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Re: YBY fights back against global season
Rich W (IP Logged)
30 September, 2017 23:36
Really interesting article here, mainly for the words from Simon Cohen:

"I know you want me to say that commercially we can’t afford to shorten the season but I don’t believe that because I have some sympathy for the players’ position. Without players, we don’t have a game. We have to accommodate their concerns and welfare and we have to make it work financially around that, rather than the other way around. I find it very difficult to see how [a 10-month season] can work."

Edit: Tried 3 times. Given up with the link...

All well and good but who's thinking about the other party in this? The paying punter?

If they want a game at all they have to offer a product we'll pay for. By all means reduce the number of games but understand the income will contact accordingly.

I'm not arguing against the principle that the players play too many games - they do - but as I see it Cohen is suggesting a meeting of minds with the players - where the hell are the gin drinkers? Because I sure as hell am not paying for my season ticket so they can abuse our players for a bunch of random jollies at Twickenham.


Re: YBY fights back against global season
01 October, 2017 11:58
Rich W
While I give way to no-one in my loathing for the pay-offs it has to be said that the vast majority of players' seasons end with the end of the league season. The problem is the plethora of extra games - of which the pay-offs only one, and not the most significant, example - that fill out the season for the top players. I suspect, though I don't have any numbers to support this, that most players at Sale or Worcester or Gloucester have a pretty reasonable length of season - they don't feature in the latter stages in Europe as a rule, they don't reach the pay-offs and they generally don't play too many invitationals.
By all means get rid of the pay-offs but that won't do much to help a player who plays 9 invitational games and a quarter-, semi- and final in Europe on top of his league appearances. Add a two/three test summer tour and could still reach 36 games a season - that's an intolerable load.

There might be an argument for stripping out the pay-offs (well there are several and player welfare features) but more than that the number of invitational games has got to come down - and by a significant number. That or players get rotated out of invitational games in the same way as they are rested from club games. Presently a player could play half a league season's worth of invitationals. Disregarding arguments about the absurdity of the highest level of the game being so ubiquitous as to utterly devalue it, it is patently clear that the effect on players of a third of their workload being at the most physically demanding level possible is unsustainable.

I know that there is a financial circle to square here - player salaries need to be financed - but there simply has to be a better way to deal with it than the current solution of more and more high intensity but utterly meaningless games. Billy V has put voluntarily player wage control on the table - it's up to the schemers and plotters at PRL, the Ah F You and World Rugby (aka Narrow World View Rugby) et al to come up with what they propose to give up.

Well put as ever, Rich, but in my opinion the pay-offs are here to stay and, as you say, to abandon them would only benefit some players' welfare, yet damage the league game financially .. to me the compensation for pay-offs for the fans should be commensurate cudos for finishing top of the pile pre-pay-offs in a season which excludes playing through international 'windows'. If that means reducing the Plumpyship by two teams then so be it. Perhaps more power to the Championship versus less t.v revenue though, so BT should probably wrest the Championship coverage away from murdochvision and use it wisely?

The season structure*, the number of HQ jollies and the summer tours are the issues, as you make clear*, and the Anglo-Welsh Cup the space in the league season to be used instead to free up weekends, but as we are only too aware, the vested interests are unremitting and, to be fair, possibly the majority interest in English rugby union is centred on the internationals, so do we not have an impasse .. and even if not, a situation where in fact the Plumpyship has the weaker negotiating position?

''It [the NHS] will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it'' Aneurin Bevan

Are you faithfull?

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