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Gwendoline
Clouds no bigger than a mans hand ?
Gwendoline (IP Logged)
24 December, 2017 18:20
When I look back over my twenty two years of being a season ticket holder we have had our ups and downs .

This year I did not renew for a number of reasons. The signs in the clouds from earlier years have inexorably come to pass.

We supported through thick and thin -We even enjoyed the releegation year (local food was far better than premiership commercial stuff) and we went all over Europe (at least the bits that play rugby).

So when did this downward slide start and what should be done about it .

I think there were a couple of defining moments one small, the other major.

The Hood leaving . Like him or loath him we had the fittest team when he was with us . Whatever the reason he left at short notice might give us a small clue to the start of things going downhill.

For me the other was the shift in culture where a profit became more important than winning . Of course if you reward your CEO for making a profit that is what he will do. Alternatively reward him for winning and he will spend whatever it takes (within his approved budget) to win .

In the long run winning will give you the best outcomes . Reward profit first and after a few seasons you will be under invested in players and coaches. That I think has been Saints downfall. Of course we have to be profitable . But it is not a binary choice . We have to be both profitable and win . Just being profitable isnt enough.

When you look at the recruited players it does look awfully that coaches were functioning on a tight financial rein in the interests of profit.

So what should we do now ? There are cleverer chaps than me on the board and I don't envy them their task -but as an old man I will offer a couple of thoughts

Its a good business principal to avoid putting yourself into a position you cannot get out of . Five year contracts for coaches make no sense. Why did your predecessors do it ? If they get a better offer you can always match it . And if they want to leave the contract is useless . Coaching requires leadership and commitment . Neither of these can be secured with contract law . Long notice periods - for that is what they are in reality- are just a one way street to the employer's disadvantage .

It takes time to fix teams and organisations. But don't let that paralyse the organisation while you seek perfection . Some things need fixing immediately . If you have one factor of the game that is consistently not performing change its leadership now. The wrong leadership in an important part of the team cannot be allowed to continue.

I actually think our backs are quite good - bear in mind most of the time they are getting poor ball from the set piece . Tighten up the set piece and they might do better .

Don't hire an available name. You next leader needs to be coaching tomorrow's rugby . Not yesterday's .So how do you find the person who will coach the rugby being played in three years time ? It certainly will not be found in the current list of unemployed coaches. Look for coaches whose players match or beat bigger teams and play with smiles. Like Gregor Townsend. He has transformed Scotland on a shoestring.

Think about the future . The dichotomy between coaching leadership and commercial leadership is a poor management model because it has had conflicting objectives. One to win the other to make money . These need to be harmonised . link the rewards for (all) management to winning first -while being profitable. In the long run putting profit before results will just push any team inexorably down the table to where it neither wins nor makes money - exactly where Saints now are.

 
tboullem
Re: Clouds no bigger than a mans hand ?
Houghton Saint (IP Logged)
24 December, 2017 18:27
Very well put, especially the line about selecting a coach to play 'tomorrow's rugby'.

 
Happywifehappylife
Re: Clouds no bigger than a mans hand ?
Happywifehappylife (IP Logged)
24 December, 2017 18:27
Fab post & thanks

 
shiversaint
Re: Clouds no bigger than a mans hand ?
shiversaint (IP Logged)
24 December, 2017 18:34
Glad to see someone else recognise the Hood leaving (and how he left) marked a change. It was the beginning of the rot starting, where one man's opinions became bigger than the club.

 
Longers
Re: Clouds no bigger than a mans hand ?
Longers (IP Logged)
24 December, 2017 18:59
Eloquent piece Gwendoline.

Thank you.

 
tedge
Re: Clouds no bigger than a mans hand ?
tedge (IP Logged)
24 December, 2017 20:33
Good stuff ! A young, ambitious coach with a good reputation eg Hepher

 
charlieemeriau
Re: Clouds no bigger than a mans hand ?
charlieemeriau (IP Logged)
24 December, 2017 20:49
Nice post, agree with the sentiment

 
ch saint
Re: Clouds no bigger than a mans hand ?
ch saint (IP Logged)
24 December, 2017 22:13
Another excellent post.
We must all recognise that the club was run for many years with the remit of no more funding from the owner. As a consequence the retaining of profit has more than doubled the value of the original investors stake.
Also by vacillating over decisions on the coaching staff the board has turned a problem into a crisis, which is now more expensive than taking action sometime ago. You simply have to decisive and fast when things start to drift away.
Oh well now we have a revolution instead of evolution.
I believe we have the players and the right motivation can turn this around.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: Clouds no bigger than a mans hand ?
shendy (IP Logged)
24 December, 2017 22:41
<like>

 
Sans Culottes
Re: Clouds no bigger than a mans hand ?
Sans Culottes (IP Logged)
24 December, 2017 22:42
As perceptive and shrewd a post as I have read on this board for sometime.

Well said

 
Chris_the_Saint
Re: Clouds no bigger than a mans hand ?
Chris G (IP Logged)
24 December, 2017 22:49
I disagree with your fitness theory, the Hood left well before the season we won the Premiership, in the last play of the last game, in overtime, of a very long season where we fought, and indeed won, on two fronts.

 
Eif Jones
Re: Clouds no bigger than a mans hand ?
Eif Jones (IP Logged)
25 December, 2017 09:55
The rot started at half time versus Leinster at Cardiff. A confident swaggering first half followed by a complete reversal knocked the stuffing out of the club, both coaches and players. Most importantly, post that game, the coaches did not refresh the squad in a timely fashion and have been playing catch up for season after season. The board over-estimated those coaches and got themselves lumbered with the long contracts.

 
riverlodge
Re: Clouds no bigger than a mans hand ?
riverlodge (IP Logged)
25 December, 2017 18:00
Quote:
Eif Jones
The rot started at half time versus Leinster at Cardiff. A confident swaggering first half followed by a complete reversal knocked the stuffing out of the club, both coaches and players. Most importantly, post that game, the coaches did not refresh the squad in a timely fashion and have been playing catch up for season after season. The board over-estimated those coaches and got themselves lumbered with the long contracts.

Firstly to the OP, I love and agree your view.

To Eif: utterly agree your view, the wonderful April wins in 2011at MK v Ulster and Perpignan feel like the high water mark. Everything since then has felt hard work, laboured.

Let's get that coach that delivers the Ruby we haven't seen yet.

 
Christoff
Re: Clouds no bigger than a mans hand ?
smitferbrainz (IP Logged)
25 December, 2017 19:18
There were two moments after that I particularly liked. One was at FG one night at 77m 42s....."Wood.... WOOD!...." followed about a week later by "JP, you may award the try". Downhill from those moments I'd agree, a long, long, long way downhill.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: Clouds no bigger than a mans hand ?
Saint Dom (IP Logged)
27 December, 2017 12:20
Except.

Except that we won game after game the following season. We were indomitable in 2015/16...until the play-offs.
That was the first proper sign of disharmony and decline, that - with hindsight - was the time to learn to adapt.

There is so much good sense written in these pages - especially, but not exclusively, by those who have played their rugby at a senior level and know the game. My rugby ceased after university, with injuries, wine, women, and all manner of other distractions. But I have watched thousands of games and tried to make sense of it all.

Nowadays, I watch what has happened to Wasps, and Bath, and Leicester - and maybe even the mighty Saracens, too. In the end, everything is cyclical. But we will return, and I hope Gwendoline even will reclaim that season ticket (Sm82)

We believe in the green, black & gold....

Quote:
It eluded us then, but thatís no matter - tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms further...And one fine morning -
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.



http://v4admin.sportnetwork.net/upload/99/99_0_1202835632.jpg
*I could agree with you - but then we'd both be wrong...*



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 28/12/2017 09:03 by Saint Dom.


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