Pro14 expansion into continental Europe - rumours

Discussion in 'Guinness Pro14' started by Bruce_ma_goose, Aug 16, 2017.

  1. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

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  3. Car

    Car Senior Member

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    Thanks for posting the article.
     
  4. snoopy snoopy dog dog

    snoopy snoopy dog dog Senior Member

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    Interesting to hear the Ospreys chairman talk about these markets. Spain has already hosted a Top 14 final and multiple European Cup knockout games.

    It's worth noting that old Pro 12 teams are bringing in more money in 2017/18 than previous seasons yet reducing the number of regular season games. When will the penny drop that the way forward is significantly reducing the number of games for the Pro14, Top 14 and Premiership teams and coming together as one entity?

    A possible 33 game season for a team competing in their league final and Champions Cup final is far too many. Reduce this by 1/3, have all games between full strength teams, separate club and international weekends and watch sponsors and money flood in.
     
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  5. Bluemoon

    Bluemoon Senior Member

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    Whilst I agree it would be lucrative, can you imagine the politics between member unions and clubs about how monies are shared etc. It's one of the major problems with what happened to the Heineken Cup. I can't ever see it happening.

    I think it's great the Pro 14 are looking to include developing regions into a top tier system. It's the complete opposite of what I see European Rugby trying to achieve. However, bringing in more teams would definitely have to lead to a two tier system with a relegation system. The conference system can only support so many new teams entering the league before it get's too complicated, much like super rugby.
     
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  6. snoopy snoopy dog dog

    snoopy snoopy dog dog Senior Member

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    I too applaud those in charge of the Pro14 for having the vision to try something different. It could fall flat but they need to try something or else they'll fall further behind the financial behemoths of the Top 14 and Premiership. I'd love to see a quasi-European league develop in the interests of expanding the game although I'm dubious that Spain and Germany could support pro teams at the moment.

    Money talks as we saw with the (flawed) usurping of ERC with EPCR, with the admission of South African teams in the Pro 12/14 and with the Lions money spinning tour.

    Would absolutely be very difficult to achieve and everyone would have to compromise. How could I see it work? Competition ownership is similar to the current EPCR. Every franchise in the new competition has an equal share in commercial revenue centrally generated ensuring privately owned clubs and Union run clubs are on a level playing field. Unions agree not to host internationals clashing with club fixtures. Clubs in turn reduce the fixture schedule so that we see more games between full strength sides. Unions continue to use November tests and 6 Nations as their primary revenue generators. It's win-win for everybody.

    While the conference system is a mess in Super Rugby and has devalued that competition, it works exceptionally well in North American professional sports, most notably the NFL. I fundamentally disagree with the idea of promotion and relegation in an expanded Pro14. Say Spanish, German, Romanian and Georgian franchises are added and we're up at 18 teams. If there's a two tier split (based on historic league positions), the second tier would likely be made up of these above teams plus Zebre, Treviso, Dragons, and two from Blues/Edinburgh/Connacht. What fan would be interested in watching games in that division? What TV company would be happy to pay money to broadcast it? Teams and the division would fold quickly. A conference system is the only model which would work.
     
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  7. higgik

    higgik Senior Member

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    Conferences are the only way to go.

    I think between Europe and SA a 40 team league would be possible. Let's say 8 from SA, 32 from Europe, (teams TBD)

    Divide into 2 conferences of 20, and then into 4 groups of 5 each

    Teams play
    H & A in group - 8 matches
    H or A with another group in conference - 5 matches
    H or A with group from other conference - 5 matches
    H or A v same ranked team in remaining groups in own conference - 2 matches

    Total 20 matches
    Play offs
    Group winners and next best 4 records in each conference (16 teams in total)
    Group winners ranked 1-8 and play at home in first round

    Knockout each week for next 2 weeks.

    Then a week off before final, which would be played at a neutral venue already chosen, like European finals.

    I am open to what European teams would be, anyone have suggestions.
     
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  8. snoopy snoopy dog dog

    snoopy snoopy dog dog Senior Member

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    @higgik
    I see you're an NFL fan as that replicated their season schedule almost perfectly!

    The hard part in cutting it to 32 European teams is that we currently have 38 teams between the old Pro 12, Top 14 and Premiership. What may be easier to achieve initially is having all these teams guaranteed participation plus 2 other new franchises in new markets like Spain and Germany. That gives us 40 European teams.

    The 8 SA teams could be their old SuperRugby teams plus two others.

    That gives us 48 teams split into 2 conferences and 12 divisions (based on traditional rivalries).
    H & A in group - 6 matches
    H or A with another group in conference - 4 matches
    H or A with group from other conference - 4 matches
    H or A v same ranked team in remaining groups in own conference - 4 matches

    16 team playoffs.
     
  9. GarethGriffiths

    GarethGriffiths BANNED!!!

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    If they are good enough then fine, however let us not expand for the sake of it or looking good - the teams coming in have to be good enough or have the potential to be.

    Besides, I thought Georgian Rugby was the next 'big thing'.
     
  10. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

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  11. mdaclarke

    mdaclarke Senior Member

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    I just feel this has got Super Rugby disaster written all over it. Best not to run before you can walk, get the South African teams integrated first.
     
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  12. profitius

    profitius Senior Member

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    It won't be a disaster if the pro14 learn from their own mistakes. From listening to Anayi and others, it looks like they're not going to rush into anything.
     
  13. Brigantine

    Brigantine Senior Member

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    The line between the regular season and EPCR tournaments seems to be getting blurred. You could describe how things are now as Pro/Top/AP being 4 conferences of EPCR - functionally at least, not in terms of marketing etc.

    IMO the conferences will always be drawn across national borders anyway. So apart from the marketing angle, isn't that kind of the same thing as just having a longer EPCR season and shorter regular season?

    If things were that easy, SR expansion would have been a roaring success. America is one thing. When you have a pre-existing fan base and a rivalry between national identities as well as teams, there are more toes to get stepped on.

    I'm all for international integration between top level competitions, but drawing up a dream format on a blank canvas will work about as well in practice as the middle east.
     
  14. Amiga500

    Amiga500 Senior Member

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    Its only too many if the players aren't protected by their clubs.

    Disagree. If Leinster were able to field a full strength team every week, when would Conan have got a chance to get a big of experience early on? Or Carbery? Or Ringrose?

    Having to field a weakened team every so often can do wonders for the development of younger players.
     
  15. snoopy snoopy dog dog

    snoopy snoopy dog dog Senior Member

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    Super Rugby has a shorter season and no issue bringing younger players through the system. It takes brave, progressive coaches to give these players their chance ahead of experienced pros who won't have a future as potential internationals.

    The Pro14 starts this week with a whimper. Where's the hype behind it? Weakened teams are hurting it's commercial potential. A shortened season with all the top internationals playing from week 1 would change this dramatically.
     
  16. Brigantine

    Brigantine Senior Member

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    Hmm, this seems to be the NH equivalent of the NPC/Currie Cup/NRC.
    Half the teams in those comps are effectively weakened SR sides, keeping busy during the international season and giving younger players a place to start.

    [EDIT:] That's also the place where token teams from Namibia and Fiji are included, which seems analogous to German / Spanish teams.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
  17. Amiga500

    Amiga500 Senior Member

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    You know as well as I do, that the risk averse nature of coaching up here means you'd likely be flogging "proven" dead horses long past their sell by date before looking at youth.


    What do you want to see in terms of hype?


    Can you produce any evidence that more is lost due to more games (some with weaker teams) vs. less games (more with stronger teams)? I don't think it'd add up.

    Season ticket money would be down, 1/3rd less games = able to charge less.
    Would TV money be down? Probably. TV companies are looking slots filled, reduce your season by a 1/3rd, limiting availability and I'm sure they'd pay less. For example, Dragons vs. Zebre is never a big draw, regardless of who Leinster are able to field.
    Sponsorship? Overall gates would be down (due to less games), overall TV viewing would be down (due to less games), so overall exposure is down. Can't see them paying more for it.


    IMO, the unions need to be a bit more creative with the game-time limit - average it over certain blocks of the year to determine how many minutes any player can play.

    *based on the total game time they could have played, the international game time they have played and the club game time they can play. With the aim being no player should have to play more than, say, 260** mins/month between Oct-May and reduced to 200 mins/month between Jun-Sept.

    **based on 60 mins/week on a 4.33 weeks/month assumption.


    Breaking the season up into the blocks below and the estimated total possible playing minutes/month for an Irish international is: (Done quickly with no respect to clashes of international/provincial games.)

    June - Sept --- 360/month (4 month block in a season incorporating NZ lions tour and 3 pre-season friendlies)
    Oct - Nov --- 360
    Dec-Jan --- 360
    Feb-Mar --- 440
    April-May --- 320
     
  18. themole25

    themole25 Senior Member

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    ticket prices and individual ad spots aren't guaranteed to go down... if the demand for individual games go up since each one would mean more then ticket prices would increase and ad spots would become more valuable

    marginal revenue always goes down as quantity increases
     
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  19. Amiga500

    Amiga500 Senior Member

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    Good luck selling to most punters the idea that they should pay more for a season book that (taking ours for example) has only 9 competitive games instead of 14!

    As for advertisers, it'll come down to eyes on their hoardings/jerseys etc. Would they get more eyes viewing those 9 games instead of 14? I doubt it.

    Is there any test cases we can use? Connacht 2 years ago vs. Connacht 3 years ago? Would their away games have seen big changes in attendance/viewership due to the league leaders being in town/on screen? Also, look at the Irish provinces around Christmas? Due to the IRFU policies, typically one of the xmas games involves a weaker team from each province - yet the stadia are always full or very close to it.
     
  20. Amiga500

    Amiga500 Senior Member

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    Yep. It does, when comparing inappropriately (i.e. per match).

    But, does total revenue go down as quantity increases? Even then, that's not completely right either - that has to run back through the costs of running each gameweek to figure profitability of each match. Somehow then a comparative /match figure for a reduced season has to be derived, after which profit over the full season can be compared.

    IMO, less games won't come close to adding up to more money.
     
  21. themole25

    themole25 Senior Member

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    so total revenue is a negative parabola... on one side as you increase quantity you increase total quantity and on the other side the opposite happens

    also have to remember that after a certain point marginal cost stops decreasing and in fact increases exponentially
     
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