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Saddened! Member for 19 years
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Re: IMG : Mon Oct 03, 2022 5:35 pm  
WYSIWYG2 wrote:
It won't matter what you do. IMG will want franchises for big city teams through Britain. They won't want small town teams. Over the 12 year period they will have a top league of franchised teams. The heartlands will be the feeder teams. The project is being run by an Aussie and he will implement the Aussie model. IMG will target a fresh young audience of new spectators. IMG will want the game played in big cities mainly in modern stadiums before 20,000 plus crowds. Initially, IMG will tart it up so you think your club has a chance but the carrot will move farther and farther away during the 12 year period. London, Newcastle, Hull, Leeds, Saints, Wiggin are safe. Doubt anyone else will be safe unless they merge.


I understand there being a degree of paranoia about, but the IMG proposals seem to be better thought out than the previous iteration of franchising. They aren't saying they're going to hand out 14 licences and sod the rest, teams will have the carrot dangled of achieving an 'A' category rating. The key bit of information about what that entails was missing and that bit is crucial, but overall it makes sense.

Whilst everyone is guessing, it's pretty clear that not many sides will be given a category A licence. Saints, Wigan, Leeds, Warrington, possibly Catalans seem to be the only likely ones. That leaves 7 spaces open for the initial 12 club Super League. That means there are 7 Super League clubs and potentially another 4 or 5 in the pyramid with ambition who will be eyeing an 'A' category licence. So there is a massive emphasis on those clubs and fans of those clubs should be asking them to improve. If they won't improve, they need to be asking them why. The likes of Wakefield and Cas have recently got council funding for ground developments. 20 years overdue but it's happening.

Leigh are a good example of a club with good facilities and good results on the field having won the Championship. If they can go up and achieve competitive status and attract better crowds than before they have a shout. If they can initially stay up, then finish 6th, attract an 8,000 average by year 2 and not go bust in the process, they'd have a massive shout for permanent status (Depending on the criteria of course). I have my doubts as to whether it'll happen, but would welcome being proven wrong as SL would be improved.

It goes without saying that the criteria is the most important question now. I'd like to think there's a process to it. I.e Stadium, crowds, success on the field, community work, academy setup, finances being the main criteria. If you're Leigh you fail on academy setup as you don't have a scholarship system, but you score well (enough?) on all the other aspects. So that permits you to submit proposals for a full academy setup etc, which the proven success of which then provides an A licence etc.

The bit about expanding SL to 14 clubs if there are 14 A category clubs is a key bit too. If they ever manage to get SL to that point, then they'll have had a great success. If we're at 12 still in 10 years it's probably failed (Or been changed three times like usually happens). This is where the door left ajar (hopefully) for investment in either new teams or existing teams. I.e a major investment in London or York or Wales etc, none of the Super League sides need to miss out if they can get their own standards up.

One thing they didn't really mention is some form of protection for promoted sides. Leigh have just come up by spending a lot more than the other clubs on players. Half of the good ones will now have to be released to comply with the SL quota rules. Why not exempt the promoted sides so they have a chance to be competitive and stay up? They can phase it out down to the required quota eventually. Seems daft we allow a club to invest to be promoted then put barriers up which prevent them being competitive.

On the whole they seem a good idea. If I were a SL club owner that isn't going to be A rated, I'd be looking at how we can improve and how we can be creative and get outside investment in to boost the club towards that goal. Of course there will be clubs for whom it's unobtainable (Batley's owner having a rant this week about the M62 and not wanting outsiders etc) but it's unobtainable for them as it is anyway. They might fluke promotion, but it'd be a one season ride to bankruptcy.
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Re: IMG : Tue Oct 04, 2022 4:09 pm  
Super League 2022 average attendances
1st: Leeds - 12,940,
2nd: Wigan - 12,278,
3rd: St Helens - 11,851,
4th: Hull FC - 10,763,
5th: Warrington: 8,719,
6th: Catalans - 8,068,
7th: Hull KR - 7,788,
8th: Castleford - 7,542,
9th: Huddersfield - 5,144,
10th: Toulouse - 4,974,
11th: Wakefield - 4,613,
12th: Salford - 4,529
micktheleyther Member for 1 year



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Re: IMG : Tue Oct 04, 2022 6:03 pm  
I think we'll average 6k+ next season. Maybe 7k+ if we have a really good year.
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Re: IMG : Tue Oct 04, 2022 9:33 pm  
In reply to the Saints fan, Saddened, of course IMG will tart their ideas up to be the saviour of RL to get the clubs to vote for it. Years down the line, when it is too late, the heartlands will be feeder clubs for the franchised clubs installed in strategic cities through Britain. It won't happen overnight, but this is their ultimate goal. Years from now, Saints may be merged with Wire and Widnes to form a franchise in Liverpool.

IMG's proposals have little difference to the Richard Lewis fiasco. They want licensing, franchises and mergers. They will change the criteria at a whim to stop small town teams progressing in favour of new franchises in strategic geographical areas. It's so obvious.
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Re: IMG : Tue Oct 04, 2022 11:15 pm  
WYSIWYG2 wrote:
In reply to the Saints fan, Saddened, of course IMG will tart their ideas up to be the saviour of RL to get the clubs to vote for it. Years down the line, when it is too late, the heartlands will be feeder clubs for the franchised clubs installed in strategic cities through Britain. It won't happen overnight, but this is their ultimate goal. Years from now, Saints may be merged with Wire and Widnes to form a franchise in Liverpool.

IMG's proposals have little difference to the Richard Lewis fiasco. They want licensing, franchises and mergers. They will change the criteria at a whim to stop small town teams progressing in favour of new franchises in strategic geographical areas. It's so obvious.

Two things that didn't work previously are Licensing and Mergers. Hull and Gateshead, Huddersfield and Sheffield great mergers from history. The smaller club starts again and the larger clubs nick the franchise.

Other great ideas involve having one Cumbrian team, or Wigan and Leigh merge. Wigley Warriors would no doubt play at DW Stadium and play in Cherry and White hoops. One club would die and the supporters of the smaller club never accept the bigger.

Following other IMG initiatives in Basketball, the main revenue stream is through TV deals. IMG can offer streaming services and could effectively snuff out SKY, Premier Sports and Channel 4 if they are not providing the funds or growing the sport.

IMG have been monitoring Social Media and if they are alert, they will notice the healthy attendance at the LSV for the Grand Final but will be surprised at the lack of chatter from Leigh Fans on the forums, after gaining promotion. All season I have been a regular on the Fev fans forum and they are way busier with postings. This Forum is now dominated by about 15 people, whilst former contributors are off arguing with every other fan on the General Forums. These are exciting times we should be posting about the next season in Super League.
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Re: IMG : Wed Oct 05, 2022 7:55 pm  
Easier said than done, Sep. At this point (partly because of the pending quota decision on Lam Jnr) we don't know which players (bar a few) will be released, never mind who we're bringing in.

Fev have an officially announced new head coach. That is obviously something for the fans on TRL to opine and counter-opine about.

When we have solid news, the Leyth faithful will put our tup'n'oth in, be it interestingly thought provoking or pure "British Standard".
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Re: IMG : Wed Oct 05, 2022 10:40 pm  
WYSIWYG2 wrote:
In reply to the Saints fan, Saddened, of course IMG will tart their ideas up to be the saviour of RL to get the clubs to vote for it. Years down the line, when it is too late, the heartlands will be feeder clubs for the franchised clubs installed in strategic cities through Britain. It won't happen overnight, but this is their ultimate goal. Years from now, Saints may be merged with Wire and Widnes to form a franchise in Liverpool.

IMG's proposals have little difference to the Richard Lewis fiasco. They want licensing, franchises and mergers. They will change the criteria at a whim to stop small town teams progressing in favour of new franchises in strategic geographical areas. It's so obvious.


I don't see where your paranoia is coming from on the big city clubs. They didn't even mention that in the proposals and there is even a section on limiting the number of overseas clubs. It simply isn't going to happen.

Lets play pretend though and if in years down the line, people are talking about needing to merge Saints, Widnes and Warrington to compete with the big boys in the sport, don't you think the sport will be in a better place? The players would be better paid in that example, it'd be a bigger deal on TV and in the media and tens of thousands must be watching it for it to be attracting so many big cities and so much investment. I'd love nothing more than to see Saints in that position because there are 12 clubs with attendances in the 20,000s+. Doubt I'd be a fan of a 'Liverpool' franchise though, unless they played in blue and left out the name Liverpool.
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Re: IMG : Wed Oct 05, 2022 10:58 pm  
Sorry, Saddened, it's already nailed on as Liverpool Stanley, playing in all red and a dedicated phonetics coach to drum an unbearably loathsome accent into the players regardless of their origin.

As Jack Straw might say, "These IMGers are always up to something!" :wink:

Congrats to Saints on yet another GF victory.
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Re: IMG : Fri Oct 07, 2022 7:30 am  
Think one of the issues over the years has been clubs just using sky money on players for first team and not anything wider. A category criteria may change this if applied fairly but in the past that was not really done. The Academy is an issue as Leigh we’re declined one which is ridiculous given the amount of local amateur and junior teams in the area. Hopefully the IMG will proposals will help grow the game. One thing not mentioned much is marketing this is very lacking in RL generally the improved TV coverage has been great this year particularly free to view C4.
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Re: IMG : Fri Oct 07, 2022 12:29 pm  
Once upon a time, Rugby League was a bigger sport than Rugby Union. Rugby Union clubs used to get 5 men and a dog turn up to club matches, and the players officially earned nowt. Big names from Union came to League to earn an honest crust and found the game to be enjoyable but considerably tougher than they expected (see Jonathan Davies).

Rugby League formed Super League in 1996 the year after Rugby Union went professional. From that point onwards Rugby League has been on a downward trajectory. Rugby Union has all the things that IMG would like to see in Rugby League - large national media interest, average attendances of 10,748 (although way down on pre-pandemic figures), international games, European club competitions and plenty of TV coverage. The downside is the game is that it is absolutely riddled with debt, currently standing at £510 Million amongst all the clubs.

If IMG can raise standards in Rugby League to average attendances of 10,000, increase TV Coverage (possibly through IMG streaming services) and increase the number of International games, then it might be a good solid base to assail Rugby Union and without the debt.

Rugby Union has a huge problem with needing 15 players and 8 reserves for any given match, needing to have huge squads and with wages on a spiral out of control. It is hard to see how long this situation can prevail. Rugby League recognised the issue of player numbers back in 1895 and realised that by removing flankers they would only have to pay 13 people instead of 15. The end results proved to be a faster more enjoyable game.
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