Forward: Mitchell on English club scene.

Forward: Mitchell on English club scene.

Post by John Willia » Wed, 04 Mar 1998 04:00:00

Some opionions on the English club scene from an interested "outsider".
Taken from The Sporting Life webpage


                By Steven Baker, PA Sport

                Sale boss John Mitchell has launched a scathing attack on
                the state of English club rugby.

                The England forwards coach, whose side are in the
                semi-finals of the Tetley's Bitter Cup for the second year
                in a row, has blasted the structure of the season and
                fixture list - and warned clubs could go to the wall as a

                But Mitchell has also criticised trigger-happy owners too
                willing to fire coaches who fail to deliver the goods, and
                complained that success in Premiership One is entirely
                dependent on money. He conceded his club cannot
                compete with the game's big spenders.

                Mitchell's outburst comes during the most turbulent
                season in the game's history in England, with players,
                coaches and chairmen all unhappy at the number of
                games teams are being forced to play.

                The former All Black tourist said: "The only game we've
                played at home in the last five weeks has been in the
                Cheltenham and Gloucester Cup. We're playing away
                from home all the time.

                "Our clubs can't survive - I don't know how Sale survive,
                to be honest. The structure needs to be looked at."

                Alan Davies became the fourth former international coach
                to leave a Premiership One club this season when his
                term as Bristol boss ended at the weekend.

                Mitchell believes coaches are under too much pressure to
                deliver the goods straight away and club chiefs are
                looking for short-term gains rather than long-term
                benefits, citing sacked Leicester coach Bob Dwyer -
                whose team beat Sale 55-15 in December - as an

                "In a lot of ways Dwyer changed this year, maybe not to
                the extent of winning trophies but they played some
                wonderful rugby at times," said Mitchell.

                "He's brought on a lot of good players and they killed us.
                People need to have a sense of realism. There's only so
                far you can go. But as a coach you're either coming in or
                waiting to come in - and I'm happy in-between."

                The Cheshire club are currently seventh in Allied Dunbar
                Premiership One and their dreams of mounting a
                championship challenge are long gone.

                This season's title race has turned into a two-horse affair,
                with affluent Saracens and Newcastle well ahead of the
                chasing pack.

                Mitchell says the gulf between the haves and have nots in
                the English club game is getting bigger all the time - and
                he cannot see the situation improving.

                "We can't win the League and the gap is widening in the
                top division because it's not a level playing field," said

                "Unless you've got the finances you can't buy a world XV
                - against Saracens last week we had players from
                Manchester, Ebbw Vale and Metrovick against
                world-class players. I've got to sit back and think my
                players are giving it their best shot.

                "Clubs with finances are going to be the best teams in the
                competition - that's a fact of life. We have to try and
                create a level playing field, but at the moment that's how it


All the best

John Williams.


Forward: Mitchell on English club scene.

Post by Booni » Thu, 05 Mar 1998 04:00:00

>                "Unless you've got the finances you can't buy a world XV
>                - against Saracens last week we had players from
>                Manchester, Ebbw Vale and Metrovick against
>                world-class players.

Like 'Big Ben' Sturnham from St. Albans?
Boonie -
Darts,Beer,Saracens Fez Boys - The Official Sponsors of Tony Copsey.