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Sunday,bloody Sunday.


We wish!

By WW
December 3 2019

This week Carnegie has been branded the worst team in England. This accolade has been bestowed on us by none other than the Times newspaper. It is just what the lads needed at the start of the winter programme but is it deserved?

We are very unpopular but that does not make us the worst team in the land. The article tells us nothing that we did not already know. A cheap shot? Kick a man whilst he is down. A pox on Rupert Murdoch and his shoddy journalists. Right, that has put that to bed......

Except that it has got me thinking - which team fits the title better. My vote goes to a club which had an average gate of 22,000 last season, a squad bristling with international players and is purportedly giving its no. 10 a new salary around £600K.  Where is this club? 2nd bottom of the Prem  (only due to Sarries being docked 35 points)

Moving on to our game at the weekend. There is little sign of our  only consistent feature, our inability to defend, changing any time soon. We are at Pirates, albeit in the cup, so I do not expect our former DoR and the players that we treated so badly to do us any favours at all. Another "L" on the fixture list beckons. Perversely I prefer the cup as the defeats do not seem to depress me as much as those in the league do.

Talking of which our next league fixture is at home to Doncaster on 22nd December. We have got more bonus points than Donny so I take that as a good omen. That would certainly be a good time to get our first win and would guarantee us all a happy Christmas!

 

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Sunday,bloody Sunday.
Discussion started by TykesRugby.co.uk (IP Logged), 03/12/2019 18:43
TykesRugby.co.uk
TykesRugby.co.uk
03/12/2019 18:43
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
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MESSAGES->author
leemingtyke
03/12/2019 21:18
This song is not a rebel song.....

Or should it be

This post is not a rebel post :-)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:12:03:22:43:44 by leemingtyke.

MESSAGES->author
almostatyke
04/12/2019 18:23
If only we played rugby to the same standard that U2 write/play songs, Leeming!

smiling smiley

MESSAGES->author
Wildwillie
05/12/2019 07:50
Quote:
almostatyke
If only we played rugby to the same standard that U2 write/play songs, Leeming!
smiling smiley

Instead we play rugby like U2 do! (Sm124)

MESSAGES->author
leemingtyke
05/12/2019 11:02
Quote:
Wildwillie
Quote:
almostatyke
If only we played rugby to the same standard that U2 write/play songs, Leeming!
smiling smiley

Instead we play rugby like U2 do! (Sm124)

smiling smiley

MESSAGES->author
almostatyke
05/12/2019 20:36
Just to clarify matters: In the U2 live recorded rendition of the song with the same title as this thread, Edge plays some arpeggio notes on D major whilst Bono shouts "this is not a rebel song".
Difficult to describe the tension of "the troubles", long may they never ever return of course.

MESSAGES->author
leemingtyke
05/12/2019 22:02
Beautifully described Almo.

And here's a link to prove it

[youtu.be]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:12:05:22:06:09 by leemingtyke.

MESSAGES->author
Albert Fishwick
06/12/2019 12:00
Am I the only one who hasn't the foggiest what this is about?

If I had all the money I've spent on drink ..... I'd spend it on drink.

Billy ba
Billy ba
06/12/2019 12:54
No Albert theres two of us.. Also confused as to why Joe Csrlisle is at open side prop this week according to offy

MESSAGES->author
Wildwillie
06/12/2019 13:04
Quote:
Billy ba
No Albert theres two of us.. Also confused as to why Joe Csrlisle is at open side prop this week according to offy

I think Phil Daly has been on the Xmas sherry this morning.

JDH1
JDH1
06/12/2019 22:30
[news.sky.com]

We're not the $h1test team!

MESSAGES->author
Wildwillie
07/12/2019 08:02
Quote:
JDH1
https://news.sky.com/story/rugby-union-team-beaten-240-0-quit-league-over-concerns-for-players-safety-11879435
We're not the $h1test team!
(Sm126)

Grybz
Grybz
07/12/2019 16:48
Live ar Red Rocks was a great album, I had it on cassette!

Obviously the standard of journalism at the times has hit rock bottom. Perhaps they should just go back to cheerleading for Boris and reporting on the round ball game.

MESSAGES->author
almostatyke
07/12/2019 18:18
Grybz (Sm21) we like to keep politics out of this forum. Other political leaders are available......as they say on the BBC! (Sm100)

But spot on with U2 without question.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:12:07:18:22:09 by almostatyke.

MESSAGES->author
leemingtyke
07/12/2019 22:16
Quote:
Grybz
Live ar Red Rocks was a great album, I had it on cassette!

Yeah me too, Live Under a Blood Red Sky

Grybz
Grybz
08/12/2019 08:03
My apologies, wasn’t trying to be political it was supposed to be a dig at the paper, but I shall watch what I say in the future.

Grybz
Grybz
08/12/2019 18:30
I haven’t read the article as I don’t subscribe to the Times, however, having done a quick google search (other search engines are available) it would appear that some chap called Sir Ian McGeechan has written an article in the Sunday Telegraph saying that, as sad as he is to say it, he agrees with the article. Again, I haven’t read the article as I don’t subscribe to the Telegraph either, but I couldn’t help thinking “didn’t we have someone by a similar name involved with the club” and “ I wonder if he thought it was the worst club in the country when he was involved”.

Has anyone managed to read either article?

MESSAGES->author
almostatyke
08/12/2019 18:46
I think that it is just a question of money. When the kitty expires it doesn't matter if you have a management team of Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Dave Brailsford, supported by Lord Sugar: you are cooked.

MESSAGES->author
Beeston Lion
08/12/2019 19:56
The Times article did not say anything we didn't already know and I don't know how it justified its column inches with three pictures!
Todays article showed Sir Ian's connection with and belief in the club and went on to divulge that the decision to go part time this season was one taken by means of a conference call which he was not involved in. He added that the next board meeting was "fiery" and he tendered his resignation aftwerwards.
The result down at The Mennaye today however, did nothing to dispel Owen Slot's Times headline!!

tomthepom
tomthepom
09/12/2019 08:43
This is the McGeechan article:


Yorkshire Carnegie's fall has been painful but inevitable – it's upsetting to see the club that's so close to my heart struggling[b]



This is a piece I did not anticipate writing. But I now do not feel I have a choice. I cannot tell you how upsetting it was to see a headline in a national newspaper this week calling the club with which I have had a 56-year association: “The worst club in English rugby.”

Unfortunately that is the situation in which Yorkshire Carnegie find themselves today. I wish it was not so. I wish the article had been inaccurate. Sadly it was spot on. It is a sad indictment, not of Yorkshire Carnegie’s players, coaches, rugby staff or fans, but of the governance of the club.

The article was well sourced. The details regarding the company voluntary arrangement [CVA], the first step towards insolvency, into which Yorkshire Carnegie was taken this summer, were accurate. They came from players who had put a tremendous amount into the club.

But first I feel I should give some background. Yorkshire Carnegie always had an interesting make-up. It was started when Headingley FC and Roundhay RUFC came together as Leeds RUFC, under the guidance and support of Paul Caddick, a former Headingley player and successful businessman with whom I played many games during the 1970s.

Paul also took over Leeds Rugby League and created a parent company, Leeds CF&A, to run both teams and have them playing out of Headingley Stadium.

The rugby union ground was then turned into a joint training facility.

With Paul’s support both teams flourished, with Leeds Tykes rugby union side working their way up the leagues and into the Premiership in 2002. What followed was a yo-yo existence between Premiership and Championship. In 2007 the club was renamed Leeds Carnegie in a deal with Leeds Metropolitan University, which took a 51 per cent stake, but in 2009 ownership passed back to Leeds Rugby.

In 2012 Paul asked if I fancied becoming chairman of the club, with a mandate to review and oversee the structures of the rugby department.

It was something I felt I could do, and I jumped at the chance to give something back to a club I first joined in 1963, along with eight others, as a 16-year-old from a secondary modern school.

I did not anticipate seven years later seeing a vibrant and healthy rugby environment destroyed and cast aside.

Unfortunately, the consortium which took over the club from Paul in 2013, when David Dockray was installed as chairman, never really redefined it as a rugby union entity.

The set-up was unique but it proved to be a flawed business model. The union side would effectively pay a management fee to Leeds Rhinos in return for 20 per cent of the league staff’s time. Gary Hetherington, the chief executive of the Rhinos, doubled up as CEO of the rebranded Yorkshire Carnegie. And so on.

The problem was that there was no incentive for the league staff to go out and look for union sponsors. Quite understandably they had a passion for rugby league. Key appointments were needed in commercial and marketing who had a passion for, and understanding of, rugby union.

While the shareholders themselves were an excellent group, everything relied on shareholder contributions as other income streams diminished.

Premiership P shares were sold to Exeter; Leeds Beckett University’s £1  million sponsorship arrangement finished in 2017; and the club’s shareholding in Premiership Rugby and associated dividends diminished on an annual basis.

It got to the stage where the plan was very much based on one major shareholder who made significant contributions. There was no Plan B being generated beyond this source to sustain Premiership ambitions.

The inconsistent cash flow made signing players on multiyear deals very challenging, but I never felt the board recognised, or even in some cases acknowledged, the expertise required to continually develop a balanced rugby union squad.

In that respect, as a board member, I failed. I tried to convince the other members to think about alternative structures. Latterly, there was the possibility of moving to York, of going down a different model. I know that many of the coaches and players would have stayed on, even on reduced contracts. But things were left in abeyance.

There was never even an assessment of what a Plan B might look like, no joined-up thinking between the commercial, marketing and community arms. In certain quarters a CVA was obviously being considered. When the university money finished in 2017 there was no replacement funding, other than a £250,000 agreement to support the academy, as there were now joint programmes and support staff with outstanding contributions.

Budgets shrank. It became a cost-saving exercise. The board wanted to sell a very successful academy back to the Rugby Football Union, showing a total lack of understanding of the meaning of an academy licence and our commitment to it. Or of its real cost to the club, which was minimal.

In the end, the academy staff, who came within two days of being made redundant by the club, were taken on by the RFU. Nigel Melville, fortunately, saw the benefits of what the academy did for Yorkshire and for rugby in the north and the RFU agreed to work jointly with Leeds Beckett University and Yorkshire County RU. In the long term this will be a better outcome with even stronger links to the university, in both education and playing programmes.

I am proud to say the academy is thriving. At its last independent assessment in February, it received an excellent report (although, tellingly, it did flag up “internecine” problems at board level).

The club, though, was destroyed. It was obvious restructuring was needed. But not by going part-time; by getting rid of every person who was part of the rugby department – people who I had worked with for six years were just gone. Empty space.

It was this approach to players and staff that I found so unacceptable. A name is nothing without people. A club’s reputation is based on its people.

It was a decision taken on a conference call that I was unable to be on. The next board meeting was fiery and my resignation followed.

Chris Stirling, director of rugby, his staff and players deserved significantly different behaviour and respect from the board. They became pawns and numbers, rather than people with families and commitments.

After the final game, the scenes in the dressing room showed what the club had given up. A Yorkshire haka, brilliantly performed, singing and camaraderie. A group of them would spend some days together in Spain. That is what a rugby club is. Not a name. Chris, quite rightly, took six players with him to Cornish Pirates.

It has been a bitter pill to swallow. I invested a huge amount, both financially and emotionally, over the seven years. Unfortunately, I became another name on the creditors’ list after 12 months’ fees and travel expenses to represent the club at Twickenham were not met.

Mostly, I am just gutted for the club. When I agreed to come back seven years ago it was with the intention of giving something back - to the club, to the community which had nurtured me. I am gutted for the players – the current squad are mostly youngsters out of their depth at this level – and for the staff who lost their jobs. And most of all for the fans. By any reckoning, Yorkshire should have a top rugby union team. Just a few hundred turn up to each game now. My neighbour takes his grandson to Otley instead.

I hope one day to see the club back to its former glory, but I fear it will be a painful journey.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2019:12:09:08:47:08 by tomthepom.

MESSAGES->author
leemingtyke
09/12/2019 12:44
Thanks for posting that tomthepom.

Very interesting and, as far as I know, the first time Sir Ian has spoken publicly about what's happened.

leeds exile
leeds exile
09/12/2019 15:35
Yes Tom Thank you. He completely ignores the one thing which upset most people i.e the rebranding to Yorkshire Carnegie. This arrogant step destroyed the fanbase and failed to attract the Yorkshire investors who were supposedly waiting in the wings for such an opportunity.

MESSAGES->author
almostatyke
09/12/2019 15:45
Thank TTP. Seems Geech is still pretty bitter about what happened especially as it harms his reputation to some extent.
He doesn't mention the unpopular name change to Yorkshire though, which has not helped.

I might be wrong, but I cannot see a queue forming of rich Yorkshire benefactors to provide Premiership-level funding support to a RU club , whatever its structure or location. With no money (and in the end there wasn't) full-time staff just cannot be paid so the only option other than part-time rugby IMHO would have been winding the club up.

[EDIT] I cannot type as fast as Leeds Exile so some duplication here!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:12:09:15:47:28 by almostatyke.

MESSAGES->author
almostatyke
09/12/2019 18:55
There is something else that is weighing on my mind from this article: the lack of a Plan B.

What is Saracen's Plan B if Nigel Wray goes under a bus and cannot get the £6 million rfu fine money out of his back pocket?

What if Dicky Evans of Pirates (God forbid) has a change of heart?

Similarly Ealing Trailfinders or Bristol etc, etc.

We were no different really, it was just our Sugar Daddy was still establishing his business whereas the others are multi-millionaires with mature businesses.

MESSAGES->author
leemingtyke
09/12/2019 19:45
Agree with many of the comments above, the Yorkshire name change, a Geech initiative, is massively conspicuous by its absence.

I have to say I also agree with much of what Geech says in the article though, and he does admit that as a board member, he failed. That's a tough thing to admit to and it should be recognised he's had the self-awareness to do it.

The other thing that jumped out at me was this potential move to York (presumably to play at the new community stadium with YCFC and the Knights)?

Has anyone else heard anything about this before now?

MESSAGES->author
almostatyke
09/12/2019 20:07
The York stadium is limited to 8000 capacity, so can never support Premiership Rugby, but that is not to say it would not be a good Championship venue. I fear that its relevance was only brought up when things were sinking fast.
I do not know if anyone remembers the "Future of Rugby Union in the North" report, about 10 years old and which has a big contribution from one G Hetherington, but a case was made for establishing a team away from RL influence in Harrogate or York.

leeds_shark
WPL
09/12/2019 20:35
Quote:
almostatyke
There is something else that is weighing on my mind from this article: the lack of a Plan B.
What is Saracen's Plan B if Nigel Wray goes under a bus and cannot get the £6 million rfu fine money out of his back pocket?

What if Dicky Evans of Pirates (God forbid) has a change of heart?

Similarly Ealing Trailfinders or Bristol etc, etc.

We were no different really, it was just our Sugar Daddy was still establishing his business whereas the others are multi-millionaires with mature businesses.

I suspect the premiership clubs might be ok with CVC money - anyone outside this and I think we all know what would happen...

JDH1
JDH1
09/12/2019 23:45
I think a move towards harrogate or York would have been a good long term plan. The board always looked for a quick prem rugby return but never had the money or know how.

Hopefully they will have an open meeting soon and let us know what's planned.

MESSAGES->author
leemingtyke
10/12/2019 19:45
GH is now having a pop at Geech

[www.yorkshirepost.co.uk]

MESSAGES->author
almostatyke
10/12/2019 21:28
In truth the answer is probably somewhere in the middle between Geech and Hetherington, but I can understand Gary fighting his corner as Geech's article was certainly flawed.

MESSAGES->author
leemingtyke
10/12/2019 21:46
Last year's players seem to be on team Geech

[twitter.com]

MESSAGES->author
Madtyke
11/12/2019 07:03
Quote:
leeds exile
Yes Tom Thank you. He completely ignores the one thing which upset most people i.e the rebranding to Yorkshire Carnegie. This arrogant step destroyed the fanbase and failed to attract the Yorkshire investors who were supposedly waiting in the wings for such an opportunity.

The decision at the end of a promotion winning season to drop the 'Tykes' brand for 'Carnegie' wss the first nail in the coffin IMHO. Why the couldn't have called them 'Leeds Carnegie Tykes' and so kept the momentum going is beyond me. Could you imagine the Whinos doing the same for a commercial sponsor.

[www.arborfieldoldboys.co.uk]

leeds exile
leeds exile
11/12/2019 08:18
Totally agree Madtyke. The Carnegie interference was the beginning of the end. Leeds Tykes had a stable fanbase of 4-5,000 with the potential to grow. It takes ages for clubs to form an identity but they can quickly be destroyed.

MESSAGES->author
Wildwillie
12/12/2019 10:06
Quote:
leeds exile
....... Leeds Tykes had a stable fanbase of 4-5,000 with the potential to grow. It takes ages for clubs to form an identity but they can quickly be destroyed.

And was destroyed imho.

JDH1
JDH1
12/12/2019 22:51
Rob geech on twitter now. Saying Wright offered to pump money into Leeds on the condition GH stepped down. He wouldn't. So he didn't...

MESSAGES->author
Wildwillie
13/12/2019 08:52
Both McGeechan and Hetherington neglect to point out the most telling factor in our financial demise. That was when Caddick took his bat ( and his money) home at short notice and then took the A shares money as a repayment. From that moment on we were heading down the financial toilet IMHO.

MESSAGES->author
almostatyke
13/12/2019 10:20
He also took the £1.5 million parachute payment as "part repayment of past loans".

Plus we were left with a number of disheartened players on Premiership contracts to pay.

Dr Zaius
Dr Zaius
13/12/2019 19:17
Gary Hetherington single handedly kept the business going through all his years of wheeler-dealering. The club would have stopped existing years ago without him.
That he couldn't keep covering over the underlying financial realities isn't a reflection on him - although no doubt some people would have been better at the running of an RU club aspect, nobody would have been able to ensure the company remained liquid for as long.

MESSAGES->author
Albert Fishwick
13/12/2019 20:07
That has always been my impression. He certainly turned up to more games than anyone. If Sir Ian wasn't happy with the off-field support then as Chairman he should have sorted it out. He may have worked for nowt towards the death but he was on a decent turn when he first came.

If I had all the money I've spent on drink ..... I'd spend it on drink.

MESSAGES->author
almostatyke
13/12/2019 21:46
Quote:
Dr Zaius
Gary Hetherington single handedly kept the business going through all his years of wheeler-dealering. The club would have stopped existing years ago without him.
That he couldn't keep covering over the underlying financial realities isn't a reflection on him - although no doubt some people would have been better at the running of an RU club aspect, nobody would have been able to ensure the company remained liquid for as long.

IMHO this is nail on head. Like him or not, Gary has always fronted-up to issues and I find it ironic that the ex-players are blaming him, as the messenger with bad news, rather than the underlying lack of finance caused by an unpredicted sudden sponsor financial collapse.
Also I find it difficult to believe that Jon Wright was going to plough in millions but GH stood in his way. We are talking about a guy who is, I think, 68 and has already shed much of his workload to Sir Kev at Rhinos. So why wouldn't he retire from Carnegie if he though the offer was realistic? Perhaps he had a sixth sense and realised there was something odd?

MESSAGES->author
leemingtyke
13/12/2019 21:57
Very good points Dr Z, Albert, and Almo - especially Almo.

Still wouldn't trust GH as far as I could throw him though. I just don't believe a word the bloke says I'm afraid.

MESSAGES->author
Wildwillie
14/12/2019 08:35
Doctor Z is in a better position than most of us to assess GH's contribution to the club so I am inclined to believe GH over McGeechan.

(Sm134)

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