name='The Parksider' date='Aug 1 2010, 05:37 PM' post='2088428']
Always delighted to hear from you, listen to your views and largely agree.
Your probably in a minority on here...
So Whilst I see the point in terms of investment up to a point I still maintain that if people want to bad mouth clubs who are essentially unviable at SL level unless propped up by sugar daddy money they need to apply it to all clubs of that ilk and not just expansion clubs.
True but my point was that although essentially chairmen of sporting clubs are philanthropists you still like to feel that the losses incurred by the club you are chairman of are sustainable and that there is a potential market for your product in the medium term if you can achieve a modicum of success.
Its equally true that due to Rugby League being played in a confined geographical area you have a smaller pool of businessman who are willing to live their childhood dream by owning a Rugby League club. Quins current chairman is a Swintonian and before him a Wiganer was Chairman. There not exactly a surplus of London / SE businessmen ready to take the reins is there?
For me when you speak about the underlying strengths of M62 clubs, this is correct, but what it does is mean that if the investment is pulled out of a Widnes/HKR/Salford etc they will have the strength to carry on in the NL's. Pull the plug on Cru or Quins and that is that unless the RFL step in.
Now there another post in here stating that Quins and Crusaders should drop into the Championship. Yet again on Rugby League message boards you have posters ignoring those "elephants in the room" notably London Skolars and South Wales Scorpions both of whom are in the Championship 1. So the collapse of the "top down" expansion model represented by Quins and the Cru need not necessarily spell the end of expansion providing that the RFL took a long term 30 year plan with the intention of using championship 1 clubs with a geograhical spread across the UK as the focal point for constructing a RL community in the area with amateur clubs feeding into the semi-pro sides, The RFL should give financial assistance to create the infrastructure - the essential building blocks of the game - and ensure that these sides have secure tenure of the grounds they play in and develop contacts amongst the local business community.
If as we hear the junior development in London and South Wales ios so good then I am sure within 5-10 years both clubs will be knocking on the door of the Super League from the championship. Nor should this be restricted to the Skolars and Scorpions, you can apply this to other expansion areas such as Sheffield and Gateshead and perhaps teams in the Midlands, Scotland and the South East starting off in championship 1.
What I would call for is Evolution rather than Revolution
in spreading the game.
What it also means is that you can get away with spending less than salary cap to break even if you have the advantage of being in M62 land. That strategy may work with a good coach and some quality accademy lads flowing, like at Cas, but only in terms of treading water. When it doesn't work we get the kind of situation that seems to be unfolding at Bradford, and maybe Wakey.
I don't see that anyone other than the top four clubs are self financing and competetive in SL, bad mouth one for not being able to pay the bills, bad mouth the other nine to be consistent.
Again true and Franchising has not fundamentally altered the divide within Super League between the haves and have nots. Putting aside Quins and the Cru look at clubs like Castleford who lose players like Michael Shenton to St Helens or Salford one of the clubs identified by Willie Mason as a club he would not join because he did not want to play in a side "getting smashed by 30-40 points each week". Are these clubs and Wakefield not beginning to atrophy bouncing around in the lower half of Super League battling for eighth
spot and name any other sport that rewards clubs in the lower half of the table by giving them a theoretical shot at the title.
Please explain to me as a Quins fan how a cash-strapped club as Quins will be next season, getting smashed every week on the pitch, playing in front of ever lower crowds partly as a result and nailed on to finish last in any way aids the expansion of Rugby League as a sport.. and theres no evidence to suggest that Leigh or Featherstone would do any better despite what the Vicar says..
And that is the sober reality of franchising its no good creating a self perpetuating elite group of clubs if you are doing nothing as a governing body to ensure that you have a competitive league between those clubs and not taking a very long term view about the games expansion.
If there's a master plan for the game out there can anyone point me in it's direction ?