By Margin_Walker
Not happening according to TRP.

I know we hear it every year, but it seems inevitable this time. At least for this season anyway.

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By Stevie J
Interesting. The headline says relegation scrapped, intimating that Prem a rugby have made a decision, but the body talks more about how individual clubs (5 of them apparently) have taken legal advice and think they could beat relegation.

I mean we’ve all said it. I don’t see how you can fairly relegate anyone when some teams are picking up points for being unable to play.
By Margin_Walker
Yep, good point. Think the editors took a few liberties there.

I've been very much in the 'I'll believe it when I see it camp' every time over the last 4 or 5 seasons when anyone has confidently predicted that relegation won't happen during a season that's in flight.

This time though I would actually be shocked if it did happen. Would take a club to be completely cut adrift with no argument to make about being disadvantaged etc.
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By Florida
I really am going off the rugby paper, headlines like that plus the pettiness of Fissler and his constant spats with other rumour sources.


It'll be interesting to see how it all pans out. Not really sure how you can challenge something that you signed up to. It would be nice if PRL would release a statement with their stance on the matter.
By SixNineOne
I think it would be really helpful to all the clubs to know the answer sooner rather than later. You can understand the position of the five clubs who've taken legal advice - they're looking for some certainty at a time when their finances are severely stretched and their playing futures may be in doubt. The problem is that it may well be seen as a somewhat confrontational move by the PRL and, as is typical in such situations. it will probably prompt them to batten down the shutters and refuse to discuss the situation. This in turn would probably mean that a decision is not taken until the last possible minute by which time it's way too late for clubs to plan properly for next season...
By GC89
There aren't many sports I follow especially closely, but PRL has to be one of the worst organised sporting bodies in the world?
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By Narbia
I don't want to second guess PRL, but it certainly seems poor that they haven't issued any statement vis-a-vis where the league is at or shortly will be.

As far as LIRFC is concerned, I would expect and hope that they are one of the 5 seeking legal advice.

And as to the tweet mentioned above, well some of the responses did give me a chuckle. They seem mostly against ring-fencing . That and comments elsewhere about how the PRO14 is garbage. Yeah, the Irish provinces produce 'garbage' rugby. :evillaugh:
By SimonG
GC89 wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:26 pm
There aren't many sports I follow especially closely, but PRL has to be one of the worst organised sporting bodies in the world?
To be fair there is a fair bit of competition. The ECB could give them a good run for their money closely followed by the FA!
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By Stevie J
Owen Slot at The Times is reporting that it is now likely that next season will be a 13 team tournament and the following season a 14 team tournament. I would suppose that following this expansion, relegation would then be back on the table for 2022-23 season.

It’s behind a paywall, here ... -9z9h5k7s6

Certainly with just no wiggle room in the calendar, you’d think the Premiership Cup nee Anglo Welsh Cup would have to go to free up some weekends and minimise playing through the Six Nations.
By SixNineOne
It's not a bad proposal. The Premiership clubs get some certainty and the chance to regain financial stability, while the Championship clubs still get a chance of promotion at the end of next season. Thereafter, I suspect that there'll be play-offs between the bottom Premiership club and the winner of the Championship which, again, seems pretty reasonable (provided we're not involved...)
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By TeflonTed
On top of Simon Orange from Sale speaking a few days ago about “unconfirmed proposals “ regarding ring fencing and COVID cancellation points allocation, we now have the following from :-

“ The Gallagher Premiership is set to be ring fenced this season, according to the latest reports, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which has seen most games played to empty stadiums and fixtures cancelled.
The issue of ring fencing the league has been an ongoing discussion for years, the major pro being the stability of clubs knowing they have a place in the league can help them financially plan further ahead and attract bigger sponsors; the negative being more potential dead rubber fixtures and fears of heavily rotated, non-competitive sides being fielded more often like in the Pro14.
However the Covid pandemic has thrown the already money strapped professional game into a financial crisis.
Since the first lock down in March, 2020, the Cherry and Whites have lost more than £7m despite everyone in the organisation taking a 25 percent pay cut, which all but the lowest earners at the club are still on, a number of high key players and coaches departing and redundancies being made in the back office. The club has also taken out a bank loan, received a government support package made up of loans, and shareholders have put in more money.
Speaking at the club’s fans forum last month, CEO Lance Bradley said: “We are okay but we are not out of the woods.
“We are going to be paying back these loans for years to come.”
It looks to me as though PRL are managing strategic leaks to get us all expecting that which has already been agreed, but not announced.
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By Stevie J
I agree Teflon Ted, however, using the word strategic alongside the words Premiership Rugby... :nottalking:
By shimmieandshake
It's either a disaster for player welfare given the increase in games (at a time when squads are being constricted by covid money issues), or will soon be a positive.

If it's 14 teams, two pools of 7, semis, final, then we'll be seeing significantly less rugby, but the players should be much healthier for it.

Not sure how the 'interpros' work in the Pro14, but maybe you'd add something along those lines to get the in-season games from 12 to 14/16. Could be rivals based. So we'd square off with whichever two of Sarries/Ealing/Quins are in the other pool, Exeter/Bristol/Bath/Gloucester, Worcester/Leicester/Northampton/Wasps and then Sale and Newcastle left to get very, very familiar with each other!

Probably completely wrong with the above, but read Paul Rees in the Guardian, who mentioned even with 13 teams next year, that adds the need for another four weeks onto the season. Where are they going to come from? Seems untenable.
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By Stevie J
From a standard season, you could remove the 4 weeks of Prem Cup to fit in the same timeframe. And / or you take the Top 14 approach and frankly flog the players by starting earlier and finishing later.

The latter is exacerbated by the longer playoffs in the Top 14. But if I am CVC and trying to increase the value of the sport, I imagine a 14 team league with a longer playoff period is what they might be thinking. Either a straight top 6 playoff with bye weeks for the top 2 or even a double-elimination format similar to Rugby League.
By Florida
Mail reporting RFU look to be onboard with scrapping relegation but BT aren't happy for fear of "meaningless" games. One solution being touted to avoid the meaningless game is to bar the 12th placed team from taking part in the Challenge cup.

I find BTs reluctance interesting given they can rarely be bothered to show our games. I quite like the proposal of no challenge cup for the 12th placed team, the loss of revenue and the inability to blood the younger players during Euro games would likely keep teams battling for 11th place
By Margin_Walker
Quite. As relegation contenders we got about 3 televised games a season across both competitions. They are barely interested in the relegation fight and the formula seems to just be have a bigger fanbase or play on a Friday nigh to get games shown.
By GC89
I think it is important that the route to the Premiership isn't permanently close and I really don't want to see dead-rubber games where sides just put out academy lads. So I am against ringfencing for those reasons. However, for BT to claim they are suddenly interested in the relegation battle is nonsense. They hardly ever show the sides down the bottom and to be honest, I don't blame them too much. I think the games they did show the years we were down that end of the table attracted pretty woeful viewing figures. Having games on a Friday night seems to be the biggest determinant of being shown regularly.
By Florida
I agree that a route to the premiership shouldn't be blocked, but on the flip side I also don't think any premiership club should have to spend time in a league that isn't financially viable.

Realistically non of the championship clubs would survive the premiership. Ealing are probably closest right now with a throw money at the problem strategy and Pirates are probably next with a longer term strategy.

I've mentioned it on other threads but I'll repeat it here. I would suspend relegation for 3 - 5 years, invest the parachute payment the relegated club would get back into the championship, lower the salary cap and give more rewards for home grown players.

The championship needs investment to turn it into a financially viable league (for all clubs involved in it), the gap between the prem and championship needs reducing and the championship needs a hell of a lot more TV time. For the championship I'd be inclined to suggest streaming would be the way to go there, make it available to everyone everywhere.
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By Narbia
Florida wrote:
Sat Jan 23, 2021 3:30 pm

Realistically non of the championship clubs would survive the premiership. Ealing are probably closest right now with a throw money at the problem strategy and Pirates are probably next with a longer term strategy.
One club that definitely will be eschewing promotion are London Scottish - as they won't be participating in this year's Championship.

London Scottish decline DCMS loans to play 1st XV

:eh: Understandable in the circumstances.

Update :
Bedford Blues Crowdfunding for this season. ... g-campaign
Last edited by Narbia on Thu Feb 04, 2021 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By Stevie J
Interestingly Richmond WILL play the Championship season. Both are now part-time operations.
By GC89
One way of keeping a route open from the Champ would be some sort of cup competition involving Prem and Champ sides. Measure it over a three year period, so that any Champ side that performs well has a way of coming up. Probably a bit complicated and difficult to fit into a congested fixture list, but I would personally much prefer that to the current cup competition.
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By Stevie J
News tonight is that the RFU Council will vote tomorrow on ending relegation. As per the piece in TRP, seems like no relegation this season, 13 next season with an expansion to 14 thereafter. If I read it right then a further 2 year moratorium before promotion is reopened with strict standards on finances and infrastructure. ... n-covid-19

UPDATE: In true, you can't make this stuff up mode, PRL have requested this meeting to be postponed...because they need to confirm the changes with their commercial partners first. Incompetency.
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