Super League is heading towards some dark times unless something is done, says Phil Clarke

Super League is heading towards some dark times unless something is done, says Phil Clarke

I've had this article in my head for several months now and not had the confidence or conviction to write it. In some ways I am not sure that it's my job. Do I have the right to point out the problems in the game? What do I know?

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Comments (29)

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Frank Clossick says...

we have to bring back P&R it is the heart and soul of sport, if clubs go bust because they can't handle it so be it. everything in life revolves around the strong surviving, propping up weakness is not the answer.

Posted 18:36 11th April 2013

Malcolm Hogan says...

promotion and religation a must, and rewarding the winners of super league with automatic entry in to the grand final giving the team the honour of finishing top cheers m hogan

Posted 18:26 11th April 2013

Gareth Howie says...

I don't subscribe that promotion and relegation issue is to blame, the NRL and NFL are ring fenced and they don't have our problems. The top 10 teams in Superleague are pretty competitive. I would advocate a 10 team 2 tier Superleague with P&R between the 2 comps. The teir 1 teams keep their current £1million funding and the 2nd teir split the remaining £4 million. This will bridge the gap in standards between the top tier and the rest. It will also give Sheffield, Featherstone et al their shot at the top. This could also help cause a few Challenge Cup upsets. To boost the international game they should introduce Lions Tours in 4 year cycles. This gives an incentive for players who choose to represent the other home nations as they can still play against top opposition.

Posted 17:32 11th April 2013

Paul A says...

Phil, You need to look at the bigger picture here, the game is dying due to lack of interest in a none promotion league. There is nothing to play for anymore and the fans are slowly deciding how to spend their hard earned cash elsewhere. If we lose the interest in the championships then you reduce the ambition from the younger players wanting to work their way up the rugby league ladder. Bring back promotion and relegation but do it right.Clubs that do not have the ground and facilities will need to improve before applying. Never before have i known a sport that does not offer the excitement of being promoted to the elite league but also the excitement and sometimes heartache of the relegation battle. This is what fans enjoy and this is SPORT so bring it back!!

Posted 15:21 11th April 2013

Phil Watson says...

The RFL turned down a perfectly good Sponsorship deal and gave away our Sports Flagship Cometition Sponsorship rights for nothing to Stobart, the sport was massively devalued and since then the whole game has struggled to attract decent sponsors. Why as a Blue Chip business would you pay millions to Sponsor the Super League when a couple of years previously the RFL gave it away for free? Thus fatally underminding our sports credentials.

Posted 13:57 11th April 2013

James Pointon says...

No Sponsor, No junior Development due to worse idea ever (duel registration) thats only to save team money, Falling attendences at London...........and dont forget the double standard Bradford Bulls saga . I COULD GO ON! Its the people at the RFL, who are incompetent at the very least that need to be sacked? A new set of people who know how to bring sponsors etc! Asking certain chairman for advice? its not just a 14 team sport all proffesional teams should be represented.

Posted 13:51 11th April 2013

Vince Mcguire says...

Don't let Super League just talk amongst themselves. Get ideas from Championship too. Most of all, though, let Sporting principles be the main driving force. Bring back promotion and relegation.

Posted 12:36 11th April 2013

Andrew Selby says...

Phil, you seem to have pointed out the obvious without actually offering any solutions? It's all well and good describing what is wrong with the game, but all you've suggested is that we should listen to player X, coach Y and chairman/CEO Z. That doesn't really help anything, especially after hearing the news about the TV deal for the World Cup yesterday which is excellent. I fully agree with what you have said, I'm sure most do, but we need solutions. Everyone has pointed out these flaws, but we need somebody to ACT. Sliding attendances and the quality of player are the major problems in the SL. We need to ADDRESS them, rather than just debate them. 2013 was THE chance for RL to shine, and unfortunately the main competition has not done so yet. Yes, we've had close games, but the standard has dropped rather than the 'lesser' teams raising their game. We are rewarding mediocracy in terms of the play-offs (top 8) and in terms of financial structure. Strip the league down to clubs who CAN be sufficient and raise the salary cap. Standing still because some clubs cannot afford it is making our game in this country average. We need to keep the likes of Sam Tomkins in this country playing RL. Young players are going over to Aus to play in their second tier hoping to get picked up by a NRL team: that's shocking when they could be playing over here: look at what Mike Cooper has said this week.

Posted 12:06 11th April 2013

Michael D says...

Maybe you could elaborate on all these efforts London are doing to increase crowds and the clubs visibility Phil, because i don't know of any

Posted 11:47 11th April 2013

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