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So what has SL Achieved ?


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#1 Jimmy B

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 12:34 AM

Fifteen years ago our game received what I can only describe as "manna from heaven" - a TV contract from Sky TV which has subseqently seen a previously only dreamt of cash injection - which now must total something like ( and an estimation my part ) 200.000,000, Two hundred million pounds !

Just what has the professional game got to show, 15 years down the line, for that sort of windfall ?
We have seen the expansion of the game into the RL heartlands of France with the elevation of Catalan Dragons into SL, - following a very expensive failed attempt at establishing a team in Paris.

We have seen a further farcical attempt at gaining a foothold in South Wales. - Something which has been tried a number of times before. Do we ever learn from history ?

We have seen what only can be described as dogmatic and persistant insistantance that a team in London WILL be a success - despite all the evidence which says that RL in London at pro level will never prosper - they have had almost 30 years and something like ten grounds to try and establish the game in the capital, yet could they survive more than two seasons out of SL and is associated pay-outs ?

We have seen Wigan lose their ground at Central Park, numerous clubs in administration, the saga of new grounds at Wakefield, Salford, Castleford & St Helens which have yet to materialise.
And we have seen a group of clubs appoint themselves as the elite and condemn the rest to life outside the top flight virtually forever with the franchise system.

The magic of the Challenge Cup has gone, Australian tours don't happen, which is probably a good thing because we simply have not bred enough world class players to put out a competitive 7's side let alone a test team !

Just what has the Professional game got to show for the money they have received from Sky over the last 15 years ?

Edited by Jimmy B, 04 July 2010 - 01:27 PM.

Lets not forget, Featherstone Rovers is a RUGBY club.

#2 Johnoco

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 12:37 AM

OK then, what exactly did it achieve in the previous 100 years? a few clubs here and there?

A pathetic result for 100 years.

RL has made more GENUINE advancement in the last 10 years, than the previous 100.

#3 Jimmy B

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 12:43 AM

QUOTE (Johnoco @ Jul 4 2010, 01:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OK then, what exactly did it achieve in the previous 100 years? a few clubs here and there?

A pathetic result for 100 years.

RL has made more GENUINE advancement in the last 10 years, than the previous 100.


The question was what has the professional game got to show for something like 200,000,000 of investment ? - Please tell me !

Edited by Jimmy B, 04 July 2010 - 12:53 AM.

Lets not forget, Featherstone Rovers is a RUGBY club.

#4 Johnoco

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 01:32 AM

QUOTE (Jimmy B @ Jul 4 2010, 01:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The question was what has the professional game got to show for something like 200,000,000 of investment ? - Please tell me !


No, you tell me what it achieved before then. In 100 years.

#5 mick wilson

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 03:32 AM

QUOTE (Johnoco @ Jul 4 2010, 06:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OK then, what exactly did it achieve in the previous 100 years? a few clubs here and there?

A pathetic result for 100 years.

RL has made more GENUINE advancement in the last 10 years, than the previous 100.


Agreed, judge it after another 10 years and i'll wager the sport will be very strong indeed.

#6 Kenilworth Tiger

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 06:52 AM

QUOTE (Johnoco @ Jul 4 2010, 02:32 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No, you tell me what it achieved before then. In 100 years.


In fairness Johnoco, he did start the thread asking for that question to be answered
Now then, it's a race between Sandie....and Fairburn....and the little man is in........yeees he's in.

I, just like those Castleford supporters felt that the ball should have gone to David Plange but he put the bit betwen his teeth...and it was a try

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#7 shrek

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 08:27 AM

QUOTE (Jimmy B @ Jul 4 2010, 01:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The question was what has the professional game got to show for something like 200,000,000 of investment ? - Please tell me !


A professional top tier.

#8 Joe Shep

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 09:03 AM

QUOTE (Jimmy B @ Jul 4 2010, 01:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just what has the Professional game got to show for the money they have received from Sky over the last 15 years ?

I've enjoyed watching it unsure.gif

#9 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 09:28 AM

QUOTE (Jimmy B @ Jul 4 2010, 01:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The question was what has the professional game got to show for something like 200,000,000 of investment ? - Please tell me !

it's still here
wo knows what might have happened without the money .
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#10 Johnoco

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 09:42 AM

QUOTE (Kenilworth Tiger @ Jul 4 2010, 07:52 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In fairness Johnoco, he did start the thread asking for that question to be answered


Yeah true but it was a bit 'what have the Romans ever done for us'

#11 goldcard

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 09:55 AM

London Crusaders were just about hanging in there pre-S/L and were lower tier for a few years.
They've only recently found a stable venue and base, but it's far from being in the "right place".
However, defining the "right place" in London from a fanbase point of view has been debated a fair few times.
However, what they have done away from S/L in expanding the grass root development is fantastic, and all pro clubs are judged on what they do in the local game.
Money from Sky and SportEngland goes there too, and so whilst it seems there's an Elite, the game is being strengthened.
The tours, well, it's cos we lined up our season with the Aussies.
If they switched to summer too, they could return, you know.
However, the 4 Nations concept could eventually take off as a replacement for a test series.
Maybe warm-up games v clubs could be a bigger part.
Stadia?
Done to death.
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#12 L Bow

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 10:43 AM

QUOTE (Jimmy B @ Jul 4 2010, 01:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Fifteen years ago our game received what I can only describe as "manner from heaven" - a TV contract from Sky TV which has subseqently seen a previously only dreamt of cash injection - which now must total something like ( and an estimation my part ) 200.000,000, Two hundred million pounds !

Just what has the professional game got to show, 15 years down the line, for that sort of windfall ?
We have seen the expansion of the game into the RL heartlands of France with the elevation of Catalan Dragons into SL, - following a very expensive failed attempt at establishing a team in Paris.

We have seen a further farcical attempt at gaining a foothold in South Wales. - Something which has been tried a number of times before. Do we ever learn from history ?

We have seen what only can be described as dogmatic and persistant insistantance that a team in London WILL be a success - despite all the evidence which says that RL in London at pro level will never prosper - they have had almost 30 years and something like ten grounds to try and establish the game in the capital, yet could they survive more than two seasons out of SL and is associated pay-outs ?

We have seen Wigan lose their ground at Central Park, numerous clubs in administration, the saga of new grounds at Wakefield, Salford, Castleford & St Helens which have yet to materialise.
And we have seen a group of clubs appoint themselves as the elite and condemn the rest to life outside the top flight virtually forever with the franchise system.

The magic of the Challenge Cup has gone, Australian tours don't happen, which is probably a good thing because we simply have not bred enough world class players to put out a competitive 7's side let alone a test team !

Just what has the Professional game got to show for the money they have received from Sky over the last 15 years ?


The problem with this post, apart from the very obvious spelling mistake in the first line is the assumption that the world stands still.

It is also an obvious mistake to think that when provided with a large cash injection it can all be utilised to drive the game forward when what it has actually done is shore up the game in period of increasing competition in the UK. At the time SL was being formulated in 1995, RU just staged its third world cup. The pressure for them to turn openly professional was increasing. The money taken by RL through SL may well have expedited this but it was going to happen anyway.

Without the SL money RL would still be a game where all the clubs are part time. Even Wigan would have had to revert back in all likelihood. The flow of players from RL would have been flood instead of the very tiny trickle it has been. We'd have been a game where the standard would have certainly been below SL level but hopefully above championship.

So in summary it has shored up a position which was about to come under increasing threat.

#13 bowes

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 11:42 AM

QUOTE (Johnoco @ Jul 4 2010, 01:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
RL has made more GENUINE advancement in the last 10 years, than the previous 100.

Not true really, the game expanded by far the most in the BARLA boom at its pinnacle in the 80s with huge increases in numbers of amateur clubs both in and outside the heartlands, the game really was in a bad state in 1973, just unfortunately this boom was already significantly in decline by the time SL started. About 20 years ago there were 5 RL clubs in Gloucestershire playing the same season as RU, unimaginable now.

What has improved in the last 10 years is juniors outside the heartlands. The flipside of the coin is that this is little to do with SL and more a combination of better communications and the ability to use RU players in the offseason rather than having to find committed RL players (in some cases these are one and the same players of course, but in somewhere like Ireland, Scotland or the deep South West that is less the case). In fact the non-heartland juniors will have grown up on 8 months RU and 3 months RL unless we change this and the current set up will be continued

Of course the answer to this thread is SL has improved the top division and done less for clubs in lower divisions. The sooner we have a sensible Championship setup the better and hopefully bringing the game into one season will allow that. Drop the unsuitable clubs from the pro leagues to a more realistic level and go for one Championship division

Edited by bowes, 04 July 2010 - 11:44 AM.


#14 Johnoco

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 11:50 AM

Not disputing that bowes, you clearly know more than me about it. But how many set ups were there like say, Leeds Akkies? ie a 'fun' social sort of thing? (with apologies if that is a wrong description)

#15 bowes

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 12:21 PM

QUOTE (Johnoco @ Jul 4 2010, 12:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Not disputing that bowes, you clearly know more than me about it. But how many set ups were there like say, Leeds Akkies? ie a 'fun' social sort of thing? (with apologies if that is a wrong description)

I suppose pub teams were the equivalent (a lot harder to enter them in winter leagues nowadays due to there not being leagues down to about division 8 or 9 anymore).

I do think you raise a valid point though and I think merit leagues for new clubs are a very good thing rather than chucking clubs that can't fulfil weekly fixtures into the main leagues like they used to (actually the early days of the RLC you had to play friendlies like we did in our first season; the throw anyone in started with NL3 and the RLC Premier divisions leaving gaps needing filling). I think when the season is in summer we should aim for the established non-heartland clubs to play a full season when possible, but still retain shorter seasons and merit leagues for getting RU players and new players into the game, and also for the social element and reserve teams.

The RLC was originally as much to save rugby league outside the heartlands as to grow it and it has certainly done that and got us back to about the same numbers in full adult leagues, but actually more when you take merit leagues and juniors into account there's a lot more players (outside of places like Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Gloucestershire than used to have a lot of winter clubs), only you have to factor in the RU reliance.

Long term I think the RLC will become redundant and each region will have its own league structure as part of the pyramid on a par with the BARLA leagues. With merit leagues as the lower divisions of this structure and some short season leagues as an alternative.

Is much of this to do with SL, not really, some of the growth in London and Wales is, but not as much as people would make out. Hard work from volunteers, regional development officers and community coaches has done more (Sport England money largely). I think the contrast between the large number of players in London and the appalling crowds at Harlequins shows it's not just SL supporters going along to play.

But yes SL has done a lot for the top level and if done properly franchising will increase the top level quality (i.e. select clubs according to quality as opposed to either just keeping the same clubs in or rigging criteria to put in unsuitable expansion clubs 3-6 years before they're ready).

I think the new direction of the community game will be a big benefit to the sport in the same way BARLA saved the amateur game and introduced it to non-heartland areas (3 amateur teams in London were the only non-heartland teams in the whole of the UK in 1973 when BARLA was formed!) and the RLC saved it outside the heartlands.

In fact in 1973 Wigan, St Helens, Widnes, Leigh, Bradford, Heavy Woollen, South Yorkshire etc. didn't have a league for their clubs to play in at all. Some played in other district leagues (Wigan St Patrick's in Warrington League comes to mind), but the game really was dying before the forced mergers of leagues

Edited by bowes, 04 July 2010 - 12:24 PM.


#16 bowes

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 12:21 PM

delete double post

Edited by bowes, 04 July 2010 - 12:22 PM.


#17 The Parksider

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 09:42 PM

QUOTE (Jimmy B @ Jul 4 2010, 01:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just what has the Professional game got to show for the money they have received from Sky over the last 15 years ?


You simply answer your own question. Senior RL was largely semi professional in 1995, the money from SKY has created a fully professional Rugby League, saved our best players from going to union and underpinned enough interest in the game at junior and amateur level to keep it alive enough to have a future of sorts.

It's a decent enough return given the state the game was in in 1995 and given that the free gangway gave RU the opportunity to clean up on "rugby" per se.

Now what's your problem?


#18 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 11:14 PM

QUOTE (bowes @ Jul 4 2010, 01:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I suppose pub teams were the equivalent (a lot harder to enter them in winter leagues nowadays due to there not being leagues down to about division 8 or 9 anymore).

I do think you raise a valid point though and I think merit leagues for new clubs are a very good thing rather than chucking clubs that can't fulfil weekly fixtures into the main leagues like they used to (actually the early days of the RLC you had to play friendlies like we did in our first season; the throw anyone in started with NL3 and the RLC Premier divisions leaving gaps needing filling). I think when the season is in summer we should aim for the established non-heartland clubs to play a full season when possible, but still retain shorter seasons and merit leagues for getting RU players and new players into the game, and also for the social element and reserve teams.

The RLC was originally as much to save rugby league outside the heartlands as to grow it and it has certainly done that and got us back to about the same numbers in full adult leagues, but actually more when you take merit leagues and juniors into account there's a lot more players (outside of places like Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Gloucestershire than used to have a lot of winter clubs), only you have to factor in the RU reliance.

Long term I think the RLC will become redundant and each region will have its own league structure as part of the pyramid on a par with the BARLA leagues. With merit leagues as the lower divisions of this structure and some short season leagues as an alternative.

Is much of this to do with SL, not really, some of the growth in London and Wales is, but not as much as people would make out. Hard work from volunteers, regional development officers and community coaches has done more (Sport England money largely). I think the contrast between the large number of players in London and the appalling crowds at Harlequins shows it's not just SL supporters going along to play.

But yes SL has done a lot for the top level and if done properly franchising will increase the top level quality (i.e. select clubs according to quality as opposed to either just keeping the same clubs in or rigging criteria to put in unsuitable expansion clubs 3-6 years before they're ready).

I think the new direction of the community game will be a big benefit to the sport in the same way BARLA saved the amateur game and introduced it to non-heartland areas (3 amateur teams in London were the only non-heartland teams in the whole of the UK in 1973 when BARLA was formed!) and the RLC saved it outside the heartlands.

In fact in 1973 Wigan, St Helens, Widnes, Leigh, Bradford, Heavy Woollen, South Yorkshire etc. didn't have a league for their clubs to play in at all. Some played in other district leagues (Wigan St Patrick's in Warrington League comes to mind), but the game really was dying before the forced mergers of leagues

Pub teams aren't the equivalent RLC clubs in any shape or form.
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#19 Jimmy B

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 12:03 AM

QUOTE (The Parksider @ Jul 4 2010, 10:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You simply answer your own question. Senior RL was largely semi professional in 1995, the money from SKY has created a fully professional Rugby League, saved our best players from going to union and underpinned enough interest in the game at junior and amateur level to keep it alive enough to have a future of sorts.

It's a decent enough return given the state the game was in in 1995 and given that the free gangway gave RU the opportunity to clean up on "rugby" per se.

Now what's your problem?


Please believe me I don't have a problem !
I have supported this game for over 50 Years.
I have been very fortunate to have seen my chosen club win every trophy they have ever won. That includes three Challenge Cups, a First Division Championship, the Yorkshire Cup, two wins against Australian touring sides.
On the other side of the coin I have seen them relegated three times - and bounce straight back and win promotion three times.
But don't the bad times make the good times so much better ?

If my team never wins another thing no-one can take away the experiences I have enjoyed which are much more numerous than supporters of many other clubs could ever wish for. Memories that will last forever !

Sky money - so we were told , was to benefit the game overall ( I have still got the newspaper cuttings that told us so) yet for the life of me I cannot see where the promised benefits have materialised.
My original question, what has the professional game got to show for an injection of 200,000,000 ? has yet to see some encouraging responses.
Basically I have been told that an ailing game has been shored up and that had there been no Murdoch money then then game might not be still be here- two statements which although a sad reflection on the game are probably true. It has also been suggested that in another 10 years the game will have taken great strides forward - I certainly hope so because at the moment I do not see that we have anything to get excited about as a result of the 200,000,000 we have been given.
Lets not forget, Featherstone Rovers is a RUGBY club.

#20 The Parksider

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 06:59 AM

edit

Edited by The Parksider, 05 July 2010 - 07:00 AM.





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