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Topic ClosedWhy I hate the play offs....

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Bill Sley View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Why I hate the play offs....
    Posted: 10 Mar 2012 at 08:57

Why I hate the play offs....

 Saved this one up for after we won last night against Plymouth - so it couldn’t be seen as ‘sour grapes’ if we lost! Maybe it’s just me...............but the play offs just ruin my season.

1/ Lower crowds between September & Feb

Why even bother with the 22 matches before the play offs?  

We could instead have mini leagues of 4, condense the season into 6 weeks and be done with it.

Would I feel any different if we’d made the top 8 and were playing off for “promotion”? No.

My particular criticism is about the relegation play offs (never had the ‘pleasure’ of pools ‘a’ or ‘b’!).

 2/ Nerve jangling/edge or precipice – yet finished nowhere near bottom in regular season!

4 clubs spend 6+ months of hard grind, making ends meet, paying the players etc etc.........and before you know are on the precipice. Just what is the point of September to February?

 Last season was more gauling than this (so far!) in that we finished something like 50 points ahead of the bottom side but suddenly were back on par and 6 matches away from possible relegation.

3/ Commercial hand cuffs

To add insult to injury, in these challenging economic times the club can’t even sell corporate boxes/entertainment for March/April until the start of March. In the meantime non-match activities in the clubhouse (ie events; parties etc) all have to have caveats. “You can book the clubhouse for your big event but we may have to cancel it with a couple of weeks notice if it turns out we have a home match”.  

Come on RFU – get a grip and give us a fighting chance to plan stuff!



Edited by Bill Sley - 10 Mar 2012 at 08:57
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Rothman2 View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2012 at 09:37
Good post Bill. Regarding point 2) if the rumours I am hearing are correct this will alter next season.

You could argue that some regular season results are a little distorted due to the current system but I guess everyone knows the rules. It works equally at the top too. Bristol were worthy winners but I don't hear any complaints from them...because they knew the rules.

Back to the bottom....I must confess I am pleased that the current rules favoured Esher this time, because they were particularly hard done by 3 years ago due to the re-organisation of the league. They were not even afforded the luxury of the play offs. Down they went but to their credit they bounced straight back.

I accept though with funding gap that now exists, it is unreasonable for the teams that finish well clear of bottom to be suddenly cast into a gladiatorial arena in the name of entertainment with the loser getting a one way ticket to oblivion.

Edited by Rothman2 - 10 Mar 2012 at 09:39
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Stalwart View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2012 at 10:07
There are some valid points in what you say, Bill. But the problem with "top goes up, bottom goes down" was that the season could be effectively over by Xmas if you get a runaway leader and/or a club adrift at the bottom.
I quite like the playoffs - everyone knows the format at the start and you run your campaign accordingly.
Agree that the uncertainty of fixtures makes it hard commercially - and we find it frustrating that we can't book hotels for away trips until very late, then they're more expensive.
The best solution might be (which would never happen) would have the top club promoted, bottom relegated and then have playoffs for another promotion and relegation slot.
Rothman - you say Esher were hard done by (true) and got relegated during restructuring, but bounced back - so relegation (although horrible) isn't necessarily a "ticket to oblivion." I accept that funding is now cut completely so it makes life even harder if you drop out of the  Championship.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2012 at 11:23
The playoffs are an abomination unto the Lord and there shall be much wailing, gnashing of teeth and rending of garments when Esher are not relegated and no one is promoted.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2012 at 11:26
I am not so sure that Manchester and Newbury would share that sentiment 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2012 at 11:29
I don't like the play-offs what so ever, I didn't like them when Bris & Exe were the strongest team, I didn't like them when we scra-ped (to avoid the fruit filter) by into the top 8 last season, I don't like them this season.

Hopefully this will be the last season of this situation. Maybe not at the top, but definitely at the bottom.

I agree with Rothman2, some of the reg season results have been distorted somewhat, DoR's resting players, Bristol have done at least two intense fitness segments during the season (much like Exe two seasons ago) to make sure everyone can last the season.

Clubs playing 4 games in 10 days then resting 2 weeks.

It's a farce. But to a certain extent the clubs had their hands tied when they voted. The RFU wanted a "Professional" 2nd tier, and wanted to move it more in line with the AP. So there was less teams but the same money split between less teams (a pay off if you like) but the clubs needed those 14 or so home games to gain revenue to survive.

Bristol have marketed well to get 6-8,000 gates during the regular season, and I'd expect 7-9,000 for the three home games with the offers they have on the table (and our very good first win).


Edited by alcoholic - 10 Mar 2012 at 11:30
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2012 at 11:58
I dont like the playoffs because crowds are going down and its over complicated for most people to think about.
Also if Plymouth go down that'll be 2 from 3 season where the worst team in the normal season has survived. In my book Esher were the worst so they fall, but im also an advocate for 2 up 2 down so if I had my way we'd be going with them.
But lets face it the RFU are not interested in the what is best for the game. The are only inerested in whats best for all the corrupt bigwigs with regards to lining their pockets a bit more. The brown envelopes are most probably passed around at the lodge.
Your just not thinking 4th dimensionally. Once you hit 88 those indian's won't even be there.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2012 at 13:02
Every club manages its season on the basis of the rules at the start of the season. When Esher went down as 1 of 5 the rules changed during the season and that was what annoyed us most. We have play-offs to give us enough matches to generate income. Cutting those out and expanding the B&I Cup doesn't achieve the needed outcome. I don't have an answer, though, and for now I'll enjoy the tension around the next 7 weeks.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2012 at 18:11
Originally posted by Halliford Halliford wrote:

We have play-offs to give us enough matches to generate income. Cutting those out and expanding the B&I Cup doesn't achieve the needed outcome. I don't have an answer, though, and for now I'll enjoy the tension around the next 7 weeks.
With respect H you are straying into a different topic.........a bit like saying what we have is fine because it's better than something worse. If what we have isn't equitable and doesn't attract the income (audience/sponsors etc) then it must change. Quite why it changed from 16 teams (15 home games) to a random (appearing) 12 (11 home games) is still beyond me....
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2012 at 18:16
Originally posted by Bill Sley Bill Sley wrote:

Quite why it changed from 16 teams (15 home games) to a random (appearing) 12 (11 home games) is still beyond me....

wasn't that because the RFU's purse was finite so 12 clubs got more than 16 (and atthe same time cut all funding below Level 2)

It's ironic that quite a few salaries at HQ would individually (with NI & Pension) fund a National 1 or 2 club for a season ............

Logical (!) solution for all is a 16 team league again (14 for Premiership) with a single play off for promotion into Premiership and playoff for relegation into Championship. 2 Championship / Nat 1 clubs up / down, reduce Premiership salary cap, reduce foreign (inc Scot/Ire/Wal) players to 4, abandon Commonwealth/SANZAR player exemption, cut non English born players funding (none of this EQP lark), cut HQ staff, cut academies (do they work?), ban D/R but formalise season long loan system, introduce transfer fees because Levels 1 & 2 cream off the best of the rest, pressure government to zero rate VAT on admission income (now 1/6th of admission is tax) ......


Edited by FHLH - 10 Mar 2012 at 18:28
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2012 at 13:06
Amen to that Bill.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2012 at 13:12
Originally posted by Stalwart Stalwart wrote:

There are some valid points in what you say, Bill. But the problem with "top goes up, bottom goes down" was that the season could be effectively over by Xmas if you get a runaway leader and/or a club adrift at the bottom.
 
but if that is the case surely it's deserved for those teams?
this is why events unnerve me
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2012 at 13:26
Originally posted by elegia elegia wrote:

Originally posted by Stalwart Stalwart wrote:

There are some valid points in what you say, Bill. But the problem with "top goes up, bottom goes down" was that the season could be effectively over by Xmas if you get a runaway leader and/or a club adrift at the bottom.
 
but if that is the case surely it's deserved for those teams?
There's at least 3 teams (and supporters) that would die to have 'mid table obscurity'! The whole point of a league is that you have a whole season to determine the outcome....not just over a month!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2012 at 13:51
"The season could effectively over" argument doesn't wash with me.  What about the good old amateur days?  You can still enjoy a damn good game of rugby and a decent pint.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2012 at 17:32
Originally posted by Moseley Mauler Moseley Mauler wrote:

"The season could effectively over" argument doesn't wash with me.  What about the good old amateur days?  You can still enjoy a damn good game of rugby and a decent pint.
 
Quite.
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