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Pro 16 needs to pull the plug on Premier Sports

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Irish Londoner
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Post by bsando Thu 11 Mar 2021, 6:20 pm

First topic message reminder :

Pro 16 needs to pull the plug on Premier Sports - Page 14 Error_10

If the Pro 16 wants to compete with the likes of the other top leagues in Europe and further abroad, they need to part ways with Premier Sports. The current Premier Sports contract with the Pro 14 finishes at the end of this season it still remains to be seen if this will be renewed or another broadcaster will takeover the rights.

Many fans have voiced their dislike of the online platform which after several seasons appears to be stable via Sky or Virgin sports packages but less so as an outright online viewing package. Coupled with annoying multiple login requirements to swap from devices and random lost connection error codes before, during and even when trying to watch on demand matches, it would be a real shame to see the new Pro 16 format begin in this manner.

Do you feel the upcoming Pro 16 competition would be a good addition to BT Sports or Sky Sports or even one of the streaming platforms like Amazon Prime?

Would it be better for a return to the domestic networks in a similar format as before?

Could CVC play a part in this decision with their recent investment in the Pro 14 league and 6N?

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 25 May 2021, 12:44 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:So to summarise. The clubs pay the players with the money given to them by the WRU which can't be used for any other reason other than paying those players.

Look I do not see eye to eye with Phil on here, I really don't. But how you have come to that conclusion from what he has said is beggars belief.

You really do make your own stuff up on here to suit your agenda, only you and God knows how you have come to this.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 25 May 2021, 12:49 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:So to summarise. The clubs pay the players with the money given to them by the WRU which can't be used for any other reason other than paying those players.

Look I do not see eye to eye with Phil on here, I really don't. But how you have come to that conclusion from what he has said is beggars belief.

You really do make your own stuff up on here to suit your agenda, only you and God knows how you have come to this.

Because that is what he has said LD. Here is the quote: 'Just to confirm this for the final time: part of the payment for services from the WRU must be used to pay 80% of the wages of the 38 players named each season by Pivac.'

Do you believe I have misunderstood that point?

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 25 May 2021, 12:51 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:So to summarise. The clubs pay the players with the money given to them by the WRU which can't be used for any other reason other than paying those players.

Look I do not see eye to eye with Phil on here, I really don't. But how you have come to that conclusion from what he has said is beggars belief.

You really do make your own stuff up on here to suit your agenda, only you and God knows how you have come to this.

Because that is what he has said LD. Here is the quote: 'Just to confirm this for the final time: part of the payment for services from the WRU must be used to pay 80% of the wages of the 38 players named each season by Pivac.'

Do you believe I have misunderstood that point?

Thats not a quote. Headscratch

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 25 May 2021, 12:57 pm

Yes it is. The quote is between the ' '.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 25 May 2021, 1:00 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Yes it is. The quote is between the ' '.

No what I have done here is a quote. You do really need to use the quote option. OK

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 25 May 2021, 1:10 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Yes it is. The quote is between the ' '.

No what I have done here is a quote, though really I could be made to say anything. You do really need to use the quote option. OK I agree with you completely 7&1/2, I didn't realise that Phil had indeed said the quote. Sorry for that.

I've quoted him in the speech marks. It's no different really not as if you can't change you quotes here for example as I've done to yours above.

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Post by Irish Londoner Tue 25 May 2021, 1:37 pm

So the WRU don't pay the players club wages directly, however they give the clubs money - i.e. 80% of the players wages to the clubs who then pass it on to the players along with the other 20% which the clubs pay 100% of the wage to the player?
So the only difference between the WRU system and the IRFU/SRU system is that the money isn't paid directly to the player but is paid directly by the union to the player?
So apart from the fig leaf of paying the club rather than paying the player directly the WRU are doing exactly the same as the other unions?

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 25 May 2021, 1:49 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:So apart from the fig leaf of paying the club rather than paying the player directly the WRU are doing exactly the same as the other unions?

No, they are doing the same as the RFU. Not all the other unions.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 25 May 2021, 1:52 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:So apart from the fig leaf of paying the club rather than paying the player directly the WRU are doing exactly the same as the other unions?

No, they are doing the same as the RFU. Not all the other unions.

They're not doing the same as the RFU as explained above the WRU pay money to the teams which has to be used to pay the players, the RFU payments can be used anywhere.

P.s. no acknowledgement from you as to whether you think I misunderstood Phils point or whether your point about me making stuff up was incorrect.

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Post by Irish Londoner Tue 25 May 2021, 2:26 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:So apart from the fig leaf of paying the club rather than paying the player directly the WRU are doing exactly the same as the other unions?

No, they are doing the same as the RFU. Not all the other unions.

As I understand it (and happy to be corrected):

IRFU and SRU pay their international players directly from central funds and their clubs can make up any additional payments if they wish from their own funding. i.e. the player gets "X" as a wage from the union, which they pay him directly under a central contract and his club can pay him extra if they have agreed to it from club funds.

Basically the same system as county cricket and the ECB have. Joe Root gets £x from the ECB plus £Y from Yorkshire when he plays for them.

The WRU pay 80% of the international players salary. They do this by giving the clubs the money but they have to pass this money onto the player - but at no point are the club allowed to use the money for anything else. The club pay the other 20%.

The RFU make payments to the English clubs for player release, the amount depends on how many England players are at the club, the more players the more money. This money is paid to the club and there are no conditions regarding how the club use it - they can use it to pay the player selected, use it to pay for overseas players/non international players to cover for the absent international, or buy five hundred tackle bags with it. Neither the RFU or the player have any control over how the club spends this RFU funding.

All the internationals regardless of who they represent also get paid by their RFU when they are actually playing international rugby or at training camps.

Have I got any of this wrong?

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Post by PhilBB Tue 25 May 2021, 2:46 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:So to summarise.  The clubs pay the players with the money given to them by the WRU which can't be used for any other reason other than paying those players.

The RFU give money to clubs to encourage more use of English qualified players. That money can be spent on anything the clubs want.

Nope. EPS payments are per player per EPS group, as per the reference above
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Post by MichaelT Tue 25 May 2021, 2:48 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:The RFU make payments to the English clubs for player release, the amount depends on how many England players are at the club, the more players the more money. This money is paid to the club and there are no conditions regarding how the club use it - they can use it to pay the player selected, use it to pay for overseas players/non international players to cover for the absent international, or buy five hundred tackle bags with it. Neither the RFU or the player have any control over how the club spends this RFU funding.

I always thought the amount paid by the RFU under the elite system was evenly spread across the premiership and the benefit (for lack of better word) of having international players was that gave credits to increase the club salary cap limit.


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Post by PhilBB Tue 25 May 2021, 2:48 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:So the WRU don't pay the players club wages directly, however they give the clubs money - i.e. 80% of the players wages to the clubs who then pass it on to the players along with the other 20% which the clubs pay 100% of the wage to the player?
So the only difference between the WRU system and the IRFU/SRU system is that the money isn't paid directly to the player but is paid directly by the union to the player?
So apart from the fig leaf of paying the club rather than paying the player directly the WRU are doing exactly the same as the other unions?

Nope again.

The 80% in Wales is attributed to only the top 38 players whereas the IRFU/SRU system sees the union contract directly ever player.

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Post by PhilBB Tue 25 May 2021, 2:49 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
Have I got any of this wrong?

Yes.

For starters, the IRFU and SRU contract every player. Their teams / branches do not exist outside of the Union.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 25 May 2021, 2:52 pm

So you are talking about the match fees paid by the RFU then Phil? Those would be paid any time a player appears for England or on the bench.

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Post by PhilBB Tue 25 May 2021, 2:54 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:So you are talking about the match fees paid by the RFU then Phil? Those would be paid any time a player appears for England or on the bench.

Sigh, I even gave you the reference to the actual document and the paragraphs therein.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 25 May 2021, 2:56 pm

So the match fees then Phil?

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Post by PhilBB Tue 25 May 2021, 2:57 pm

No
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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 25 May 2021, 3:02 pm

You'll need to be more specific then. Are you saying that the RFU contribute a percentage to the wages paid by the clubs as the WRU do? If so I'll hold my hands up as I didn't know that.

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Post by PhilBB Tue 25 May 2021, 3:04 pm

I can't be more specific than to point you in the direction of the actual agreement.

I can't be more specific than the explanation I gave you above.

If you want to learn something, re-read the answers already provided rather than rehash the same old tired and silly questions.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 25 May 2021, 3:05 pm

We go back to the fact that the WRU pay money to the clubs which have to be used for wages then and nothing else.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 25 May 2021, 3:11 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:We go back to the fact that the WRU pay money to the clubs which have to be used for wages then and nothing else.

I think the point that the money have to be used for wages is because they have no other money to use for wages, but in essence, I suppose the money could be used for something else perhaps.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 25 May 2021, 3:16 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:We go back to the fact that the WRU pay money to the clubs which have to be used for wages then and nothing else.

I think the point that the money have to be used for wages is because they have no other money to use for wages, but in essence, I suppose the money could be used for something else perhaps.

Not according to Phil.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 25 May 2021, 3:27 pm

Well I don't know then. Rolling Eyes

What I do know is, I am bored of reading people trying to win the internet all the time. picard

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 25 May 2021, 3:31 pm

Yeah I read your post and replied before both were deleted without comment from a mod I presume. I had written that I'd like you to at least acknowledge I hadn't made anything up as you accused me of. Guess I'd still like that to happen LD as I found and posted the quote.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 25 May 2021, 4:09 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote: I had written that I'd like you to at least acknowledge I hadn't made anything up as you accused me of

Where have I accused you of this ?

Please explain.

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Post by Brendan Tue 25 May 2021, 4:30 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Brendan wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
Brendan wrote:
3. Before the league had Irish sponsers it had no sponsers.  There was Rabo but they didnt last long. As above Irish companies generally have outside of Ireland as their main market and are looking at everything to grow it.  Guinness sponsered the Premiership (I guess to get Irish teams in).  The 4 Irish teams have the biggest sponsership deals in the league.  Look at the Provinces shirts and sponser names v the other teams that look like racing car drivers.  Who sponsored the 6N after they couldn't find someone.

Just to point out that the Diageo Group aren't an Irish company.

Diageo are based in London, so your guess about "to get Irish teams in" is hilarious.

How do you know the 4 Irish teams have the biggest sponsorship deals in the league?

RBS were to sponsor the 6N until John Feehan, the Irishman, screwed up the deal https://punditarena.com/rugby/thepateam/six-nations-organisers-forced-into-sponsorship-uturn/ So that's not really you something you should be boasting about.

So if Diageo are a UK company how does the league have Irish sponsers.  Was your fact not a fact after all.

You were answering Dowlais about Irish sponsors, not me.

No comment on the rest of that post? No evidence about the sponsorship deals for the Irish teams? No comment on Feehan? More disingenuous posting, it seems

Sometimes it hard to tell the posters apart.

I am unaware of the person who was responsible for securing sponship.  In most companies the Chief Executive is not the one who looks after it but is there for the photos with the real people involved stuck in the background.

Feel free to show that they aren't.  I know how you didn't like my last evidence

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Post by Brendan Tue 25 May 2021, 4:38 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:1. 10 of 12 - first season of playoffs 09/10.  Top ranked team got the home final. Of the 5 seasons Ireland hosted the final as the top team was Irish.
In 14/15 it changed to a set location where cities had to put up guarantees.  Of the 5 finals 2 were in Scotland and 3 in Ireland.
Then the IRFU unleashed a sickness on the world that force travel restrictions because they were so upset Wales had got the final on their first attempt of tendering for it.

Funny how that criteria was changed at a time when Ospreys were looking likely to be the top ranked side, yep they changed the criteria half way through the season.

Yet here we are.

Sorry, I couldn't be bothered with your other points as it is just you trying to turn it into an Irish V Welsh thing. OK

Actually it was Glasgow not Ospreys who lost out due to picking a venue. They finished top of the League but had to win the final in Belfast

Where the final is held didn't seem to stop Glasgow, Ospreys, Scarlets or Connacht winning away from home.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 25 May 2021, 4:48 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote: I had written that I'd like you to at least acknowledge I hadn't made anything up as you accused me of

Where have I accused you of this ?

Please explain.

'But how you have come to that conclusion from what he has said is beggars belief.

You really do make your own stuff up on here to suit your agenda, only you and God knows how you have come to this.'

So as I said you accused me of making something up that Phil actually said. I've provided his quote subsequently.

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Post by y ddraig goch Tue 25 May 2021, 11:40 pm

profitius wrote:
y ddraig goch wrote:
Old Man wrote:  (the South African teams aren't going to work)

Unclear what you mean?

Not going to work in what sense?

Good question.

It's my belief that the Pro12/14/16 competition is dead and has been on borrowed time since 2013 when the restructuring of European rugby effectively threw the Italians to the ditch (which is a major reason for their poor Six Nations results since then as they had to rebuild their professional teams from basically scratch). Some might argue it was already in trouble when it first added the Italians as it was a sign of what was to come.

In short, the Pro14 is going through the same lifecycle as Super Rugby. You will know how that went, the positives and the negatives, and adding the Kings & Cheetahs was a bit like adding the Sunwolves. The pandemic really ought to have been the end of the competition, making room for a better, more modern replacement, but the clubs were backed by the European socialised economic policies of their respective national govts that have a duty to maintain these businesses and by passing that debt on the future generations, the competition is still alive and the Pro14 has been able to add 4 more South African sides to the roster.

It is a competition that is severely lacking in prestige, meaning, history, and commercial viability. The English Premiership has had its issues over the last 20 years but eventhough it has struggled with the quality of its teams at times, it has stabilised and since 2013 - the same time the Pro12 started declining, with the rise of Toulon and Saracens replacing Leinster as the best teams in Europe - the addition of foreign talent and the benefit of investing in academies that began 10 years previously meant the Prem became a highly attractive league to watch and play in alike. The Pro14 suffers with poor quality matches, variable competitiveness due to rotation with a view to preparing players for European or international competition, lack of jeopardy or incentive to improve due to no relegation, fans don't travel to away games as it's both expensive and unrewarding, a lack of tradition or 'true' rivalry has limited home attendances, dreadful officiating due to the disparity between nations (in particular Scotland who cannot produce a competent professional referee), and there is no obvious way to either grow the fanbase (the three main countries all have small, not particularly wealthy populations - apart from Dublin) or allow natural selection to take care of changing demographics and ecomonics (i.e. Exeter replacing the likes of Leeds Rhinos in England) due to the enclosed competition and lack of pyramidal progression/regression that was curtailed in Wales and Scotland to produce superclubs for this new competition. All of this creates apathy and a sense of rot which keeps fans, investors, and broadcasters away as they can see the competition has limited growth and entertainment value.

This past year, there have been two competitions which have stood head and shoulders above any of the others and they've done it in almost completely different ways, which shows there is no fixed way to do things successfully. That is the English Prem and NZ's Rugby Aotearoa. The latter is a showcase of the incredible skill and talent that comes from NZ's internally driven competitiveness and desire to stay ahead of the chasing pack by creating and maintaining a self-sufficient and world leading rugby culture at every level but in particular with skills and coaching. The gulf in ability between NZ and Australia has been painful to watch in the trans Tasman games. The English have taken a different approach and it mirrors England's success as a pluralistic yet utilitarian society, mirroring the football Premiership by using the tradition of established and historical club rivalries with a decent number of fans to hire coaching and playing personnel from all over the world while avoiding the issues the French got in to with the Top14 (something they finally addressed when they realised they couldn't survive with a second rate national side). The English Premiership is producing good games of rugby, broadcast on a TV channel (and shown on social media) that many people have for telecommunications, with standards of play that have in some cases probably improved without fans (unlike football, or some other rugby comps i.e. Pro14). As a result, I wouldn't be surprised if the English Prem has won over fans during the past 12 months on the basis that it's producing a good and visible product at a time when people were locked down. Bristol and Exeter are fantastic to watch and showcase how there's more than one way to successfully skin a cat.

The rest are playing catch up to those two. The Top 14 isn't far behind and could surpass the English Premiership,
although language is probably their biggest barrier to global domination, but the Australian and SA'n Super Rugby comps were a mixed bag. The Japanese and American leagues are up and coming. The Pro14 is in the awkward middle ground that Australia occupy but without the potential market due to the size of the audience (interest is probably near peaking in Ireland due to a decade of domination despite the league's problems, Italy has big potential but are still a long way off producing two competitive club sides made up of Italian talent). They have an obviously inferior product to their nearest neighbours, with standards, history, and competitiveness clearly second rate, yet there's nowhere obvious to go. There's no clear path to catch up or surpass the competition without joining them.

.

The top14 is the biggest by far. The premiership wants to ring-fence their league which will stop and potential new clubs from rising and gaining investment. Exeter will be the last of those.

The premiership clubs do not want the Welsh teams btw. I don't know why all the anger directed towards irish rugby for being relatively success at that level.

As for SA teams dominating. I'd rather that than more cannon fodder. Theyll raise the standard of the league without doubt. That will attract more fans and could create a virtuous circle. It will depend how SA fans get behind it. They won't have NZ teams and the season is a bit disjointed but the matches won't be on at 6am and they've plenty of SA players playing in this part of the world. It won't matter a jot to team ireland. Wales do well despite the regions.

Maybe a 2 tier league is the future with promotion and relegation. Let the weaker teams play among themselves.

The Top14 is wealthy at the moment but it can be outflanked by the British if they decide to go or a British Isles league. Ireland would be a major asset for that as well and ringfencing to 13 English Premiership clubs makes it highly likely that we're moving towards something like that in the medium term future.

For all the money and talent in France they have underperformed in Europe over the last 10 years and that is what will define how successful a team is going forward, not just their ability to win national competitions. Like the Champions League in football. More importantly they have destroyed their national team and have had to take drastic measures to curtail ambitious owners. They tried to outspend the Premiership and ultimately got the balance wrong as international rugby still pays a lot of the (sustainable) bills and is still the major advert for rugby, not the clubs. Given how powerful the national unions are as well when it comes to regulation of the global game they are highly unlikely to ever allow international rugby to become secondary to club rugby like football has. At least not for the next 20-30 years. The RWC is the main tool for expansion, just look at Japan in the last 10 years. The USA is the next major target for the 2030s/40s. A lot of top rugby players have left France due to its amateur attitude and most players value international success over the wages on offer. We'll have to see what the jiff laws do long term to the French league but just analysing the money in France doesn't mean it is the best or even the biggest league. If the French national team keeps struggling, and the multiracial football team keeps winning, then rugby will decline outside the heartlands in the south because France is undergoing huge demographic changes (which they do not allow anyone to study/publish). Football is the French sport, not rugby. At the same time, filling the national team with Pacific Islanders did not help French rugby and they have yet to find the right balance between club and country. They have to reduce the power of the clubs as they are the only team out of five that is realistically capable of winning a world cup that has yet to do so, despite reaching several finals. That is an underachievement and winning a RWC, something they hope to do in 2023, could have a major boost to the game.

The other obvious issue confronting French rugby is its lack of appeal and visibility outside France. The global language is English and the French defence of their tongue might be a source of national principle but it damages them when it comes to spreading the global brand. La Liga, Bundesliga etc all broadcast in English or have a major English language YouTube/social media accounts to engage with viewers from around the world. The Top14 has nearly 50% fewer subscribers than the English Premiership and receives half the views on its match highlights than the Premiership. This is a major indication of the popularity of a competition considering they operate in similar time zones and have similar broadcast deals i.e. on a major telecomms/cabel channel. It doesn't tell you much more than that but it is a sign that, all things being equal, the Top 14 has almost 50% less appeal than the Premiership online. You would expect that to continue or grow when extending in to new territories as well given that the global language and culture is English and not French. Particularly if the English teams keep going toe to toe with the French in Europe (and outperform them at international level).

So when you say 'biggest' I'm not sure how long that can last. Something has to give in terms of finding a balance between club/international rugby, and also there's the very real threat of the Anglosphere teaming up and blowing them away. The decline of Super Rugby makes that possible with SA making the temporary step up in to the NH. You have to assume that is with a view to joining European Champions Cup in the near future. Super Rugby by the way had massive appeal and has nearly double the English Premiership subscribers and views on YouTube. That is partly due to the fact that the bulk of the rugby public is in Europe and they can't/don't watch the games live due to the timings in NZ, it's also partly because Super Rugby is the best standard of club rugby, and it's also partly due to SR absolutely nailing their social media early on and developing a subscriber/fan base a decade ago just as they did with TV broadcasting back in the 90s and 00s. The Super Rugby podcast is deliberately targeted towards Europeans as well as they probably make up 80-90% of the viewer and watchers. They regularly clip their podcast to highlight the NH discussions, usually about England or the Lions, and it's done in a positive light not the negative one that Sky NZ has chosen to broadcast to its Kiwi public to generate hostility to the Six Nations voting bloc. This is how you grow a league or competition. The French are in an island of their own language, culture, and territory. England and London is still the centre of the world in many important commercial ways even as the UK declines. Super Rugby was very successful for a while but it still failed because it didn't have the money or the growth potential, as well as suffering from some structural issues in the league like kick off times. The Premiership has the right balance between all of those things where the Pro?? clearly doesn't as it is already living way beyond its means by scrabbling for finance by destroying the integrity of the competition, and the Top 14 is in a constant fight with the FFR and needs to face up to the reality that the world is not Francophonic nor can French rugby survive with a national team that is pitiful (1 6Ns win since 2007 makes them the 4th European nation in that period which should be unacceptable). The pluralist egalitarianism of England that seeks balance and fairness for its teams, preventing any one owner from dominating (thankfully, Saracens were punished greatly when they broke the rules) due to expenditure, is why the Premier League succeeded over its rivals in the football world. It found the right balance between growth, quality, success, and integrity of competition. It was also helped by the fact that English culture still dominates the world via America. The Top 14 will have to do something drastic to avoid the same thing happening in rugby and it's not just a case of money being the answer because that will upset the balance as mentioned. If wealthy owners start backing out then French rugby is in the pits and that could happen if the French are outpaced at both club and international level.

"Maybe a 2 tier league is the future with promotion and relegation. Let the weaker teams play among themselves."

"I don't know why all the anger directed towards irish rugby for being relatively success at that level. "

I think you've answered this one yourself. Can't you see the irony in what you've just said? As for Wales, there is no desire whatsoever to play in a two tier league with Ireland and SA. If that sort of thing is going to happen it would have to include England because that's where the money and growth lies. SA are desperate for money, they add very little to the long term health of the Pro project on their own terms (CVC might prop it up which seems likely). We have far less of a connection to Ireland, let alone SA, than we do to England. Apart from what was devolved we're in many ways the same country. It makes zero sense other than the fact that a lot of people seem to be laugh at the idea that the Pro14 has become a two-tier competition - with Ireland ahead of everyone else due to anti-competitive commercial behaviour - while at the same time you are arguing for literally a two-tier competition. As far as I can see this suggestion is so Ireland can maintain dominance in a Pro?? competition that will still bring in the desired level of commercial revenue, allowing them to compete for Champions Cups and Six Nations despite the talent and wealth gap to England and France. There's some mental gymnastics going on there when it comes to denying the two-tier Pro12 while at the same time arguing for exactly that.

The league is dead as a league. Most people seem to have come to terms with this other than the Irish. The best Scottish players recognise they were stagnating in Glasgow and losing their 3 best players has turned Glasgow in to mush for the sake of creating a better national team (Hogg is now undeniably world class, one of the few European players who can comfortably claim that tag). Punishing the other Celtic nations for the fact that it is dead, in large part due to Ireland squeezing the other teams out of the competition and shaping the league for their benefit (which, in many ways, is just survival of the fittest), is absolutely ridiculous. Ireland can pursue their self interest but the problem is they rely on the Welsh, Scots etc to maintain their current level of comfort and that's where negotiation and leverage comes in. Their (your?) confidence in Irish rugby is misplaced because your teams would also turn to mush if you started losing players to England and Frence. It might make your national team better in a way by forcing Irish players out of the comfort zone of managed playing time and developing their skillsets in a tougher domestic comp but at least 3 of the provinces, possibly 4, would be where the Welsh and Scottish are if even 20% of your test players played outside Ireland: second rate to the best of Europe. If Ireland try to push their luck they'll find it comes back to hurt them immensely. You're actually a minority in terms of B&I. If the Pro league collapsed it would be the Irish who lost the most and also have the longest road to recovery as creating a GB competition would be much easier than a B&I one for logistical reasons. If we were creating professional leagues from scratch in 2021, there is no way we'd end up with the Pro?? - Ireland are lucky as much as anything else to be where they are. I don't think it could ever happen but if Ireland did push for a genuinely two-tier Pro??, which different income depending on which league you played in despite the equal stake between the three Celtic nations, they'd be laying the ground for their own demise.

Club rugby has been destroyed in Wales due to the poor management and foresight of the WRU in throwing their lot in to the Celtic League and all of this damage has been justified on the basis that it has kept the national team competitive and successful by proritising funding towards the top level (expensive head coaches, private investment, stadium) rather than restructuring the Welsh pyramid in a sensible way to deal with professionalism. Suggesting that a competition that has failed a fundamental integrity test in terms of fairness and regulation (Leinster will never be punished like Saracens have despite similar practices) should now have its corpse reinvigorated by ever-increasing teams (first Italy, next SA, who then? Georgia? Spain? Russia?) and creating a mess of a 'league' that is now almost entirely working on the basis of self survival of the status quo (i.e. Irish dominance and competitiveness in the two other tiers, Europe and 6Ns) is some seriously twisted logic that basically amounts to 'know your place, Wales and Scotland'. From a Welsh perspective, moreso than the Scots who are clearly a distance behind both nations in depth/level of talent and structures, this is unacceptable and there is zero reason to continue in the Pro?? rugby if this is a route to take. Why would we agree to it? It's completely insane. No-one cares about the league as it is, even the oragnisers don't care about the league as they just nerfed it back in December for a shot at the new Rainbow Cup. Listen to the players as well, particularly away from the media. They all know it's a joke, they don't care about it and love the Prem in comparison. The Irish don't have this perspective because their players stay in Ireland and don't seem to understand how much better the Premiership is, where every game counts and you see the best players nearly every week, and a lot of this seems to be a desire for Irish separation from Britain, something that raises its head with the Lions. I don't know what the answer to that is as independence should be respected but for as long as Wales and Scotland are in the UK, Wales in particular should be looking to kill the Pro project and join with the English. If the Pro project becomes even more pro-Irish and hostile to the other founding nations then the SRU and WRU should force the play and kill the league for good. You say England don't want the Welsh but if they move towards a ringfenced competition, as CVC clearly wants, then it makes it possible. In any case, I'd rather Wales just shake the Irish out of their comfortable delusions about their own abilities and kills the league for the sake of it if there is a genuine desire to use Celtic Rugby to leverage themselves in to a new long term commercial agreement with SA. I don't think that's going to happen as the WRU and FIR would hopefully remove themselves (I don't think we can trust the SRU as they seem aligned to the IRFU but you never know) before that ever happened. But then I don't have much faith in the WRU either. The Irish can't seem to accept that Wales is at best their equal in rugby and in reality probably significantly better. What we lack is finance and depth. We produce a far higher percentage of truly talented players and have a much longer history of rugby, with structures of talent that are based in basic skills at a young age. And that's despite the significant wealth and population gap between the two nations. Ireland have had some success in rugby and a lot of growth in the last 20 years but their failure to do anything of note at a RWC and their diabolically negative, low skill ball-in-hand rugby (that's why Schmidt banned offloads) is evidence of the fact that, simply, they are not as good as they think they are and the arrogance of wanting the Welsh to continue playing second fiddle (and have it entrenched) so they can maintain their comfort in competing in Europe and bringing the moolah in to Dublin is staggering. I don't think you thought through what you actually said in all fairness but it says a lot about the latent Irish attitude to the Welsh/other nations and the purpose of Celtic Rugby. If we're going to be in a competition where the wealthiest dominate, I and 95% of Wales would rather it be England for many reasons, but primarily financial. We'd be better off being mid to low tier teams in a GB league than we would in any sort of Pro comp. A competition with Ireland at the head has minimal growth potential hence its need to constantly add new nations just to hang on to the coat tails of England/France; the English Premiership could become the dominant global club competition within 15 years and can expand itself to new territories by using its commercial and cultural network. It's not even a sensible decision. If we were free to pursue our self interest we'd do everything we could to join the far healthier GB comp and if the WRU and RFU, along with CVC, can come to some kind of agreement for a new GB league (Ireland would obviously be welcome) as a way of outstripping the French and becoming the major domestic rugby competition then that would be ideal.

The Pro14 honestly is dead and severing it at the waist because the hair still looks quite pretty isn't going to bring it back to life. It's fundamentally broken and not fit for purpose. Unless that purpose is simply more of the same but with South Africans as well i.e. no-one cares about the league, it's a way to rest players for Europe/international games. I can't see the SA'ns settling for that but they've also been up sh** creek for the best part of a decade so maybe they have no other choice.

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Post by y ddraig goch Tue 25 May 2021, 11:46 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Bizzare comment regarding the top 14 "potentially surpassing the premiership". Not only has the Top 14 left the prem in the dust, France now have 3 fully professional divisions plus many, many more semi pro clubs in the lower divisions. Some of the Welsh posters seem to have an extremely inflated view of what the prem is.

The English Premiership is a more successful league than the Top 14 despite operating with far less money. The results of the respective national teams is evidence of that. Club rugby is still at the mercy of the national unions. No-one cares about French club rugby outside of France unless they're getting paid to play in it and at the moment the French don't seem to care about that. I wasn't aware there we three professional rugby leagues in France (what is the third?) but the standards of these 'professional' leagues is a major reason why France are so bad. Having a lot of money and hiring a lot of journeymen might fool some people but I don't think it's the Welsh who have a misguided view about the value of the three main European league competitions.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Wed 26 May 2021, 1:49 am

y ddraig goch wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Bizzare comment regarding the top 14 "potentially surpassing the premiership". Not only has the Top 14 left the prem in the dust, France now have 3 fully professional divisions plus many, many more semi pro clubs in the lower divisions. Some of the Welsh posters seem to have an extremely inflated view of what the prem is.

The English Premiership is a more successful league than the Top 14 despite operating with far less money. The results of the respective national teams is evidence of that. Club rugby is still at the mercy of the national unions. No-one cares about French club rugby outside of France unless they're getting paid to play in it and at the moment the French don't seem to care about that. I wasn't aware there we three professional rugby leagues in France (what is the third?) but the standards of these 'professional' leagues is a major reason why France are so bad. Having a lot of money and hiring a lot of journeymen might fool some people but I don't think it's the Welsh who have a misguided view about the value of the three main European league competitions.
The third professional league is the new nationale division below Pro D2. I don't know why you have professional in quotations there, it doesn't matter what the standard is the players are on full time contracts.

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Post by profitius Wed 26 May 2021, 9:45 am

y ddraig goch wrote:
profitius wrote:

The top14 is the biggest by far. The premiership wants to ring-fence their league which will stop and potential new clubs from rising and gaining investment. Exeter will be the last of those.

The premiership clubs do not want the Welsh teams btw. I don't know why all the anger directed towards irish rugby for being relatively success at that level.

As for SA teams dominating. I'd rather that than more cannon fodder. Theyll raise the standard of the league without doubt. That will attract more fans and could create a virtuous circle. It will depend how SA fans get behind it. They won't have NZ teams and the season is a bit disjointed but the matches won't be on at 6am and they've plenty of SA players playing in this part of the world. It won't matter a jot to team ireland. Wales do well despite the regions.

Maybe a 2 tier league is the future with promotion and relegation. Let the weaker teams play among themselves.

The Top14 is wealthy at the moment but it can be outflanked by the British if they decide to go or a British Isles league. Ireland would be a major asset for that as well and ringfencing to 13 English Premiership clubs makes it highly likely that we're moving towards something like that in the medium term future.

For all the money and talent in France they have underperformed in Europe over the last 10 years and that is what will define how successful a team is going forward, not just their ability to win national competitions. Like the Champions League in football. More importantly they have destroyed their national team and have had to take drastic measures to curtail ambitious owners. They tried to outspend the Premiership and ultimately got the balance wrong as international rugby still pays a lot of the (sustainable) bills and is still the major advert for rugby, not the clubs. Given how powerful the national unions are as well when it comes to regulation of the global game they are highly unlikely to ever allow international rugby to become secondary to club rugby like football has. At least not for the next 20-30 years. The RWC is the main tool for expansion, just look at Japan in the last 10 years. The USA is the next major target for the 2030s/40s. A lot of top rugby players have left France due to its amateur attitude and most players value international success over the wages on offer. We'll have to see what the jiff laws do long term to the French league but just analysing the money in France doesn't mean it is the best or even the biggest league. If the French national team keeps struggling, and the multiracial football team keeps winning, then rugby will decline outside the heartlands in the south because France is undergoing huge demographic changes (which they do not allow anyone to study/publish). Football is the French sport, not rugby. At the same time, filling the national team with Pacific Islanders did not help French rugby and they have yet to find the right balance between club and country. They have to reduce the power of the clubs as they are the only team out of five that is realistically capable of winning a world cup that has yet to do so, despite reaching several finals. That is an underachievement and winning a RWC, something they hope to do in 2023, could have a major boost to the game.

The other obvious issue confronting French rugby is its lack of appeal and visibility outside France. The global language is English and the French defence of their tongue might be a source of national principle but it damages them when it comes to spreading the global brand. La Liga, Bundesliga etc all broadcast in English or have a major English language YouTube/social media accounts to engage with viewers from around the world. The Top14 has nearly 50% fewer subscribers than the English Premiership and receives half the views on its match highlights than the Premiership. This is a major indication of the popularity of a competition considering they operate in similar time zones and have similar broadcast deals i.e. on a major telecomms/cabel channel. It doesn't tell you much more than that but it is a sign that, all things being equal, the Top 14 has almost 50% less appeal than the Premiership online. You would expect that to continue or grow when extending in to new territories as well given that the global language and culture is English and not French. Particularly if the English teams keep going toe to toe with the French in Europe (and outperform them at international level).

So when you say 'biggest' I'm not sure how long that can last. Something has to give in terms of finding a balance between club/international rugby, and also there's the very real threat of the Anglosphere teaming up and blowing them away. The decline of Super Rugby makes that possible with SA making the temporary step up in to the NH. You have to assume that is with a view to joining European Champions Cup in the near future. Super Rugby by the way had massive appeal and has nearly double the English Premiership subscribers and views on YouTube. That is partly due to the fact that the bulk of the rugby public is in Europe and they can't/don't watch the games live due to the timings in NZ, it's also partly because Super Rugby is the best standard of club rugby, and it's also partly due to SR absolutely nailing their social media early on and developing a subscriber/fan base a decade ago just as they did with TV broadcasting back in the 90s and 00s. The Super Rugby podcast is deliberately targeted towards Europeans as well as they probably make up 80-90% of the viewer and watchers. They regularly clip their podcast to highlight the NH discussions, usually about England or the Lions, and it's done in a positive light not the negative one that Sky NZ has chosen to broadcast to its Kiwi public to generate hostility to the Six Nations voting bloc. This is how you grow a league or competition. The French are in an island of their own language, culture, and territory. England and London is still the centre of the world in many important commercial ways even as the UK declines. Super Rugby was very successful for a while but it still failed because it didn't have the money or the growth potential, as well as suffering from some structural issues in the league like kick off times. The Premiership has the right balance between all of those things where the Pro?? clearly doesn't as it is already living way beyond its means by scrabbling for finance by destroying the integrity of the competition, and the Top 14 is in a constant fight with the FFR and needs to face up to the reality that the world is not Francophonic nor can French rugby survive with a national team that is pitiful (1 6Ns win since 2007 makes them the 4th European nation in that period which should be unacceptable). The pluralist egalitarianism of England that seeks balance and fairness for its teams, preventing any one owner from dominating (thankfully, Saracens were punished greatly when they broke the rules) due to expenditure, is why the Premier League succeeded over its rivals in the football world. It found the right balance between growth, quality, success, and integrity of competition. It was also helped by the fact that English culture still dominates the world via America. The Top 14 will have to do something drastic to avoid the same thing happening in rugby and it's not just a case of money being the answer because that will upset the balance as mentioned. If wealthy owners start backing out then French rugby is in the pits and that could happen if the French are outpaced at both club and international level.

"Maybe a 2 tier league is the future with promotion and relegation. Let the weaker teams play among themselves."

"I don't know why all the anger directed towards irish rugby for being relatively success at that level. "

I think you've answered this one yourself. Can't you see the irony in what you've just said? As for Wales, there is no desire whatsoever to play in a two tier league with Ireland and SA. If that sort of thing is going to happen it would have to include England because that's where the money and growth lies. SA are desperate for money, they add very little to the long term health of the Pro project on their own terms (CVC might prop it up which seems likely). We have far less of a connection to Ireland, let alone SA, than we do to England. Apart from what was devolved we're in many ways the same country. It makes zero sense other than the fact that a lot of people seem to be laugh at the idea that the Pro14 has become a two-tier competition - with Ireland ahead of everyone else due to anti-competitive commercial behaviour - while at the same time you are arguing for literally a two-tier competition. As far as I can see this suggestion is so Ireland can maintain dominance in a Pro?? competition that will still bring in the desired level of commercial revenue, allowing them to compete for Champions Cups and Six Nations despite the talent and wealth gap to England and France. There's some mental gymnastics going on there when it comes to denying the two-tier Pro12 while at the same time arguing for exactly that.

The league is dead as a league. Most people seem to have come to terms with this other than the Irish. The best Scottish players recognise they were stagnating in Glasgow and losing their 3 best players has turned Glasgow in to mush for the sake of creating a better national team (Hogg is now undeniably world class, one of the few European players who can comfortably claim that tag). Punishing the other Celtic nations for the fact that it is dead, in large part due to Ireland squeezing the other teams out of the competition and shaping the league for their benefit (which, in many ways, is just survival of the fittest), is absolutely ridiculous. Ireland can pursue their self interest but the problem is they rely on the Welsh, Scots etc to maintain their current level of comfort and that's where negotiation and leverage comes in. Their (your?) confidence in Irish rugby is misplaced because your teams would also turn to mush if you started losing players to England and Frence. It might make your national team better in a way by forcing Irish players out of the comfort zone of managed playing time and developing their skillsets in a tougher domestic comp but at least 3 of the provinces, possibly 4, would be where the Welsh and Scottish are if even 20% of your test players played outside Ireland: second rate to the best of Europe. If Ireland try to push their luck they'll find it comes back to hurt them immensely. You're actually a minority in terms of B&I. If the Pro league collapsed it would be the Irish who lost the most and also have the longest road to recovery as creating a GB competition would be much easier than a B&I one for logistical reasons. If we were creating professional leagues from scratch in 2021, there is no way we'd end up with the Pro?? - Ireland are lucky as much as anything else to be where they are. I don't think it could ever happen but if Ireland did push for a genuinely two-tier Pro??, which different income depending on which league you played in despite the equal stake between the three Celtic nations, they'd be laying the ground for their own demise.

Club rugby has been destroyed in Wales due to the poor management and foresight of the WRU in throwing their lot in to the Celtic League and all of this damage has been justified on the basis that it has kept the national team competitive and successful by proritising funding towards the top level (expensive head coaches, private investment, stadium) rather than restructuring the Welsh pyramid in a sensible way to deal with professionalism. Suggesting that a competition that has failed a fundamental integrity test in terms of fairness and regulation (Leinster will never be punished like Saracens have despite similar practices) should now have its corpse reinvigorated by ever-increasing teams (first Italy, next SA, who then? Georgia? Spain? Russia?) and creating a mess of a 'league' that is now almost entirely working on the basis of self survival of the status quo (i.e. Irish dominance and competitiveness in the two other tiers, Europe and 6Ns) is some seriously twisted logic that basically amounts to 'know your place, Wales and Scotland'. From a Welsh perspective, moreso than the Scots who are clearly a distance behind both nations in depth/level of talent and structures, this is unacceptable and there is zero reason to continue in the Pro?? rugby if this is a route to take. Why would we agree to it? It's completely insane. No-one cares about the league as it is, even the oragnisers don't care about the league as they just nerfed it back in December for a shot at the new Rainbow Cup. Listen to the players as well, particularly away from the media. They all know it's a joke, they don't care about it and love the Prem in comparison. The Irish don't have this perspective because their players stay in Ireland and don't seem to understand how much better the Premiership is, where every game counts and you see the best players nearly every week, and a lot of this seems to be a desire for Irish separation from Britain, something that raises its head with the Lions. I don't know what the answer to that is as independence should be respected but for as long as Wales and Scotland are in the UK, Wales in particular should be looking to kill the Pro project and join with the English. If the Pro project becomes even more pro-Irish and hostile to the other founding nations then the SRU and WRU should force the play and kill the league for good. You say England don't want the Welsh but if they move towards a ringfenced competition, as CVC clearly wants, then it makes it possible. In any case, I'd rather Wales just shake the Irish out of their comfortable delusions about their own abilities and kills the league for the sake of it if there is a genuine desire to use Celtic Rugby to leverage themselves in to a new long term commercial agreement with SA. I don't think that's going to happen as the WRU and FIR would hopefully remove themselves (I don't think we can trust the SRU as they seem aligned to the IRFU but you never know) before that ever happened. But then I don't have much faith in the WRU either. The Irish can't seem to accept that Wales is at best their equal in rugby and in reality probably significantly better. What we lack is finance and depth. We produce a far higher percentage of truly talented players and have a much longer history of rugby, with structures of talent that are based in basic skills at a young age. And that's despite the significant wealth and population gap between the two nations. Ireland have had some success in rugby and a lot of growth in the last 20 years but their failure to do anything of note at a RWC and their diabolically negative, low skill ball-in-hand rugby (that's why Schmidt banned offloads) is evidence of the fact that, simply, they are not as good as they think they are and the arrogance of wanting the Welsh to continue playing second fiddle (and have it entrenched) so they can maintain their comfort in competing in Europe and bringing the moolah in to Dublin is staggering. I don't think you thought through what you actually said in all fairness but it says a lot about the latent Irish attitude to the Welsh/other nations and the purpose of Celtic Rugby. If we're going to be in a competition where the wealthiest dominate, I and 95% of Wales would rather it be England for many reasons, but primarily financial. We'd be better off being mid to low tier teams in a GB league than we would in any sort of Pro comp. A competition with Ireland at the head has minimal growth potential hence its need to constantly add new nations just to hang on to the coat tails of England/France; the English Premiership could become the dominant global club competition within 15 years and can expand itself to new territories by using its commercial and cultural network. It's not even a sensible decision. If we were free to pursue our self interest we'd do everything we could to join the far healthier GB comp and if the WRU and RFU, along with CVC, can come to some kind of agreement for a new GB league (Ireland would obviously be welcome) as a way of outstripping the French and becoming the major domestic rugby competition then that would be ideal.

The Pro14 honestly is dead and severing it at the waist because the hair still looks quite pretty isn't going to bring it back to life. It's fundamentally broken and not fit for purpose. Unless that purpose is simply more of the same but with South Africans as well i.e. no-one cares about the league, it's a way to rest players for Europe/international games. I can't see the SA'ns settling for that but they've also been up sh** creek for the best part of a decade so maybe they have no other choice.


Relegation would be good for a number of reasons. Mainly it would mean teams of a similar standard or closer standard get to play each other more often thereby creating closer matches which is what interests people.


It would be good for Welsh teams too because they could concentrate more resources into the promoted sides. It would take the pressure off unions/owners from pumping money into teams near the bottom. Isn't the gap in standard the main problem with the league?


Old man suggested 10 team top division which I agree with. Realistically that would mean the 4 SAs, 2 or 3 Irish and space for 3 or 4 other teams. So it's not like Welsh or Scottish wouldnt have teams in the top division.


There's no arrogance from me or Irish rugby. We know our place and are trying to improve what we have. Meanwhile some others are running down the league at every opportunity and don't think it's good enough for them. So who are the arrogant ones here?  Whistle  Irish people want to see the league improve. And you spoke about Welsh rugby superiority which is indeed true historically but rugby is growing in ireland or at least has grown in the last 2 decades.


You said it's dead but it's expanding next season. Comparisons to super rugby are usually off. They weakened their competition by bringing in weaker teams. The pro14 are bringing in much stronger sides than the average. Also super Rugby's competition needed up a complicated mess with multiple conferences etc. It looks like the pro16 will be one league table with travel distances a fraction of super Rugby's.


You're correct about Irish fans being skeptical about joining up with the english clubs. It's like oil and water. While we enjoy playing English teams in the HEC and get on great with english fans, the clubs are run differently. CVC may have long term plans but unfortunately for you I don't think it's a GB or B&I league. It's more likely got to do with TV rights. So why not get behind the pro16? thumbsup


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Post by LordDowlais Wed 26 May 2021, 10:20 am

profitius wrote:You're correct about Irish fans being skeptical about joining up with the english clubs. It's like oil and water. While we enjoy playing English teams in the HEC and get on great with english fans, the clubs are run differently. CVC may have long term plans but unfortunately for you I don't think it's a GB or B&I league. It's more likely got to do with TV rights. So why not get behind the pro16? thumbsup

So why don't you take any of this into account when us Welsh fans are saying it about the Pro14 ? We run our clubs in Wales the same way as the English do. chin

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Post by Irish Londoner Wed 26 May 2021, 10:20 am

I'm not sure what else CVC can do without forcing some sort of B & I League, there's very little more to be squeezed out of TV money unless there's a sudden bidding war between the current broadcasters and a new entrant. Both the PRO16 and the English Premiership have gone as far as they can down the road of TV money - there may be some mileage in selling the AIs to someone as a whole package but that will be offset by the lack of public interest in them, certainly compared to the 6Ns.
IRRC correctly the CVC investment is only profitable for them if they generate new revenue - i.e. they get a share of any increase in income they get added to the pot, so they're going to need to do something.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 26 May 2021, 10:22 am

A B&I league is the next step to make more ££££'s.


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Post by Irish Londoner Wed 26 May 2021, 10:35 am

LordDowlais wrote:
profitius wrote:You're correct about Irish fans being skeptical about joining up with the english clubs. It's like oil and water. While we enjoy playing English teams in the HEC and get on great with english fans, the clubs are run differently. CVC may have long term plans but unfortunately for you I don't think it's a GB or B&I league. It's more likely got to do with TV rights. So why not get behind the pro16? thumbsup

So why don't you take any of this into account when us Welsh fans are saying it about the Pro14 ? We run our clubs in Wales the same way as the English do. chin

I'm not sure English rugby fans are that bothered by it, I've never heard anyone at a game I've been at mention it once.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 26 May 2021, 10:46 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote: I had written that I'd like you to at least acknowledge I hadn't made anything up as you accused me of

Where have I accused you of this ?

Please explain.

'But how you have come to that conclusion from what he has said is beggars belief.

You really do make your own stuff up on here to suit your agenda, only you and God knows how you have come to this.'

So as I said you accused me of making something up that Phil actually said. I've provided his quote subsequently.

Just in case you missed this LD.

Also when considering any potential increase in interest/funds re a B&I league you'd also have to imagine it would have a detrimental impact on European campaigns as half the thing there are match ups you don't normally see. You start to move more into just a slightly different cup comp with much the same feel. Familiarity breeds contempt etc.



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Post by profitius Wed 26 May 2021, 11:06 am

LordDowlais wrote:
profitius wrote:You're correct about Irish fans being skeptical about joining up with the english clubs. It's like oil and water. While we enjoy playing English teams in the HEC and get on great with english fans, the clubs are run differently. CVC may have long term plans but unfortunately for you I don't think it's a GB or B&I league. It's more likely got to do with TV rights. So why not get behind the pro16? thumbsup

So why don't you take any of this into account when us Welsh fans are saying it about the Pro14 ? We run our clubs in Wales the same way as the English do. chin


We know there's big differences but thats not the pro14s fault. There are too many differences between how teams are run to bring in salary caps etc.
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Post by Old Man Wed 26 May 2021, 11:11 am

If the Pro14 is on its last legs, why would they bring in the SA teams?, surely due diligence will tell them whether it is worth while?

As for the Welsh to join the Premiership, why would the Premiership bring more teams into an already filled calendar?

If the Welsh withdraw from the Pro14 as some have made clear their disillusionment with the Pro14 where would they go?

Super Rugby failed for a number of reasons.

Travel cost
accommodation
time zones
thinking more games will bring more revenue (whichlogic tells you it can only be proportional to the number of teams and matches played.)
The conference system was unfair on the stronger conferences and wholly complicated in its design.
Theyshould never have expanded beyond twelve teams.
In my view the Super Rugby’s biggest failure was to try compete with the European and Japanese leagues in terms of revenue,it simply was never going to.

Super Rugbywas doomed the moment ambition got in the way of what supporters wanted.

Maybe the Pro14 isn’t the best comp in the world, but is could be up there if every union did the right thing.

The European Champions Cup is the elite of Europe, and the three main competitions all have representatives there.

From what I have learnt with Super Rugby is that compromise is crucial to success, every Union has their own agendas, yet if they don’t compromise the project will inevitably fail.

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Post by Irish Londoner Wed 26 May 2021, 11:55 am

Old Man wrote:If the Pro14 is on its last legs, why would they bring in the SA teams?, surely due diligence will tell them whether it is worth while?

As for the Welsh to join the Premiership, why would the Premiership bring more teams into an already filled calendar?

If the Welsh withdraw from the Pro14 as some have made clear their disillusionment with the Pro14 where would they go?

Super Rugby failed for a number of reasons.

Travel cost
accommodation
time zones
thinking more games will bring more revenue (whichlogic tells you it can only be proportional to the number of teams and matches played.)
The conference system was unfair on the stronger conferences and wholly complicated in its design.
Theyshould never have expanded beyond twelve teams.
In my view the Super Rugby’s biggest failure was to try compete with the European and Japanese leagues in terms of revenue,it simply was never going to.

Super Rugbywas doomed the moment ambition got in the way of what supporters wanted.

Maybe the Pro14 isn’t the best comp in the world, but is could be up there if every union did the right thing.

The European Champions Cup is the elite of Europe, and the three main competitions all have representatives there.

From what I have learnt with Super Rugby is that compromise is crucial to success, every Union has their own agendas, yet if they don’t compromise the project will inevitably fail.

The basic problem is that some Welsh fans are not happy with the way the PRO14 is structured and don't want Welsh teams to be part of it. On the other hand the Welsh RU seem reasonably happy with it - the international team are doing very well and the stadium sells out.
From what I've seen on forums like this and WOL, some Welsh fans think that the way forward for Welsh club rugby is for the Welsh clubs to become part of the English Premiership.
There's possibly a nostalgia for the era when there were (allegedly) huge crowds in the amateur era when say, Neath played Bristol combined with the idea that the clubs would have far more money if they played in England. Also known as the Celtic/Rangers joining the English League argument.
The main problem with this plan is that the English Premiership don't want them, they're looking to ringfence not expand, even if they end up with two conferences/divisions its going to involve more English clubs from the Championship, not Welsh clubs.
The Welsh fans are therefore stuck between a rock and hard place - they don't like where they are and they also have nowhere else to go (unless CVC can magic something up).

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Post by Oakdene Wed 26 May 2021, 12:19 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
Old Man wrote:If the Pro14 is on its last legs, why would they bring in the SA teams?, surely due diligence will tell them whether it is worth while?

As for the Welsh to join the Premiership, why would the Premiership bring more teams into an already filled calendar?

If the Welsh withdraw from the Pro14 as some have made clear their disillusionment with the Pro14 where would they go?

Super Rugby failed for a number of reasons.

Travel cost
accommodation
time zones
thinking more games will bring more revenue (whichlogic tells you it can only be proportional to the number of teams and matches played.)
The conference system was unfair on the stronger conferences and wholly complicated in its design.
Theyshould never have expanded beyond twelve teams.
In my view the Super Rugby’s biggest failure was to try compete with the European and Japanese leagues in terms of revenue,it simply was never going to.

Super Rugbywas doomed the moment ambition got in the way of what supporters wanted.

Maybe the Pro14 isn’t the best comp in the world, but is could be up there if every union did the right thing.

The European Champions Cup is the elite of Europe, and the three main competitions all have representatives there.

From what I have learnt with Super Rugby is that compromise is crucial to success, every Union has their own agendas, yet if they don’t compromise the project will inevitably fail.

The basic problem is that some Welsh fans are not happy with the way the PRO14 is structured and don't want Welsh teams to be part of it. On the other hand the Welsh RU seem reasonably happy with it - the international team are doing very well and the stadium sells out.
From what I've seen on forums like this and WOL, some Welsh fans think that the way forward for Welsh club rugby is for the Welsh clubs to become part of the English Premiership.
There's possibly a nostalgia for the era when there were (allegedly) huge crowds in the amateur era when say, Neath played Bristol combined with the idea that the clubs would have far more money if they played in England. Also known as the Celtic/Rangers joining the English League argument.
The main problem with this plan is that the English Premiership don't want them, they're looking to ringfence not expand, even if they end up with two conferences/divisions its going to involve more English clubs from the Championship, not Welsh clubs.
The Welsh fans are therefore stuck between a rock and hard place - they don't like where they are and they also have nowhere else to go (unless CVC can magic something up).

I think for me its the issues with away travel & the costs associated with attending matches against the non Welsh sides. Bath, Bristol & the like are easily accessible & probably do-able up & down in a day whereas any of the away matches in the Pro 14 have flights/ferry costs then hotels etc.

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Post by Old Man Wed 26 May 2021, 12:31 pm

Oakdene wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:
Old Man wrote:If the Pro14 is on its last legs, why would they bring in the SA teams?, surely due diligence will tell them whether it is worth while?

As for the Welsh to join the Premiership, why would the Premiership bring more teams into an already filled calendar?

If the Welsh withdraw from the Pro14 as some have made clear their disillusionment with the Pro14 where would they go?

Super Rugby failed for a number of reasons.

Travel cost
accommodation
time zones
thinking more games will bring more revenue (whichlogic tells you it can only be proportional to the number of teams and matches played.)
The conference system was unfair on the stronger conferences and wholly complicated in its design.
Theyshould never have expanded beyond twelve teams.
In my view the Super Rugby’s biggest failure was to try compete with the European and Japanese leagues in terms of revenue,it simply was never going to.

Super Rugbywas doomed the moment ambition got in the way of what supporters wanted.

Maybe the Pro14 isn’t the best comp in the world, but is could be up there if every union did the right thing.

The European Champions Cup is the elite of Europe, and the three main competitions all have representatives there.

From what I have learnt with Super Rugby is that compromise is crucial to success, every Union has their own agendas, yet if they don’t compromise the project will inevitably fail.

The basic problem is that some Welsh fans are not happy with the way the PRO14 is structured and don't want Welsh teams to be part of it. On the other hand the Welsh RU seem reasonably happy with it - the international team are doing very well and the stadium sells out.
From what I've seen on forums like this and WOL, some Welsh fans think that the way forward for Welsh club rugby is for the Welsh clubs to become part of the English Premiership.
There's possibly a nostalgia for the era when there were (allegedly) huge crowds in the amateur era when say, Neath played Bristol combined with the idea that the clubs would have far more money if they played in England. Also known as the Celtic/Rangers joining the English League argument.
The main problem with this plan is that the English Premiership don't want them, they're looking to ringfence not expand, even if they end up with two conferences/divisions its going to involve more English clubs from the Championship, not Welsh clubs.
The Welsh fans are therefore stuck between a rock and hard place - they don't like where they are and they also have nowhere else to go (unless CVC can magic something up).

I think for me its the issues with away travel & the costs associated with attending matches against the non Welsh sides. Bath, Bristol & the like are easily accessible & probably do-able up & down in a day whereas any of the away matches in the Pro 14 have flights/ferry costs then hotels etc.

Be a south african supporter who must spend a months salary or more to go to one away match , be it in OZ, NZ or Europe. That is reason for complaint.

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Post by Pot Hale Wed 26 May 2021, 2:43 pm

As a by the by, Irish TV company, Premier Sports, have just announced they have won the UK and Ireland rights for Top14 matches for the next 2-3 seasons.  They will start showing the playoffs and final for this season and have the next two full seasons.  

Premier Sports now will have a broadcast licence in Ireland to show PRO16 from next season, and will likely deliver it through one of the existing platforms - Sky, Now Tv, etc.
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Post by Brendan Wed 26 May 2021, 2:53 pm

I always find the thing of travel a bit of a red herring.  Most fans don't or can't travel.  To just go to watch Munster play Ulster on a Friday night is about a 4.5 hour drive.  Going to have to take time off work and stay over (or be a menace on the road).  Most stadiums regardless of sport are mainly filled with home supporters.

Teams like Sale and Newcastle don't get great attendance compared to Bristol. The attendance between them and Bristol could have 10k difference depending if held in Bristol or the North.

The European Cup has shown for the most part that English fans don't travel to Wales in bigger numbers then they would to Ireland, Scotland, France or Italy.  That is for one off games.  It would appear that if the Welsh joined the Premership it would be their fans filling the other clubs stadiums not the other way around.

If there was a B&I league I would be fairly confident the number of Traveling Munster Supporters wouldn't increase much (If at all) compared to the Pro14

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Post by Irish Londoner Wed 26 May 2021, 3:07 pm

Oakdene wrote: I think for me its the issues with away travel & the costs associated with attending matches against the non Welsh sides. Bath, Bristol & the like are easily accessible & probably do-able up & down in a day whereas any of the away matches in the Pro 14 have flights/ferry costs then hotels etc.

So you can get to Bath and Bristol, are you prepared to go to Newcastle, Exeter, Sale, Leicester, Northampton,Coventry or London? The Premiership covers the whole of England.

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Post by Irish Londoner Wed 26 May 2021, 3:10 pm

Brendan wrote:I always find the thing of travel a bit of a red herring.  Most fans don't or can't travel.  To just go to watch Munster play Ulster on a Friday night is about a 4.5 hour drive.  Going to have to take time off work and stay over (or be a menace on the road).  Most stadiums regardless of sport are mainly filled with home supporters.

Teams like Sale and Newcastle don't get great attendance compared to Bristol. The attendance between them and Bristol could have 10k difference depending if held in Bristol or the North.

The European Cup has shown for the most part that English fans don't travel to Wales in bigger numbers then they would to Ireland, Scotland, France or Italy.  That is for one off games.  It would appear that if the Welsh joined the Premership it would be their fans filling the other clubs stadiums not the other way around.

If there was a B&I league I would be fairly confident the number of Traveling Munster Supporters wouldn't increase much (If at all) compared to the Pro14

I think if there was a B & I league there would be an increase in attendance at Irish games in England, there's a lot of Irish in England who would go - I'd certainly go and watch Ulster and the other Provinces if it involved a couple of hours drive rather than a flight.

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Post by Brendan Wed 26 May 2021, 3:19 pm

The comparison of the Pro14 to Super Rugby always make me chuckle and I think people who make the comparison don't understand why super rugby failed.

They say SR failed because it was a Multi Nation League so the Pro14 will do the same.  That is not why it failed.  The Pro12 covers an area about the size of South Aftrica or Australia.  Flights from Eastern SA to Perth is as long as SA to Dublin.

Super Rugby said they were the best non international rugby competition in the World.  When fans saw it wasn't true and that was why they were going they stopped.  Classic advertising consquesces as found out by HP, Dell, Italian Soccer etc.
The Pro14 has always sold itself as a league of convenience and the little Cinderella of Europe, shoved to the back by its two ugly sisters waiting for its fairy godmother.  Fans that have showed up to that aren't leaving because the league isn't perfect because they knew it when they started.

SA are joining because all the issues they had with SR are fixed which is it brings in fans and money, alll the Unions get on and want each other there, better teams get rewarded and most importantly all their games are fan friendly times. It also allows them to add teams with no real issues from other unions if circumstances change because they know the league is about performance not country.

The other Big reason is the European Cups gives them something that Super Rugby never could which is an inter league competition that will always be the top non international competitions because of its location. It has surpassed SR and it's not getting caught because it has the three strong leagues. Having a B&I league would damage it as you want 40+ good teams not 30 as you would with a B&I. If any other league becomes good like the Russian league it is easy to add it in.

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Post by Brendan Wed 26 May 2021, 3:27 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
Brendan wrote:I always find the thing of travel a bit of a red herring.  Most fans don't or can't travel.  To just go to watch Munster play Ulster on a Friday night is about a 4.5 hour drive.  Going to have to take time off work and stay over (or be a menace on the road).  Most stadiums regardless of sport are mainly filled with home supporters.

Teams like Sale and Newcastle don't get great attendance compared to Bristol. The attendance between them and Bristol could have 10k difference depending if held in Bristol or the North.

The European Cup has shown for the most part that English fans don't travel to Wales in bigger numbers then they would to Ireland, Scotland, France or Italy.  That is for one off games.  It would appear that if the Welsh joined the Premership it would be their fans filling the other clubs stadiums not the other way around.

If there was a B&I league I would be fairly confident the number of Traveling Munster Supporters wouldn't increase much (If at all) compared to the Pro14

I think if there was a B & I league there would be an increase in attendance at Irish games in England, there's a lot of Irish in England who would go - I'd certainly go and watch Ulster and the other Provinces if it involved a couple of hours drive rather than a flight.

True but would it be by much.  Not sure how sexy league games would for the non rugby irish.  The Champions Cup is an event for away fans and a once in a few years chance but the league wouldn't have that pull.  Us Irish do like our sport though and would be a great way to meet up with friends.

In the Champions Cup getting an Irish team usually means massive attendance for the host team so it probably backs up your point.

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Post by Oakdene Wed 26 May 2021, 3:32 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
Oakdene wrote: I think for me its the issues with away travel & the costs associated with attending matches against the non Welsh sides. Bath, Bristol & the like are easily accessible & probably do-able up & down in a day whereas any of the away matches in the Pro 14 have flights/ferry costs then hotels etc.

So you can get to Bath and Bristol, are you prepared to go to Newcastle, Exeter, Sale, Leicester, Northampton,Coventry or London? The Premiership covers the whole of England.

Yes I would be, lets face it hopping over to Leicester, Exeter etc, even with a travelodge for the night, is still a lot cheaper than paying for plane or ferry tickets then having hotel ontop.

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