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PRO14 in talks with Private Equity firm?

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SospanMawr View Drop Down
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    Posted: 17 January 2019 at 10:41pm
https://www.rugbypass.com/news/exclusive-the-pro14-in-takeover-talks-with-private-equity-firm

Rugbypass reporting that the Pro14 are in talks with a private equity firm and that the Trailfinders are interested in joining (pretty sure Nigel Short denied this didn’t he?).

Anyone know how true this is and what the likely implications could be?

If it gets us more money I’m all for it personally.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Fscarlet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2019 at 8:29am
I think news like this, if true, can only be positive. It's showing that our league is being taken seriously by others looking in, as opposed to how negatively it was viewed when we were the Rabo'.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote scarletsrules Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2019 at 9:50am
I know everyone criticizes the Pro 14, well a lot do anyway, but at the end of the day if it wasn't for this then we wouldn't be able to follow the Scarlets as there wouldn't be a team. this is our bread and butter and it does have its fair share of entertaining matches. tbh when I watch some premiership matches I get bored because there are some games where it is who has the bigger pack of forwards and who can win more penalties. This league has done wonders for Irish and Scottish rugby, Italian rugby is even getting better, there is no reason it cant do the same for welsh rugby
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote GPR - Rochester Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2019 at 10:14am
Time and again the pro 14 has outshone its more illustrious & financially better rewarded cousins in England & France. The true yardstick must be the success at European level. Now there are very many reasons why this is true and playing ability is only one factor. The English & French leagues with relegation ever present hammers the best players week in week out with very little time to rest & freshen up key personnel. 

How effective I wonder would Leinster be if Sexton, Ryan, Furlong, Henshaw and mates had to slog it out every week; where would Ulster's European challenge be without Rory Best or Stockdale at their best. As players get older their ability to raise their performance levels regularly must wane so the regimes in Scotland, Ireland, Wales & Italy have to be more conducive to high intensity one off games and a prolonged playing career. 

The Pro 14 competition has been well managed over the past couple of years and the more it provides teams for the top level play off European games the more attractive it will become. Lets face it we are never going to be in a position to compete with the French & English market size so going down the road of quality & diversity is correct. If we can jump on the current seeming popularity of the sport to private equity companies then it should help maximise revenues which is seen, like it or not, as the holy grail. 

A word of warning though - previous incursions by private equity companies in mainstream sporting events - Formula One springs to mind - has not gone very smoothly with historical venues being outpriced and events taken to far flung parts of the globe in pursuit of the advertising buck. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ap sior Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2019 at 10:35am
Originally posted by GPR - Rochester GPR - Rochester wrote:

Time and again the pro 14 has outshone its more illustrious & financially better rewarded cousins in England & France. The true yardstick must be the success at European level. Now there are very many reasons why this is true and playing ability is only one factor. The English & French leagues with relegation ever present hammers the best players week in week out with very little time to rest & freshen up key personnel. 

How effective I wonder would Leinster be if Sexton, Ryan, Furlong, Henshaw and mates had to slog it out every week; where would Ulster's European challenge be without Rory Best or Stockdale at their best. As players get older their ability to raise their performance levels regularly must wane so the regimes in Scotland, Ireland, Wales & Italy have to be more conducive to high intensity one off games and a prolonged playing career. 

The Pro 14 competition has been well managed over the past couple of years and the more it provides teams for the top level play off European games the more attractive it will become. Lets face it we are never going to be in a position to compete with the French & English market size so going down the road of quality & diversity is correct. If we can jump on the current seeming popularity of the sport to private equity companies then it should help maximise revenues which is seen, like it or not, as the holy grail. 

A word of warning though - previous incursions by private equity companies in mainstream sporting events - Formula One springs to mind - has not gone very smoothly with historical venues being outpriced and events taken to far flung parts of the globe in pursuit of the advertising buck. 

These were exactly my thoughts. I'm sure that those at the head of PRO14 are savvy enough to realise that private equity companies are after one thing. They are not in the least bit interested in the product. They are after the bucks. The danger then is that the league could fall foul to asset strippers, a la Swansea City over the last 2-3 seasons.

Once private equity firms have made what they deem to be enough profit, they will ditch the league like a stone and move on to the next best thing. 

Beware ! Look what happened before the credit crunch. The people at the top of the league could make a lot of money and a name for themselves and then move on, possibly to work for the private equity company that they sold the rights to in the first place !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NobbySosban Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2019 at 11:48am
Trailfinders' interest in the PRO14 will be an attempt to gain some leverage over the RFU as negotiations over ring-fencing the English Premiership.

Martin Anayi would be daft not to at least talk to interested, ambitious English clubs which enable PRO14 to sneak into a fertile market, but all the big English clubs are tied into the EPL, and English rugby won't want a rival competition sneaking in. But, as with the Prem's flirtations with the Regions ahead of reforming the European Cup, I'd file this under 'negotiation tactics'. Adding the three Celtic exiles clubs in London would have legs, however... Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SospanMawr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2019 at 12:24pm
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.
My ideal league would be a British league, two divisions, top half of each country’s teams go into Div 1, bottom half go into Div 2. Italians join the French D2, SA aren’t our responsibility.

Div 1 - Exeter, Saracens, Harlequins, Gloucester, Sale, Wasps, Ospreys, Scarlets, Leinster, Munster, Glasgow.

Div 2 - Leicester, Bath, Northampton, Bristol, Worcester, Newcastle, Blues, Dragons, Ulster, Connacht, Edinburgh.

That would put 11 teams in each league. I’d offer the option to London Irish and Ealing Trailfinders to join Div 2 as well, and after the first season I’d have 3 teams promoted from Div 2, 2 demoted from Div 1, evening the leagues out to 12 per league.

The funding would be similar to the Premier League, I.e. the higher you finish, the more money you get.

12 teams in each league = 22 games a year.

Ideally below this would be an A Team Cup.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GPR - Rochester Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2019 at 2:02pm
Originally posted by SospanMawr SospanMawr wrote:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.
My ideal league would be a British league, two divisions, top half of each country’s teams go into Div 1, bottom half go into Div 2. Italians join the French D2, SA aren’t our responsibility.

Div 1 - Exeter, Saracens, Harlequins, Gloucester, Sale, Wasps, Ospreys, Scarlets, Leinster, Munster, Glasgow.

Div 2 - Leicester, Bath, Northampton, Bristol, Worcester, Newcastle, Blues, Dragons, Ulster, Connacht, Edinburgh.

That would put 11 teams in each league. I’d offer the option to London Irish and Ealing Trailfinders to join Div 2 as well, and after the first season I’d have 3 teams promoted from Div 2, 2 demoted from Div 1, evening the leagues out to 12 per league.

The funding would be similar to the Premier League, I.e. the higher you finish, the more money you get.

12 teams in each league = 22 games a year.

Ideally below this would be an A Team Cup.

Emminently sensible idea but a good few years too late in my opinion. The celtic unions would not be 
over keen as there don't seem many easy fixture breaks for the International players. This, of course, could be accounted for by far larger squads if the finance was there. What would happenj to the Heineken Cup which, at the moment, is considered the best club tournament in the World. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NobbySosban Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2019 at 1:39pm
Couple of new senior appointments by PRO14:

Charl Crous joins as the Head of Operations from Southern Kings/Eastern Province rugby.

Tom Lister moves from the RFU as Marketing Director with a focus on developing the digital side of the business.

Meanwhile, the advent of Project Reset means that PRW will effectively cease to exist, replaced by the WRU Professional Rugby Board (PRB) made up of the WRU, 4 Regions and independent directors. Mark Davies, who steered Scarlets and latterly RRW/PRW through the WRU versus Welsh Rugby war, and worked with PRO14 to develop its commercial focus, will sadly no longer be involved in the game.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Eastern outpost Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2019 at 5:28pm
Shame to be losing Mark Davies from the picture.
Any offence taken on board is only a literate/cy consequence. Every attempt at humour is just that. No personal insult intended. Standards lowered for trolls.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mundoscarlet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2019 at 9:38am
Place for mark back with us possibly on the board?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote reesytheexile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2019 at 10:09am
Hopefully he has irons in the fire. Always very approachable guy and lot of experience
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rich (Bris) Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 February 2019 at 11:31am
Originally posted by GPR - Rochester GPR - Rochester wrote:

Time and again the pro 14 has outshone its more illustrious & financially better rewarded cousins in England & France. The true yardstick must be the success at European level. Now there are very many reasons why this is true and playing ability is only one factor. The English & French leagues with relegation ever present hammers the best players week in week out with very little time to rest & freshen up key personnel. . 


Let's not be taken in by that. It is peddled out by the English press when their national side or club sides are not doing well but I didn't see many knackered players playing for England during the last couple of weeks!! A few years ago when England and France were dominating Europe we were told it was due to the fact their league matches were at a greater level of intensity and the fear of relegation made them adjust better mentally to must-win games.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KID A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 February 2019 at 11:40am
Originally posted by Rich (Bris) Rich (Bris) wrote:

Originally posted by GPR - Rochester GPR - Rochester wrote:

Time and again the pro 14 has outshone its more illustrious & financially better rewarded cousins in England & France. The true yardstick must be the success at European level. Now there are very many reasons why this is true and playing ability is only one factor. The English & French leagues with relegation ever present hammers the best players week in week out with very little time to rest & freshen up key personnel. . 


Let's not be taken in by that. It is peddled out by the English press when their national side or club sides are not doing well but I didn't see many knackered players playing for England during the last couple of weeks!! A few years ago when England and France were dominating Europe we were told it was due to the fact their league matches were at a greater level of intensity and the fear of relegation made them adjust better mentally to must-win games.


Also, when people say the "Heineken Cup winners came from the Pro14", that's what 2 teams? (Munster and Leinster). Certainly recently. And the reason they are winning the European Cup is because they have a bugger player payroll than most of the other teams in the competition.

It's not rocket science.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rich (Bris) Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 February 2019 at 2:42pm
Have Leinster and Munster got a bigger payroll than some of the French teams? Even if they did they are not primarily using it to buy world stars, but on keeping Irish talent. So it is not extra money to buy stars as such which is helping them but having enough money to keep their home-grown stars + (very importantly) spending (as a nation and Regions and IRFU) a lot of quality time and money on schools and academy systems which keep producing new star players.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote KID A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 February 2019 at 3:21pm
Originally posted by Rich (Bris) Rich (Bris) wrote:

Have Leinster and Munster got a bigger payroll than some of the French teams?


Yes, most of them. Leinster have a player wage bill of approx £8m. Most French clubs are around the same or lower. Clermont, Toulouse, Stade Francais and Racing are higher.

Quote Even if they did they are not primarily using it to buy world stars, but on keeping Irish talent.


Which costs loads of money

Quote So it is not extra money to buy stars as such which is helping them but having enough money to keep their home-grown stars + (very importantly) spending (as a nation and Regions and IRFU) a lot of quality time and money on schools and academy systems which keep producing new star players.


Yes. Loads of money. To have amazing squad depth. It is basically like our squad, plus :

Fardy instead of Kennedy
Lowe instead of Blommentjes
Coetze instead of Cassiem

Whilst all the while being able to retain the likes of Owen Williams, Josh Adams, Rhys Priestland, etc etc etc. That costs loads of money. And Leinster and Munster can do that. We can't.
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