SRU buying Warriors (Worcester version)

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SRU buying Warriors (Worcester version)

Postby Bob on Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:44 pm

https://www.ruck.co.uk/scottish-rugby-preparing-bid-purchase-worcester-warriors/

Club probably has potential and might be a useful way of getting Scottish players into England but seems a shame they're not investing in a 3rd scottish team
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Re: SRU buying Warriors (Worcester version)

Postby Wottie on Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:57 pm

Just don’t see 3rd Scottish Pro Team as viable. It wasn’t before and the budget for competitive squads have gone up substantially since the Reivers /3 pro team experiment was pulled. Worcester have a loyal and established fan base and history. It makes a lot more sense than a new and poorly supported team up here, particularly alongside the super 6 if that flies, and with the London Scottish thing having not worked. Quite an interesting and innovative approach, although it does carry the risk of diverting budget from ER and GW I suspect?
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Re: SRU buying Warriors (Worcester version)

Postby Friday Knight Lights on Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:13 pm

This doesn't make any sense to me. Which Scottish players are we going to send there?

They'd have to be good starters or Worcester will get relegated. But that weakens the Scots teams massively. You could then control internationals but even with the TV money are Worcester going to compete with Racing and Clermont?!

If this happens this needs clear explaining from the SRU. I don't see any benefits.
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Re: SRU buying Warriors (Worcester version)

Postby Val on Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:29 pm

They'd have to get it past the premier league clubs first and I can't see them being happy about it.
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Re: SRU buying Warriors (Worcester version)

Postby zt1903 on Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:57 am

I fail to see how the financing would work for buying a yo-yo Premiership/Championship Club in a way that would be cheaper than setting up another pro club in Scotland.

Worcester Warriors lose circa £5-5.5 million per year.

Even in agreeing to take it on for nothing that's the SRU's surplus turned into a £4 million+ loss.
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Re: SRU buying Warriors (Worcester version)

Postby macdone on Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:07 am

I reckon there will eventually be a European Super League as the biggest clubs pull away from the rest. I can't see Worcester being part of that - it's doubtful they'll even be in the Premiership given how much the likes of Bristol are spending.

I can see the advantages of having an academy down there and being round the table with the owners of English clubs. But as Val says, why would the other clubs \ RFU allow it?
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Re: SRU buying Warriors (Worcester version)

Postby macdone on Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:12 am

Unless of course we take their place in the Premiership and they take ours in Pro14.
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Re: SRU buying Warriors (Worcester version)

Postby ratty on Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:13 am

I just can't see this as making any sense at all. As has already been pointed out the quality of player sent would have to be near established international quality. Yes they have an established fan base but will they keep supporting if there's such a strong Scottish influence. I can't see that at all, surely it's a huge gamble. I can see London Scottish had relevance due to the large community of those with Scottish origins in London. I could even see a link up with a club in the North of England but Worcester? Can anyone even point to it on the map.
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Re: SRU buying Warriors (Worcester version)

Postby Ayton1keith on Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:56 pm

And let’s not forget who has been added to the Warriors coaching team in the last couple of months..................................... yip Alan Solomons :roll:
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Re: SRU buying Warriors (Worcester version)

Postby EWT spoons on Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:07 am

Assuming this is done well, I’m generally in favour of this move by the SRU, to cover a few points raised here:

Q. Why not invest in a 3rd Scottish team rather than Worchester
A. Because a 3rd pro team in Scotland would require a stadium, an entire squad, a fan base, players who want to move to a new team, the pro14 expanding to 15 etc. etc. Worchester have a stadium, fan base, players and a place in a highly lucrative league. Really there is no reason from that side of things to take the risk on a 3rd Scottish team, when there is a ready made team in place.

Q. What Scottish players would play there
A. I think the team would be a focus for exiles, players who the SRU want but who maybe don’t want to move to another country/league at the stage they are at in their career. Picking a player at random, Velecott for example, he’s SQ, but he’s said he doesn’t want to commit to a country just now that would make him NEQ, which means Gloucester would be penalised (or not financially incentivised) in playing him. When he establishes himself more and makes it harder to drop him then he may well opt to play for Scotland, but until that happens if there is an EQ player who’s as good or just slightly worse, then they might get the nod ahead of him due to the payments they receive. If the SRU had a club in the prem then he could sign for them, not have to move leagues etc. and also play for Scotland without worrying about it impacting his career options. Then there are of course players who might want to try something different at Edinburgh/Glasgow, players who would be lost to the SRU’s control should they move to the Aviva, but this gives players the chance to test themselves in a new league and experience new ways of playing but still able to be monitored and not overworked.

Few other points just extrapolated from earlier, the Aviva is awash with TV money, the pro14 isn’t, if the SRU are prudent, then there is no reason why this should end up costing vast sums of cash. They have shown they are pretty good with sponsor deals (BT for example) and this gives them a team in a league with a large tv audience so opportunities are increased there.

Fans: Is there demand for another pro team in Scotland? The boarders have shown they won’t support one in numbers. The caley reds could have been an option, but again this would take years to get going and even then the club teams in Aberdeen aren’t exactly pulling in the numbers, so arguably the demand isn’t there. I’m not saying it would never be, but it would take a lot of time to get going whereas this is a ready made solution.

As I said from the start, there are a lot of questions still to be answered (not least if this is even true or feasible) but on paper it sounds like a sensible move.
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Re: SRU buying Warriors (Worcester version)

Postby gowrie on Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:44 pm

1. Is the AP that lucrative? How many of their teams regularly turn a profit? Obviously Worcester aren't one of them, and the fundamental concern for many teams currently is that the salary cap has risen much faster than their ability to pay it. What changes will the SRU make to Worcester to turn their consistent losses into profits? They can't cut expenditure significantly without almost guaranteeing relegation, and expecting the SRU to know how to vastly increase revenue in Worcester when we run at a loss in Edinburgh is fantasy.

2. Does it offer a route for SQ players? Assume the players aren't tied, what benefit does it give them to move? If they're not sure about committing themselves, then moving club to be on the SRU's radar isn't a concern, if they are, how likely are they to get a cap if they can't get a decent deal at a Premiership club? And the fact is that no matter what the SRU do, EQP players will have a premium over non-EQPs. For every player we tie to us, another EQP has to come in to make the numbers add up, exactly the same as with other Premiership clubs. Worcester run at a loss even with the payments, there is no chance they can afford to go without them.
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Re: SRU buying Warriors (Worcester version)

Postby EWT spoons on Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:37 pm

gowrie wrote:1. Is the AP that lucrative? How many of their teams regularly turn a profit? Obviously Worcester aren't one of them, and the fundamental concern for many teams currently is that the salary cap has risen much faster than their ability to pay it. What changes will the SRU make to Worcester to turn their consistent losses into profits? They can't cut expenditure significantly without almost guaranteeing relegation, and expecting the SRU to know how to vastly increase revenue in Worcester when we run at a loss in Edinburgh is fantasy.

2. Does it offer a route for SQ players? Assume the players aren't tied, what benefit does it give them to move? If they're not sure about committing themselves, then moving club to be on the SRU's radar isn't a concern, if they are, how likely are they to get a cap if they can't get a decent deal at a Premiership club? And the fact is that no matter what the SRU do, EQP players will have a premium over non-EQPs. For every player we tie to us, another EQP has to come in to make the numbers add up, exactly the same as with other Premiership clubs. Worcester run at a loss even with the payments, there is no chance they can afford to go without them.


1. In short yes. The AP have signed a new TV deal worth somewhere in the region of £273m (based upon reports of it being worth about 80% more than the previous deal of £152m), this works out roughly at £22m per team (lets call it £20m to be safe). So that’s a nice starting point. Then if you consider sponsorship options from a team competing in a highly televised league (by BT incidentally) gives further revenue streams. In terms of what changes the SRU can make, well they took Scottish rugby and have significantly decreased the debt, increased spending on both pro teams, set up academies and have also been part of the change in style of play which has seen record numbers of fans come out for Glasgow and the national team. I would assume if they can manage it for an entire nation and 2 pro teams they can manage it for one club. Yes the pro teams in Scotland run at a loss, but the average attendance at Edinburgh is only about 4k, the average at Worcester is 8k and that’s for a team who have been flirting with relegation. They have an 11k capacity stadium so if the product is worth watching there is a good chance that could be closer to capacity (think Glasgow), also there is roughly 100k people in Worcester and no top flight football team to compete with. There is a lot that can be done here, by an owner who know what they are doing, especially one who have existing deals with suppliers and sponsors. I think the SRU fall under that criteria.

2. It gives them the knowledge that they aren’t going to be dropped because they no longer meet the EQ player funding criteria. It’s not about being on their radar, it’s about being clear they are going to keep playing regardless of whether they are EQ or SQ. Also if they remain dual qualified then they would still be eligible for the payments from the RFU and be eligible for Scotland when they are deemed ready. Players will get the advantage of being managed by their home union, so not run into the ground. As I said, it gives other players in Scotland a chance to test themselves in a new environment, which can only help with their development. I’m not talking about academy players necessarily here, but players who are tried and tested and maybe are looking at something new, but the SRU want to continue to manage.
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Re: SRU buying Warriors (Worcester version)

Postby biffer on Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:47 pm

EWT spoons wrote:
gowrie wrote:1. Is the AP that lucrative? How many of their teams regularly turn a profit? Obviously Worcester aren't one of them, and the fundamental concern for many teams currently is that the salary cap has risen much faster than their ability to pay it. What changes will the SRU make to Worcester to turn their consistent losses into profits? They can't cut expenditure significantly without almost guaranteeing relegation, and expecting the SRU to know how to vastly increase revenue in Worcester when we run at a loss in Edinburgh is fantasy.

2. Does it offer a route for SQ players? Assume the players aren't tied, what benefit does it give them to move? If they're not sure about committing themselves, then moving club to be on the SRU's radar isn't a concern, if they are, how likely are they to get a cap if they can't get a decent deal at a Premiership club? And the fact is that no matter what the SRU do, EQP players will have a premium over non-EQPs. For every player we tie to us, another EQP has to come in to make the numbers add up, exactly the same as with other Premiership clubs. Worcester run at a loss even with the payments, there is no chance they can afford to go without them.


1. In short yes. The AP have signed a new TV deal worth somewhere in the region of £273m (based upon reports of it being worth about 80% more than the previous deal of £152m), this works out roughly at £22m per team (lets call it £20m to be safe). So that’s a nice starting point. Then if you consider sponsorship options from a team competing in a highly televised league (by BT incidentally) gives further revenue streams. In terms of what changes the SRU can make, well they took Scottish rugby and have significantly decreased the debt, increased spending on both pro teams, set up academies and have also been part of the change in style of play which has seen record numbers of fans come out for Glasgow and the national team. I would assume if they can manage it for an entire nation and 2 pro teams they can manage it for one club. Yes the pro teams in Scotland run at a loss, but the average attendance at Edinburgh is only about 4k, the average at Worcester is 8k and that’s for a team who have been flirting with relegation. They have an 11k capacity stadium so if the product is worth watching there is a good chance that could be closer to capacity (think Glasgow), also there is roughly 100k people in Worcester and no top flight football team to compete with. There is a lot that can be done here, by an owner who know what they are doing, especially one who have existing deals with suppliers and sponsors. I think the SRU fall under that criteria.

2. It gives them the knowledge that they aren’t going to be dropped because they no longer meet the EQ player funding criteria. It’s not about being on their radar, it’s about being clear they are going to keep playing regardless of whether they are EQ or SQ. Also if they remain dual qualified then they would still be eligible for the payments from the RFU and be eligible for Scotland when they are deemed ready. Players will get the advantage of being managed by their home union, so not run into the ground. As I said, it gives other players in Scotland a chance to test themselves in a new environment, which can only help with their development. I’m not talking about academy players necessarily here, but players who are tried and tested and maybe are looking at something new, but the SRU want to continue to manage.


Worcester lost £6.6million in the 15-16 season.
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Re: SRU buying Warriors (Worcester version)

Postby EWT spoons on Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:50 pm

I'm not saying they've not been badly managed (also that was the year before the new TV deal kicked in) but there is a lot of money in that league and if an owner can manage them correctly (as I believe the SRU could) then there is real opportunity.
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Re: SRU buying Warriors (Worcester version)

Postby Rico on Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:16 pm

While it might be in the SRU's interest to get a slice of AP TV money and have a convenient way to poach/park players, I can’t see this being sensible for anyone else (including us).

And frankly, I feel a bit sorry for Worcester fans in all this. If the shoe was on the other foot and there was an RFU proposal to effectively turn Edinburgh or Glasgow into a feeder club, people would be screaming blue murder and the Scotsman would be full of lines about being “bought and sold for English gold”.
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