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Should the NRL buy buy the ESL?

Wb1234

Referee
Messages
24,422
I reject the premise of the question that the two competitions should exist for the overall best interests of the game globally in the first place. I think that's an unachievable and idealistic goal, and that it's inevitable that the interests of the sport and bodies in each region, nation, and the IRL, won't always align, and as such we have to deal with that state of affairs.

But setting that aside, a global monopoly doesn't address the problems you bring up anyway. All that would do is give the NRL absolute power to pursue it's own interests, and as I said before, sometimes, more often than not frankly, it's interests contradict the best interests of the other stakeholders in the sport.

The best way to actually address that problem would be more commercial competition and powerful regionalised stakeholders, not less. Take NZ as a single example; it'd undeniably be better for the sport both in NZ and globally if the NZRL was capable of supporting it's self and wasn't effectively beholden to the whims of the NRL.

Sure American Football's situation globally works out great for the NFL, but the NFL isn't the be all and end all of American Football and never has been. Their power and monopoly has stifled the growth of the sport both internationally and within the USA for generations.

Go and ask the multiple attempted competitor, minor, and spring leagues, like e.g. the AFL, USFL, XFL, etc, etc, what they think of the NFL's monopoly and anti-competition practices.

Go and ask the players and union what they think of threatening to strike being their only real bargaining chip in negotiations with the NFL and owners. While you're at it ask them, and all the players who miss out on the relative handful of NFL contracts, what they think of the lack of opportunities in their chosen profession because of the NFL's anti-competition practices.

Go and ask the international bodies and leagues, such as the IFAF, CFL, X-League Japan, LFA, European League of Football, etc, and their multiple predecessors and other governing bodies, what their opinions are of the NFL's monopoly and practices. May as well get their players opinions as well.

You'll find that most all of them are disgruntled with the situation and NFL's attitude, and have very good reason for being so. Most of the major individuals will have first hand experience of being personally bent over by the NFL repeatedly, and most of the leagues and bodies have regularly experienced corporate espionage, sabotage, and direct attacks on their businesses and operations from the NFL, and all at the expense of the best interests of the sport itself.

So yeah, following the NFL's path would be a terrible outcome if the best interests of the sport as a whole is truly your aim. FIFA and other bodies corruption aside, soccer and cricket are probably the two biggest team sports in the world for many reasons, but the devolved powers and relative independence of each body and league within the sport is a major reason why.

None of that requires a monopoly, and if anything a monopoly makes it less likely to occur, not more.

TL;DR, free-market economies work LOL.
Boo hoo hoo poor nfl players arent paid enough
 
Messages
624
Locally I believe we’ll implement a participation strategy focussing on all versions of the game to ensure people of all ages can play tag or tackle or touch and be part of the league family. Abdo basically said this last year and I like that thinking.
The following is a passage from the recently published IRL annual report -

"In Wales, the previous year's record participation number of 2,426 was smashed with 3,303 registered players in 2023, the most significant increase being in youth Rugby League as Welsh clubs continue to deepen their community roots"

We had around a century of top-down ventures repeatedly fail in Wales. The current Welsh RL administration are building the game up from the bottom. Great to see, but it could be so much better if community RL clubs throughout the UK provided League Tag as standard.

You've said it several times before (my mate Sherlock reckons you're the artist formerly known as Pneuma), and it can't be said often enough - The Cronulla Junior League is the template.
 

Vee

First Grade
Messages
5,250

NRL CONFIRMS US SL INTEREST

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo has confirmed for the first time that the ARL Commission is open to buying a stake in Super League giving the governing body potential control of the two biggest rugby league competitions in the world.

With the English game at the crossroads an injection from the NRL could help rejuvenate the Super League and push ahead with the NRL’s plans to grow the game internationally.

Abdo, speaking to Sport Confidential from Las Vegas, said there were obvious benefits in aligning the two competitions by taking a stake in the English side of the game. “Theoretically, you can see the value,” Abdo said. “Now we need to go and practically test that and have a conversation with Super League. Our board is open to doing that.”

“There are synergies across three areas – there are synergies with revenues, there are synergies in costs and there are synergies with the actual athletes, clubs and competitions. “If we can get that in sync around time of year and we can have a better relationship with them, it can only be good.”

Super League has laboured in recent years but the NRL now has the financial muscle to at least consider investing in the English game. Only last week, the ARL Commission announced another monster profit for the 2023 season – a surplus of nearly $60 million.

Abdo acknowledged the international game would also benefit from a strong Super League competition. The NRL has become a driving force in the Pacific and is now trying to crack the American market.

“It is also looking at the health of Super Leagues,” Abdo said. “This is another aspect of the international strategy. We want Super League to be firing, the northern hemisphere to be growing.

“We’re open to discussing ways we can work together with Super League.”

The Super League clubs have held up their end of the bargain in recent years with St Helens and Wigan toppling the high flying Panthers to be crowned World Champions in back to back seasons.
 

docbrown

Coach
Messages
11,645
Has the ESL ever run as a joint franchise and relegation competition e.g. some clubs guaranteed spots regardless of ladder, others get relegated?
 

Wb1234

Referee
Messages
24,422
Has the ESL ever run as a joint franchise and relegation competition e.g. some clubs guaranteed spots regardless of ladder, others get relegated?
Yes

les Catalans were given 3 years immunity from relegation

one year they came last and the club above them, widnes, got relegated
 

docbrown

Coach
Messages
11,645
Yes

les Catalans were given 3 years immunity from relegation

one year they came last and the club above them, widnes, got relegated
Seems to me that's the way forward. If clubs meet financial, attendance or strategic location requirements they keep their franchise status. If not, they risk relegation. Teams that aren't franchises can eventually become franchises by meeting the metrics.
 

Wb1234

Referee
Messages
24,422
Seems to me that's the way forward. If clubs meet financial, attendance or strategic location requirements they keep their franchise status. If not, they risk relegation. Teams that aren't franchises can eventually become franchises by meeting the metrics.
They have actually moved to a franchise system from next year

clubs will be promoted and relegated according to their grading from img of which on field is a part
 

docbrown

Coach
Messages
11,645
They have actually moved to a franchise system from next year

clubs will be promoted and relegated according to their grading from img of which on field is a part
That sounds like a good step forward, as long as they keep strategic location active.
 

titoelcolombiano

First Grade
Messages
5,509
I like James Graham's idea of the SL becoming the NRL's European Conference when we end up going to conferences in lets say a couple of decades.

Add Perth, PNG, Christchurch, Ipswich, Central Coast Bears and Adelaide which will give us two conferences over here of 12 teams each and one over there of 12 teams (10 English, 2 French). All teams get the same salary cap.

Play your own conference home and away and then have a finals series featuring teams from each conference.

NRL is now not only in charge of a global league, they can also control scheduling for internationals and can negotiate all broadcast deals both club and international.
 

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