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We Need To Talk About Wasps

BPM

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Perhaps not, but Wasps’ previous success makes them a globally recognised club. Like it or not, that ‘brand’ makes them more valuable to the Premiership than Worcester who are unlikely to amount to more than perennial also-rans and a slightly more viable prospect for investors etc.
 

Old Hooker

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I don’t want either club to die either, although being honest Worcester have never captured my imagination at all - never challenging for honours, nor producing rafts of exciting home grown players etc. But the professional game in this country has long been a mess.

Just the latest in a string of top flight clubs that have had serious financial issues.
 

TRF_Olyy

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Wasps’ previous success makes them a globally recognised club
I'd argue Tigers and Saracens are the only properly globally recognised clubs in the prem tbh
 

Reiser99

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Also depends on what you mean by globally recognised.

Is that globally recognised by people who only casually follow sport. I'd argue no rugby club is that recognised, not like for example Barcelona or Utd etc... which even if you don't follow sport you've probably heard of.

Globally recognised by the rugby community? Fans in the SH have heard of who? Dunno honestly, but I doubt it's many clubs as Olyy suggested.

How about at European level, in rugby terms, I'm sure plenty more fans could name wasps over worcester. How about casual european fans? Certainly saracens.

Then domestically, how many casual fans or general sports fans could name premiership clubs. I'd say Wasps have an advantage over worcester here.

Personally I think global market is a bit pointless when the game struggles with popularity domestically. Rugby needs to focus on building larger more secure fan bases locally and it's something they've kind of taken for granted. Covid exposed the fact that the clubs are not financially secure and that without fans they are screwed.
 

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Covid exposed the fact that the clubs are not financially secure and that without fans they are screwed.
To be fair most business are screwed without customers, but a lot of rugby clubs were screwed even with them.

Wasps probably have a little more brand recognition outside the hard core due to their unusual name, ditto harlequins.
 

Reiser99

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To be fair most business are screwed without customers, but a lot of rugby clubs were screwed even with them.

Wasps probably have a little more brand recognition outside the hard core due to their unusual name, ditto harlequins.
Yes, but there are a variety of ways of getting customers, you've simplified it a lot there. Fans in the stadium is a big part, but also generating money through tv, sponsorship, merchandise etc... I feel that before covid there was a big push to try and grow the game beyond the local fans who filled the stadiums and now after covid they have realised that those numbers were not secure and that they need to regrow the local fanbases to provide more regular income from matchdays.
 

BPM

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Also depends on what you mean by globally recognised.

Is that globally recognised by people who only casually follow sport. I'd argue no rugby club is that recognised, not like for example Barcelona or Utd etc... which even if you don't follow sport you've probably heard of.

Globally recognised by the rugby community? Fans in the SH have heard of who? Dunno honestly, but I doubt it's many clubs as Olyy suggested.

How about at European level, in rugby terms, I'm sure plenty more fans could name wasps over worcester. How about casual european fans? Certainly saracens.

Then domestically, how many casual fans or general sports fans could name premiership clubs. I'd say Wasps have an advantage over worcester here.

Personally I think global market is a bit pointless when the game struggles with popularity domestically. Rugby needs to focus on building larger more secure fan bases locally and it's something they've kind of taken for granted. Covid exposed the fact that the clubs are not financially secure and that without fans they are screwed.
This is what I was referring to. I should have said ‘global rugby community’.

Even if I asked a random person in the street in the UK to name Premiership rugby clubs, I wouldn’t have high expectations on them knowing many, although interestingly, I reckon a few would say ‘London Wasps’.

If I asked the same question of rugby fans in the SH, I’d have fairly high expectation that Wasps would feature alongside Tigers, Quins and Saracens.
 

Don't Skip Leg Day

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For me the big issue with all rugby is that local rugby is played the same time as the premiership. No idea why they haven’t tried to change one or the other because it’s a load of lost revenue.

The sport has major issues at its core and I don’t see the rfu or wr even caring about that at the moment.
 

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For me the big issue with all rugby is that local rugby is played the same time as the premiership. No idea why they haven’t tried to change one or the other because it’s a load of lost revenue.

The sport has major issues at its core and I don’t see the rfu or wr even caring about that at the moment.
That's true. On a Saturday at 3pm the vast majority of Rugby Union fans/supporters are either playing for their local clubs or supporting their local clubs. There are loads of rugby clubs in Coventry which is maybe why Wasps moved there but the members of those clubs won't be going to watch Wasps on a Saturday
 

RedruthRFC

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For me the big issue with all rugby is that local rugby is played the same time as the premiership. No idea why they haven’t tried to change one or the other because it’s a load of lost revenue.

The sport has major issues at its core and I don’t see the rfu or wr even caring about that at the moment.
Given that (all I think) Premiership teams play matches on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays, surely there's pretty insightful data out there to say how much effect this has. If Sunday crowds are reliably significantly higher than Saturdays, then there would be an argument for looking at making changes.

The problem is, this isn't the only factor to consider. Reduced Saturday matches might mean reduced TV revenues, so that would have to be weighed off against the increased match day revenue. Also, you're ignoring the loss of revenue from people who wouldn't attend Sunday matches because of travel or work the next day.

I'm not saying that you're definately wrong, just that there are a lot of factors to weigh into any decision and it would require a lot of information to make an informed decision.
 

will311293

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The problem is currently there is so little access and engagement from the world, that the Prem is hugely underfunded. It needs for more nations to take interest and show its importance, whether that be through tv rights, advertising or sponsor deals.

Something does needs to change, could we have a draft?? that might make it more interesting.

It does worry me, Derek is supposed to be worth £60m but is clearly leaking cash from Wasps.
 

Don't Skip Leg Day

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Given that (all I think) Premiership teams play matches on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays, surely there's pretty insightful data out there to say how much effect this has. If Sunday crowds are reliably significantly higher than Saturdays, then there would be an argument for looking at making changes.

The problem is, this isn't the only factor to consider. Reduced Saturday matches might mean reduced TV revenues, so that would have to be weighed off against the increased match day revenue. Also, you're ignoring the loss of revenue from people who wouldn't attend Sunday matches because of travel or work the next day.

I'm not saying that you're definately wrong, just that there are a lot of factors to weigh into any decision and it would require a lot of information to make an informed decision.
I’d move the amateur game times or days to be honest. I only played a few evening games (mostly cup games) but it worked well at local level.

I’m not saying it’s definitely the be all and end all but I know that it’s a lot of untapped fans there.

I think that’s why wasps first season was so successful. They played nearly all their games on Sundays and the amount of rugby players there was crazy. Most of the local midlands teams were there each week. I get there we’re cheap tickets as well etc but games on Saturday at 3pm just write those fans off.
 

BPM

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Yeah, it’s a problem. Unless I was injured, I typically only went to Quins games that weren’t on Saturdays.

I got a ST when I retired for the first time and gave it up when I came out of retirement. It wasn’t a hard choice given how rubbish Quins were at that point.
 

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Apparently two other clubs under investigation: one northern (presumably Newcastle as they withheld England payments from their players cause they needed the cash)

And one West country, which I was surprised by - Bath and Bristol have rich enough sugar daddies you wouldn't expect them to be in trouble, and Gloucester I would've thought would be doing OK cause they have a sizeable fanbase

Unless they're counting Worcester as west country and I misunderstood it?
 

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It wouldn't surprise me if the Northern club was Newcastle because of the withholding payments from players.

As for the West Country club didn't Bristol have that issue with the cap a few months ago where they had to fire sale a few players? Not sure if that would relate to anything tax wise though.
I don't think it's us as Lance Bradley would have said something but I've not seen anything from Bath, Bristol or Exeter about it either.

Hopefully it's nothing serious for both clubs.
 

Ragey Erasmus

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Rugby and the prem as a whole need a serious shakeup. The mentality of the old farts in suits who are refusing to modernise is hitting the sport hard and it's simply not growing, despite them claiming it is. The sport as a whole financially and in terms of growth has been woefully mishandled. We can't continue with the old boys club running the show any more or we could realistically be seeing the death of the professional sport. Clubs in Wales, NZ, Australia and SA have all been struggling at times too, with Ireland and France seemingly the only ones with any sort of stability.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, every major sport has regular video games being produced, rugby is the ONLY one that doesn't. This is an example of how the people at the top are utterly clueless about how things are changing. I don't watch ice hockey, basketball, cricket, NFL etc but have played games for all of them. It gets people interested who otherwise don't play and can spread the reach of the sport.

They have also completely failed to tap into the market properly. There is a huge viewing for something like the superbowl in this country, despite it being purely American, because of solid marketing. The hours it's on TV and everything are crap yet it still pulls in huge viewing figures. Rugby needs to really push the world cup and 6N far more than it does to get the odd casual viewer in, if just to be part of the atmosphere.

When I've spoken to my non-rugby following friends, they couldn't name a single English rugby player from the side that won the world cup except for a few who knew Wilkinson. They can barely name any current players except for Farrell. This complete stuck in the past mentality and lack of serious marketing and engagement with the country as a whole is seriously harming rugby and needs to be reversed. Salaries have been going up but revenues aren't. Other clubs could follow them if serious action isn't taken. Unfortunately, I feel those at the top are so blind they wouldn't realise just how bad things were until the entire league collapsed around the ears.
 

Old Hooker

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Rugby and the prem as a whole need a serious shakeup. The mentality of the old farts in suits who are refusing to modernise is hitting the sport hard and it's simply not growing, despite them claiming it is. The sport as a whole financially and in terms of growth has been woefully mishandled. We can't continue with the old boys club running the show any more or we could realistically be seeing the death of the professional sport. Clubs in Wales, NZ, Australia and SA have all been struggling at times too, with Ireland and France seemingly the only ones with any sort of stability.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, every major sport has regular video games being produced, rugby is the ONLY one that doesn't. This is an example of how the people at the top are utterly clueless about how things are changing. I don't watch ice hockey, basketball, cricket, NFL etc but have played games for all of them. It gets people interested who otherwise don't play and can spread the reach of the sport.

They have also completely failed to tap into the market properly. There is a huge viewing for something like the superbowl in this country, despite it being purely American, because of solid marketing. The hours it's on TV and everything are crap yet it still pulls in huge viewing figures. Rugby needs to really push the world cup and 6N far more than it does to get the odd casual viewer in, if just to be part of the atmosphere.

When I've spoken to my non-rugby following friends, they couldn't name a single English rugby player from the side that won the world cup except for a few who knew Wilkinson. They can barely name any current players except for Farrell. This complete stuck in the past mentality and lack of serious marketing and engagement with the country as a whole is seriously harming rugby and needs to be reversed. Salaries have been going up but revenues aren't. Other clubs could follow them if serious action isn't taken. Unfortunately, I feel those at the top are so blind they wouldn't realise just how bad things were until the entire league collapsed around the ears.
I agree in part. Of course more can be done, but it is a minority sport and realistically it’s hard to see that ever changing no matter what’s done. I’m not saying we don’t try, but we also need to be realistic.

“Salaries have been going up, but revenues aren’t”

Well that’s a tail wagging a dog and a business model destined for failure if ever I heard one.

Looking longer term, the concussion issue could be massive for the game at all levels. I played for years, scarcely thinking about it. But with what we know now, I’m not sure I’d want younger generations of my family taking up the game - I’m talking at school / amateur level where there aren’t TV replays or medical teams on hand. Broken legs are one thing, this is quite another.
 

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