£16 million bailout for RL
That will be £15.9 million for SL and £100k for everyone else
Just thinking how flexible the terminology becomes! 'Rugby League' suddenly includes 'Super League' but it doesn't neccesarily work in the opposite direction!
First of all well done to RFL in getting this Government loan, probably against all predictions.
What they do with the funding is another matter. The loan bid was based on the long history of a community based sport. The use of funds should reflect this.
It is no good the likes of McManus, Moran, Hudgell and Beaumont pleading for support, when they have created the development of the sport to the brink of extinction (even before corona virus) outside SL.
SL itself is unsustainable, in the longer term, reliant on the Sky contract (and wealthy owners) to sustain the over hyped SL and the payments made to Executives, Directors, Coaches and players. Let McManus and co put their hands in their pockets to bale out their pet projects, if they wish.
It may well be that in the short term, some priority needs to be given to getting the game back on Sky to ensure the payment from Sky for this season. There should, however, be a commitment that any Sky funding would be used to support the game in the wider community and not just the 12 SL teams. There may also be some scope to agree a tv deal with Sky, the BBC or anyone else, for Championship games to be televised to enable Championship games to be played as soon as possible, if necessary, behind closed doors.
There should be an immediate decision to bring RL in the UK under one body, the RFL; a commitment from RFL to review their running costs, with substantial reductions in the salaries paid to Executives; and, similarly, clubs seeking loans should open their books to show their running costs, including payments to Executives, Directors, Coaches and Players, and what action they have taken or propose to take to reduce those costs.
The RFL should start a review of the long term future of the game, seeking views from current and past players, fans and others currently wanting to get behind the future existence and development of the game in the UK. We should be aiming to promote the game in the UK - Cumbria, the Midlands, the North East, the Midlands and the South, as well as in Scotland, Ireland and Wales - before the current expansion in North America. It would be great if the game can be promoted in North America, with a North American league, but the current project is simply not sustainable.
My view is that we should be going back to a format of two leagues - say 16 and 14 - with any central funding fairly distributed to all clubs, with additional payments for league position, success in cup games and also to fund successful initiatives to promote the game locally, including maintaining an Academy. This will inevitably mean a return to a semi-professional or a mix of full-time and part-time and a reduction in the high salaries currently paid by a few clubs. It would probably mean a reduction in the number of overseas players, which may encourage the development of home grown players.
The SL project has failed and the current crisis has only brought forward its demise. There is a need to review the future of the game and if this means looking backwards to improve the game then so be it. There would still be scope for developing the game in North America and other places; and there well be a place in the future for a wider world championship series, with top teams in national leagues competing the a world championship. At this time. however, we need to give priority to saving and promoting the game in the UK - and not just 12 SL clubs.
Could not put it better myself... lets hope we dont get the scraps
also a loan sounds good but in itsself must be sustanable to manage the repayments
and due to the low interest rate may be a help to poorer clubs
Agree wholeheartedly but my rather jaundiced view doubts the ability of the RFL hierarchy to plan far enough ahead to achieve your aims.
Sky rescued the 'big' clubs with clever backers who had run themselves into debt with the contract system. Those backers or their successors haven't changed their objectives or their ability. Their clubs are run on the basis of a Sky handout every year and they won't want to change that anytime soon.
The game should have used its Sky bonus as shelter while they re-organised the game nationally but once their noses were in the trough it was all systems go again!
The sad truth is that there are insufficient supporters behind some clubs to pay for the clubs existence. We are only there because the town still has a longing for a RL team to compete at the top level and enough of its citizens put their hands in their pockets last year. The Board must still wonder how long that support will hang on because without it we will sink. Some means will have to be found to resolve that imbalance. Maybe that is what Lindsay was trying to do with his merger proposals.
One option could be that attendances form a bigger part of the P/R decisions?
The RFL must take over the game, reduce upper echelons pay structure, get rid of ridiculous soccer style delusions of grandeur and get back to our roots. It will be hard for full time players to become part timers and may deprive us of some Aussie imports, but we still had players such as Anderson, Cleal etc in the part time era.
Frankly I can't see any major changes taking place!
The Wakefield Chairman has said he isn't taking it up so he is not saddling the club with more debt....
I assume Hudgell's little hissy fit about getting rid of some clubs now won't happen because the premise of the loan is to protect community clubs.
Have to say, speaking personally, I've gone right off watching SL the last 5 years, notwithstanding our demise, its boring, the presentation is poor and I really don't like the sense of entitlement of Elstone and his cronies. Compare the quality of football across the League in 2002 to 2020, and it is worse.
That being said, we nearly went bust 14 months ago and I don't wish that on any RL Club.
RFL in doing a good job shocker too!
Seeing a fat pay cheque disappearing is a big motivation!!!!!!
I agree with the sentiments on here, we now have a chance to move forward , only if the RFL grow some.
too many years now SLE have been calling the shots, backed by their sky overlords
If the loan is paid in the right places there may be a future
invest in grass roots rugby, ensure survival of all current amateur teams and then see where we are at return to some type of normality
if at the end West Bank are still putting out a team and Toronto are a distant memory - that will do for me
Can see a conflict between clubs and players who have had wages cut soon too....
In LE its saying that the Players Union want some of it to go towards wages but Rimmer said it was meant to cover shortfalls on top of wage cuts...
Could get messy.
Can see a conflict between clubs and players who have had wages cut soon too…. In LE its saying that the Players Union want some of it to go towards wages but Rimmer said it was meant to cover shortfalls on top of wage cuts… Could get messy.
Clubs that have put players/staff on furlough will already be claiming 80% of wages up to £2,500, which will probably cover most if not all part-time players.
Depending on individual contracts, won't players have to agree to any pay cuts or deferred payments? In this case, clubs may be legally obliged to pay the players or to cancel and pay up the contract in full.
I presume that Elstone, Rimmer and Co have agreed a substantial pay cut, or maybe not.
Elstone has taken a 40% cut.
The GMB representative for the Players Union has said 'if they want real rugby back, we will be demanding real pay back'.
Interesting...but I can't help but think whoever briefed the idea of blacklisting players who didn't agree to cuts in pay has provoked problems.
Well done Elstone - it must be tough surviving on only £240,000 - £20.000 a month!!!!
I reckon that some players in SL will be in for a shock when their current contracts expire. Clubs will be looking to offload the highest earners to save costs.
SL need to accept that there is rugby league outside SL and players of a decent standard playing in the lower leagues on a lot less money.I can understand players not being happy if they are facing cuts in pay, but if they can't accept a pay cut, I am sure that there will be other players willing to take their place.
And that is when the fertilizer will hit the fan. The fancy trappings of SL will have to be cut back and reality restored.
Can't really see where this is going tbh.
SL bosses firing back at the Players Union again today...
But great article from Gareth Walker with the quote of the day saying what makes Wakefield or Salford any more important than Halifax or Widnes just because they are in SL at the moment...Absolutely spot on.
The government hasn't given the RFL £16 million to top up players wages. No other sport has got it and it's recognition for RL's role in the community with for example health initiatives.
RL is the focal point or community hub if you like for many less well off northern towns. I would include Widnes in that list, just look at the community reaction last year when the club was in danger.
I feel for the SL players but if Leeds for example have to play behind closed doors with such a big expensive stadium that they own, rather than having 15,000 paying fans how are they going to pay the players? The sky money on its own is relative peanuts by modern standards. Also they can't hire the stadium out for other events like pop concerts, boxing matches etc so another source of revenue lost.
It could bring the SL and Championship closer together, a half decent paying job combined with an attractive part time playing contract could see Championship players on similar money to a lot of SL players, with the added benefit of a job to continue after retirement at say 34/35 years old. It's a bit of a mess, but how can SL clubs offer or honour contracts for next season, when at this stage they have no idea if by February crowds will be allowed to attend matches again?