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Ealing Trailfinders ready to sue RFU if promotion is blocked again

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Lowlandbrit
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Post by doctor_grey Thu 19 Jan 2023, 5:08 am

From an article in The Times, today, Thursday, 19 Jan.  I am showing a few snippets here, but tried to keep the intent of the article:

Ealing Trailfinders are prepared to take legal action against the RFU if they win the Championship and are blocked from being promoted to the Gallagher Premiership for the second year running.  The west London club are top of the RFU Championship and favourites to win the title. They were denied promotion at the end of last season after falling short of the RFU’s minimum standards requirements because their stadium, Vallis Way, did not hold 10,000 supporters.  Ealing Trailfinders, who average about 1,000 spectators for every home game, dropped their appeal against that decision but believe that they can prove the stadium capacity demands are an unlawful barrier to entry.

The minimum standards for this season were redrawn. Any club who wants to go up must now provide evidence within two weeks of winning promotion into a 12-team Premiership that they will have a 10,000-capacity stadium by the 2024-25 campaign.

At the same time, Premiership Rugby (PRL) and the RFU are working on a plan to relaunch professional club rugby. The favoured model at present is to reduce the Premiership to ten teams in 2024, just at the point when Ealing Trailfinders need to open their new stadium.  In effect, the club are being asked to commit to a £14.8 million stadium construction project without any clarity from PRL about what the league would look like in 2024 and whether they would be in it.


The whole article - not sure who has subscription rights to the Times:  https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ealing-trailfinders-ready-to-sue-rfu-if-promotion-is-blocked-again-0sxq9xpw9

I think a ten team Premiership is too small and the even dozen is about right.  Ultimately we need a real business model -I have gone off for years about the amateurs running Rugby so no need to go into this further.  

I also think the minimum standards are important.  This ensures a consistent revenue stream to each team throughout the season and also shows Rugby as a fully professional and growing concern as opposed as opposed to a small pro club appearing to make up.   Would televise poorly and make Rugby look more amateurish than ever.  And that I think hurts the overall growth of the sport in England.

What do you think? As a final point, not sure 4 London clubs, especially with two as virtual walking distance from each other makes good business sense.

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Post by Heaf Thu 19 Jan 2023, 1:14 pm

I think 10 teams is too small too - re 4 London clubs, there's a decent sized stadium in Reading that I believe has been used for rugby before Whistle Run

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 19 Jan 2023, 1:46 pm

Heaf wrote:I think 10 teams is too small too - re 4 London clubs, there's a decent sized stadium in Reading that I believe has been used for rugby before Whistle Run

Merge LI and Quins, Ealing can use Brentford in the short term until they inevitably get relegated. Job's a good un.

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Post by Intotouch Sat 21 Jan 2023, 10:32 pm

Given the population in England having only ten prem teams seems daft.

Surely there is a possibility though for Ealing to rent a stadium rather than take the plunge and build one? That seems like it could bankrupt them if they don’t get immediately triple their attendances.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sun 22 Jan 2023, 7:05 am

Intotouch wrote:Given the population in England having only ten prem teams seems daft.

Surely there is a possibility though for Ealing to rent a stadium rather than take the plunge and build one? That seems like it could bankrupt them if they don’t get immediately triple their attendances.
Tripling their attendances gets them to 3k a game on average, renting a stadium in London is financial suicide. There is absolutely no reason why Ealing shouldn't be allowed use their own stadium. The stadium has already been used for top flight rugby in the super league. 5k capacity stadium is enough for now, for instance Sale (2nd in prem) has an average attendance of around 6k.

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Post by Lowlandbrit Sun 22 Jan 2023, 8:34 am

Intotouch wrote:Given the population in England having only ten prem teams seems daft.
Absolutely, but there's a strange lack of big clubs below the top flight to top it up. Probably somewhat because it seems like English rugby has long concentrated on protecting the 'Wasps' instead of encouraging more 'Exeters'.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 22 Jan 2023, 9:45 am

Maybe more likely that people tend to go to football as fans than rugby. I've often seen excuses like people are playing rugby rather than watching pro teams. Perhaps if those new announcement by the rfu will drive thousands from the community game and give some free time.

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Post by TJ Sun 22 Jan 2023, 9:49 am

From where I sit it certainly looks like the powers have colluded to keep the premiership as an exclusive league only wanting the right sorts in it. Wasn't there a load of fuss a few years ago about Rotherham getting promotion which was denied?

To me a team needs the promotion before they can afford a bigger stadium.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 27 Jan 2023, 11:31 am

Intotouch wrote:Given the population in England having only ten prem teams seems daft.

Surely there is a possibility though for Ealing to rent a stadium rather than take the plunge and build one? That seems like it could bankrupt them if they don’t get immediately triple their attendances.

If you based it on population then sure. But the big elephant in the room is football. Some areas of England are totally dominated by football. There just is no room for other sports and rugby at best is probably around the 4th biggest sport in England.

Often (not always) you will find people who support football have no interest in rugby and given the pure amount of football on TV they have little reason to invest in any other sports. That in turn has created a growth cap in English Rugby. It doesn't matter how big your population is in your area but is more a case of how dominant your sport is in the area. And in a lot of areas that English clubs operate are totally dwarfed by massive football clubs. Its part of the reason I think Exeter have done so well in terms of supporters because there isn't any premiership football within any reasonable distances. That has allowed them to dominate the local scene and locals know that the big sport in the area is rugby. Not underplaying obviously the good work done by the club and coaches that also helped in that regard.


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Post by LeinsterFan4life Fri 27 Jan 2023, 3:01 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:
Intotouch wrote:Given the population in England having only ten prem teams seems daft.

Surely there is a possibility though for Ealing to rent a stadium rather than take the plunge and build one? That seems like it could bankrupt them if they don’t get immediately triple their attendances.

If you based it on population then sure.  But the big elephant in the room is football.  Some areas of England are totally dominated by football.  There just is no room for other sports and rugby at best is probably around the 4th biggest sport in England.  

Often (not always) you will find people who support football have no interest in rugby and given the pure amount of football on TV they have little reason to invest in any other sports.  That in turn has created a growth cap in English Rugby.  It doesn't matter how big your population is in your area but is more a case of how dominant your sport is in the area.  And in a lot of areas that English clubs operate are totally dwarfed by massive football clubs.  Its part of the reason I think Exeter have done so well in terms of supporters because there isn't any premiership football within any reasonable distances.  That has allowed them to dominate the local scene and locals know that the big sport in the area is rugby.  Not underplaying obviously the good work done by the club and coaches that also helped in that regard.

This argument, or at least a similar argument can be applied to most countries and it is a valid argument.

The problem is, England is looking at a potential scenario where rugby league (a much smaller sport in every way) could have more professional clubs than union, if the championship is continued to be ignored. Even the NRL runs a highly successful and wealthy, 17 team league despite the competition for sports in Australia and its troubles expanding the game outside of Sydney. Whilst the argument is valid it doesn't cover up the PRL's failure to grow the game in England.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 27 Jan 2023, 3:22 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:
Intotouch wrote:Given the population in England having only ten prem teams seems daft.

Surely there is a possibility though for Ealing to rent a stadium rather than take the plunge and build one? That seems like it could bankrupt them if they don’t get immediately triple their attendances.

If you based it on population then sure.  But the big elephant in the room is football.  Some areas of England are totally dominated by football.  There just is no room for other sports and rugby at best is probably around the 4th biggest sport in England.  

Often (not always) you will find people who support football have no interest in rugby and given the pure amount of football on TV they have little reason to invest in any other sports.  That in turn has created a growth cap in English Rugby.  It doesn't matter how big your population is in your area but is more a case of how dominant your sport is in the area.  And in a lot of areas that English clubs operate are totally dwarfed by massive football clubs.  Its part of the reason I think Exeter have done so well in terms of supporters because there isn't any premiership football within any reasonable distances.  That has allowed them to dominate the local scene and locals know that the big sport in the area is rugby.  Not underplaying obviously the good work done by the club and coaches that also helped in that regard.

This argument, or at least a similar argument can be applied to most countries and it is a valid argument.

The problem is, England is looking at a potential scenario where rugby league (a much smaller sport in every way) could have more professional clubs than union, if the championship is continued to be ignored. Even the NRL runs a highly successful and wealthy, 17 team league despite the competition for sports in Australia and its troubles expanding the game outside of Sydney. Whilst the argument is valid it doesn't cover up the PRL's failure to grow the game in England.

The PRL is an issue but mainly because it's made of a body that tries to keep 11 (previously 13) clubs happy. Tough balancing act, the fact the RFU also have a say and they are also painstakingly behind the times or trying to be to clever and ahead of the times doesn't help either. The current CEO thankfully seems more switched on and making some games free to air certainly helps things along.

It's not the PRL's choice to see the Championship hamstrung. That is the RFU remit and they regularly change plans and feck over the Championship at will. One of the main things that could benefit rugby in Britain (and Ireland) as a whole is the Championship getting a proper structure and funding. So many players who are late developers or who were let go due to injury issues have previously used that as a league to develop and come back to top level rugby but the ravages of the RFU funding have made that less and less likely. An easy win would be to give the Championship one of the P shares previously held by Wuss/Wasps, that would entitle the Championship clubs to pretty much what they get from the RFU again, very much helping their coffers.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Fri 27 Jan 2023, 4:43 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:
Intotouch wrote:Given the population in England having only ten prem teams seems daft.

Surely there is a possibility though for Ealing to rent a stadium rather than take the plunge and build one? That seems like it could bankrupt them if they don’t get immediately triple their attendances.

If you based it on population then sure.  But the big elephant in the room is football.  Some areas of England are totally dominated by football.  There just is no room for other sports and rugby at best is probably around the 4th biggest sport in England.  

Often (not always) you will find people who support football have no interest in rugby and given the pure amount of football on TV they have little reason to invest in any other sports.  That in turn has created a growth cap in English Rugby.  It doesn't matter how big your population is in your area but is more a case of how dominant your sport is in the area.  And in a lot of areas that English clubs operate are totally dwarfed by massive football clubs.  Its part of the reason I think Exeter have done so well in terms of supporters because there isn't any premiership football within any reasonable distances.  That has allowed them to dominate the local scene and locals know that the big sport in the area is rugby.  Not underplaying obviously the good work done by the club and coaches that also helped in that regard.

This argument, or at least a similar argument can be applied to most countries and it is a valid argument.

The problem is, England is looking at a potential scenario where rugby league (a much smaller sport in every way) could have more professional clubs than union, if the championship is continued to be ignored. Even the NRL runs a highly successful and wealthy, 17 team league despite the competition for sports in Australia and its troubles expanding the game outside of Sydney. Whilst the argument is valid it doesn't cover up the PRL's failure to grow the game in England.

The PRL is an issue but mainly because it's made of a body that tries to keep 11 (previously 13) clubs happy. Tough balancing act, the fact the RFU also have a say and they are also painstakingly behind the times or trying to be to clever and ahead of the times doesn't help either. The current CEO thankfully seems more switched on and making some games free to air certainly helps things along.

It's not the PRL's choice to see the Championship hamstrung. That is the RFU remit and they regularly change plans and feck over the Championship at will. One of the main things that could benefit rugby in Britain (and Ireland) as a whole is the Championship getting a proper structure and funding. So many players who are late developers or who were let go due to injury issues have previously used that as a league to develop and come back to top level rugby but the ravages of the RFU funding have made that less and less likely. An easy win would be to give the Championship one of the P shares previously held by Wuss/Wasps, that would entitle the Championship clubs to pretty much what they get from the RFU again, very much helping their coffers.
Is it the RFU or PRL that imposes the crazy 10k capacity stadium quota in order to be eligible for promotion? Though of course that has always been there to keep the status quo and imo to give the illusion that the game is bigger than it is. To me that's been the most damaging thing to championship clubs over the years, as the RFUs defunding of championship clubs is only recent.

I agree with you on the benifts of the championship not only for England but for World Rugby as it has given (and still does) so many opportunities to players from around the world to play pro rugby, which is why I'm very interested in this.

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Post by Recwatcher16 Fri 27 Jan 2023, 5:24 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:
Intotouch wrote:Given the population in England having only ten prem teams seems daft.

Surely there is a possibility though for Ealing to rent a stadium rather than take the plunge and build one? That seems like it could bankrupt them if they don’t get immediately triple their attendances.

If you based it on population then sure.  But the big elephant in the room is football.  Some areas of England are totally dominated by football.  There just is no room for other sports and rugby at best is probably around the 4th biggest sport in England.  

Often (not always) you will find people who support football have no interest in rugby and given the pure amount of football on TV they have little reason to invest in any other sports.  That in turn has created a growth cap in English Rugby.  It doesn't matter how big your population is in your area but is more a case of how dominant your sport is in the area.  And in a lot of areas that English clubs operate are totally dwarfed by massive football clubs.  Its part of the reason I think Exeter have done so well in terms of supporters because there isn't any premiership football within any reasonable distances.  That has allowed them to dominate the local scene and locals know that the big sport in the area is rugby.  Not underplaying obviously the good work done by the club and coaches that also helped in that regard.

This argument, or at least a similar argument can be applied to most countries and it is a valid argument.

The problem is, England is looking at a potential scenario where rugby league (a much smaller sport in every way) could have more professional clubs than union, if the championship is continued to be ignored. Even the NRL runs a highly successful and wealthy, 17 team league despite the competition for sports in Australia and its troubles expanding the game outside of Sydney. Whilst the argument is valid it doesn't cover up the PRL's failure to grow the game in England.

The PRL is an issue but mainly because it's made of a body that tries to keep 11 (previously 13) clubs happy. Tough balancing act, the fact the RFU also have a say and they are also painstakingly behind the times or trying to be to clever and ahead of the times doesn't help either. The current CEO thankfully seems more switched on and making some games free to air certainly helps things along.

It's not the PRL's choice to see the Championship hamstrung. That is the RFU remit and they regularly change plans and feck over the Championship at will. One of the main things that could benefit rugby in Britain (and Ireland) as a whole is the Championship getting a proper structure and funding. So many players who are late developers or who were let go due to injury issues have previously used that as a league to develop and come back to top level rugby but the ravages of the RFU funding have made that less and less likely. An easy win would be to give the Championship one of the P shares previously held by Wuss/Wasps, that would entitle the Championship clubs to pretty much what they get from the RFU again, very much helping their coffers.
Is it the RFU or PRL that imposes the crazy 10k capacity stadium quota in order to be eligible for promotion? Though of course that has always been there to keep the status quo and imo to give the illusion that the game is bigger than it is. To me that's been the most damaging thing to championship clubs over the years, as the RFUs defunding of championship clubs is only recent.

I agree with you on the benifts of the championship not only for England but for World Rugby as it has given (and still does) so many opportunities to players from around the world to play pro rugby, which is why I'm very interested in this.

You have to smile, when an Irishman talks about an elitist closed shop and criticises the PRL. If it wasn't for covid, would the PRL still have a thirteen club league? Absolutely. The fact that the talk is now about a ten team league reflects both a current economic reality and no doubt the RFU will not object to condensing the best players into fewer teams, so all teams can get a greater smattering of test experienced players. However neither the PRL or RFU is saying relegation and promotion should be stopped. There is no doubt the Championship should be supported, but to date no-one has come up with a successful financial approach - I think it has to be free to air tv. Start there and see what interest it generates.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Fri 27 Jan 2023, 5:59 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:
Intotouch wrote:Given the population in England having only ten prem teams seems daft.

Surely there is a possibility though for Ealing to rent a stadium rather than take the plunge and build one? That seems like it could bankrupt them if they don’t get immediately triple their attendances.

If you based it on population then sure.  But the big elephant in the room is football.  Some areas of England are totally dominated by football.  There just is no room for other sports and rugby at best is probably around the 4th biggest sport in England.  

Often (not always) you will find people who support football have no interest in rugby and given the pure amount of football on TV they have little reason to invest in any other sports.  That in turn has created a growth cap in English Rugby.  It doesn't matter how big your population is in your area but is more a case of how dominant your sport is in the area.  And in a lot of areas that English clubs operate are totally dwarfed by massive football clubs.  Its part of the reason I think Exeter have done so well in terms of supporters because there isn't any premiership football within any reasonable distances.  That has allowed them to dominate the local scene and locals know that the big sport in the area is rugby.  Not underplaying obviously the good work done by the club and coaches that also helped in that regard.

This argument, or at least a similar argument can be applied to most countries and it is a valid argument.

The problem is, England is looking at a potential scenario where rugby league (a much smaller sport in every way) could have more professional clubs than union, if the championship is continued to be ignored. Even the NRL runs a highly successful and wealthy, 17 team league despite the competition for sports in Australia and its troubles expanding the game outside of Sydney. Whilst the argument is valid it doesn't cover up the PRL's failure to grow the game in England.

The PRL is an issue but mainly because it's made of a body that tries to keep 11 (previously 13) clubs happy. Tough balancing act, the fact the RFU also have a say and they are also painstakingly behind the times or trying to be to clever and ahead of the times doesn't help either. The current CEO thankfully seems more switched on and making some games free to air certainly helps things along.

It's not the PRL's choice to see the Championship hamstrung. That is the RFU remit and they regularly change plans and feck over the Championship at will. One of the main things that could benefit rugby in Britain (and Ireland) as a whole is the Championship getting a proper structure and funding. So many players who are late developers or who were let go due to injury issues have previously used that as a league to develop and come back to top level rugby but the ravages of the RFU funding have made that less and less likely. An easy win would be to give the Championship one of the P shares previously held by Wuss/Wasps, that would entitle the Championship clubs to pretty much what they get from the RFU again, very much helping their coffers.
Is it the RFU or PRL that imposes the crazy 10k capacity stadium quota in order to be eligible for promotion? Though of course that has always been there to keep the status quo and imo to give the illusion that the game is bigger than it is. To me that's been the most damaging thing to championship clubs over the years, as the RFUs defunding of championship clubs is only recent.

I agree with you on the benifts of the championship not only for England but for World Rugby as it has given (and still does) so many opportunities to players from around the world to play pro rugby, which is why I'm very interested in this.

You have to smile, when an Irishman talks about an elitist closed shop and criticises the PRL. If it wasn't for covid, would the PRL still have a thirteen club league? Absolutely. The fact that the talk is now about a ten team league reflects both a current economic reality and no doubt the RFU will not object to condensing the best players into fewer teams, so all teams can get a greater smattering of test experienced players. However neither the PRL or RFU is saying relegation and promotion should be stopped. There is no doubt the Championship should be supported, but to date no-one has come up with a successful financial approach - I think it has to be free to air tv. Start there and see what interest it generates.
What do you mean by this?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 27 Jan 2023, 6:34 pm

Guessing because there's no promotion to the urc or within the 4 Irish sides any real chance for another team to replace any of them?

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Fri 27 Jan 2023, 6:49 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Guessing because there's no promotion to the urc or within the 4 Irish sides any real chance for another team to replace any of them?
Strange comparison to make if that is the case. The game really is in trouble if you're comparing yourself to Ireland.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 27 Jan 2023, 6:50 pm

I'm not. As a part time watcher of donny knights I'm not that bothered about them getting promotion either.

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