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Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby iul » Mon, 16 Apr 2018, 18:12

victorsra wrote:At least France has Pro D2 which is much richer than England's Championship.

In large part because they get a sizeable chunk out of the Top14's TV deal. 35% IIRC

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby dropkick » Mon, 16 Apr 2018, 23:05

vino_93 wrote:
You're wrong about north not represented outside of Paris. You have of course two clubs in Paris (or close suburbs) : Stade Français and Racing. Then you have Massy, in Paris southern suburbs - not exactly Paris, even if it is the same area.
But in Pro D2 you have Vannes too, which is in Brittany. On the border between North and South, you have Nevers (in Burgundy, so usually told as Northern part).

And if you go under, you have many projects who are growing. But we are not a closed shop. You need to climb step by step. Lille was close to become professionnal, but due to bad management disappeared.
Now some big cities have a project, who wants to go in Pro D2. The closest in Rouen (Normandy), which is financially allow to go to Pro D2 - now let's do it on the field. Then you have Strasbourg (Alsace), which is in Elite but still not financially ready. These two want to climb asap.
Then in Fédérale 1, 2 and 3, you have some other ambitious projets. Let's talk about Nantes (Pays de la Loire), Rennes (Britanny), Beauvais (Picardy), Beaune, Mâcon and Dijon (Burgundy), Le Havre (Normandy) and so on ... things are going better and better for clubs there. They are able to find big amounts of money, and to compete with southern places. They have great stadiums, using (old) football places.

I guess France is the best example of rugby development into a country. Which was mainly a regional sport, in the south-west part of the country (+ some strongholds in south-east and Paris), is now the number 2 sport in France. It drains a lot of money everywhere. TV rights are very high. There are 30 fully professionnal clubs, and many other who want to join them - even in the south, where new projects are rising. The number of youths playing in northern part have rised a lot the last 20 years. A good job.



This is what the English are missing out on. They (the top flight clubs) have acted like a cartel to make it as hard for new comers as possible. Now they want to ringfence the Aviva premiership. If they did that a few years ago Exeter would have missed out and be an amateur club now, probably.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby sk 88 » Tue, 17 Apr 2018, 11:57

100% agree.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby gambass » Tue, 17 Apr 2018, 12:32

Considering the size of the championsip crowds (bar Bristol), I don't see any Exeter on the horizon, not in the next few years at least.

Anyway, the English have League up north, football everywhere. Two sports that very much limits the number of possible markets they have avaliable for pro rugby. Ringfencing in their case makes sense.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby grande » Tue, 17 Apr 2018, 12:59

I really worry that if the Premiership gets ringfenced, we'll see a number of northern clubs go to League.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Tue, 17 Apr 2018, 13:11

Wow: http://sacsrugby.com/more-spectators-th ... r-schools/ (about South African schools getting better attendances than some Super Rugby matches there...)


Considering the size of the championsip crowds (bar Bristol), I don't see any Exeter on the horizon, not in the next few years at least.

Which is sad, because there is plenty potential in other cities. If Exeter, why not Plymouth? If Leicester and Northampton, why not Nottingham? If Newcastle, why not Darlington and its nice stadium? Why Birmingham Moseley and Leeds/Yorkshire Carnegie can't thrive? What about Bedford and Cornish Pirates, where there is no professional football? Ok, each case is different, there are completely different cities, but the current model just kills growth...
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby dropkick » Tue, 17 Apr 2018, 14:01

gambass wrote:Considering the size of the championsip crowds (bar Bristol), I don't see any Exeter on the horizon, not in the next few years at least.

Anyway, the English have League up north, football everywhere. Two sports that very much limits the number of possible markets they have avaliable for pro rugby. Ringfencing in their case makes sense.



There are no new clubs on the horizon because the top teams have created a situation that turns potenial investors off from investing in lower league clubs.


Imagine if the french top clubs done the same, 15/20 years ago.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby thatrugbyguy » Tue, 17 Apr 2018, 14:26

I've never really understood the whole promotion and relegation thing in club sport. It doesn't lead to any real stability for clubs. I guess in theory it allows a club to survive long term by ironically giving them the chance to rebuild themselves in a lower division. Down here if teams look to be going bankrupt in our sports leagues they're either kicked out of the competition or they merge with another club. Although we've had a pretty stable period for a while in sport of that not happening up until the Western Force were given the boot.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby sk 88 » Tue, 17 Apr 2018, 14:27

grande wrote:I really worry that if the Premiership gets ringfenced, we'll see a number of northern clubs go to League.


There is no chance of that.

Or as much chance of them swapping to cricket, american football or basketball.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby sk 88 » Tue, 17 Apr 2018, 14:38

thatrugbyguy wrote:I've never really understood the whole promotion and relegation thing in club sport. It doesn't lead to any real stability for clubs. I guess in theory it allows a club to survive long term by ironically giving them the chance to rebuild themselves in a lower division. Down here if teams look to be going bankrupt in our sports leagues they're either kicked out of the competition or they merge with another club. Although we've had a pretty stable period for a while in sport of that not happening up until the Western Force were given the boot.



So the basic principle is that all clubs are equal; all have the same "right" to be at the top. i.e. none; and that competition brings out the best most entertaining sport, and with it drives standards up.

There are more clubs(/"markets") than spots in the league, so you have a second tier with the same, then a third etc. Rugby in England is actually unusual in having access all the way from top to bottom with few constraints (until the 2nd to top division jump where the constraints are artificially high) and has since leagues were introduced in 1987. Football "ring fenced" at 4 divisions in the 1920s and only opened that up to anyone in the late 1980s.

Because the club is an expression of the local community and the sports are all nationwide the idea is that it doesn't matter what league you are in. This is true of some areas in rugby and most areas in football.

Personally I can't imagine anything worse than a system where a bureaucrat can kill off a club because it doesn't "fit" their arbitrary criteria even though it is better on the pitch than another. No clubs truly merge here. Sometimes one eats another to try and survive but there are few true mergers (Headingly and Roundhay to form Leeds probably best example and that was 20 years ago).

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby RugbyLiebe » Tue, 17 Apr 2018, 15:56

sk 88 wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:I've never really understood the whole promotion and relegation thing in club sport. It doesn't lead to any real stability for clubs. I guess in theory it allows a club to survive long term by ironically giving them the chance to rebuild themselves in a lower division. Down here if teams look to be going bankrupt in our sports leagues they're either kicked out of the competition or they merge with another club. Although we've had a pretty stable period for a while in sport of that not happening up until the Western Force were given the boot.


So the basic principle is that all clubs are equal; all have the same "right" to be at the top. i.e. none; and that competition brings out the best most entertaining sport, and with it drives standards up.

There are more clubs(/"markets") than spots in the league, so you have a second tier with the same, then a third etc. Rugby in England is actually unusual in having access all the way from top to bottom with few constraints (until the 2nd to top division jump where the constraints are artificially high) and has since leagues were introduced in 1987. Football "ring fenced" at 4 divisions in the 1920s and only opened that up to anyone in the late 1980s.

Because the club is an expression of the local community and the sports are all nationwide the idea is that it doesn't matter what league you are in. This is true of some areas in rugby and most areas in football.

Personally I can't imagine anything worse than a system where a bureaucrat can kill off a club because it doesn't "fit" their arbitrary criteria even though it is better on the pitch than another. No clubs truly merge here. Sometimes one eats another to try and survive but there are few true mergers (Headingly and Roundhay to form Leeds probably best example and that was 20 years ago).


The whole franchise system is absolutely alien in Germany. The only one is ice-hockey and there fans are extremely angry that you can't get promoted from the 2nd to the 1st division and it is often ridiculed as a "joke sport", because the best team from the 2nd division can't get into this league.

I think it works when you have a relatively small population or extremely wide-spread population centers. It also creates extremely boring end of season games for a lot of teams because some teams have nothing to fight for apart from avoiding the red lantern.
In Rugby globally we only have one franchise approach and that's totally different to the US major league's system. If it is a franchise it is always created from the top and more important financed from the top as well. That's the only solution small countries like New Zealand, Wales, Ireland and Scotland can keep their pro competition and athletes alive. Australia and South Africa would be able to sustain their pro-league on their own despite having so few and very isolated population centres.

But all of that is not the case in France or England. Also it works if not everything works only for sheer profit. In Germany we had one soccer club in the Champions League qualification this year, Hoffenheim (basically a suburb of Heidelberg), which was in the 7th division just 20 years ago. Again, if you have the population you have the competition between those cities and this leads to relegation and promotion being the best system. I.e. Germany has 40 cities with over 200.000 people + 40 more with over 100.000 people. England has 26 cities with 200k and 58 (!) with over 100k. France 11 with 200k+ and 29 with 100k+. How do you ringfence those without losing any potential?

BUT and that's the interesting thing the last years showed: apparently a franchise system can prevail things becoming to boring, if some players in the market simply get to strong - a thing we see in most soccer leagues in Europe atm, especially in Germany where this decade only two teams won the championship, while in the 2000ies 5 teams won and in the 1990ies and 1980ies 6 teams won it.
But rugby is nowhere to even think about this level of commercial interests where some teams become to strong for some promotion and relegation leagues.
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Tue, 17 Apr 2018, 18:13

sk 88 wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:I've never really understood the whole promotion and relegation thing in club sport. It doesn't lead to any real stability for clubs. I guess in theory it allows a club to survive long term by ironically giving them the chance to rebuild themselves in a lower division. Down here if teams look to be going bankrupt in our sports leagues they're either kicked out of the competition or they merge with another club. Although we've had a pretty stable period for a while in sport of that not happening up until the Western Force were given the boot.



So the basic principle is that all clubs are equal; all have the same "right" to be at the top. i.e. none; and that competition brings out the best most entertaining sport, and with it drives standards up.

There are more clubs(/"markets") than spots in the league, so you have a second tier with the same, then a third etc. Rugby in England is actually unusual in having access all the way from top to bottom with few constraints (until the 2nd to top division jump where the constraints are artificially high) and has since leagues were introduced in 1987. Football "ring fenced" at 4 divisions in the 1920s and only opened that up to anyone in the late 1980s.

Because the club is an expression of the local community and the sports are all nationwide the idea is that it doesn't matter what league you are in. This is true of some areas in rugby and most areas in football.

Personally I can't imagine anything worse than a system where a bureaucrat can kill off a club because it doesn't "fit" their arbitrary criteria even though it is better on the pitch than another. No clubs truly merge here. Sometimes one eats another to try and survive but there are few true mergers (Headingly and Roundhay to form Leeds probably best example and that was 20 years ago).

It is also about giving every single city in the country the chance to compete with the best and simply to be represented by a club that truly represents them.

Or to allow different communities in the same city to have their identities better expressed in sports: cities can have derbies, with clubs that express social classes, political thoughts, religions or simply dstrict vs district, suburb vs downtown, etc. It is about merit and also about dreams for those clubs that are not yet in the top. Everyone has the chance.

The stability is much more related to how clubs can manage theirselves, whilst good systems have strong enough second divisions. And second division are usually strong because they are the path to the top. People care about the second divisions in big countries. What harms promotion-relegations system is when the second division is crap (when disconnected with the top division) and when $ is split too much unevenly.

It is an essencial part of football success in Europe and South America the idea of every community having a chance to go to the top. We praise the big upsets, the tiny clubs of tiny cities that made it in a fairy tale momment. Or that meddium to small sized city that has that club strong enough (working hard to derseve it) to be in a top division doing well while another club of a big city is a mess. Maybe that's why teams that grow just because billionaires put money there are hated by many people, as they break this system of working hard rewards.
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby DragonMike » Tue, 17 Apr 2018, 18:44

dropkick wrote:
gambass wrote:Considering the size of the championsip crowds (bar Bristol), I don't see any Exeter on the horizon, not in the next few years at least.

Anyway, the English have League up north, football everywhere. Two sports that very much limits the number of possible markets they have avaliable for pro rugby. Ringfencing in their case makes sense.



There are no new clubs on the horizon because the top teams have created a situation that turns potenial investors off from investing in lower league clubs.


Imagine if the french top clubs done the same, 15/20 years ago.


Huh???

Ealing? Ealing TRAILFINDERS? Jersey? 2nd and 5th respectively.... Darlington Mowden park?

Coventry and Moseley are on the rise again.

More the opposite.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby dropkick » Tue, 17 Apr 2018, 20:43

DragonMike wrote:
dropkick wrote:
gambass wrote:Considering the size of the championsip crowds (bar Bristol), I don't see any Exeter on the horizon, not in the next few years at least.

Anyway, the English have League up north, football everywhere. Two sports that very much limits the number of possible markets they have avaliable for pro rugby. Ringfencing in their case makes sense.



There are no new clubs on the horizon because the top teams have created a situation that turns potenial investors off from investing in lower league clubs.


Imagine if the french top clubs done the same, 15/20 years ago.


Huh???

Ealing? Ealing TRAILFINDERS? Jersey? 2nd and 5th respectively.... Darlington Mowden park?

Coventry and Moseley are on the rise again.

More the opposite.



Yes I'm not an expert on that division.
My point is that all those teams might now be cut off from reaching their potential.


Maybe that's why the Aviva premiership teams are now talking about ringfencing the league.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Thomas » Tue, 17 Apr 2018, 20:55

Is more to do that the top team's don't want to be relegated. Ealing and Jersey have serious money behind them.

As far as I can remember there has always been threat of ring fencing it won't happen.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Osmanperalta » Tue, 17 Apr 2018, 22:05

Coventry this season at tier 3 has had better attendances than their last time in the championship (and that was at the time that there were no wasps) and seek to expand its stadium for the next season.
Cornish Pirates will finally have their stadium with the ambition of being able to ascend in the future to the premiership today they received the green light
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-union/club-rugby/cornish-pirates-stadium-for-cornwall-truro-city-fc-council-approve-3m-funding-government-a8309001.html
Darlington have a lot of future and hopefully they achieve the promotion next season
ringfencing the premiership it would be a pretty stupid idea now

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby RugbyLiebe » Wed, 18 Apr 2018, 07:41

DragonMike wrote:Huh???

Ealing? Ealing TRAILFINDERS? Jersey? 2nd and 5th respectively.... Darlington Mowden park?



Coventry and Moseley are on the rise again.

More the opposite.


What's up with Ealing? Just looked at their attendances and they struggle to have over 1000 people at their games (and those two games over 1k was a derby against London Scottish and against the best supported side, Bristol. That's not really what I would call a "new club on the horizon". Jersey, fair enough, but with being an island, how much can they grow. Can they reach 5-10k? I doubt it.
Wasn't aware of Darlington, they seem to have the potential - attendance and stadium-wise.
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Canadian_Rugger » Wed, 18 Apr 2018, 10:08

RugbyLiebe wrote:
sk 88 wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:I've never really understood the whole promotion and relegation thing in club sport. It doesn't lead to any real stability for clubs. I guess in theory it allows a club to survive long term by ironically giving them the chance to rebuild themselves in a lower division. Down here if teams look to be going bankrupt in our sports leagues they're either kicked out of the competition or they merge with another club. Although we've had a pretty stable period for a while in sport of that not happening up until the Western Force were given the boot.


So the basic principle is that all clubs are equal; all have the same "right" to be at the top. i.e. none; and that competition brings out the best most entertaining sport, and with it drives standards up.

There are more clubs(/"markets") than spots in the league, so you have a second tier with the same, then a third etc. Rugby in England is actually unusual in having access all the way from top to bottom with few constraints (until the 2nd to top division jump where the constraints are artificially high) and has since leagues were introduced in 1987. Football "ring fenced" at 4 divisions in the 1920s and only opened that up to anyone in the late 1980s.

Because the club is an expression of the local community and the sports are all nationwide the idea is that it doesn't matter what league you are in. This is true of some areas in rugby and most areas in football.

Personally I can't imagine anything worse than a system where a bureaucrat can kill off a club because it doesn't "fit" their arbitrary criteria even though it is better on the pitch than another. No clubs truly merge here. Sometimes one eats another to try and survive but there are few true mergers (Headingly and Roundhay to form Leeds probably best example and that was 20 years ago).


The whole franchise system is absolutely alien in Germany. The only one is ice-hockey and there fans are extremely angry that you can't get promoted from the 2nd to the 1st division and it is often ridiculed as a "joke sport", because the best team from the 2nd division can't get into this league.

I think it works when you have a relatively small population or extremely wide-spread population centers. It also creates extremely boring end of season games for a lot of teams because some teams have nothing to fight for apart from avoiding the red lantern.
In Rugby globally we only have one franchise approach and that's totally different to the US major league's system. If it is a franchise it is always created from the top and more important financed from the top as well. That's the only solution small countries like New Zealand, Wales, Ireland and Scotland can keep their pro competition and athletes alive. Australia and South Africa would be able to sustain their pro-league on their own despite having so few and very isolated population centres.

But all of that is not the case in France or England. Also it works if not everything works only for sheer profit. In Germany we had one soccer club in the Champions League qualification this year, Hoffenheim (basically a suburb of Heidelberg), which was in the 7th division just 20 years ago. Again, if you have the population you have the competition between those cities and this leads to relegation and promotion being the best system. I.e. Germany has 40 cities with over 200.000 people + 40 more with over 100.000 people. England has 26 cities with 200k and 58 (!) with over 100k. France 11 with 200k+ and 29 with 100k+. How do you ringfence those without losing any potential?

BUT and that's the interesting thing the last years showed: apparently a franchise system can prevail things becoming to boring, if some players in the market simply get to strong - a thing we see in most soccer leagues in Europe atm, especially in Germany where this decade only two teams won the championship, while in the 2000ies 5 teams won and in the 1990ies and 1980ies 6 teams won it.
But rugby is nowhere to even think about this level of commercial interests where some teams become to strong for some promotion and relegation leagues.


This is a great explanation and it could also be used to explsin why we have franchising in NA. You're countries are densely populated but they are geographically small. I've been to the UK, Germany and France. You can drive across France east to west in like seven hours.

It is easy to have PR because travel costs are ridiculously low. If you look at the US and Canada, they are massive countries geographically speaking. The Province of Ontario alone is twice the size of France. Our population centres are also more spread out.

NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA and MLS teams fly whenever they travel. NHL teams play 82 games a season so you are talking probably close to 50 flights for a sports team. Most teams have deals with Commercial Charters and have specially outfitted aircraft for the team. Some vteams like the Dallas Cowboys or Detroit Red Wings evenbown their own jet.

PR would not be financially viable in North America.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Figaro » Wed, 18 Apr 2018, 11:57

gambass wrote:Considering the size of the championsip crowds (bar Bristol), I don't see any Exeter on the horizon, not in the next few years at least.

Anyway, the English have League up north, football everywhere. Two sports that very much limits the number of possible markets they have avaliable for pro rugby. Ringfencing in their case makes sense.


Except that "Build it and they will come" really does work. London Irish and previously, London Welsh, had no history in Reading or Oxford respectively - both markets without much Rugby history at the top level - and despite being named after a different City AND a different nationality to their local market they still drew crowds of several thousand (imagine how much better they would have done if they'd rebranded to actually match the actual local community). Then you have the example of Wasps, who were artificially transplanted to a new city without much history of supporting Rugby - and their attendances have been amongst the best. If you have on-field success and a high media profile, crowds will come. Scarlets have averaged crowds of over 10k this season, in a town with barely 40k residents.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby gambass » Wed, 18 Apr 2018, 12:03

Canadian_Rugger wrote:This is a great explanation and it could also be used to explsin why we have franchising in NA. You're countries are densely populated but they are geographically small. I've been to the UK, Germany and France. You can drive across France east to west in like seven hours.

It is easy to have PR because travel costs are ridiculously low. If you look at the US and Canada, they are massive countries geographically speaking. The Province of Ontario alone is twice the size of France. Our population centres are also more spread out.

NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA and MLS teams fly whenever they travel. NHL teams play 82 games a season so you are talking probably close to 50 flights for a sports team. Most teams have deals with Commercial Charters and have specially outfitted aircraft for the team. Some vteams like the Dallas Cowboys or Detroit Red Wings evenbown their own jet.

PR would not be financially viable in North America.


If you're looking at the original six NHL teams, you'll find distances in the same ballpark than french football for instance. Same with the VFL or the NSWRL in Australia. Distance-wise, these leagues could have work with a P&R system, but they didn't.

I believe that when you just have enough teams to run a pro league, there is absoluty no point in having a P&R system just for the sake of it (which is the default mindset of many in Europe). If new markets arise, just expand the league as every "closed" leagues have always been doing

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby gambass » Wed, 18 Apr 2018, 12:16

Figaro wrote:
gambass wrote:Considering the size of the championsip crowds (bar Bristol), I don't see any Exeter on the horizon, not in the next few years at least.

Anyway, the English have League up north, football everywhere. Two sports that very much limits the number of possible markets they have avaliable for pro rugby. Ringfencing in their case makes sense.


Except that "Build it and they will come" really does work. London Irish and previously, London Welsh, had no history in Reading or Oxford respectively - both markets without much Rugby history at the top level - and despite being named after a different City AND a different nationality to their local market they still drew crowds of several thousand (imagine how much better they would have done if they'd rebranded to actually match the actual local community). Then you have the example of Wasps, who were artificially transplanted to a new city without much history of supporting Rugby - and their attendances have been amongst the best. If you have on-field success and a high media profile, crowds will come. Scarlets have averaged crowds of over 10k this season, in a town with barely 40k residents.


The Toronto Wolfpack beeing just the most amazing exemple of this. Orignally, I thought it was a publicity stunt, then I believed they would fold before their first game. But surely, they will never get any respectable crowds ?. Now, I just shut up :D

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby thatrugbyguy » Wed, 18 Apr 2018, 14:35

Canadian_Rugger wrote:
This is a great explanation and it could also be used to explsin why we have franchising in NA. You're countries are densely populated but they are geographically small. I've been to the UK, Germany and France. You can drive across France east to west in like seven hours.

It is easy to have PR because travel costs are ridiculously low. If you look at the US and Canada, they are massive countries geographically speaking. The Province of Ontario alone is twice the size of France. Our population centres are also more spread out.

NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA and MLS teams fly whenever they travel. NHL teams play 82 games a season so you are talking probably close to 50 flights for a sports team. Most teams have deals with Commercial Charters and have specially outfitted aircraft for the team. Some vteams like the Dallas Cowboys or Detroit Red Wings evenbown their own jet.

PR would not be financially viable in North America.


Nor in Australia would it be. The soccer community here are itching to have a second division with promotion and relegation to the A-League but the reality is no-one in Australia is going to watch a second tier league when we don't have the population or the money to support it. We've maybe got dozen or so area that could host professional sport in this country, and most are spread hundreds if not thousands of kilometres apart from each other.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Wed, 18 Apr 2018, 16:48

Canadian_Rugger wrote:
RugbyLiebe wrote:
sk 88 wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:I've never really understood the whole promotion and relegation thing in club sport. It doesn't lead to any real stability for clubs. I guess in theory it allows a club to survive long term by ironically giving them the chance to rebuild themselves in a lower division. Down here if teams look to be going bankrupt in our sports leagues they're either kicked out of the competition or they merge with another club. Although we've had a pretty stable period for a while in sport of that not happening up until the Western Force were given the boot.


So the basic principle is that all clubs are equal; all have the same "right" to be at the top. i.e. none; and that competition brings out the best most entertaining sport, and with it drives standards up.

There are more clubs(/"markets") than spots in the league, so you have a second tier with the same, then a third etc. Rugby in England is actually unusual in having access all the way from top to bottom with few constraints (until the 2nd to top division jump where the constraints are artificially high) and has since leagues were introduced in 1987. Football "ring fenced" at 4 divisions in the 1920s and only opened that up to anyone in the late 1980s.

Because the club is an expression of the local community and the sports are all nationwide the idea is that it doesn't matter what league you are in. This is true of some areas in rugby and most areas in football.

Personally I can't imagine anything worse than a system where a bureaucrat can kill off a club because it doesn't "fit" their arbitrary criteria even though it is better on the pitch than another. No clubs truly merge here. Sometimes one eats another to try and survive but there are few true mergers (Headingly and Roundhay to form Leeds probably best example and that was 20 years ago).


The whole franchise system is absolutely alien in Germany. The only one is ice-hockey and there fans are extremely angry that you can't get promoted from the 2nd to the 1st division and it is often ridiculed as a "joke sport", because the best team from the 2nd division can't get into this league.

I think it works when you have a relatively small population or extremely wide-spread population centers. It also creates extremely boring end of season games for a lot of teams because some teams have nothing to fight for apart from avoiding the red lantern.
In Rugby globally we only have one franchise approach and that's totally different to the US major league's system. If it is a franchise it is always created from the top and more important financed from the top as well. That's the only solution small countries like New Zealand, Wales, Ireland and Scotland can keep their pro competition and athletes alive. Australia and South Africa would be able to sustain their pro-league on their own despite having so few and very isolated population centres.

But all of that is not the case in France or England. Also it works if not everything works only for sheer profit. In Germany we had one soccer club in the Champions League qualification this year, Hoffenheim (basically a suburb of Heidelberg), which was in the 7th division just 20 years ago. Again, if you have the population you have the competition between those cities and this leads to relegation and promotion being the best system. I.e. Germany has 40 cities with over 200.000 people + 40 more with over 100.000 people. England has 26 cities with 200k and 58 (!) with over 100k. France 11 with 200k+ and 29 with 100k+. How do you ringfence those without losing any potential?

BUT and that's the interesting thing the last years showed: apparently a franchise system can prevail things becoming to boring, if some players in the market simply get to strong - a thing we see in most soccer leagues in Europe atm, especially in Germany where this decade only two teams won the championship, while in the 2000ies 5 teams won and in the 1990ies and 1980ies 6 teams won it.
But rugby is nowhere to even think about this level of commercial interests where some teams become to strong for some promotion and relegation leagues.


This is a great explanation and it could also be used to explsin why we have franchising in NA. You're countries are densely populated but they are geographically small. I've been to the UK, Germany and France. You can drive across France east to west in like seven hours.

It is easy to have PR because travel costs are ridiculously low. If you look at the US and Canada, they are massive countries geographically speaking. The Province of Ontario alone is twice the size of France. Our population centres are also more spread out.

NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA and MLS teams fly whenever they travel. NHL teams play 82 games a season so you are talking probably close to 50 flights for a sports team. Most teams have deals with Commercial Charters and have specially outfitted aircraft for the team. Some vteams like the Dallas Cowboys or Detroit Red Wings evenbown their own jet.

PR would not be financially viable in North America.

The geography might be true for most of Europe but you forget two huge countries: Brazil and Russia.

Russian football has relegation, although ice hockey doesn't.

In Brazil all sports have promotion-relegation system and most travels need airplanes.
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby TheStroBro » Wed, 18 Apr 2018, 19:42

iul wrote:
victorsra wrote:At least France has Pro D2 which is much richer than England's Championship.

In large part because they get a sizeable chunk out of the Top14's TV deal. 35% IIRC

Yeah, but PRO D2 matches are televised and at least one outlet leased a portion of the rights for the US Market.

Also, Promotion/Relegation works relatively in countries with mid-size populations but small amount of square kilometers when it comes to Geography.

If every team in the Aviva sans Exeter is losing money that says the system is part of the problem. You're not going to get another Exeter. Exeter is the outlier.

Closed shops are how we do things in the US, except every single sport has a developed minor league (lower division) system. Hockey has AAA-A. Baseball even more levels with just the A level. NBA has the newest second division in the NBDL. Soccer has three divisions in the minor leagues as well.

We're a large country for Population and Geography.
Last edited by TheStroBro on Wed, 18 Apr 2018, 20:16, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Wed, 18 Apr 2018, 20:11

New PRO14 expansion in South Africa soon? https://www.onrugby.it/2018/04/17/pro14 ... sudafrica/
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