Yes , It is Bad Times in Cumbria , but as ever such happenings are rarely the consequence of bad luck , more down to rank bad management.
In Towns case , they continue to be held back by the Legacy of their one season in Super League 1, the debts they incurred and the fall out from that continues to cast a long shadow over Derwent Park .
As for Whitehaven , well their demise hs bee rapid but at the same time totally avoidable . They over spent after 2005 on overated out -of-town pros with big reputation and even bigger wage demands . All this while the RFL were making it quiet clear the Recre was not good enough for SL .
The retirements of Seeds, Lester , Fatialofa etc were entirely predictable and ,a war chest to get the club over a dificult few years should have been put in place , but two differant adminstrations at the club since 2007, couldnt or wouldnt make the hard decisions that might have given the club a club of staying competitive .
So Haven now run by an American Chairman who nows next to nowt about RL , with a Board of Local Councillors in support , are at the brink and are having to make the hard decisions that should have been made 12 or 18 month ago . Added to the financial meltdown, the same Board continues to swear blind alliegance to Coach Ged Stokes ,his team having lost 11 straight games . What other club in whatever sport would retain their team boss with such a record ???
Is it any real surprise therefore that the 1800 to 2000 Haven fans of recent years have now voted with their feet , remember it is those people who have spend their hard hard earned cash, to support a disfuntional club with a non performing coach and team . Itdont think so
With the right calibre of people running the Club and a coach who can get results many of those stay aways will return of that I am sure .
The one optimistic note from a Whitehaven view point is that despite the undouted pull of SL clubs on the Areas junior talent , Havens youth policy continues to be productive with both scholarship 15 and 16 age group teams showing up well in the recent round of fixtures .
So coming to the issue of Super League , it nice for all you people down their in M62 land to offer advice , but what will be the result of the coming together of 2 struggling - poorly manged clubs , a slightly larger but still struggling poorly managed club . Dont think thats going to meet any of the RFLs SL licencing criteria.
But just moving things on - some think that a Cumbrian SL club is a fait accompli of the RFL !!!
In 2007 Tony Colyer the then Vice Chairman of Barrow put together an extensive paper on how he thought Cumbria could put a bid forward for SL , this was shared bewteen the 3 pro clubs and the RFL . It wasnt perfect but certainly was a basis for further discussions .
As of July 2010 there has yet to be an acknowledgement of this paper by the RFL , and remains the biggest idictment of the RFLs attitude to Cumbria and SL
If you are who I think you are moorman, I think you will know more about why Haven's boards of directors of late can't, never mind wouldn't, do anything as you will know how much pressure the club has been under from the Revenue people and how close they may have been to administration on more than one occasion because of unpaid debts.
Everyone in the area that I talk to could not see a merged club of Town and Haven working and that is quite correct as both carry too much baggage from their pasts. It has to be a new club without any connections with either club. We have two councils who at one time were both hell bent on having a new stadium in their towns without much thought as to how they were going to fill them. The obvious and most logical thing to do was for both of them to get together with the new Lakes College and have a stadium built at Lillyhall midway between the two towns.
With the right people in charge, and none of the current boards should be included in that, and the will to make it work it could have been a reality but we had to many people shouting the "community club" theme, one a well known journalist, and where has that got both clubs over the past 15 years. Indeed what is that journalist doing to save both or either clubs now?
As I recall Tony Collyer's paper wasn't well received at Barrow and why should it be as anyone who thinks that you could join Town,Haven and Barrow in to one club needs to get real. That is like trying to merge together Dewsbury, Batley and Leigh, as I would think the distances are the same.
Town went bust after SL1, dropping out with no parachute payments and Haven have got bust merely trying to get where Town were so why would it be any different for Haven or Town chasing the dream in the future. Fans from both clubs wouldn't support the other and I think you know that. It's alright getting a one-off crowd for a Challenge Cup game but when it has to be done week after week then it needs to be a combined area not individual towns clubs.
Edited by Keith T, 18 July 2010 - 07:54 PM.