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That fence again...
Posted by: dick g (IP Logged)
Date: 04 December, 2018 17:22

A number of newspapers are reporting that Premiership clubs are once again considering ring-fencing. Hope they decide to build it this time.

At the risk of boring some, I will re-state my case. Automatic promotion ended when Bedford declared that it would not accept promotion even if it won the right.

So all that remains is automatic relegation. So ditch it. Make the Prem 13 strong by bringing back Irish and erect the fence.

The £1.5m given each year to the relegated Premiership club should continue, but as a cash prize to be shared by the clubs finishing first and second in the Championship. So ambitious clubs finishing at the top can invest in facilities and squads.

After a few years, a successful Championship club will be in a position to apply for Premiership membership. So the top tier will expand organically. Prem can then divide into two Conferences with a season ending title play-off.

I'll go away now.......

Re: That fence again...
Posted by: Monkey1 (IP Logged)
Date: 05 December, 2018 18:50

It has been talked about for twenty years, and I doubt that anything has happened recently to make it newsworthy, so probably just a journalist filling space on a quiet day.

Nothing to see here, move along now.

Re: That fence again...
Posted by: Wensleydale Falcon (IP Logged)
Date: 05 December, 2018 19:41

I think you could be wrong there Monkey. Pat Lam has come out today saying that fans have to embrace ringfencing for the good of the game. Ackerman last week spoke in favour.
We all know were our DOR stands on this.
The stakeholders Iím sure will be looking to move this forward reading between the lines.
I would be surprised if any of the stakeholders would vote against ringfencing.
There has to be a long term sustainable strategy put in place.
Clubs canít be relying on wealthy owners to endure huge losses year on year.
As always....time will tell!!

Re: That fence again...
Posted by: markismith50 (IP Logged)
Date: 05 December, 2018 20:41

Theyíd still need the RFU to sign it off though.

Re: That fence again...
Posted by: Robs (IP Logged)
Date: 06 December, 2018 01:16

My wish is for a more level playing field.
We might well see a completely different Edinburgh side this week. (Don't forget-they beat us in pre season)
Pro 14 teams can field deliberately weakened teams so they can concentrate on Europe rather than fretting about relegation
The only sensible thing that's happened recently has been the (IMHO) sensible decision to guarantee promotion to the Championship side finishing top

Re: That fence again...
Posted by: aidanb (IP Logged)
Date: 06 December, 2018 05:50

It may not take too much more for the clubs to decide to go it alone.

They could reasonably form an English Premier Division and still have links to the RFU but not be totally in cahoots with them. Sound Familiar.

New investment into the Premier League may be the start of that push

Re: That fence again...
Posted by: markismith50 (IP Logged)
Date: 06 December, 2018 06:12

Thatís what we already have, Aidan. Premiership Rugby is a separate entity from the RFU.

Re: That fence again...
Posted by: steve1888 (IP Logged)
Date: 06 December, 2018 07:09

Is that why crowds arent great in Pro14 though? so many games with weakened sides or no interest.

This season in the premiership could be very close and stacks of big games towards the end of the season and sensible rotation using squads not just resting the whole 1st team.

Re: That fence again...
Posted by: Leipziger (IP Logged)
Date: 06 December, 2018 07:44

Quote:
Wensleydale Falcon
There has to be a long term sustainable strategy put in place.
Clubs canít be relying on wealthy owners to endure huge losses year on year.
As always....time will tell!!

Of course clubs need to become sustainable but I've never understood how ringfencing would make it any more likely. Are we really saying that after 23 years of professionalism, the only reason that the Falcons aren't profitable is because of the threat of relegation - relegation which we've experienced and suffered no long-term damage from?

Super League has tried ringfencing, 3-year licences, and the terribly convoluted Super 8s yet it's still come back to automatic promotion and relegation this season.

Re: That fence again...
Posted by: London_Falcon (IP Logged)
Date: 06 December, 2018 08:23

Quote:
Leipziger
Of course clubs need to become sustainable but I've never understood how ringfencing would make it any more likely.

The argument goes that clubs get the chequebook out to sign players to keep them off the bottom of the table. If relegation goes, that pressure disappears and allows for greater investment in stadiums, academies and other longer term projects.

Re: That fence again...
Posted by: Siders (IP Logged)
Date: 06 December, 2018 08:48

Quote:
steve1888
Is that why crowds arent great in Pro14 though? so many games with weakened sides or no interest.
This season in the premiership could be very close and stacks of big games towards the end of the season and sensible rotation using squads not just resting the whole 1st team.

This is a reasonable argument. But those who were there on Saturday and/or who watched the Bath-Sale game on Sunday could also attest that relegation also has the effect of teams playing tense, tight, low-quality, quite dull rugby. Having that from December onwards is hardly likely to inspire big crowds to comen and watch the game.

Re: That fence again...
Posted by: dick g (IP Logged)
Date: 06 December, 2018 08:54

Quote:
Monkey1
It has been talked about for twenty years, and I doubt that anything has happened recently to make it newsworthy, so probably just a journalist filling space on a quiet day.
Nothing to see here, move along now.

Predictable response, Mighty Monk. Thought you might have responded to issues involved. As the story appears in more than one paper, it suggests there is something in it. The hacks you hate do not collude in kite-flying exercises. And it seems the idea has gone out to the Premiership owner clubs for consideration.

Piece in the Observer suggests lowering the drawbridge every 3/4 or five years and having a playoff between top Champ and bottom Prem. If the parachute payment becomes a prize, as I suggest, it would give an ambitious Champ club time to fully prepare for move up.

Let's have considered thoughts not instant reaction. We all know this is an active issue, especially with an investor buying a chunk of the Prem.

Re: That fence again...
Posted by: steve1888 (IP Logged)
Date: 06 December, 2018 09:31

Quote:
Siders
Quote:
steve1888
Is that why crowds arent great in Pro14 though? so many games with weakened sides or no interest.
This season in the premiership could be very close and stacks of big games towards the end of the season and sensible rotation using squads not just resting the whole 1st team.

This is a reasonable argument. But those who were there on Saturday and/or who watched the Bath-Sale game on Sunday could also attest that relegation also has the effect of teams playing tense, tight, low-quality, quite dull rugby. Having that from December onwards is hardly likely to inspire big crowds to comen and watch the game.

Was that not alot to do with the terrible conditions?

Re: That fence again...
Posted by: aidanb (IP Logged)
Date: 06 December, 2018 10:47

Quote:
markismith50
Thatís what we already have, Aidan. Premiership Rugby is a separate entity from the RFU.

That was my point Mark, it's there already and a stakeholder may push for a ringfenced product

Re: That fence again...
Posted by: Leipziger (IP Logged)
Date: 06 December, 2018 10:47

Quote:
London_Falcon
Quote:
Leipziger
Of course clubs need to become sustainable but I've never understood how ringfencing would make it any more likely.

The argument goes that clubs get the chequebook out to sign players to keep them off the bottom of the table. If relegation goes, that pressure disappears and allows for greater investment in stadiums, academies and other longer term projects.
j
Yeah that's a possibility. My answer would be that panic signings don't in themselves prevent relegation (Hufanga, Tuifua and Fondse in the year we went down), winning games does. So you are making the panic signings to make your team better, and if you don't make them your team would presumably be worse. So you win fewer games and play less attractive rugby, potentially meaning lower crowds an sponsorship, and less money for stadiums, academies etc.

Anyway, with the North Stand development on the horizon, the Falcons can't argue that the possibility of relegation is hindering stadium development.

On the idea of giving Championship winners the parachute payment, letting them develop and one day they might be allowed in, there is a big flaw with this. At the moment, the hurdles might be high but a Championship club know that if they meet all the criteria, then they win the league once, they will get promoted, it's a certainty. If a system existed that said you have to meet the criteria, perform well over a few years then the cartel MIGHT let you in, then it's far less certain and I think you'd actually see less investment in Champ clubs. Super League had this system and has long since abandoned it.

Anyway, I'm sure we all have our well-entrenched opinions and this argument will come up every year forever :-)

Re: That fence again...
Posted by: Bedlington Lad (IP Logged)
Date: 06 December, 2018 12:42

Nigl Melville is adamant it won't happen from what I've read but what would it take for clubs to breakaway? I don't know what the legal or procedural ramifications would be.

Re: That fence again...
Posted by: Siders (IP Logged)
Date: 06 December, 2018 13:03

Perhaps, though on saturday it wasnt windy and the rain eased before the game so it wasnt that bad (my partner endured the match in the terraces with me, and merely complained as to the quality of the rugby, and conversation).

All in all, I think relegation or the threat of relegation does affect the way teams choose to play the game. One could argue that our season last year was amplified due to the effect that being "safe" from relegation early on had on our style of play.

Honestly, I dont really know if i think removing relegation would be a good thing. Im concerned as to the effect it'd have on the grassroots/lower leagues. Grassroots rugby in Wales has been in such decline given the power of the regional teams (and the growth of football).

Then, I also see the commercial argument and the need for stability.

It is a tricky one, and these forums do tend to result in polarised views.

Re: That fence again...
Posted by: steve1888 (IP Logged)
Date: 06 December, 2018 13:08

If you're in the bottom two clear by march the commercial team would have a struggle anyway with nothing to play for , a good relegation decider can pack them in and lift the morale of clubs and supporters.

I would say this season is showing that it should stay as it is and could it be another of the 'big' sides that makes the drop. Bristol smashing Leicester 41-10 being a prime example.

Re: That fence again...
Posted by: The Bard (IP Logged)
Date: 06 December, 2018 18:48

I think the fear of relegation is vastly overstated. Recent history shows that Quins and Northampton won the premiership not that long after being relegated, and of course Exeter won it only a few seasons after promotion.
A season re-booting a struggling squad in the championship is probably a good morale boost for fans and players alike.

Re: That fence again...
Posted by: Monkey1 (IP Logged)
Date: 07 December, 2018 06:48

[quote dick g][quote Monkey1]Predictable response, Mighty Monk.[/quote]

Maybe I should have put in a smiley face. In case you hadn't noticed, whenever journalists get mentioned, myself or Aidan will generally lob in something to wind up the usual suspects.

You should know me by now Dick, I have bemoaned the sad fact for many years that the world is a poorer place without proper journalists, and all the editors & sub-editors who used to go with them. There are very few left. People want cheap, or even worse, they don't want to pay anything, and if you want cheap you are not going to get teams of respected & professional journalists dishing up high quality news and stories for your enjoyment. I do hope it changes one day, I used to enjoy the news. I no longer read it, watch it, nor listen to it because it is generally so poor.

As for this story, it has been done to death for a very long time, and even if Pat Lam has mentioned it, the only story is that Pat Lam has mentioned it. Unless somebody comes up with something new, there is nothing else to say.

So there you have it, the heart of the news behind the story. Pat Lam has mentioned ring-fencing. Not very exciting really.

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