Time to relegate relegation?


By Monkey1
July 4 2016

  As the stakes are raised a little higher each year, is the concept of relegation & promotion becoming untenable? It seems a good time to ask the question as London Irish take a dip into the Championship, not the wealthiest of top clubs by any means, but still a fish out of water for the coming season. Meanwhile Bristol finally make it out of the Championship, where they have played for years as a complete misfit in that league. Has it become a farce? Are the two leagues really interchangeable?  

Many rugby stalwarts will tell you that the very concept of promotion & relegation is essential to the well-being of rugby. Others will argue that it stifles investment & threatens security and should be scrapped. The arguments have been well discussed, with those in one camp saying it leads to greater competition, others saying it stifles competition as clubs fighting relegation play it safe, we have read it many times. Some people will point to other leagues around the world where there is no promotion & relegation & say it does those leagues no harm, but others will then argue that the circumstances are different, and so it goes on.

As this is posted up on a Premiership site, most readers will no doubt be reading it from a Premiership point of view, but stop for a moment to think of the Championship. The Championship is a competition in its own right, not just a means of producing the next promotion candidate. That competition is made partially meaningless however by the inclusion of at least one team that doesn’t quite fit with the rest. Next season it will be London Irish, sitting there like a big fat cuckoo in the nest, awash with cash compared to the other clubs and with only one objective – to get the hell out of the Championship.

The situation looks even more ridiculous when you read comments (on Premiership club message boards of course) that clubs such as Bedford who don’t want promotion are somehow spoiling it for others. Promotion should be automatic they say. Well I can assure you that Bedford wouldn’t thank you for suddenly being made to find a few million quid, assemble a fully competitive squad of professional players in just a few weeks, get turfed out of their own ground, then pretend to be competitive against a league of teams who have had the luxury of settling into the Premiership for years.

At least the stupid play-offs have finally been scrapped, but that just means that all the clubs except the one that is awash with Premiership cash have to play their own mini league, and the club with the unfair advantage is pretty much guaranteed to win. In other words, it just doesn’t work. It is a farce.

Keep all of that in your mind and then try to look at the situation from the point of view of the thirteen Premiership clubs who try to fit into twelve places each season. Does it make more sense from this side of the fence?

Erm, no.

To compete in the Premiership you need to think and invest in the long term. If you are one of the wealthy clubs with a rich sugar daddy pumping oodles of cash into the coffers, either directly, or via your own company or its suppliers, then long-term is easy. For everyone else, well they have to try to plan long-term, but in reality they can’t, because relegation could wipe out those plans. Yes there is the parachute payment that partly protects the relegated club financially, but attracting players to the club when there is a real prospect of them playing against Jersey the following season is not easy, tilting the balance even further in favour of the wealthy clubs. The truth is that time has moved on, it isn’t like the old days any longer, and the old arguments are no longer valid. Promotion & relegation actually makes the Premiership less competitive these days, not more. Those with lots of money do well, those without struggle. That isn’t genuine competition.

So looking at the bigger picture it seems that promotion & relegation only works if the thirteenth Premiership team spends a year in the Championship, then bounces back up, to be replaced by a different Premiership club the following season. That isn’t really promotion & relegation, it is pretend promotion & relegation. It is a closed league with one club each season in the sin bin. The scrapping of the play-offs makes that a certainty. Meanwhile, the inclusion of the relegated Premiership club into the Championship just screws up that league too.

If you think I am wrong, then ask yourself what would happen if that circus were to be disrupted. Imagine that London Irish finish second next season & Bedford win the Championship. If that happens London Irish will almost certainly go bust, because the level of income they rely on to keep going suddenly disappears, and you can’t magically scale down the club overnight. There are too many committed costs, and the bank account would simply empty within weeks. Similarly, you couldn’t force Bedford to accept the promotion, and no matter what they outwardly say, I don’t think any of the other contenders could do any better than London Welsh did either. Rotherham being promoted may be a nice idea, but I just can’t see it working. It wouldn’t do them any good, it certainly wouldn’t benefit the Premiership in any way, and if Rotherham or any of the other clubs were to be chewed up by the Premiership then spat out again, I can’t see how that would do the Championship any good either.

A long time ago when there wasn’t such a huge difference between the two leagues, promotion & relegation worked. As we face up to the 2016/17 season however, with Bristol promoted & the play-offs scrapped so that the return of London Irish is guaranteed, we are just kidding ourselves to pretend that promotion & relegation still really exists. It is dead & buried so we may as well admit it, and perhaps keeping up the pretence is now just damaging the less wealthy clubs, and is a luxury that we can no longer afford.

pqs: qs:
Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: FalconsRugby.org.uk (IP Logged)
Date: 04/07/2016 21:12

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Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: limpopo (IP Logged)
Date: 05/07/2016 10:19

Excellently summed up monkey and so true, perhaps 14 teams in the Premiership, but one apart from London Irish?

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: DJMc (IP Logged)
Date: 05/07/2016 11:09

A very interesting piece and I especially like the analogy of 13 teams trying to fit into 12 places. There is certainly a yo-yo effect with the relegated team coming straight back up (apart from Bristol). However despite your cogent argument I am still in favour of promotion and relegation. As for Bedford being happy to stay in the Championship, there teams such as Cornish Pirates itching to go come up and test their strength against the "big boys" and looking to make the investment to allow that to happen.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: limpopo (IP Logged)
Date: 05/07/2016 11:37

As yet the Pirates stadium is not up to Premiership requirements and the County Council seem to be dragging their feet regarding Truro and funding for the proposed new centre

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: steve1888 (IP Logged)
Date: 05/07/2016 12:25

Leeds/Yorkshire seem to have invested for next season to give Irish a run and Jersey seem to be steadily building - could they be the next Exeter in a couple of seasons? Also no promotion would put off would be investors that could transform clubs.

Other clubs could argue well why not cut the premiership to 10 and add a couple in the Championship make it more competitive and add interest perhaps as those at the bottom seem to be there more often than not.

Also how many dead rubber games once the top 6 are out of reach ? Would that result in lower crowds and less interest?

There's probably not a perfect way off doing it but for me decent as it is or have a play off between 2nd bottom in prem and 2nd bottom in championship maybe.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: DJMc (IP Logged)
Date: 05/07/2016 12:37

I know that Cornish Pirates ground doesn't currently meet Premiership standards but the will to change is there and when everything is in place they should be able to compete and take promotion should they top the Championship table. I appreciate that Bedford have made a different decision but there are ambitious clubs in the Championship.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Monkey1 (IP Logged)
Date: 05/07/2016 13:57

The only way that I can see promotion & relegation remaining viable is to bring the salary cap down to something that the top Championship clubs can aspire to, perhaps as low as £3m for example, and have it stringently enforced. Otherwise the jump up is always going to be too great unless a club (like Bristol) has somebody uber wealthy supporting it, and the drop is also too big for clubs heading in the opposite direction.

The reality is that even the poorest Premiership clubs are operating with budgets of £6m or more. You cannot expect them to survive a drop to the Championship where they will be lucky to scratch together a budget of £2m. Any business put in that position over a short time scale will go bust, and rugby clubs are no different.

Similarly a Championship club like Pirates may have ambition, but unless they can operate at Premiership standard and budget for perhaps years in the Championship, they don't stand a chance in hell of ever being promoted, never mind surviving their first season up.

You can dream about the ideals if you wish, but the reality is that promotion & relegation is already history. No Championship club will ever step up unless somebody backs them with a stupid amount of money, and no Premiership club will ever leave the cartel of 13 unless they go bust or fall apart in some other terminal way.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Kwa444 (IP Logged)
Date: 05/07/2016 14:00

How ironic for poor (!) Bristol. The season they finally make it through the minefield, it is finally removed. Their fans must feel both relieved and slightly sick....

Very well written article. I still wholly support the idea of a ring fenced 14 team premiership, slowly expanding as Championship teams reach a competitive level (in all areas not just on the pitch). This is what the Super 12, then 14, 15 and is it now 18? have done. Eventually we will be at 20 teams and can split to two competitive leagues with promotion and relegation again.

The good news is that London Welsh will have to properly win the Championship league for the first time in the professional era for a change - might upset their legal team though!

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: gtoughuk (IP Logged)
Date: 05/07/2016 14:29

I think we should increase the premiership to 14 but keep promotion and relegation. Then have winners of the championship automatically promoted and 14th in premiership automatically relegated. Then have a playoff between 13th in premier with 2nd 3rd and 4th of championship.

I know it's not the most popular option, but it encourages teams to keep trying till the end of the season. Plus it won't put off up and coming teams to invest and try and become competitive.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Osric (IP Logged)
Date: 05/07/2016 16:35

Yes, it is. Fourteen team prem, with no movement for a set number of years. This will allow for investment and a more expansive, attack minded game ( otherwise called entertainment).

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Monkey1 (IP Logged)
Date: 05/07/2016 18:33

I have to say that expanding the prem to 14 and also having promotion/relegation and also bringing back the stupid play-offs but not even between the bottom or top teams is about as close to insanity as you could get while still being allowed to walk the streets.
(Sm100)

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Osric (IP Logged)
Date: 05/07/2016 20:17

Fourteen teams with no movement for at least five years and, preferably, a Yorkshire based team added into the mix ( for the good of the game in the north).

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Robs (IP Logged)
Date: 05/07/2016 23:50

Quote:
steve1888
....or have a play off between 2nd bottom in prem and 2nd bottom in championship maybe.

Might be a bit one sided!
Maybe 2nd bottom in the Prem v runner up in the Chumpionship ...?

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Monkey1 (IP Logged)
Date: 06/07/2016 06:56

So if we now have 14 teams in the prem + 2 from the champ who could be promoted to the prem that means 16 clubs with prem budgets & facilities. What miracle is supposed to make that happen or do we just add 3 no-hopers & enjoy watching them get the living doo dah kicked out of them every year so we don't have to face possible relegation?

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: alas (IP Logged)
Date: 06/07/2016 07:32

A 14 team premiership is a bad idea. Would make the season too long - as in France - and divide the TV money 14 ways rather than 12 at a time when most clubs still make losses. Would probably go back to a play off between the bottom premiership club and winner of the championship so the best 12 teams are always in the premiership.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: cumbrian_falcon (IP Logged)
Date: 06/07/2016 08:03

I would make the premiership 14 teams, drop the lv cup so that the extra four games would be played on those weekends to avoid lengthening the season. I would then make it 2 up 2 down. Winner of the championship comes straight up with 2nd and 3rd playing off for the final spot. This gives sides better chance to bounce back but keeps the bottom end of the table interesting. There could be some awful games once sides have no chance of qualifying for the champions cup and a lot of dead rubbers. would we really get big gates for games in march and april if there was nothing to play for.

If we went down this year are folks then happy for the premiership to be ringfenced with us stuck in the championship

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: falconsfan07 (IP Logged)
Date: 06/07/2016 09:47

I enjoy the relegation side of it me, less dead rubber games! coming towards the end of the sean if top 8 isn't in sight your fighting for your life, better crowds, better atmosphere! would be disappointed if they scrapped it, everyone deserves the opportunity to compete at the top!

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Rafpilot2000 (IP Logged)
Date: 06/07/2016 15:33

Let's face it, the to end of the table is about as exciting as watching paint dry. I appreciate that Exeters great and deserved season brought something fresh but watching the big money joys of Leicester, Saints and Saracens steam roller the premiership is boring. The scrap at the bottom is like watching an episode of Jeremy Kyke. It's a car crash but you can't help watching. If there is no relegation then if you have a bottom club that is well adrift at the halfway point of the season they may as well give up on that campaign, and start getting ready for ing ready for the next which would be rubbish.
Obviously , from selfish perspective I want ils like it scrapped to preserve Falcons premiership status.
That said though I still feel that the top tier should be based on playing merit not size of your stadium. If a club with a tin shed and two porta-loos is the best team they should come up regardless if the ground only holds 500. London Welsh came up on playing merit then sold their soul to meet stadium criteria. That should t be the case. After our season exploring the delights of the championship I would be happy to stand in a field on Doncaster to watch the lads play

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: leemingtyke (IP Logged)
Date: 06/07/2016 19:30

Everyone seems very certain that the play-offs have gone.

In this interview with the rugby paper, Geech seems to suggest (right at the end) that maybe they havent.

[www.therugbypaper.co.uk]

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Leipziger (IP Logged)
Date: 06/07/2016 20:08

Quote:
Osric
Fourteen teams with no movement for at least five years and, preferably, a Yorkshire based team added into the mix ( for the good of the game in the north).

If relegation were scrapped for five years, do you really think the cartel would allow it to start again? Even if they did, by then the gulf would have grown to such a point that relegation would have to be scrapped permanently anyway.

The current system, for all its faults, has one big plus point - clubs know exactly what they have to do to get promoted i.e. have access to a stadium that meets certain criteria and win the Championship in any given year. Saying "Do all this and we MIGHT let you into the Premiership in five years' time" is hardly going to encourage investment in Championship clubs.

People say we should scrap relegation to allow Premiership clubs to build sustainable businesses. Two thoughts: 1) Jersey and Cornish Pirates are building towards what they hope will be sustainable Premiership businesses, why should they be excluded because they weren't in the Premiership at some arbitrary point in time? 2) Rugby has been professional for 21 years - are we really to believe that the threat of relegation is the ONLY reason why clubs like the Falcons haven't become profitable yet?

A logical point to have ringfenced the top league might have been in 1995, when the game went pro. Bearing in mind that Newcastle Gosforth were in the second division at the time, would anyone on here have supported that?

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Osric (IP Logged)
Date: 06/07/2016 22:20

Personally, I prefer to watch entertaining championship rugby than negative, dull premiership rugby ( as we saw here three seasons ago).
For the good of the game, we need a geographical spread of clubs. Fourteen teams would help.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: falconsfan07 (IP Logged)
Date: 07/07/2016 07:24

I'd just keep it the same, if you had 14 teams the bottom one would just get pumped every week, prem is fine as it is in my opinion, scrap for our lives makes it more exciting and means the game means a lot more!

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: pa8 (IP Logged)
Date: 07/07/2016 10:31

If we did away with relegation from the top flight it might mean more patience being shown to younger EQPs and less money wasted on inferior foreign imports such as Fry, Clever, Andy Tuilagi etc etc. There'd be less need to 'fix it now' and, hopefully, more time for the academy to produce.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Northumbrian (IP Logged)
Date: 07/07/2016 18:16

Or, have 2 conferences of 8 teams with no relegations, Play a team in your own conference twice and the other conference teams once (22 games). Then have play-offs, which at least seem more appropriate than play-offs in one league.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Leipziger (IP Logged)
Date: 07/07/2016 18:29

Quote:
pa8
If we did away with relegation from the top flight it might mean more patience being shown to younger EQPs and less money wasted on inferior foreign imports such as Fry, Clever, Andy Tuilagi etc etc. There'd be less need to 'fix it now' and, hopefully, more time for the academy to produce.

The Falcons have given plenty of game time to the likes of McGuigan, Scott Wilson (when fit), Robinson, Watson.

If Fry, Clever and Andy Tuilagi played 20 league games between them for us (out of a possible 110 appearances), I'd be surprised, so it's not them who are keeping young English players out of the team.

The Falcons and other teams don't sign foreign players because they are foreign, but because they think these players are the best they can attract and afford. Thus logically, the alrernative English player must be inferior or more expensive. Either way, the club loses put by spending more or having an inferior team, and of course having an inferior team could mean reduced crowds. Of course, if a club has no interest in actually climbing the league and just wants to plod along and keep collecting the Premiership money, then that's not a problem for them, but I'm sure most supporters would like to think their club has more ambition than that.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Monkey1 (IP Logged)
Date: 07/07/2016 19:13

If you were to ask Semore & Deano if together they could deliver a better future knowing that they can plan for at least the next 2 years, 3 years, maybe even 5 years in the Premiership I think I know what the answer would be.

I know some people are passionately wedded to the concept of relegation & promotion, but that is exactly my point, it is now just a concept, something to talk about, nothing more. It has already died, it is gone, finished, over. Maybe after the next 5 years of the same 13 teams playing a game of musical chairs with only 12 places, the annual farce of one of those teams dipping into the Championship then bouncing straight out again, and the Championship teams realising that no matter how much ambition they have, promotion is just never going to happen, people will finally accept that it is over.

RIP any meaningful promotion & relegation. I will mourn its passing as much as many others, but at least I will accept that it is now dead.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Osric (IP Logged)
Date: 07/07/2016 21:07

From the last three WCs there have been 8 SH semi finalists (including Argentina twice) and four from the NH. From them France (twice) and England (once) have promotion and relegation.
So 3/12.
As a Scot, it's irrelevant, but for the English fans out there could I suggest that a move to a fixed league might help the national game?

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Kwa444 (IP Logged)
Date: 08/07/2016 07:19

Probably a very fair point that. Which goes hand in hand with the development of young English players. I don't agree with Leipy about the foreign imports being better or cheaper. They are used solely because at that time they have the experience in a results based relegation experience to hopefully keep the club up.

If relegation didn't feature do you honestly think that Deano or any other DoR would play a journeyman in front of a youngster with potential who is liable to be more committed for having the opportunity, and cheaper?

I would argue it is the reason Leicester were so strong until 2010 because until 2002 when they won a league without playoffs, they were so far in front by mid season that they could afford to risk developing players and see if they could make the grade. This carried them through for most of the decade. Imagine the players who might develop for England and the clubs if the clubs had this chance - like switching your development in F1 part way through a poor season.

At that juncture Leicester ' s academy was lauded, but I don't think it was better than others, they just gave their youngsters more of a chance, earlier.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: leemingtyke (IP Logged)
Date: 08/07/2016 17:24

GKIPA Championship fixtures released and Play Offs are retained.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: steve1888 (IP Logged)
Date: 08/07/2016 17:47

Surely the club would suffer a bit with attendances without the relegation battle games and interest they generate.

Compare the pro12 and premiership rather than NH and SH.

To bring on youngsters it would be better limiting the amount of foreigners although Brexit may help that anyway if it goes through.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Kwa444 (IP Logged)
Date: 09/07/2016 06:21

Wholly agree that would help Steve, though I think financial incentive seem to work best. As you say if there is no alternative that would work too though...

Yep play offs still seem to be in the Championship - was you statement in respect of the 2017/18 season, Monkey? - did seem rather close to the start of the season to be hearing about it for this season.

Don't agree about attendences - if the club are producing good rugby and stand a chance of winning a game, I am far more likely to watch than if they are rubbish and might just survive relegation. I have no enjoyment in watching the club scrape, and crawl and trip their way to retaining premiership survival. Just a huge sense of relief that they do.... I'm not a masochist so it's not fun and I don't want to watch.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: steve1888 (IP Logged)
Date: 09/07/2016 08:48

I agree with you on watching Kwa but would we have got the attendances and atmosphere we did against Irish and Wuss especially without the must win game or relegation battle in there? Core support yes but doubt we would have seen the extra couple of thousand due to lack of interest.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: gtoughuk (IP Logged)
Date: 09/07/2016 19:50

Quote:
Osric
From the last three WCs there have been 8 SH semi finalists (including Argentina twice) and four from the NH. From them France (twice) and England (once) have promotion and relegation.
So 3/12.
As a Scot, it's irrelevant, but for the English fans out there could I suggest that a move to a fixed league might help the national game?

Don't forget France is full of foreign mercenaries who are only concerned about who is paying them a wage and not how the French national team is doing.


Quote:
Money1
I have to say that expanding the prem to 14 and also having promotion/relegation and also bringing back the stupid play-offs but not even between the bottom or top teams is about as close to insanity as you could get while still being allowed to walk the streets.

I understand your concerns about relegation, but I still feel it is needed to keep the sport competitive.

Other options for promotion/relegation include either the French system or rugby leagues super league. Neither is perfect. The French is league of 14 teams but bottom two relegated. Rugby league splits the league with bottom of the super league playing the top of the championship. Both have their pros and cons.

Whatever happens, there will still be arguments about if it's a good or bad idea.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Leipziger (IP Logged)
Date: 09/07/2016 20:52

There are of course pros and cons to every type of system Gtough, as you say, but as an old romantic I can't see me ever getting on board with ringfencing. I might be a cynic, but I can't believe that any cartel members (Falcons included) are supporting the wider interests of rugby when they call for ringfencing - they are solely looking at their own interests.

What kind of playoff system, if any, is not as important to me as keeping Premiership status down solely to what happens on the pitch (yes, that means scrapping the cartel's Minimum Standards Criteria, if that would ever happen). I don't go to a game to look at how pretty a stadium is or check a club's financial solvency. If these things are so vital, should we give clubs extra league points for being profitable and having nicer stadiums with bigger crowds? No, of course not, so why should such criteria play a part in Premiership status?

Anyway, best I just agree to disagree perhaps, and go back to looking forward to the sevens :-)

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Monkey1 (IP Logged)
Date: 10/07/2016 12:01

Where did the news come from that the play-offs had been scrapped? That info is now looking a bit dodgy.

If we do need promotion & relegation then it has to ne realistic. The way that funding of the Premiership & Championship have been developing over the last few years, a gap has opened up that is now looking impossible to bridge. Bristol & Exeter with their moneybags backers now look like being the last teams that will ever make the move.

I don't know what the answer is, but I am far from happy with the idea that one of the thirteen clubs spends a season lording it around the Championship then bouncing back up again. That doesn't do the Championship clubs any good & almost certainly doesn't do the relegated club any good either.

Answers on a postcard please......

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: bulmer22 (IP Logged)
Date: 10/07/2016 19:32

Postcard to Monkey.

Mowden Park have a stadium far superior to Kingston Park. They have money in the bank. If they have the ambition they could be playing in the Premiership. They can just copy Exeter. Leeds can do the same if they get their act together. But only if there is promotion and relegation. Ring fencing or cartel making or whatever you want to call it is not good for the game and from what I've read on here, no one wants it apart from you.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Monkey1 (IP Logged)
Date: 11/07/2016 06:24

Bulmer.

1. Where have I said I want an end to relegation? I merely raised a point for discussion that it has become meaningless.

2. The cartel already exists.

3. If Mowden Park has the sort of budget required for life in the Premiership I will eat several hats.

4. Leeds no longer exists as a rugby club.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: bulmer22 (IP Logged)
Date: 11/07/2016 06:36

Apologies Monkey, I thought the long essay that you made was all about scrapping relegation.

The point I made was that any club with ambition can make it into the Premiership.

I think we are in a great position now as a club, and looking at the fixture list, we can make a great start and build on that as the season goes on. I feel very confident.

Come on Falcons !

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Wensleydale Falcon (IP Logged)
Date: 11/07/2016 12:23

Mowden Park have money in the bank......really???

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Hideo (IP Logged)
Date: 11/07/2016 12:35

I would advocate an increase promotion and relegation rather than getting rid of it. Two up and two down would produce a greater turnover of clubs and give the chance, over time, for the gap between the leagues to narrow.

Restrictions on stadium size etc should be scrapped too, as this is prime among the financial reasons barring some teams from promotion.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: limpopo (IP Logged)
Date: 11/07/2016 12:55

Quote:Restrictions on stadium size etc should be scrapped too.

One of the principles behind this requirement is safety, both for players who may have suffered serious injury, as well as spectators.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Leipziger (IP Logged)
Date: 11/07/2016 16:45

Quote:
limpopo
Quote:Restrictions on stadium size etc should be scrapped too.
One of the principles behind this requirement is safety, both for players who may have suffered serious injury, as well as spectators.

I didn't see any safety issues at any Championship grounds during our season there. If a stadium is safe for the Championship (according to the club's local authority) then surely it's safe for the Premiership too, including Bedford's sloping pitch on which Saracens played a home LV game not too long ago.

Hideo - agree on two-up two-down. By making it more likely that a relegated team will come straight back up, fear of relegation should ease.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Monkey1 (IP Logged)
Date: 11/07/2016 18:50

The safety issue was very well explained a few years ago. It primarily relates to player safety as the game is played at a higher intensity by more powerful players and consequently you should expect more injuries of a more severe nature.

Another good point was made about media facilities, and I am sure Ramshackle Smith could vouch for that along with all the telly crews.

The aspect that makes no sense at all is stadium capacity and the number of toilets. Just because a small club gains promotion doesn't mean that they get 10,200 people turning up for the first game all bursting for a pee. If the ground criteria were revised using a little common sense so that medical & media facilities had to be upgraded immediately, but the ground could grow organically in line with crowd numbers it would make promotion easier.

The elephant in the room is still lurking however in that no matter how many toilets a club has, the squad can't grow from a £1.5m budget to a Premiership £5m budget (minimum) overnight. Even Bristol with their vast budget found it a struggle to attract the players they need to carry the squad beyond mere promotion while they were still in the Championship. Unless the squad aspect of a club can be allowed to grow too it is just going to be London Welsh all over again. The only suggestion that I have heard that takes this into account is to protect a promoted club from relegation for two years.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: bulmer22 (IP Logged)
Date: 11/07/2016 18:55

Imagine this if you can..... Mowden make enough revenue from concerts etc to get into the Premiership. Ground criteria no problem. Leeds, whatever brand they are marketed under, get their act together. Ground criteria no problem. Would you rather watch Falcons play 2 derby matches away ? or travel to Exeter, Bristol, etc etc. We need another team from the North in the Premiership, and I hope one day that will happen. Two up and two down will help to break the cartel.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Kwa444 (IP Logged)
Date: 12/07/2016 10:38

Very exciting Bulmer.

However sadly in the realities of life and the need for a sustainable business environment for goth and development, it is far more likely that on the current basis we will have no top flight clubs North of Leicester than what you suggest.

Falcons hover at the brink regularly, Sale are not much better and Yorkshire (whatever they are now called) show no real signs of being any more than Welsh have been.

I have always advocated promotion and relegation but where the top league is ring fenced and increased in size until there are enough teams to produce two competitive leagues of 10. I wouldn't be surprised if Super 18 doesn't end up there in a few years despite having vastly smaller resources in terms of players and finance than we do!

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Garym (IP Logged)
Date: 12/07/2016 14:05

Quote:
Leipziger
Quote:
limpopo
Quote:Restrictions on stadium size etc should be scrapped too.
One of the principles behind this requirement is safety, both for players who may have suffered serious injury, as well as spectators.

I didn't see any safety issues at any Championship grounds during our season there. If a stadium is safe for the Championship (according to the club's local authority) then surely it's safe for the Premiership too, including Bedford's sloping pitch on which Saracens played a home LV game not too long ago.

Hideo - agree on two-up two-down. By making it more likely that a relegated team will come straight back up, fear of relegation should ease.

Doesn't the last statement, make the point for no relegation if it just becomes a merry go round for those at the bottom?

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Leipziger (IP Logged)
Date: 12/07/2016 17:34

Garym - no because it wouldn't always be the same teams involved. Two-up, two-down should also incentivise investment in the Cship as it would be easier to get promoted.

Monkey - why does the higher intensity of the game in the Premiership have an effect, and what does it actually affect? Is a player more likely to be injured severely in a Premiership match if it's played at e.g. Moseley than at Welford Road? Genuine questions, I've never heard anything about this.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Monkey1 (IP Logged)
Date: 12/07/2016 19:03

Quote:
Leipziger
Monkey - why does the higher intensity of the game in the Premiership have an effect, and what does it actually affect? Is a player more likely to be injured severely in a Premiership match if it's played at e.g. Moseley than at Welford Road? Genuine questions, I've never heard anything about this.

That relates to the need for better medical facilities at Prem grounds. There was a very good explanation for some of the ground criteria posted up a few years back. It made sense that bigger & stronger players coming together at higher speeds & competing more fiercely will tend to have worse injuries. It has nothing to do with the ground or state of the pitch, all down to the qualities of the players involved in the game. Hence PRL quite rightly insists that Premiership grounds must meet a certain standard of medical facilities.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: limpopo (IP Logged)
Date: 14/07/2016 09:24

Precisely the point that I was making Monkey and which the PRL did for very sensible and medically practical reasons. Width of corridors, access for emergency and moving injured players through to an ambulance, just some of the reasons and not just about toilets as some suggest.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Poking With Sticks (IP Logged)
Date: 15/07/2016 12:43

Quote:
Monkey1
Bristol & Exeter with their moneybags backers now look like being the last teams that will ever make the move......

I don't see why this should be the case. Exeter wouldn't be where they are now without Tony Rowe I daresay, but not because he's poured money into the club - he hasn't. Also, I don't know his net worth but I don't think he's rich enough to do a Bruce Craig. Rowe's input has been to make the club run as a business and become sustainable. That in turn allowed Exe to upgrade to a new ground and create a strong squad to transition from Championship to AP. He hasn't given the club money - SW Comms is a sponsor, same as every other club has. There's no real reason why another club couldn't do the same if there's a market for it.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Monkey1 (IP Logged)
Date: 15/07/2016 14:06

Anybody who lives outside of Exeter can see plain as day that Tony Rowe ploughs big money into the club via his company, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, it is the most tax efficient way of doing it. For some bizarre reason, people who live in or near Exeter just won't accept that to be the case. Must be something in the water.

I do take your point, that if for example Rotherham were to find a rugby enthusiast with a hugely profitable telecoms business, and that telecoms business decided that spending huge amounts of money in 'sponsorship' of Rotherham rugby club was just what the company needed to get their message out there (just coincidence of course, nothing to do with the company big cheese also being involved with the rugby club), then Rotherham could find themselves competing at the top level too.

That is the reality of the current league structures. Unless one of the Championship clubs finds such a backer they will be forever excluded form realistically competing in the Premiership.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Kwa444 (IP Logged)
Date: 15/07/2016 14:36

Which sort of makes the point about sustainability and allowing clubs making the grade a chance to settle and then adding more clubs to a league until it is big enough to split into two.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: CharlieDog (IP Logged)
Date: 15/07/2016 15:23

Jersey aren't short of a few wealthy fans and are steadily building like Wuss and Exeter - I wouldn't mind a regular trip over there in the Premiership........

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Mobbs (IP Logged)
Date: 17/07/2016 07:48

Relegation did not do Saints nor Quins any harm and it keeps the interest level going to the bitter end unless the bottom club in the Premiership has a complete meltdown as Welsh did a couple of years ago. Ground regulations should be relaxed for the promoted club to give them a chance in their first season. The prospect of a trip to Cornwall or Jersey sounds a good one compared to playing in a third full football stadium !

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Monkey1 (IP Logged)
Date: 17/07/2016 08:13

The game has moved on a lot since those teams were relegated, it must be about 10 years since Quins played at Bedford. The gap has widened since then, Premiership players are trained to a fitness & intensity level that could only be dreamed of back then. It is now very difficult for Championship players to step up to that level in just a few months, and it doesn't do the relegated squad any good at all to have that level of competition removed from them for a whole season. Looking to the next ten years, that gap is only going to widen further unless something changes.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Rinkadink (IP Logged)
Date: 17/07/2016 11:48

What needs to change is teir two funding.

Would address so many issues.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Leipziger (IP Logged)
Date: 17/07/2016 18:09

Quote:
Rinkadink
What needs to change is teir two funding.
Would address so many issues.

Yep, that's the key really.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Monkey1 (IP Logged)
Date: 18/07/2016 07:03

Agreed. And it can only benefit the national game to have the Championship clubs bringing more English players to a higher level.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Poking With Sticks (IP Logged)
Date: 18/07/2016 11:13

Quote:
Monkey1
Anybody who lives outside of Exeter can see plain as day that Tony Rowe ploughs big money into the club via his company, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, it is the most tax efficient way of doing it. For some bizarre reason, people who live in or near Exeter just won't accept that to be the case. Must be something in the water.

To be honest I've no idea what the sponsorship with SW Comms is worth or how it compares to other club sponsors. Also not sure what the rules are re tax write-offs via sponsorship deals. But SW Comms has a turnover of about £25 million per annum as far as I know so I'm not sure it can afford to go crazy when it comes to sponsorship. I'm also not sure how it would benefit Mr Rowe. The club's owned by a consortium of supporters, so the only way he makes money is if the sponsorship works. He doesn't own the club, so he doesn't have ultimate power.

Re: Time to relegate relegation?
Posted by: Gray_Lensman (IP Logged)
Date: 18/07/2016 13:19

Plymouth were sponsored for several years by the wonderfully named Interfish. They tried to set their sponsorship payments (about £1.2M) against their tax bill and eventually ended up in the Court of Appeal where it was ruled that the payments weren't wholly and exclusively for the benefit of Interfish's trade. Instead it looked like the payments were intended to bolster Plymouth's financial position and even to directly recruit players. Which wasn't to say that Interfish didn't get benefits itself, just that wasn't the sole (!) object.

South West Communications also had problems with HMRC about payments they said were made so that Tony Rowe could contribute funds to the club. That one fell apart because of a review that said the cost of a hearing was disproportionate to the sums involved (I think it was a payment of about £100k over and above the existing sponsorship deal). In fact HMRC ended up paying costs on that one, so a good deal for everyone except the Government and the poor saps that fund it.

But it does make you wonder if SWCG are paying over the odds on their sponsorship of Exeter. Although the old rule was “if a trader is actuated by none but commercial motives, the Crown cannot merely say he has paid too much”.

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