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State of the (Yorkshire Carnegie) Nation

better than Australia

By Almo
February 3 2018

  If Yorkshire can win more Olympic medals than Australia, then we are entitled to our own “State of the Nation” report. So, without resorting to Fake News:  


Where are we at?

Following budget cutbacks, and an admission by Geech that this season we are taking half a step backwards to go forwards again, a league position of third after 14 games, behind only richer clubs Bristol and Ealing, would seem to represent a satisfactory position. Although the entertainment standard of rugby played has certainly fallen with the wage bill, certainly the threadbare coaching staff deserve credit in maintaining morale and a winning mentality on the pitch.

We have the Emerald Carnegie redevelopment in full swing, and what a splendid stadium it promises to be on completion. Housing all Carnegie fans in the Carnegie stand, despite the only view being from behind the sticks, seems to have worked and attendances, though understandably lower than last season, have stood up reasonably well. The Carnegie Stand upper tier also gives an excellent viewpoint to observe the construction progress on either side of the pitch when the action on it diminishes.

Our expanded Academy seems to be doing excellent work in developing young talent, plus the club engages positively with the rugby community of Yorkshire.

But there is a darker view that can be taken, perhaps best illustrated by the recent release of Ollie Stedman to Ealing Trailfinders. Ealing’s press release says, “Ollie is the right player to help us progress as we continue to build for the future”. What does that say about the rival club releasing him? Also, the release of our England U20 stars Green and Wright (surely their wages were not excessive?) without anything like a full season as established first team players would question the value of our Academy.

Where are we going?

The mantra of the new board has consistently been that they are only interested in Premiership rugby. They are currently in charge of a club with a rfu-licensed academy, one of 14 regional academies, but the only one without a Premiership team or sure-to-be-promoted Championship team with massive Premiership parachute payment. The Kirkstall Academy is inspiringly-lead by Geech and is rated in the top half of rfu academies. It is, however, a drain on resources as rfu investment has to be matched pound for pound by the host club: normally this investment pays for itself many times over by producing high quality talent, but if the future stars leave early for the bright lights of an established premiership team then the value to Carnegie is a moot point.

Without going into a detailed analysis of salary caps and parachute payments, it is still clear that to muster a squad that can achieve promotion in the current first past the post Championship promotion model is going to take serious cash. And even more serious cash to keep the team in the Premiership, as Bristol have found out. The only communication we have had from the board is that they are working behind the scenes in order to get this funding together, ideally supported by a number of “investers” and not a single benefactor, as history has shown that frequently sugar daddies’ love can in time turn sour with disasterous consequences. Once the money has been found, it will not produce an instant premiership team, of course. If we are to avoid squandering cash on journeymen and antipodeans past their sell-by-date, then player procurement would need to be over at least two seasons, plus we would need to displace an established team so promotion at the first serious attempt is unlikely.

It has to be said that, other than words at the start of the season from David Dockray, there is little or no hard evidence of progress in our plan towards promotion.

Grounds for optimism

The club seems to be doing a lot of positive work on the things it can control, and there is a feeling of secure financial stewardship in the way costs have been cut rather than the head in sand hope for a fairy godmother approach sometimes adopted by sporting establishments. If you were a businessman, especially a Yorkshire businessman, would you invest serious cash in a business of playing where the pitch was sloping uphill, the wind was in your face and the opposition subsidised against you? Perhaps the club can only be really be criticised for a lack of communication.

Surely the real way forward is to challenge the current rugby structure to get to a more equitable position that would enable someone who was not a reckless gambler to invest?

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State of the (Yorkshire Carnegie) Nation (IP Logged)
03/02/2018 11:18
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:02:23:15:33:14 by Wildwillie .

Re: State of the (Yorkshire Carnegie) Nation
almostatyke (IP Logged)
03/02/2018 20:13
Please regard the term, "businessman" to mean either male or female persons, who have some money.

Re: State of the (Yorkshire Carnegie) Nation
leemingtyke (IP Logged)
04/02/2018 00:07
A nice piece of writing Almo with some well thought out points.

I didnt know we had to match the RFUs input to the academy for .

As for investment, its going to have to be someone doing it for the love of Rugby Union in this great county because, if they looked at us as a business proposition, they'd run a mile.

Unfortunately, i dont think there are very many of those about.

Re: State of the (Yorkshire Carnegie) Nation
Mark_C (IP Logged)
04/02/2018 10:10
The academy is the jewel in the crown, however Yorkshire Carnegie in it's current for is little more than a shop window.

Miserati - and Proud to be!

Re: State of the (Yorkshire Carnegie) Nation
JDH (IP Logged)
04/02/2018 20:29
Good post almost.

Selby Kev
Re: State of the (Yorkshire Carnegie) Nation
Selby Kev (IP Logged)
04/02/2018 22:03
Time for Carnegie Coop!I'm good for a Divi! NB I notice Pirates are through to quarter Finals of B&I...we are out of our misery! Pirates Points margin against Hartpury was slightly better than ours? And Wales looked good...should be a cracker next week!

North needs success
Re: State of the (Yorkshire Carnegie) Nation
05/02/2018 07:43
What an excellent, well balanced article Almo

Re: State of the (Yorkshire Carnegie) Nation
almostatyke (IP Logged)
08/02/2018 22:07
Thanks for the compliments guys, but there must be something I have missed out or have got wrong?
Is this a sort of statement that could be taken to the club by the Fans Forum members?
I have tried to put the club's position forward, as I see it, but it would be nice if they could actually communicate to us how things really are.

Re: State of the (Yorkshire Carnegie) Nation
oopnorth (IP Logged)
08/02/2018 23:04
Perhaps they are a little perplexed. In the space of eighteen months talk of a 14 club premiership in the medium term seems to have been replaced in the press by a possibility of one of maybe 10 ?

Re: State of the (Yorkshire Carnegie) Nation
almostatyke (IP Logged)
09/02/2018 08:53
Teams in the Premiership: any number different to 12 will help us. I cannot, for the life of me, see the rfu/Premiership copying France and going to 14 clubs.

Re: State of the (Yorkshire Carnegie) Nation
Bobba (IP Logged)
14/02/2018 10:49
I can! It does not however mean that we would automatically be part of an enlarged Premiership. Should it happen, a progressive increase would be my idea. No relegation for two years from the Prem and the Championship winner to progress. And, this idea of qualification criteria is, as far as I'm concerned, bunkum. Why on earth should a small club not aspire to play the big boys? Leicester having to play at Ealing. Now there's a thought!

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