Post-Apocalyptic Rugby Structures



  • I’m starting a new thread. For some ideas on how you’d like to see rugby organized after we come out of coronavirus.
    Maybe so the fantasy ideas like mine, don’t get lost in the real-world discussions ….

    So, while the official talk is of boring stuff like. Temporary domestic Super Rugby franchises playing in a one-off tournament. Or a one-off Trans-Tasman bubble tournament. What is the stuff you’d really like to see?



  • I’m of the opinion that European rugby is going to be crippled financially for years. The other side of owning infrastructure (stadiums and even hotels), and the debt that can come with it, is in play now.

    While a crisis, it is a crisis that may allow SH nations to restructure without outside forces interfering for a period of time.

    NZ and Australia could be quite nimble, they don’t own infrastructure but they have access to council and government infrastructure. Like 1995/96 they could set up a new tournament in 6 months if they wanted. South Africa has historically had provincial union ownership of their awesome stadiums.



  • In this ranting post from another thread, https://www.forum.thesilverfern.com/post/443174

    I put my position that too much concentration by the rich unions (E.g. England having only 13 professional clubs) puts the squeeze on the not as richer nations (E.g. NZ can never viably expand beyond 5 professional franchises with that kind of concentrated competition)

    I'll have a bit of sympathy for some French clubs if they were to get into difficulty. That is genuinely popular league with big crowds and a good TV deal, and there are lots of clubs (14 in the top division plus a bigger Pro D2 division). Although, this is said by me with plenty of ignorance of the financial viabilty of the league. There's about 30 pro clubs in France employing untolds of Fijians, Georgians, Argentinians etc with no impact on their national availability (Athough, ironically, the JIFF regulations will impact negatively on that but positively on SANZAAR).

    But I wouldn't have any sympathy for the English clubs. From Day 1 in 1996 when they went pro they started paying double the going rate of the only other professional rugby in the world at that time, and have never been in profit or balance since in the subsequent 25 years.

    They aren't genuinely successful and popular like the French league. Instead they have 1/4 of their own league that can't keep up with their own sugar-daddied unsutainable lifestyle. The other 3/4s can only keep up so long as they are sugar-daddied up. But only for so long. Plus there is Exeter.

    They don't have a pro second division. They have only 13 teams. 12 in prem and 1 yo-yo-ing up and down for a year versus the semi-pros. So, they aren't employing hoards of T2 players.

    A second division would mean spreading the pie more thinly so that SH nations and Celtic nations could compete financially with Premiership teams coping with a smaller domestic slice of their own pie.

    In the mean time. The extend and pretend premiership removes the ability of the SH teams to have a viable professional domestic competition. Can't compete v 13 pro English teams financially. Might be able to if they tried to support 24 pro teams.

    SH teams had already committed to S12 before all this, so only having 5 pro teams in NZ and SAF - 3 in Aus. So,that isn't their fault. The RFU botched it in 1996, so that isn't their fault either. But the outcome is a disaster.

    If they were genuinely rich and successful, I wouldn't begrudge them. But, they'e done so much damage while just faking it.

    But the best thing that could happen. Is if Europe re-setted to paying more teams/players less, and out of real earnings rather than borrowings or especially pumped in outside-sourced cash. So that SH teams could also pay more players, less.

    If there were e.g. 3 x 10-team professional leagues in NZ, Aus, Saf (instead of with SuperRugby there are currently 13 teams between all 3). If their were 24 pro teams i England rather than 13. If Italy was still an independent 10 team pro league.

    There would be 36 extra pro teams in the world. We wouldn't need the silly Nathan Hughesing, Speighting, Fekitoaing of the PI players by having to be eligible for host union to get a pro contract. As no chance/worry of all your 10s, THPs or hookers being foreign when you have 10 or 24 teams rather than only 5 or 2 teams.

    All of this can/could have come about by just living within your means.



  • To make my position clear. I am not a fan of international club/franchise competitions as the bread and butter of professional rugby for nations large enough to do better.

    I am a fan of international club/franchise competitions as the icing on the top. E.g. the European Cup.

    In this post: https://www.forum.thesilverfern.com/post/442207 https://www.forum.thesilverfern.com/post/442207
    I have put forward my fantasy world NZ domestic structure. 11 pro teams and the amateur structure below it. It could be reduced to 10 teams (e.g. drop Tasman and have swallowed by, not merge with, Canterbury) or reduce to 9 teams on commercial viability

    I'm not interested in international club/franchise rugby.

    Unfortunately we may still be lumped with Australia if the trans-tasman bubble comes into being, so no incentive to totally sever the Super Rugby ties/model.

    I love the NPC, but don't think it should become the future professional model as its charm was that it was representative rugby. Apart from being unaffordable, professional sport needs to be club/based rather the representative team based. And the amateur representative unions should be shielded from the dangers of prefessionalism and left to do what they should do - reward the 15 best club players in the province with rep rugby, plus youth, womens rugby etc.

    I would love to see a professional domestic competition based on 'franchises' which are based on old provincial lines. With ownership by the provinces as well as by fan membership. Something like a hybrid of the original Super 12 along with the AFL membership system, or the Bundesliga 50+1 ownership model (minimum 50+1 % ownership by members).

    And below this, an amateur NPC still exists, and amateur club rugby.

    Each 'franchise' needs a minimum of 2 NPC provinces (to seperate their identity from princes).

    Ownership is by the amatuer unions, plus members - to give ownership and buy in from community. But these are not for profit structures.

    So I would end up splitting some of the existing provinces, and combining some of the others. Getting a preferably 32 team amateur competition (2 divisions of 16 with: 2 pools of 8, or 4 pools of 4 - so amateurs play as a cheap cheery on top at the end of the club season)

    So, in my dreams. Something like this:

    11 team Domestic Professional League

    North Auckland (Amateur unions: Northland, North Harbour)

    Auckland (Amateur unions: Auckland Isthmus, Waitakere)

    Counties Manukau (Amateur unions: Manukau, Franklin) proper Manuakau, Otara, Mangere, Otahuhu, Pakuranga move south

    Waikato (Amateur unions: Hamilton, Thames Valley, King Country)

    BOP (Amateur unions: Coastline, BOP Lakes)

    Eastlands (Amateur unions: Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, East Cape)

    LNI (Amateur unions: (Taranaki, Wanganui, Manawatu)

    Wellington (Amateur unions: Wellington, Ho-Kap)

    Tasman (Amateur unions: (Westland, Nelson Bays, Marlborough)

    Canterbury (Amateur unions: Christchurch, South Canterbury, Mid Canterbury, North Canterbury)

    Otago (Amateur unions: Dunedin, Otago Country, Southland, North Otago)

    and here, map out domestic comp, SANZAAR Club comp, international rugby into a 9-month structure.
    https://www.forum.thesilverfern.com/post/442216

    So above. I have actually ended up with 30 amateur unions (rather than 32).

    I would try to envisage. Normal clubs season, then a proper amateur NPC of the best club players. 30 teams could be either 3 or 4 divisions. Or 2 divsions, top 16 / bottom 14. Split into pools. Amateur rep rugby can’t last too long. People have jobs. Want it to be like current Heartland Champs – Maybe 2 months of commitment by the amateurs in Augus / Sep. But hopefully without huge NZRU subsidies.

    The professional rugby structure.

    11 pro teams, 10 home and away games each = means 20 games each plus 2 byes. Over in 22 weeks. Then playoffs.

    The SH international club competition can be a 2 week comp in a single city. Champs from NZ, Aus, Saf, and the South American league (or just ARG if league becomes financial casualty). Play semis and a final only. In one location. E.g. rotating; Buenos Aires > Saf city > Sydney etc > NZ city.

    Still fit in international windows.

    I’m still up for the TRC, by SANZAAR. Just not Super Rugby.

    24 weeks domestic (22 weeeks regular plus 2 weeks finals

    2 weeks SH clubs comp

    X weeks international rugby.

    Could have rugby done in 8 to 9 months, and fuck off out of the cricket season. Would only have to listen to Phil Kearns commentary at most 2 or 3 games, that’s a HUUUGE selling point.

    This relies on NH rugby to implode financially. NZRU to spend their $100m in a mega domestic gamble .....

    Ownership example, using North Auckland: 20% Northland, 20 North Harbour, 20% NZRU, 20 % membership, 20% private ownership (if you can find some suckers) etc.

    NZRU would still probably need to centrally contract the best 30 odd players.

    Oh, and no shit jerseys in my dream comp. Clear patterns, no duck shooting camouflage or blends or fades or swirls.



  • What would an Australian fantasy structure look like?

    The NRC variants have never captured the public imagination. But Shute shield still does.

    If a national ring-fenced competition club competition was created, based on existing clubs. Do you think it would alienate too many people or create a bigger audience than current pro structure?

    E.g. if went something like

    Randwick
    Manly
    Warringah
    North Sydney (Northern Suburbs club)
    Eastwood
    Brisbane GPS
    Brisbane Brothers
    Sunnybank
    West Brisbane
    ACT Brumbies
    Melbourne Rebels

    Central contract top 30 players by ARU. Fill out rest with market rates. No restrictions on overseas players (e.g. PI tied players).
    Playing at cheap suburban grounds.

    Legal separation to protect the amaatuer club from goinmg under if it all goes tits up.

    Day time rugby for at least 3 games per week getting families to grounds.

    Note: I'm guessing at the popularity of Brisbane teams other than GPS and Brothers.
    I've excluded the University clubs, don't seem a good fit for professional potential.
    All of western Sydney is missing.



  • @Rapido Wests have been terrible for a long time. The unis are considerably more competitive. Canberra won the Brisbane premier grade three years running and that was the end of their involvement. Sydney club rugby is much stronger than Brisbane. The Shute Shield is normally a case of someone contesting Syd Uni.



  • @Rapido said in Post-Apocalyptic Rugby Structures:

    But Shute shield still does.

    *IF you are someone associated with one of those clubs. Some of the Shute Shield clubs number membership in the hundreds and the top ones only a few thousand.

    If you play park footy - Suburban Rugby - you've maybe got a slight interest toward the local Premier Club, but more often you're in conflict with them - competing for players, mostly. And they're poorly run buckets of shit who piss and moan that they don't get massive handouts. My club kicks off at the same time as First Grade.

    As with NRC not capturing the imagination (of Sydney Premier Rugby, really), the Shute Shield system will not capture the imagination of people outside those clubs.

    BUT they have grounds, history, junior feeders, and a tantrum about playing in a national comp and getting those sweet, sweet subsidies so they can continue to buy trophies.

    So fuck it, give them a crack.



  • Yeah. I'm just putting forward a structure, in my case 11 teams. 5 rounds each weekend. 1 bye

    I'm not trying to argue the actual teams. Although I say with Australia $16m in debt and losing $9m a year. They can't bankroll a new competition with new 'amalgamated' or made up teams that need subsidising and marketing. It would need to be based on existing infrastructure, so based on existing Sydney and Brisbane club teams with the Rebels and Brumbies.

    Hell, I've totally forgotten about the Force. They'd be allowed in if they changed their name to a grown-up name. So, 12 teams. I doubt Twiggy will be as interested if Force is domestic rather than Asia-Pacific?



  • @antipodean said in Post-Apocalyptic Rugby Structures:

    @Rapido Wests have been terrible for a long time. The unis are considerably more competitive. Canberra won the Brisbane premier grade three years running and that was the end of their involvement. Sydney club rugby is much stronger than Brisbane. The Shute Shield is normally a case of someone contesting Syd Uni.

    I just see University clubs as being too narrow, and the links between the individual and club forming too late in life to be a structure that would work for professional sport. GPS and Brothers may be narrow too, but links formed earlier, and often familial.

    Although in South American football, "Universtario" etc are big clubs in places like Chile.



  • @Rapido said in Post-Apocalyptic Rugby Structures:

    @antipodean said in Post-Apocalyptic Rugby Structures:

    @Rapido Wests have been terrible for a long time. The unis are considerably more competitive. Canberra won the Brisbane premier grade three years running and that was the end of their involvement. Sydney club rugby is much stronger than Brisbane. The Shute Shield is normally a case of someone contesting Syd Uni.

    I just see University clubs as being too narrow, and the links between the individual and club forming too late in life to be a structure that would work for professional sport. GPS and Brothers may be narrow too, but links formed earlier, and often familial.

    Although in South American football, "Universtario" etc are big clubs in places like Chile.

    Unis in the Brisbane comp have (or are) merging with junior established rugby clubs in their vicinity.



  • Touch rugby up north!



  • @Rapido I don't see too much need for change in NZ's domestic rugby structures. You could merge a few NPC teams - Otago and Southland are the obvious ones at present. Harbour and Northland has a reasonable case. And Manawatu and Hawkes Bay should have happened years ago! 🙂

    A Canterbury-Tasman merger/takeover has no logic in the current environment. 🙂

    I reckon Super rugby is going to continue pretty much as scheduled once we get on top of CV.

    What fucking Bill Beaumont really needs to focus on is stopping the Northern Hemisphere looting the Southern Hemisphere with its sugar-daddy cash.

    Let's see if he's willing to rein in his rich mates or if he's a useless c#nt! 🙂



  • @Chris-B genuine question, why shouldn't they buy players if they can?



  • @mariner4life Because what is in an individual club's interests is not necessarily in the interests of world rugby.

    Just because I can afford to buy Lake Taupo and use it to store bleach, doesn't mean I should be allowed to.



  • @Chris-B said in Post-Apocalyptic Rugby Structures:

    And Manawatu and Hawkes Bay should have happened years ago!

    Just because Malborough and Nelson Bays made an unholy alliance doesn't mean we all have to ... plus I'd rather not go down your invitational XV route.



  • @Chris-B said in Post-Apocalyptic Rugby Structures:

    What fucking Bill Beaumont really needs to focus on is stopping the Northern Hemisphere looting the Southern Hemisphere with its sugar-daddy cash.

    Covid's going to do more about that than Bill can.



  • @nzzp said in Post-Apocalyptic Rugby Structures:

    @Chris-B said in Post-Apocalyptic Rugby Structures:

    What fucking Bill Beaumont really needs to focus on is stopping the Northern Hemisphere looting the Southern Hemisphere with its sugar-daddy cash.

    Covid's going to do more about that than Bill can.

    Maybe - but, usually the rich come out of these things better than what the poor do.



  • @Nepia said in Post-Apocalyptic Rugby Structures:

    @Chris-B said in Post-Apocalyptic Rugby Structures:

    And Manawatu and Hawkes Bay should have happened years ago!

    Just because Malborough and Nelson Bays made an unholy alliance doesn't mean we all have to ... plus I'd rather not go down your invitational XV route.

    Unholy Alliance???

    God is with us - it says so on our Cup! 🙂



  • @nzzp It seems some teams still have quite a bit of cash to play around with.



  • @Dice bloody hell, that's incredible.

    and at about Rand73M, I don't think there's any way for SA to compete.

    Just googled, and no, there's no way. The ENTIRE WAGE BILL of Western Province is R78M. So he's earning as much as 128 contracted players (over three years).

    Anyone still think SA won't have their player stocks decimated again? Especially if you can keep playing for SA if you want to?

    https://www.thesouthafrican.com/sport/rugby/what-rugby-players-earn-in-south-africa-wages/





  • @nzzp said in Post-Apocalyptic Rugby Structures:

    @Chris-B said in Post-Apocalyptic Rugby Structures:

    What fucking Bill Beaumont really needs to focus on is stopping the Northern Hemisphere looting the Southern Hemisphere with its sugar-daddy cash.

    Covid's going to do more about that than Bill can.

    Debatable. Unless of course you prescribe to the theory in the stuff column that Auckland is now a much better place to do business than London or New York.



  • @MajorRage said in Post-Apocalyptic Rugby Structures:

    @nzzp said in Post-Apocalyptic Rugby Structures:

    @Chris-B said in Post-Apocalyptic Rugby Structures:

    What fucking Bill Beaumont really needs to focus on is stopping the Northern Hemisphere looting the Southern Hemisphere with its sugar-daddy cash.

    Covid's going to do more about that than Bill can.

    Debatable. Unless of course you prescribe to the theory in the stuff column that Auckland is now a much better place to do business than London or New York.

    The reason I think it'll be better for NZ is that it probably hits a couple of points.

    Firstly, if economic times are tougher, a number of owners are less likely to pump money into clubs, and youd' then expect player salaries will drop. I can see TV rights dropping as well, as there won't be as much cash to splash around. NZ will suffer as well, but probably not as much as the club salaries up north.

    Secondly, the 'lifestyle' reasons for living NH/SH will change. The perception of safety and security for living in NZ compared to overseas changes

    I think that will tip the balances at the fringe. Reduced reward, less benefit, and suddenly the attraction of heading north won't be quite as strong. I may be totally wrong, but I think it's a pretty credible situation.



  • @nzzp It's credible, but given what's happening, it seems unlikely that SH salaries won't drop as well.

    For what it's worth, I'm not speaking from a position of hope. Despite living up here, I have no real interest in rugby in this country (for lots of different reasons) but I'll still watch super rugby. Al So much better for me if the best NZ players are down there than up here.

    Hard to know if you are right on the lifestyle reasons. On the outside yes. But I know when I was 22 I was desperate to get out and see the big wide world. I think that still holds true, as it doesn't matter what growth / attraction NZ gets out of this (if you read stuff, it's going to be AMAZING), NZ location wise is still the arse end of nowhere and it's difficult to get out and see the world from - these things are pretty important in you 20's.

    Don't get me wrong, I sure as fuck wouldn't recommend coming here right now and I have no idea how long that will last for. My homesickness for NZ is the worst it's ever been right now.

    But reality is that if NZ GDP goes up 5 fold, and UK drops 50%, it'll still be twice as large up here than in NZ. Similar in France too.



  • @MajorRage said in Post-Apocalyptic Rugby Structures:

    But reality is that if NZ GDP goes up 5 fold, and UK drops 50%, it'll still be twice as large up here than in NZ. Similar in France too.

    ah, absolutely - but we're talking about the narrow world of elite professional sportspeople. Their salaries are determined by their quality, competing offers, and available money.

    I think the money available will drop, and that people will be less inclined to prop up clubs. I'm not a millionaire with a vanity project, but this recession could be deep and ugly in some parts of the economy.

    I also hear ya on the OE experience thing, but it's typically mid career players we lose, with a few years of pro rugby on the clock. They go north to set up their family for post-rugby. If there's not enough money to do that, and it's perceived to be 'risky', then I certainly see that as a 'double whammy'

    will be interesting. Sorry to hear you're homesick, can we send you some proper marmite?





  • @nzzp Cheers, but it's a different sort of homesick. Probably for another thread.

    BTW ... Marmite is shit regardless of the format. Unless it's in a gravy in which case it's the nuts.



  • @MajorRage I'll only accept your assertion on marmite if you confirm you also hate vegemite.

    Otherwise, it's WAR



  • On Montpellier and PSDT.

    I suggested it is agent fishing, but, maybe it is true, and the club are just denying new spending when staff are being sacked or people have their hands out.

    Montpellier are a club with a genuinely rich back (Altrad)

    It's not that Coronavirus is going to suddenly make Altrad or the Racing owner suddenly poor. It's that it going to expose the Pau's, Brive's etc who are struggling to keep up with the Han-Peter Wilds and Mohed Alrad's. These clubs (may) have huge debts on stadiums and operational spending, can't cut wages by law, and have stopped receiving income.

    They will need to put the breaks on the richer sugar daddies in their own leagues who don't obey their own common rules.

    Just like like the rest of the Premiership eventually hobbled Wray and Saracens. For their own survival.

    Montpellier already pushing it with their bretheren: 6 months ago ...



  • @nzzp the best of all of them is Nz marmite I’ll give you that.

    Which is the same as saying a Lada is the best Russian car.





  • @Machpants

    That would mean the northern hemisphere nations would tour the southern hemisphere in October, before return matches in Europe in November, potentially forming part of a new global tournament.
    

    That would be awesome.

    I wonder if the willingness to move back a month is aided somewhat by the perception they may not be in a position to play in February next year?



  • I'm just glad there is flexibility and they are taking into account the Fr and Eng clubs not cos I care about them but sick of the touring teams here being so low strength cos the club final is the weekend before the first test




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