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Re: Championship clubs in shock over RFUís decision to slash funding by 50%
Rich. 20 February, 2020 15:28
And Exeter's crowds were around the 2k figure up to their last year in the Champ. Blimey ours got pretty low one year we went down!

Re: Championship clubs in shock over RFUís decision to slash funding by 50%
Rinkadink 20 February, 2020 15:40
They're not far off, average this season is 1,614 and that includes Falcons with just under 5k average. Without that it probably is close to 1k, given the only ones significantly above that figure are the ones you mention with some below 1k.

I think championship clubs do need to do more but that applies to the RFU too, without a sponsor, TV coverage and media hype it will be difficult to build the audience. Attendances have been falling (or so I've been led to believe, haven't checked) and I see no real reason why this country cannot support at least two fully professional leagues. PRL have been doing just that for a considerable time, I think it's time the RFU handed over the championship to those with experience and let them take care of grassroots and their Twickenham cash cow.

Re: Championship clubs in shock over RFUís decision to slash funding by 50%
Rinkadink 20 February, 2020 15:47
Quote:
Rich.
And Exeter's crowds were around the 2k figure up to their last year in the Champ. Blimey ours got pretty low one year we went down!

Just looked at the three seasons leading up to and including promotion winning season, Exeter were averaging over 4k for all of them.

Attendances are dropping, used to average above 2k (sometimes more), such a shame when you look at Plymouth who had 2.5k for ages and now where they are now.

Re: Championship clubs in shock over RFUís decision to slash funding by 50%
Rich. 20 February, 2020 16:33
Thanks for info Rinky - where did you get it? My memory was them getting 2k at that speedway/dogs track of theirs but maybe that was longer ago than I thought. Even so we can't compare Pirates with that until they are at their new stadium in Truro.

Falcons have only had 6 home games so far and after doing the maths, if their home games are ignored the average is 1,309. But the fact it has dropped in recent years doesn't IMO suggest there's no hope but just shows the potential is not being anywhere near brought out. Prem attendances have gone up while Champ have gone down. So it's not a national decrease in love for watching the sport but it presumably has more to do with profile, marketing, importance of matches etc.

Re: Championship clubs in shock over RFUís decision to slash funding by 50%
hooter 20 February, 2020 16:50
you might find the drop in championship attendances could be down to the fact that Newcastle have low attendances at home with very few travelling supporters, compared to when we or London Irish were in the championship we normallytook our supporters in good numbers to away matches. Will be interesting to see what numbers are like next year with half the England team turning up to play.

Re: Championship clubs in shock over RFUís decision to slash funding by 50%
Rinkadink 20 February, 2020 17:17
Was grabbing them from Wiki, so open to errors (didn't directly check sources)... seems about right though. Do you know what year Exeter moved to Sandy Park? Will have a look for comparison if I get a chance later.

Completely agree regarding hope and potential too.

Re: Championship clubs in shock over RFUís decision to slash funding by 50%
Gray_Lensman 20 February, 2020 17:34
I'm with BD about Cornish Pirates. For some reason there's a strange romanticism about them and their potential which doesn't really stack up with the facts. Perhaps it's to do with memories of idyllic childhood holidays or something. But it's a poor area (relatively) with poor internal transport links and a scattered population that's probably not much more than the greater Bristol area. I'm not sure what they have that makes them such a great prospect.

Re: Championship clubs in shock over RFUís decision to slash funding by 50%
Rich. 20 February, 2020 17:59
The Cornish, to generalise, have a love of rugby and Pirates will soon have a new stadium which is well accessible from many and most towns in a way Penzance is certainly not. When thinking Pirates you also have to bear in mind that till they move (at least) they are to rugby fans in Cornwall over the age of 30ish actually just Penzance & Newlyn, and as Leeds have seen, simply calling yourself after the county does not automatically lead to people in that county thinking you represent them! The move to Truro will make a big difference. Most Cornish people with Long-standing Cornish ancestry consider themselves a nation and so Cornish Pirates playing in the county town in the Prem would bring out that Cornish nationhood feeling

So when you talk about 'stacking up to facts', the facts will start to be very different once they move and there are few facts currently which allow a solid view as to what a future Cornish Pirates in the Prem might look like.

Re: Championship clubs in shock over RFUís decision to slash funding by 50%
Peter_B 20 February, 2020 18:17
What might happen in the future cannot be described as a fact. The stadium hasnít been built and they still seem to be struggling to get finance/planning together. They may be able sustain Premiership rugby but while the enthusiasm for rugby is clear they are just as enthusiastic about their clubs as we are about Bristol.

I donít know what the answer is(we have been very lucky considering) but I do think the system needs changing. Get rid of relegation as we know it and start a planned development for the Championship which would mean a promoted club not being kicked out after one season. That would allow a club to invest with some confidence and mean most clubs could maintain their dreams. The idea of PRL taking over the Championship seems a good idea but only on the basis that it does not mean ring fencing.



Peter

C'mon you Bristol Boys!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 20/02/2020 23:47 by Peter_B.

Re: Championship clubs in shock over RFUís decision to slash funding by 50%
thorpebayexile 20 February, 2020 20:54
Quote:
AdminBTCov
Quote:
thorpebayexile
It's easy to throw stones at the RFU. The reason they can't sell it is the same reason that a good crowd at a championship game, other than for the demoted side, is less than 1000. When they showed even the play off games on TV, I understand the viewing figures were dire.

Nobody out there is really that interested other than the few hundred fans of each club.
Really?
A semblance of fact would perhaps be pertinent?
Leaving aside the visiting cartel club, both Cov and Bedford average around 2.5k, with Pirates near 2000.
Not great figures, but, 'few hundred'?


Edited to remove errant quote tag.

Here is the semblance of fact. Total attendance in the championship in 2018-19 was 226,061 (average 1,713 per match). That of course includes London Irish who pulled in 10k on one match, the well supported Bedford and it leaves the others with one man and his dog. Certainly not enough to sell it for ad revenue.

As an aside Ampthill v London Scottish pulled in 467 this year.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 20/02/2020 20:59 by thorpebayexile.

Re: Championship clubs in shock over RFUís decision to slash funding by 50%
gran 20 February, 2020 23:16
I see three difficulties with this GL. First it will reduce the European cups and thereby the odd Spanish or Rumanian team from participating. Second it will impede the big local derbies we now enjoy, in England, the London full houses at twicks, bris bath with 26000 and similar at Leicester.. I don't see the same enthusiasm for Glasgow v Bristol since their crowds don't exceed 8000. But thirdly that pathway for the ambitious is blocked. Not only Exeter but also Worcester have emerged from lower levels and smaller crowds to rightfully claim a spot at the top. There should be nothing to block a renewed ambition for Birmingham/ Moseley, Coventry,Cornwall, Leeds or Nottingham where some local successful businessman with a love of rugby decides to plough in the necessary long term millions upgrade the stadium and grow the crowds. Without that local philanthropist where would Exeter, bath, Bristol and Worcester be now?

Re: Championship clubs in shock over RFUís decision to slash funding by 50%
AdminBTCov 21 February, 2020 00:10
Quote:
thorpebayexile
Quote:
AdminBTCov
Quote:
thorpebayexile
It's easy to throw stones at the RFU. The reason they can't sell it is the same reason that a good crowd at a championship game, other than for the demoted side, is less than 1000. When they showed even the play off games on TV, I understand the viewing figures were dire.

Nobody out there is really that interested other than the few hundred fans of each club.
Really?
A semblance of fact would perhaps be pertinent?
Leaving aside the visiting cartel club, both Cov and Bedford average around 2.5k, with Pirates near 2000.
Not great figures, but, 'few hundred'?


Edited to remove errant quote tag.

Here is the semblance of fact. Total attendance in the championship in 2018-19 was 226,061 (average 1,713 per match). That of course includes London Irish who pulled in 10k on one match, the well supported Bedford and it leaves the others with one man and his dog. Certainly not enough to sell it for ad revenue.

As an aside Ampthill v London Scottish pulled in 467 this year.
Yes, it's a semblance alright.
But Cov's one man and a dog and 2300 others (nearly 500 more than the much vaunted Pirates while up against Wasps for supporters) doesn't count then?

Re: Championship clubs in shock over RFUís decision to slash funding by 50%
thorpebayexile 21 February, 2020 03:22
Of course it doesn't count. They are outliers as far as the broadcasters are concerned. When they are trying to sell TV rights they are looking at the value of the league and all the teams in that league. They can't just show the demoted team and one or two others every week.

Going back to the original point, you can't sell something that only attracts people in their hundreds to the actual games.
Bluntly, no broadcaster thinks they can sell ad space around it.

The only time they had any success selling TV coverage of the championship was when they had the playoffs as that generated a little more interest beyond old Alf and his dog Shep.

Quote:
AdminBTCov
Quote:
thorpebayexile
Quote:
AdminBTCov
Quote:
thorpebayexile
It's easy to throw stones at the RFU. The reason they can't sell it is the same reason that a good crowd at a championship game, other than for the demoted side, is less than 1000. When they showed even the play off games on TV, I understand the viewing figures were dire.

Nobody out there is really that interested other than the few hundred fans of each club.
Really?
A semblance of fact would perhaps be pertinent?
Leaving aside the visiting cartel club, both Cov and Bedford average around 2.5k, with Pirates near 2000.
Not great figures, but, 'few hundred'?


Edited to remove errant quote tag.

Here is the semblance of fact. Total attendance in the championship in 2018-19 was 226,061 (average 1,713 per match). That of course includes London Irish who pulled in 10k on one match, the well supported Bedford and it leaves the others with one man and his dog. Certainly not enough to sell it for ad revenue.

As an aside Ampthill v London Scottish pulled in 467 this year.
Yes, it's a semblance alright.
But Cov's one man and a dog and 2300 others (nearly 500 more than the much vaunted Pirates while up against Wasps for supporters) doesn't count then?

Re: Championship clubs in shock over RFUís decision to slash funding by 50%
Gray_Lensman 21 February, 2020 08:42
The TV audience figures for Championship rugby, even the play-offs, were risible. I don't think they even made the cut-off for the BARB audience figures except for a couple of games involving, er, us. Even then they were tiny. It's not an attractive product for advertising or sponsorship.

As for my entirely made up B&I league although I can foresee European issues with France, perhaps addressed by some form of T14 v B&I play-off, I don't see why there shouldn't be a second tier European competition that could include clubs from Russia, Spain, Romania etc. Maybe even the Championship.

As for playing Glasgow, I'd have thought some sort of conference system would be a way forward so that we, for example could be in a pool with B**h, Welsh regions. Just because Glasgow, say, get crowds of 'only' 8k (we still play Sale and they aren't much more than that) doesn't mean that crowds won't grow just as they have in the Premiership. Professional league rugby union is still in its infancy and perhaps we haven't got the right formula yet.

As for ambitious clubs, how many, genuinely, are there? Doncaster, Pirates, Ealing, Cov? Given Wasps financial issues perhaps they ought to merge as Coventry Wasps and play at Butts Park. Ealing? They already have 'Quins and $aracen$ on the doorstep and will have Irish next season so where's the support coming from? Pirates I have doubts about. Doncaster is a club I have a lot of time for and it would be a problem to stifle their ambition but there must be some mechanism to allow them to step up. Or perhaps just be brutal and say I'm alright Jack and go with clubs who just happen to be in the top tier now. After all, that's how the game used to be, virtually unchanged fixtures and a handful of 'top' clubs. It was players who changed level, not clubs. What, intrinsically is good about ambition. It's broken several clubs and, aside from the behemoth of football, how many professional sports leagues actually have promotion and relegation? We are in thrall to the idea because football does it and it seems natural, but is it? Football is the exception because there is so much money in it and much further down the league structure. That isn't the case for rugby.

If the cut by the RFU causes such a problem to the Championship then what it's really showing is that the Championship clubs are utterly dependent on money they have no control over and no means to increase and have no realistic way of developing another source of collective income. Unless PRL steps in.

Re: Championship clubs in shock over RFUís decision to slash funding by 50%
BS7 21 February, 2020 09:42
Whilst rugby is now professional and stands or falls on success or failure, to lose the 'development ground' of the championship would, IMHO, be a major step backwards. Look at the players we have attracted/gained from the championship or the fact that it's a good way for 'returning from injury' players to get back up to speed. This, along with the way for players to develop, is a reason to maintain and encourage a successful championship.
I, for one, and this may sound strange to hear, kind of enjoyed some of the games we played in the championship, appeared to get back to times gone by where the values of rugby were embraced by a higher %.
That said, I prefer the excitement of the premiership and the standard on show is incredible.

Re: Championship clubs in shock over RFUís decision to slash funding by 50%
AdminBTCov 21 February, 2020 09:51
OK, I accept your brick wall, and will go away and bang my head on it.
Enjoy your cocoon.

Re: Championship clubs in shock over RFUís decision to slash funding by 50%
Gray_Lensman 21 February, 2020 09:52
But even the RFU cut doesn't get rid of the Championship, it'll still exist but, judging from Pirates' comments with smaller pro squads. Which seems to make sense and, I guess, means more DR with Premiership clubs

Re: Championship clubs in shock over RFUís decision to slash funding by 50%
Rinkadink 21 February, 2020 11:18
It makes more sense for the premiership to prop up the championship than to prop up teams from Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Hate the idea of a B&I league, it could easily be disastrous for English clubs also and bring in franchising. We have the Eurolean cups (would accept some revisions of those but not at the expense of our domestic competitions) and I just don't see what English club rugby has to gain from throwing everything away. Would rather make a French and English league (including teams from championship) before entertaining the B&I but what do the French clubs gain from that?

I don't think it's any coincidence that the three best attended competitions in rugby (non-international) are the three pro domestic leagues of Japan, France and England.

Re: Championship clubs in shock over RFUís decision to slash funding by 50%
thorpebayexile 21 February, 2020 17:02
Quote:
AdminBTCov
OK, I accept your brick wall, and will go away and bang my head on it.
Enjoy your cocoon.

Look if you think you've got an angle to sell the championship to broadcast media then I would think, indeed know, the RFU would bite your hand off. Happy to come out of a cocoon of realism if you can prove otherwise.

My thoughts are that the bulk of the championship, including Bedford for example, are quite happy for it to be an exciting, for them and their fans, second tier and that can exist with or without funding. Probably not as a fully professional league though.

The best option, in my mind, is one that others on here espouse, that the championship joins up with the premiership under the PRL. It would make a fair bit of sense including making broadcast of a small number of championship games a condition of broadcast of the premiership. It wouldn't fix the core of the issue that the wider public don't find the second tier of interest.

The reality also is that a weaker second tier doesn't hurt the premiership as it will still be a player development ground and the reduction in player wages will help the prem clubs generally.

Re: Championship clubs in shock over RFUís decision to slash funding by 50%
Rich. 21 February, 2020 17:50
I'd love to know if we'd all have the same views if we were still in the Championship. Not to say that dis-credits any current views of mine or anyone else's, but the fact things are going so (relatively) well for us in the Prem etc now has I'm sure had an impact on this type of thread.

Incidentally, all being equal, I'd far rather watch us playing Glasgow at AG than Sale - that would be a far more entertaining and attacking match. I'm sure many would feel the same if they'd seen Glasgow play on TV. Not that this means I favour the idea of a B&I league. There are many reasons why Japan, France and England have the best supported leagues but I agree with Rinkadink that the non-international nature of those leagues is important in that. You just have to look at the lower crowds the Champions League gets in England and France (compared to Prem and Top 14) to see that.

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