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Super 8’s scrapped from 2019
Post Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:38 pm
Posted by brian2 on Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:38 pm
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[quote][Super League will scrap the current Super 8s format next season and switch to a 'one-up, one-down' system, says new chief executive Robert Elstone.

Promotion and relegation is currently decided by fusing the Super League's bottom four after 23 regular season games with the Championship top four.

After playing each other once, the top three go up, while a fourth versus fifth play-off completes the quartet.

"The Super 8s was well-intended," Elstone told BBC Sport.

"In the search for a competition format that retained interest right through is a laudable objective, but what it has created is too much uncertainty and risk. Right now 12 Super League clubs, six or seven of them are worried about dropping into the Qualifiers, getting a bad injury run and facing big life changes.

"The Championship clubs looking up are thinking it's a great opportunity, but in the medium term if you're promoted then a year later you face the same risk.

"Fans aren't sure about fixture lists, broadcasters aren't sure about fixture lists, and I think we just have to take the uncertainty out and go back to something we are used to.

"The detail of one-up one down in terms of standards, the automatic nature is something we need to work through."

That format, introduced in 2015, means all clubs play 30 games before any further play-off activity, six more than their National Rugby League counterparts in the southern hemisphere.

With Challenge Cup ties also added to the schedule, elite players in the northern hemisphere are taking on a greater workload.

'It's an absurd grab for power'

There has already been one dissenting voice after Elstone revealed the changes - Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington.

Hetherington, who has had administrative roles at Sheffield and Leeds as well as coaching and playing positions, and was formerly president of the RFL, was quick to reveal his discontent.

"Today's announcement regarding plans for next season appear to be an absurd grab for power for the game by a small group of men who think they own the game," the statement from Leeds said.

"Leeds Rhinos are not party to this and are totally against the creation of a separate Super League executive.

"Super League clubs voted 7 to 5 at our last meeting on some key issues related to promotion and relegation.

"The game is in need of strong leadership from Brian Barwick and his board of directors at the Rugby Football League, the games governing body, and this announcement should bring a response from everyone connected with the game."

Elstone, flanked by St Helens owner Eamonn McManus, Wigan owner Ian Lenagan and Warrington owner Simon Moran, covered a wide range of topics on his introduction to the media.

The key messages were:

The Super League was keen to work with the Rugby Football League, working together to strengthen the game
Fears of a loss of funding for Championship and League One clubs outside Super League - currently guaranteed up to 2021 by the broadcast deal - were allayed
Super League is the main point of attraction for new fans of the game and must be given the best resources to grow the sport
There had been some concern that the appointment of a new chief executive was a precursor towards a split similar to that of the Premier League from the Football League in 1992.

However, the message at the press conference was one of partnership and reconciliation rather than breaking out.

"The game can't be fractured, it has to heal and come together as one, I have to establish positive working relationships with RFL that recognises Super League's responsibility to the wider game but equally we have to set bar highly for the RFL," Elstone added.

"We need them to be best in class around rules, compliance and referees. We have to be brilliant at developing commercial focus, but we need to work together."

There had been whispers earlier in the season that the future of funding for Championship and League One clubs could be changed.

But all parties were keen to point out the broadcast agreement the sport has with television broadcaster Sky would remain in place.

"There is a commitment, that financial security is in place for the entirety of the broadcasting deal," Elstone said.

Saints chairman McManus added: "We've been in discussions in recent months with the RFL directly and ultimately with the Championship clubs and with the funding they take out of Super League at this point in time will remain in place, it has been agreed."

Elstone said the sport could learn something from the way the football structure works in England, where a strong top flight filters down interest throughout the leagues.

"If we can create a much stronger Super League and grow that cake, if we can raise interest in the top flight competition then that benefits all," he continued.

"The obvious analogy is football with Premier League and the Championship is the fifth or sixth most-watched league

"Football and rugby league are vastly different economics, but ultimately the attraction of the Premier League, where every kid, boy or girl from whatever ground is obsessed by Premier League football, drives them into stadiums to watch at clubs like Barnsley, Crewe or Chester.

"We are never going to get to that level but it's a model we can aspire to."
/quote]

Thoughts? Where does it leave us?
Re: Super 8’s scrapped from 2019
Post Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:02 pm
Posted by northernbloke on Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:02 pm
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Where does it leave us? It leaves us in the same position as every other club that wants promotion, we are no different from anyone else.
All depends on how much money you have to spend to get the players you need to top the league and win any comp that is put in place to decide who goes up, or comes down.
Re: Super 8’s scrapped from 2019
Post Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:56 pm
Posted by jbuzza on Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:56 pm
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northernbloke wrote:
Where does it leave us?
Not sure it makes any difference to us. DH isn't going to fund a SL standard squad.
Re: Super 8’s scrapped from 2019
Post Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:59 pm
Posted by northernbloke on Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:59 pm
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What about the next owner?
DH is not going to be around forever.
Re: Super 8’s scrapped from 2019
Post Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:18 pm
Posted by Call Me God on Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:18 pm
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It makes little difference to us or our aspirations or lack of them. Without the Argyle/Beaumont aggressive buying of a squad and bankrolling further when promoted we will shuffle along in the upper half of the 2nd tier until our retired owner vanishes.......and then it's down to the Skolars level and beyond.

What it means for the game is that the top teams (Wigan/Saints/Leeds/Wire/FC) with the sustainable business model will grow, the middle sides (Castleford, Catalan) will strive and the rest will scramble to avoid the drop like they did back in the day and when the money men die off, the likes of Huddersfield, Salford, Wakefield, Widnes and Toronto will join us chasing scraps from the top table......it's all about financial sustainability.....something we've never been good at.
JESUS WEPT :WALL: HOW MANY TIMES?????
£20 a ticket and £15 on beer and merchandise.....so an away fan is worth £35. At best, 1,000 is the average away support split across 11 rounds and I am being really generous here, so Toronto, replacing say Wakefield will cost a SL club £35,000.
The minimum turnover of a SL club is £4,000,000 so Toronto instead of Widnes is worth less than 1% of a SL clubs turnover.

There are many valid reasons for and against expansion into America, but "AWAY FANS" isn't one of them. :BEAT:
Re: Super 8’s scrapped from 2019
Post Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:24 am
Posted by Riverside Red on Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:24 am
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Based on this statement the Denver game should be scrapped, as it's main aim is to promote the international expansion of the UK game. We will be cast adrift along with Fev, Halifax, Dewsbury etc., if the new clubs are allowed the same open cheque book that Toronto have enjoyed.

The "RFL" need to regain control of the sport and run it in all members interests, but current and potential. That will need a new Chairman, board and CEO as a precursor.
Re: Super 8’s scrapped from 2019
Post Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:11 am
Posted by Honkytonk on Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:11 am
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How are they deciding the one up from the Championship?? Is it the top side, or is it a play off between the Top 2/4 to see who goes up. If it is top 1 it will just be the relegated side going back up each season (thanks to their parachute payment) probably (or the new North American team that joins)
Re: Super 8’s scrapped from 2019
Post Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:19 am
Posted by nadera78 on Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:19 am
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The suggestion is the MPG will still be there (hopefully with a less cringeworthy name) with the winner being promoted.
Re: Super 8’s scrapped from 2019
Post Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:36 am
Posted by northernbloke on Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:36 am
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Looks like they are going for a top 2 play off game to decide who goes up. That will not last long I would imagine folk will be up in arms when the team that finishes second wins the one off game to go up.
Re: Super 8’s scrapped from 2019
Post Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:37 am
Posted by jbuzza on Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:37 am
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northernbloke wrote:
What about the next owner?
DH is not going to be around forever.


I would rather we had a club that was sustainable in its own right but we seem a long way from that now.

I seem to remember Lenegan saying at one point that break even would require an average gate of around 5,000. We were achieving that at the start of the SL era and had the potential of doing so towards the end of our time at Griffin Park and in the early years back at The Stoop.

Since then attendances have steadily declined and while costs in the Championship are less so is the income from away fans and TV.

Our attendance history suggests that being sustainable in London requires a competitive SL team. Clearly DH is no longer willing or able to make the sort of investment required for that and perhaps will only fund a part-time Championship side going forward.

In the absence of a new owner who could make the required investment (clearly at considerable risk) we will continue to rely DH and possibly decline further.

Having said all of that, I would rather watch a reasonably competitive Championship side than a poor SL team like we had during the later years at The Stoop and at The Hive.
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