Let me guess…you’ve stopped talking about the fact that Rugby League clubs at every level across the UK are in financial meltdown. You’ve stopped talking about the lack of funding being put into development. You have stopped talking about how terrible the current Rugby Football league administration is.
Because with a combination of smoke and mirrors, they have managed to distract you.
Don’t feel bad, these people are professionals are misdirection and leading people away from the real issues. Hell they managed to convince a handful of club owners to vote for this zany 8-8-8 league structure! They are really good at what they do. Unfortunately they are running the game into the ground while they put on this show.
The 8-8-8 league restructure is a farce. It is gimmick that adds nothing to the game at all.
You know what sponsors and broadcasters like? They like a dependable product to invest their money in. They like to know what they are paying for. That is why normal league structures work so well. A sporting competition puts out a draw and sponsors and broadcasters know what they are paying for. They know what teams will be playing, when they will be playing, what opponents they will be playing, and what they will be playing for.
When you decided to go and dissolve all of that, you are running against the grain. You might think you’re being innovative. What is comes down to though is that you are messing with a tried and true formula.
When I look at the 8-8-8 league restructure I think about how I would explain it to a potential new fan. I think I’d need a set square and an abacus to get the job done.
I always think that when it comes to sport, if you need more than 10 seconds to explain something, you’ve lost me. There are too many distractions out there in the world for my entertainments time. Very few people want to grind their way through a crash course in crazy league structures to just enjoy a damn game.
Another thing to consider is the salary cap. If you think there were issues with the salary cap now, wait until this new league structure kicks in. With the top few clubs in Super League spending far more on players than even the mid table clubs, the difference between the haves and have nots is huge. Now scale that out into an 8-8-8 league structure. The quality of games we will see will be abysmal!
I also think about season tickets. Why would you buy a season ticket any more? When you buy a season ticket you do so being you want to attend a set schedule of games against a list of opponents you know in advance. You can scrap all that now! If you are say a Hull FC supporter and you get off to a bad start to the season due to injury or poor form, forget it. You could be left playing the likes of Dewsbury and Whitehaven rather than St Helens and Wigan.
The problem is, YOU DON’T KNOW going into a season how that is all going to work out. A season ticket is value for money for your entertainment dollar. How much value for money is there in a non guaranteed product like the 8-8-8 league structure? Better off spending that money on some Hull City Triumph Tiger tickets instead.
Here is the crux of the matter…
None of the above addresses ANY of the issues Rugby League in the UK is facing. It does not increase revenue. It is not attractive to sponsors or broadcasters. So ask yourself this…why has the Rugby Football League brought these changes in?
Its a distraction. Nothing more, nothing less.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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