General NRL Blueprint For The Future

Where should the next NRL team come from?

  • Sydney

  • Perth

  • Brisbane

  • Adelaide

  • NZ

  • PNG


Results are only viewable after voting.
The Steve Price view is horribly wrong and really not relevant. Price was an established international world class player. That has nothing to do with a draft. At all. Price was viewed as a saviour. He wouldn't have been at age 19 sight unseen.

Your point is wrong on clubs staying stronger. The Chooks a few years ago had a terrible year. The Broncos missed the playoffs which was unheard of the Cowboys have down as much as us frankly. Storm are where they are because they systematically cheated and then somehow retained their core.

The only problem with the cap is TPAs due to the inequity of local commercial markets.

You could handle a team tanking? Wow I've heard it all. League fans are tribal by nature. They like to think of their players as theirs. So many fans proudly talk up who they produced. Doesn't happen in the US. In the US you have massive multi million multi year sponsorship deals and enormous gate takings and their branded merchandising is awesome. That allows sustainable economies (to a degree, but then some teams still fold), the NRL will never have the same economic free will. Crowds would plummet. Listen to the Warriors executive, they are straight up on their break even attendance figures. Imagine if you hit that at 30% because you are tanking. Firstly, it becomes terrible television product which reduces TV deals monies, secondly gate takings and merchandise plummet.

It is easily the worst idea that somehow sustains oxygen. It will be the death of clubs like Canberra I have absolutely no doubt. I also would fear for the Warriors.
As a lifelong Canberra Raiders fan I totally disagree. The status quo is more likely to kill off my Raiders within the next 5-10 years if something is not done. In the past five years we are seeing the same teams at the top and same teams in the second half of the table. The Raiders tried to pay Kevin Proctor $800K a season (and he turned them down). He isn't worth half of that in all likelihood. Like I explained in earlier posts the "have not" teams like Canberra, Titans, Sharks, Knights etc are having to pay elite $$ for mid range talent meanwhile the elite teams are getting superstars for half the amount because of TPAs. It won't work limiting TPAs because you'll lose the best players in the game. Those guys should get what they're worth. Here lies the problem of the broadcasters and sponsors wanting so much more - they pay plenty for it and the players have a rightful claim for their share of those increased deals but many of those players are happy to accept less money (but still more than what they were getting five years ago) to play on winning teams. The lesser teams can't get elite signatures so they pay overs for talent that isn't really elite - see Proctor for $800K at the Raiders. When all is said and done almost all clubs are spending the cap but the rosters are nowhere near close in terms of an even spread of talent. Using 2000-2010 as an example won't show it but try looking at 2010-2015 top eight sides. Try asking clubs privately about their thoughts on these matters. The rich are getting richer and unless something changes the weak will fold eventually.
I used Price as an example of good Aussie talent coming to NZ at the expense of local talent. He was on ridiculous money at that stage. Swap him out for Cherry-Evans as opposed to Johnson then. DCE is pretty elite and I'm sure Warriors fans would warm to players like him. I don't hear fans up in arms about Roger Tuivasa-Sheck heading to the Roosters rather than signing with the local Warriors to begin with. The silly thing is that we probably won't even notice the change.
In terms of tanking i'm suggesting the only time it might happen (and yes I'm fine with it) would be in the case of a team getting to July and finding themselves out of contention. They know the next Cam Smith is available in the draft at the season's end and they might tank for the rest of the year to improve their chances of getting him. I can live with that but it would be weighed up against the points you raise re crowd numbers etc. Crowd numbers would account for less than 10% of total revenue and if the second half of a season saw the takings drop off by 50% you are only going to see and overall revenue drop of around 2.5% - hardly the death of a club, particularly if season tickets climb due to picking up the best rookie in the draft for the following season.
 
Promotion/Relegation sounds good in theory but usually it results in widening the gap between the top teams and the average teams.

No player wants to play in a second division team and once a team gets relegated they lose their decent players pretty quick. When signing for a club the more stable 1st division clubs will get the cream of the crop as the players chances of remaining in the 1st division increases. It would be difficult to retain sponsors-the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Using the old ITM cup as a comparison the "big 5" aka super rugby bases generally kept their best players and signed better players from the smaller unions(as I'm sure the glamour NRL clubs would do the same)

The result of this then puts the clubs outside of the top 5 or so in 2 camps- the "1st division non contenders but too good for 2nd division"or the "2nd Division teams too good for their division but not good enough for 1st division "(Or using the old ITM cup analogy the Northlands and BOPs and the Hawkes Bays and Manawatus).

The NRL need to strategise where they want/need teams (ie Perth, Qland NZ 2, PNG/pacific) and put structures in place to make it happen wether it be through age levels/nsw cup teams to develop into NRL teams through expansion and/or rationalisation of Sydney.
There is absolutely zero chance of promotion/relegation. The 16 existing clubs run the game now - they are putting off expansion until all clubs are financially sound (which is silly because who knows how long that might take?). The pie is so big and it gets cut 16 ways (well the club share gets sliced 16 ways) I can't imagine them agreeing to cut it into smaller slices to accommodate a bunch of other teams.
 

matiunz

This year yet?
Contributor
There is absolutely zero chance of promotion/relegation. The 16 existing clubs run the game now - they are putting off expansion until all clubs are financially sound (which is silly because who knows how long that might take?). The pie is so big and it gets cut 16 ways (well the club share gets sliced 16 ways) I can't imagine them agreeing to cut it into smaller slices to accommodate a bunch of other teams.

I guess my biggest problem is essentially Sydney has 9/16th of the say when one of the biggest problems is Sydney has 9/16ths of the teams...

It's natural to look after your own interests but its holding the game back, tough calls need to be made.

Most people agree a Sydney team(s) needs to go-they just don't want it to be theirs.
 
. The Raiders tried to pay Kevin Proctor $800K a season (and he turned them down). .

This line alone, to me explains why a draft won't work, Proctor turned down a team and at a guess, a coach he didn't want anything to do with, despite being offered ridiculous money and in your opinion double what he is worth. What does that say about forcing a player to go to a club they want nothing to do with for shitty money. Unhappy player, unhappy coach and unhappy fans. Players asking for early releases or just biding time till they can jump. Take any of us, imagine being wanted by your dream company, to do your dream job, then being told too bad, some shit company in Toad Suck Akansas has first choice, so pack your bags.
 
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Promotion/Relegation sounds good in theory but usually it results in widening the gap between the top teams and the average teams.

No player wants to play in a second division team and once a team gets relegated they lose their decent players pretty quick. When signing for a club the more stable 1st division clubs will get the cream of the crop as the players chances of remaining in the 1st division increases. It would be difficult to retain sponsors-the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Using the old ITM cup as a comparison the "big 5" aka super rugby bases generally kept their best players and signed better players from the smaller unions(as I'm sure the glamour NRL clubs would do the same)

The result of this then puts the clubs outside of the top 5 or so in 2 camps- the "1st division non contenders but too good for 2nd division"or the "2nd Division teams too good for their division but not good enough for 1st division "(Or using the old ITM cup analogy the Northlands and BOPs and the Hawkes Bays and Manawatus).

The NRL need to strategise where they want/need teams (ie Perth, Qland NZ 2, PNG/pacific) and put structures in place to make it happen wether it be through age levels/nsw cup teams to develop into NRL teams through expansion and/or rationalisation of Sydney.


Promotion and relegation works pretty well in the five professional divisions of English football, for 114 clubs? There's even promotion and relegation from this into the regional amature leagues.
 

matiunz

This year yet?
Contributor
Promotion and relegation works pretty well in the five professional divisions of English football, for 114 clubs? There's even promotion and relegation from this into the regional amature leagues.

Which has had only 5 different clubs win it since '92 and only really has the same 4-5 contenders each year-is that what we want for the NRL?
 
This line alone, to me explains why a draft won't work, Proctor turned down a team and at a guess, a coach he didn't want anything to do with, despite being offered ridiculous money and in your opinion double what he is worth. What does that say about forcing a player to go to a club they want nothing to do with for shitty money. Unhappy player, unhappy coach and unhappy fans. Players asking for early releases or just biding time till they can jump. Take any of us, imagine being wanted by your dream company, to do your dream job, then being told too bad, some shit company in Toads Suck Akansas has first choice, so pack your bags.
That's the nature of the beast. Players can behave like that now because they are allowed to - if you bring in a draft with the rules proposed - all rookie deals are for two years no exceptions problem solved. They can either play in the NRL or not. Players will quickly adapt to it being the norm. It happens in many industries. Try buying a Supermarket in NZ. You start with a Four Square in some shit-hole town where there is an opening. You do your apprenticeship and move up to something better. In some cases the little shit hole town grows and becomes a desirable place or the shit-hole town grows on you and you decide you want to stay.
 
I guess my biggest problem is essentially Sydney has 9/16th of the say when one of the biggest problems is Sydney has 9/16ths of the teams...

It's natural to look after your own interests but its holding the game back, tough calls need to be made.

Most people agree a Sydney team(s) needs to go-they just don't want it to be theirs.
I completely agree with you. In an ideal world you'd axe the Tigers and Sharks and welcome in a second Brisbane team and Perth. 16 teams but with a better spread of geography. Problem is though that the 16 existing clubs have control essentially so it is pie in the sky stuff whether the fans want it or not. Look at this year - if the clubs aren't happy they can essentially axe the head of the commission.
 
That's the nature of the beast. Players can behave like that now because they are allowed to - if you bring in a draft with the rules proposed - all rookie deals are for two years no exceptions problem solved. They can either play in the NRL or not. Players will quickly adapt to it being the norm. It happens in many industries. Try buying a Supermarket in NZ. You start with a Four Square in some shit-hole town where there is an opening. You do your apprenticeship and move up to something better. In some cases the little shit hole town grows and becomes a desirable place or the shit-hole town grows on you and you decide you want to stay.


Hey, I live in a town with a Four Square, and the only time it's a shit hole is summer and full of muppets from the city.:p

Imagine, a player wanting to choose where and who he works for, we need to stamp that shit out.
 
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Hey, I live in a town with a Four Square, and the only time it's a shit hole is summer and full of muppets from the city.:p

Imagine, a player wanting to choose where and who he works for, we need to stamp that shit out.
Nothing wrong with shit hole towns mate - I grew up in one and moved out of Auckland as quick as I could to get back there!
It is reasonable to compare the US-style drafts to the proposed NRL one in regards to players accepting where they get picked up. If it can happen in the biggest sports leagues in the world why won't it work here? Pay is to scale. A full-time NRL contract and a career in that league will be valuable once we enter life under that system. Players are able to pick and choose now because of the NYC contracting but once that is gone - rookies won't have that luxury. I just don't think you'll hear any complaining once year one is out of the way. Once it becomes the new norm - players will adapt. Once upon a time (before I was covering the sport) I imagine players complained about introducing a salary cap. It worked out pretty well for the game and the players adapted.
 

bruce

Contributor
It is too easy to make first grade because clubs spend the bulk of their cap on their top line-up and fill out the back end of their roster with kids on minimum salary to balance out the cap. Y
I knew a kid a few years ago, he had some talent but a bad attitude and very poor discipline. He was always going to make the NRL according to him. Most of us who knew him figured that would be impossible because of his slack attitude. Blow me down if a couple of seasons ago I saw him on TV playing for an NRL team (not a top eight side). I did some checking with an Aussie mate who knew the guy. I reminded my mate how we never thought he had it in him to make the NRL. My mate told me he was on such little money he could barely pay his rent.

Since then he moved onto another NRL club (not a top eight either) but has now disappeared. He isn't a kid anymore and has a wife and kid to feed now but he has proved all of us who knew him wrong, because he played in the NRL..

So on that example I agree that is it easy for mediocre players to get NRL games, if that is what they really want to do. Hearing stories of what Jono Wright is earning here tend to back that up.

I am not bagging Jono or the other dude I mentioned, good on them for following their dream.

However the same time that I knew that dude there were other kids with just as much if not more talent, and much better attitudes who I believe would have made far more professional NRL players but chose to do other things with their life.

What this suggest to me is that the salary system is dumbing down the game. If only a few are really going to make an money many potential professionals will find other ways to make a living.

The top sides are full of top line players who are taking less money to play for that top club. Then there are clubs like Newcastle where Wayne Bennett complained too many of the players were just satisfied to play in the NRL. That would be because clubs like Newcastle had spent their salary cap paying over the odds for ordinary professionals and filled the gaps with guys on the breadline.

This is taking the game down the drain. Ironically it should suit the Warriors because Kiwi kids should be prepared to take less to play at home, but so far it hasn't.
 
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As a lifelong Canberra Raiders fan I totally disagree. The status quo is more likely to kill off my Raiders within the next 5-10 years if something is not done. In the past five years we are seeing the same teams at the top and same teams in the second half of the table. The Raiders tried to pay Kevin Proctor $800K a season (and he turned them down). He isn't worth half of that in all likelihood. Like I explained in earlier posts the "have not" teams like Canberra, Titans, Sharks, Knights etc are having to pay elite $$ for mid range talent meanwhile the elite teams are getting superstars for half the amount because of TPAs. It won't work limiting TPAs because you'll lose the best players in the game. Those guys should get what they're worth. Here lies the problem of the broadcasters and sponsors wanting so much more - they pay plenty for it and the players have a rightful claim for their share of those increased deals but many of those players are happy to accept less money (but still more than what they were getting five years ago) to play on winning teams. The lesser teams can't get elite signatures so they pay overs for talent that isn't really elite - see Proctor for $800K at the Raiders. When all is said and done almost all clubs are spending the cap but the rosters are nowhere near close in terms of an even spread of talent. Using 2000-2010 as an example won't show it but try looking at 2010-2015 top eight sides. Try asking clubs privately about their thoughts on these matters. The rich are getting richer and unless something changes the weak will fold eventually.
I used Price as an example of good Aussie talent coming to NZ at the expense of local talent. He was on ridiculous money at that stage. Swap him out for Cherry-Evans as opposed to Johnson then. DCE is pretty elite and I'm sure Warriors fans would warm to players like him. I don't hear fans up in arms about Roger Tuivasa-Sheck heading to the Roosters rather than signing with the local Warriors to begin with. The silly thing is that we probably won't even notice the change.
In terms of tanking i'm suggesting the only time it might happen (and yes I'm fine with it) would be in the case of a team getting to July and finding themselves out of contention. They know the next Cam Smith is available in the draft at the season's end and they might tank for the rest of the year to improve their chances of getting him. I can live with that but it would be weighed up against the points you raise re crowd numbers etc. Crowd numbers would account for less than 10% of total revenue and if the second half of a season saw the takings drop off by 50% you are only going to see and overall revenue drop of around 2.5% - hardly the death of a club, particularly if season tickets climb due to picking up the best rookie in the draft for the following season.

I think you need to listen closely to our own club on the importance of crowd numbers. They talk about it ad nauseam as a key financial driver in their profitability or otherwise. No offence, but I'm staggered you believe crowd numbers are of such little financial relevance.

Getting the best rookie does not guarantee success. Have the US models taught you nothing? There are so many high profile picks who don't make a long career, and then the team's that traded and tanked to get them plunge even further. It's no guarantee yet American teams with far better financial backing still Chase it occasionally to the point of oblivion. To think it is a system that provides inequity is ridiculous based on simple, long proven history.

As for Smith, again not a good example. He wasn't that highly rated as a junior. If I recall correctly he was a halfback. Remember Greg Waddell and Karl Filiga? Yeah those guys probably would have gone number one of two in their respective years.

The Raiders signed Elliott Whitehead, and Aidan Sezer. Frankly they upgraded well and have a competitive squad. You could argue as one of the dominant NYC teams they would have naturally have picked up a number of high profile picks over the past 5 years. It hasn't done them much good. Given the Warriors are in the same camp, it's not which juniors they get access to that cause their incompetent performances.

Seriously, it is without doubt the single biggest cancer on the game this talk of a draft. It is simply implausible on how it will do anything but make certain clubs rancidly sick. History in the US systematically has proven this over and over and the NRL simply does not have the junior talent population or college development pathways to try to imitate that system to any sort of degree.
 

bruce

Contributor
You could argue as one of the dominant NYC teams they would have naturally have picked up a number of high profile picks over the past 5 years. It hasn't done them much good. Given the Warriors are in the same camp, it's not which juniors they get access to that cause their incompetent performances.
Canberra is in the old NSW Western Division which has always been chock full of rural talent. They have always had a problem of getting top players from Sydney to go there because it is out of the way. It got worse when union went professional and the Raiders weren't the only shop in town. It is similar to the Warriors in both regards.

Compare that with a tiny area like Manly that has always been able to attract players in spite of their lack of junior resources. There have to be some answers in there.
 
I completely agree with you. In an ideal world you'd axe the Tigers and Sharks and welcome in a second Brisbane team and Perth. 16 teams but with a better spread of geography. Problem is though that the 16 existing clubs have control essentially so it is pie in the sky stuff whether the fans want it or not. Look at this year - if the clubs aren't happy they can essentially axe the head of the commission.
The media articles about the clubs being disgruntled with the Commission, the NRL CEO, the NRL Chairman to the point of rumours they wanted both the CEO and Chairman removed shows how the ownership/running of the game has problems.

Remember before the Commission was formed all we heard was they would need to make calls on expansion and the toughest call of all; axing a Sydney side or two or relocating them to fix the geographical footprint of the competition. Now how can the Commission make those calls when the clubs can just band together and throw their weight around.

Gould used to write how the ownership was screwed as the game was owned by a media company. Well it looks like we have replaced one problem ownership with another except this time he is in a position he can band together with some of his mates.

It will be interesting to see how the NRL clubs react to these proposed changes and if they go ahead how things would look in a few years.

Richardson before he started his role was interested in expansion and also proposed a shorter competition. The shorter competition would have needed to be signed off before going to the broadcasters for the new TV deal. If theses changes build the lower levels it will be interesting to see how the NRL competition will look like in 5 years time.
 
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bruce

Contributor
Well it looks like we have replaced one problem ownership with another except this time he is in a position he can band together with some of his mates.
I think Gould is well aware of what needs to be done even though he is running a Sydney club. Ironically Penrith is unlikely to be ever dropped or relocated because of its junior strength. Gould's weakness is his friendship with people like Nick Politis at the Roosters.
 
I think Gould is well aware of what needs to be done even though he is running a Sydney club. Ironically Penrith is unlikely to be ever dropped or relocated because of its junior strength. Gould's weakness is his friendship with people like Nick Politis at the Roosters.

Goulds weakness is he's a cock, his only problem with the game being owned by a media company was it was owned by the media company he hates and not the one he is part of. He would be happiest if the whole comp was in Sydney and it was 1968.
 
The media articles about the clubs being disgruntled with the Commission, the NRL CEO, the NRL Chairman to the point of rumours they wanted both the CEO and Chairman removed shows how the ownership/running of the game has problems.

Remember before the Commission was formed all we heard was they would need to make calls on expansion and the toughest call of all; axing a Sydney side or two or relocating them to fix the geographical footprint of the competition. Now how can the Commission make those calls when the clubs can just band together and throw their weight around.

Gould used to write how the ownership was screwed as the game was owned by a media company. Well it looks like we have replaced one problem ownership with another except this time he is in a position he can band together with some of his mates.

It will be interesting to see how the NRL clubs react to these proposed changes and if they go ahead how things would look in a few years.

Richardson before he started his role was interested in expansion and also proposed a shorter competition. The shorter competition would have needed to be signed off before going to the broadcasters for the new TV deal. If theses changes build the lower levels it will be interesting to see how the NRL competition will look like in 5 years time.
Well said - out of one problem (media ownership) and into a new one where the clubs have control. Only way forward really is for a couple of clubs to become such basket cases that the other clubs want them gone.
 
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