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Ring fencing
Discussion started by warrenball (IP Logged), 10 September, 2020 13:46
warrenball
warrenball
10 September, 2020 13:46
I know this has been discussed before but seeing Tigers and other teams putting out uncompetitive teams, safe in the knowledge they cannot be relegated is going to make the game far less interesting for many supporters in the second half of the season. Certainly we are uncharted territory just now with the number of games being played, but it gives a glimpse into what could be in the future

opti
Optimist
10 September, 2020 14:13
"Tigers and other teams putting out uncompetitive teams, safe in the knowledge they cannot be relegated"

That's not the only reason though. It's also a response to 3 games in 8 days, and other extraordinary circumstances. When - not if - ring-fencing arrives, I can't believe they won't put in place mechanisms - prize money/penalties for fielding weakened teams - to ensure every game is properly competitive.

DanWiley
DanWiley
10 September, 2020 14:40
You might be able to get the clubs to care, maybe even the players, but the fans won't.

South of 5th in the table this year, who cares?

Mike the Taxi
Mike the Taxi
10 September, 2020 15:13
Those players and fans of clubs below 5th will care and be frustrated, just as Bath fans and players have been frustrated with our own performances.

John Tee
John Tee
10 September, 2020 15:18
With the breakdown now being policed better, this has made games faster and more open, meaning, imv, a more excitjng viewing.
So, ring fencing kills this initiative.
Rugby needs to grow..and that means attracting more fans and one sided games is not the answer.

DanWiley
DanWiley
10 September, 2020 15:20
Really? If we were on 0-42 points right now I think I'd lose a lot of interest in the rest of this season. Playing for the chance to be "also rans" does really appeal to me either.

Tiggers fans, for example, might be upset because the way they are playing isn't promising for future seasons, but I doubt they care about this season that much.

Even if you can convince yourself it would have SOME interest, surely it doesn't have AS MUCH? You surely can see you have lost SOMETHING.

dcsh
dcsh
10 September, 2020 15:20
Plenty of fans care how their team does week to week, even if league position isnít that important.
Remember a few years ago when we were 9th and on the last day of the season we played Tigers at home? We gave them a good thrashing and the Rec went wild. Because winning matters and makes us feel good.

DanWiley
DanWiley
10 September, 2020 15:21
Let's play friendly every week then? No financial risk there.

DanWiley
DanWiley
10 September, 2020 15:26
Look at Wuss last night, they were hardly tackling, that's how much they cared about that game.

dcsh
dcsh
10 September, 2020 15:29
Quote:
DanWiley
Look at Wuss last night, they were hardly tackling, that's how much they cared about that game.
Thatís utter rubbish and you know it.

DanWiley
DanWiley
10 September, 2020 15:34
Honestly, you think we were running through them like that because we've turned into a group of supermen?

Mike the Taxi
Mike the Taxi
10 September, 2020 15:44
You have an opinion, DW, but that does not mean that the rest of the rugby supporting fans in the country share it.
I remember a few seasons ago, when, at the last game of the season at the Rec, when Bath were fighting to survive relegation; the 12,000-odd people at the Rec were certainly not 'uninterested'.

dcsh
dcsh
10 September, 2020 15:57
I would agree that relegation gives things an exciting jeopardy, but for the financial well-being of the game ring fencing might be required.

P G Tips
P G Tips
10 September, 2020 15:57
Agree MtheT

One of my most memorable days watching Bath.

Eclipses several winning Cup Finals I attended.

PG

DanWiley
DanWiley
10 September, 2020 16:15
Quote:
Mike
when Bath were fighting to survive relegation

I think you might have hit the nail on the head there.

Bath Supporter Jack
Bath Supporter Jack
10 September, 2020 16:31
Great day......................my son's, now 26, 9th birthday party................PHEW!!!

Mike the Taxi
Mike the Taxi
10 September, 2020 16:35
Quote:
DanWiley
Quote:
Mike
when Bath were fighting to survive relegation

I think you might have hit the nail on the head there.


Exactly! It disproves your 'uninterested' pov for teams at the lower end of the table

MESSAGES->author
CoochieCoo
10 September, 2020 16:42
Quote:
dcsh
Quote:
DanWiley
Look at Wuss last night, they were hardly tackling, that's how much they cared about that game.
Thatís utter rubbish and you know it.

The stats show they made 181 tackles to our 133. Should do better so says Dan! Granted their tackle success was 82% but so was ours!



Adopted player 20/21: Will Spencer - welcome home http://v4admin.sportnetwork.net/upload/105/105_0_1597354200.jpg

http://v4admin.sportnetwork.net/upload/105/105_0_1597330055.jpghttp://v4admin.sportnetwork.net/upload/105/105_0_1597330111.jpg



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/09/2020 16:43 by CoochieCoo.

TomReagan
TomReagan
10 September, 2020 17:03
I remember this issue being discussed at length some time back. I took a different view to DW, albeit with some self doubt. DW is very good at arguing his case so I don't think you should be helping him out mtt! The obvious reason that game sticks in the memory is because we were fighting to avoid relegation!

MESSAGES->author
hasta
10 September, 2020 20:10
Go on the Quins, Saints and (to a lesser extent) Tigers boards and check how much the fans care about the performances. I think they're fairly upset.

DanWiley
DanWiley
10 September, 2020 22:18
I'm not saying rugby will become totally devoid of interest if we get rid of relegation, but it will be less interesting and it's all so people can make money out of you.

Rugby can bring in a certain amount and needs a certain number of players. Pay the players accordingly and we'll be fine. Yes, if your team consistently plays badly, you've got problems, you might get replaced by a team doing better. Don't expect your team to be gifted a place at the top, that's not sporting.

What's wrong with that?

Danchinho
Danchinho
10 September, 2020 23:49
Without the threat of relegation, lower and even mid table teams may well give more youngsters a chance in order to rest or let recuperate the more established players. That can only be good for rugby in general. Give more kids a chance and youíll get more break out players.



I probably don't know what i'm talking about.

TomReagan
TomReagan
11 September, 2020 01:02
Hasta, I'm not really disagreeing with you in that whilst I've always strongly believed that no league should be a closed shop I'm also open to all of the arguments for ring fencing. I looked on the Tigers board yesterday just to see the reaction to the loss to Wasps and I'm sure there were posts highlighting the point that the club wasn't taking these games that seriously and this was the way it would be without relegation, ie plenty of their fans did care about losing a match with little on it, but equally feared the consequences of ring fencing and said they'd rather Tigers 'took their medicine' as Saints, Quins and Briz have all done.

DanWiley
DanWiley
11 September, 2020 07:44
"Give more kids a chance and youíll get more break out players."

I think a good DoR insists that promising players get the right opportunities to develop in the current set up. I don't think we should ring fence because some DoR lack that vision. Whilst we're on it, how much talent do you think we lose this way anyway? I could see the odd player slipping through but, really, most players who are good enough (let alone the ones with real talent) make it through.

An expanded youth system/League might be a good thing though, it could even make money done right. That would seem far better than reducing the competition and quality in our top League.

MESSAGES->author
OutsideBath
11 September, 2020 08:00
Super rugby is effectively ring fenced, yet it doesnít lack intensity and is a far more entertaining product than the PL.

DanWiley
DanWiley
11 September, 2020 08:23
I'd say that's pretty subjective.

I don't buy into the clubs involved in super rugby, they don't really have any meaning to me, so if I'm watching its not for the competition. As a result I don't find Super Rugby THAT entertaining. As I say, I find rugby entertaining in general, I could watch a friendly pretty happily, but it doesn't have the edge of competition. This is where I'm at with Super Rugby, that's how I'd see many games in a ring fenced prem.

I'm always confused by the level of support for ring fencing. We could just pay our players appropriately, based on the money in the game rather than some fantasy of what we'd like it to be, that would have the effect of securing it financially. It would also have the effect of reducing the foreign imports and give more chances to young English players. Ringfencing won't take a club from one losing £1m a year to one making a profit. What is it that's so appealing about it for a fan in any case? The only thing I can think of is we're all, perhaps subconsciously, terrified our team will be relegated and just want to revoke that possibility. Sorry, that's how theatre, not sport, works for me.

TomReagan
TomReagan
11 September, 2020 10:13
I think many fans believe that if you take away the threat of relegation you'll get more entertaining rugby rather than attritional battles for survival. Just as many would argue that it's only relegation/promotion that give these games meaningful intensity. I can see both arguments. The one thing I think is important is that if a side has the potential to succeed in the Prem, a la Exeter, they must have the means to do so, although I accept that this doesn't have to mean annual promotion/relegation. Of course it seems that just as in football and cricket, everything is being done iin rugby to create a small elite rather than increasing competition.

DanWiley
DanWiley
11 September, 2020 10:52
Do "they" really believe this though, or has an agenda been spun by people with money hoping to make more money and this is the line they've picked that will mollify those that might otherwise object? All the pundits and papers, lobbied by the money men (even if that's just taking them for drinks), saying "we'll see more entertaining rugby." That's what it feels like to me.

I don't buy that line anyway. At the end of the day, you can have it one way or the other. You're saying that by removing the competition you will open up the game for more entertaining rugby. The players (or whoever) will feel under less pressure so they'll be more creative. But that's what you've done to achieve it, removed the competition, reduced the desire to win. If they've (players, clubs, whatever) retain the desire to win (and they may or may not, I don't know) you're going to see that increase in entertainment, they'll carry on with the must win attitude and the same stifling rugby.

In any case, I would suggest that the competition is what elevates the entertainment though. Without it its just theatre. I used to enjoy united matches, I've not been recently for various reasons, sit have a chat, there were some great players on show, some brilliant youngsters coming through (I recall seeing Bendy, young, and Mehrtens, old, playing in those games, maybe not in the same match) and fantastic bits of rugby. Loads of tries. But is it the same as a Saturday? Not even close.

warrenball
warrenball
11 September, 2020 13:28
How many times have the relegation matches been far more exciting than those at the top of the table. If you think back to games in the past the ones where we were flirting with relegation stick in the memory more than the ones where we were near the top of the table and there is no question in my mind that my season ticket will be devalued by ring fencing.

Rich.
Rich.
11 September, 2020 13:59
Quote:
warrenball
I know this has been discussed before but seeing Tigers and other teams putting out uncompetitive teams, safe in the knowledge they cannot be relegated is going to make the game far less interesting for many supporters in the second half of the season. Certainly we are uncharted territory just now with the number of games being played, but it gives a glimpse into what could be in the future

But all 11 teams have been safe since Sarries got their points deduction and we didn't see unusually weak teams from then on till lockdown. So no reason (simply based on what's currently happening) to think a ring-fenced League would bring usbwhat we have now (which has been caused by fixture congestion and permission given to fieldnweak teams). I'm not a big pro-ring-fencer incidentally.

DanWiley
DanWiley
11 September, 2020 14:42
I don't think we'd get exactly this, on the one hand these are exceptional circumstances, on the other teams like Wuss would be given seasons to develop their "in it to make up the numbers" status. However, this might give us a flavour.

I think Sarries' "You are definitely going down, stop arguing or we'll make it worse, 70 point" deduction happened end of Jan? That wasn't a great deal of time for teams to react and many of them would have thought there was still a shot at the top at that point. It wasn't long before that they were talking about legal challenges etc.

Rich.
Rich.
11 September, 2020 14:48
But most teams knew they were safe after the initial Sarries points deduction and it seemed to have no impact on their team selection or, in fact, how they played.

dcsh
dcsh
11 September, 2020 19:31
Quote:
Rich.
But most teams knew they were safe after the initial Sarries points deduction and it seemed to have no impact on their team selection or, in fact, how they played.
And to their credit Sarries have not exactly thrown in the towel, without the points deduction they would be in 3rd on points difference below Sale.

MESSAGES->author
hasta
11 September, 2020 22:01
With Sarries original points deduction, they'd just have moved above Tigers into 11th.

BerkeleyWood
The Bear
11 September, 2020 22:44
We effectively have ring-fencing:

Newcastle went down last year, they'll come up this year. Saracens will go down this year, they will come up next year.

We basically imperil the finances of a premiership quality club to give a slight boost to the finances of RFU championship clubs.

But it's not producing a new Exeter and short of another bankrolling owner I don't see how the can be.

DanWiley
DanWiley
12 September, 2020 10:06
I don't think it's intended to produce a new Exeter. In which League do promoted clubs become champions regularly? The fact is happened once in the relatively short life time of the league is a good thing.

It would be good if our second League was capable of producing teams that could compete at the higher level. The solution to they problem isn't to create an unbridgeable gap between the two.

TomReagan
TomReagan
12 September, 2020 10:17
Quote:
DanWiley
I don't think it's intended to produce a new Exeter. In which League do promoted clubs become champions regularly? The fact is happened once in the relatively short life time of the league is a good thing.
It would be good if our second League was capable of producing teams that could compete at the higher level. The solution to they problem isn't to create an unbridgeable gap between the two.
Totally agree, but of course it's in the interests of those with power and money to keep it and weaken competition, and that is predictably what's happening in rugby, just as in other sports. I'd love to see a powerful committee in cricket, rugby or football take a decision where principles have been put above greed, money, maintaining the status quo etc, but it doesn't seem to happen too often!

warrenball
warrenball
12 September, 2020 13:39
The point about relegation is that there is a penalty for finished absolutely bottom, even if most come straight back up. If you have no penalty for failure it is not a true competition. The only people to benefit are the club owners, the ones who lose are the rugby supporters.

Sara'sman
Sara'sman
12 September, 2020 15:50
Alternatively relegation is a means of keeping "the unfashionable" in their place: the penalty is too great imv. Relegated sides (from 2000/01) fall broadly into 3 groups:

The Overstretched (4) (never part of "the club")
2 Rotherham (2001, 2004)
2 London Welsh (2013, 2015)

The Unfashionable (12/13)
3/4 Leeds (arguably now part of the above. "Escaped" relegation in 2002)
3 Bristol * (clearly a new entity now, thanks to an outstanding coach and wealthy owner)
2 Worcester
2 Newcastle
2 London Irish

The Exceptions (3) (comprising two from early years, and us)
1 Harlequins (2005)
1 Northampton (2007)
1 Saracens grrr!

Favourites for relegation next year, despite the gloom in Leicester, will be Newcastle, Worcester and Irish. The cost of relegation is not simply a season in the Championship, it is a threat to the existence of the club: the better players are lost, income both short and mid term (as semi-regular fans desert) plummets, and owners think again as mid term plans are destroyed.

There is a great deal of hypocrisy on Tigers board regarding ring-fencing. Regular condemnation of clubs like Sarries, Wasps and Bris for requiring huge financial support to join "the proper clubs" at the top, yet anger at the prospect of ring fencing destroying the ambitious - clubs that could only break in with even greater financial backing.

Ring fencing "with a gate" as Mark Evans calls it seems a good compromise to me, perhaps every 4 years (WC cycle), with league form over those years, ground, finance, following, etc. all put into a formula to decide on any sustainable movement (together with the essential of the allocation of an RFU funded academy, so often ignored). Along the lines of the (admittedly failed) Rugby League system from a few years back.

To preserve interest and competition throughout I'd suggest two Premiership divisions with Prem1 playing Prem2 clubs only once (perhaps with one additional extra "traditional rivals" fixture), and funding in the ratio (5:4). This might give the unfashionable a better chance to establish themselves and perhaps even enable longer term expansion of the Premiership to include the likes of Pirates or Ealing - if finances ever permit.

Talk of "The next Exeter" is humbug in my view - they rose when the gap was substantially smaller, had an RFU Academy, a huge geographic area with a strong rugby tradition (an often missed part of the reason for your recent struggles?) a cheap site for a new ground, funds from selling the old ground, a wealthy owner, ... Which other club has all this?

DanWiley
DanWiley
12 September, 2020 19:28
Bristol? I guess they are in the process of doing an Exeter. I know they were a bigger club, but their years in the doldrums, I feel, mean it was a genuine promotion and not just a prem bouncing back up.

I don't buy the "with a gate" options or we'll review it in a few years. Make no mistake, once it's gone, it's gone. We will have a league of franchises. "Are you bringing enough money into the game?" That will be the question that keeps you at the top. That's a question I'm still not sure Bath can answer positively enough.

MESSAGES->author
joethefanatic
12 September, 2020 21:54
Quote:
DanWiley
Bristol? I guess they are in the process of doing an Exeter. I know they were a bigger club, but their years in the doldrums, I feel, mean it was a genuine promotion and not just a prem bouncing back up.
I don't buy the "with a gate" options or we'll review it in a few years. Make no mistake, once it's gone, it's gone. We will have a league of franchises. "Are you bringing enough money into the game?" That will be the question that keeps you at the top. That's a question I'm still not sure Bath can answer positively enough.

It's certainly the question CVC will be asking. I wonder about the Sporting Bristol model, where a number of sports are accommodated under one umbrella. Falcons tried it back in the day and I believe Barca do something similar. You could start to see rugby clubs partnering more and more with football clubs to leverage staff, fans and facilities.

Given our rrcent track record, I can see us partnering with Arsenal!

Mes que un club, indeed



... IMHO, of course.

Now in Honolulu



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/2020 21:56 by joethefanatic.

BerkeleyWood
The Bear
12 September, 2020 23:44
The RFU championship isn't even producing a new London Welsh!

Sarries will come up (no big surprise there). Whoever gets relegated the season after will come up after that.

Short of going financially insolvent (which is, of course, a risk of relegation) we're just playing yo-yo and the current situation has only increased the gap.

No side wants to finish bottom - we don't have a draft - and if you tie it to financial incentives then that's probably more important to the clubs than whether they're playing Ealing and Ampthill.

I do think we missed an opportunity with Leeds/Yorkshire (but could equally apply to Doncaster, Rotherham etc.) . There is still fervent Union territory in that area but it is now almost entirely ceded to League. The few devoted enough to Union (like Jack Walker) will have to relocated half way across the country, or to Lancashire (which is arguably worse!).

MESSAGES->author
Clarkey3k
13 September, 2020 08:17
I can only recall a couple of clubs wanting Prem status, Ealing & Cornish Pirates. Coventry too perhaps. I don't think the pro game needs another London club and Chiefs are well located at the top of the SW rugby pyramid. If ring fencing gives some impetus to better player welfare by reducing game time as in Ireland/Wales that would be okay with me. The players need saving from their owners as well as themselves...



Adopted players: 2020/21 A Watson; [20] T Faletau; [19] M V Vuuren; [18] T Faletau; [17] D Denton; [16] H. Agulla; [15] L Houston; [14] W Spencer; [13] F. Louw

Family . Community . Nation - [sdp.org.uk]

DanWiley
DanWiley
13 September, 2020 08:26
What year did wuss make it to the prem? 2004/05? Between them Exeter and Bris, plus a few brief but credible attempts like Leeds that probably could have been more with a bit of luck, I don't think the "clubs from the championship never add anything." Arguement is even real.

DanWiley
DanWiley
13 September, 2020 08:45
Rather than rely on clubs saying "this game isn't important enough, I'll rest x, y and z", which they may or may not do, we've just shown we could easily legislate to reduce game time if required.

There may well only 3 teams at any given time that want premiership status, how many would you want to justify promotion? 4? 5? 1 seems enough to me. Clearly the bottom end of the league is going to sound stupid saying it's going for promotion.

John Tee
John Tee
13 September, 2020 17:22
I have this really really interesting game..should be super exciting, buy tickets for a sell out, but there isnt anything to play for bar 'professional pride' because even if we finish last, we get to stay in the division.
Oh, and even though on paper it should be a good match up, we dont know which teams we will put out yet. We might want to rest players.. and dont really care about the results because it means not a lot.
It could be a good chance to see if players can step up because we dont know if they are good enough...
Not only does this cheat the fan expecting a known entity product, but it cheats other clubs as well because some selected sides have basically thrown certain games to target the rest.

This will be why rugby struggles to attract more fans because the product is so variable and people wont buy it.

Who is that player, i dont recognise him?
He is from the academy
Wow, he must be really good to get a chance at this level.
Nope, we dont know, but he is getting his chance because we are holding people back for next weeks game we think we can win.

Teams should be made to justify their team selrction as strongest available.
It would be a joke if it wasn't the way Rugby runs itself, imv.

MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked
13 September, 2020 19:24
Quote:
John Tee
because even if we finish last,
Out of interest who is "we"?


https://i.ibb.co/pZ68Lvp/Ollie-Fox.jpg

Ollie Fox - England U20 international scrum half, youngest of our four 9's. If you are good enough, you're old enough!

MESSAGES->author
Clarkey3k
13 September, 2020 19:25
It's coming so one either embraces it or continues to "howl at the moon". The game has only had leagues since c1986/7 with the introduction of the pilot "Courage Leagues" in NW England. I was there and played in them. Before that clubs played others "at their level" based upon invites from fixture secretaries and teams that became weaker weren't invited back. The John Player Cup was the Prem final equivalent and the winner earned national bragging rights. Promotion and relegation is a relatively new concept in our game and has created thrills and spills for fans, owners and players but I think the price of broken bodies is too high a price to pay by the players. When change comes we can live without it again imho...



Adopted players: 2020/21 A Watson; [20] T Faletau; [19] M V Vuuren; [18] T Faletau; [17] D Denton; [16] H. Agulla; [15] L Houston; [14] W Spencer; [13] F. Louw

Family . Community . Nation - [sdp.org.uk]

John Tee
John Tee
13 September, 2020 21:18
Quote:
shipwrecked
Quote:
John Tee
because even if we finish last,
Out of interest who is "we"?

Anyone

DanWiley
DanWiley
14 September, 2020 07:54
"It's coming so one either embraces it or continues to "howl at the moon". "

You could say that about so many negative things. I think it's only really inevitable if the fans acquiesce in this way. I do agree it does look like we're going to and we'll only realise we're worse off after its happened.

warrenball
warrenball
14 September, 2020 14:11
I agree Dan and with commercial money coming into the sport it may be the thin end of the wedge. Once safely cosseted with the ring fence the product becomes more interesting owners more interested in money who may buy, say Bath, think there is a bigger possible audience elsewhere in the country and move the team somewhere else.

Mike the Taxi
Mike the Taxi
14 September, 2020 14:49
I can't imagine, on Bath's current, attractive playing form, that Bruce Craig would consider selling his 'baby'.

DanWiley
DanWiley
14 September, 2020 15:43
I can see him, or someone, wanting to move at some point. Stadium falls through again he thinks: Bath's a tiny city, Bristol sewn up to the west, Glaws the north, not much between us and Exeter to the south. BANES and Wiltshire are pretty sparsely populated. Swindon's hardly a deal breaker. Why not move Bath to a big football stadium somewhere? It's a hell of a brand to leave to dwindle.

TomReagan
TomReagan
14 September, 2020 15:52
Quote:
warrenball
I agree Dan and with commercial money coming into the sport it may be the thin end of the wedge. Once safely cosseted with the ring fence the product becomes more interesting owners more interested in money who may buy, say Bath, think there is a bigger possible audience elsewhere in the country and move the team somewhere else.
Developments happen pretty rapidly in sport so your guess is every bit as good as mine, but I can't see it. I can't see rugby ever having the mass appeal, especially at club level to make it a cash cow. I also think that Bath has a rugby tradition and fan base that make such a scenario unlikely. I hope the 💯 fails in cricket but think it's got half a chance because franchises might work in a jazzed up form of the game so my argument re rugby is in part just a gut feeling, although Bath easily attract 15,000 crowds already whereas even for 20/20 crowds are much smaller so there's more potential for growth? Another difference is that county cricket squads are smaller and command lower wages than in rugby, another reason why I struggle to see rugby being that attractive to potential investors.

TomReagan
TomReagan
14 September, 2020 15:54
For 💯 read One Hundred, sorry!

TomReagan
TomReagan
14 September, 2020 15:54
For 💯 read One Hundred, sorry!


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