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URC play offs next season

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Oakdene
geoff999rugby
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Old Man
No 7&1/2
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Post by RugbyFan100 Wed 25 May 2022, 11:33 am

https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/rugby-unions-and-urc-on-a-collision-course-over-competition-timeframe-1.4862657

If I'm reading this right (and I may not be) Anayi says it's likely that the URC play offs next year won't have any test players in, as they'll be preparing for the world cup. Is that correct?

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Post by Welshmushroom Thu 26 May 2022, 3:02 pm

Does it matter - Leinster will probably manage to win this with their thirds Very Happy

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Post by Pot Hale Thu 26 May 2022, 10:40 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/rugby-unions-and-urc-on-a-collision-course-over-competition-timeframe-1.4862657

If I'm reading this right (and I may not be) Anayi says it's likely that the URC play offs next year won't have any test players in, as they'll be preparing for the world cup. Is that correct?

No he has not said that. He said there’d likely need to be some compromise on starting season sooner.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 27 May 2022, 8:21 am

It's going to impact multiple leagues.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/may/26/premiership-clubs-face-losing-england-players-for-half-of-games-next-season-world-cup

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Post by Old Man Mon 30 May 2022, 1:55 pm

I see Stuart Barnes is not happy that SA teams will be in the Champions Cup next season

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Post by neilthom7 Mon 30 May 2022, 6:30 pm

Stuart likes a good moan, he will get over it.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 31 May 2022, 9:15 am

Not read the latest from him but personally I've always felt that the European cups should be made up of the leagues involved in Europe; and based on placings not nationality. Looking at twitter though a lot of SA rugby fans have got their knickers in a twist about the 6Ns again. In my mind that shouldn't be anywhere near the table for discussion.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 31 May 2022, 10:22 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Not read the latest from him but personally I've always felt that the European cups should be made up of the leagues involved in Europe; and based on placings not nationality.

That is only temporary.
Will apply again next year but after that the URC will be on league places only.
Irish wanted it from day one but Scots and Welsh veto it as they were afraid of the Saffers and Irish taking all 8 slots

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Post by Oakdene Tue 31 May 2022, 10:42 am

TBH as a Scarlets fan, if we aren't good enough to make the top 8 then we don't deserve to be at the top table of European rugby....

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Post by RugbyFan100 Tue 31 May 2022, 11:06 am

Old Man wrote:I see Stuart Barnes is not happy that SA teams will be in the Champions Cup next season

I totally agree with him. Africa is not in Europe. This blows the whole tradition of the European Cup into pieces. It's a competition that is getting worse year on year. I suspect even more teams will be disinterested now, having to travel to Africa for games. Ludicrous. The French League and English league are becoming far more important to those teams than the European Cup.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 31 May 2022, 11:10 am

Might annoy some English clubs before the salary cap goes back up.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 31 May 2022, 11:44 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Old Man wrote:I see Stuart Barnes is not happy that SA teams will be in the Champions Cup next season

I totally agree with him. Africa is not in Europe. This blows the whole tradition of the European Cup into pieces. It's a competition that is getting worse year on year. I suspect even more teams will be disinterested now, having to travel to Africa for games. Ludicrous. The French League and English league are becoming far more important to those teams than the European Cup.

Was over for the Saints v Ulster game

My cousin is a Saints ST holder.
He told me that ST holders are far more interested in Premiership matches and they struggle to sell European match tickets

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Post by RugbyFan100 Tue 31 May 2022, 11:49 am

geoff999rugby wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Old Man wrote:I see Stuart Barnes is not happy that SA teams will be in the Champions Cup next season

I totally agree with him. Africa is not in Europe. This blows the whole tradition of the European Cup into pieces. It's a competition that is getting worse year on year. I suspect even more teams will be disinterested now, having to travel to Africa for games. Ludicrous. The French League and English league are becoming far more important to those teams than the European Cup.

Was over for the Saints v Ulster game

My cousin is a Saints ST holder.
He told me that ST holders are far more interested in Premiership matches and they struggle to sell European match tickets

Not surprising really, they have to use the same squad in Europe as their Prem squad - which has a salary cap of half of what some of the French and Irish sides are spending on their squads every year. Why would you bother? Focus efforts on the competition that has a level playing field. Makes much more sense.

The Heineken Cup is a broken tournament that is getting worse. It's no coincidence that the most evenly matched, valuable tournaments in the Northern Hemisphere are the ones run solely by privately run clubs, with no union interference, that have salary caps and relegation. Proper tournaments.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 31 May 2022, 11:54 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:  

Not surprising really, they have to use the same squad in Europe as their Prem squad - which has a salary cap of half of what some of the French and an Irish sides are spending on their squads every year. Why would you bother? Focus efforts on the competition that has a level playing field. Makes much more sense.

The Heineken Cup is a broken tournament that is getting worse. It's no coincidence that the most evenly matched, valuable tournaments in the Northern Hemisphere are the ones run solely by privately run clubs, with no union interference, that have salary caps and relegation. Proper tournaments.

Correction and it isn't half (for the Irish side) it is less but more like 75%

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Post by RugbyFan100 Tue 31 May 2022, 12:03 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:

Correction and it isn't half (for the Irish side) it is less but more like 75%

No, it is not.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 31 May 2022, 12:18 pm

Will no relegation from the Prem, the Championship union run with no salary cap we're obviously down to the French leagues as the only proper tournament. Sad times.

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Post by Heaf Tue 31 May 2022, 1:09 pm

Disagree about no relegation ... this year the rugby in the Prem has been far more entertaining and the competition in the middle of the league couldn't be tighter IMO.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 31 May 2022, 1:53 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:

Correction and it isn't half (for the Irish side) it is less but more like 75%

No, it is not.

Yes it is

Your turn laughing

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Post by Pot Hale Tue 31 May 2022, 2:17 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:

Correction and it isn't half (for the Irish side) it is less but more like 75%

No, it is not.

There are no published official figures on Irish sides' total player budgets.  They have had player and management salary deferrals and cuts over the last two seasons, and each province has had to impose a further 10% overall cut to budget for next season.

Transfers announced for next season include:

Ulster - 6 senior out - In: 2 academy/amateur club
Connacht 12 senior out, 6 academy in
Munster 7 senior out - 5 academy in
Leinster 8 senior out - 4 academy in

Over the last four seasons, the Irish provinces have promoted 20 academy players on average each season.  Next season will see a further 19.   That alone points to a reduction in player salary budgets, including those paid directly 100% by the IRFU.

Wage bills have dropped substantially across the board in all the leagues.  Yet, Welsh journalists, region executives, and some Welsh fans persist in claiming that Leinster's budget is either £10m, or £12m up to £15m this season, with all the evidence to the contrary.


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Post by RugbyFan100 Tue 31 May 2022, 2:26 pm

Reported 6 months ago:

https://www.irishrugby.ie/2021/11/12/irfu-deficit-of-e10-million-for-year-ended-july-2021/

Professional game costs increased by almost €20million, to just over €68million reflecting amongst other things, the financial assistance provided to the provinces during the pandemic.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 31 May 2022, 2:36 pm

So you're not talking wages for players, but budget across teams? Otherwise it is guess work a little ain't it? Like looking at Saracens or Leicester's wage bill.

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Post by Old Man Tue 31 May 2022, 3:01 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Not read the latest from him but personally I've always felt that the European cups should be made up of the leagues involved in Europe; and based on placings not nationality. Looking at twitter though a lot of SA rugby fans have got their knickers in a twist about the 6Ns again. In my mind that shouldn't be anywhere near the table for discussion.

i completely agree about the Six Nations, for a number of reasons.

To keep world rugby balanced SA need to stay in the RC, if SA rugby join six nations the voting blocks will be all out of wack, and competively it has always been the SH vs the NH.

i don't mind the URC, and if it gains us access to the European Champions Cup and therefor more revenue to help retain players, I am all for it.

I think this narrative of nobody will travel to SA to support their team is dependant on the occasion, the opponent and whether people embrace it as the event it can be.

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Post by Pot Hale Tue 31 May 2022, 3:03 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:Reported 6 months ago:

https://www.irishrugby.ie/2021/11/12/irfu-deficit-of-e10-million-for-year-ended-july-2021/

Professional game costs increased by almost €20million, to just over €68million reflecting amongst other things, the financial assistance provided to the provinces during the pandemic.


This is completely irrelevant to what is being discussed. I can explain why these Professional Game Costs increased by that amount last season, but it's a distraction. The figure of €68m comprises costs for:

Test match tours.
Six Nations Games hosting costs
Salaries for Ireland test team management
Test player bonuses and match fees
Insurances
Debts from provinces owed to IRFU paid off by (a) Covid state wage supports of €14m, and (b) CVC investment monies into PRO14 €13m
IRFU's contribution to the provincial branches player and management costs (partly paid by the Competition Income from URC/EPCR tournaments).

But it doesn't tell you about the individual player budgets for the provinces.

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Post by RugbyFan100 Tue 31 May 2022, 3:13 pm

Pot Hale wrote: The figure of €68m comprises costs for:

Test match tours.
Six Nations Games hosting costs
Salaries for Ireland test team management
Test player bonuses and match fees

Thank you. Could you tell me what the €2.9m for 'National Tours, camps and squads', and 'National Match costs' are then, if these things above are included in the €68m for 'player and management costs?

URC play offs next season 8Hkwdzi

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 31 May 2022, 3:15 pm

So you're saying you don't know the playing staff costs then Rugbyfan?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 31 May 2022, 3:19 pm

Old Man wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Not read the latest from him but personally I've always felt that the European cups should be made up of the leagues involved in Europe; and based on placings not nationality. Looking at twitter though a lot of SA rugby fans have got their knickers in a twist about the 6Ns again. In my mind that shouldn't be anywhere near the table for discussion.

i completely agree about the Six Nations, for a number of reasons.

To keep world rugby balanced SA need to stay in the RC, if SA rugby join six nations the voting blocks will be all out of wack, and competively it has always been the SH vs the NH.

i don't mind the URC, and if it gains us access to the European Champions Cup and therefor more revenue to help retain players, I am all for it.

I think this narrative of nobody will travel to SA to support their team is dependant on the occasion, the opponent and whether people embrace it as the event it can be.

No union is forced to vote with others. Obviously SA would jump at the chance to join but can't see where space in the calendar would come from and perhaps the new calendar and proposed sharing arrangements of money stave it off for a little while.

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Post by Pot Hale Tue 31 May 2022, 3:28 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote: The figure of €68m comprises costs for:

Test match tours.
Six Nations Games hosting costs
Salaries for Ireland test team management
Test player bonuses and match fees

Thank you. Could you tell me what the €2.9m for 'National Tours, camps and squads', and 'National Match costs' are then, if these things above are included in the €68m for 'player and management costs?

URC play offs next season 8Hkwdzi

I'm confused by your question. The overall category is called Professional Game Costs, the total for which is €68.12m, within which there are three headings:

1. National Tours, Camps and Squads - 290k
2. National Match Costs - 2.495m
3. Player and Management Costs - 65.3m

The total for items 1 and 2 is €2,786,309 to be precise. These are organisational costs incurred for hosting test games, tours, 6N, etc. They are not included in the €65.3m for Player and Management Costs.

"Professional game costs in Schedule 3 includes all of the operational, logistical and preparation costs for the matches of the National team. The most significant costs in this schedule are the player and management costs which include the costs of the National management and player fees and bonuses together with the Union’s contribution to the cost of the four Provincial teams."
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Post by RugbyFan100 Tue 31 May 2022, 3:37 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote: The figure of €68m comprises costs for:

Test match tours.
Six Nations Games hosting costs
Salaries for Ireland test team management
Test player bonuses and match fees

Thank you. Could you tell me what the €2.9m for 'National Tours, camps and squads', and 'National Match costs' are then, if these things above are included in the €68m for 'player and management costs?

URC play offs next season 8Hkwdzi

I'm confused by your question.  The overall category is called Professional Game Costs, the total for which is €68.12m, within which there are three headings:

1. National Tours, Camps and Squads - 290k
2. National Match Costs - 2.495m
3. Player and Management Costs - 65.3m

The total for items 1 and 2 is €2,786,309 to be precise.  These are organisational costs incurred for hosting test games, tours, 6N, etc.  They are not included in the €65.3m for Player and Management Costs.  

"Professional game costs in Schedule 3 includes all of the operational, logistical and preparation costs for the matches of the National team. The most significant costs in this schedule are the player and management costs which include the costs of the National management and player fees and bonuses together with the Union’s contribution to the cost of the four Provincial teams."

I see, thanks, so €65.3m was spent on the player and management wages of the 4 provincial sides, plus the Ireland test coaches? Is that correct?

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Post by Pot Hale Tue 31 May 2022, 3:41 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote: The figure of €68m comprises costs for:

Test match tours.
Six Nations Games hosting costs
Salaries for Ireland test team management
Test player bonuses and match fees

Thank you. Could you tell me what the €2.9m for 'National Tours, camps and squads', and 'National Match costs' are then, if these things above are included in the €68m for 'player and management costs?

URC play offs next season 8Hkwdzi

I'm confused by your question.  The overall category is called Professional Game Costs, the total for which is €68.12m, within which there are three headings:

1. National Tours, Camps and Squads - 290k
2. National Match Costs - 2.495m
3. Player and Management Costs - 65.3m

The total for items 1 and 2 is €2,786,309 to be precise.  These are organisational costs incurred for hosting test games, tours, 6N, etc.  They are not included in the €65.3m for Player and Management Costs.  

"Professional game costs in Schedule 3 includes all of the operational, logistical and preparation costs for the matches of the National team. The most significant costs in this schedule are the player and management costs which include the costs of the National management and player fees and bonuses together with the Union’s contribution to the cost of the four Provincial teams."

I see, thanks, so €65.3m was spent on the player and management wages of the 4 provincial sides, plus the Ireland test coaches? Is that correct?

No - that is not correct.   The 65.3m contains €27m of monies given to provinces to offset their debts for player recharges over the previous two seasons (16m in 2019/20 and 11m in 2020/21). As the 20/21 accounts state - this agreement was reached in July 2020 as to how the player recharge debt would be repaid to IRFU.  They had already paid the wages in the previous year using their own invested funds.  So they agreed to use the State Covid support monies, and the CVC investment monies to offset the debt from the provinces.

Test player bonuses and match fees are also included within the 65.3m.  As you may be aware, these can be substantial in any given year.  (IIRC, the WRU pays £4-5m to its test players in bonuses, etc.)

Thus, in a normal year (for example 2018/19) unaffected by Covid impacts, the test player/management component would be c €6m, out of a total in that year of €40m.

The Player/Management Contribution to the provinces in 2019/19 including their 13-14 central contract players breaks out as:

14 Central Contract Players (14 x €500m avg) - €7m
IRFU portion of player/management sals paid using URC/EPCR Competition Income - €14m
Balance of player/manager sals re-charged to provinces to be paid from their gate/sponsor income - €13m.

So, approx €34m in 2018/19.
2019/20 was impacted by Covid and is a 15-month year so income/costs are skewed.  Player re-charges totalled €16m and couldn't be paid due to little or no gate income for provinces.
2020/21 was impacted by Covid and re-balancing of provincial re-charge debts as gate income continued to be impacted.


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Post by RugbyFan100 Tue 31 May 2022, 4:11 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote: The figure of €68m comprises costs for:

Test match tours.
Six Nations Games hosting costs
Salaries for Ireland test team management
Test player bonuses and match fees

Thank you. Could you tell me what the €2.9m for 'National Tours, camps and squads', and 'National Match costs' are then, if these things above are included in the €68m for 'player and management costs?

URC play offs next season 8Hkwdzi

I'm confused by your question.  The overall category is called Professional Game Costs, the total for which is €68.12m, within which there are three headings:

1. National Tours, Camps and Squads - 290k
2. National Match Costs - 2.495m
3. Player and Management Costs - 65.3m

The total for items 1 and 2 is €2,786,309 to be precise.  These are organisational costs incurred for hosting test games, tours, 6N, etc.  They are not included in the €65.3m for Player and Management Costs.  

"Professional game costs in Schedule 3 includes all of the operational, logistical and preparation costs for the matches of the National team. The most significant costs in this schedule are the player and management costs which include the costs of the National management and player fees and bonuses together with the Union’s contribution to the cost of the four Provincial teams."

I see, thanks, so €65.3m was spent on the player and management wages of the 4 provincial sides, plus the Ireland test coaches? Is that correct?

No - that is not correct.   The 65.3m contains €27m of monies given to provinces to offset their debts for player recharges over the previous two seasons (16m in 2019/20 and 11m in 2020/21). As the 20/21 accounts state - this agreement was reached in July 2020 as to how the player recharge debt would be repaid to IRFU.  They had already paid the wages in the previous years using their own invested funds.  So they agreed to use the State Covid support monies, and the CVC investment monies to offset the debt from the provinces.

Test player bonuses and match fees are also included within the 65.3m.  As you may be aware, these can be substantial in any given year.  (IIRC, the WRU pays £4-5m to its test players in bonuses, etc.)

Thus, in a normal year (for example 2018/19) unaffected by Covid impacts, the test player/management component would be c €6m, out of a total in that year of €40m.

The Player/Management Contribution to the provinces in 2019/19 including their 13-14 central contract players breaks out as:

14 Central Contract Players (14 x €500m avg) - €7m
IRFU portion of player/management sals paid using URC/EPCR Competition Income - €14m
Balance of player/manager sals re-charged to provinces to be paid from their gate/sponsor income - €13m.

So, approx €34m in 2018/19.
2019/20 was impacted by Covid and is a 15-month year so income/costs are skewed.  Player re-charges totalled €16m and couldn't be paid due to little or no gate income for provinces.
2020/21 was impacted by Covid and re-balancing of provincial re-charge debts as gate income continued to be impacted.

Thanks, which pages of the latest annual report is this all detailed on?

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Post by RugbyFan100 Tue 31 May 2022, 4:14 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
So, approx €34m in 2018/19.
.

I think I'm right in saying that's about £1m - £2m less than the 4 Welsh pro teams got from the WRU in the same period.

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Post by Pot Hale Tue 31 May 2022, 4:33 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
So, approx €34m in 2018/19.
.

I think I'm right in saying that's about £1m - £2m less than the 4 Welsh pro teams got from the WRU in the same period.

Well if you think about the income streams and where they go, that wouldn't surprise me.

IRFU receives the normal competition income from PRO14/URC/EPCR comps - same amount as WRU receive - approx €13.5/14m.
In IRFU's case, they use it to pay a fixed contribution per senior player in each provincial squad. Effectively, the provinces all receive the same amount from this element. WRU just hands it over to the regions without specifying what they spend it on.

This income is going to be impacted from this year on, because IRFU/WRU have received a good chunk of the CVC investment monies for URC. (Unless they can negotiate an improved TV/Broadcast deal in the next 12-18 months.)

IRFU also pays 100% of the salaries of 13-14 central contract players - the provinces don't have to budget for these. The WRU has some mechanism that equates to paying 80% of the salaries of an Elite 38 player pool to the regions but I don't understand how that works.

Lastly, the provinces have to set their budgets based on what they can earn themselves. And they have to demonstrate to the IRFU that they can afford their squad of players.

Mick Dawson, outgoing CEO of Leinster, said in a recent interview: "Our salary cap is ourselves and what we can afford and prove to the IRFU [that] we have the funds to pay the player and so forth. We were able to set our own salary cap by the revenue we generated, with good people and a bit of vision."


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Post by Pot Hale Tue 31 May 2022, 4:37 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:

Thanks, which pages of the latest annual report is this all detailed on?

I'd suggest reading the Treasurer's Report section in each of the Annual Reports from 2011/12 onwards to get a better understanding of how they operate.  There's also some additional commentary within the detailed accounts pages on notes to the accounts.
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Post by RugbyFan100 Tue 31 May 2022, 4:40 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:

Thanks, which pages of the latest annual report is this all detailed on?

I'd suggest reading the Treasurer's Report section in each of the Annual Reports from 2011/12 onwards to get a better understanding of how they operate.  There's also some additional commentary within the detailed accounts pages on notes to the accounts.

Wait, so you guessed?

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Post by RugbyFan100 Tue 31 May 2022, 4:42 pm

Pot Hale wrote:

Lastly, the provinces have to set their budgets based on what they can earn themselves. And they have to demonstrate to the IRFU that they can afford their squad of players.    


In what world can Munster afford their squad of players, when they couldn't even afford to pay their stadium rennovations back at the initially agreed rate?

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Post by Pot Hale Tue 31 May 2022, 4:56 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:

Thanks, which pages of the latest annual report is this all detailed on?

I'd suggest reading the Treasurer's Report section in each of the Annual Reports from 2011/12 onwards to get a better understanding of how they operate.  There's also some additional commentary within the detailed accounts pages on notes to the accounts.

Wait, so you guessed?

Where did I say that? You asked me for page references. I've told you the sections that you should read to inform yourself. As I have done.
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Post by Pot Hale Tue 31 May 2022, 5:07 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:

Lastly, the provinces have to set their budgets based on what they can earn themselves. And they have to demonstrate to the IRFU that they can afford their squad of players.    


In what world can Munster afford their squad of players, when they couldn't even afford to pay their stadium rennovations back at the initially agreed rate?

As has been publicly stated, in interviews and in print media, Munster sourced private funds to meet the costs of their hiring players like de Allende, Snyman and Jenkins. They have a remarkable fundraising capacity in that regard. But they are not on steady ground with falling attendances in recent seasons. They only have O'Mahony, Murray and Earls on central contracts and those 3 will in all likelihood be finished at end of next season.

Munster re-negoiated their loan terms with the IRFU on Thomond Park which continues to be co-owned by the branch and IRFU. The revised agreement sees events like the Ed Sheeran concerts being given priority in order to generate more cash to pay down remaining debt.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 31 May 2022, 5:24 pm

I think we all probably feel Leinster are matching the top French sides in player wages. Hard or basically impossible to prove though.

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Post by Pot Hale Tue 31 May 2022, 5:49 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I think we all probably feel Leinster are matching the top French sides in player wages. Hard or basically impossible to prove though.

Well they're certainly exceeding the English club limit at this point.   Where the high point is though with budgets falling across the board is more difficult to determine.   With Leinster only confirmed thus far at bringing in Jason Jenkins moving from Munster along with 4 academy graduates, it looks like they're cutting back.   I reckon Geoff's earlier estimate is close enough.   Currently they have Furlong, Porter, Healy, Ryan, Sexton, Ringrose and Henshaw on central contracts and not on their budget.  So the obvious 2 of those will be gone by end of next season in terms of budget planning.  Question is, are any other players likely to move off their budget over to IRFU central - Keenan? Doris? Kelleher?  JvdF?


Last edited by Pot Hale on Fri 03 Jun 2022, 8:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 02 Jun 2022, 3:35 pm

You have to think that this thing with Leinster, one way or another it isn't sustainable. Not that they don't have money, they do, but they will swallow up all the IRFU central contracts Very Happy. I think I read that Munster have only 3 contracted players - all of them pretty old too.

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Post by Pot Hale Thu 02 Jun 2022, 5:31 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:You have to think that this thing with Leinster, one way or another it isn't sustainable. Not that they don't have money, they do, but they will swallow up all the IRFU central contracts Very Happy. I think I read that Munster have only 3 contracted players - all of them pretty old too.

Leinster have 7 central contracts currently of whom Healy and Sexton will drop at end of next season.  Furlong, Porter, Ryan, Henshaw, Ringrose will be up for renewal at end of 2024 season or post RWC.  Possible new ones for Kelleher, or Doris, or Keenan, or O’Brien, or Conan?
Munster have O’Mahony, Murray and Earls.  Earls has been recontracted until end RWC.  It’s likely all 3 will retire or else Munster will have to part foot the bill.  Instead, IRFU might decide to put Carbery on one depending on performance. Who else is likely to be a first team pick?  

Ulster have Henderson and Stockdale.   Who knows with either of them?  Would Hume, Baloucounne or Lowry be considered?  
Connacht have Aki who will likely retire or get another contract elsewhere. He’ll be 32/33.
Hansen is a possibility for them.
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Post by doctor_grey Thu 02 Jun 2022, 6:07 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I think we all probably feel Leinster are matching the top French sides in player wages. Hard or basically impossible to prove though.
Please let me toss a grenade into the conversation at this point. I think the absence of visibility into the effective club salary and compensation across players, teams, and leagues drives lack of confidence in the competition. To me, it is financial parity that makes the competitions fair and leaves success or failure at the feet of the clubs, club management, and players. Financial parity, though, is not a guarantee of anything, but gives every team an equal opportunity. So we need to have a fixed formula to reconcile the salary and compensation packages for each player. Then look at each team and league to see what is achievable. Of course, it is very hard to see anyone making a sacrifice for the bigger picture.

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Post by Pot Hale Thu 02 Jun 2022, 6:48 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:I think we all probably feel Leinster are matching the top French sides in player wages. Hard or basically impossible to prove though.
Please let me toss a grenade into the conversation at this point.  I think the absence of visibility into the effective club salary and compensation across players, teams, and leagues drives lack of confidence in the competition.  To me, it is financial parity that makes the competitions fair and leaves success or failure at the feet of the clubs, club management, and players.  Financial parity, though, is not a guarantee of anything, but gives every team an equal opportunity.   So we need to have a fixed formula to reconcile the salary and compensation packages for each player. Then look at each team and league to see what is achievable.    Of course, it is very hard to see anyone making a sacrifice for the bigger picture.

It's not really a grenade, doc.

If you're arguing for a similar cap across the 3 main leagues, you would have to find some way to equalise 7 different unions, 3 currencies, and take cost of living into account in each territory. The danger in this is promotion of mediocrity in order to find a fair balance, and the potential loss of players to other leagues that are willing to pay more, and the suppression of market salaries in favour of a few elite players.

If it is a cap within each league, then the URC faces the same problem with 3 diff currencies, 5 unions, and different costs of living.

One might argue more for parity and governance of union funding and how it is applied to their respective teams. So that every team received the same level of funding from their union, similar allocation of TV monies as done currently, and then allow the success or otherwise of each team to raise its own revenues to determine its own playing budget.
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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 02 Jun 2022, 7:50 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:You have to think that this thing with Leinster, one way or another it isn't sustainable. Not that they don't have money, they do, but they will swallow up all the IRFU central contracts Very Happy. I think I read that Munster have only 3 contracted players - all of them pretty old too.

Leinster have 7 central contracts currently of whom Healy and Sexton will drop at end of next season.  Furlong, Porter, Ryan, Henshaw, Ringrose will be up for renewal at end of 2024 season or post RWC.  Possible new ones for Kelleher, or Doris, or Keenan, or O’Brien, or Conan?
Munster have O’Mahony, Murray and Earls.  Earls has been recontracted until end RWC.  It’s likely all 3 will retire or else Munster will have to part foot the bill.  Instead, IRFU might decide to put Carbery on one depending on performance. Who else is likely to be a first team pick?  

Ulster have Henderson and Stockdale.   Who knows with either of them?  Would Hume, Baloucounne or Lowry be considered?  
Connacht have Aki who will likely retire or get another contract elsewhere. He’ll be 32/33.
Hansen is a possibility for them.

How many central contracts in total? I thought there were quite a lot, at least there used to be.

Ulster could have had Cooney and McCloskey too, but Faz won't pick them. It would make sense to move Leinster players to other provinces, as has been the case previously...

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Post by neilthom7 Thu 02 Jun 2022, 7:59 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:You have to think that this thing with Leinster, one way or another it isn't sustainable. Not that they don't have money, they do, but they will swallow up all the IRFU central contracts Very Happy. I think I read that Munster have only 3 contracted players - all of them pretty old too.

Leinster have 7 central contracts currently of whom Healy and Sexton will drop at end of next season.  Furlong, Porter, Ryan, Henshaw, Ringrose will be up for renewal at end of 2024 season or post RWC.  Possible new ones for Kelleher, or Doris, or Keenan, or O’Brien, or Conan?
Munster have O’Mahony, Murray and Earls.  Earls has been recontracted until end RWC.  It’s likely all 3 will retire or else Munster will have to part foot the bill.  Instead, IRFU might decide to put Carbery on one depending on performance. Who else is likely to be a first team pick?  

Ulster have Henderson and Stockdale.   Who knows with either of them?  Would Hume, Baloucounne or Lowry be considered?  
Connacht have Aki who will likely retire or get another contract elsewhere. He’ll be 32/33.
Hansen is a possibility for them.

How many central contracts in total? I thought there were quite a lot, at least there used to be.

Ulster could have had Cooney and McCloskey too, but Faz won't pick them. It would make sense to move Leinster players to other provinces, as has been the case previously...

Problem is you can't make anyone move anywhere, it comes down to where a player thinks they will be better off. Obviously first teamers aren't going to move, the rest of the squad will depend on how they feel. If they have international ambitions then over the last few years they have probably thought we will get enough gametime at Leinster and be more likely to play for Ireland if we stay.

That may change but only if 1. they start getting less gametime because of the less international window games in URC and 2. if they really believe Farrell would not pick them and pick people who are playing more often. Given the fact that people mentioned above can't even get near the international team and are some of Ulsters best players I'd imagine those on the fringes would rather stay put.

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Post by Pot Hale Fri 03 Jun 2022, 1:12 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:You have to think that this thing with Leinster, one way or another it isn't sustainable. Not that they don't have money, they do, but they will swallow up all the IRFU central contracts Very Happy. I think I read that Munster have only 3 contracted players - all of them pretty old too.

Leinster have 7 central contracts currently of whom Healy and Sexton will drop at end of next season.  Furlong, Porter, Ryan, Henshaw, Ringrose will be up for renewal at end of 2025 season.  Possible new ones for Kelleher, or Doris, or Keenan, or O’Brien, or Conan?
Munster have O’Mahony, Murray and Earls.  Earls has been re-contracted until end RWC.  It’s likely all 3 will retire or else Munster will have to part foot the bill. Instead, IRFU might decide to put Carbery on one depending on performance. Who else is likely to be a first team pick?  

Ulster have Henderson and Stockdale.   Who knows with either of them?  Would Hume, Baloucounne or Lowry be considered?  
Connacht have Aki who will likely retire or get another contract elsewhere. He’ll be 33/34.
Hansen is a possibility for them.

How many central contracts in total? I thought there were quite a lot, at least there used to be.

Ulster could have had Cooney and McCloskey too, but Faz won't pick them. It would make sense to move Leinster players to other provinces, as has been the case previously...

Currently 14 central contracts signed.  And some of those players no longer first starting picks - Healy, Stockdale, Earls, Murray, POM.

I forgot to include Tadgh Beirne who will start one from next season.  Cian Healy is dropping from a Central contract to a Provincial one for next season.

Jul 2022
Cian Healy - has re-signed with Leinster contract only until post-RWC. (35 in Oct '22)

Jul 2023
Peter O'Mahony (35 in Oct '22)
Jacob Stockdale (27 in Apr '23)
Iain Henderson (31 in Feb '23)
Bundee Aki (33 in Apr '23)
James Ryan (26 in Jul '22)

Post RWC 2023
Keith Earls (35 in Oct '22)
Johnny Sexton (37 in Jul '22)

July 2024
Conor Murray (34 in Apr '23)

July 2025
Tadgh Furlong (30 in Nov '22)
Andrew Porter (27 in Jan '23)
Garry Ringrose (28 in Oct '23)
Robbie Henshaw (29 in Jun '22)
Tadgh Beirne (31 in Jan '23)
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Post by Intotouch Sun 05 Jun 2022, 12:30 am

Wow Pothale! You have made a proper record of so many facts to do with Irish rugby. It’s very impressive.

Years ago I thought that the IRFU had about 23 centrally contracted players. Why did they reduce the numbers of these?

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Post by Pot Hale Sun 05 Jun 2022, 7:39 am

Intotouch wrote:Wow Pothale! You have made a proper record of so many facts to do with Irish rugby. It’s very impressive.

Years ago I thought that the IRFU had about 23 centrally contracted players. Why did they reduce the numbers of these?

Because it cost them more money. And the number of definite first team starters has reduced. And the provinces are able to generate more of their own funds to pay players.
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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 05 Jun 2022, 7:59 pm

I thought all of Ireland's players were centrally contracted, goes to show how much I know. It would seem that they're phasing them out if the Provinces are paying most of the players. Not sure but in the near future we could see more top Irish players head overseas for big bucks - usually what kept them home was central contracts (more money and player-management) and tax breaks.

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Post by neilthom7 Sun 05 Jun 2022, 9:41 pm

The threat of not playing internationally may also stop some from going abroad.  You kind of have to be the absolute undisputed only option in your position to get away with it (like Sexton when he went to Racing) for most Irish players there is someone close to them so if they did leave they would be ending an international career.

I suppose its going to be a player by player decision based on their circumstances, if they care about internationals and just how big the money is.

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