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The elephant in the room
Discussion started by Monkey1 , 03 December, 2019 10:56
The elephant in the room
Monkey1 03 December, 2019 10:56
We all want to see our team back in the Premiership and being competitive, but how realistic is that, and is it going to be pretty to watch?

I donít think promotion will be a problem, as long as we donít drop off the pace & lose focus. We have a strong squad compared to Championship clubs, and even though many opposition teams will throw the whole kitchen at us never mind just the sink, we seem to be strong enough to weather the storm, and so we should be.

Promotion however is only half of the story. We have to then survive in the Premiership, and the recent shenanigans with Saracens illustrates just how mercenary a league it is. Our budget for players & coaching staff has been estimated to be near as makes no difference, half of what Sarries spend. It seems to be accepted by the pundits that we have the lowest budget out of the thirteen supposedly Premiership capable clubs, although London Irish may be in a similar position.

Sarries havenít spent huge amounts of money just for fun, they have done so because it gets results. You can bet your socks that if Sarries had their budget cut to the same as ours, they would be competing with us at the bottom of the league, not at the top. Anybody who seriously thinks that their huge number of star players would hang around without having heaps of money poured into their bank accounts is living in some sort of fantasy land. They have a coaching staff almost as big as their squad, and those guys arenít going to stay if they donít get paid. Take away all of those expensive star players, and take away a huge number of their coaching staff, and do you seriously believe they will remain as competitive at the top?

Of course they wonít, that is why they spend such huge amounts, because the game is more mercenary than ever. We donít have that luxury, and unless some rugby mad business owner, passionate about our wonderful part of the country, and with squillions of pounds sloshing around in the bank, decides to sponsor us with enough cash to compete with the big boys, we will have to live within our means. It isnít going to be easy.

There will always be those who blame all of our woes on our management, on our coaching team, it is the way they look at life & they will never change. It is possible however that our management & coaching staff deserve a bit of praise instead of constant criticism. They have a much harder job to do than most, and have already shown that they are capable of getting us to punch well above our weight.

If we are back in the Premiership next season it is not going to be an easy ride. The playing field is far from level, and is tipped heavily against us. Those who constantly berate our club seem to forget this, and slate our management as if everything is equal and they should be expected to compete on an equal level. Getting results is one heck of a lot easier when you have an unlimited budget (well unlimited as long as you donít get caught), but even those who arenít quite up to the salary cap will be in a much more comfortable position than we will be. Well the massive elephant in the room, yes that great big grey thing with the trunk, the flappy ears, and that stinks to high heaven, that elephant is real. Ignoring it wonít make it go away. The playing field is far from level, so we need to back our boys more, not less. They will start every game as the underdogs, and every win will be hard-won.

Meanwhile, I am going to be realistic about where we are, and I am going to enjoy this season. I tend to be a naturally positive type of person, and to be honest I like being this way. It is certainly better than the alternative. I will thank Semore, Deano, & the whole of our coaching staff & squad for at least giving us a chance of better things.

Come on Falcons!

Re: The elephant in the room
Bedlington Lad 03 December, 2019 11:17
I do not always see eye to eye with you on this board Monkey but I do on this. Well said

Re: The elephant in the room
stuart66 03 December, 2019 12:42
Well said monkey. I would replace the word mercenary with professional. No professional league is a leveal playing field we will be back at the top one day

Re: The elephant in the room
Robs 03 December, 2019 12:44
Spot on



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2019 12:45 by Robs.

Re: The elephant in the room
A tramp abroad 03 December, 2019 13:10
100 % agree

Re: The elephant in the room
Exiled Falcon 03 December, 2019 13:37
Not sure I agree with the term mercenary either, like every professional sport in every country you will have financial disparities. I personally don't begrudge any of the big boys their wealth, doesn't make them better clubs than us, just means they happen to have a wealthier owner or in the case of Tiggs a huge fanbase compared to ours. And as long as rugby is run by blokes with lots of cash then that is how rugby will operate. Remember we won the title by the legendary SJH buying a fantastic team so it would be hypocritical to grudge anyone else their wealth. And before anyone says it, that title winning year was a sensational season, loved every minute of it. Can anyone really say they would moan if someone like Brian Johnson sold up his Hollywood pad and ploughed it all into the Falcons? Plus now, when we do beat a mega wealthy team it just makes the win sweeter.

However, wealth doesn't guarantee success, just look at the perennial super underachievers Bath, or look at Wasps now, all they have to show for their big spending is an even bigger debt (and you could say they are heading for implosion). Yeah okay, everyone loves to put the boot into Sarries, but you can't deny that they have a fabulous coaching set up and culture, and it's true. let's see how they would do on our budget. To turn this on its head however, does anyone really think our coaches, or the coaches of most other teams other than Ex, could replicate Sarries' success if they had their resources, I'm not sure you hand on heart could.

It's true financially now probably the only team we can compete with is Woos, and breaking into the top 6 again would be a great achievement. However you have to make up in other areas, like in footie, 'rubbish' teams who can compete are always condescendingly labelled as being 'organised'. There is no reason we can't be super fit, have good skill levels, be able to kick or throw on the left or right side etc etc as we can work on them extra hard. That helps us or anyone similar be able to compete more. And NO, I'm not saying we aren't very good at these things already, but like everything there is room for improvement.

We are where we are I agree, but that doesn't mean we can't strive to be better and as supporters hope our club strives to be better, as I'm sure they do.

Anyway, sorry for the ramble, was on my lunch break.

Re: The elephant in the room
Andy Mac 03 December, 2019 16:01
Good post EF.

I tire of reading comments about people who criticise the club as having negative views on the world that just wonít change. That just isnít true. Some people feel, myself included, that despite the challenges the club have regarding available resources etc, they could be doing better. Thatís not a negative view of the world, rather it is their opinion.

It feels like everyone has to be divided into groups and have stones thrown at them, rather than any nuanced debate, or trying to understand Why they think what they do.

Iíve followed falcons for as long as most on here, longer than some and not as long as others. Weíre all entitled to say whatís on our minds, ideally with a respectful tone that doesnít include speculation about their entire philosophy on life.

Whether you are blindly optimistic about what we can achieve or incredibly glum about what you watch at KP, you are entitled to share your thoughts and donít deserve (IMO) to be criticised for disagreeing with others.

Re: The elephant in the room
Wensleydale Falcon 03 December, 2019 16:46
Excellent post Monkey, i could not agree with you more!

Re: The elephant in the room
AJfalc 03 December, 2019 17:44
I'm not sure what you are getting at.
Are you saying that if we get promotion, the best we can hope for is to finish 12th (or 13th if the league is expanded) and our squad will never be bigger, faster, smarter or better coached than the others.
Look what Japan did in the world cup, I know that they had a few mercenaries.

Re: The elephant in the room
Rafpilot2000 03 December, 2019 18:02
Great post Monkey. I think ultimately a less well funded team may enjoy a run of Ďluckí which could bring favourable short term results but itís a marathon not a sprint and in time significantly higher budgets will deliver the performances needed to win the league.
There are a number of ĎSugar Daddiesí with deep pockets bank rolling some of the premiership clubs which simply put their salary bill way out of the league of many. However Iím guessing that there will come a point when wealthy owners tire of their Ďtrainsetsí etc and look to trade it in for something different.
The much hated ring fencing may help. A draft system , who knows . But looking at how Liverpool are doing in the football, success seems to go in cycles . Hopefully we will be on the up again soon .

Re: The elephant in the room
trummy200 03 December, 2019 19:01
Being one of monetary prudence I am uneasy with the accumulative debt that exists in the Premiership. Sooner or later one or the other sugar daddies will pull the plug as Raf has alluded to. What has happened to South Leicester and Yorkshire is not good for the whole game never mind their respective players and supporters. As unpalatable as the salary cap and ringfencing is, is there any alternative?

Re: The elephant in the room
Monkey1 03 December, 2019 19:25
Quote:
AJfalc
I'm not sure what you are getting at.

I didn't realise that I was 'getting at' anything, merely describing how I see the bigger picture. We have bumbled about at the bottom of the league for some time, with one notable season into the top 4, and looking at the bigger picture of the league, unless something dramatic happens that is probably where we will stay.

I agree with Trummy, the current situation where so many clubs depend upon the continued support of one individual is unsustainable. One day, one of these backers will drop down dead, go bust, be abducted by aliens, or otherwise will be taken out of the equation, and unless somebody steps in very quickly (unlikely if you know anything about probate or buying/selling when larger sums are involved) that club will implode. How the RFU or PRL will deal with that situation if (when) it happens is anybody's guess.

Semore is at least realistic enough to admit that he may not be around forever, and that the club should be sustainable without him or anybody else pouring money in. If the powers that be could somehow stipulate that all clubs must cut their cloth in a similar manner, it would restore some sanity to the game.

Meanwhile we are where we are.

Come on Falcons!

Re: The elephant in the room
Exiled Falcon 03 December, 2019 20:05
Have our finances changed dramatically for the better since 17/18? Then we lost over £4m against an £11m turnover. Genuine question, not seen any 18/19 figures. The figures for more or less everyone were horrific that year.

Iíve banged on about this on the our forum so much Iíve bored myself. Our game is in the hands of a few wealthy blokes who can run off etc etc at any time, thatís really unhealthy for rugby here. Whatever you think of him, Nige has been in it for the long haul, so have a few others, but clubs in the main are in an incredibly precarious state. Wasps almost look beyond saving.

As for the remedy, think this was discussed on Dickís thread. The only cast iron solution financially is for the RFU to step in but there is far too much parochialism for that to ever work. Not sure CVC are the answer either in all honesty.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2019 20:06 by Exiled Falcon.

Re: The elephant in the room
dick g 04 December, 2019 08:14
I agree with Mighty Monk and add this: The only way of stopping the Prem from collapsing with the top/wealthiest clubs decamping to a European super league is ring-fencing.

As to the perpetual arguement about the need to respect the opinions of others, only facts are sacred. Opinions, including mine, are much limper things and fair game. Opinions which do not have reasoned foundations can be dismissed.

Re: The elephant in the room
Bedlington Lad 04 December, 2019 08:17
I think the finance issue may come to some sort of head in a couple of years when Wasps bond is due for repayment. I think it's underperforming and I don't see how they'll cover the losses. If they look like going bust would the RFU step in?

Re: The elephant in the room
aidanb 04 December, 2019 09:22
Quote:
dick g
I agree with Mighty Monk and add this: The only way of stopping the Prem from collapsing with the top/wealthiest clubs decamping to a European super league is ring-fencing.
As to the perpetual arguement about the need to respect the opinions of others, only facts are sacred. Opinions, including mine, are much limper things and fair game. Opinions which do not have reasoned foundations can be dismissed.

Amen Sir Dick of Godfrey

Re: The elephant in the room
Andy Mac 04 December, 2019 13:01
You can dismiss opinions easily, but I find it much nicer to do so respectfully. There really isnít any need to be calling other posters numptys etc just because they see things differently to you.

Re: The elephant in the room
Exiled Falcon 04 December, 2019 13:08
Quote:
Andy Mac
You can dismiss opinions easily, but I find it much nicer to do so respectfully. There really isnít any need to be calling other posters numptys etc just because they see things differently to you.

Spot on.

Re: The elephant in the room
Monkey1 04 December, 2019 15:26
Yup, nice to see lots of positive comments with nothing that could upset anybody.

Re: The elephant in the room
Pool_falcon 04 December, 2019 17:23
To compete and survive you either need to spend big or come up with a game plan that plays to your strengths and can help you to perform at a higher level than the collective individuals.

Sadly I can't see us doing either of these things.

Positivity is all well and good but it's what happens on the pitch for 80mins that ultimately counts.

Re: The elephant in the room
dick g 04 December, 2019 21:55
Quote:
Pool_falcon
To compete and survive you either need to spend big or come up with a game plan that plays to your strengths and can help you to perform at a higher level than the collective individuals.
Sadly I can't see us doing either of these things.

Positivity is all well and good but it's what happens on the pitch for 80mins that ultimately counts.

Ten games played. Ten games won. That's what has happened on the pitch.

Re: The elephant in the room
Pool_falcon 05 December, 2019 05:29
Quote:
dick g
Quote:
Pool_falcon
To compete and survive you either need to spend big or come up with a game plan that plays to your strengths and can help you to perform at a higher level than the collective individuals.
Sadly I can't see us doing either of these things.

Positivity is all well and good but it's what happens on the pitch for 80mins that ultimately counts.

Ten games played. Ten games won. That's what has happened on the pitch.

Against opposition nowhere near our level.

If you think we're progressing, good for you...I wish I could see this too.

Re: The elephant in the room
Exiled Falcon 05 December, 2019 06:50
Just a thought, and this isnít put in a negative, miserable way, nor is it put in an overly optimistic way, just asking......yes weíve won every game this season, League wise and cup progression wise we couldnít do better but given our squad did anyone genuinely think we wouldnít win all of those games?

Re: The elephant in the room
dick g 05 December, 2019 07:55
Quote:
Pool_falcon
Quote:
dick g
Quote:
Pool_falcon
To compete and survive you either need to spend big or come up with a game plan that plays to your strengths and can help you to perform at a higher level than the collective individuals.
Sadly I can't see us doing either of these things.

Positivity is all well and good but it's what happens on the pitch for 80mins that ultimately counts.

Ten games played. Ten games won. That's what has happened on the pitch.

Against opposition nowhere near our level.

If you think we're progressing, good for you...I wish I could see this too.

I am simply observing what happened. I am now abandoning this circular discussion.

Re: The elephant in the room
Monkey1 05 December, 2019 08:58
There is no opposition near our level, so endlessly repeating the same old mantra is no more than barking at shadows.

We are not a Premiership team, we have been stripped of key players, as a squad we are not at that level.

We are not a Championship team with out huge squad, who are better trained & more experienced (on the whole) than the opposition that we will face this season.

We are in limbo, neither one thing or the other.

Now you can spend the rest of the season repeating over and over again that any decent Premiership team would put a cricket score on us, but it is a bit silly, does not reflect who we are and what we are this season, and I can assure you is not interesting for others to read. Personally I prefer to accept what we are, accept what the opposition is, and try to enjoy the good bits.

Our challenge this season is not to be capable of surviving in the Premiership, nor is it to put on some sort of bizarre exhibition rugby. Our challenge is to win our way back out of the Championship, and they seem to be doing that with a 100% record so far, and so they should. How entertaining they make that or how convincing it looks to the spectators is not important, they just have to get the job done.

If they get the job done, then preparations for next season can begin, hopefully with the return of players like Mark Wilson & Kyle Cooper, and with other signings that we will need if we want to compete at the next level. Until then we are not a Premiership team, and we already know that we couldn't compete as we are, so getting upset about this week after week is not doing anybody any good.

I am looking forward to a trip to Doncaster on Saturday, a cracking ground with friendly supporters, and don't forget those pies. I hope they throw everything at us (the team that is, not the pies, although I believe I would be happy with that too) and that we notch up another win. If they do so then I will be happy enough, because no matter what some people say, that is all we can expect from this season.

Re: The elephant in the room
Exiled Falcon 05 December, 2019 09:14
I actually think you've done us a huge disservice Monkey, I think we are a Premiership team and even now have a squad that could compete, even taking into account the guys that have left.

Re: The elephant in the room
aidanb 05 December, 2019 11:13
Quote:
Exiled Falcon
I actually think you've done us a huge disservice Monkey, I think we are a Premiership team and even now have a squad that could compete, even taking into account the guys that have left.

I think we are nearly there

a Prem quality 10 would be the thing for next season

that is not to have a pop at Flood or Hodgson but I think Flood may be just a bit too old when we hopefully get back to the prem

I believe the rest of the squad is where you state.

I watched the Leicester game last weekend and watched Calum Green do not a lot again, then I compared it to our second row who are great in the lineout [normally] and get around the park as well.

Re: The elephant in the room
Exiled Falcon 05 December, 2019 11:48
Was really sad to watch a guy who has been magnificent for us seemingly dragged down to their level, chaotic that it is.

Re: The elephant in the room
aidanb 05 December, 2019 12:02
I've said it before

I wasn't a fan of his but was persauded by others that he was doing a good job.

Now that we have others in the second row I have reverted to my view that he wasn't doing a lot for us.

Re: The elephant in the room
Monkey1 05 December, 2019 12:34
Quote:
Exiled Falcon
I actually think you've done us a huge disservice Monkey, I think we are a Premiership team and even now have a squad that could compete, even taking into account the guys that have left.

We are all of course entitled to our opinions, but for too long our signings each summer have been met with a luke-warm reception at best, and many simply dismissed as poor quality. The comments every year are the same, that other clubs are strengthening their squads with good signings, while we make do with players at the end of their careers, and hoping that lesser known players from lower leagues can do the job for us. Yes we have some cracking young players coming through, but so do other clubs.

On the whole I feel that we have been left behind, and we lack the bits of sparkle in key areas that Premiership clubs need to survive. When it all comes together we can beat just about anyone, but unfortunately you can't be sure that it will all come together week after week, and as last season showed, a bit of bad luck with key injuries exposed how thinly our squad is spread when you take essential players out.

Re: The elephant in the room
Exiled Falcon 05 December, 2019 13:21
Quote:
Monkey1
Quote:
Exiled Falcon
I actually think you've done us a huge disservice Monkey, I think we are a Premiership team and even now have a squad that could compete, even taking into account the guys that have left.

We are all of course entitled to our opinions, but for too long our signings each summer have been met with a luke-warm reception at best, and many simply dismissed as poor quality. The comments every year are the same, that other clubs are strengthening their squads with good signings, while we make do with players at the end of their careers, and hoping that lesser known players from lower leagues can do the job for us. Yes we have some cracking young players coming through, but so do other clubs.

On the whole I feel that we have been left behind, and we lack the bits of sparkle in key areas that Premiership clubs need to survive. When it all comes together we can beat just about anyone, but unfortunately you can't be sure that it will all come together week after week, and as last season showed, a bit of bad luck with key injuries exposed how thinly our squad is spread when you take essential players out.

We are indeed entitled to our opinions and this day will go down in folk law as mine appears to be more optimistic than yours, a veritable red letter day!

I think most of us agree last year we had the strongest squad we've had for years yet for whatever reason we went down, either by bad luck, bad coaching / tactics, injuries or simply the moon being in the wrong place. Yes we lost a few players but again think most of us agreed we could have lost loads more. Out of the leavers who do we really miss; I would say Goneva due to the havoc he could cause (physically and in the opposition's mindset) and a combo of a fit Witty and Calumn Green (sorry Aidan!!). CHarris didn't even make most people's preferred 15 and the Hammer polarised opinions big style.

We are still left with the nucleus of that squad, plus a couple of additions and some genuinely exciting youngsters. No, we're not going to suddenly stuff Sarries and Exeter but in my opinion with a following tail wind, good coaching, bringing through the youngsters properly, a couple of shrewd additions and if we really work hard on skill levels there is no reason we can't at least survive and then as the youngsters we have progress then move on.

We have what we have minus a few new players, we aren't going to do an Irish and hoover up every available foreign player to prepare for the new season but in some ways that's a positive as we have to work within our current lot and to me that's not a bad thing.

Re: The elephant in the room
Rafpilot2000 05 December, 2019 13:37
Sparkling play and trophies will always be an aspiration for us as fans. But financially stability and safeguarding the long term survivability and viability of the club must always come first.
We donít seem to be clicking on the pitch but we are winning. Isnít the sign of a good team defined as one that can play badly and still win? Itís clear we will need recruits should we get promoted but we will have a couple coming back from loan spells , and we have a reasonably robust core.
It was mentioned on the Sky coverage of our Bedford game that for every club we play this season , itís their cup final. The up their games and throw their kitchen sink at us. Their is a gulf in capability between the Championship and the Premiership but their are some cracking players in the Lowe league and I think it would only be gracious to appreciate each and every win this season out of respect for the competition.
Coaching staff and player selections seem to polarise opinions , similar to the dreaded ĎBí word in politics and I do love the gentlemanly Ďarticulationí of differences on here.

Iím off to the Middle East with work for most of the festive period So will leave you to the debate but wanted to wish you all a great Christmas !:-)

Re: The elephant in the room
Falcona 05 December, 2019 17:06
Rafpilot2000

Safe deployment and I am sure we all wish you a lovely Christmas wherever you are. And also wish your family happy Christmas too.

(Sm42)

Re: The elephant in the room
Leipziger 05 December, 2019 18:59
Merry Christmas Rafpilot2000, stay safe :-)

Re: The elephant in the room
Exiled Falcon 05 December, 2019 21:54
Indeed RAFPilot, have a safe and merry Christmas. Your work does rather put our rugby ramblings into context.

EF

Re: The elephant in the room
dick g 06 December, 2019 07:52
Fly safe, bonny lad.

Re: The elephant in the room
Bedlington Lad 06 December, 2019 09:06
Safe trip RAF

Re: The elephant in the room
Monkey1 06 December, 2019 11:12
Have a safe trip & try to keep the sand out of your turkey.

Re: The elephant in the room
limpopo 06 December, 2019 11:38
Agree 100% Monkey, the Premiership is a hard life and our finish in the top 6 shows just what a magnificent performance that was, forgotten by many on this board

Re: The elephant in the room
Exiled Falcon 06 December, 2019 12:00
On the contrary, we all know what an achievement it was, just that achievement has been trumped by the misery of relegation.

Re: The elephant in the room
Monkey1 06 December, 2019 12:58
I can't think of any other club that has gone from relegation fodder, to top four, then back to relegation fodder in just three seasons. Nobody can say that being a Falcons supporter is without drama.

Re: The elephant in the room
GeordieFalcon 06 December, 2019 13:06
Personally i think we have a pretty good squad that we are not getting the best out of.

We might be well behind some of the big boys in the prem regarding finance...but Dean has accumulated some pretty damn good players, with international players all over...mixed with exciting youngsters.

The biggest thing for me is the style of play..(as i have mentioned elsewhere) We have the players to play a fast, high tempo style, yet we seem to play a ponderous blunt style. It just puzzles me so.

But lets see how we go.


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