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Multi-sport Cities

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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby sk 88 » Wed, 29 Jul 2020, 10:09

RugbyLiebe wrote:So a soccer club doesn't pay rent to a publicly owned stadium. The stadium is then sold from the city counsil to a rugby club to reduce costs as the soccer club didn't pay their dues. After that the soccer club wants a public (!) university to build on public (!) ground a new stadium which needs public funds to create new train connections. Sounds like a plan. Or CCFC wants to get a price for being the most impudent soccer club in Britain.


It is much more complicated than that.

CCFC didn't particularly want a new stadium and took persuading from the City Council in the first place to build it, originally it was a joint ownership structure between club and council. It is someway from the city centre and built on old industrial ground near the motorway, so was a "crown jewel" in the councils renewal program. They then got relegated and a TV channel called ITV digital went bust and caused big financial problems in second division football. This meant the council stepped in to organise buying the other half of the stadium with CCFC having loads of preferential options to buy, but also a hefty rental fee.

The feeling generally around Cov was that the council were milking the football club for the rent and playing silly buggers over the price to buy out the share. Cov's owners are now a Finnish hedge fund called SISU. They tried to drive this hard bargain by withholding the rent.

At the same time an Irish insurance magnate was in negotiations to buy the Ricoh and surrounding land, but was told he needed a sports team to play there. SISU wouldn't sell to him. So totally coincidentally he found that a rugby team he 100% supported, honest guv, was up for sale and in need of a stadium. After buying them he found, to his horror, there were no available sites for stadiums in greater London (apart from all the ones since developed), but there was this available site in Coventry ...

Cov City Council sold it to him without involving CCFC arguing they'd broken their agreement, and arguably for tens of millions below market value. This would be state aid and against EU rules, it is currently with the EU courts and I could see it going either way. As it happened in 2014 Brexit does not affect this. Richardson purchased the stadium with a £35m bond bearing 7% interest and due for renewal in May 2022. It is currently trading at about 40p in the £.

The "very light rail" scheme will probably never happen but was being built to this area anyway. Universities often sell off land in the UK, and there is no suggestions this will be below market rate, so this is not particularly an issue here. Particularly as land within the council's jurisdiction is off limits due to the total breakdown between CCFC & CCC.

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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby iul » Wed, 29 Jul 2020, 12:11

IIRC the bonds Wasps have issued are selling at about 30-40 penny on the pound which means that if Wasps have been buying back their own bonds they could massively reduce their debt. All of these disaster news pieces about them could work in their favour

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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby victorsra » Wed, 29 Jul 2020, 15:00

Stadiums have maintainance costs. Is it worthing for Wasps to own it? I ask because it is bigger than needed in a city that I doesn't have a particularly strong economy.
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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Wed, 29 Jul 2020, 15:29

victorsra wrote:Stadiums have maintainance costs. Is it worthing for Wasps to own it? I ask because it is bigger than needed in a city that I doesn't have a particularly strong economy.


In Britain a sports team relocating to a different city is uncommon. For Wasps, moving to Coventry has been quite successful, but they don't have the level of support of teams like Leicester, Northampton, Harlequins and Bath who have generations of supporters.
I think owning the Ricoh Arena is central to their plans. But you are right, the Ricoh Arena is a bit too big. Also it's not really part of the city, it's right at the edge. And Wasps aren't really connected to the city. But for a large city like Coventry it could be sustainable if Wasps and CCFC were sharing the costs, but at the moment there is no prospect of them working together. So CCFC remain homeless and Wasps are in a huge home they can barely afford.

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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby victorsra » Wed, 29 Jul 2020, 17:33

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:Stadiums have maintainance costs. Is it worthing for Wasps to own it? I ask because it is bigger than needed in a city that I doesn't have a particularly strong economy.


In Britain a sports team relocating to a different city is uncommon. For Wasps, moving to Coventry has been quite successful, but they don't have the level of support of teams like Leicester, Northampton, Harlequins and Bath who have generations of supporters.
I think owning the Ricoh Arena is central to their plans. But you are right, the Ricoh Arena is a bit too big. Also it's not really part of the city, it's right at the edge. And Wasps aren't really connected to the city. But for a large city like Coventry it could be sustainable if Wasps and CCFC were sharing the costs, but at the moment there is no prospect of them working together. So CCFC remain homeless and Wasps are in a huge home they can barely afford.

Yes, it is not common in all Europe, South America or Africa. It is a North American/Asian/Australian thing.
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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby TheStroBro » Wed, 29 Jul 2020, 22:11

The point of owning a ground is so you can rent it out for other events. Which they've done. When you do that you make tons of cash. See the Munster-Saracens match.

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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby sk 88 » Thu, 30 Jul 2020, 10:12

iul wrote:IIRC the bonds Wasps have issued are selling at about 30-40 penny on the pound which means that if Wasps have been buying back their own bonds they could massively reduce their debt. All of these disaster news pieces about them could work in their favour


That is illegal in this country (insider trading), and given his background in finance I would imagine Richardson would not risk such a thing.

Friendly fans could be buying, and the volumes traded are always small.

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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby sk 88 » Thu, 30 Jul 2020, 10:16

TheStroBro wrote:The point of owning a ground is so you can rent it out for other events. Which they've done. When you do that you make tons of cash. See the Munster-Saracens match.


Generating cash is one thing, they do that. But generating cash costs money (to put on events) and they are losing £10m per year. Even accounting for sharing costs to the arena company to reduce losses elsewhere they have turned a profitable arena into one haemorrhaging cash.

They can be reliable investments but I cannot see how you can charaterise the Ricoh as one for Wasps.

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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 30 Jul 2020, 10:39

sk 88 wrote:
TheStroBro wrote:The point of owning a ground is so you can rent it out for other events. Which they've done. When you do that you make tons of cash. See the Munster-Saracens match.


Generating cash is one thing, they do that. But generating cash costs money (to put on events) and they are losing £10m per year. Even accounting for sharing costs to the arena company to reduce losses elsewhere they have turned a profitable arena into one haemorrhaging cash.

They can be reliable investments but I cannot see how you can charaterise the Ricoh as one for Wasps.


This why I think the best solution would be for CCFC to be a tenant, so they can reduce their structural deficit. CCFC is potentially a very big club. Ricoh Arena is also in a very good central location, easily accessible from most of the country, so is a good location for big sports events, concerts etc. It should be a cash cow.

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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 30 Jul 2020, 11:14

There are a lot of towns and cities in Britain with top level or professional sports teams in 2 different sports. As far as I can find there are only 2 towns which have 3 top level or professional sports teams in major sports. These are:

Northampton: Northampton Saints Premiership Rugby Club; Northampton Town FC professional football team in the football league; Northamptonshire county cricket club.

Northampton is a big working class town and there are no serious prospects of it being awarded city status.

Guildford: Guildford Flames EIHL ice hockey team; Surrey Scorchers BBL team, Surrey Storm Netball Superleague team. The basketball and netball teams were both established in 2005.

Guildford has a cathedral, a university, a strong economy and 3 top sports teams. In 2002 it's application for city status was unsuccessful. It seems very likely that if it applied again it would be successful. Guildford is arguably a city in all but name. It is, in my opinion, the town most deserving of city status.

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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby jservuk » Thu, 30 Jul 2020, 18:13

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
sk 88 wrote:
TheStroBro wrote:The point of owning a ground is so you can rent it out for other events. Which they've done. When you do that you make tons of cash. See the Munster-Saracens match.


Generating cash is one thing, they do that. But generating cash costs money (to put on events) and they are losing £10m per year. Even accounting for sharing costs to the arena company to reduce losses elsewhere they have turned a profitable arena into one haemorrhaging cash.

They can be reliable investments but I cannot see how you can charaterise the Ricoh as one for Wasps.


This why I think the best solution would be for CCFC to be a tenant, so they can reduce their structural deficit. CCFC is potentially a very big club. Ricoh Arena is also in a very good central location, easily accessible from most of the country, so is a good location for big sports events, concerts etc. It should be a cash cow.


Out of interest, has there been any analysis or study as to how many people from Coventry have become regular/occasional attendees at Wasps? Have any switched from CCFC to Wasps?

Also, there was talk a couple of years ago that Wasps wanted to buy the site where CCFC had their training ground. From the outside it seemed like a blatant attempt to run CCFC out of town (or maybe just SISU). It suggests that Wasps were prepared to risk a total breakdown in relations with CCFC, which would certainly have happened had they bought that place. If this is the case, it suggest they had some contingency for no income from CCFC.

Also, around the same time, the Coventry City council were very keen on promoting the city as a Rugby City. I think it was mooted to have a Rugby League team at the Ricoh, possibly to offset any income loss if the football team walked.

The people that run Wasps are rich, shrewd and bold. I think they'll survive without the football club.

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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 30 Jul 2020, 18:51

jservuk wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
sk 88 wrote:
TheStroBro wrote:The point of owning a ground is so you can rent it out for other events. Which they've done. When you do that you make tons of cash. See the Munster-Saracens match.


Generating cash is one thing, they do that. But generating cash costs money (to put on events) and they are losing £10m per year. Even accounting for sharing costs to the arena company to reduce losses elsewhere they have turned a profitable arena into one haemorrhaging cash.

They can be reliable investments but I cannot see how you can charaterise the Ricoh as one for Wasps.


This why I think the best solution would be for CCFC to be a tenant, so they can reduce their structural deficit. CCFC is potentially a very big club. Ricoh Arena is also in a very good central location, easily accessible from most of the country, so is a good location for big sports events, concerts etc. It should be a cash cow.


Out of interest, has there been any analysis or study as to how many people from Coventry have become regular/occasional attendees at Wasps? Have any switched from CCFC to Wasps?

Also, there was talk a couple of years ago that Wasps wanted to buy the site where CCFC had their training ground. From the outside it seemed like a blatant attempt to run CCFC out of town (or maybe just SISU). It suggests that Wasps were prepared to risk a total breakdown in relations with CCFC, which would certainly have happened had they bought that place. If this is the case, it suggest they had some contingency for no income from CCFC.

Also, around the same time, the Coventry City council were very keen on promoting the city as a Rugby City. I think it was mooted to have a Rugby League team at the Ricoh, possibly to offset any income loss if the football team walked.

The people that run Wasps are rich, shrewd and bold. I think they'll survive without the football club.


I haven't read anything about that, but I feel it is more likely the Wasps owners would want to take over CCFC rather than run them out of town. There is a rugby league team in Coventry. They play at Butts Park, Coventry RFC's stadium. They will never be a big club.

I think the Ricoh Arena pitch is pretty big. If NFL decided to set up a couple of teams in England, obviously one would be in London, but the other one could be in the Ricoh Arena. I can't think of any other sports that it would be suitable for.

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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby victorsra » Thu, 30 Jul 2020, 21:37

The situation of Coventry RFC is complicated. How do you see their future?
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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 30 Jul 2020, 22:09

victorsra wrote:The situation of Coventry RFC is complicated. How do you see their future?


Well there is this proposal which I think has some merit, but I've only read it here

https://www.therugbypaper.co.uk/latest- ... -griffiths

I haven't seen anyone talking about it.

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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 30 Jul 2020, 22:23

Coventry's stadium, Butts Park Arena, looks pretty decent. And they are one of the best supported Championship teams. I think whatever the structure is for England's level 2, they will be part of that. I quite like the idea of a 16 team second tier. There are some fairly big clubs with decent facilities in the division below the Championship. I would like the English Championship to be popular.

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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby sammo » Thu, 30 Jul 2020, 22:39

Chester-Donnelly wrote:Coventry's stadium, Butts Park Arena, looks pretty decent. And they are one of the best supported Championship teams. I think whatever the structure is for England's level 2, they will be part of that. I quite like the idea of a 16 team second tier. There are some fairly big clubs with decent facilities in the division below the Championship. I would like the English Championship to be popular.


Have been to Butts Park numerous times in the last couple of years. Great ground, great club, with a solid support base and financial footing. Have lived in the area for a few years, went to see Wasps once and then tried Coventry, never even considered going back to Wasps. Cost, location and atmosphere are all so much better at Butts. Unfortunately I’ve moved away recently, but hope to get down to a couple of matches a season.

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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 30 Jul 2020, 22:59

sammo wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:Coventry's stadium, Butts Park Arena, looks pretty decent. And they are one of the best supported Championship teams. I think whatever the structure is for England's level 2, they will be part of that. I quite like the idea of a 16 team second tier. There are some fairly big clubs with decent facilities in the division below the Championship. I would like the English Championship to be popular.


Have been to Butts Park numerous times in the last couple of years. Great ground, great club, with a solid support base and financial footing. Have lived in the area for a few years, went to see Wasps once and then tried Coventry, never even considered going back to Wasps. Cost, location and atmosphere are all so much better at Butts. Unfortunately I’ve moved away recently, but hope to get down to a couple of matches a season.


That is the sort of rugby club I would like to support if there was one local to me. Similar size to a Welsh Premiership club, heart of the community. Unfortunately where I live the rugby clubs are totally amateur and don't have a hope of reaching that level.

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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby victorsra » Thu, 30 Jul 2020, 23:02

Chester-Donnelly wrote:Coventry's stadium, Butts Park Arena, looks pretty decent. And they are one of the best supported Championship teams. I think whatever the structure is for England's level 2, they will be part of that. I quite like the idea of a 16 team second tier. There are some fairly big clubs with decent facilities in the division below the Championship. I would like the English Championship to be popular.

But I guess 16-teams means Championship will be downgraded to semi-professional, right?
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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 30 Jul 2020, 23:19

victorsra wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:Coventry's stadium, Butts Park Arena, looks pretty decent. And they are one of the best supported Championship teams. I think whatever the structure is for England's level 2, they will be part of that. I quite like the idea of a 16 team second tier. There are some fairly big clubs with decent facilities in the division below the Championship. I would like the English Championship to be popular.

But I guess 16-teams means Championship will be downgraded to semi-professional, right?


I don't know. Maybe. Most of the players in the Championship earn peanuts. They would be better off if it was semi pro. I suspect it will be a mixture of professional coaches, premiership academy and squad players, and semi pros. The clubs could be affiliated with Premiership clubs. The Welsh Premiership is similar. Each Welsh Pro 14 team has up to 4 Welsh Premiership clubs feeding into it.

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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby victorsra » Thu, 30 Jul 2020, 23:41

So we'll probably see a 28-rounds competition? 14 in each phase? Plus playoffs? It sounds cool. First you offer more regional rivalries and in the end more of stronger clashes.

This means Leeds would be saved and Reading Rams, Rosslyn Park and Chinnor would go up?

So I guess:

North - Bedford Blues, Nottingham, Doncaster Knights, Coventry, Ampthill, Hartpury, Leeds and Chinnor
South - Saracens, Cornish Pirates, Jersey Reds, Ealing, London Scottish, Richmond, Rosslyn Park and Rams

Two National League 1 clubs I hope to see promoted are Plymouth and Darlington, as both seem to have good stadiums and potential public.
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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Fri, 31 Jul 2020, 00:03

victorsra wrote:So we'll probably see a 28-rounds competition? 14 in each phase? Plus playoffs? It sounds cool. First you offer more regional rivalries and in the end more of stronger clashes.


Yes I think so. And less travelling because you're playing other teams in your half of the country. This is definitely a competition I could get behind. I watch Welsh Premiership rugby because it's broadcast free in the BBC. This could be a similar thing. There are enough rugby clubs that are the right size for this competition which will never be premiership clubs.

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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby victorsra » Fri, 31 Jul 2020, 01:43

it looks cool because keeps interest in the competition for mid-table clubs fans.
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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Fri, 31 Jul 2020, 05:00

victorsra wrote:it looks cool because keeps interest in the competition for mid-table clubs fans.


Yes that's a real strength. It would be a local league followed by a cup competition. It could generate a lot of local interest.

These are the teams I think would be involved, with their stadium.

South

Cornish Pirates, Mennage Field, 4000
Hartpury, Gilmour Ground, 2000
Plymouth Albion, The Brickfields, 8500
Jersey Reds, Stade Santander International, 4000
Richmond, Athletic Ground, 4500
London Scottish, Athletic Ground, 4500
Ealing, Trailfinders Sports Ground, 4000
one other.

North

Doncaster Knights, Castle Park, 5000
Nottingham, Lady Bay, 3500
Coventry, Butt Park Arena, 4000
Bedford Blues, Goldington Road, 5000
Ampthill, Dillingham Park, 3000
Sale FC, Heywood Road, 3387
Darlington Mowden Park, Northern Echo Arena, 25500
Leeds, Headingley, 21062.

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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby Working Class Rugger » Fri, 31 Jul 2020, 05:05

victorsra wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:Coventry's stadium, Butts Park Arena, looks pretty decent. And they are one of the best supported Championship teams. I think whatever the structure is for England's level 2, they will be part of that. I quite like the idea of a 16 team second tier. There are some fairly big clubs with decent facilities in the division below the Championship. I would like the English Championship to be popular.

But I guess 16-teams means Championship will be downgraded to semi-professional, right?


That's actually an interesting question. The article suggests they want to pool resources in ordered to attract increased broadcasting and sponsorship opportunities which suggests the goal would be to make the Championship more financially stable and capable than it currently is. I think the goal should certainly be to develop the Championship further as a professional competition. Both in terms on playing standard and attendance. If the standard in terms of stadium is say 5k then the goal should be for clubs to regularly draw near capacity crowds and be able to operate a salary cap not at the level of the Premiership but something close to the Super League.

Of course that won't be possible from day one but that should be in the medium to long term goals of the Championship clubs.

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Re: Multi-sport Cities

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Fri, 31 Jul 2020, 05:12

The one other club in the south division, I would like to see a southeast London club like Blackheath, or somewhere to the west of London, now they have lost London Irish to London, like Rams who play in the Reading area. But at the moment those clubs are a bit small and would need to decide if they would want to make the step up from community club to a more professional set up. The first season could have just 7 teams in the south if there are not 8 teams who want to commit to this tournament. Or the eighth team might have to be Roslyn Park, yet another West London club.

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