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[MegaThread] RFU Top Flight Future

RedruthRFC

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Most of those cities have two decent level football teams. Most are also traditional industrial working class places. Most of my friends from the North West and North East had little rugby at school. Sadly it's still seen as a posh boys sport. Football is king. Those that have attended games feel sneered at because they are not wearing red chinos and say "chin, chin". Sometimes it seems rugby wants to grow the game but only with the "right sort" of fans.
The big cities have diverse multicultural populations now. Grow interest with the Indian, Pakistan, communities etc.
I think the football factor is a significant one. Football simply occupies so much more of the national sporting interest than it did years ago.

I've never visited a club in Manchester or Liverpool, so couldn't comment specifically on the class thing, but unless snobbery has increased over the years, it doesn't explain the decline in northern representation in the upper leagues in isolation.
 

Saintjay

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I think the football factor is a significant one. Football simply occupies so much more of the national sporting interest than it did years ago.

I've never visited a club in Manchester or Liverpool, so couldn't comment specifically on the class thing, but unless snobbery has increased over the years, it doesn't explain the decline in northern representation in the upper leagues in isolation.
I think it's a combination of many factors. I feel the amateur game where I am is in decline. My club struggles to put out an XV at the weekend. At least four local clubs just about scrape out a first team. I mainly play 2nd's\ 3rd's now and last season played for four clubs just to help them put out a team. They return the favour with my club. I'd be keen to know how other amateur clubs are in different regions. I don't know if the link between participating and watching impacts into rugby interest (finance) in general.
 

TRF_Olyy

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Think increasingly large numbers of players pack it in after uni now - I only played two seasons after graduating and all the older guys at my club were lifers who had been playing there since they were nippers

Have heard plenty of similar stories to yours - know a club near me has gone from 3 sides and a casuals to struggling to put two out
 

die_mole

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watch an amateur game now vs an amateur game from 1990. The conditioning required to play the game plus nursing whatever injuries isn’t fun. Going to physical therapy isn’t easy when you have a job.
 

RedruthRFC

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watch an amateur game now vs an amateur game from 1990. The conditioning required to play the game plus nursing whatever injuries isn’t fun. Going to physical therapy isn’t easy when you have a job.
This is a significant factor IMO. When I last played coarse rugby 20+ years ago, I was doing no form of strength and fitness training and and sank a gallon more of ale the night before, but was in sufficient shape to not be out of place in a thirds game. Now when I look at teams in the lowest local leagues, there are multiple gym bunnies who would put me off stepping on the field.

I do buy into the usual answer as well though - modern life places more pressure on 20/30/40 something blokes' time and societal change makes them less likely to want to spend the rest of the day on the beer and the next day sleeping it off.
 

RedruthRFC

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I think it's a combination of many factors. I feel the amateur game where I am is in decline. My club struggles to put out an XV at the weekend. At least four local clubs just about scrape out a first team. I mainly play 2nd's\ 3rd's now and last season played for four clubs just to help them put out a team. They return the favour with my club. I'd be keen to know how other amateur clubs are in different regions. I don't know if the link between participating and watching impacts into rugby interest (finance) in general.
Unfortunately, it's hard to prove it because player numbers are collected by incompetents and were fudged, but I can't imagine anyone arguing that it's not. Here in Cornwall, a couple of teams within 3 miles of me have folded and you often hear of fixtures cancelled or postponed because teams can't raise a side. My club's second XV finally got accepted to enter a side into the leagues and have already had a match cancelled on them.

I think it has to have an effect on the bigger picture - today's players are tomorrow's coaches, committee men and spectators.
 

LeinsterMan (NotTigsMan)

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The amateur game imo has quite a lot of old school pricks in club rugby still.

You compare the mindset of a lot of 21 and below kids to the 40+ crowd and honestly there a much bigger gap than say 20/30 years in terms of ideology etc.
 

die_mole

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The RFU chief executive, Bill Sweeney, along with seeing a 10-team Premiership as correcting "a lot of things that have been wrong for a long time" told the Telegraph that the French model – where clubs have to prove their funding is solid before the season starts – was of interest. Bear in mind, as an aside, that France's broadcast deal with Canal+ is worth about £98m a year, compared with the £37m the English clubs receive from BT Sport.

damn
 

Jimbo

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May not be the correct thread but I have to question how viable Premiership clubs participation in the European cups are, especially the champions I can’t see on their budgets how they can realistically compete with Leinster or any of the top 3 or 4 French clubs in recent years the majority of clubs (outside of Exe and Sarries) have looked distinctively second best on most occasions even to teams like Ulster who are not likely to dominate the comp. Not too sure what the overall financials are like for the European comps but watching your team get pumped by mid table outfits from other leagues is not likely to promote interest.
 

die_mole

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May not be the correct thread but I have to question how viable Premiership clubs participation in the European cups are, especially the champions I can’t see on their budgets how they can realistically compete with Leinster or any of the top 3 or 4 French clubs in recent years the majority of clubs (outside of Exe and Sarries) have looked distinctively second best on most occasions even to teams like Ulster who are not likely to dominate the comp. Not too sure what the overall financials are like for the European comps but watching your team get pumped by mid table outfits from other leagues is not likely to promote interest.
pretty much agreed. Don't have much more to say.

I think the best option would be to set a date, probably 2024 season, and say we are creating a new structure from there. You would have the two tier system with 10 in each. This would be the equivalent of the football league like it was back in the day. Essentially in the meantime you would have teams apply to be part of the original 20. Anyone could apply, doesn't matter the level or where they are based or play. They would do this behind closed doors cause I think they'd only get 18 or so bids. 13 premiership plus 3 championship, then Swansea and Cardiff. From there I'd say that I'd want teams in x cities and have people apply to be owners there.

There really needs to be oversight of who the owners are. I imagine that at least Swansea and Cardiff will join in. I don't think too many championship sides will join in. Draw a line between the amateur and professional game.
 

Which Tyler

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So who's gonna be unlucky number 11, then?
Currently Bath - but that may yet change by the end of the season. Also possible that another club goes down financially - though I don't think any others have suffered the malign influence of Worcester, or the over-optimistic financing of Wasps.
May not be the correct thread but I have to question how viable Premiership clubs participation in the European cups are, especially the champions I can’t see on their budgets how they can realistically compete with Leinster or any of the top 3 or 4 French clubs in recent years the majority of clubs (outside of Exe and Sarries) have looked distinctively second best on most occasions even to teams like Ulster who are not likely to dominate the comp. Not too sure what the overall financials are like for the European comps but watching your team get pumped by mid table outfits from other leagues is not likely to promote interest.
Isn't that a little bit "Well if I'm not going to win, then I'm not going to play!"?
I'm sure the Italians, Scots and (most of) the Welsh will be crying into their cereal about English clubs feeling second best in Europe because they just can't spend the same as the French and Irish.

Bath won't be winning the Premiership this year - should we just withdraw in a sulk?
 

stus768

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The RFU chief executive, Bill Sweeney, along with seeing a 10-team Premiership as correcting "a lot of things that have been wrong for a long time" told the Telegraph that the French model – where clubs have to prove their funding is solid before the season starts – was of interest. Bear in mind, as an aside, that France's broadcast deal with Canal+ is worth about £98m a year, compared with the £37m the English clubs receive from BT Sport.

damn
Doesn’t the french rugby deal also include pro d2? I think I read somewhere that they split it 60/40 between the two leagues. Does mean the amount received per club isn’t as high as suggested.
 

Reiser99

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Newcastle withheld England payments to players didn't they? That suggests issues there
 

die_mole

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Adopting elements of the French model
Sweeney said he favours establishing a structure similar to the one that operates in France.

There the game's financial health is policed by the DNACG - a body, independent of the French Rugby Federation (FFL) and the French National Rugby League (LNR), that safeguards the finances of the 30 professional clubs in the Top14 and Pro D2.

"They define themselves as there to grow and protect the interests in the French game," Sweeney said, before highlighting the criteria each of the 30 clubs must meet in order to get a "licence to compete" - the right to start the season.

"They have to have a complete review of their financial projections and business plan, their assumptions around ticketing and hospitality - if they look out of whack to previous years they are scaled back," he said.

"They look at their projected finish in the league - which carries a bonus payment - and if they've finished no higher than ninth for the last 10 years and then say they're going to finish third that gets challenged."

French clubs also have to keep 15% of their yearly cost projections in cash in the bank and any benefactor wanting to cover losses must supply a bank guarantee.

Sweeney said the English game "needed something like that" in place.

 

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