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The Future of the Heineken Cup In Doubt?

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    Originally posted by Piquet View Post
    It's worse than that, Yatenga, an extra two games for each team all right, but with five teams in the Pool, there will be one team with no game in each round.
    The Schedule would be:
    Week One: 1 v 2, 3 v 4, 5 idle
    Week Two: 5 v 1, 2 v 3, 4 idle
    Week Three: 3 v 5, 4 v 2, 1 idle
    Week Four: 4 v 1, 2 v 5, 3 idle
    Week Five: 1 v 3, 5 v 4, 2 idle

    Weeks six to ten would see the return matches.

    Ten weeks for the Pools plus three for the knockouts making thirteen weeks in total. There just isn't room for this. If you throw in the Six Nations, (five weeks) the Autumn internationals (three more) and the Top14 (26 weeks plus three playoffs) that's a fifty week season. Even playing throughout the international weekends that still makes 42 weeks.
    Not forgetting the do-or-die last round could be diluted.
    The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

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      Anything that turns the PRO12 into a real competition where it means something if you dont perform is good by me, even if it means we dont make the HEC some years.
      Anybody who sees a psychiatrist would want their head examined.*&nb sp;Henry Ford

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        Originally posted by Bitter As A Lemon View Post
        Isn't this the point? Strengthening both competitions?
        The Amlin Group stages are a laugh (The Spanish had to to to mid table before finding a team to enter the competition as the top teams refused). It's hit and miss in the knockouts and the crowds are generally terrible. They have moved the Final to the HEC weekend and venue city in order to boost numbers, as historically the attendances even at the final are what a mid table pro12 team gets on a wet Friday night in January.

        Rewarding the winner of this Cup with a coveted HEC place is questionable at the very least.

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          Originally posted by cornerboy View Post
          Anything that turns the PRO12 into a real competition where it means something if you dont perform is good by me, even if it means we dont make the HEC some years.
          I agree about the Pro 12 but can Munster survive financially outside of the HEC for even one or two years? Could be a downward spiral.

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            There has been talk of a restructured Amlin and a third tier competition as well.

            A restructured Amlin could be the Pro12, AP and T14 teams that haven't made the HEC and they would probably need a few more to make up the numbers.

            A third tier could be the Italian, Spanish and Romanian teams that are currently in the ACC and again, they may need to make up the numbers from ProD2 or the Championship, or maybe even places like Georgia.

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              If they do go top six from Rabo, Irish selfish, vital interest is that its top six regardless of country - fair to say if we don't finish in top six we don't deserve to qualify but if its a formula based on nationality with guaranteed one from each country, then its highly probable that we wont see three Irish teams in HEC most years. In Munsters case, given our finances, be a total disaster to not qualify

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                Originally posted by Balla Boy View Post
                I don't think you can have a system where group winners go out. And I'm not sure that the English and French are going to all this trouble so that they get to play less rugby, have fewer fixtures to televise and fewer gates.

                They're already suggesting the addition of a play off to the fixture list.

                Whatever way they cut it it sounds like a balls up. And one created by a bunch of egotists who don't really understand their own product.
                I am starting to think the real problem is that PR have absolutely committed themselves to delivering the only European competition to BT. And if they don't, then their deal with BT goes south. Hence, they have to either deliver it to BT as they want, or else crash any alternative into the wall to get out of their predicament of having sold something which didn't exist and to which they could not commit anyone else (that Peter Wheeler was, at the same time, signing off as director of PR on the BT deal shafting ERC while also being a director of ERC is one that I would just love to hear him explain away in terms of directors' duties, btw).

                Speculation, I grant , but they may have painted themselves into a corner and taking it down is their out if they can't deliver it to BT.
                Ceterum censeo INM irrumandum esse.

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                  Originally posted by zeno View Post
                  I agree about the Pro 12 but can Munster survive financially outside of the HEC for even one or two years? Could be a downward spiral.
                  Perform and survive.....i want to go to games that mean something every week.....not be waiting around for three home HEC games. If Rabo games meant more surely the ticket revenue would be bigger as well.
                  Anybody who sees a psychiatrist would want their head examined.*&nb sp;Henry Ford

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                    Spot on cornerboy
                    "There are a lot of points that we’ve left behind and this is with a young group. That probably tells you what they’re capable of and that they’re a very good side.

                    Probably next year or the year after next they will take some stopping"

                    Anthony Foley, May 2016. Axel RIP

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                      Originally posted by Thomond78 View Post
                      I am starting to think the real problem is that PR have absolutely committed themselves to delivering the only European competition to BT. And if they don't, then their deal with BT goes south. Hence, they have to either deliver it to BT as they want, or else crash any alternative into the wall to get out of their predicament of having sold something which didn't exist and to which they could not commit anyone else (that Peter Wheeler was, at the same time, signing off as director of PR on the BT deal shafting ERC while also being a director of ERC is one that I would just love to hear him explain away in terms of directors' duties, btw).

                      Speculation, I grant , but they may have painted themselves into a corner and taking it down is their out if they can't deliver it to BT.
                      That would be my thoughts as well. Without European rugby, their domestic deal with BT may be badly affected and they actually want ERC to dissolve itself as their Sky deal would be meaningless without a competition. PRL could then create a new European rugby entity to do a deal with BT.

                      What will be interesting if the French will play along if they can get everything else they want from restructuring the HEC as they may not want to destroy European competition for the sake of PRL keeping the good books of their new broadcasting overlords.

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                        I really hope the ERC call their bluff. As I posted before, a lot of media people in the UK think BT's figures are very reminiscent of the Setanta debacle. I knew a lot of the Setanta crowd via the pub I used in Soho and, good company that they were, I always got a sense that they couldn't believe they had got away with it which of course, at the end of the day, they hadn't.

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                          Originally posted by fitzy73 View Post
                          What is really galling me is I'm sure that bell end from Sarries is knee deep in this.
                          You are bang on the money there. Word on the street over here is that he has been going around other GP clubs asking about a walkout from the RFU strucutre so that the owners have full control once more if they try to negate the BT deal.
                          He has no cares for a Heineken Cup, or to see European rugby develop, or to see his team play the likes of London Welsh. His main aim is to form a breakaway European league, thats where he see's the cash...his language in meetings makes it clear as day as to what he wants- the paying public want "events" and to see top end "product" weekly only. Word is he led the approach to the SA teams to play in this league, if the French/Celts wont sign up. Even if the chnage is agreed, he see's it as a stepping stone to a european league structure.

                          Originally posted by Hellboy View Post
                          The celts problem is they'd like to survive in a Grand Circus, but the actual system made it impossible without special privileges that are unfair for english and french.
                          The Celts have many issues, but to suggest any of how we are run, is unfair on the English or French, is laughable.
                          Your own league is too big, and hence you have the top teams fielding an average of 4 or 5 French players per game while sugar daddys buy in the best players from elsewhere. Our own league is devalued by the loss of the Welsh and Scottish "Celts" to your French league, and indeed, some of the Italian players. And of course Johnny Cash.



                          If the Tier1 nations can all agree that it is a duty of ours to grow the game, reducing the HC to 20 teams will kill this if the split is 6 to each of the 3 leagues. Scottish rugby needs all the help it can get, the Welsh regions are about to fall apart(which it seems the WRU want so they can retake control of them) and we finally have 1 Italian team getting somewhere. France(With a 14 team league) should have been the natural home for 2 Italian sides in the interests of developing the game.

                          We definately need change, but all the proposels currently on the table dont really address the issues the game faces. Do we want more "BT money" if it means less people can see the games? Some of the propsoed changes have merit, but to throw them all in, in 1 years time, would be madness. For example, if we kept the current 24 teams for another period of 5yrs, the end of which, qualification from each country would be league placing dependant, at least teams would have a transitional phase to get their acts together.

                          To keep the 24, change to 8 groups of 3 teams, winner Qualifies only, and an open draw for the knock-outs. That gives the French the reduction on games they want

                          I dont think they should underestimate the damage changing the format of the competition might do

                          As for the Amlin and a "3rd tier" competition, that would be madness. The amlin barley makes financial sense currently, when costs are factored in, so who would pay for this 3rd tier competition? They should be looking for outside the box solutions to develop the game european wide here. The Spanish and tier2/3 countries club sides get spanked every game they play. They should be replaced by some of the tier 2/3 countries national teams(minus their contracted players elsewhere of course). Spain/Romania/Georgia etc should be in there as opposed to club team froms each.
                          Seas suas agus troid!

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                            Originally posted by Piquet View Post
                            But Balla, wasn't one of the reasons given for the reduction in teams the requirements to reduce the number of fixtures?

                            Your last two sentences above are dead right.
                            Hadn't factored in the teams idle bit, which makes the 5 groups of 4 with winners plus 3 the obvious route.

                            I don't believe a word they're saying about anything else though - quality, competition, fixture numbers. It's about cash. The question will be whether BT will pony up and still accept fewer games to broadcast than the old format. With larger groups, you could reduce the number of teams overall and still fill the same number of TV slots as the old format.

                            It's probably the case that BTs numbers are so inflated as to make such considerations redundant though. And all to fund a free of charge add on for their broadband service - one that's operating in a completely commoditised market. Lord save us.
                            "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

                            "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


                            "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

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                              Originally posted by LLCOOLJ14 View Post
                              You are bang on the money there. Word on the street over here is that he has been going around other GP clubs asking about a walkout from the RFU strucutre so that the owners have full control once more if they try to negate the BT deal.
                              He has no cares for a Heineken Cup, or to see European rugby develop, or to see his team play the likes of London Welsh. His main aim is to form a breakaway European league, thats where he see's the cash...
                              I heard similar.

                              The guy doesn't give a monkey's for the game; it is all about lining his pockets.
                              Please support Milford Hospice. Click here to donate.

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                                Originally posted by fitzy73 View Post
                                I heard similar.

                                The guy doesn't give a monkey's for the game; it is all about lining his pockets.
                                While I love the HC and am strongly opposed to all the monkeying around by the french and english clubs I think that's an overly simplistic view.

                                The reason the club owners are so important in England is that the RFU was so terrible at preparing for the advent of professionalism. When it came, it was basically the owners who stepped in a kept the top level game viable by paying players. A lot of the owners have invested huge amounts of their own money in their clubs for little or no reward. A few years ago Brian Moore estimated that Wray had put about £10 million into Saracens, which is quite a significant portion of his personal wealth.

                                I don't have any great affection for the guy. The RFU/owners power struggle has been embarrassing for English rugby at times, and I hope to all goodness that he doesn't succeed in destroying the HC. But I don't think it's fair to say he has no love of the game. If he had no love for the game, or Saracens, he wouldn't be there any more. He's frustrated because he feels (wrongly in my opinion) that the differences in the league structures don't give the team to which he's given his time, effort and money a fair crack of the whip, and he wants to replace it with a different format. That's his opinion, just like it's ours that ultimately his actions will be detrimental to the European game - but I think he's persevering because he doesn't agree with our view, not because he agrees and doesn't care.

                                Investment in a rugby club over the last twenty years has been like owning a pub - it's a labour of love, not a way to get rich.

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