Rationalisation of Sydney

Discussion in 'NRL Expansion' started by titoelcolombiano, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. titoelcolombiano

    titoelcolombiano Juniors

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    The NRL probably isn't moving past 18 clubs, even the AFL don't find that sustainable and they have the largest revenue of any sport in the country. So with that in mind, we have two expansion spots for the following potential areas:

    Brisbane 2
    NZ 2
    Perth
    Adelaide

    I've left off areas like Central QLD & PNG as I think they are best served in the second teir.

    So if two Sydney clubs are to be relegated, relocated or merged, who will the be and how will it be handled?

    I am not in favour of mergers or relocations as I believe we can build a national second teir that will stand by itself using the traditional old Sydney and Brisbane RL brands as it's core assets. Teams like Newtown, North Sydney, Redcliffe, Ipswich & Wynnum Manly plus any other Sydney NRL teams that can't cut it an NRL level moving forward. So provided that the clubs are looked after by a televised national second teir to keep them alive and let them thrive at a more appropriate level, I'd lean towards relegation.

    I would relegate any clubs that can not make it moving forward with the current funding arrangements to the national second teir and replace them with the next in line for expansion. Big city teams from Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide and another NZ team to expand the NRL's footprint in NZ but also to help improve the Kiwis and the international game.

    I'm interested to hear how others would handle rationalisation and how fans of existing clubs would feel if given the choice between the second teir (albeit a revamped one) or NRL status for your club but in a different city.
     
  2. mongoose

    mongoose Bench

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    Really tough to say, every Sydney club has a strong case for staying.

    I think the 3 clubs most vulnerable are Cronulla, Wests and Manly, in that order. Does the NRL offer a relocation or relegation ultimatum? You have to consider if other regions would accept any of these teams. The Perth rugby league community seems to have their heart set on the Pirates. I really don't know if Brisbane would accept a relocated Sydney team, I think more people in QLD would rather support a promoted QLD cup side or the Brothers.

    So that leaves Adelaide and NZ... Wellington Tigers, Adelaide Sharks maybe? The NRL would really need to test the waters and do its research for that to work. At least Adelaide and Wellington (or Christchurch) don't really have any existing biases against any clubs.
     
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  3. Version 6

    Version 6 Moderator Staff Member

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    Why do people assume the Tigers are at risk?
     
  4. tri_colours

    tri_colours Juniors

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    Why do people want to get rid of Sydney clubs? Do you think fans are just going to just start supporting another club? Or if they do, its not going to be with anywhere near same amount of passion?
     
  5. titoelcolombiano

    titoelcolombiano Juniors

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    No one wants to get rid of them, they just want the smaller ones perform better (crowds, memberships, governance) and if they can't then to not take up limited space in the NRL.

    Replacing a poor performing Sydney club with an expansion club has its benefit too - If we look at Norths, their 10 - 13k fans have easily now been replaced by Melbourne's 17 - 18k and the Storm also have much higher TV ratings than the bears could have ever hoped for. The Storm have also opened up a completely new market for the game and given us much more of a national footprint. So there is certainly a lot of upside for the game as a whole.
     
  6. titoelcolombiano

    titoelcolombiano Juniors

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    I think you might be on to it. WA Pirates makes sense, there has been a lot of work put into the brand already and Brisbane won't accept a second-hand Sydney side, it will be too devisive - that is probably the same reason a Q Cup team won't get the not. It will have to be a big city club with new branding.

    Adelaide and NZ are the obvious ones where relocation could work. This gives Sydney clubs that run into trouble a lifeline, allows for expansion without having to add extra teams and keeps two traditional clubs in the top flight.

    Manly and the Tigers are the only obvious ones to me. The Sharks look pretty settled in the Shire now.

    Manly desperately need a new home and to break out of the Manly peninsular buble they've painted themselves into. A move to Adelaide or NZ could do this if they run into any trouble in the coming years. Their fans can still engage with them through TV and away games in Sydney.

    The Tigers have huge potential in Sydney as their crowds have shown when they are travelling well but they need to get over their identity crisis and move forward. A good way to solve the leichardt, campbeltown split and move forward into the future would be to play ten games at WSS, one at campbeltown and one at leichardt whilst basing themselves and training at Campbeltown. They could even rebrand as the Western Sydney Tigers if they choose to stay. But if they don't sort their current issues out and move forward maybe a fresh start in a new market is the way forward. Again, keeping the fan base in the game and allowing them to engage through TV and away games.
     
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  7. tri_colours

    tri_colours Juniors

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    Less clubs less fans. As I said in my previous post East fans aren't about to start supporting South Sydney.

    We need to be keeping the fans we have and adding to them.

    What Sydney clubs have been poor performers. Only really Parramatta and they have probably more fans than any. If poor performance is going to be the 'measuring stick' then maybe we need to take a closer look at Canberra and NZ.

    Relocation or mergers will lose 25% of fans and most of those will turn elsewhere.

    An average of fans at a game each week is hardly an accurate number. Clubs have 100's of thousands of supporters. I have serious doubts over Roy Morgan's credibility but in a recent article he was claiming that the Swans have 1.2 million fans. Don't ask me how he arrives at those figures, I have no idea I would say he's probably talking out his ass as usual. But I certainly don't want to see them to get anymore.

    The Storms TV figures are very low , so I'm not so sure.

    Melbourne have opened up a lot of opportunities for us. As has the other expansion clubs. But would all of that be possible without North Sydney and all the other Sydney clubs, who put us in this position in the first place. What would be so very wrong with having North's and Melbourne or maybe now, Central Coast and Melbourne?

    The point of expansion should be just that to expand. If your giving up supporters in order to make new supporters than your not expanding!
     
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  8. titoelcolombiano

    titoelcolombiano Juniors

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    I get what you are saying about adding clubs and that is ok to a point but there is a limit of what the NRL can sustain, even the AFL with greater revenues hasn't gone beyond 18 and won't do so for the foreseeable future.

    Manly are the obvious poor performer. They only are able to average 15k at their best but when they are not at the top they quickly tumble down closer to 10k, this year they averaged under 10k at Brooky. So let's say that Manly have an upside of 15k and a downside of 10k and in the years they are mid-table they might pull 12 - 13k. That is poor! The dogs and eels have had a horrible run the last few years but they averaged 14k and 11k but at their best will easily average above 20k. We need to weed out the smaller poor performing clubs to allow the likes of the dogs, eels, souths, dragons to grow even bigger.

    Being that the number of NRL spots are limited, we are far better of relegating a team like Manly to NSW Cup and bringing in Perth that will average about the same crowd-wise in the early years but will don't have the same ceiling for growth. Plus they open up a new TV slot for the broadcasters which equals $$$ - something Manly just can't compete with.

    Re: the number of fans a club has, the only way you can measure them in a way that is meaningful to the club is in attendances and membership. A latent fan base does nothing for the club so is irrelevant. In terms of average crowds, memberships and stadia, Manly sits at or near the bottom in all three categories.

    I'm not a fan of relocations or mergers either. I am more for replacement of small, poor performing clubs with a club new and aspiring market that will bring in new $$, fans and eyeballs on TV.

    Norths or the NSW Cup didn't put us in any position, pokie money propped up the NSW Cup which allowed the NSW Clubs to buy the best players. It is the presence Brisbane, Melbourne and NZ that give the comp a national and international flavour which draws in the big sponsorship and broadcast dollars. Now, I'm not giving the Sydney clubs zero credit. Of course the big clubs are hugely important to the league but we are in the position we are at the moment because of the big Sydney clubs AND the big expansion clubs, not just because of the Sydney clubs.

    In terms of Melbourne's TV ratings, I'm trying to find an article that I read recently about the Storm outrating the AFL clubs on TV in Melbourne because they unite the city as everyone's second team behind the AFL club. I'll post the link when I find it.
     
  9. tri_colours

    tri_colours Juniors

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    Cant agree, No fan deserves to be without his club .

    If the NRL wishes to fulfill it's potential it will expand and continue to do so - and who knows what the future may hold - maybe a two conference system.

    Offering the networks less matches in the capital cities will not work out well for anyone.

    It took the Storm 10 years to get FTA coverage before midnight.!
     
  10. Diesel

    Diesel Coach

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    The Wests Tigers need to demerge. They’re a club without a home, like a nomad club. I’d have the Magpies playing 8 games in Campbelltown/MacArthur area and use the A-League club to get funding to upgrade the stadium. The other 4 games can be played at WSS.

    Manly need to stay on the North Shore, but need a rebrand along the lines of a North Shore or controversly go with North Sydney Sea Eagles. and can’t keep playing at Brookie. They need a boutique stadium closer to the old Bears territory.

    Tigers as Balmain can’t go is alone, they’re financially strapped, they need to jump into bed with another Sydney club that geographicalky makes sense (Parra or Easts). The Tigers brand is worth something. Otherwise look at relocation/merger with Perth.

    Panthers, Dragons, Bulldogs, Souths stay as is.

    As for the Sharks, I’ll let others comment on them. They have a stadium & development in their favour but just don’t appeal to the wider audience and can’t expand out of their boundary.
     
  11. Matiunz

    Matiunz Juniors

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    Won’t happen due to rivalries and history but the logical solution would be 5 Sydney clubs
    -Norths (Manly to play at CC)
    -City (Roosters/Souths Merge)
    -Parra/Inner west (Dogs/Parra/Balmain Merge)
    GWS (Penrith/Wests Merge)
    South (Sharks/Dragons Merge)

    Ideally Bring in
    -Perth
    -Adelaide
    -PNG/Darwin(have Samoa/Fiji host a game alternating years)
    -Christchurch (playing 1/3 games in Wellington NZ won’t accept a relocated Australian team).
    -Brisbane/New QLD team
    -Wollongong stand alone.

    Each team plays each other once alternating home/away each year.
    WCC played 2 weeks after NRL grand final.
    Origin played after the NRL season simultaneously to NZ vs England and PI and Euro tournaments(Winners play in 5 nations comp)
    5 Nations comp with Aus, NZ, Eng, PI winner, Euro winner alternating between SH and NH host.
    Sorted
     
  12. mongoose

    mongoose Bench

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    the thinking behind it is that the benefits of expanding to perth or brisbane or NZ outweighs the benefits of keeping around sydney clubs that don't have any growth potential. You can say why not just keep all Sydney teams in the comp and also expand however that's going to be dictated by TV broadcasters and how much money they are willing to pay for additional teams.
     
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  13. taipan

    taipan Coach

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    That's fine and I'm for additional expansion and we NEED EXPANSION, but there has been little growth on the Gold Coast ,in a supposed rl heartland.A decent junior league, but crowds for such a city are average.
    Melbourne whilst doing well in crowds and membership, has struggled with getting locals into their squad.That could well change long term.

    The NRL, yes would need input from TV stations for future financials, but the NRL would need to factor in loss of support in the area where clubs are flicked or relocated, the opportunities given to opposition codes in the vacuum thus created.The impact on local junior comps with no direct pathways to their local NRL team.

    Club rl fans do not gravitate to other clubs ,when their club is relocated,flicked,merged else Sydney crowds would be much bigger than they are now.
    The South Sydney fan base ,when they were flicked did not rush over to the Roosters.The Bears did not move en masse to Manly.

    Should a Sydney club go broke, better it be an amalgamation ,rather than a flick.

    The biggest issue I see now ,apart from the impact by the off season player idiots, is the need for all clubs to have all seater stadiums.

    Bear in mind Sydney like Melbourne is still growing .Population is an important factor also.
     
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  14. T-Boon

    T-Boon First Grade

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    I disagree with this. Nobody has a right to his/her club being around for ever. If the club does not attract enough of its fans off the couch and to the ground then they don't deserve a club.
    I would start threatening the sydney clubs that if they don't get bigger crowds they will be dumped that way the clubs might reduce the ticket price and actually spending money on promotion rather than what they spend it on now which is gold plated weights in their gyms and inflation of coaches wages.
     
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  15. T-Boon

    T-Boon First Grade

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    I have always been a fan of a second tier provided it is completely independent of the NRL clubs (eg not their reserve grade or feeder club). In fact I would only support it if it was in competition with the NRL by making its own small rule changes and such so that it can compete with the NRL for bored NRL fans. A bit like the new AAF compared the NFL.
     
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  16. MugaB

    MugaB Juniors

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    I also think with the 5 sydney team structure you have there needs to have a pathway from the country nsw (bathurst/mudgee/tamworth...etc)
    Each 5 sydney teams named there have a home game in the outer nsw towns, and a strong link to that region so that juniors can link into NRL from all over not just from within the city areas
    Personally i cant see 5 clubs cutting it in sydneys current landscape.
    7 minimum in the city,
    Norths (CCbears)
    GW Panthers
    Dragons (ILL)
    Souths
    Canterbury/Wests (demerged)
    Parramatta
    Easts Sydney
    QLD probably 4 teams (inc 2 brissy)
    Nth Qld (cowboys)
    Sth Qld (titans)
    Brisbane (broncos)
    Brisbane (north-east Dolphins?)
    Then..
    Newy
    Canberra
    Melbourne
    Auckland
    Perth (relo Tigers-demerged)
    Adelaide (relo Sharks )
    Christchurch (relo Manly)

    Maybe later a West Brisbane, PNG, or
    South Pacific Islanders later on
     
  17. Differ To The Coifed

    Differ To The Coifed Juniors

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    I could go on for ages and emotion ends up getting the better of most fans on this topic but instead of ranting I will just put some bullet points down

    - if my club goes so do I so there isn’t any organic growth it’s replaced growth
    - Adelaide and Perth have been done, let’s not forget that, the risk is real
    - the game will never be as popular as afl or nfl or epl so maybe we just need to realise we are what we are.
     
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  18. flippikat

    flippikat Juniors

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    Souths, Bulldogs, Parramatta, Penrith to stay "as is"

    Manly to become "North Shore Sea Eagles", or "North Harbour Eagles" or something similar - represent the whole north side, playing out of either a new boutique ground there (if funding allows.. don't know whether that would be redeveliped Brookie or a newsite), or Moore Park.

    Roosters to move to Gosford, East Coast Roosters or Central Coast Roosters. Reciprocal ticketing so they can sell Sydney 'away' game membership packages for Sydney based fans.

    St George-Illawarra to move Woolongong, with the same sort of reciprocal ticketing deal as Roosters for Sydney fans.

    Tigers to share new stadium with the new A-League team, move to Southwest Sydney.

    Cronulla to be demoted to NSW Cup.

    This opens a spot so that 3 teams can be added - Perth, Brisbane 2 & NZ 2, bringing the competition to 18 teams with a spread of NSW teams from the 'Gong to Newcastle AND reasonable Sydney coverage.
     
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  19. Differ To The Coifed

    Differ To The Coifed Juniors

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    But why?

    Cronulla will be more financially viable into the future so why does Manly stay and Cronulla go?

    I also argue that NZ doesn’t deserve another team. At all.
     
  20. TheFrog

    TheFrog Coach

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    I think because the southern coastal metropolitan area have two teams, and the northern just one. But then they are advocating keeping both Panthers and Parra so blowed if I know.
     

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