it was massively refreshing to see Newcastle push Northampton Saints all the way at Franklin’s Gardens last Friday.They looked a different team to the one that was so dogged but dull last season;the one that survived by the skin of their teeth at Worcester’s expense.Then the Falcons never looked like they thought they belonged in the Premiership, but they certainly do now,playing with a freedom and abandon on Friday night that allowed them to really test Northampton’s defence.
Newcastle’s performance poses a couple of interesting questions;
is their keeping in touch with Saints proof that the salary cap must stay,so as not to eradicate such encounters?
Or, is their willingness to throw the ball around, safe in the knowledge that London Welsh are all but relegated below them,an argument for a ring-fenced Premiership without relegation?
Talking of salary caps, probably the most commercially successful sport in the world is America’s National Football League.Its broadcast rights alone were worth £13 billion in 2013. But in the heartland of capitalism it has a salary cap that is directly related to revenue.
And the NFL goes even further, and with its draft processes tries to ensure that at some point every team is capable of having its day. And there is no relegation/promotion.
Here are some ideas worthy of debate, I wonder what Edward Griffiths of Saracens would say…..?