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Heartlands League

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Richard Lowther View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Heartlands League
    Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 15:56
Anyone want to comment, speculate, praise, moan on the article in today's Rugby Paper about plans for a 16 team Heartlands League?

Gist is two pools of 8, top four go into Cup format, bottom four fight it out to avoid relegation. 

Also combined XV to play touring Tier 2 sides. 

No mention of automatic promotion for winners. 
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Robb View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 16:47
Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

Anyone want to comment, speculate, praise, moan on the article in today's Rugby Paper about plans for a 16 team Heartlands League?

Gist is two pools of 8, top four go into Cup format, bottom four fight it out to avoid relegation. 

Also combined XV to play touring Tier 2 sides. 

No mention of automatic promotion for winners. 

Not another provincial style system....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dalesman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 18:14
Not enough home games to keep the Treasurers happy.
But I like the concept.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cheshire exile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 18:19
In what way is it a “provincial style system”??
It makes a lot of sense to me, provided enough Nat1 clubs can be persuaded to regard it as a worthwhile objective.
Regionalising the first stage would reduce travelling costs significantly for many clubs and getting rid of the Championship Cup would be very welcome. 
The question of promotion is frankly being taken out of the Championship clubs’ hands.  This proposal also reflects the fact that RFU funding is likely to disappear altogether and that the gap between Premiership and Championship likely to widen further with CVC’s involvement.
According to Paul Myners’ report, 100 Premiership players are currently paid £300k per season or more. 
Hopefully promotion to the Premiership can be kept on the table, even if it’s not guaranteed every season, but in light of the RFU’s recent behaviour and the pandemic there is no way the Championship clubs can just sit and leave the competition unchanged beyond next season.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hopping Mad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 20:11
Next season going to be a “complete disaster” and Championship clubs have lost faith in the RFU to make appropriate decisions. The funding for Championship will end at completion of 20/21 season and when Sarries are promoted it will then be a ringfenced 13.

There will be no route left open. If it is PRL will breakaway itself. When it’s confirmed the Championship clubs will lead a breakaway of their own.

View that RFU will do a deal that will allow PRL to keep TV revenues in future in return for reduced RFU subsidy for supporting the “13”.

The Championship wants to run the “Heartland” competition which would comprise the National Leagues. Lots of clubs see if the NCA as irrelevant as it’s delivered no improvement in profile, revenues or sustainability as a whole.

Discussions between clubs at all levels been ongoing now for weeks. Reason for regional conferences is to level up the representation to ensure buy in and attract more national and regional sponsors to pool monies into one pot. In return clubs will only be able to join if they agree to strict criteria on facilities, infrastructure etc. Some current clubs aren’t going to be given long to get up to speed.

Clear division on salary cap levels still to be resolved. This will not be a full time professional entity. It will be semi pro with club sustainability at the forefront. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JonDee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 20:13
prior to making any comment could someone post a link please
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gerg_861 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 20:26
Originally posted by JonDee JonDee wrote:

prior to making any comment could someone post a link please

This was just in The Rugby Paper today, so I don't think that a public link will be available until next week.

It is interesting that the article stated that their plan was to "get back to grassroots" and "away from being a business.", however the way that they've put together these proposals, circulated them, and gotten out in front of whatever the RFU might have been planning (probably nothing but more malicious neglect), was a very business-oriented way of thinking. I applaud the clubs involved for seeing the writing on the wall and taking the initiative.

I'm also a fan of the minimum ground standards. My highschool in a town of 500 people in the US had floodlights for our American Football games; if you can't achieve that, then I don't think there's enough ambition to compete in level 2.

In terms of number of teams/pro vs. semi-pro, I can only say that I'd be a fan of anything that gave meaningful games on a regular schedule. The cup just wasn't working, and last year's schedule sometimes caused teams to go a month without a home game.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hopping Mad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 20:32
Also need to forget of this new structure as being “Level 2”.

The Championship will be dead. The pro game will have sailed off into the distance. This is a new club structure led by the clubs for the clubs. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Camquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 21:20
Why not a top level National League with sixteen teams  made up of the 11 Championship clubs  (10 if Ealing get included in the Premiership) and the top National 1 sides.

Then regionalise below that if wanted.

And if any of the Championship sides want to step down to the regional tier I am sure there would be Nat 1 sides who would be prepared to step up. We are used to a National league with no support. Actually many clubs find getting sponsors easier when in a National League.

As the the NCA's ability to promote the game, I am not sure FDR have done any better. 
However, John Inverdale has stated that he will make promotion of the game a priority.
Let's give him a little time.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raider999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 21:25
Originally posted by Camquin Camquin wrote:

Why not a top level National League with sixteen teams  made up of the 11 Championship clubs  (10 if Ealing get included in the Premiership) and the top National 1 sides.

Then regionalise below that if wanted.

And if any of the Championship sides want to step down to the regional tier I am sure there would be Nat 1 sides who would be prepared to step up. We are used to a National league with no support. Actually many clubs find getting sponsors easier when in a National League.

As the the NCA's ability to promote the game, I am not sure FDR have done any better. 
However, John Inverdale has stated that he will make promotion of the game a priority.
Let's give him a little time.




Doesn't the RFU survey indicate teams only want a maximum of 14 teams in a division?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raider999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 21:26
Originally posted by Hopping Mad Hopping Mad wrote:

Also need to forget of this new structure as being “Level 2”.

The Championship will be dead. The pro game will have sailed off into the distance. This is a new club structure led by the clubs for the clubs. 


It will still be level 2
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Camquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2020 at 23:07
The point of self determination is to ask the question to the correct constituency.
And that survey did not include the Championship clubs.

But if there are 20 clubs and 800 players who want to be in a sixteen team National league that is enough to fill it and ensure there are plenty competing to replace them. 

If the players need breaks, they could play into May as their players would not be playing in the County Championship.
As I understand it breaks were the main reason most wanted 28 games  plus the county championship. 

This does not prevent the remaining clubs from having 14 team leagues.
Indeed one sixteen team league and three 14 team leagues would take fifty eight teams, which as there are currently sixty Championship and National 1 sides 

Which would put the Regional Premiership and some of the Regional 1 sides and possibly some second XVs filling the next tier. Which if we follow a pattern would be nine leagues of 14.

And if I was drawing up the tables, everyone else in county leagues: thus keeping the Lancastian sides happy and bring them back into the pyramid.

But fortunately I am not involved in organisation as it is obviously more complex than I can comprehend. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JonDee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2020 at 08:19
Originally posted by Raider999 Raider999 wrote:

Originally posted by Hopping Mad Hopping Mad wrote:

Also need to forget of this new structure as being “Level 2”.

The Championship will be dead. The pro game will have sailed off into the distance. This is a new club structure led by the clubs for the clubs. 


It will still be level 2


The Championship has been dead since it was forced on the clubs by the RFU Council, from Wikipedia which is basically true

On 10 November 2008 it was proposed by the Rugby Football Union that the second tier of the English rugby union system should be a fully professional twelve club Championship. The proposal was criticised by the then National League One chairman Geoff Irvine, representing the clubs, who described it as "financial suicide", although six League One clubs subsequently supported the proposal. The proposals required five clubs to be relegated to National Division Two, with only one club being promoted from that division and one club joining the league from the Premiership.[2] On 15 November 2008 the RFU Council voted overwhelmingly in favour of the new proposal, which began in September 2009.[3] Under the proposal the RFU paid £2.3 million a year to help fund the change, with future rises due through television rights.[2]

The last comment re TV rights is the most laughable
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2020 at 20:59
The game needed to change before the current pandemic at all levels but people are slow to recognise the fact. 

The pandemic has opened peoples eyes and closed others wallets and will hopefully act as a catalyst for that change. 

We can all debate what that change will look like but i guarantee no one will fully accept what ever is proposed but I hope all clubs survive to participate in whatever new structure emerges. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Halliford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2020 at 21:46
This might upset a few posters but I do think the RFU has handled the crisis pretty well. They are constrained by the agreement with PRL which was poorly conceived and didn’t see this coming (!). So far few Clubs have taken advantage of their loan funding or other support. Most NCA Clubs have, like mine, used the Government grant and furlough schemes to manage our cash flow. My club has lost approx £160k in revenue so far but remain in operation and looking ahead.

NCA Clubs have learned to live without RFU money and until international matches with full crowds can be staged, many more Clubs will have to live on their own resources. Wales is in an even worse position!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Camp Freddie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2020 at 22:49
Camquin, after the recent webinars I think that putting 2nd XVs in leagues in the North will have the effect of more clubs leaving the pyramid than rejoining.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote islander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 11:19
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rabbie Burns Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 12:36
First I have seen that and the formula seems okay. In Nat 1 we have operated in 16 team leagues for a while now and it works. Would prefer it rejiggeda little to spread the free weekends out so it’s not stop-start after Christmas. The mute point is always about player welfare but I think very few players played in all 30 games
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote islander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 12:48
Originally posted by Rabbie Burns Rabbie Burns wrote:

First I have seen that and the formula seems okay. In Nat 1 we have operated in 16 team leagues for a while now and it works. Would prefer it rejiggeda little to spread the free weekends out so it’s not stop-start after Christmas. The mute point is always about player welfare but I think very few players played in all 30 games

The proposed Heartland league may have 16 teams, but does that necessarily mean teams would play 30 games? In some conference arrangements elsewhere I believe teams play H/A against teams in their own conference while having just one game against teams from the other conference... more likely, surely, if play-offs were to be added? Although that might mean the end of the Championship Cup, which could lead to massive nationwide upset... Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Camquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 13:04
Not a lot more detail.
Why would a National One side want to be promoted to a competition that seems to only offers 14 games. How on earth could that generate sufficient income.

What is the divisional championship - how does that relate to the heartland championship.
Is that the current national Leauges

If you do have two pools I think the Northern Pool is
Ampthill
Bedford
Coventry
Chinnor
Doncaster
Harpury
Jersey
Nottingham

Jersey becuae someone has to come North and once you have to fly you may as well fly to East Midlands or manchester as Gatwick.

The South have the London clubs, Rams and Pirates and if not Saracens then Plymouth.

Tough of course the exact sides promoted will depend on next seasons results and could be very different.

And yes I know I have utterly discounted Leeds Tykes.
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