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Richmond article in Guardian

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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: Richmond article in Guardian
    Posted: 15 Apr 2020 at 07:45
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/apr/14/richmond-may-be-sustainable-model-for-the-future-of-championship-rugby

I don't understand this opening line "A club that do not have contracts with their players" or "There are no contract negotiations" 

I presume, in the tone of the rest of the article that it is trying to say the club is semi-pro and cuts its cloth accordingly, but even if you are paying just a match fee, surely under both the RFU registration rules and employment laws the players have a contract, and there must be negotiations when Steve Hill is trying to recruit players. 





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote islander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2020 at 08:05
I guess if the match fee is fixed for all players, as stated in the article, then would-be recruits are simply told that figure on a 'take it or leave it' basis - that's not really negotiation as most people understand it. I can't answer your first question...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2020 at 08:13
Originally posted by islander islander wrote:

I guess if the match fee is fixed for all players, as stated in the article, then would-be recruits are simply told that figure on a 'take it or leave it' basis - that's not really negotiation as most people understand it. I can't answer your first question...

But when you talk to a player (and agent) you are negotiating with him, not just on fees, but on all the other stuff too, position, type of rugby etc. I'm sure Richmond also help find employment through their sponsors or contacts so throw that into the mix too.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cannon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2020 at 09:26
Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

Originally posted by islander islander wrote:

I guess if the match fee is fixed for all players, as stated in the article, then would-be recruits are simply told that figure on a 'take it or leave it' basis - that's not really negotiation as most people understand it. I can't answer your first question...

But when you talk to a player (and agent) you are negotiating with him, not just on fees, but on all the other stuff too, position, type of rugby etc. I'm sure Richmond also help find employment through their sponsors or contacts so throw that into the mix too.


With no inside knowledge, I wonder if the journalist has written what they want us to read as opposed to the actual statement?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Camquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2020 at 09:36
I believe the journalist does not understand.

7.3 Contracts for Participation
Any person or entity giving or receiving (whether directly or indirectly) any Material Benefit for participation in the Game must ensure that:
(a) a Contract is in place;
(b) such Contract is in a form approved and/ordistributed by the RFU; and
(c) RFU Regulation 14.6.3 is complied with in respect of all Contracted Players.

However note the definition

“Contract”means any agreement, arrangement or understanding whether formal or informal  and  technically  whether  legally  enforceable  or  not ...

If Richmond pay a Match Fee then their players are Paid Players receiving Material Benefits in the meaning of the the regulations and of the HMRC. So both need to be informed at the end of the season as to how much each player receives.

However, I do not believe Richmond are doing anything wrong and I am sure that they will have completed all necessary paperwork.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marigold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2020 at 09:51
My friends son played at Richmond two seasons ago and certainly had a contract stating the terms on which he would be paid and how much he would be paid. He was told everything goes through the books correctly and he paid tax on the match fees and win bonuses he received. Sounds more like another journalist not allowing the truth to get in the way of a good story!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PI003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2020 at 10:01
Just to add to Marigold’s information, a reporter probably used to covering the Gallagher Premiership and not researching enough for his story.  Thought it very unlikely that Richmond players would not be contracted in one way or another.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2020 at 10:28
The sloppy writing takes away from the main thrust of the article which is rugby at this level is not substantable as a full time, fully professional league and for clubs to survive they must 'revert' back to a semi-professional, part time structure, cutting their cloth accordingly.   I understand that and it makes complete sense. 

But the bit about contracts is unforgivable, and it is quote attritubed to Hill which if he did say it, I find hard to believe. Surely he negotiates with players who he wants to join, regardless of whether the financial side of the game are covered. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rabbie Burns Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2020 at 13:12
I can assure you Richmond have pretty tight contracts which Steve Hill will use if a player wants to move and he doesn’t want them to.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote islander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2020 at 14:08
Steve Hill is quoted as saying "There are no contract negotiations"

He doesn't say there are no contracts, and as pointed out it seems highly unlikely that RFC wouldn't go by the book in respect of what the regs dictate.

He also says he doesn't deal with agents, and can't see why he would say that if it wasn't true. I wonder how many p/t or semi-pro players use agents? Can't be many - as he says: "10 per cent of not very much is even less." Perhaps he's trying to dissuade agents from contacting him - based on those I've had contact with, I'd probably try to do the same in his position!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote billesleyexile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2020 at 14:11
Originally posted by islander islander wrote:

I wonder how many p/t or semi-pro players use agents? Can't be many

Knowing a few agents and more than a few players, I think you'd be surprised. Certainly at the Championship/N1 level. They're the ones on the phone to all the clubs in March/April (usually), touting their book of players.

You get deep specialist rugby agents obviously, but below level 1 most(?) agents (certainly many) are multisport.


Edited by billesleyexile - 15 Apr 2020 at 14:13
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2020 at 14:44
Originally posted by islander islander wrote:

Steve Hill is quoted as saying "There are no contract negotiations"

He doesn't say there are no contracts, and as pointed out it seems highly unlikely that RFC wouldn't go by the book in respect of what the regs dictate.

He also says he doesn't deal with agents, and can't see why he would say that if it wasn't true. I wonder how many p/t or semi-pro players use agents? Can't be many - as he says: "10 per cent of not very much is even less." Perhaps he's trying to dissuade agents from contacting him - based on those I've had contact with, I'd probably try to do the same in his position!

If you are talking to a player in the hope he will join your club, it is a negotiation. If you talk to a player about staying at your club it is a negotation.  A club saying we'll offer £x take it or leave it is still a negotation - as google defines it "discussion aimed at reaching an agreement."

Negotations can be more than about money. It can be that the coach wants the player to play full back, but the player wants to play stand off. It could be around the style of play - is it going to be a style that suits that player or not. 

Players - and their agents and there are those at this level will try to negotiate the best deal for themselves. It is a game that all clubs, players and agents take part in.  

If a club has a fixed budget/structure, then the negotiations may be around medical or breaks or hours or types of training etc. 

If club sponsors provide employment etc then throw these into the mix.

It is plain silly to suggest that negotations don't take place. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote No 7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2020 at 17:34
I have mentioned this in the past but when a player at Richmond is injured he does not receive any payment . I believe the contract / negotiation does not allow for weeks, months of not playing due to injury. It is critical that the players have other sources of income and do not rely on the money received for playing. 

When I mentioned this before a Richmond contributor said "all the players receive the highest standard of medical care " . They must have a wonderful insurance scheme to cater for some of the horrendous injuries that occur and especially in the Championship. We all know the players are bigger, stronger, faster and more aggressive than the lower National leagues.

The deal at Richmond is shrouded in mystery but they are all semi pro players and I have been told they all receive the same deal / money.

In effect zero hours contract , you do not make the team no money !.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cannon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2020 at 18:02
Originally posted by No 7 No 7 wrote:

I have mentioned this in the past but when a player at Richmond is injured he does not receive any payment . I believe the contract / negotiation does not allow for weeks, months of not playing due to injury. It is critical that the players have other sources of income and do not rely on the money received for playing. 

When I mentioned this before a Richmond contributor said "all the players receive the highest standard of medical care " . They must have a wonderful insurance scheme to cater for some of the horrendous injuries that occur and especially in the Championship. We all know the players are bigger, stronger, faster and more aggressive than the lower National leagues.

The deal at Richmond is shrouded in mystery but they are all semi pro players and I have been told they all receive the same deal / money.

In effect zero hours contract , you do not make the team no money !.
The highest standard of medical care may infer to the club physio, doctors and rehab programme, as opposed to hospital medical care - which I feel is a great benefit to players. I don't believe additional insurance is referred to in this case, but an individual player may have it personally or through their full time job.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote isleonian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2020 at 18:11
Echoes of 1895 and the Northern Union, perhaps?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote islander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2020 at 18:42
Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

Originally posted by islander islander wrote:

Steve Hill is quoted as saying "There are no contract negotiations"

He doesn't say there are no contracts, and as pointed out it seems highly unlikely that RFC wouldn't go by the book in respect of what the regs dictate.

He also says he doesn't deal with agents, and can't see why he would say that if it wasn't true. I wonder how many p/t or semi-pro players use agents? Can't be many - as he says: "10 per cent of not very much is even less." Perhaps he's trying to dissuade agents from contacting him - based on those I've had contact with, I'd probably try to do the same in his position!

If you are talking to a player in the hope he will join your club, it is a negotiation. If you talk to a player about staying at your club it is a negotation.  A club saying we'll offer £x take it or leave it is still a negotation - as google defines it "discussion aimed at reaching an agreement."

Negotations can be more than about money. It can be that the coach wants the player to play full back, but the player wants to play stand off. It could be around the style of play - is it going to be a style that suits that player or not. 

Players - and their agents and there are those at this level will try to negotiate the best deal for themselves. It is a game that all clubs, players and agents take part in.  

If a club has a fixed budget/structure, then the negotiations may be around medical or breaks or hours or types of training etc. 

If club sponsors provide employment etc then throw these into the mix.

It is plain silly to suggest that negotations don't take place. 



Sorry for being silly Richard, I shall withdraw semi-gracefully after this final post.

Still don't see what an agent stands to gain through 'negotiating' that his client plays in his preferred position (how do you enforce that?), what level of medical provision/cover exists (likely to be the same for all players, isn't it, given that they earn identical match fees?) or what arrangements might be made for employment through an introduction to a sponsor.

But if you mean 'negotiation' as a discussion, then you're right. I was defining it as haggling, the absence of which I sense was what the subject of the interview meant in his quote, but that is, apparently, plain silly...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WEvans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 2020 at 14:58
Not to me islander.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 2020 at 15:22
Originally posted by islander islander wrote:


Sorry for being silly Richard, I shall withdraw semi-gracefully after this final post.

Still don't see what an agent stands to gain through 'negotiating' that his client plays in his preferred position (how do you enforce that?), what level of medical provision/cover exists (likely to be the same for all players, isn't it, given that they earn identical match fees?) or what arrangements might be made for employment through an introduction to a sponsor.

But if you mean 'negotiation' as a discussion, then you're right. I was defining it as haggling, the absence of which I sense was what the subject of the interview meant in his quote, but that is, apparently, plain silly...

Your definition isn't what a dictionary defines Negotiation to be. Chambers dictionary says "discuss a subject in order to reach agreement. "

For example if club A wants to recruit a new player but says we only pay £X in match fees, but we can set you up a club sponsor for a job. Discussions would follow on what that would involve, pay, hours, holidays, etc.  

The player may want to play in a different position to that at his old club but the coach may want him to play in his current position and this would be discussed.  Players do move clubs to move position. The 'policing' of it would be another point of negotiation. 

I'm never convinced that all players in all positions receive the same amounts.  For example Tighthead props seem to earn more that the proverbial plumber, and nearly as scarce as White Rhinos, so they have a big advantage in contract negotiations and can pick and choose more than say a winger...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote isleonian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 2020 at 16:58
<<I'm never convinced that all players in all positions receive the same amounts.  For example Tighthead props seem to earn more that the proverbial plumber, and nearly as scarce as White Rhinos, so they have a big advantage in contract negotiations and can pick and choose more than say a winger...>>
 
Quite right too, mustn't overpay the brillcream boys!
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