post by Irish Londoner on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 2:02 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:

Because the draft is the keystone of NFL - it's what stops it becoming a league where the richest teams get all the best players. The conference set up doesn't matter, it's the player recruitment and salary caps that keep the playing field reasonably level.

I didn't say they could afford it, I said they are the only English teams who have it as an ambition and who might be able to.

Mate, it's the salary cap that stops the richest teams getting all the best players, as you recognise, not the draft.

They can't afford it. That's the problem I raised above.

Sorry, maybe I got my wires crossed, when you said rugby should be more like the NFL I thought you meant adopting their processes. We already have a salary cap (of sorts) although I do agree that the smaller clubs or clubs without a sugar daddy do struggle to even meet it.

Still not convinced what a conference structure brings though - maybe go to two divisions with a couple of Championship teams and spread the TV money across both - but I can't see the turkeys voting for Christmas on that one. English rugby does need a pro team in the North though, firstly as a presence and secondly to stop Rugby League taking all the best prospects.

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Post by PhilBB on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 2:04 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:

Sorry, maybe I got my wires crossed, when you said rugby should be more like the NFL I thought you meant adopting their processes. We already have a salary cap (of sorts) although I do agree that the smaller clubs or clubs without a sugar daddy do struggle to even meet it.

Still not convinced what a conference structure brings though - maybe go to two divisions with a couple of Championship teams and spread the TV money across both - but I can't see the turkeys voting for Christmas on that one. English rugby does need a pro team in the North though, firstly as a presence and secondly to stop Rugby League taking all the best prospects.

The Academy area for the rugby league heartland is already in place, isn't it? So I'm not sure it 'needs' a professional team to stop that from happening.

My point on conferences is solely that the NFL model hasn't been tried.

My club is stuck in a garbage competition that nominally has 'conferences'. It's utterly abysmal.
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Post by Irish Londoner on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 2:22 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:

Sorry, maybe I got my wires crossed, when you said rugby should be more like the NFL I thought you meant adopting their processes. We already have a salary cap (of sorts) although I do agree that the smaller clubs or clubs without a sugar daddy do struggle to even meet it.

Still not convinced what a conference structure brings though - maybe go to two divisions with a couple of Championship teams and spread the TV money across both - but I can't see the turkeys voting for Christmas on that one. English rugby does need a pro team in the North though, firstly as a presence and secondly to stop Rugby League taking all the best prospects.

The Academy area for the rugby league heartland is already in place, isn't it? So I'm not sure it 'needs' a professional team to stop that from happening.

My point on conferences is solely that the NFL model hasn't been tried.

My club is stuck in a garbage competition that nominally has 'conferences'. It's utterly abysmal.

Ah - so we're at the Scottish football argument "Rangers and Celtic would be the best teams in Britain if only they could join the English league (and thereby get access to the money in it) " ?

Maybe CVC, which appears to have plans for a GB and Ireland league will get you out. Of course the Welsh clubs will still be at the bottom of any league but at least you'll be getting beaten by English as well as Irish and Scottish teams so will that make it better?

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Post by PhilBB on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 2:25 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:

Ah - so we're at the Scottish football argument "Rangers and Celtic would be the best teams in Britain if only they could join the English league (and thereby get access to the money in it) " ?

Maybe CVC, which appears to have plans for a GB and Ireland league will get you out. Of course the Welsh clubs will still be at the bottom of any league but at least you'll be getting beaten by English as well as Irish and Scottish teams so will that make it better?

I'm not sure about the best teams but I'm 100% confident my club would have more money if it played in the competition we're discussing rather than the garbage it presently is forced to play in.

Interesting that you think Welsh teams will be at the bottom of a league that will have a salary cap. I guess that delusion comes from the Irish bit of your username.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 2:29 pm

Why would the maoe believe league have a salary cap that would suit the welsh?

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Post by PhilBB on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 2:33 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Why would the maoe believe league have a salary cap that would suit the welsh?

I'm pretty sure that PRL wouldn't accept a competition without one, especially where there is single ownership of multiple entrants as that allows opaque financing which devalues the worth of the competition.

The "Welsh" could survive in the GP on the present funding model with the new cap. What "the Welsh" can't do is keep up with how the SRU and IRFU gerrymander their teams within the PrO'14.

But I'm sure that you knew that already.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 2:37 pm

Why would they set one to suit the welsh though. Why would they not set it above what the welsh could afford? Doubt the irish would want to limit themselves so you'll just replicate the pro 14 with different teams but I think you still get the same moans.

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Post by PhilBB on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 2:38 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Why would they set one to suit the welsh though. Why would they not set it above what the welsh could afford? Doubt the irish would want to limit themselves so you'll just replicate the pro 14 with different teams but I think you still get the same moans.

I didn't claim they'd set one to suit "the welsh".

I pointed out "the welsh could afford" their new cap.

I've no idea what your final sentence is trying to communicate, sorry.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 2:42 pm

How do you know. Why wouldn't it be set above what the welsh could afford to ensure that the English could excel? You pine for the welsh to excel but the grass isn't greener.

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Post by PhilBB on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 2:44 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:How do you know. Why wouldn't it be set above what the welsh could afford to ensure that the English could excel? You pine for the welsh to excel but the grass isn't greener.

Well, PRL have just lowered their cap to what they can afford so I based my comment solely on that.

There's no grass in the PrO'14, mate. It's dead. It's gone. Still, it helps you be deliberately contrary so there is that going for it.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 2:45 pm

So the welsh will meet the same cap as the english and the irish will outspend us both. Why would the english want that?

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Post by PhilBB on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 2:47 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:So the welsh will meet the same cap as the english and the irish will outspend us both. Why would the english want that?

How can a cap be outspent? You're now making as much as sense as you did in that final sentence above that you failed to explain.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 2:50 pm

The irish wouldn't agree to a cap. And how can it be outspent...well bath and saracens managed it.

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Post by PhilBB on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 2:52 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:The irish wouldn't agree to a cap. And how can it be outspent...well bath and saracens managed it.

The Irish wouldn't agree. Good. Forget them, then, and go back to my original point.

Thanks.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 2:54 pm

Sp the Irish would outspend us all. Youd still whine about that.

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Post by Irish Londoner on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 2:57 pm

PhilBB wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Why would they set one to suit the welsh though. Why would they not set it above what the welsh could afford? Doubt the irish would want to limit themselves so you'll just replicate the pro 14 with different teams but I think you still get the same moans.

I didn't claim they'd set one to suit "the welsh".

I pointed out "the welsh could afford" their new cap.

I've no idea what your final sentence is trying to communicate, sorry.

The English current salary cap is £7 million + 2 Marquees.
The Welsh have a self imposed salary cap of £3.5 million however Welsh internationals get 60% of their wages paid by the WRU (is that the union interference you go on about?) which doesn't count as part of the club cap.
Per the interweb Leinster pay around £7 million a year in salaries - Ulster around £5 million. The two Scottish team pay out around £4 million.

There probably around four teams paying the full cap in England and probably at least another four paying out what Ulster are - if Welsh teams can't compete with the Irish and Scottish clubs in the PRO14 how are they going to compete with the English teams with the same budget as a lower half Premiership team?

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Post by PhilBB on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 2:57 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Sp the Irish would outspend us all. Youd still whine about that.

I wouldn't care if they played in their own league.

You'd still try to be contrary about it, however.
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Post by PhilBB on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 3:00 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:

The English current salary cap is £7 million + 2 Marquees.
The Welsh have a self imposed salary cap of £3.5 million however Welsh internationals get 60% of their wages paid by the WRU (is that the union interference you go on about?) which doesn't count as part of the club cap.
Per the interweb Leinster pay around £7 million a year in salaries - Ulster around £5 million. The two Scottish team pay out around £4 million.

There probably around four teams paying the full cap in England and probably at least another four paying out what Ulster are - if Welsh teams can't compete with the Irish and Scottish clubs in the PRO14 how are they going to compete with the English teams with the same budget as a lower half Premiership team?

a) you're out of date on your English cap. They've lowered it.
b) there's no salary cap in Wales.
c) Welsh Internationals have never had 60% of their salaries paid by the WRU
d) the SRU pays out £31m in total wages for the professional game so there's no chance that only £8m of that are on player salaries for Glasgow and Edinburgh
e) the IRFU pays out over €40m on "player and management costs" so there's no way that Leinster's salary bill is £7m
f) you've ignored the tax rebate in the Irish analysis

So, all in all, your figures are all over the place.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 3:00 pm

Why would the english want to play with the welsh rather than include the better teams like Leinster? They'd still have the same problem with the welsh union paying players wages as well. That'd have to go as well of course. You've basically turned 3 threads into how youd like your team to play with the english though. Bit sad when it's not going to happen. Maybe follow the football if you're that unhappy with the rugby?

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Post by Irish Londoner on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 3:02 pm

PhilBB wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:How do you know. Why wouldn't it be set above what the welsh could afford to ensure that the English could excel? You pine for the welsh to excel but the grass isn't greener.

Well, PRL have just lowered their cap to what they can afford so I based my comment solely on that.

There's no grass in the PrO'14, mate. It's dead. It's gone. Still, it helps you be deliberately contrary so there is that going for it.


If the PRO14 is dead, where does that leave you? The English don't want you, your domestic game doesn't make enough revenue to go it alone and still remain competitive in Europe or develop international players, it's the PrO'14 or nothing unless CVC ride to the rescue but they'll have to bring the whole league to the party, not just Wales so you won't be any better off.

What's with the desire to get tonked by the English on a regular basis rather than the Scots or Irish?

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Post by PhilBB on Mon 14 Sep 2020, 3:02 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Why would the english want to play with the welsh rather than include the better teams like Leinster? They'd still have the same problem with the welsh union paying players wages as well. That'd have to go as well of course. You've basically turned 3 threads into how youd like your team to play with the english though. Bit sad when it's not going to happen. Maybe follow the football if you're that unhappy with the rugby?

The Welsh union only pays the Dragons wages whilst the Dragons are being sold.
The English wouldn't want single ownership of multiple entrants who wouldn't work to a salary cap.

I've not turned anything into anything, but it's telling that your mindset is to run away rather than work to improve. I guess it's difficult to play the role of deliberate contrarian when presented with logic, hence your complete failure today.
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