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Brad H

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Joined July 2019

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Expansion: The dirty word in rugby league

It was March 1995. Rugby league boldly marched into Perth and Auckland, announced it had arrived and put the other football codes on notice. The ARL has executed one of the most successful marketing campaigns in Australian sport, underpinning the game’s rise in popularity.

Adam Bagnall,
If you actually read the article properly before insulting me, you would have read that the points you make are exactly what I say are prohibitive factors in promotion-relegation! Where in this article am I advocating for, or endorsing a promotion-relegation system?
What is “poorly thought out” is your I’ll-conceived feedback. But I should not expect anything less from someone who thinks State of Origin is bad for rugby league.
Go and learn how to read and comprehend texts properly before you take aim at me.

Could the NRL survive promotion and relegation?

My dad used to talk about the VFA (he was from Melbourne originally). He said it rivalled the old VFL for quality.

Could the NRL survive promotion and relegation?

Spot on mate.

Could the NRL survive promotion and relegation?

Promotion-relegation hasn’t been tried for a national top-flight competition to my knowledge?

Was the old VFL before the nationalisation a promotion-relegation competition? I didn’t know that admittedly.

Could the NRL survive promotion and relegation?

Hi Matth,
First of all, I am not advocating or proposing the model in this article, or any promotion-relegation model for that matter. Just purely looking at the pros and cons of promotion-relegation with the model that seems to be thrown around in discussions. I will try to answer your questions:
1. Top level clubs release or loan players to lower tier clubs in European football and the Super League for a fee all the time. For example, Penrith might release or lend a back rower not being used at the moment to a club in the second tier in exchange for a transfer fee, or loan fee. Seeing that there are currently 16 teams in the NRL, if the NRL was to be reduced to 12, players at relegated clubs may seek a release or transfer to stay in the NRL with another club. This would force players out of clubs and facilitate player movement between NRL clubs and second tier competition clubs.
2. Very good question. These arrangements would be disbanded. For example, you would imagine that some of the big clubs in the NSW and Qld Cups would want to try to get into the NRL. The existing arrangements change almost on a year to year basis. Newtown for example, have been a feeder club to many different NRL clubs over the years.
3. The example used in the article was national, possibly with an international presence.
4. Yes. It would have to be fully professional with a lower cap than the NRL. The NRL would need to redirect revenue from the NRL to subsidise the second tier competition for it to work. I agree that this kind of funding arrangement would create a dogfight between the NRL and its clubs.
5. Regarding travel and accomodation for traveling teams, the NRL could find an official airline and hotel to sponsor the cost of all 24 teams. This is what Toronto Wolfpack have in place in the British competition. Toronto pay for the travel and accomodation of British clubs through a sponsorship arrangement.
6. Very good question. I mentioned this problem in the article. The relegation of the Warriors or Melbourne or the Gold Coast would kill those clubs and subsequently, rugby league in those places. I guess any promotion-relegation model would need to have immunity from relegation for strategically important clubs.

Could the NRL survive promotion and relegation?

No worries Mushi… let me know how year 5 is going.

Expansion: The dirty word in rugby league

Yes, true. Also, what is of interest is the loss that Foxtel continues, whether this influences the amount they can offer for the rights and if any of the streaming services (ie. netflix, amazon, stan etc) are interested in spreading their platforms to include live sport in the next five years.

Expansion: The dirty word in rugby league

Madmax, what is laughable is your feedback:

1. “Your Pros & Cons are laughable & your reasoning shows lack of rugby league knowledge & it’s origins”.

So, the NRL did not spawn from a Sydney competition? Are the “origins” of Rugby League competition in Australia not a suburban based competition in Sydney? If it did not, please enlighten us with your superior knowledge in this area.

2. “What have the Bears achieved since their inception? ZERO! What have Manly & the Tigers achieved…….a hell of a lot more & will continue to do so”

Who mentioned anything about the Bears? Where did this article criticise the other two clubs achievements?

3. “Expansion of rugby league your way will spell the end of the sport!”

I ended my article with stating that I do not have the answers to successfully expand the competition. I have offered NO MODEL to expand the competition, only proposed that some difficult conversations about future expansion and the future of rugby league teams in Sydney needs to happen.

4. “You’re repeating what others have said regarding expansion before.”

All I have stated is that the topic of expansion for many rugby league people is a difficult subject because of the possible consequences expansion can have on some of the Sydney. What is so inaccurate about this? If others have stated similar sentiments, it is purely coincidental.

5. “Another expansionist”.

So “expansionists” outline the complexities and difficulties in making expansion work in an article they write? Hmmm….

Expansion: The dirty word in rugby league

Yes, Paul I agree that the time is not right. But if you recall, the four teams introduced in 1995 were given notice in 1992 that they were given the green light for entry. Nothing can probably happen until the next TV and streaming deals anyway.
Regarding your comment about “guarantees of return”, anybody who is looking to get involved in owning/running a club for profit will be waiting a very long time…. NRL clubs don’t usually make money.

Expansion: The dirty word in rugby league

Adam, ask Mushi that question. I thought it means that “National” for the national competition but apparently this is a “fan boi bragging rights” thing made up with “no rationale commercial argument” for having a national competition.

Expansion: The dirty word in rugby league

Mushi,
Okay, fair enough. Disband the NRL.
Let’s get rid of the QLD teams, Canberra, Melbourne, Newcastle and the Warriors. Let’s go back to just a Sydney Comp and see how long the game survives on “cultural attachment”.
PS- I said nothing about South Island of NZ, I said “south”. A place called Wellington is down in the south of the North Island.

Expansion: The dirty word in rugby league

Adam, a licence system based on criteria is ideal in theory. But let’s not forget what happened the last time the NRL tried that. Fans lost to the game. Thousands of Souths fans protesting on the streets.

Courts and lawyers. It was a terrible look for the game.

For licensing to work, clubs would need to vote for it and put aside their own vested interests. I can’t see that happening.

Expansion: The dirty word in rugby league

Michael Gardiner, well said.

Expansion: The dirty word in rugby league

Paul, I don’t disagree with you. The premise of my article is that expansion to new markets offers significant opportunities that cannot be ignored, yet, is also problematic at the same time. One problem is the cost of getting clubs established in markets like Perth as well as the impact on funding existing clubs.

Expansion: The dirty word in rugby league

Mad max, you clearly did not read my article. I explored the pros AND cons of expansion. You are just being critical for the sake of it.
As for Max Power, let’s see you write an article and offer some “substance”.

Expansion: The dirty word in rugby league

Mushi, a national competition is needed to maximise revenue from broadcast partners, streaming, sponsors and grow the sport. Any sport that doesn’t look to grow gets gazumped by other sports. The vast majority of the elite footballing athletes of tomorrow in Australia will go to rugby and the AFL if rugby league can’t compete in terms of wages, profile of the game etc.

Expansion: The dirty word in rugby league

Whilst I don’t oppose your idea and agree it has merit, there would be some challenges with two divisions. The concept of promotion and relegation is not part of Australian sporting culture. Arrangements for funding from TV rights would also be contentious and people would want the best players in the top division.

If Melbourne for example were relegated, would they be forced to release someone like Cameron Smith?

Expansion: The dirty word in rugby league

Nick Symonds, they did go into administration you know? The club is struggling with big on and off- field problems you know?

Expansion: The dirty word in rugby league

Because double or triple header matches is the only way the NRL can fill ANZ for club games and create the atmosphere at that stadium

The Easter Showdown could be Sydney's answer to Brisbane's Magic Round

Yes, but it is also an opportunity for Sydney to compete for people coming from interstate to Sydney for the long weekend. They can go to the Easter Show and the NRL, all in the one place.

The Easter Showdown could be Sydney's answer to Brisbane's Magic Round

No different to the days when lower grades would play matches before the main game. I once saw five matches played at Kogarah Oval on the same day.

The Easter Showdown could be Sydney's answer to Brisbane's Magic Round

My idea is that people go to the Easter Show and the football. Olympic Park has copped with large crowds for Origin and Bledisloe tests when the stadium held 110000 people.

The Easter Showdown could be Sydney's answer to Brisbane's Magic Round

PJ,

Yes, 100% right. The Olympics is aware of this and have brought these sports in to the Olympic movement.

Mortgage stress: The poison killing Australian sport

Hi Marcus,
You make some good points. Unorganised sports is a big skill builder. For example, kids who play touch footy or basketball with their friends every afternoon after school develop their talents.
Soccer and basketball has risen. The AFL has actually only increased 1% in participants since 2001.
One thing I should have highlighted better in my article is that participation numbers in organised sport across the board have dropped 7% while the population has increased by more than 30%.

Mortgage stress: The poison killing Australian sport

Hi “The Bear”,

Great observation. It fits in with the premise of my article.

Part of the expensive fees structure at many of these private schools include professional coaching to play in competitive sporting competitions and pathways.

Comprehensive state schools can’t offer the same pathway opportunities and can’t compete with the private schools resources that are at their disposal. The exception to this would be the state sports high schools. Nevertheless, the sports high schools offer school places based upon talent displayed in competitions organised outside of school. In other words, existing participants already in competitive and organised sport.

Mortgage stress: The poison killing Australian sport