Pitch

Newport County natter & football chatter.
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excessbee

Re: Pitch

Postby excessbee » February 12th, 2020, 10:36 am

Pretty sure GSB was referring solely to the Rodney Parade pitch not dual code pitches in general.
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George Street-Bridge

Re: Pitch

Postby George Street-Bridge » February 12th, 2020, 10:39 am

We'd have to know more about Swansea's pitch to be able to make a valid comparison. Is it the same sort of hybrid pitch? Have they played on it this season when it was raining heavily? How near the end of its shelf life is it?

I interpret pressure on NRFC as a realisation that three teams on the pitch are too many and that the one that can't pay its way is the one to be thrown overboard. Also that while football is very unlikely to harm it as far as rugby is concerned, one rugby team's usage can damage the interests of the other.
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Taunton Iron Cider

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Re: Pitch

Postby Taunton Iron Cider » February 12th, 2020, 10:59 am

George Street-Bridge wrote:We'd have to know more about Swansea's pitch to be able to make a valid comparison. Is it the same sort of hybrid pitch? Have they played on it this season when it was raining heavily? How near the end of its shelf life is it?

I interpret pressure on NRFC as a realisation that three teams on the pitch are too many and that the one that can't pay its way is the one to be thrown overboard. Also that while football is very unlikely to harm it as far as rugby is concerned, one rugby team's usage can damage the interests of the other.


I suspect that the Liberty Stadium also benefits from the use of those grow lamps.
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Amberexile

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Re: Pitch

Postby Amberexile » February 12th, 2020, 11:02 am

George Street-Bridge wrote:We'd have to know more about Swansea's pitch to be able to make a valid comparison. Is it the same sort of hybrid pitch? Have they played on it this season when it was raining heavily? How near the end of its shelf life is it?

I interpret pressure on NRFC as a realisation that three teams on the pitch are too many and that the one that can't pay its way is the one to be thrown overboard. Also that while football is very unlikely to harm it as far as rugby is concerned, one rugby team's usage can damage the interests of the other.


Swansea had a new SISGrass system laid last Summer, the previous pitch had lasted 14 years before being replaced.
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Stan A. Einstein

Re: Pitch

Postby Stan A. Einstein » February 12th, 2020, 11:02 am

UPTHEPORT wrote:Stan the rugby at Swansea ground only play about 10-12 games a season Swansea RFC play at the cricket ground St Helens


But a 'single' game played in the rain was that which I was commenting on. I rather think Ospreys playing 12 games in dry weather unlikely.
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County Exile

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Re: Pitch

Postby County Exile » February 12th, 2020, 11:19 am

There's an interview with David Buttress on Walesonline over his plans to buy the Dragons from the WRU and he makes the following comments on Rodney Parade (no specific mention of us):-

Q: What is the plan for Rodney Parade, both the ground itself and the area known as the cabbage patch at the old clubhouse end? Will you be looking to buy back any part of the land from the WRU?

A: Our initial hypothesis when we embarked on this six months ago was we wanted to own the whole site because we could build things on it and get revenue streams off it.

When I looked at that, if you look at what the WRU are doing on Westgate Street, they are building a hotel, which is probably what will happen at Rodney Parade.

I have put an extension on my house, but I have never built a hotel, I haven’t developed land. It’s not my background. The more I looked into the idea of redeveloping that area and the financial investment required, the risk sits far better with the WRU in terms of developing that asset than it would be all on me as an individual. It started to feel uncomfortable.

So the model we are leaning towards is where we have a long-term lease on the ground where we pay rent to the owner, the WRU. The lease we are negotiating is well over 100 years. We will control that area.

The WRU will retain the cabbage patch and develop that, something similar to what they have done on Westgate Street. That feels to me like the right way to go.



Q: What would you say to those people who accuse the Dragons of showing a lack of respect to Newport by increasing the charge to them for using Rodney Parade, given they sold the ground to bail out the region?

A: I sometimes feel like a step-dad that’s come into a family with a load of complexity and a history that I didn’t fully understand. I now understand exactly where this is coming from.

Let’s be frank, the board of Newport RFC sold Rodney Parade because they didn’t want to own it anymore and because it was insolvent. It wasn’t to rescue the Dragons.

None of it would have existed and God knows what Rodney Parade would have been if it wasn’t for the WRU. It would have probably been, I don’t know, a Tesco. Thankfully that didn’t happen.

I am trying to make one sports ground work for three clubs, which is challenging.

In terms of Newport RFC, I want them to stay at Rodney Parade. I want them to be there in 50 years' time. I don’t want them to be anywhere else and I will do me level best to make it work.

But I am quite straightforward. As a businessman, I simply went ‘what does it cost us to host them, that’s what they should pay’. I have shared details of those costs with Newport RFC.

It’s a few hundred pounds less than £2,500 to host a game. That’s the real cost.

We are not making profit off Newport RFC being at Rodney Parade. Far from it. At the moment, we are subsidising.

I will do my level best to make it work for them. My hope and expectation is we will figure it out.

I want Newport RFC to be successful and sustainable and I want them to be at Rodney Parade. Equally I don’t want to spend tens of thousands of pounds of my own money to make that happen. What I will try to do is find a compromise that works for everybody.
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George Street-Bridge

Re: Pitch

Postby George Street-Bridge » February 12th, 2020, 11:32 am

I'm absolutely certain that once the pitch has had some wear, scrummaging on a wet day can wreck it.
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Amberexile

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Re: Pitch

Postby Amberexile » February 12th, 2020, 11:56 am

George Street-Bridge wrote:I'm absolutely certain that once the pitch has had some wear, scrummaging on a wet day can wreck it.


It certainly seems that once we are past October, the first rugby match played in a downpour signals the end of the (good) football season. Though perhaps the first football match in similar conditions would have a similar outcome.
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Stan A. Einstein

Re: Pitch

Postby Stan A. Einstein » February 12th, 2020, 12:08 pm

There are two discrete problems with the pitch.

One is wear an d tear.One is drainage. If a scrum in wet weather destroys the pitch, the problem is drainage not wear and tear. And judging from the two posts above that would seem to be the case.

Second point. I'm still unclear why GSB believes that pressure on Newport RFC bodes well for County. At best it seems to be a neutral point but my fear is that if the WRU will treat one of their own like that, what would they be willing to do to us?
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OLDCROMWELLIAN

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Re: Pitch

Postby OLDCROMWELLIAN » February 12th, 2020, 12:37 pm

Stan A. Einstein wrote:There are two discrete problems with the pitch.

One is wear an d tear.One is drainage. If a scrum in wet weather destroys the pitch, the problem is drainage not wear and tear. And judging from the two posts above that would seem to be the case.

Second point. I'm still unclear why GSB believes that pressure on Newport RFC bodes well for County. At best it seems to be a neutral point but my fear is that if the WRU will treat one of their own like that, what would they be willing to do to us?


Presumably GSB believes one less team playing at RP will improve the pitch the County play on. A belief I have heard expressed by many.
Reading the latest comments from David Buttress, I detect a change of tact from previous statements in relation to obtaining a long term lease from the WRU instead of buying from them and not taking on the risk of investing in the development of the 'cabbage patch' himself. This appears to suggest his attempts to bring another/others on board in obtaining ownership have failed.
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Stan A. Einstein

Re: Pitch

Postby Stan A. Einstein » February 12th, 2020, 12:41 pm

[quote="OLDCROMWELLIAN"]

Presumably GSB believes one less team playing at RP will improve the pitch the County play on. A belief I have heard expressed by many.

And two less teams playing on it would improve the pitch Dragons play on no end.

:(
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OLDCROMWELLIAN

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Re: Pitch

Postby OLDCROMWELLIAN » February 12th, 2020, 12:54 pm

Stan A. Einstein wrote:
OLDCROMWELLIAN wrote:
Presumably GSB believes one less team playing at RP will improve the pitch the County play on. A belief I have heard expressed by many.

And two less teams playing on it would improve the pitch Dragons play on no end.

:(


Yes of course.
I suppose the deciding factor is how much profit is gained from the County, and can the Dragons afford to lose that money. I have absolutely no idea. Is anyone prepared to say?
Whilst the suggestion is NRFC can continue to play at RP as long as they cover staging costs without the Dragons making a profit from them: I'm not naïve enough to believe that this would be the same scenario for the County.
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George Street-Bridge

Re: Pitch

Postby George Street-Bridge » February 12th, 2020, 1:00 pm

OLDCROMWELLIAN wrote: Presumably GSB believes one less team playing at RP will improve the pitch the County play on. A belief I have heard expressed by many.


Indeed, plus it's a recognition that we are the more valuable of the two other sharers. I would argue that's by a huge margin. And of course, if for some reason there was a sudden surge in interest in second-tier rugby which made NRFC more able to pay their way, their revenue would likely come at the Dragons' expense.

David Buttress sounds more upbeat on NRFC staying than I would have thought - BUT there's an elephant in the room. What if levels of interest in NRFC simply won't sustain its matchday costs? You could equally spin it as an ultimatum.
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Stan A. Einstein

Re: Pitch

Postby Stan A. Einstein » February 12th, 2020, 1:11 pm

George Street-Bridge wrote:
OLDCROMWELLIAN wrote: Presumably GSB believes one less team playing at RP will improve the pitch the County play on. A belief I have heard expressed by many.


Indeed, plus it's a recognition that we are the more valuable of the two other sharers. I would argue that's by a huge margin. And of course, if for some reason there was a sudden surge in interest in second-tier rugby which made NRFC more able to pay their way, their revenue would likely come at the Dragons' expense.

David Buttress sounds more upbeat on NRFC staying than I would have thought - BUT there's an elephant in the room. What if levels of interest in NRFC simply won't sustain its matchday costs? You could equally spin it as an ultimatum.


George,

Your analysis that we are the more valuable of the two licencees is correct, certainly in money terms. Although I would always argue that any money paid in rent is money gone forever. Whether the relatively small amount of cash paid into the WRU/Dragons budget, will be enough to compensate from their point of view is a moot point. However in purely financial terms if the answer is yes it is then the WRU have an incentive to juice us for every last penny.

But as per another thread, Dave Buttress has said he is quite happy to talk to County supporters, I don't for the life of me don't understand why the club don't invite him to speak.
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George Street-Bridge

Re: Pitch

Postby George Street-Bridge » February 13th, 2020, 8:25 am

Obviously the WRU will strike as hard a bargain as they can - I'd expect us to if the boot were on the other foot - but I don't think they have any interest in squeezing us until the pips squeak.

They need County to be able to generate the income to pay the rent. It's not like, say, big a brewery setting terms which are so onerous a tenant can't make a go of a pub, and if they can't then some other hopeful will have a go, and after repeated failures they can always convert it to a house. It's either a revenue stream from County or no revenue stream at all.
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