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The Future of the Heineken Cup In Doubt?

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    #61
    Remember a lot of the reason for the French pushing for a change that they want the number of HEC weekends reduced, the English push is entirely about money & the fact that they haven't reached won a HEC final in quite some time. The french don't actually want to increase the number of their clubs in the HEC, we've all seen their lower ranked clubs not be interested in the HEC over the years & make a mockery of certain fixtures.
    Plato: \"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.\"

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      #62
      Originally posted by exiledinmunster View Post
      I think, open to correction, that the Rabo qualifiers next year based on the league table at present would be Ulster, Leinster, Glasgow, Scarlets top 4, Ospreys and Treviso, if this system was used. It would certainly change attitudes to the league in some quarters. A bit of pressure on league performance to qualify for the HC can only be good for the Rabo.
      I agree with this wholeheartedly. What's lost in all of this is that the PRO12 is marginally compettitive a lot of the time!! Needs to be taken more seriously.

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        #63
        Originally posted by Grasshopper View Post
        I agree with this wholeheartedly. What's lost in all of this is that the PRO12 is marginally compettitive a lot of the time!! Needs to be taken more seriously.
        Yes but how can it be. The scottish and irish regions + one of the italian afaik are centrally funded and ran by unions whos stated 1st priority is the competitiveness of the national team. He who pays the piper calls the tune so imo no matter what format not a huge amount will changd re player availability etc. This is the reason imo that 6 will never be acceptable to the pro12 unions. In order to secure min of 8 they will prob have to concede on may and the 20 team format. Maybe seeding system also. Afaik all 6 unions have 2 votes each. I dont know if erc comitee have extra but looking ay 6 unions its potentially 6 votes each but more likely 7 to 5 atm. The welsh regions imo could vote with dnglish and french. We need to split the english and french to ensure a comp going forward. The best way to do that is to agree 20 team format and april finish while insisting on retaining 8 positions with 1 guareteed per union and retain status auo on finances. Some alternative seeding system could be agreed also. That should be enought to see off the english and addresses a lot of thier concerns anyway apart from main financial one. It wud be difficult for them to walk at that point.

        The difficulty will be in selling this to the scots and italians.

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          #64
          Originally posted by lahinch_lass View Post
          Remember a lot of the reason for the French pushing for a change that they want the number of HEC weekends reduced, the English push is entirely about money & the fact that they haven't reached won a HEC final in quite some time. The french don't actually want to increase the number of their clubs in the HEC, we've all seen their lower ranked clubs not be interested in the HEC over the years & make a mockery of certain fixtures.
          Reducing the intake to 20 won't affect the number of weekends. The only realistic ways that 20 teams can be divided are either five pools of four or four pools of five. Five pools of four changes nothing, there will still be six pool rounds plus three knockout rounds, the same as before.
          Four pools of five will actually take ten weekends to complete, unless it is changed to a single round, in which case there will be five plus three knockout rounds.
          If there is a single round, there will only be ten games per pool or forty pool games in total compared to seventy two at present. This option only gains one weekend with the teams losing one home game per year.

          Although now that I think of it, there will be two matches per pool per weekend, eight in total. Sky can cover them all with less resources than with the twelve per weekend at present.

          Another point to ponder is the makeup of the Pools. If there are six each of the French and English teams, then those twelve teams would fill three teams into each pool between them. Two of the pools would have two French and an English team, the other two would have two English and a French team.
          Say the two cups were won by an English team and a French team respectively, then you would have two pools with two French and two English teams, with the other two having, respectively, two English and one French and two French and one English.
          If say, the Rabo qualifiers were two each for Ireland and Wales and one each for Scotland and Italy, you could end up with pools like this:
          Fra Fra Fra Fra
          Fra Fra Eng Eng
          Eng Eng Eng Eng
          Eng Sco Ita Fra
          Irl Irl Wal Wal
          I don't think that would be too popular. Whoever got the Italian (or the scottish )team away in the middle two pools would have a distinct advantage over those who didn't.

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            #65
            It's time to think about life after the HEC. maybe if the English and French walk there's an opportunity to set up a new Euro competition and invite national unions to nominate two or three representative teams in a Euro invitational HEC style tournament. The unions could invite teams based on league position, or assist other teams willing to play in it by centrally contracting players. I think the big French clubs would be interested, the RFU might grow a pair and the WRU would have to make an actual decision about something.
            Munster – Champions of Europe 2006, 2008, 2020.

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              #66
              g
              Originally posted by Borderfox View Post
              With respect- you don't know what the money will follow with careful selection and good marketing!
              Would Munster versus the 'West Country' not be capable of being marketed? Or Leinster versus 'London'? Of course they would! Especially if there were more local players evident on their sides than currently. Two years of that and the RFU could being the AP owners to heel.
              Sorry but your posting nonsense to support some argument you feel the need to create here.

              No, its not capable of being twisted, spun or hyped into anything beyond what it actually is........... 2nd rate. That is a very poor argument imo.

              The B&I Cup features some of these teams. No one watches it ( relatively speaking).

              Can I say as an absolute that the money wont follow......perhaps not. But at least im applying common sense!!!!

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                #67
                I think what the Rabo teams have to accept is that the HC isn't the be all and end all as far as the French/English clubs are concerned. The French clubs in particular are far more interested in the Top14 than the Irish clubs are in the Rabo......Munster's record in the Rabo for example is the same as Stade Francais in France and they are seen as having a horrendous season but Munster's season is a seen as a success cause they made teh HC semi-finals....

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                  #68
                  Sky just came on-board for the Rabo.

                  This could be a game-changer. The Pro12 now has some real financial muscle behind it.
                  Ceterum censeo INM irrumandum esse.

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                    #69
                    Originally posted by Aussiedub View Post
                    Munster's record in the Rabo for example is the same as Stade Francais in France and they are seen as having a horrendous season but Munster's season is a seen as a success cause they made teh HC semi-finals....
                    Stating the obvious, but if SF had made a HEC semi-final their season may have been seen as less bad. Also they are probably going to miss out on HEC next year, we're not.

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                      #70
                      Originally posted by Aussiedub View Post
                      I think what the Rabo teams have to accept is that the HC isn't the be all and end all as far as the French/English clubs are concerned. The French clubs in particular are far more interested in the Top14 than the Irish clubs are in the Rabo......Munster's record in the Rabo for example is the same as Stade Francais in France and they are seen as having a horrendous season but Munster's season is a seen as a success cause they made teh HC semi-finals....
                      This post most of all, shows that 99% of your posts are utter, utter rubbish, you really don't have the foggiest !
                      When is the last time SF played in a HEC semi? When is the last time SF played in the Playoffs in France? When is the last time they won the Top 14? Now have a look at Munster's record......you tool.

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                        #71
                        Originally posted by Aussiedub View Post
                        I think what the Rabo teams have to accept is that the HC isn't the be all and end all as far as the French/English clubs are concerned. The French clubs in particular are far more interested in the Top14 than the Irish clubs are in the Rabo......Munster's record in the Rabo for example is the same as Stade Francais in France and they are seen as having a horrendous season but Munster's season is a seen as a success cause they made teh HC semi-finals....
                        And to add to what other folks have been saying about this waffle of nonsense . . .


                        Munster's season is not being seen as a success full stop. None of the players who left that field last weekend were happy with what they had achieved. Several of them have articulated this in interviews, on social media etc . . .they believed they could and would win that game and reach the final . . .they nearly did.

                        Munsters season is being seen as what it was . . . . a Rollercoaster. A completely new departure under a new coaching ticket. An utterly new learning experience for the players. It was also the first proper season with the team for several players.

                        People who like to talk crap about Munster and write them off will say they should see reaching the SF of the HEC as a success . . . as those idiots dont believe Munster are capable of even that really.

                        But the players, the fans . . . we don't see that as a success. It was an acceptable end to a roller-coaster season . . . .that is not the same as success.

                        We speak of hope for next year, of seeing the method in the systems of play, improvements in individuals etc . . . . that is not the same as success.

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                          #72
                          If we are talking about a quality HC tournament how can 6/7 English and French sides be justified ? France has at the most 5 sides capable of performing on a consistent basis , whilst only 4 English sides match up . Either keep it at 24 teams or reduce it to 16 teams 5,5 & 6 Rabbo .

                          Comment


                            #73
                            Originally posted by BOK View Post
                            Something like that would be a lot fairer imo.

                            I know I'm against all popular opinion on this here but while I don't agree with reducing it from 24 to 20 teams I def think the English and French have a valid point. T78 says the AP don't deserve 7 teams but can anyone honestly say that the likes of Zebre deserve to be in it either? There has to be a better, fairer structure for how the Rabo teams qualify. It would also increase the progression of the likes of Zebre as they would only have to try and better their compatriots. It would give them a more realistic goal to target. It would make the Scot teams very competitive with each other aswell. Also if Leinster don't win the Amlin, Connacht won't be in the HC next season but Zebre will even though they will have finished 3/4 places lower than them in the league!!!

                            I don't care what anyone says but that is just wrong and I can fully understand the English and French's problem with it. I don't know the exact answer and I don't agree with the proposals put forward by the English and French in their current form but I definitely agree that the qualifying structure for the Rabo has to be changed.

                            Id agree with this. The Rabo gets more slots, not anything to do with quality, but because there are more countries represented in the Pro12. Interesting to do an analysis of worst performing teams in the HEC over the last ten years. Most probably form Rabo, every year one of the scots and one of the Welsh appear to be absolutely cack. All for development of the sport etc but AP & French sides are being asked to forego cash/opportunity for their clubs at the expense of other unions. Hasnt really been an issue for us because we had three provinces in it year in year out, and four, more recently.

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                              #74
                              There's a tonne of quality in the Pro12, just ask Gatland.
                              Munster – Champions of Europe 2006, 2008, 2020.

                              Comment


                                #75
                                Originally posted by rathbaner View Post
                                There's a tonne of quality in the Pro12, just ask Gatland.
                                Plenty quality players but not many competitive teams

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