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PiffPaff View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PiffPaff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 15:28
CQ, you seemed to have glossed over the other bit.....

"Heartland Championship here would also see a re-invigoration of the county and divisional rugby......"

One would assume those who produced this plan have already been discussing it with the CBs.........bet they haven''t.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote islander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 16:33
Originally posted by Camquin Camquin wrote:

Not a lot more detail.
Why would a National One side want to be promoted to a competition that seems to only offers 14 games. How on earth could that generate sufficient income.

What is the divisional championship - how does that relate to the heartland championship.
Is that the current national Leauges

If you do have two pools I think the Northern Pool is
Ampthill
Bedford
Coventry
Chinnor
Doncaster
Harpury
Jersey
Nottingham

Jersey becuae someone has to come North and once you have to fly you may as well fly to East Midlands or manchester as Gatwick.

The South have the London clubs, Rams and Pirates and if not Saracens then Plymouth.

Tough of course the exact sides promoted will depend on next seasons results and could be very different.

And yes I know I have utterly discounted Leeds Tykes.

Camquin: you have assumed this league would involve clubs playing 14 league games, just as Rabbie B inferred earlier that there would be 30 games. I think both assumptions are wrong...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hrplaneman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 17:34
Whilst a number of brains are being made to work on all of the possible options of the piece written, I have a number of questions that do not appear to be clarified in the journalistic pieces I've read to date.  Firstly who appointed Mr Griffiths to the role of reviewer? There is certainly no reference made as being attributable to the RFU. Why would someone who represents a team that still isn't technically in the Championship have such an interest. I was under the impression that he was more in line with that same club and its gaining instant promotion back to the land of milk and honey, which again to remind members is not an RFU organised league. Finally, I though the championship was an RFU funded and organised league, managed by a management board, under the leadership of Mssrs Irvine and Lloyd, none of whom appear to have been quoted or referenced in the initial article? 
Im sure the management board and all of the other representatives of the Championship have other things to discuss with the RFU, the re-organising and funding issues being pretty close to the top of the agenda. 
Finally, when does the Green King sponsorship deal end? I thought it ran until the end of the 2020 season? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cheshire exile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 20:13
IIRC Griffiths’ last sojourn at Saracens lasted a month. It is several months since it was reported that the “Championship clubs” had commissioned him to do this work and we have to assume that the RP piece was sanctioned by whatever group originally briefed and recruited Griffiths.
It’s Greene King and, given their change of ownership a few months ago, I would be amazed if they were interested in renewing the sponsorship, unless there were to be unexpected TV coverage.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote islander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2020 at 09:08
Originally posted by hrplaneman hrplaneman wrote:

Whilst a number of brains are being made to work on all of the possible options of the piece written, I have a number of questions that do not appear to be clarified in the journalistic pieces I've read to date.  Firstly who appointed Mr Griffiths to the role of reviewer? There is certainly no reference made as being attributable to the RFU. Why would someone who represents a team that still isn't technically in the Championship have such an interest. I was under the impression that he was more in line with that same club and its gaining instant promotion back to the land of milk and honey, which again to remind members is not an RFU organised league. Finally, I though the championship was an RFU funded and organised league, managed by a management board, under the leadership of Mssrs Irvine and Lloyd, none of whom appear to have been quoted or referenced in the initial article? 
Im sure the management board and all of the other representatives of the Championship have other things to discuss with the RFU, the re-organising and funding issues being pretty close to the top of the agenda. 
Finally, when does the Green King sponsorship deal end? I thought it ran until the end of the 2020 season? 

Can't answer all your Qs hrp, but am pretty sure Mr G was engaged by the CCs as an independent, not as any sort of representative of an individual club. This news story has come from an inside source, which is why you won't find quotes from Mssrs Irvine & Lloyd (former & new CC chairmen), or any other named person, in what's been written so far.


Edited by islander - 22 Jul 2020 at 09:09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote islander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2020 at 20:08
Update on this by Mick Cleary in Telegraph tonight (or tomorrow's paper I imagine)...



Former Saracens chief executive to present proposals for radical restructuring of Championship

Edward Griffiths will present a radical remodelling of the Championship to the Rugby Football Union on Thursday that will include the stipulation that contracted players must also have a secondary activity, be it employment, education or apprentice-style training.

Griffiths, the former Saracens chief executive who on Wednesday was mandated by Championship clubs to present the plan, will also recommend that the 12-team division is split into into a northern and southern conference, with promotion to the Premiership based on agreed criteria between the leagues rather than a first-past-the-post format.

The meeting at Twickenham with RFU chief executive, Bill Sweeney, and Director of Performance rugby, Conor O’Shea, is envisaged to be the start of a consultation process lasting for six to eight weeks before a blueprint is agreed for the 2021-22 season.  There is also provision for a National Cup, some clubs will opt to train during the day and others in the evening. Welfare and nurturing are top of the agenda.  

Nine Championship representatives, plus two from Jersey Reds and Cornish Pirates on conference call, attended the three and a half hour meeting at Harpenden RFC on Wednesday, in which they agreed on the core principles of the 76-page document. Griffiths has put it together over the last four months, working with Nick Johnston of Coventry Rugby and Nottingham’s Steve Smith. The report was sent to the clubs a fortnight ago. Griffiths’ involvement was triggered by a drastic reduction in their funding from the RFU in early February.

Sweeney initially announced that future distribution of central funds would see almost a 50% cut from £534,000 a year per club, a figure that was revised after uproar from the clubs by the RFU agreeing to stagger cuts over the next couple of seasons with the initial reduction pegged at £135,000pa.

Several clubs feared for their future as a result and anticipated the need for widespread job losses. Griffiths was tasked with carrying out a root-and-branch review.

“The clear message in the post Covid-19 world is that everyone has to live within their means,” said Griffiths who insists that the talks are about exploring all options within his presented framework and that initial fears of a Championship breakaway from the RFU is ‘100% wide of the mark.’  

“We want to work with the RFU, the Premiership clubs and all stakeholders. In the 25 years since the game went professional too much energy has been wasted on fighting. There has been too much antagonism. This is about all aiming in to get in the same boat and row forward together. We also need to get away from the model whereby a club is dependent solely on one benefactor to keep things going. The league needs to be viable and sustainable. Commercial rights and monies will be pooled and shared. There will be an element of promotion and relegation so as to maintain some sort of ladder.”

The clear aim is to maximise the advantage that English rugby has over many other countries and that is numbers playing the game. It appears that rugby will only be one part of a player’s portfolio, an acknowledgement that this tier of rugby needs a more holistic approach with an emphasis on fewer games and better player welfare provision.   

“The game can’t keep hammering players and creating issues that will only present themselves in 20 years’ time,” said Griffiths. “We need a pathway for these players, to use the universities’ set-up as well. We have an idea of our preferred model but we are open to revision of these ideas as well. Our clubs have a diverse range of resources as well as ambitions. There is overwhelming support for our core principles, a desire to nurture all rugby staff, to look after the players and to drive standards.”

Saracens did not take part in the gathering as they are a Premier Rugby Ltd shareholder.  


Edited by islander - 22 Jul 2020 at 20:11
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote islander Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2020 at 21:50
Also covered, with some additional (albeit possible) detail by Hugh Godwin in the i paper (ex-Indy)

https://inews.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/championship-revamp-premiership-promotion-relegation-change-edward-griffiths-560272

Championship revamp seeks to change Premiership promotion criteria as Edward Griffiths prepares to meet RFU

Former Saracens CEO Edward Griffiths to meet RFU on Wednesday to outline blueprint for a revamped English second division.

Promotion from the Championship to the Premiership will continue, but under a changed set of entry criteria, according to Edward Griffiths, the former chief executive of Saracens, who will meet the Rugby Football Union on Wednesday with a blueprint for a revamped English second division.

Amid constant conjecture that the Premiership (PRL) will be ring-fenced from 2021, with relegated Saracens tipped to bounce back up next year, Griffiths was backed unanimously at a meeting of the Championship clubs on Tuesday to negotiate a new arrangement, possibly in time for the 2021-22 season.

“It is definitely not an end to promotion and relegation,” Griffiths told i. “What we are proposing is a better, more fair, form of promotion and relegation, by criteria.

“It is a complicated mechanism but clubs will be judged according to performance on the field, crowd figures, stadium and training ground, infrastructure and financial resources. If a club is promoted by that mechanism, they will operate off a level playing field when they get to the Premiership.

“I think this will be something that will make sense to PRL clubs as well.”

Representatives of the 11 Championship clubs – not including Saracens, who are one of the 13 Premiership shareholders – met Griffiths at Harpenden RFC on Tuesday, with Cornish Pirates and Jersey Reds taking part remotely.

He was mandated to pursue his idea for a second tier with two conferences, split north and south. The working title is “TEC – The English Championship”, and the core principles include financial self-sustainability and nurturing young English players and coaches.

Griffiths says he has spoken informally to several Premiership club owners and he will now negotiate formally with PRL and the RFU. The aim is an agreement by the end of August, and it is likely to also need the approval of clubs in and below the third-division National League One.

The RFU had indicated it would end central funding of the Championship, even before the Covid-19 pandemic hit revenues at Twickenham.

Griffiths was first consulted by the Championship committee in March, and he delivered a 76-page report two weeks ago.

The 12 Championship clubs would each play 16 league matches: home and away within their northern or southern conference, and home or away against the teams in the other conference. The division could expand to 16 clubs in future.

“We want to promote fewer, bigger games,” Griffiths said. “The tendency in rugby has been to say more games equals more revenue but you end up devaluing the product, and it doesn’t work for player welfare, either.

“This is a time to be innovative and creative and maybe a little bold. It is not a breakaway.”   

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2020 at 22:19
Quote The 12 Championship clubs would each play 16 league matches: home and away within their northern or southern conference, and home or away against the teams in the other conference. The division could expand to 16 clubs in future.

“We want to promote fewer, bigger games,” Griffiths said. “The tendency in rugby has been to say more games equals more revenue but you end up devaluing the product, and it doesn’t work for player welfare, either.

8 home games?  5 from the games in your own conference and then 3 out of the 6 from the other conference.

How can any club survive on 8 home games?

Seems utter bananas to me!


Quote “It is definitely not an end to promotion and relegation,” Griffiths told i. “What we are proposing is a better, more fair, form of promotion and relegation, by criteria.

“It is a complicated mechanism but clubs will be judged according to performance on the field, crowd figures, stadium and training ground, infrastructure and financial resources. If a club is promoted by that mechanism, they will operate off a level playing field when they get to the Premiership.

Or in plain English... Bye Bye promotion. Hello closed shop Premiership. 


Edited by Richard Lowther - 22 Jul 2020 at 22:49
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gerg_861 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2020 at 22:39
Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

Quote The 12 Championship clubs would each play 16 league matches: home and away within their northern or southern conference, and home or away against the teams in the other conference. The division could expand to 16 clubs in future.

“We want to promote fewer, bigger games,” Griffiths said. “The tendency in rugby has been to say more games equals more revenue but you end up devaluing the product, and it doesn’t work for player welfare, either.

8 home games?  5 from the games in your own conference and then 3 out of the 6 from the other conference.

How can any club survive on 8 home games?

Seems utter bananas to me!


Quote “It is definitely not an end to promotion and relegation,” Griffiths told i. “What we are proposing is a better, more fair, form of promotion and relegation, by criteria.

“It is a complicated mechanism but clubs will be judged according to performance on the field, crowd figures, stadium and training ground, infrastructure and financial resources. If a club is promoted by that mechanism, they will operate off a level playing field when they get to the Premiership.

Or in plan English... Bye Bye promotion. Hello closed shop Premiership. 

This reporting must be somehow wrong. 8 home games is madness, and requiring all players to be part time makes any possibility of competing with the premiership clubs a joke.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kempstonblue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 07:58
Agree 8 home games seems a bit drastic.
However if we look at 2020/21 which might be a late start, due to attendance issues might be the best solution.

For the 2021/22 surely you need 16 teams?
7+4 matches in the league.
But does it need a cup competition alongside say, National 1 clubs? Could have 32 clubs in a cup, split into groups of four, trying to keep each group in regions (could be overlaps), would add another 3 matches, but unlike the current cup it’s not playing the same sides all the time.

Old enough to know better...just wish I knew what
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Camquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 08:17
No 
Because if the Championship extends to 1 teams the the if unlikely to be a single 16 team league below it. 
It is more likely to be three 14 team leagues.
Reduced to 14 as that is apparently the optimal number of games to give the player sufficient rest.
Therefore they will not have spare fixtures to devote to a cup.

If there was a 1 team league below you, then they have a 30 game season already.

In fact I am sure the promoted clubs would prefer a simple double round robin over a complex league and cup structure. Because I am sure the cup would be seen as second class games and therefore be harder to find sponsors and lunch guests.





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 09:36
Originally posted by kempstonblue kempstonblue wrote:

Agree 8 home games seems a bit drastic.
However if we look at 2020/21 which might be a late start, due to attendance issues might be the best solution.

For the 2021/22 surely you need 16 teams?
7+4 matches in the league.


To me the article is clear 12 teams is the norm, but with room for expansion if the new clubs meet some form of criteria, not all of it based on playing strength/results.

The league isn't suddenly going to to expand from 12 to 16 in one season if the consensus is less games means better quality.

On this last point maybe the same principle can be applied to the Premiership club and their constant need to overplay.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stalwart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 10:00
"“It is a complicated mechanism but clubs will be judged according to performance on the field, crowd figures, stadium and training ground, infrastructure and financial resources. If a club is promoted by that mechanism, they will operate off a level playing field when they get to the Premiership."

So, presumably, the parachute payment will stay and the level playing field won't apply to The Championship. If that is the case, then surely if a club manages to overturn the odds, beat the relegated Prem team and win the league they should receive a massive payment (rocket payment?) to enable them to compete in the Prem on a "level playing field."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote billesleyexile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 10:11
Originally posted by Stalwart Stalwart wrote:

"“It is a complicated mechanism but clubs will be judged according to performance on the field, crowd figures, stadium and training ground, infrastructure and financial resources. If a club is promoted by that mechanism, they will operate off a level playing field when they get to the Premiership."

So, presumably, the parachute payment will stay and the level playing field won't apply to The Championship. If that is the case, then surely if a club manages to overturn the odds, beat the relegated Prem team and win the league they should receive a massive payment (rocket payment?) to enable them to compete in the Prem on a "level playing field."


Feels more like when the RFL tried licensing - and to an extent what they've also done with Catalans and Toronto (although they had to fudge it because they didn't actually have enough clubs capable of meeting the criteria) so something like:

To be promoted a team will have all of:

performance on the pitch (however defined)
average attendance of x
stadium size of x
financial reserves of x (fudged to whatever the poorest club in the prem has got)

Essentially - if there's a flatpack club 14 with a sugar daddy and resources then welcome to the club. All other clubs "we haven't actually closed the door to you because we've set out clearly what you need to have...."

another way of putting it is "match our criteria and you can have our money" - so no need for rocket payments;  if Moseley, Pirates, or Tonbridge Juddians get a Steve Lansdown of their own then "come on in the water's lovely".

Another way putting it (yet another) is that this is a perfect cynical opportunity to seize the opportunity provide by pandemic chaos to write proper MSC for the premiership that go far wider than just having a suitable stadium. If this goes through, the drawbridge is not so much drawn up as boarded up, bricked up, rendered in pebbledash and then acid pumped into the moat.





Edited by billesleyexile - 23 Jul 2020 at 10:19
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Camquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 10:14
You mean if you have access to Headingley and a sugar daddy your in. :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 10:17
The (normal- pandemic excepted) club season (excluding pre season friendlies) is 35 weeks, from the beginning of September to the last week of April. You then have a window for County games in the five weeks of May. 

The proposed idea is only 16 of these 35 weeks will be used.  If you accept one weekend a month as a 'rest/bad weather/Christmas/Easter off/watch the internationals at HQ' then you lose another 8 weeks, leaving 27 potential game weekends. 11 of these are still going to be spare. 

As a club treasurer I would be asking what we do about those 11 weeks - potentially 5 or 6 home games without a first team fixture and there the bulk of club income. 

What solutions spring to mind? One is games against local rivals who aren't in the new league; these are usually good for increasing the gate. But that idea only works if your rivals are in a league where there are also spare weekends which match up with your spare weekends - easier said than done. 

A similar idea would be to go back to the 'Easter' tours of old and have something different for your players and supporters. 

Second would be a form of cup competition - either within the league or outside it, such as a return to competing in County Cups for some teams.  However the traditional cup formats do not guarantee above one fixture - and no guarantee that will be at home. So you bring in a convoluted pool system and defeat the original point - However, if the consensus is 'less is better quality', why schedule any other games - just book the club treasurer a hospital bed now to recover from the shock. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote billesleyexile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 10:26
Originally posted by Camquin Camquin wrote:

You mean if you have access to Headingley and a sugar daddy your in. :-)

to be honest, massively anti-ringfence as I am, I can at least respect that stance. At least we all know where we stand if they basically announce that if any club can match all the things they're looking for then they'll add them, and all other rugby is amateur. It's the US sport model writ large. Don't cast adrift any of the pro clubs, and admit additional clubs as and when individuals are stupid enough to provide them, oven ready, with ground, training ground, academy, £100m float, bond/guarantee to PRL, etc.

That at least is transparent and not saying "oh promotion and relegation is key but we really don't want anyone else that just happens to have come top of the tier below."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 10:37
In a league structure I would never advocate ring fencing but if the RFU said the league structure is over and cast a drift the top 12/13 clubs, then so be it.

But legally (and morally) if you are having entry criteria into that closed shop it must apply to all, not just the new applicants. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Halliford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 10:59
And the elephant in the room continues to be PRL which is not under the control of anyone except the Club Owners who seek a financial return. I need to read the full report but the idea of Minimum Standards is mentioned and has also been mention ed by the new Chair of the NCA who is less than impressed by the facilities at some National 1 Clubs.

The Adult Game Review Consultation for the NCA Clubs has ruled out a National Cup, there is no interest from Clubs or players. 14 team Leagues was an almost unanimous recommendation from Directors of Rugby who were concerned about player welfare. 

I think the Championship should take heed of both of those lines and go to a 14 team League with minimum standards, including seating for 500+ and other facilities, particularly widely-spaced urinals!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raider999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 11:05
Originally posted by Richard Lowther Richard Lowther wrote:

In a league structure I would never advocate ring fencing but if the RFU said the league structure is over and cast a drift the top 12/13 clubs, then so be it.

But legally (and morally) if you are having entry criteria into that closed shop it must apply to all, not just the new applicants. 


No objection to casting the Premiership adrift as long as the funding stops - it is not viable to keep throwing millions at the top level in the Covid era.

Why not move to a system where all clubs are subsidised by the same amount whatever level they play at?

The RFU could also pay a fee to clubs for each player in each England squad as compensation/incentive to use English players.

Clubs could also demand a fee to other International boards for releasing their players.

Yes it is radical, but now may well be the time to seriously look at the structure of the whole game, not just the recreational 99.9%

Additionally, I cannot believe CG has produced a report suggesting less games at level 2 - there seems to be a fascination with Cup competitions whic from the posts on this forum, very few actually want.

Edited by Raider999 - 23 Jul 2020 at 11:08
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