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Bad times in West Cumbria


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#61 yanto

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 08:11 PM

QUOTE (dkw @ Jul 17 2010, 09:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Which was pretty much when I started to watch them, my uncles to blame. Started going about 1978/79, saw some terrible seasons but none worse than the stupid one with only 6 (I think) in a league when we ended up playing Carlisle about 6 times. Was ridiculous and crowds were appalling.

I remember Town v Carlisle home game (on an evening ??) when nearly 6,000 went through the gate ..Cocky Robinson stole the show.
I didnt have many years in the lower division as Town farmed me out to Whitehaven or Barrow on loan everytime we went down and they went up ...strange situation but Tommy Bishop was not my favourite coach.


#62 dkw

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 09:05 PM

QUOTE (yanto @ Jul 17 2010, 09:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I remember Town v Carlisle home game (on an evening ??) when nearly 6,000 went through the gate ..Cocky Robinson stole the show.
I didnt have many years in the lower division as Town farmed me out to Whitehaven or Barrow on loan everytime we went down and they went up ...strange situation but Tommy Bishop was not my favourite coach.

I dont think you were alone in that from what I heard. Was that the one Where Cocky ran on and stood in the attacking line butt naked? Funny as hell.

#63 XIII man

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 11:04 AM

QUOTE (The Parksider @ Jul 9 2010, 10:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's not SL or nothing is it? there is life outside SL and I have been to NL matches and NL finals and it's a fact. There's still life and joy.

If Cumbria is such a hotbed of the game why not a cumbria RL annually clearing up on the NL trophies?????

you never know that may in time be a stepping stone to SL........


A super league franchise with full time professional players and an academy side is the structure for young talented West Cumbrian lads to stay in the area and play for their local team rather than head south.

A merged championship team would not attract these players and I couldnt see a combined Whitehaven-Workington team selecting from the available local players dominating the championship. We are talking about a West Cumbrian merged club being able to attract gates in excess of 5,000 in a new modern stadium. A merged championship club would struggle to finance a new stadium and would have to choose between the Rec and Derwent Park as it would not be viable to have two grounds hosting a handful of fixtures. A merged club in the Championship would be lucky to attract four figure crowds.

As Derwent states, whats the point?

Long term the game in West Cumbria needs a joint super league venture to prosper but that is easier said than done.



#64 XIII man

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 11:12 AM

QUOTE (yanto @ Jul 17 2010, 12:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Shaun,
How many small towns like Maryport can sustain THREE top amateur clubs (and real clubs not just teams) plus a union club.
I would reckon the Port has the most clubs compared to population anywhere in the UK.
11,275 residents in 2001 census.


In the modern day that is a very impressive stat and just down the coast there is Flimby ARLFC.

#65 PLD

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 02:35 PM

QUOTE (dkw @ Jul 17 2010, 10:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I dont think you were alone in that from what I heard. Was that the one Where Cocky ran on and stood in the attacking line butt naked? Funny as hell.


If I remember correctly it was the first match under the new (then) floodlights.

Seem to remember Carlisle beat us.

Mr Robinson did stand in the Carlisle line until escorted off.

Pulled a similar trick at Old Trafford when we played Fev

Rugby League must be a great game to survive the fools at the RFL who run it.

 


#66 shaun mc

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 02:45 PM

Is this the same Robinson that campaigned against the stadium in Workington?

#67 Derwent

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 03:42 PM

QUOTE (shaun mc @ Jul 18 2010, 03:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is this the same Robinson that campaigned against the stadium in Workington?


It is indeed.

Workington Town. Then. Now. Always.


#68 The Parksider

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 05:27 PM

QUOTE (XIII man @ Jul 18 2010, 12:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A super league franchise with full time professional players and an academy side is the structure for young talented West Cumbrian lads to stay in the area and play for their local team rather than head south.

A merged championship team would not attract these players and I couldnt see a combined Whitehaven-Workington team selecting from the available local players dominating the championship. We are talking about a West Cumbrian merged club being able to attract gates in excess of 5,000 in a new modern stadium. A merged championship club would struggle to finance a new stadium and would have to choose between the Rec and Derwent Park as it would not be viable to have two grounds hosting a handful of fixtures. A merged club in the Championship would be lucky to attract four figure crowds.

As Derwent states, whats the point?

Long term the game in West Cumbria needs a joint super league venture to prosper but that is easier said than done.


I stand well corrected there. thank you for your post.

But I have to stand my ground on the basis that Batley won the Northern Rail Cup today all on local players in an area where the competition for the best players at SL level AND NL level is quite hot.

All NL clubs will suffer their best locals going to SL.

Leaving the dominant NL clubs to be those who can bring through a good supply of NL level players.

I would have thought Cumbria would have an advantage given the large amateur set up. I'd have thought a vibrant Cumbria RL would be an attraction for all kids who can't get an SL deal, and I would have thought that a Cumbria side would capture more fans imagination than traditional Lancs/Yorks club sides.

You lot sound just a bit depressed up there???

I'm not being funny but whenever someone relaunches an RL club that is in the doldrums as a new project, it does get the public and the players thinking and acting positively.

Why would alternative fixtures at the Rec and the Park be a problem??

#69 moorman

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 07:19 PM

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
.


#70 Keith T

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 07:52 PM

QUOTE (moorman @ Jul 18 2010, 08:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
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.

I remember when .............................

"It is impossible not to feel a twinge of sympathy for Workington Town, the fall guys this season for the Super League's determination to retain it's European dimension, in the shape of Paris. While the French have had every assistance to survive, the importance of having a flagship in a heartland area like West Cumbria has been conveniently forgotten." - Dave Hadfield - Independent 25th August 1996.


#71 Super Rooster

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 12:55 PM

QUOTE (yanto @ Jul 17 2010, 08:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I remember Town v Carlisle home game (on an evening ??) when nearly 6,000 went through the gate ..Cocky Robinson stole the show.
I didnt have many years in the lower division as Town farmed me out to Whitehaven or Barrow on loan everytime we went down and they went up ...strange situation but Tommy Bishop was not my favourite coach.


I remember that game well. It looked like someone in a grey suit had run on the pitch until he got closer. Horrible!

#72 Keith T

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 04:24 PM

QUOTE (yanto @ Jul 17 2010, 09:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I remember Town v Carlisle home game (on an evening ??) when nearly 6,000 went through the gate ..Cocky Robinson stole the show.


That same "Cocky" Robertson is now Councillor "Cocky" Robertson of Allerdale Borough Council, Ian. Oh how times have changed. rolleyes.gif rolleyes.gif

I remember when .............................

"It is impossible not to feel a twinge of sympathy for Workington Town, the fall guys this season for the Super League's determination to retain it's European dimension, in the shape of Paris. While the French have had every assistance to survive, the importance of having a flagship in a heartland area like West Cumbria has been conveniently forgotten." - Dave Hadfield - Independent 25th August 1996.


#73 XIII man

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 06:06 PM

QUOTE (The Parksider @ Jul 18 2010, 06:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I stand well corrected there. thank you for your post.

But I have to stand my ground on the basis that Batley won the Northern Rail Cup today all on local players in an area where the competition for the best players at SL level AND NL level is quite hot.

All NL clubs will suffer their best locals going to SL.

Leaving the dominant NL clubs to be those who can bring through a good supply of NL level players.

I would have thought Cumbria would have an advantage given the large amateur set up. I'd have thought a vibrant Cumbria RL would be an attraction for all kids who can't get an SL deal, and I would have thought that a Cumbria side would capture more fans imagination than traditional Lancs/Yorks club sides.

You lot sound just a bit depressed up there???

I'm not being funny but whenever someone relaunches an RL club that is in the doldrums as a new project, it does get the public and the players thinking and acting positively.

Why would alternative fixtures at the Rec and the Park be a problem??


I understand your points. The amateur scene is vibrant and there are many ex pros who have been involved in coaching Cumberland ARL sides in recent seasons such as Ricky Wright, Craig Barker, Hitro Okesene, Jon Roper and Stephen Holgate. There have been players capable of stepping up who have choosen to remain in the amateur ranks. You could argue that at times in the last fifteen years sides such as Egremont, Ellenborough and Wath Brow were as professional as the so called professional set ups especially Workington who really struggled to survive after their pre super league adventures in the big league.

A combined West Cumbrian side would have the potential to match anything at Championship level. There is nothing wrong with the 50/50 split of games between the Rec and Derwent Park on paper but the finances of having two stadiums hosting a handful of games does not add up. Both clubs have ambitions of playing in modern stadiums but realistically the only option may be a merged club playing in the Lillyhall area and this would need super league rugby to be financially viable. A successful championship side would struggle to get more than 2000, similar to what Leigh, Featherstone and Halifax pull in at the moment.

I prefer to describe us as realistic rather than depressed!! I lived in West Cumbria for fifteen years and have a genuine interest in the game at all levels within the county. I can only see a merger being taken seriously if and when both Town and Haven are in dire straits and forced into a corner. I personally would like to see officials and senior personalities from the clubs and the towns working towards a super league franchise now but dont hold out too much hope. For the forseeable future Town and Haven will be average teams playing in National League One struggling to attract gates of more than 700-800.


#74 mick wilson

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 06:15 PM

Good post can you go and bang their heads together please cool.gif

#75 XIII man

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 06:37 PM

QUOTE (Keith T @ Jul 18 2010, 08:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
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.


Really winds me up when 'experts' talk about a Cumbrian super league franchise. These people should be made to drive daily between Barrow and Workington until they change their opinion and trust me that wont take long wink.gif

Edited by XIII man, 19 July 2010 - 06:38 PM.


#76 dkw

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 07:14 PM

QUOTE (XIII man @ Jul 19 2010, 07:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Really winds me up when 'experts' talk about a Cumbrian super league franchise. These people should be made to drive daily between Barrow and Workington until they change their opinion and trust me that wont take long wink.gif

It will only take one journey, horrendous road journey that. Did it for a few months for work and hated every single minute of it.

#77 The Parksider

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 09:24 PM

QUOTE (XIII man @ Jul 19 2010, 07:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I understand your points. The amateur scene is vibrant and there are many ex pros who have been involved in coaching Cumberland ARL sides in recent seasons such as Ricky Wright, Craig Barker, Hitro Okesene, Jon Roper and Stephen Holgate. There have been players capable of stepping up who have choosen to remain in the amateur ranks. You could argue that at times in the last fifteen years sides such as Egremont, Ellenborough and Wath Brow were as professional as the so called professional set ups especially Workington who really struggled to survive after their pre super league adventures in the big league.

A combined West Cumbrian side would have the potential to match anything at Championship level. There is nothing wrong with the 50/50 split of games between the Rec and Derwent Park on paper but the finances of having two stadiums hosting a handful of games does not add up. Both clubs have ambitions of playing in modern stadiums but realistically the only option may be a merged club playing in the Lillyhall area and this would need super league rugby to be financially viable. A successful championship side would struggle to get more than 2000, similar to what Leigh, Featherstone and Halifax pull in at the moment.

I prefer to describe us as realistic rather than depressed!! I lived in West Cumbria for fifteen years and have a genuine interest in the game at all levels within the county. I can only see a merger being taken seriously if and when both Town and Haven are in dire straits and forced into a corner. I personally would like to see officials and senior personalities from the clubs and the towns working towards a super league franchise now but dont hold out too much hope. For the forseeable future Town and Haven will be average teams playing in National League One struggling to attract gates of more than 700-800.


Thanks for that interesting/informative....




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