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Re: Lenighan blames West Yorkshire mafia
Post Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:52 am
Posted by Homer Simpson on Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:52 am
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thepimp007 wrote:
Wow, I read your board regularly and always agree with your posts and find your posts thought out and very knowledgeable. BUT I have to disagree totally here. The reason teams have fielded less have been because of mainly visa issues going to Canada. Clubs can't afford to sign a heap of players just in case they don't pass visa applications. The majority of clubs in the lower levels have fantastic history within the game and people seem keen to just let them just disappear without a trace. Do Lenegan and his cronies think these fans that part with their money putting it into the game are suddenly going to just start supporting another team and spend their hard earned elsewhere? No it will just alienate more rugby league fans into oblivion never to be seen again. As a Bradford fan seeingthe effort championship and league one clubs put into trying to make ends meet is highly commendable. The championship and League one have never been stronger than they are at present and greedy SL chairmen (most of them) are happy to see them all struggle further. Disgusting attitude for mine! Especially considering the money sky give all clubs covers the standard cap. If clubs want to spend over that by having marquee players thats their own prerogative and should be backed by the people allowing them to spend over, not come at a cost to other clubs. I don't like Hetherington but totally agree with his stance here, the middle 8s give championship clubs something meaningful to aim for. All that will happen with one up one down is a return of a lot of meaningless games between clubs that are too good to go down but not good enough to test the top of tree


Exactly, too many meaningless games, brings lower crowds, one-sides scores. The current split keeps things alive and to the wire (no pun/not Warrington) as Leeds are currently finding out !
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Re: Lenighan blames West Yorkshire mafia
Post Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:54 am
Posted by bramleyrhino on Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:54 am
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There's a good argument over whether the money that goes from central funding to the Championship and League 1 clubs delivers a 'return on investment'. It seems that the the cash simply helps these clubs to tread water (at best), doesn't help them to grow and therefore doesn't deliver a return. That's not a good use of what little central funding we have.

It's not as if such funding, for example, is helping to develop elite talent - the last players from the "hotbed" of Cumbria to play for England were Rob Purdham and Ade Gardner. Nor is that going into developing facilities, being invested in modern marketing techniques, or on community development. Essentially, we're using that funding to keep administrators at bay, rather than develop the sport.

In that context, it's probably worth listening to the idea that such funding is better off in the hands of the clubs that (in theory) are most capable of investing it for the greatest return (the top clubs are the biggest developers of elite talent, they generate the most interest, etc). That doesn't mean that I think the lower league clubs should be cut-off, but I think it's fair and right that the people who are generating this funding should expect some degree of return from the people they are giving it to that benefits the sport as a whole.

Where I think Lenaghan is wrong is this idea that, simply by changing the structure, he can deliver this new age of prosperity with bigger sponsorship and TV deals, because IL's track record on this is hardly stellar. A former client of mine was the main shirt sponsor of Wigan for two years, and they couldn't believe how cheap that arrangement was. Wigan's crowds aren't showing growth, they still have occasional disputes with their landlords and there is a sense of arrogance about the whole operation that doesn't sit well (for example, the cancellation of the Widnes fixture, and the statements using the RFL as a lightning rod for their own failure to get on amicably with their landlord).

But above all, I don't believe IL can deliver on his vision simply because the sport, even under his proposed structure, still has the same fundamental problem that currently prevents it from achieving high value TV and sponsorship deals - it's audience. The sport doesn't reach people who advertisers either want to reach, and the people who advertisers find difficult to reach. I can create an advertisement and reach the demographics that this sport reaches for less than £50-per-thousand - 10,000 people in Wigan would cost me about £500, so why would I bother paying Lenaghan and his posse hundreds of thousands, if not millions, to do the same?
I wish everyone would read bramleyrhino's post two or three times just to get it through some thick skulls


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Re: Lenighan blames West Yorkshire mafia
Post Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:31 pm
Posted by Phuzzy on Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:31 pm
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Interesting points. On the advertising point there's a major difference between reaching a demographic and having the desired effect. I could go to a Leeds game and shout "Wigan are the best club - support Wigan" and I would have reached a target demographic but had zero effect. Associate your brand with WRLFC in Wigan and the positive association is what you're paying for.

I think you're right on the other points and, whilst I can see and sympathise with the worries expressed by some other posters, I'm constantly reminded of the definition of insanity being to repeat the same things over and over but expect a different result. We simply can't continue in the way we are as a sport. It's failing on every count. Doing something may not provide the answer. Doing nothing definitely won't.
Re: Lenighan blames West Yorkshire mafia
Post Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:05 pm
Posted by bramleyrhino on Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:05 pm
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Phuzzy wrote:
Interesting points. On the advertising point there's a major difference between reaching a demographic and having the desired effect. I could go to a Leeds game and shout "Wigan are the best club - support Wigan" and I would have reached a target demographic but had zero effect. Associate your brand with WRLFC in Wigan and the positive association is what you're paying for.

I think you're right on the other points and, whilst I can see and sympathise with the worries expressed by some other posters, I'm constantly reminded of the definition of insanity being to repeat the same things over and over but expect a different result. We simply can't continue in the way we are as a sport. It's failing on every count. Doing something may not provide the answer. Doing nothing definitely won't.


You're right in that there are other reasons why an advertiser may align themselves with sporting organisations but again, this is where I think the sport's propostion is wrong.

It's something of a simplification of the issue, but you can't act surprised when this sport attracts online bookies, payday loan firms and Big Soup as sponsors when it is most popular in towns where the High Streets are full of bookies, pawnbrokers and fast food outlets. These sponsors don't bring a lot of money into the sport - they don't need to, because their audiences are cheap to reach and generally don't spend much as individuals. This is why those who shout "focus on the heartlands" in response to any suggestion of expansion tend to miss the issue - the "heartlands" of this sport hold no interest for the people who we need to ultimately fund it - the broadcasters and the blue-chips.

That is the audience that we are currently selling access to. With the exception of Leeds, the sport doesn't cut through with urban city audiences that advertisers find most difficult to reach, it doesn't cut through with audiences in affluent areas and it doesn't have a national or international profile. These are all things that other sports, who do get good TV and sponsorship deals, do achieve.

And whilst these factors all influence the sponsors we can attract and how valuable our TV rights are, nothing that Lenaghan and his pals have come up with addresses any of that.
I wish everyone would read bramleyrhino's post two or three times just to get it through some thick skulls


Mr bramleyrhino speaks a lot of sense.


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Re: Lenighan blames West Yorkshire mafia
Post Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:32 pm
Posted by Jukesays on Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:32 pm
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bramleyrhino wrote:
You're right in that there are other reasons why an advertiser may align themselves with sporting organisations but again, this is where I think the sport's propostion is wrong.

It's something of a simplification of the issue, but you can't act surprised when this sport attracts online bookies, payday loan firms and Big Soup as sponsors when it is most popular in towns where the High Streets are full of bookies, pawnbrokers and fast food outlets. These sponsors don't bring a lot of money into the sport - they don't need to, because their audiences are cheap to reach and generally don't spend much as individuals. This is why those who shout "focus on the heartlands" in response to any suggestion of expansion tend to miss the issue - the "heartlands" of this sport hold no interest for the people who we need to ultimately fund it - the broadcasters and the blue-chips.

That is the audience that we are currently selling access to. With the exception of Leeds, the sport doesn't cut through with urban city audiences that advertisers find most difficult to reach, it doesn't cut through with audiences in affluent areas and it doesn't have a national or international profile. These are all things that other sports, who do get good TV and sponsorship deals, do achieve.

And whilst these factors all influence the sponsors we can attract and how valuable our TV rights are, nothing that Lenaghan and his pals have come up with addresses any of that.


Whilst agreeing with the vast majority of that I have to point out the last sentence.
At what point has anyone said that this is the only idea or intention they have?

My two Penneth it's that for the last 10/12 years the game has been allowed to slump into a malaise based on the lowest common denominator. Level playing field instead of excellence.
Why bother marketing and bringing in Moyer money when the game wants the clubs to only spend what the lowest clubs can afford.
I used an argument a few years ago that potentially one day a Leeds could find themselves relegated after one bad year with injuries or a bit of bad luck yet be sat with millions in the bank.
Why shouldn't they be allowed to go and use the money they have earned through their own good business plans etc to reinvest in the players when they need to?

An analogy I've used is like 20 home owners all deciding they won't make the 5 or 6 houses on the street who don't want to keep their houses tidy and clean or reinvest in New driveways, Windows or cut their lawns look bad so all getting together and deciding none will do it in the street.
10 years down the line everyone lives in a poop hole and then all being shocked and dismayed that the value of their houses has gone down and no-one wants to buy it or live their.

Well maybe one our two of the home owners have had enough?
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Re: Lenighan blames West Yorkshire mafia
Post Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:11 pm
Posted by bramleyrhino on Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:11 pm
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Jukesays wrote:
Whilst agreeing with the vast majority of that I have to point out the last sentence.
At what point has anyone said that this is the only idea or intention they have?

My two Penneth it's that for the last 10/12 years the game has been allowed to slump into a malaise based on the lowest common denominator. Level playing field instead of excellence.
Why bother marketing and bringing in Moyer money when the game wants the clubs to only spend what the lowest clubs can afford.
I used an argument a few years ago that potentially one day a Leeds could find themselves relegated after one bad year with injuries or a bit of bad luck yet be sat with millions in the bank.
Why shouldn't they be allowed to go and use the money they have earned through their own good business plans etc to reinvest in the players when they need to?

An analogy I've used is like 20 home owners all deciding they won't make the 5 or 6 houses on the street who don't want to keep their houses tidy and clean or reinvest in New driveways, Windows or cut their lawns look bad so all getting together and deciding none will do it in the street.
10 years down the line everyone lives in a poop hole and then all being shocked and dismayed that the value of their houses has gone down and no-one wants to buy it or live their.

Well maybe one our two of the home owners have had enough?


I'd agree that the sport has let the tail wag the dog for too long, but I see that as a very seperate issue. Someone like Michael Carter or Neil Hudgell will never have the level of vision or ambition for this sport as a Lenaghan, Moran or McMannus. They are on board with this idea for no other reason than self-preservation, not growth.

Of course, all we have at the moment on this announcement is a very clumsy press announcement and disparate interviews with the main protagonists in League Express. It's hard to know exactly what the medium-long term direction of travel is, but IL is already talking about the value of new TV deals. He seems (from his public statements at least) to be of the opinion that we'll get a better TV deal simply by "negotiating harder" or "playing hard ball". Sorry, but I think it's a bit more nuanced that that. Sky know exactly what RL is worth and, if they're going to be asked to pay more, we probably need to add something extra in return. I don't think that this proposal is that something extra.
I wish everyone would read bramleyrhino's post two or three times just to get it through some thick skulls


Mr bramleyrhino speaks a lot of sense.


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"I'd never forgive myself if a child of mine was born in Lancashire.
Re: Lenighan blames West Yorkshire mafia
Post Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:27 pm
Posted by Magic Superbeetle on Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:27 pm
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bramleyrhino wrote:
Sky know exactly what RL is worth and, if they're going to be asked to pay more, we probably need to add something extra in return. I don't think that this proposal is that something extra.


Wasnt the last sky deal signed far earlier because Sky caught everyone in RL on the backfoot with a now or not at all. The reality is Sky knew exactly how much it takes to make the RFL administration cave - which is likely a totally different number to its true worth, as no other broadcasters had opportunity to compete in an open market for the rights. The pessimist would say that there isnt competitors for Sky, but suspect part of Elstone and Lenaghans plan will be along the lines of find more than one buyer and pit them against each other. How successful it becomes is another matter, as didnt we try that before and ended up crawling back to sky last minute on a much reduced deal?
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Re: Lenighan blames West Yorkshire mafia
Post Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:39 pm
Posted by bramleyrhino on Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:39 pm
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Magic Superbeetle wrote:
Wasnt the last sky deal signed far earlier because Sky caught everyone in RL on the backfoot with a now or not at all. The reality is Sky knew exactly how much it takes to make the RFL administration cave - which is likely a totally different number to its true worth, as no other broadcasters had opportunity to compete in an open market for the rights. The pessimist would say that there isnt competitors for Sky, but suspect part of Elstone and Lenaghans plan will be along the lines of find more than one buyer and pit them against each other. How successful it becomes is another matter, as didnt we try that before and ended up crawling back to sky last minute on a much reduced deal?


IIRC, Sky approached the RFL with an improved offer ahead of their annual stock exchange statement, having lost rights to other sporting events (I can't remember exactly). Whatever you think of this deal, let's not forget that the clubs voted in favour of this. IL can decry a "noisy opponent" to democracy all he wants, but he was hardly quiet on his views of that democratic process at the time.

But look at the situation objectively and we're probably not in the strong postion that people feel we are. The value of advertising slots around RL content is also lower than other sports for reasons I've suggested and I can't imagine that, proportionately at least, that many subscriptions rely on Super League. Yes, we offer Sky some value, but they're not going to throw more money at us simply because IL, Moran and McMannus are stamping their feet.

For one example, we're one of the only professional sports that actively dillutes its own TV audience by hosting fixtures that compete with our TV fixtures (there are games at Hull, Hull KR and Warrington competing with tonight's televised game at St Helens). If I were Sky, the first thing I would be insisting on is fixture exclusivity on Thurs and Friday nights - and that is something that Lenaghan of all people cannot deliver under Wigan's current arrangement at the DW.
I wish everyone would read bramleyrhino's post two or three times just to get it through some thick skulls


Mr bramleyrhino speaks a lot of sense.


Jamie Jones-Buchanan wrote:
"I'd never forgive myself if a child of mine was born in Lancashire.
Re: Lenighan blames West Yorkshire mafia
Post Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:42 pm
Posted by Phuzzy on Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:42 pm
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bramleyrhino wrote:
You're right in that there are other reasons why an advertiser may align themselves with sporting organisations but again, this is where I think the sport's propostion is wrong.
etc.

Can't disagree with much of that. Maybe the only thing worth adding is that I would hope this is just the opening salvo in setting the platform for addressing some of the issues you raise. That simply can't be done under the present set up. As you say we've very much let the 'tail wagging the dog' situation run on for too long and you have to worry that, even acting now, we could already be in a position where we've let our chief competitors get too far ahead. I hope not.

Whether the latest initiative is the correct one or not is almost impossible to say as there are simply too many variables. What I am confident in saying though is the current path is definitely not. That's not opinion. That's borne out by the decline of the game over the last decade or so. Personally, I'm disappointed in Hetherington. Leeds should be at the forefront of moving the game forward. His "Aw, that's not fair!" mantra, whilst laudable on the face of it, is exactly what's been wrong with the game for decades and is the very thing that is preventing us competing on a level playing field. Well, maybe not level but as close as we'll ever get to one at least!

I genuinely hope Leeds get on board. It's going to happen sooner or later anyway. Much better sooner and much better with Leeds on board.
Re: Lenighan blames West Yorkshire mafia
Post Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:58 pm
Posted by NickyKiss on Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:58 pm
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thepimp007 wrote:
Wow, I read your board regularly and always agree with your posts and find your posts thought out and very knowledgeable. BUT I have to disagree totally here. The reason teams have fielded less have been because of mainly visa issues going to Canada. Clubs can't afford to sign a heap of players just in case they don't pass visa applications. The majority of clubs in the lower levels have fantastic history within the game and people seem keen to just let them just disappear without a trace. Do Lenegan and his cronies think these fans that part with their money putting it into the game are suddenly going to just start supporting another team and spend their hard earned elsewhere? No it will just alienate more rugby league fans into oblivion never to be seen again. As a Bradford fan seeingthe effort championship and league one clubs put into trying to make ends meet is highly commendable. The championship and League one have never been stronger than they are at present and greedy SL chairmen (most of them) are happy to see them all struggle further. Disgusting attitude for mine! Especially considering the money sky give all clubs covers the standard cap. If clubs want to spend over that by having marquee players thats their own prerogative and should be backed by the people allowing them to spend over, not come at a cost to other clubs. I don't like Hetherington but totally agree with his stance here, the middle 8s give championship clubs something meaningful to aim for. All that will happen with one up one down is a return of a lot of meaningless games between clubs that are too good to go down but not good enough to test the top of tree



Two sides didn’t field full teams the week before the Toronto vs Barrow fixture in games played in this country so that argument doesn’t stack up.

It’s simple economics, there isn’t enough money to go round the amount of teams in our leagues above the amateur level. Nobody is asking them to fold, for their fans to go and just start supporting other clubs but the reality is that unless they can finance being full time professional or semi professional then the amateur ranks may be the best place for them until a time they can finance a move in to the paid leagues.

There a top tier in Australia sharing a mamouth tv deal between 16 clubs whilst we spread our pittance (in comparison) around 38 clubs! Yes the percentages aren’t huge the lower down the ranks you are but it’s making it tougher and tougher for our top sides to compete.
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