#23982
Gloucester breathe a sigh of relief!
Probably the right thing to do considering the cancelled games, and there'll inevitably be more.
Hopefully just a one season thing, as I think relegation is what makes the league so much more interesting.

Will make 21/22 season messy, though - presuming promotion still goes ahead from the Championship it'll be a 13 team season, and then double(?) relegation, also one team missing out on Europe.
Having 13th go straight down and then 11th vs 12th, the same weekend as the prem final, would spice things up a bit though
#23983
Olyy wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 12:16 pm
Gloucester breathe a sigh of relief!
Probably the right thing to do considering the cancelled games, and there'll inevitably be more.
Hopefully just a one season thing, as I think relegation is what makes the league so much more interesting.

Will make 21/22 season messy, though - presuming promotion still goes ahead from the Championship it'll be a 13 team season, and then double(?) relegation, also one team missing out on Europe.
Having 13th go straight down and then 11th vs 12th, the same weekend as the prem final, would spice things up a bit though
I would have thought that no-one would come up, just the 13th team would go down.
#23987
poyntonshark wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 1:11 pm
Talk here on London Irish board that the plan is 13 teams next season, then 14 the season after, then a playoff between bottom of prem and top of championship .
This would be a good place to arrive at. But I'm not looking forward to watching (even hearing about) all of the dead rubbers this will create in the interim.

I'm quite sceptical about the messaging around financial viability. No club owner invests expecting anything that in any other context (other than sport) could be described as a yield. At any given time to the extent that any owner isn't able or willing (whether due to macro or micro factors) to afford the investment / not to receive a yield anymore then there'll be other HNWIs willing to step in for the same reasons the then current owner did at that time. It's misleading, IMHO, to describe this micro-economy in terms more similar to the FTSE 500 than the market for second hand classic cars.
#24001
I'm not entirely convinced Ugo's talking about the same thing to be fair.

It's only the Beeb's interpretation that he's referring to this season, there's nothing in the quotes to support that.

I'd certainly share his reservations about a permanent ring-fencing, but I reckon it's one of only two fair options this season, the other one being cancel it altogether. Then I've no doubt Sarries would rapidly be consulting m'learned friends to contest their penalty being effectively doubled by force majeure!
#24003
ale shark wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 8:32 pm
Ugo's not a fan, so it must be a good idea.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/55724614
But Monye believes doing away with relegation would devalue the season and damage the top flight's image.
It's no more damaging than what sarries did to get relegated and probably equally devaluing as relegating a team who played all fixtures over another team who had an unfortunate covid outbreak that gave them guaranteed points.
#24953
I see that the decisions on relegation and the number of teams in the Prem. next season has been postponed. BT Sport 'tail wagging the dog' as they feel the lack of jeopardy if relegation is scrapped will damage the audience interest in some late season games, and thereby their ads. revenue presumably. The decision may not be that simple of course, but if it is , then yet another example of corporate money determining the future of the game.
On the other hand I suppose I should n't criticise BT, given their commitment to screen every game for now.
A later date has been set to review the issue again. Hopefully if fewer (and preferably no more games) are affected by Covid cancellations, as the infection rate decreases, then it would be easier to justify continuing with relegation after all
#24959
LJK wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 10:54 pm
... the lack of jeopardy if relegation is scrapped will damage the audience interest in some late season games ... it would be easier to justify continuing with relegation after all

Regardless of tails and dogs, (although that is worrying enough, money is talking far too much in the game these days) in my view a ring-fenced league would ruin the game. At some point in the season those without any chance of getting in the top four or six (or whatever) would surely lose the will to put their players' health at risk and would take their feet of the pedal.

On the upside, if ring-fencing to be implemented, I guess that the lower Clubs would have an incentive to play entertaining rugby in order to keep the crowds attending rather than maintain a grind to win style.

And where is the incentive for the Championship Clubs to top their league when there is no chance of promotion?

Let's make necessary adjustments to weather the C-19 period but return to normal as soon as possible.
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#25002
If no more games are cancelled due to COVID does the number of games subsequently cancelled on a 4-2 spilt constitute sufficient reason to abandon relegation. I for one think not.

I don't get this free abandon rugby if relegation is scrapped; I would much prefer to watch Friday's encounter rather than a 45-35 free for all.... just my views.
#25003
Rich E wrote:
Mon Feb 08, 2021 7:06 pm
If no more games are cancelled due to COVID does the number of games subsequently cancelled on a 4-2 spilt constitute sufficient reason to abandon relegation. I for one think not.

I don't get this free abandon rugby if relegation is scrapped; I would much prefer to watch Friday's encounter rather than a 45-35 free for all.... just my views.
Agree with the second point - last season had it's share of stinkers even after Sarries were automatically relegated.

First point comes down to how it lies at the end of the season really.
Bath and Worcester (10th and 11th) both got given 4pts for games they could easily have come away with nothing, in. That'd put Gloucester (no cancelled games) ahead of both of them atm.
Still a lot of rugby to play, though, as you say. I don't think anyone's ever been relegated with only 4pts (or less) between them and 11th (closest I could see looking back over the last few years was last year - with Tigers, technically 11th, only 5pts behind 10th)
#25028
The newspaper report said that the relegation issue and future structure of the leagues had to be decided 'by May'. The cynic would say that by then it maybe be clearer that whichever club is in the drop position, it could be seen if that is due to the points awarded/lost in any Covid cancelled fixtures they suffered. If it is clear that any such games would have not affected their 12th position, then relegation could continue with less controversy. However, if at that point, the points difference between the lowest clubs is small, then that may influence the decision to go back to the non-relegation plan first proposed, and make a 13 or 14 team Premiership for 2021/2.
Interestingly on the highlights show tonight, David Flatman, was strongly of the opinion that it is very much in order for the broadcaster to have a major say in the game's future, given the millions they spend for the coverage. He went on to suggest that without the TV money the top tier rugby could not exist as it does. Strong stuff from someone whose opinions are usually respected on here .
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#25031
Flats opinions are generally well respected, but, given that the broadcaster in question currently plays him presumably reasonable quantities of cash to offer his opinions, I think it not too controversial to say that his opinion in this case may be clouded a little. That's not to say I disagree in general, I am strongly opposed to a permanent block on promotion and relegation, much less so to having relegation every 2 or even 3 years.
#25040
Whenever money is a driving factor, LJK and Poynters, I think that cynicism is an eminently sensible default position. How long before the various commercial TV companies start to demand more breaks in play so that they can show more advertisements and thus earn more money as they do in American televised sports? They aren't televising rugby out of the goodness of their hearts, they want to gain a commercial advantage from the games to earn a profit and that comes through advertising revenue. The more they pay to hold the televising rights for rugby the more income they need to generate which means more commercial income. There will be an upper limit per minute for which advertisers are willing to pay on a regular basis so the only way forward is more commercials, either meaning more breaks and/or much longer breaks.

I was with you, Poynters, in your opposition to a ring-fenced Premiership (or any other league for that matter) until you semi-yielded, albeit in a lukewarm way if I inferred correctly, to the idea of relegation and promotion perhaps only occurring every 'n' years. Either we have it annually or we don't.
#25052
LJK wrote:
Mon Feb 08, 2021 11:10 pm
David Flatman, was strongly of the opinion that it is very much in order for the broadcaster to have a major say in the game's future, given the millions they spend for the coverage. He went on to suggest that without the TV money the top tier rugby could not exist as it does. Strong stuff from someone whose opinions are usually respected on here .
Not a perfect equation but it seems to me that the broadcaster is likely to have interests more closely aligned both to most fan's and most casual observers than the individual club owners are.
#25054
Whilst agreeing with that iBozz wasn't it the clubs that drove extending half-time to fifteen minutes to allow them to sell more food and drink?

As for promotion and relegation every three years how unfair would that be on a club who for example finishes top twice in the non-promotion years and then second in the promotion one? Or the club who is relegated after finishing bottom only once whilst another finishes bottom twice and isn't? Or do we have cumulative p&r based on three seasons results? Madness. So it will probably happen!
#25261
So much for the decision being delayed until May, as reported just a week ago...makes you wonder if you believe anything that is reported until it happens (or doesn't). As Ale Shark says, if nothing else it will be an interesting experiment to see if clubs in the lower positions now play more open games, than if they had to worry about the drop.
#25269
Olly - yes thanks for pointing out my error in forgetting about what happened re relegation last season with Sarries demoted. I can' t recall whether overall the standard of games amongst the lower clubs was better as a result, but you obviously don't think they did.
anyway let's see what happens this time, and hope it is just\ for the one year
#25270
From what I remember Tigers fully threw the towel in and experimented heavily with youth players and different combinations etc.
Everything else was pretty standard, though - I don't recall the league suddenly turning into super rugby with every one throwing caution to the wind and running from everywhere etc.
#25275
Olyy wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:32 pm
From what I remember Tigers fully threw the towel in and experimented heavily with youth players and different combinations etc.
Everything else was pretty standard, though - I don't recall the league suddenly turning into super rugby with every one throwing caution to the wind and running from everywhere etc.
My recollection is that teams and game plans were much the same up until the season was suspended, but when games resumed in the summer some teams took the opportunity of rotating squads and blooding new players. That is certainly what we did at Irish - it was often somewhat frustrating at the time watching us getting beaten (I know, nothing new there...) but I think it paid dividends in terms of squad and player development for this season.
#25482
SimonG wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:55 am
Whilst agreeing with that iBozz wasn't it the clubs that drove extending half-time to fifteen minutes to allow them to sell more food and drink?

Fifteen minutes at halftime is better than playing four quarters purely for financial reasons. I'm pretty sure that fifteen minutes is better for the players in today's game as well and it is only an extra few minutes which is barely noticeable.

I don't mind half time (especially as a Gentleman of a certain age!) but I'd be against quarter time.

Speaking from the theatre world, intervals are traditionally twenty minutes and that generally isn't long enough to get everyone to the loo and back, let alone to buy food and drink, especially with a full house. I don't know the balance of income and profit in sports stadia, but in theatres we make our money on what we can sell to the Patrons before, during and after the show, not off ticket sales as the vast majority of that goes to the touring company.

Incidentally, don't blame the theatre for the ticket prices, in Receiving Houses they are nearly always set by the touring company and not the theatre.
#25484
iBozz wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 10:39 am
SimonG wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:55 am
Whilst agreeing with that iBozz wasn't it the clubs that drove extending half-time to fifteen minutes to allow them to sell more food and drink?

Fifteen minutes at halftime is better than playing four quarters purely for financial reasons. I'm pretty sure that fifteen minutes is better for the players in today's game as well and it is only an extra few minutes which is barely noticeable.

I don't mind half time (especially as a Gentleman of a certain age!) but I'd be against quarter time.

Speaking from the theatre world, intervals are traditionally twenty minutes and that generally isn't long enough to get everyone to the loo and back, let alone to buy food and drink, especially with a full house. I don't know the balance of income and profit in sports stadia, but in theatres we make our money on what we can sell to the Patrons before, during and after the show, not off ticket sales as the vast majority of that goes to the touring company.

Incidentally, don't blame the theatre for the ticket prices, in Receiving Houses they are nearly always set by the touring company and not the theatre.
I agree with fifteen minutes over quarters. My comment about going from ten to fifteen minutes related more to when the switch was made in the "good old days" when I recall there being quite a lot of opposition from players and coaches who said it was too long as players got cold and had to warm up again. Not sure about current thinking though.
#25495
SimonG wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:40 am
My comment about going from ten to fifteen minutes related more to when the switch was made in the "good old days" when I recall there being quite a lot of opposition from players and coaches who said it was too long as players got cold and had to warm up again. Not sure about current thinking though.

In the good old days the players stayed on the pitch at half time and were given orange slices to suck for refreshment, today they run for the centrally heated changing rooms!
#25512
iBozz wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:11 pm
SimonG wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:40 am
My comment about going from ten to fifteen minutes related more to when the switch was made in the "good old days" when I recall there being quite a lot of opposition from players and coaches who said it was too long as players got cold and had to warm up again. Not sure about current thinking though.

In the good old days the players stayed on the pitch at half time and were given orange slices to suck for refreshment, today they run for the centrally heated changing rooms!
Absolutely. Wimps!
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