"Championship clubs are being ‘sold down the river’ by RFU"

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"Championship clubs are being ‘sold down the river’ by RFU"

08 Apr 2021 11:31 am:

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Re: "Championship clubs are being ‘sold down the river’ by R

08 Apr 2021 12:02 pm:

The other side of ring-fencing, and why I remain completely opposed to it. I understand the arguments in favour, but they all seem predicated by 'How do we keep the sugar-daddies sweet?'
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Re: "Championship clubs are being ‘sold down the river’ by R

08 Apr 2021 12:37 pm:

Mark Dudley wrote:The other side of ring-fencing, and why I remain completely opposed to it. I understand the arguments in favour, but they all seem predicated by 'How do we keep the sugar-daddies sweet?'


+1

There are some great clubs in the championship, well run, with plenty of talented players all impacted by ring fencing. If the ring fencing remains the best the clubs can hope for is to become a feeder club for a premiership team. This isn't in England Rugby's best interests.
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Re: "Championship clubs are being ‘sold down the river’ by R

08 Apr 2021 17:37 pm:

If you want to see Premiership clubs (including our own) go to the wall as a result of being relegated after one bad season, then fine. I would love to see two fully professional thriving divisions, but it just isn’t realistic at present.

That said, ring-fencing shouldn’t mean the Championship is cut off. There should be a defined criteria which if a Championship club can achieve (financial stability, stadium, growth potential, long-term sustainability), then they can gain admission to the Premiership.
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Re: "Championship clubs are being ‘sold down the river’ by R

08 Apr 2021 17:51 pm:

I completely understand Jon Sharp's point, but when he acknowledges that only a few of the Championship clubs have aspirations to go higher;

There are one or two clubs in this division who have no ambition to go any further. That’s fine, you expect that. But why should Pirates, Ealing and Coventry – we’re not ready yet but in another five years we probably will be – have to be branded the same?

Then the RFU will continue to underfund this league for as long as they can get away with it.

However, with Gloucester's trials and tribulations in the league and the upheavals affected by COVID and a total change of the coaching staff, potential relegation for a club like Gloucester could see the club going bust, which has been implied by Lance if relegation had not been suspended this season. Furthermore, in the current climate this is possibly the case for a few of the Premiership clubs. I for one am happy to see the Premiership ring-fenced if it means Gloucester can recover and become a fully sustainable business. Have the crowds turned away from Super Rugby down under or our Celtic and Italian cousins Pro 14 competition with no relegation? I think this is inevitable for the Premiership and is only a matter of time.

And if Pirates, Ealing and Coventry want to join the Premiership as they meet the criteria, then expand the League. From an International perspective, 15 professional clubs feeding the England team can only be of benefit.

I know there's posters here who will strongly disagree with me, but until relegation was suspended this year, it was a serious possibility. And I for one want to continue watching Premiership and European Rugby at Kingsholm indefinitely.
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Re: "Championship clubs are being ‘sold down the river’ by R

08 Apr 2021 18:03 pm:

Mark Dudley wrote:The other side of ring-fencing, and why I remain completely opposed to it. I understand the arguments in favour, but they all seem predicated by 'How do we keep the sugar-daddies sweet?'


+2

I do feel for the championship clubs like Coventry, Ealing, Pirates, Nottingham etc

Who have spent money, time and developed players/ grounds etc in order to get promoted/progress.

I have no idea you build a squad or club fit for the prem if you no idea when you might be allowed in.

Its a bit like the Italy/Georgia six nations debate.

I really don't like the idea of championship clubs becoming feeder clubs whether formally or informally. As it was benefit some of the prem clubs more than others.

Griffin I guess that is the point of the championship clubs, some of them are working towards the criteria it just doesn't happen over night. On a side note some of the prem clubs don't match up to your list!

Like other have said I get the reasons for ring fencing but I'm not sure making the gap between the prem and the championship bigger benefits anyone in the long run.

What happens if one of the big boys suddenly goes bust due to mis management or a investor pulling out where would you get the new club from?
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Re: "Championship clubs are being ‘sold down the river’ by R

08 Apr 2021 18:10 pm:

[Have the crowds turned away from Super Rugby down under or our Celtic and Italian cousins Pro 14 competition with no relegation? I think this is inevitable for the Premiership and is only a matter of time.]

In Australia - yes very much so. The game is dying, maybe not completely down to super rugby. But it is such a shame. They don't really even play at school boy level in many areas of Aus now.

Let's be honest the pro 14 is a mess of a competition and most of the clubs are proped up by the unions and playershaving to play in country to get capped. Its not a model to follow.
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Re: "Championship clubs are being ‘sold down the river’ by R

08 Apr 2021 18:22 pm:

Thaddeus Griffin, I agree.

In principle, relegation and promotion is healthy. But pre covid there wasn't much profit in the game for Club owners, let alone now and we've seen this week Exeter's financial situation - I await Gloucester Rugby's accounts !

There has to be some pragmatism and a realistic view about the sustainability of the game. Why would anyone invest on a 1 year basis with the risk of relegation ?

The only way to resolve the issue is to have a fully pro and competitive Championship. But who is to fund it ? The RFU right now can't.
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Re: "Championship clubs are being ‘sold down the river’ by R

08 Apr 2021 18:27 pm:

If any positives can be taken out of this year from Covid it is that it has made people stop and think about where they are going and question the direction. Let's face it, rugby has over the years leveraged every inch of commercial gain it can - like many businesses these days there is no contingency in place for those rainy days. I hope that this is the lesson learnt - and I think Gloucester are on that road ... by design or otherwise. What I didn't see coming was the ring-fencing. I think no relegation is fair enough for this season ... but I don't think it should extend beyond that. I also think that if a club goes bust from relegation then they've got their financial strategy wrong - don't live beyond your means, don't sign long-term contracts without get out clauses, don't take on large debt to expand ... and don't take anything for granted. (Call me old-fashioned)
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Re: "Championship clubs are being ‘sold down the river’ by R

08 Apr 2021 18:41 pm:

IF the money Jon Sharp wants given by the RFU (and PRL) - I think he wants £1m per Championship club pa - were then spent by them on facilities, expanding the wider club in the community, running a Colts team and a Women's team ie; sustainable features, rather than all on player's salaries in a one team club then I would have some sympathy. And the finances have to be stable and secured to avoid re-runs of Leeds, London Welsh and others going bust mid-season.

I don't support perpetual ring-fencing and think it 1) Can stifle competition 2) Makes end-of-season games dead-rubbers 3) Kills ambition.

So for me, post-Covid, I support this one-year moratorium with a possibility of expansion to a 13/14 team Premiership in the next 2 seasons and then regular re-assessment of teams via relegation and Play-Offs.

And any Championship club aspiring to Premiership has to pass Minimum Standards Criteria - including annually those clubs already in the Premiership. Have to be sustainable....

I would also suggest from what he says that the Championship clubs aren't exactly united in what they want. Sounds like a nest of vipers (adders). They should sort themselves out before acting as one body....
Last edited by Gloucester Mute on 08 Apr 2021 19:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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