> >> Having seen a few more games in the Super League and it still all
> >> seeming the same to me I have thought about how I think Super League
> >> should be. Now I started to give this some htought when I read they
> >> were trying to get teams on board from Cardiff, Milan, Barcelona and
> >> Dublin.
> >> How I see it is for the league to run 2 competitions, Super League and
> >> good old normal rugby League, Super League would be played from March
> >> to May and would comprise of 12 teams and would be the curtain raiser
> >> for the normal League season. THere would be 11 teams who would play
> >> each other once, five home and five away. The basis for the way this
> >> competiton would run would be the Super 12. Ther would be a maximum of
> >> four clubs from the League heartlands, one from Cumbria, one from
> >> Lancs, one from Yorks and one from Cheshire but also taking in the
> >> Midlands. The other teams would be Milan, Barcelona, Paris, London,
> >> Cardiff, Dublin and the winner of a tournament between Europe's
> >> emerging nations. Players could be apportioned by the SL to the
> >> relevant teams, or the teams could make contracts with the relevant
> >> players. Each team having a limit of say 26 players in a squad. All
> >> players could be drawn from the current pool of talent. It is no good
> >> sticking a team in Dublin and filling it full of Union players, as you
> >> won't get the better players and they would struggle. Why not augment
> >> a few home born playes with what is available in League at the moment.
> >> League can learn from the Super 12 and other competitions the way they
> >> are organised and run.
> >> All teams would be funded directly by the Super League from TV rights.
> >> In future the competiton could expand further into Germany, the
> >> BENELUX nations and Portugal.
> >> Then once the Super LEague had finished it could be back to the good
> >> old doemstic competition.
> > IMO you've got the whole idea the wrong way round. SL must be
> >presented as the premier competition, not as a curtain raiser for
> >something less. If anything SL should last the full summer season with the
> >old traditional comp being a ten week (or whatever) curtain raiser to it
> >in January and February.
> Well I would have no problem with that but I was thinking in terms of
> putting it the other way round for two reasons
> 1- To generate alot of interest Europe wide for the respective home
> League seasons.
> 2 - For the respective countries then to have their own season of
> League with League having had the interest from point one but also for
> the sport to grow and develop there has to be a structure in say
> Italy/Spain/wherever. It is not sufficient just to put a team in Milan
> and then that is it. The sport will need players coming through and a
> six/eight/ten team doemstic tournament, following on from SL, would
> serve 2 purposes (providing it had adequate coverage), this would be
> to maintain interest in the sport and to help find and provide
> suitable home grown talent for the SL teams. There should also be
> targets set for local content in each team say 3 players in 1998, 5
> players in 1999, and so on.
> Do you know that the propsed Barcelona side would comprise totally of
> French players from the Perpignan region. What good is that ?
Forgive me for being pessimistic but I doubt that any European
domestic comp (with the possible exception of France) is going to ever
generate any significant interest. Yes they may (and hopefully will) be
productive development areas but they will amount to no more than a local
semi social comp or BARLA type league in the public's eyes. Any decent
patronage/income/competition will only be at the elite level and that can
only be (at least till the mid 21st century IMO) the European SL. I
totally agree with you on the introduction of local quotas or say gradual
reducing import quotas to get the local talent thru to the top tier but
this is not to say that any comp which this talent comes from below the SL
will ever be a premier level professional comp or even be self supporting.
Just as an aside, when expansion teams were brought into the ARL
the effect on the local comps was usually an intial decrease in the
standard of the comp due to player drain to the new club followed by a
gradual increase in strength as other players transfered to the comp to
get noticed by the elite club. Patronage and income were either damaged or
remained about the same but were never increased as once people had access
to the elite comp they were no longer interested in the local league, even
when the elite team was not playing.
> > One of the big problems (apart from lack of TV coverage) that the
> >Super 12 and its predecessors have is the shotened season. The Super 12
> >has been a strong challenger to the ARL comp but it's only got to half way
> >thru the season then disappeared losing all its public momentum to allow
> >the league Origin, Test and Finals series to continue unopposed. Wait six
> >weeks and Union will hardly get a mention.
> As I don't live in the SH I cannot speak with any authority but I
> would have thought the publicity from the S12 and the domestic test
> series would have helped keep the momentum going. I also think in 2 -
> 3 years time Super 12 will be like the optus cup in Australia/NZ is
> now. But I see SL in the UK as not just being a UK version of the
> Optus Cup but also as a springboard to develop the game in Europe. I
> also think that the aim for the Super League as I would like to see it
> would be to be replaced in 5 - 10 years time with a genuine European
> Cup and European Cup Winners Cup style of tournament played on a
> League basis, or to have these tournaments as knockout tournaments and
> to run during the domestic League seasons in Europe.
I doubt the S12 will be a serious competitor to RL whilst it
remains on pay TV (which most of the country can't get yet) and whilst it
only plays half a season. A test series does spike the interest for a
couple of days but that is all. There is nothing like a 6-9 month league
comp to maintain the public spotlight.
> > I also think turning the SL teams into virtual rep sides (by the
> >apportioning of players from the domestic comp) would lose a lot of the
> >club-player identity the fans attach themselves to. IMO the better way
> >would be to have the players signed with SL clubs released to the
> >pre-season domestic comp and assigned clubs there.
> > Either way, if SL is to be of any use to the development and
> >expansion of the game then it must be presented as the premier comp not as
> >some pre-season add on. As is plainly proved by looking at crowds below
> >any elite RL comp (be it ARL, SL) the people are not motivated to go and
> >watch second best.
> I am propsing to use SL to develop the game in Europe and the crowds
> to an extent would be a secondary concern. Raising awareness and
> generating interest is what matters. Give the tickets away free to
> local schools and colleges, use any money generated to fund kit and
> training equipment for "emerging nations".
A) I don't think it would generate and maintain the interest in
the form you are proposing and B) I don't think Murdoch would be
interested in funding it merely as a development tool.
> > Just a final observation (and I'm not accusing anybody here). I've
> >seen a lot of people saying that nothing is different under SL yet they
> >all seem to want things to return to the way they used to be with the
> >comp still firmly confined to England's north (the bad old days IMO).
> >There seems to be an unwillingness to accept that the changes and the
> >money of Murdoch were desparatly needed and have been good for the game
> >from the wider perspective. Just a thought, others probably disagree...
> Without Murdochs money, League as we know it would be dead anyway. The
> whole problem I have with SL at the moment is that it has been sold as
> something new when it patently is not. Use SL as a springboard to
> develop the game in Europe, use the new harmonious relationship with
> Union to get a foothold in other european nations and then set the
> ball rolling, it won't stop.
If it's the same why are people arguing to go back to the way it
was, ie. a domestic comp? Anyway, two new teams, four less overall, summer
season, new rules, etc. - sounds at least partly new to me. I'd be sold
on the summer season alone. In the end it comes down to the fact that IMO
SL will not work to spread the game in the form you are proposing. Nothing
Catchya round, Leigh
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* Leigh T. Gillespie * "It takes leather balls *
* Phone - Australia (077) 791219 * to play Rugby!" *
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