Carter: The Super 8s cost us money

Wakefield chairman Michael Carter has revealed that participating in the Super 8s last year cost his club financially.

Wakefield finished eighth in 2016 compared with a bottom place placing the year before, when they secured their Super League status dramatically through the Middle 8s and the Million Pound Game.

In last year’s Super 8s Trinity lost all seven of its fixtures.

The Super 8s concept is entering its third year since it was launched by the RFL at the start of 2015, and is to be reviewed at the end of this season.

Carter believes the concept needs to be tweaked.

“If we look at the financial aspect of it, it costs us money to be in the Super 8s compared to the Middle 8s the year before,” he told Love Rugby League.

“My heart was a lot better that we were in the Super 8s rather than the Middle 8s, but it cost us and the big thing that cost us was Sky moving the Hull FC game from the Sunday to the Thursday night.

“It had a knock on affect with the Catalans game the week before so we ended up moving two fixtures with 11 days notice, which is just wrong in my opinion.

“I’ve expressed the view to the powers that be that surely with Sky we can pick the first six rounds of the Super 8s section and leave the jeopardy to the last week.

“I fully get that in the last week there might be games that they want to focus on surely we can pick the first six rounds and bang, bang, bang, this day then the fans are aware they can plan accordingly and it will lead to bigger and better crowds for us in terms of the closeness of the competition.”

The Super 8s mini-competition came under heavy criticism in 2016 for too many low-quality games.

Widnes CEO James Rule advocated for all of the teams in the Super 8s leagues to start on zero points, but Carter disagrees.

“There’s got to be a reward for finishing in that top four after 23 rounds,” he said.

“You can’t say to a Hull FC you finish top great now you finish on zero with Wakefield after 23 rounds.

“So there’s got to be rewards, something on the lines of the top team starts with eight points, the next seven, then six, five, five or something along those lines.

“Make it one or two points between each positional place and you’ve got a chance of catching up to the next club then.

“I think it would work, I’m not an advocate of everyone starting at zero that’s totally wrong that you’ve played your heart out 23 rounds and you don’t get anything.

“Unless we make the first 23 rounds a financial reward from that and call them the League Leaders after 23 rounds.

“For, me I’d go for a staggered points start, it gives everyone a chance.

“You could be fifth, win the first four games and be top but it brings excitement.

“You still get the supposedly easy fixture list, so the on-field rewards that way, but I do think it will make the competition more exciting and still have a chance of getting into the semi-final.”

Carter believes with the Super 8s structure and the return of promotion and relegation to the league system that there are positives.

“I think we’ve got a lot of it right, let’s not walk away from the fact that we’ve never been a sport that’s afraid to try new things and there are good things that come out of it,” he said.

“I think for me the first Million Pound game I said we got 95% of it right and there were some small downsides to it.

“I think that percentage might have gotten slightly bigger in terms of the downsides because I’ve not kind of not experienced the other financial side of it.

“There are things that need fixing but there is things that are right as well.

“I love the grand final, they brought that in in 1998 so its going be nearly 20 years old soon and that’s grown into the highlight of the year and i love going to it.

“I love seeing different fans from different clubs while its a real spectacle.

“There are things we’ve got right so let’s not be too down on ourselves, we’re good at telling people what we’re bad at.

“We’re not so good at telling people what we’re good at.”




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