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[MegaThread] RFU Top Flight Future

Don't Skip Leg Day

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How will letting players play abroad help either the RFU/ England or the premiership?

It would give England less control of them, weaken the prem quality and drive up the salary of England players wanting to stay in England.
 

TRF_Olyy

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Yeah I'm definitely against allowing England players to move abroad - don't mind it in the case of Worcester/Wasps players atm (but only for this season) but not full time/long term
 

Which Tyler

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I'm torn - On the one hand, I do like Giteau's Law, in allowing players who've "paid their dues" to earn more elsewhere; but then, they lose the control and rest periods of the EPS agreement.
Equally, I'm a firm believer that spending some time in a different environment, a different league, can really help round out a player's game, and their individual personality TBH.

For W&W players, I'm absolutely in favour of a 9 month allowance, as it's happening mid-season (I see some Sarries fans complaining that their players weren't allowed the same whilst in the Champ for a full year, and with most of a year's warning in advance).

If it works out well for those W&W players who do go abroad for the rest of the year, and return (and if Mercer, for example, shows the improvement he made in France) then I'd be in favour of some sort of sabbatical arrangement, where players can head overseas for a year and return, and have a secondary aspect of the EPS to include these - whilst acknowledging that they won't be having as much time in camp, and are less likely to be selected - or something - I can't instinctively see a practical way forward for it right now.
Maybe a pseudo-central-contract? RFU employ 4-5 players, and loan them out overseas, but retain the EPS level controls? Agree that this central contract is a one-off, and the player has to find a club contract on return?
 

Arcturus

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Jim Hamilton making friends...

Yes Jim, yes we are still upset.

Not only does other clubs being extremely unfortunate justify cheating by yours; it's also crass to pretend it does.

Further to that, Nigel Wray has blood on his hands over the demise of Wasps and Wuss, though A] being a prime driver of the excessive salary cap increases, B] being a primary driver of the marquee player exceptions, and C] being THE primary driver of wage inflation - by cheating, repeatedly cheating, by spending well above the cap, so that other clubs struggles to compete whilst spending the full cap, and faced disaster if they didn't - all whilst top players demanded more and more in salaries - because of your cheating.
I did get a chuckle. Did Leicester breaking the cap mean that they also have blood on their hands? Do Leinster and the big French sides with their extraordinary spending power also share some of the blame? Nobody is forcing these clubs to spend as much as possible and breaking the cap – as demonstrated by Leicester – doesn't correlate with success.

The salary cap review of Saracens was up to and including the 2018-19 season which over three seasons ago now, during which Saracens weren't even present in the Premiership.

The sad reality is that Worcester were run by cowboys (if there was a fit and proper test this would have been weeded out), whilst Wasps treated the club like a NFL franchise and moved not once but twice away from its traditional base, becoming burdened by unsustainable debts (in excess of £100mn by some accounts). Where did all that CVC money go? The DCMS pandemic loans? The Saracens fine money?

Sarries bounced straight back from relegation to come within a whisker of winning the ***le last year and are flying this season. Money helps, but that’s everything to do with culture and togetherness, which was also a huge factor in Chiefs rise. Too many clubs have overlooked this in my book with cheque book fuelled short termism and revolving doors of players etc.
Most clubs in England have varying degrees of success with academy outputs, but the underlying success behind Saracens and Exeter is that they have developed the most comprehensive academy systems in England. Part of the contradiction of developing international-grade players though is that with the overlap of the international fixtures, it puts such clubs at a disadvantage on and off the pitch. I recall reading a while back that the RFU compensation package perversely allocated money to clubs that didn't even commit England players. Hence the rise in southern hemisphere players who are available to play more frequently in domestic and European competitions; Leicester have 15 on their senior payroll, Harlequins 10. Wasps had 5, Saracens 4 and Worcester 3.

Rugby needs a complete overhaul.
  1. The pandemic provided a missed opportunity to realign the domestic and international calendars, but it should still materialise; football doesn't dilute focus and attention.
  2. A 10-team Premiership (Bath getting the chop based on their consistently poor form in recent years) and 10-team Premiership 2
  3. A fit and proper test of all existing and future owners/shareholders
  4. A cap (to be phased in over 3 seasons) on southern hemisphere and/or non-England qualified players and/or reduced cap or penalties (distributed to the other clubs, points deduction) for too many non-England qualified players
  5. If the international/domestic calendars can't be segregated then there needs to be a greater compensation solution particularly for clubs that don't produce many academy products (possibly paid by the other clubs rather than the RFU)
  6. Complete oversight of club finances covering (more than remuneration) to ensure that clubs are solvent and have a viable business plan for 'x' number of future seasons – this would have gone someway to addressing the mid-season fallout that the entire league is now experiencing with Wasps/Worcester
  7. Premiership Ruby Cup becomes a Premiership youth/player recovery Vs Premiership 2 competition
  8. Ditch the stadium capacity promotion requirement (that works against Jersey, Ealing, etc…), especially when so many teams are struggling with attendances at the moment
  9. More Showdown/Big Game style events to further boost the profile of the game
  10. Cap/lottery on international ticket fixtures
  11. Speeding the game up
    1. 10-seconds to take penalties/conversions
    2. penalties for time-wasting (I'm seeing far too many instances where fatiguing teams take an age to form for a line out)
    3. reworking the scrum – it is a mess for casual viewers to understand what is going on – possibly with fewer players, a limit on resets, etc…
    4. a longer half-time break (player welfare and also for fans to
  12. Better engagement with fans in the stadium
    1. more stats/in-game information on the big screens – perhaps sacrifice one of the digital advertising boards for some detail
    2. if you can't see the ref you have no idea what an infringement was for
    3. do we really need stadium screens showing "respect the kicker"; I want to see the kick or a replay
 

Taffelaide

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Is a part of the problem that the RFL (in general) is run by Toffs.

Now, I'm not about to start a class war here, but when you come from a wealthy and inherited wealth background the consequences of overspending aren't really borne. Money always seems to find its way to you.
 

Don't Skip Leg Day

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Is a part of the problem that the RFL (in general) is run by Toffs.

Now, I'm not about to start a class war here, but when you come from a wealthy and inherited wealth background the consequences of overspending aren't really borne. Money always seems to find its way to you.
Toffs is completely the wrong term and quite frankly stupid. A correct phrase would be dinosaurs who are out of touch with the grassroots game and with players and clubs in general.
 

Taffelaide

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Toffs is completely the wrong term and quite frankly stupid. A correct phrase would be dinosaurs who are out of touch with the grassroots game and with players and clubs in general.
Of course they are Toffs, this denial is what causes the issue.
 

Don't Skip Leg Day

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Of course they are Toffs, this denial is what causes the issue.
Ok, name the people who you think are from an aristocratic background then?

Can you also name a time when you’ve met them or seen them interviewed and noticed traits of a ‘toff’.

When you can’t do either, you can come back and say sorry.

The problem isn’t a class thing (which is BS anyway these days), it’s how far removed they are from the coal face.
 

Taffelaide

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Ok, name the people who you think are from an aristocratic background then?

Can you also name a time when you’ve met them or seen them interviewed and noticed traits of a ‘toff’.

When you can’t do either, you can come back and say sorry.

The problem isn’t a class thing (which is BS anyway these days), it’s how far removed they are from the coal face.
Literally judges, public school people and high end officers throughout the RFU.

Jeeesus! The denial is strong.

Simon Massie-Taylor (Wellington College)
Nigel Gillingham - RAF Officer
Jeff Blakett judge and Navy Commodore.
Brigadier James Cook

I don't know which schools they went to, but I doubt they were the local comp.

They are just off the top of my head!

A quick scan of the committee also has positions specifically for the Army and Oxford University!

Blows my mind that you would think this is the best governance model for professional sport.
 

Don't Skip Leg Day

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Literally judges, public school people and high end officers throughout the RFU.

Jeeesus! The denial is strong.

Simon Massie-Taylor (Wellington College)
Nigel Gillingham - RAF Officer
Jeff Blakett judge and Navy Commodore.
Brigadier James Cook

I don't know which schools they went to, but I doubt they were the local comp.

They are just off the top of my head!

A quick scan of the committee also has positions specifically for the Army and Oxford University!

Blows my mind that you would think this is the best governance model for professional sport.
I’m going to leave this because you seem very diluded with your own agenda and opinions.

You obviously haven’t lived much of a life if you think that people from working class backgrounds can’t better themselves enough to become an officer or get a good education.
 

Taffelaide

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I’m going to leave this because you seem very diluded with your own agenda and opinions.

You obviously haven’t lived much of a life if you think that people from working class backgrounds can’t better themselves enough to become an officer or get a good education.
I am the son of a school cleaner who went to school in a valleys comprehensive. I am also a former officer with a masters degree from LSE . So again you're misguided.

You are deluded if you think there isn't a class bias holding back professional rugby....it's literally the basis of the sport. Those named did not go to the local comp.
There's no real point discussing this observation as the facts speak for themselves, this isn't 'opinion'.
 

die_mole

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