Return of the Heineken Cup

Discussion in 'European Champions & Challenge Cup' started by noah_jo, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    The tournament had nothing to do with the leagues, it was run by the unions and each union had an allocation. The new tournament is the result of the LNR and PRL wanting more power so they got rid of the RFU and FFR and set it up so the Pro 14 sides wouldn't be competitive, the first part worked.
     
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  3. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    a) Good. The RFU and FFR have nothing to do with the clubs in England and France, they shouldn't have been involved anywhere when there are agencies in charge of the leagues/clubs involved in the competition.

    b) lol what? Imma just nip to tesco and pick up some more tinfoil for your hat. Not handing treviso a guaranteed spot in the Heineken Cup =/= Trying to make it so the Pro14 isn't competitive. If anything it's added some legitimacy to the Pro14 and increased competitiveness in the league.
     
  4. Tigs Man

    Tigs Man Senior Member

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    That feeling when the PRL and LNR improve the standard of the CELTIC league and the Celts are still salty over it.
     
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  5. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    A) But the FIR, which I failed to mention, did and we're bullied out as a result.

    B) Sharing the money unevenly between the original stakeholders was an attempt to do exactly that, they were lucky it didn't/hasn't worked too because the 2016 season showed that no competitive Irish teams results in **** attendance and less French interest due to the great European rivalries generally being Provinces v French sides. The Pro14 hasn't got more or less competitive due to this move, it just coincided with the three previously dominant sides - Leinster, Munster and Ospreys - getting worse simultaneously for an extended period of time, other teams have improved but I don't see any winner from 2015 to 2017 as better than the winners between 2007 and 2014.

    This year is absolute proof that it's no more competitive, Leinster won it at a canter throwing games to Treviso and Ospreys in the last few games by playing academy sides, resting half the starting team in the semi and winning the final with ease.
     
  6. smartcooky

    smartcooky Referee Coach and Advisor

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    So now what you have now is better?

    Remind me where the team that wins the Challenge Cup had to finish its domestic competition to qualify for the Champions Cup. Its like having the winner of the RFU Championship qualify for the Premiership Playoffs

    Qualification should be simple - the top (however many) teams across the top European competitions, and that is more or less what you had when the Heineken Cup was a 24 team competition. It certainly makes a lot more sense than having the added complexity of automatic qualification for previous winners and teams that aren't even in the top few.

    The 24 Team Heineken Cup was a great competition, I watched it every year, but ever since that money grubbing prick McCafferty came along and screwed it up, I haven't even bothered keeping up with the results, let alone wasted any time watching any of it. (Not that I could have for the first couple of years anyway because McCafferty and his fellow rogues were asking such an outrageous price for TV rights that Sky NZ passed on it - the football European Champions League was considerably cheaper)
     
  7. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    Yes, it is better.

    The winner of the challenge cup automatically qualified for the champions cup, exactly the same as it was with the winner of the old Amlin Cup qualified for the old Heineken Cup.

    You're literally describing the new competition's format as the one you like, while saying it's bad.
    The new competition has the top sides from each comp (plus the winner of the previous seasons 2nd tier - which has always been the case). The old comp did not have the top sides as it granted free passes to an Italian and a Scottish side. Treviso were in the champions cup every single year yet didn't once deserve it.
     
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  8. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    Treviso were the best Italian team every year and did deserve it... It was done by country, not league. The lack of interest and worse attendance in the new competition is more than enough evidence that it was a mistake.
     
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  9. stus768

    stus768 Senior Member

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    They were whipping boys that gave an advantage to teams in their group as they were pretty much guaranteed a bonus point.

    Edit: looking at the only comparison attendance figures I can find (Wikipedia) average attendance has gone up slightly 14.7k-15k per match from last Heineken to last champions cup. With some variations year on year.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  10. smartcooky

    smartcooky Referee Coach and Advisor

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    No, I am not. For starters, there are four fewer teams... I don't like that

    No, its has not always been the case at all. That only began in 2002.

    No, they were not free passes at all, they had to be the highest placed teams from their country.

    And that was the whole point of the Heineken Cup in the first place when it was first mooted in 1994, to have representation of of the best of multiple counties across Europe (not multiple competitions) in a European Club Championship.

    The Heineken Cup was launched in the summer of 1995 on the initiative of the then Five Nations Committee to provide a new level of professional cross border competition. Twelve sides representing Ireland, Wales, Italy, Romania and France competed in four pools of three with the group winners going directly into the semi-finals. English and Scottish teams did not take part in the inaugural competition. From an inauspicious beginning in Romania, where Toulouse defeated Constata 54–10 in front of a small crowd, the competition gathered momentum and crowds grew. Toulouse went on to become the first European cup winners, eventually beating Cardiff in extra time in front of a crowd of 21,800 at Cardiff Arms Park. Clubs from England and Scotland joined the competition in 1996–97

    It was supposed to the best of England; the best of France, the best of Scotland, the best of Ireland, the best of Wales, and when Italy joined the Six Nations in 2000, the best of Italy. Now it just and Anglo-French benefit with a few Irish and Welsh sides allowed to play.

    If Scotland and Wales and Ireland and had their own leagues (as they used to) the winners of those leagues would all qualify. Why should they be penalised for combining to form a better overall competition; why should they be disadvantaged merely because they choose to all be in the same league rather than in separate leagues?
     
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  11. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    They're not disadvantaged, they're not good enough.

    The comp was formed like that because, as you say, there was no celtic league at that time so no real way of saying which sides deserved to qualify for a competition to determine the best side in Europe. There is now though.
    Two times Treviso qualified by being 11th best in the pro12. In what would does that side deserve to be in a competition to determine the best side in Europe? If they were in contention for being the best side then they'd at least be in the top half of their league.


    I suppose it depends if you want the European comp to be used as developing worse teams or genuinely used to determine who is best. I want the latter.
    There's no shame in playing in the challenge cup, where you might win some games or even challenge for honours, rather than shipping 100 points a round in the champions cup because you "deserve" to be there.
     
  12. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    Who cares? It's a European league... The Champions league has **** teams from Ukraine that wouldn't beat sides from England, Spain and Germany that don't qualify. Next year will do no good for anyone not having an Italian team, further proof McCafferty etc al have no interest in growing the game and just want to retire with a big bank balance, I'm actually amazed rugby fans can side with him as he proves again and again he doesn't care one bit about the future of the sport outside his own monetary interests.

    Average attendance isn't the best way to look at it as there were four more teams, the new tournament has yet to sell out a final and even managed to not sell out a Leinster semi final in Dublin having priced people out with high ticket prices and, for some unfathomable reason, bringing a final to Spain before Ireland or Wales. It's unquestionably run worse, advertised worse, and less enjoyable and prestigious than the old guise and the minor 'positive' of not having Italians (which is more of a negative imo) definitely doesn't outweigh the metric tonne of negatives the tournament has brought.

    How does having Treviso in a tournament stop it from determining the best team in Europe? The Champions league doesn't have the best 32 soccer teams in Europe and it's still the most watched club tournament in the world because it generates interest across Europe and not just in the handful of countries who have teams good enough to contend.
     
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  13. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    Four teams had the opportunity to qualify and none did. No one to blame but themselves.



    Because they were taking the spot of a better side.



    Like I said, i think this all boils down to what you want from the top tier competition
     
  14. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    Most people don't want to kill European rugby, the PRL, LNR and anyone who endorse the current system the exceptions in my opinion. I'll make sure to bookmark this thread next time someone wants to kick Italy from the 6 nations to see who is consistent anyway!
     
  15. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    Why is it killing European rugby?
    The Italian sides both compete in Europe, as do both Scottish sides.

    The lower tier (semi-pro?) Italian sides get the opportunity of competing in the challenge cup - as do sides from German, Georgian, Romanian, Portuguese, Russia, Spain and Belgium.
     
  16. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    The Italian sides can compete, they weren't pushovers this year at all and were far from the worst side in the tournament. It'll kill Italian rugby if they aren't lucky in the next few years, watch attendances and money in the game in Italy, the only viable country to make a jump to being a contender within the next years, fall significantly next year. If it lasts and Italy falls back it achieves exactly the opposite of what you want in a European tournament played at the highest level as it makes the Pro14 less competitive and will result in more average sides in the competition be they from Wales, Scotland or Ireland.

    It's not like it's the best 20 teams in Europe currently either, I'd strongly dispute that Gloucester or Lyon are better than Benneton or Ospreys to be honest and Castres won't bring anything to the tournament either.
     
  17. noah_jo

    noah_jo Senior Member

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    Using the champions league as an example, it's basically like giving Cardiff or swansea a free pass into the comp because they are the least **** in the premier league... Just nonsensical
     
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  18. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    No... No, it just isn't anything like that...
     
  19. noah_jo

    noah_jo Senior Member

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    How so?
    Wales rugby and football have their own leagues but they're ****. So their good teams are in a league with another country.

    It is essentially the same thing for the Italians in the Pro 14. The least **** Italian team in a foreign gets a champions cup place. That it clearly the same as the least **** welsh team in the Premier League getting a Champions League place
     
  20. smartcooky

    smartcooky Referee Coach and Advisor

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    The Heineken Cup used to be REPRESENTATIVE of the countries involved; it no longer is, and it stopped being so once that money grubbing wanker McCafferty got his filthy hands on it, and turned into the rich boys club.
     
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  21. noah_jo

    noah_jo Senior Member

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    All that happened was that it became representative of the LEAGUES rather than the COUNTRIES involved, and as a result, the general quality of team grew
     
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