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(Daily Fail alert!). Clubs to break away?

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Kimbo View Drop Down
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    Posted: 13 Jan 2019 at 22:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stoatgobbler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2019 at 01:19
It's here too.

English rugby clubs in shock bid to join Guinness PRO14

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/english-rugby-clubs-shock-bid-15671247
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark W-J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2019 at 07:53
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JonDee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2019 at 09:00
anyone think their club might be interested
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote gerg_861 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2019 at 10:29
I assume that Gooley's intent would be to look at the Pro14 only if the premiership is ringfenced. Otherwise it would seem quite ironic to move to a ringfenced league in response to ringfencing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote islander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2019 at 11:34
Telegraph article for those who can't access it...

Bedford Blues 23-18 Ealing Trailfinders

The first recorded meeting between Bedford and Ealing took place way back in 1891, Bedford running out 3-0 winners at their Goldington Road ground. The two clubs were at it again on Saturday at the same venue in front of a crowd of 2392 hardy souls, Bedford edging an absorbing contest 23-18 despite playing ‘against the slope’ in the second half.

Much has changed in the intervening 128 years but in many respects nothing has changed. Bedford and Ealing remain two of English rugby’s stalwarts, their names a reassuring link with the past; turning up week after week, come rain or shine, their fortunes ebbing and flowing according to circumstance.

These are foundations on which English rugby is built.

Neither club has ever really threatened the game’s upper echelons in all that time. Bedford won promotion to the old Division One in the late 1980s but went straight back down. Then they were up again for two seasons at the start of the professional era following investment from Frank Warren and Sports Network, only to be relegated at the turn of the millennium when the club was sold again.

Ealing, meanwhile, have never been up. But they, like Bedford, have always had the potential to do so. Until now, at least.

Reports that factions within Premiership Rugby want to scrap promotion and relegation from the second tier this season and instead ‘ring fence’ a new 13-team division provided a fascinating backdrop to this match, particularly given the two team’s standings in the Championship.

Both Bedford and Ealing are currently riding high. Indeed, Ealing - who are these days bankrolled by 81-year-old millionaire Mike Gooley, the chairman of Trailfinders travel company - would have gone top of the table had they managed to win this game with a bonus point (at least for 24hrs, with London Irish winning on Sunday).

The prospect of the ladder being pulled up just as they near their Holy Grail is, naturally, a horrifying one, although they are trying not to read too much into the rumours.

Bedford ran over two tries 
Bedford ran over two tries  Credit: Nigel Rudgard/Bedford Blues

“With the best will in the world I don't really want to comment before Wednesday's meeting with the RFU, and hopefully with [acting chief executive] Nigel Melville himself,” was all that Dick Craig, Ealing Trailfinders’ president, would tell Telegraph Sport. “I don't want to add to the rumour and speculation. What I will say, though, is that there are rules in place and we anticipate they will be honoured.”

Ealing scrum half Jordan Burns, who scored a first-half try against his former team, vehemently agreed with his president.

“Promotion and relegation has always been there,” he said. “Of course we want that to remain the same. That’s what we’re chasing.

“Obviously it’s really tight at the bottom of the Premiership this year which is maybe why the chat about ‘ring fencing’ has come in. Some of the big clubs have got drawn into the scrap and maybe they’ve become scared. I don’t know. But there’s nothing we can do about it as players. We just focus on the rugby.”

The situation at the Bedford Blues is subtly different in that they are in no position to go up even if they win the league, failing to meet the Premiership’s criteria.

The club’s chairman Geoff Irvine - who doubles as the Championship’s representative on the Professional Game Board - has neither the means nor the desire to fulfil them. He has seen clubs such as London Welsh over-reach and suffer the consequences.

His views, though, are not necessarily shared by Bedford players or supporters.

“I think the carrot of promotion is fundamental,” said Mark Tibbetts, 58, who has been attending Bedford matches for decades. “Who’s going to put money into a club if there’s no chance of promotion? You look at what Exeter have done. It wasn’t so long ago we were playing against them.”

His friend, John Parrett, agreed. “Geoff doesn’t necessarily speak for all fans,” he stressed. “Everyone respects him and what he has done for the club. But at the end of the day, Geoff doesn’t have the resources to take us up. That’s not to say that someone else might not come in at some point with deeper pockets….”

Both Bedford and Ealing are currently riding high in the Championship
Both Bedford and Ealing are currently riding high in the Championship Credit: Nigel Rudgard/Bedford Blues

Parrett did admit, though, that he was not overly exercised by the thought of promotion, saying that he was quite content with his spot by the beer stand, looking out over Bedford’s sloping pitch. He pointed to Mauritz Botha and Michael Le Bourgeois, two former players, who were back on Saturday attending the match as fans.

“You can always get a ticket here,” he added. “It’s not too expensive. We play good rugby… there is a charm to it which you might lose if you redeveloped the ground in an effort to chase the impossible dream.”

Safe to say that attitude is not shared by Cornish Pirates, Yorkshire Carnegie or Coventry, all of whom have designs on top-flight rugby. Nor by Ealing Trailfinders.

Saturday’s defeat was a body blow for the club but Burns insisted the players had not lost their belief. “Anything can happen,” he said. “We can’t let this result get us down. London Irish could lose five on the spin. We’ll just focus on next week. We can still do this.”

Whether they can remains to be seen. Premiership Rugby is due to discuss the issue of ring-fencing at a board meeting on Feb 5, with talk of a “grassroots rebellion” and legal action should they press ahead with their plans.

“I'll just be glad when we have some clarity,” reflected Craig. “I can see it from their [Premiership Rugby’s] point of view. Of course I can. In any negotiation you have to be able to see from both sides. But underpinning everything is the concept of promotion and relegation which I believe is sacrosanct. That is what sport is all about. Isn’t that what we’ve been playing for all these years?”

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote No 7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2019 at 11:36
It all just adds to the decline of grassroots ( 3G) Rugby . Every one and every club out for themselves.

In theory the RFU is supposed administer and take care of our beloved game. In practice the politics, greed and hidden agendas are obvious to everyone .

Edited by No 7 - 14 Jan 2019 at 11:42
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kimbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2019 at 12:10
Originally posted by gerg_861 gerg_861 wrote:

I assume that Gooley's intent would be to look at the Pro14 only if the premiership is ringfenced. Otherwise it would seem quite ironic to move to a ringfenced league in response to ringfencing.

Ironic maybe. But when faced with the choice of that or no chance of progress, there's no choice.
Besides, we all know it's a ruse to try to keep the RFU/PRL honest.
Don't we?


Edited by Kimbo - 14 Jan 2019 at 12:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gerg_861 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2019 at 12:20
Originally posted by Kimbo Kimbo wrote:

Originally posted by gerg_861 gerg_861 wrote:

I assume that Gooley's intent would be to look at the Pro14 only if the premiership is ringfenced. Otherwise it would seem quite ironic to move to a ringfenced league in response to ringfencing.

Ironic maybe. But when faced with the choice of that or no chance of progress, there's no choice.
Besides, we all know it's a ruse to try to keep the RFU/PRL honest.
Don't we?
 

Competition creates leverage - I think Mike is doing the right thing. On the other hand, we did get relatively thumped by a Pro14 basement dwelling Dragons squad. Still, I think that Ealing in the Pro14 would actually be a fairly attractive proposition in terms of giving an outpost in the capital that might bring more visibility. We could get two London outliers in one stand - London Broncos for League, and Ealing Trailfinders for Pro14.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2019 at 12:29
It is a complete non starter. First you will have the issue of English clubs competing in a Cross Border- , and would require RFU/IRB clearance - which the Premiership clubs will object too.

Secondly you are increasing the number of games/travelling at a time when everyone claims they want to cut down the number of matches top players play.

If I remember correctly the South African teams were required to pay somekind of bond to play in the Pro 14 - I would imagine the same would be requested of the English participants - this would add to their costs. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kimbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2019 at 13:21
Depends how much the Pro14 wants to break into the English market.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jerorky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2019 at 13:57
It all sounds like Rugby (dis-) Union to me!!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2019 at 14:03
Originally posted by Kimbo Kimbo wrote:

Depends how much the Pro14 wants to break into the English market.


That would have the Premiership clubs throwing a real hissy fit!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kimbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2019 at 14:05
And that would be a problem how?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gerg_861 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2019 at 16:16
Yes, what will they do, stop the RFU from selecting players competing in the pro14 - oh wait, they already stopped them from selecting players in their own union below the prem!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stalwart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2019 at 17:09
Originally posted by Kimbo Kimbo wrote:

Link
1.26 million circulation, second highest daily paper. Not bad for a "fail". Good article, too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stalwart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2019 at 17:13
Pro 14 looks a good option for The Pirates - playing against other Celtic teams. If the Prem is ring fenced, and the club couldn't push on, Pro 14 looks very attractive. Granted it is ring fenced, but at least there would be a chance of European rugby and the chance to attract bigger crowds on a regular basis than is possible The Championship.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2019 at 17:20
Didn't London Welsh want to join the Celtic League too at one point?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raider999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2019 at 18:10
Originally posted by Robb Robb wrote:

Didn't London Welsh want to join the Celtic League too at one point?


Was that before or after they went bust?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kimbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2019 at 18:25
Originally posted by Stalwart Stalwart wrote:

Originally posted by Kimbo Kimbo wrote:

Link
1.26 million circulation, second highest daily paper. Not bad for a "fail". Good article, too.


Pesky statistics eh? Wink
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