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View Full Version : Here we go, franchises at the ready



RoyalBlueStuey
04-10-06, 10:10 AM
Surprise, surprise (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/english/5405124.stm)

The Rugby Football Union could end Premiership promotion and relegation in order to strike a deal with the clubs over the structure of the season.

The RFU wants to reach a long-standing deal with the clubs after the two parties agreed on release dates for England training in August.

"Promotion and relegation has always been an article of faith on our side," said RFU chief executive Francis Baron.

"But we are prepared to look at that again." Baron added: "We have got to make the breakthrough.

"We have been trying for so many years through various negotiations to find a model that is for club and country and we have failed.

"Both sides have got to give up some of the dearly held positions they have vigorously defended for many years."

The RFU have been keen to retain promotion and relegation in the top flight but some clubs claim long-term investment is stifled by the threat of the drop to National League One.

But Baron says he could compromise in order to broker a deal with Premier Rugby, the umbrella organisation which looks after the interests of the 12 Premiership clubs.

The RFU and Premier Rugby ended up in court following a row over the release of players for the England Test against New Zealand on 5 November.

But in August, the two parties did agree on 16 days when players will be released for England duty this season.

And the appointment of Rob Andrew as the RFU's elite director of rugby has raised hopes that the long-running 'club v country' argument can finally be resolved.

Premier Rugby now have Gloucester owner Tom Walkinshaw as chair of their negotiation panel, and Baron is confident a deal can be struck when they next meet.

"The fact we have sorted out the New Zealand game and the release periods for this year is very positive," he said.

"The RFU will go in with an open mind on the way forward and we have put a number of innovative ideas on the table."

Surprise surprise...'quins back in the fold, let's nail that trapdoor shut.

They'll have the bigger Div 1 teams dancing round like monkeys in a season or two so they can haul up two or three teams from geographical area's they want a presence in (Ie Yorkshire, Brum and Cornwall.

MightyQuin
04-10-06, 10:21 AM
The second I read that I thought I'd head onto the rugbyforum and see who immediately blames Quins for this ... and lo!! :rolleyes:

I'm sure others (many of who also said in disgust that the RFU would fudge the rules and Quins wouldn't be relegated ;) ) though will also say this.

For what it's worth, I don't think they should scrap promotion and relegation. I do think they should scrap the Anglo-Welsh thing, make the premiership and ND1 divisions with 14 teams (instead of 12 and 16), and promote/relegate 2 teams between the divisions each year.

Another tournament (domestic cup or Anglo-Welsh) for the ND1 teams could be instigated for while the prem teams are playing Euro cup matches.

Won't happen though!

Twickenham-RULES
04-10-06, 10:31 AM
I know this has been a running arguement for some years but surely this is a bad idea? Okay so we get an elite table of premiership clubs and a second table of mediocre ones and so on, but isn't the whole idea of being at the top of your game, to try and stay there, its what drives any competition surely.

Otherwise you just get a club, won't mention names, that can play :%#%#: all season round with no punishment at the end and what about the lower tables, your consigning / stifling them with no where to go in terms of playing to get in the top flight and no reward, whether that be financial / sponsorship / pride / supporters.

Whatever happened to that phrase "raising your game" afterall when national teams play surely we want the best for the job, although in Englands case that may be running a bit thin, albiet, to the amount of games played and injury.

Okay, so scrap some of the lesser cups and focus on the main ones, increase the top tables to 14/16 teams even create more regional tables but with the target of playing top fight in the Premiership. Creating regional tables might be the answer with the top teams playing each other for the overall crown, like American football, I know, I know, could be a bad idea but it seems to work.

Increasing tables and squads could only be a good thing, couldn't it? We would have more younger players being brought in that show their talent, then we would be able to iron out some of the fat, overweight, unconditioned players that literally, don't pull their weight we've seen that in too many National and International games.

Any way I've had my say, I can hear the vultures flying overhead.

PLAY TO BE THE BEST OF THE BEST OF THE BEST

RoyalBlueStuey
04-10-06, 10:47 AM
It's not a dig at 'quins per se...it's just predictable as they are very much part of the establishment. It did feel wrong them being down in Nat1 but that's meritocracies for you.

That for me is key, if sport isn't a meritocracy then what's the point?

MightyQuin
04-10-06, 10:57 AM
no, I know what you meant - it does look like it's a reaction to Quins being back in the prem, and also looking like they may not last there more than one season!!

However, I think it is more to do with Squeaky Rob Andrew taking over at the RFU to be honest - he's been one of the loudest opponents to relegation and how it prevents investement in facilities and the option to risk young English players when clubs premiership status and perceived future (Quins disproved this) are at stake.

Also, didn't the first division try and propose no relegation from ND1 to ND2 earlier this year ... any idea what happened to that plan? Would be hard for them to fight the RFU about the rights for promotion / relegation to the premiership if they've just nailed shut their own trapdoor.

RoyalBlueStuey
04-10-06, 03:37 PM
However, I think it is more to do with Squeaky Rob Andrew taking over at the RFU to be honest - he's been one of the loudest opponents to relegation and how it prevents investement in facilities and the option to risk young English players when clubs premiership status and perceived future (Quins disproved this) are at stake.

Also, didn't the first division try and propose no relegation from ND1 to ND2 earlier this year ... any idea what happened to that plan? Would be hard for them to fight the RFU about the rights for promotion / relegation to the premiership if they've just nailed shut their own trapdoor.
[/b]

But just saying that the threat of relegation is stopping investment is like admitting it's a rich kids only club.

Yes the ND1/ND2 thing caused a fair few frowns...especially as there is some great, great little clubs down in ND2. It's just so patronising to tell them all that they aren't good enough and never will be. "Just shut up and continue handing over your good players to our academies.".

SB

getofmeland
04-10-06, 07:39 PM
As a fan of 2 teams one being in the GP and the other being NL1, I feel this can only be bad for rugby in England... If anything the opposite does need to happen, they need to increase the size of the GP to 14 clubs, scrap the GP Final they are unneccessary and pointless games, the winner of the competition should be the overal winner of the league, not the one who performs ok for the season then has 2 fantastic games at the end of the season...
I also feel the two up two down system would work well in the premiership and NL1, then I believe an English Cup, which would see teams from GP and NL1 take on each other, this would create money for the smaller teams...

But that aint gonna happen is it really...

I dont want to see the end of competetive rugby in England and thats whats gonna happen...

Titan
04-10-06, 07:45 PM
I know, let's scrap relegation and have half a season of meaningless games. That will really get the sponsors excited! :wacko:

If they do scrap promotion and relegation, rugby will become a minority sport in the UK. And to think, in the immediate aftermath of the WC victory, there was actually talk of rugby replacing football as the national sport.

Goth Power
05-10-06, 01:14 AM
Without promotion and relegation the league would be pointless because their isn't something at stake.

If you drop you clearly deserve to and if you think money will save you then their isn't much point in them teams competing.

MightyQuin
05-10-06, 08:42 AM
I'm not even convinced that the lack of relegation would mean clubs play more English players.

Look at the new signings for this season for, as an example, Leicester...

Marcos Ayerza - Argentina
Paul Burke - Ireland
Martin Castrogiavanni - Italy
Jordan Crane - England
Gavin Hickie - Ireland
Frank Murphy - Ireland

Check out the number of English players a club that's not threatened by relegation has brought in ... !!!!

SaintsFan_Webby
05-10-06, 08:46 AM
If I can just play Devil's Advocate for a moment, there are clearly reasons why the RFU thinks this would be a good idea:

- Although you may not think it, it could well help the growth of the sport. At the moment, many clubs do not put themselves ou there to really try and get new supporters (stadium expansion etc) because they know that were they to be relegated they would be in serious financial trouble. This leads to the facilities at many clubs becoming stagnant, leading to fewer people fancying the idea of going along to a ramshackle stadium. No relegation could ease this problem and release the purse strings of many investors.

- Look at the southern hemisphere teams, particularly those from New Zealand. These players are able to take part in matches without the fear factor looming up at them from the bottom of the table. They are able to take risks, be inventive, and ultimately this has benefitted the national side.

- Key players would be afforded the luxury of a rest now and again. Everyone bemoans the state of English rugby and the lengthy injury lists that have been occured, so surely this is a pro-active way of combating the problem.

RoyalBlueStuey
05-10-06, 09:23 AM
I too have a Premiership team as well as Waterloo...the second the premiership get the lack of relegation brought in I'll send my Leicester shirt back to them and tell them in put it in the same place the dumped their integrity.

I know that sounds pissy but this schism is just too self-serving for words...There is still a refreshing element of sportsmanship in the rugby, "The game comes first" is still in evidence. This would be the end of it.

SB

Bullitt
05-10-06, 01:14 PM
I think Leicester dumped their integrity after the Dean Richards incident, but that's off topic...

Titan
05-10-06, 08:01 PM
- Although you may not think it, it could well help the growth of the sport. At the moment, many clubs do not put themselves ou there to really try and get new supporters (stadium expansion etc) because they know that were they to be relegated they would be in serious financial trouble. This leads to the facilities at many clubs becoming stagnant, leading to fewer people fancying the idea of going along to a ramshackle stadium. No relegation could ease this problem and release the purse strings of many investors.


[/b]

I just find this to be such a duff argument. In football, for instance, you don't see teams not investing in their infrastructure becase of the threat of relegation. Look at Southampton - they fought against the drop for years, but this didn't stop them from building a new state-of-the-art ground. If teams are that scared by relegation, maybe a professional environment is the wrong place for them?

SaintsFan_Webby
06-10-06, 09:07 AM
<div class='quotemain'>


- Although you may not think it, it could well help the growth of the sport. At the moment, many clubs do not put themselves ou there to really try and get new supporters (stadium expansion etc) because they know that were they to be relegated they would be in serious financial trouble. This leads to the facilities at many clubs becoming stagnant, leading to fewer people fancying the idea of going along to a ramshackle stadium. No relegation could ease this problem and release the purse strings of many investors.


[/b]

I just find this to be such a duff argument. In football, for instance, you don&#39;t see teams not investing in their infrastructure becase of the threat of relegation. Look at Southampton - they fought against the drop for years, but this didn&#39;t stop them from building a new state-of-the-art ground. If teams are that scared by relegation, maybe a professional environment is the wrong place for them?
[/b][/quote]

Don&#39;t shoot the messenger - I&#39;m not saying I necessarily agree wih a closed league, I&#39;m just providing a number of the arguments which can be seen for it.

Take Leeds for example. Despite being a Premiership team for several seasons, they always looked like a relegation risk, and had to live in the shadow of League team, the Rhinos. I honestly think that a combination of the threat of relegation and lack of initial popularity made potential investors from any area shy away.

The ground is bad, the fan base is small, and if there is no guarantee of a place in the top league then why bother with the Union side? Just concentrate on the successful League team and everythin will be rosy.

Now I&#39;m not saying no relegation would suddenly have turned the whole of Yorkshire to Union, but I do think it would have made a difference to the popularity and facilities for the sport up north.

Titan
08-10-06, 07:34 PM
No shooting intended. :P

Of course, we all know the real reason this issue is back on the agenda - it&#39;s because Rotherham are threatening to crash the GP party again! I&#39;m sure Mr Duckworth would love that.

St Helens RLFC
08-10-06, 07:55 PM
Another idea stolen from the RFL I see..... ;)

DonBilly
09-10-06, 09:57 AM
Another idea stolen from the RFL I see..... ;)
[/b]

Well as far as I know there&#39;s no closed competition in the SL. There&#39;s still, at least until 2009, promotion and relegation with of course the specific exception applying to the Catalan Dragons.

DonBilly
09-10-06, 10:22 AM
Another idea stolen from the RFL I see..... ;)
[/b]

Well as far as I know there&#39;s no closed competition in the SL. There&#39;s still, at least until 2009, promotion and relegation with of course the specific exception applying to the Catalan Dragons.