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Euro League?



Originally posted by scrum.com
Moffett calls for major overhaul
13 Jul 2005 


Welsh Rugby Union Chief Executive David Moffett believes that Northern Hemisphere rugby is ripe for a major overhaul.

With the Lions defeat in new Zealand as a backdrop Moffett believes a radical rethink for the structure of the game is necessary. Speaking to the Western Mail the WRU boss said “There's absolutely no doubt that the biggest issue in the northern hemisphere is the structure of the season. It's just too long and we have to work out how to look after our players better.â€

Moffett believes that top players should also play a maximum of 32 games a season, with a pan â€" European league set up to replace all the existing club competitions.
"Everyone is skirting around the issue, but we have to look at it. Until we get serious about that, we are going to see the sort of results that we have seen over the past month. France looked jaded in losing out in South Africa and Australia, while we have all seen what has happened with the Lions.

"Hopefully, those defeats will act as a catalyst to accelerate the move to change up here. If we don't change, then we will end up in the same boat in four years' time with the Lions. And, more importantly, if we don't change, we are going to kill the players."

"We are all strapped for cash in the northern hemisphere and the idea people have come up for getting more money is play more competitions," he said. “So, we have our domestic leagues - the Guinness Premiership, French championship and Celtic League -we have the Powergen Cup and the Heineken Cup, plus the autumn internationals and the Six Nations. Then, on top of all that, we have to go down south at the end of the season.

"It is with this in mind that Moffett is proposing a streamlined season with a European league replacing both domestic tournaments and the Heineken Cup.

"I think the Heineken Cup is a fantastic competition and we should look to expand on that," he said. "You could have a European league with three conferences of 14 teams, with the top sides going through to a play-off and the whole thing rounding off with a Superbowl-style final. You could gear the fixture list to give you whatever number of games you wanted, with cross-conference matches.

"I have put it up as an idea, but nobody wants to debate it. I don't know why - perhaps it's because of parochial issues.


The WRU has buggered up enough over the last 6 months - This idiot should just keep his mouth shut.
Something has to be done about the amount of fixtures though - player burn out is a major issue.
Right; this is a basic rant I just posted on a non-Rugby forum.

If you are easily offended or object to peoples opinions, or are Welsh, don't bother reading;

I've had enough of the f***ing Welsh. They all think that they're the best at everything, they change history to suit their circumstances when talking about sport, They are racist and call it 'Welsh Pride' and they f***ing annoy me.

Let me set the record straight here; After England won the 2003 World Cup the RFU (English Rugbys equivalent to the FA, which happens to be the most corrupt organisation this side of the Labour Government), they saw a great money making oppertunity to promote England Rugby, but in turn this buggered up the Domestic game. Once England finished 3rd in the 2004 Six Nations, it was like a nail in the coffin for their chance to catch up to Football in the popularity stakes. Whay with the awful play off system for the league championship (meaning you only need to finish 3rd to be champions; do a google on 'London Wasps')

Meanwhile, Wales start improving their National squad (mostly due toa higher calibre of players in the provincial Celtic league sides rather than a standard Welsh league) and begin making an impact. Not much, but an impact none the less.

In steps David Moffett (proberbly pronounced 'Daffid'), the Cheif Exec. of the WRU who says to the RFU "Hey, how about scrapping the Powergen Cup (Rugbys FA Cup) and letting the Welsh teams compete, boyo?"
"Yeah, what a good idea" says the RFU, seeing £ signs in their eyes from extra gates from Welsh fans while the Taffs saw some good sides to play rather than the almos Ametuer leagues west of the boarder.

Fast forward to 2005 and Wales win the Six Nations grand slam, (Wankers). 30 years of being a joke in NH rugby apparently was over, but as England discovered 2 years earlier, Sucess breeds arrogance.

The idea to scrap the Powergen Cup was approved and intoduce the Anglo-Welsh cup - but that ment the Welsh sides had fixture congestion. What do you do about this? Well, you pull all your countrys provinance sides out of the Celtic league, thus stuffing the SRU and IRFU forcing the cancellation of the Celtic League due to insufficent fixtures. All of the Scorrish and Irish side are now resigned to play friendlys only until alternative arrangements can be made.

Than, after the Sheep Shagging ******** balls that up, the issue of the Lions Tour comes up. "Oh, we won the Six Nations, boyo, and we had the grand slam!" they all say, expecting a line up of 15 Welsmen and 7 Welsh subs. Why? Because they won a tournament where they beat an aging England side (barely), Scotland (who have been abysmal for years now) and an Ireland side that never propperly clicked.

Clive Woodwoods British Lions this year were crap, but the supprise of the tour turned out to be the Welsh were the worst players (excluding Ryan Jones).

Of course, the Taffs still complained because the worlds best player, Irish Outside-Centre Brian O'Driscoll was captain instead of a Welshman, they still complained that Kiwi Sheep are more attractive than Welsh sheep and still insisted that the answer to the tours problem was "Were loosing; Send out more Welshmen!"

Of course, this was tried during the second test with more Welsh than any other nation and the Lions suffered a record defeat. Immedeately the Taffs blamed the Lions man-of the-match Steve Thompson (an Englishman) for the result, claming that they made the only useful plays. ********.

Anyway, after the most dissapointing Lions Tour in history, the Welsh quickly issued new propositions, distracting from the fact that they are in fact just as bad as anyone else in the NH (Insert a "No we're no Boyo, what was the last thing you won you English *******" at any point here), and call for the Guinness Premiership and French Leagues to be scrapped and a European 'Super' League to be formed, which coincidentally would feature Welsh sides. Remember I mentioned the WRU killed the Celtic League?

Imagine the scene - the Scottish sides join in the FA Cup, kill off the Scottish premiership (only allowing Rangers and Herts to play as any other side 'cloggs up the fixture list'), than calls for the Premiership and La Liga both to be scrapped so they can put their sides in a no-religation 'European League'. After they have been shown to be the biggest Jokes of sports organisation in the Northern Hemisphere.

The WRU and 'Daffid' claim to be helping Northern Hemisphere and reducing fixture congestion, but all they have ever done is kill a league and increase the number of fixtures for all but their own teams yet still say they are 'The Greatest'.

I am sick and tired of Welsh Rugby and the Welsh attitude.
Player burn-out needs to be adressed but it's bad enough that 3 of the biggest rugby countries in the world have to pool their teams to make a competitive league.
The idea of a Euro league is stupid, granted. But something needs to be changed to stop the players palying more than 32 or whateva games a season.

I honestly am stuck 4 ideas on what should change in England...

Shud we hav a Super12 system and play each other once only each year and then rotate home/away fixturees with players being contracted to the RFU. Home fans would hav less fixtures to watch thou and the RFU would balls it up - and make less dosh.

What about a regional pool, 4 groups of 4 in England and after the 6 games in the group, the top in each group play each other in the semis. Even less games though - fans mis out.

I think the game needs changing in England, but how? Scraping the salary cap so the clubs can have bigger squads may help - but sum would just use this to be buy bigger names and play them week in week out.

I'm stuck - any1 else any ideas?
The simplest and easiest would be to get rid of the summer Tours. Thus we give rest to the NH Rugby players.

We have to live with the NH Rugby structure and what's the problem with having so many clubs? That shows that Rugby is healthy.
I've always maintained that it was a bad idea to have the Celtic League go to a home and away format, they nearly had it right in the early years with the 2 pools of 6 teams but that made the competition too short. The Celtic League needs to be run the same way as the Super 12/14 whatever, maybe add in quarter finals to keep the interest for more teams.

This would certainly help to address the issue of player burnout.

Irish, Welsh and Scottish players would then have 10-13 games in the Celtic League, 6-9 in the Heineken Cup and 10 internationals. That would certainly be manageable for the players plus the IRFU would be more keen on allowing the players to participate in the Celtic League.

As for the English and French that's where the real problems lie with burnout. Obviously reducing the Top 16 to Top 14 will make a small difference. I don't know about alternating home and away fixtures in both leagues. Whether scrapping completely something like the Powergen Cup or downgrading it to a development squad tournament might be the way to go. It's hard to overcome traditional elements when it comes to scrapping cup competitions. Just ask Leeds fans, I doubt they'd be too keen on getting rid. Hang on it has been scrapped now we're getting this Anglo-Welsh Cup, or am I wrong? What does that do for HEC qualification in England if a Welsh team wins the cup?

As for a European League, as a Leinster fan it wouldn't bother me, we'd be in the top 14 that Moffet is talking about so we'd be playing quality teams week in week out. It wouldn't catch on with the teams who already play regularly in the HEC being asked to play in a second tier, won't really work.

As for Teh Mite's anti-Welsh rant, it was the IRFU who kicked out the Welsh Regions when they signed the deal for the Anglo-Welsh Cup. Mere triviality though, good to see we've sorted the league out, although not quite in the right format yet.
The thing that really gets me about this idea, is how the hell does anyone decide who the top 14 sides in Europe are. If you go purely on performance based on one season, then some bloody big teams are going to miss out, but you can't go purely on fanbase or funding either. The idea is ridiculous, and totally impractical to implement.

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