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ADULT COMPETITION REVIEW 2

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Camquin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Camquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Dec 2019 at 15:57
The Lancashire clubs were are levels 7 and 8 so to reduce their travel you need to expand the number of leagues at this level.

Whether they are based on counties or towns or some other geography is not the point.

The point is that there are always going to be cases like Cumberland or the Isle of Man where someone needs to travel.

If everyone pulls up the drawbridge, then these clubs get cut adrift.

So someone external needs to take input and draw the boundaries so as to spread the pain as fairly as possible.

But fiddling with level 3 on its own does nothing.
If you want more time between games , kill the county championship - and have four more weeks.

The problem with the last AGR was they actually increased the number of games and the required travel for almost every club below level 5 while reducing the number of games for the gate taking clubs (who might actually want them).




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Camquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Dec 2019 at 09:58
So this was the structure I proposed last time round.


It was done on the back of the proverbial  fag packet, so I am sure details can be improved.

It did have the feature that no Lancashire club had to go to Cumbria, as no Cumbrian club made it to the Northern Division and Cumbria was placed with Northumberland and Durham in a league split 5/5/4

Exact names will have changed, as clubs rise and fall - but I suspect the shape remains the same

Then I was assuming two national leagues Championship and Nat 1 would survive, now I am much less sure. A 14 team Premiership and 16 team Championship and then the three divisions of 16 may work better - but actualyl does nto change the shape that much. That would only rduce the top divisions by 10 clubs.

I had also not included second teams - but I could be convinced that second teams should be permitted to enter and find their own level - possibly limited to one team per club per league.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Neasham Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Dec 2019 at 11:41
Of course it's much easier to get to Cumbria from Lancashire than it is by crossing the pennines from the North East.
However, the power and introspection of the Lancs and Cheshire clubs is a key element in this whole fandango.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PiffPaff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Dec 2019 at 14:38
Originally posted by Neasham Neasham wrote:

Of course it's much easier to get to Cumbria from Lancashire than it is by crossing the pennines from the North East.
However, the power and introspection of the Lancs and Cheshire clubs is a key element in this whole fandango.

Absolute Tosh, irrespective of a hill being in the way, which you wouldn't go over if it was bad weather its less than 2 hour trip from Bish to Workington on the same A Road.

Add another 50 miles for the Lancashire clubs to do the same trip via 2 or 3 motorways  and hitting the same range of hills when they getting less 3/4 of the way there.

This old and outdated argument has zero relevance especially as the North DoC have Green lighted a Cheshire/Lancashire structure already.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote workerbee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Dec 2019 at 16:10
I would suggest you check your Google maps before making assumptions the main problem regarding traveling from South Lancashire and Cheshire is that the M6 goes to the East of Cumbria and the non motorway mileage off the M6 to most Cumbrian clubs makes the journey that much longer in time not mileage , have you ever played Egremont, Huckleberryermouth , Wigton, Aspatria, or Workington I think you will see the problem is time and that creates extra costs with coaches. Remember that Drivers have taco's and they need 3/4 Hour stop every 4 1/2 hours.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Neasham Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Dec 2019 at 17:12
Clubs from the North East have to get to the A66 or A69 to cross the Pennines just to get to the M6 which they then have to cross to get to the Egremont’s of this world. No motorways involved and much worse weather conditions over the tops in winter.
Having said that I’m sure Durham and Northumberland clubs will just get on with it in the spirit of rugby. Just don’t agree with the Lancs and Cheshire clubs raison d’etre.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Dec 2019 at 21:07
The talk of a British League will change the concept of the leagues below.

The 12 Premiership clubs plus 10 of the 14 Pro 14 teams (I'm excluding the Italians and South Africans) gives 22 teams. The 13th English 'Premiership' club would get an invite due to the CVC involvement, which leaves one place to round up the numbers. There is no guarantee that this would be an English club, Scotland or Wales might be offered a place for all we know.

At best I can see the lowest place England club having to take place in a playoff but I think the drawbridge will be firmly closed.

Without access to the top flight there is no need for any club to be fully professional and clubs will revert back to semi pro. I envisage a 16 team national League, with three regional feeder leagues, then smaller regions/county leagues below.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raider999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Dec 2019 at 21:54
Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

The talk of a British League will change the concept of the leagues below.

The 12 Premiership clubs plus 10 of the 14 Pro 14 teams (I'm excluding the Italians and South Africans) gives 22 teams. The 13th English 'Premiership' club would get an invite due to the CVC involvement, which leaves one place to round up the numbers. There is no guarantee that this would be an English club, Scotland or Wales might be offered a place for all we know.

At best I can see the lowest place England club having to take place in a playoff but I think the drawbridge will be firmly closed.

Without access to the top flight there is no need for any club to be fully professional and clubs will revert back to semi pro. I envisage a 16 team national League, with three regional feeder leagues, then smaller regions/county leagues below.


Is there talk of a British league?

What happens to the Italian clubs?

I can see why Pro14 clubs would want it given the amount of broadcasting revenue disparity, but why would the Premiership clubs?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Dec 2019 at 22:17
Originally posted by Raider999 Raider999 wrote:

Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

The talk of a British League will change the concept of the leagues below.

The 12 Premiership clubs plus 10 of the 14 Pro 14 teams (I'm excluding the Italians and South Africans) gives 22 teams. The 13th English 'Premiership' club would get an invite due to the CVC involvement, which leaves one place to round up the numbers. There is no guarantee that this would be an English club, Scotland or Wales might be offered a place for all we know.

At best I can see the lowest place England club having to take place in a playoff but I think the drawbridge will be firmly closed.

Without access to the top flight there is no need for any club to be fully professional and clubs will revert back to semi pro. I envisage a 16 team national League, with three regional feeder leagues, then smaller regions/county leagues below.


Is there talk of a British league?

What happens to the Italian clubs?

I can see why Pro14 clubs would want it given the amount of broadcasting revenue disparity, but why would the Premiership clubs?


Yes there is. Was front page of the Rugby Paper. Expected 2021 when the current TV deals run out, but as the RFU/Premiership agreement runs to 2024 I can't see it being plain sailing unless one side caves in....

The CVC is investing into both leagues and need a return for their money. They think a British League is that return on their investment. The Welsh clubs are up for it, the Scots probably tag along but the stumbling block is Ireland but I feel they will follow, for want of an option.

The European competition would have to be revised, otherwise it just becomes the same with the odd fixture against the French. I see a more streamlined comp in due course.

The Italians will be left to their own devices I suspect. The South Africans will probably fold. But who knows what the future holds???
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote islander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2019 at 07:07
Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

The talk of a British League will change the concept of the leagues below.

The 12 Premiership clubs plus 10 of the 14 Pro 14 teams (I'm excluding the Italians and South Africans) gives 22 teams. The 13th English 'Premiership' club would get an invite due to the CVC involvement, which leaves one place to round up the numbers. There is no guarantee that this would be an English club, Scotland or Wales might be offered a place for all we know.

At best I can see the lowest place England club having to take place in a playoff but I think the drawbridge will be firmly closed.

Without access to the top flight there is no need for any club to be fully professional and clubs will revert back to semi pro. I envisage a 16 team national League, with three regional feeder leagues, then smaller regions/county leagues below.
 

As well as the Rugby Paper the story about the possibility of a British League was covered on BBC - 
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/50608122

I hope that, if it does go the way you envisage Richard, that the national league would have fewer than 16 teams. Have long thought that 30 games is too many for semi-pro players and I'm sure contributes to shortening careers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bigmal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2019 at 09:15
I've only recently come across the sad story of South Leicester which is relevant to the majority of well informed comments on this thread. The furore surrounding Carnegie is also relevant.

As Dickon has so clearly spelt out in his detailed "opening submission" times have changed BUT the RFU appear to have trouble adapting.

By all means have national leagues but it is clear to me that below a certain level payment of players is unsustainable. I don't have any figures but I suspect that the growth of mini/junior rugby masks the drop off in the adult game.

The vast majority of clubs have established grounds and facilities created BY THE PLAYING MEMBERS many years ago. This sort of commitment is on the wane and so the future may not be that rosy?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Insignificant Tick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2019 at 09:56
Playing members of yesteryear are part of the problem as they are now the committee members of the clubs. As such many try to recreate the club as it was in their playing days which, whilst enjoyable at the time, is not appropriate today.
Players do not need a club to socialize, as they have social media to chat instantly, or to spend their entire Saturday night at these days.
A new model for the facilities & services ( players ?) and appropriate costs for those services & facilities is required.
  


Edited by Insignificant Tick - 04 Dec 2019 at 13:20
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2019 at 11:15
Originally posted by islander islander wrote:

Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

The talk of a British League will change the concept of the leagues below.

The 12 Premiership clubs plus 10 of the 14 Pro 14 teams (I'm excluding the Italians and South Africans) gives 22 teams. The 13th English 'Premiership' club would get an invite due to the CVC involvement, which leaves one place to round up the numbers. There is no guarantee that this would be an English club, Scotland or Wales might be offered a place for all we know.

At best I can see the lowest place England club having to take place in a playoff but I think the drawbridge will be firmly closed.

Without access to the top flight there is no need for any club to be fully professional and clubs will revert back to semi pro. I envisage a 16 team national League, with three regional feeder leagues, then smaller regions/county leagues below.
 

As well as the Rugby Paper the story about the possibility of a British League was covered on BBC - 

I hope that, if it does go the way you envisage Richard, that the national league would have fewer than 16 teams. Have long thought that 30 games is too many for semi-pro players and I'm sure contributes to shortening careers.

And that is the Catch 22 situation. 

Reading this thread, and others, there is a clear dichotmy. Income versus Player safety is the simple headline argument. 

If clubs stop paying 'silly' money to their players then they need less income to meet the bills.
Less income needed means they would need to play fewer games and this provides a cushion for the players. 

Ditto if clubs stop travelling long distances then they need less income to meet the expenses. 
Less income needed means they would need to play fewer games and players benefit from having more free time.

However if clubs keep paying 'silly' money then they need more income to meet the bills and this increase in income comes from having more games and this impacts more on the players, so you recruit more players to provide a leeway and this just pushes up the bills even more, causing a downward spiral. 

If you look at a typical club season from the beginning of September to the end of April you have approx 35 Saturdays. 

16 teams means 15 home games which is less than that half the season when the facilities will not be fully utilised (especially if you don't run second and beyond sides any more). Smaller than a 16 team league and more 'waste' occurs. 

16 teams provide for 30 week, allowing 5 'spare' weeks for weather cancellations, rest etc. 

However saying all this, I do think (and I have said it before on this board) that the thinking behind a seasonal structure is wrong - all we are doing is fiddling sizes of leagues only to revert back a few years down the line. 

We should be thinking far more radical. Split seasons for example, where you play 'local' games in part of the season, then a 'national play-off' at the opposite end of the season.  This approach could mean no promotion/relegation between certain levels but leagues at certain levels more balanced. The goal would be to be 'National Champions' rather than promotion. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bigmal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2019 at 13:48
Originally posted by Insignificant Tick Insignificant Tick wrote:

Playing members of yesteryear are part of the problem as they are now the committee members of the clubs. As such many try to recreate the club as it was in their playing days which, whilst enjoyable at the time, is not appropriate today.
Players do not need a club to socialize, as they have social media to chat instantly, or to spend their entire Saturday night at these days.
A new model for the facilities & services ( players ?) and appropriate costs for those services & facilities is required.
  
 

I can see where you are coming from IT but the committee members remain important because they deal with a number of key administrative, logistical and practical issues all of which are needed to ensure the smooth running of  a club.

I live near The Downs in Bristol which hosts a large number of football games every Saturday during the season. Each club has its own identity but essentially rents the playing and changing facilities with upkeep being the responsibility of a third party. Interestingly many rugby clubs forming the Bristol Combination used to use the Downs pre WW2 but then either folded or developed their own facilities along traditional rugby club lines.

I'm not sure that we are ready for wholesale change but it is possible to (say) develop a purpose built facility with an AW pitch capable of handling ( say) 7 matches over Fri/Sat/Sun leaving clubs to pay to play and the developers to benefit from the catering/bar revenue and come to an arrangement regarding admission? I think I'm right in saying that many hockey clubs use this model and there are rugby clubs who have similar arrangements ( Sheffield used to fall into this category).

Stockport acquired additional pitches some years ago to supplement the three senior pitches ( 2 very good and 1 above average) established back in the 60s when the ground was developed. The idea was to use the additional pitches for mini/junior rugby on a Sunday but every time that I go there is always 1 and often 2 pitches free given the drop of in interest lower down the sides. 

If this is the case elsewhere then traditional model is somewhat obsolete as IT has suggested. Any thoughts on this?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bigmal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2019 at 13:58
Richard Lowther's most recent post raises some good points backed by rational analysis.

There is a clear need for lateral thinking as it would appear that a 26 match season requiring a squad of c 30 seems to suit most teams at Regional Premier level. This means that the focus is on the first XV whereas the introduction of more social rugby could help maintain and even expand playing numbers.

Either way the cost of paying players to perform at a similar level to that reached by Wakefield or indeed Davenport back in the late 70's/early 80s is unsustainable long term.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cannon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2019 at 15:00
I have long suggested here in Surrey that the Merit tables (and now I suggest 1st XV leagues below Level 3) be reduced to smaller leagues of 6 or 7 and you play home and away pre and post Xmas. 

There is then promotion and relegation twice a calendar year and as there are hopefully more regionalised leagues it will mean less travel and more evenly levelled games. I'm sure there will be those that disagree but I think too many leagues have huge disparity between top and bottom.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Camquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2019 at 15:20
While you can save on some of the travel by having regional leagues and a play-off ofr the top few teams - it does mean that those teams get to play extra matches and the rest stop earlier (now that might not be a bad thing).

Howeve, if you have every tier on those league enter natioonal playoffs - to give all the clubs income - then more players end up with national travell - albeit just a few trips at the end of the season. But for all but those going for the title the travel is for essentially dead rubbers.

So it could end up with more travel and more disgruntled players.

Which is not to say that we should not look at it. Just carefully.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote @boatyjames Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2019 at 16:25
IMO problem is that the RFU "listening" exercise will not actually listen to any players at all. Our Chair of Senior Rugby went to the session in T Wells last week and 8 administrators turned up and no players for their separate session. If they want to properly survey opinion they should agree a set of questions, get each club to do post training presentation then do a survey monkey and aggregate the results. Could easily all be done by mid January and they would then have some proper data to work with.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rabbie Burns Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2019 at 16:47
The way this is going Rugby will only be a participation sport for the few it is slowly being killed of and we will reach the stage where it is in schools then the professional game with absolutely nothing in between similar to the NFL. IMO if you regionalise higher than level 4 you will simply drop the standard as you will never know the differences around the country. Nat 1 is a superb league that I don’t think needs fixing and many current England players got their first taste of men’s rugby here
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote @boatyjames Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2019 at 16:56
Originally posted by Rabbie Burns Rabbie Burns wrote:

The way this is going Rugby will only be a participation sport for the few it is slowly being killed of and we will reach the stage where it is in schools then the professional game with absolutely nothing in between similar to the NFL. IMO if you regionalise higher than level 4 you will simply drop the standard as you will never know the differences around the country. Nat 1 is a superb league that I don’t think needs fixing and many current England players got their first taste of men’s rugby here


Think you are absolutely right here. Many clubs have the ambition to play in Nat 1 and no higher. It gives a proper highest league to all those clubs who don't want to go fully professional now or ever but do want to offer a proper player pathway to ambitious rugby players outside the professional ranks.
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