Always a Wasp

Author Topic: The State of The Game (The Good, The Bad and The Rugby Podcast)  (Read 234 times)

InBetweenWasp

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 648
  • Karma: +36/-32
  • Wasps Rugby Fan
    • View Profile
The State of The Game (The Good, The Bad and The Rugby Podcast)
« on: January 17, 2022, 06:45:45 PM »
Interesting episode from last week with Payno, Tinds and this boards favourite, Gengey.

They had a guy on from RocNation in the US as well as the owners of Newcastle Falcons and Scarlets.  A few snippets discussed:

-- Genge's switch from Tigers to Bristol was triggered by 'needing' to be closer to family.  Details not shared, but it wasn't financial or any problems with Tigers.  Simply that, for whatever reason, something has changed within his family dynamic that means he needs/wants to be in Bristol

-- RocNation guy feels that they need to market players better.  When you think of Football, the NBA and the NFL most people can name their superstars.  With rugby, few would name many.

-- Genge raised the question about caps.  If some Clubs can and want to pay more, why not let them and allow the players to get better deals? He actually raised the point that it doesn't really affect the internationals or the marquee players, but it's the squad players who get screwed.  Also made the point that in the Premier League Burnley operate on a significantly lower  wage bill than Man City, but can and have turned them over at home 1-0 and the win feels ever better.  Cyril (Falcons Owner) explained it was unanimous and done to keep the league competitive from 1-13 and encourage better fiscal positions of each Club

(Personally, I think Genge has made a fair point about the Premier League in Football, but it doesn't work in Rugby.  The years that Saracens cheated the cap didn't make for a particularly interesting league.  Whereas last year, for example, it was one of the best in history - same for this year.  There's also not enough teams.  It's not like you'd end up with a competitive top 4, middle 4 and bottom 4.  It'd be a dominant 1-2, a competitive 10 or so and a couple of teams at the bottom as whipping boys)

-- In the URC Scarlets operate on a Wage Bill of approx 5m.  There's not a cap and the owner believed that Leinster as an example were spending well in excess of 10m on player Salaries.  It's a stark difference.  Part of me wonders whether the Scottish and Irish Teams who operate on Similar salaries as the UK Teams shouldn't join up with the Premiership but think we're too far down the line for that to happen.

-- They spoke about the growth of the game and said that one of the biggest differences to Basketball, American Football and F1 is that Rugby is a players sport.  Many Rugby fans have and do continue to participate in Club games.  That just doesn't happened in the US for the NFL/NBA, there's not 'Saturday/Sunday League' type clubs that have wide participation.  Fans are there largely as spectators than ex-players.  They said building a fan base is a long game and although Community outreach and tickets for schools is one thing, actually focussing/investing on getting kids playing the game is what they believe will grow the fanbase in the longer term

(It's an issue that affects us given the steep decline in attendances this season.  I'm not sure it hurts our finances that much

Worth a listen if you get the chance. 

NellyWellyWaspy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2848
  • Karma: +69/-67
  • Getting older a couple of minutes every day
    • View Profile
Re: The State of The Game (The Good, The Bad and The Rugby Podcast)
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2022, 07:13:56 PM »
That is right in saying that the fans of rugby union are, in the main, adults who played rugby at junior level and then maybe over 18. Ex players watching players.

But, that pool of youth playing has shrunk, mainly because local authorities have actively shut down schools that played rugby (not because they played rugby, but they were closed because they were either Grammar Schools, or they were merged with larger schools), or the remaining schools that did play rugby switched to football as it was cheaper to run and staff. I expect you can all name a school where rugby has disappeared.

Community clubs do not have the funding, land, or other resources to compensate for that loss. And so, the numbers playing youth rugby has fallen significantly over the last 50 years. Without private schools, we would not have rugby.

Heathen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2147
  • Karma: +56/-41
    • View Profile
Re: The State of The Game (The Good, The Bad and The Rugby Podcast)
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2022, 09:17:55 PM »
Leinster never seem to be short of cash. IRFU funding, sponsorships, ticket sales etc. To me they also have huge advantage on squad size and have continual access to the best of the youth and developing players in Ireland.

hookender

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3454
  • Karma: +43/-44
  • Wasps Rugby Fan
    • View Profile
Re: The State of The Game (The Good, The Bad and The Rugby Podcast)
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2022, 09:26:31 PM »
Interesting re the USA set up. Just started watching the documentary series Rugby Town on BT. Follows an effort to improve USA national side by setting up a crossover side using athletes from other sports. Similar to what is happening with our Olympic sports teams.

HDAWG

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1058
  • Karma: +14/-30
  • Wasps Rugby Fan
    • View Profile
Re: The State of The Game (The Good, The Bad and The Rugby Podcast)
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2022, 09:27:12 PM »
I get Genge's comments about letting richer clubs pay players more, increasing the cap can lead to a league with the best players and best competition.

But... Then you end up with Man City like leagues. And rugby is in a very different situation to football, financial stability and all.

backdoc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 779
  • Karma: +38/-78
  • Wasps Rugby Fan
    • View Profile
Re: The State of The Game (The Good, The Bad and The Rugby Podcast)
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2022, 09:32:04 PM »
Genge has a vested interest.

wasps

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1329
  • Karma: +33/-33
  • Wasps Rugby Fan
    • View Profile
Re: The State of The Game (The Good, The Bad and The Rugby Podcast)
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2022, 10:00:49 PM »

I think there is some weight to start Genge says, but for me, not enough really.

A club who has 5 squad players earning 75k each could reward them all with an extra 10k per year..... Or they could throw the extra 50k at one of their top players to ward off other clubs.

I'm sure genge is correct that a lot of time the money doesn't make it to the wider squad...


However, I just don't think the game is in a position where it's sustainable to allow richer clubs to start throwing money around with no chance of being profitable.
We'll surely start seeing a lot of clubs going out of business.... Or a European super League being formed