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Sticking at it in wrexham


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#41 dallymessenger

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 11:27 PM

QUOTE (THE RED ROOSTER @ Aug 24 2010, 07:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Firstly, Crusaders attendances were always likely to dwindle after the first few matches - You get the "Heineken effect" with a lot of early froth which burns off. The key will be the retention rate of Welsh Wrexham area fans next year and the year after. The travelling hordes from Wigan, Warrington, St Helens and Widnes (in 2011 or 2012) will keep the club afloat in the way that certain Heartland clubs enjoy gate inflation due to the arrival of the fans from the above clubs the Rhinos and the two Hull clubs.

I can live with the overseas players in the Cru team at the moment - As with London in its early days you have to have a competitive side to make the franchise work. I would however like to see a five year plan to gradually make the club more Welsh year on year. The Cru have the coaching infrastructure and the juniors to make this a reality.

The club is in Wrexham, counted as part of Llanelli in RU terms so ripe for establishing League as the Rugby code in the area. And having recently been in South Wales recently on cricket duty I can confirm the Cru still get a fair shake in The South Wales Echo.

The only jarring note I have is that in my experience having been to Bridgend and Wrexham I felt the Cru fans in Bridgend were the more "rugby" oriented crowd of the two and I still harbour doubts about the long term commitment of the clubs owners to a successful RL club in Wales for when a downturn comes on and off the field will the owners stick with it or bail out. IMO the jury's out on this.

Top down expansion does not work - and I am a Quins ST holder who has watched the club since 1996. That said we have what we have, The Cru are here and every effort should be made to develop Welsh Rugby League regardless of how the club got where it is. It's here and RL fans should support it for the good of the game domestically and internationally.

Finanlly if I am clubless next year, I will be spending a few weekends up in the north west with the cousins so catching a few Cru games will be on the agenda. That's a good enough reason to keep the Cru going IMO wink.gif


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#42 ShotgunGold

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 02:11 AM

A few small points...

1. Crusaders obviously had little time to drum up support for season ticket sales due to the speed of their arrival in Wrexham. 2011 season tickets went on sale after Saints game.

2. Crusaders spent their advertising budget (as well as their merchandise budget I think) by May. So they have literally spent nothing in certain departments since then. I went to Crusaders v Bulls back in June and asked about the merchandise and I was told that most of their stock had been sold out, most things they had none of.

3. Crusaders haven't had the time or money to invest into North Wales (as opposed to Wrexham). No marketing of games has happened in North Wales. Next year things are hoping to improve with coaches from Gwynedd and Anglesey to Wrexham so that fans can travel. All Asda's and Tesco's across North Wales will stock Cru merchandise. No Sunday games. North Wales radio interested and BBC radio want to do English and Welsh commentary. My mate at Prifysgol Glyndwr was at the fans meeting and told me this stuff, it's all small but it all helps spread the word : )

4. My main worry is that Crusaders aren't sure if they want to be/should be: Wrexham Crusaders, North Wales Crusaders or Wales Crusaders. Personally I think they should stick to representing the north although

5. Most fans wanted Rodney Parade you know so the ideas not a dead duck. I saw Cas Tigers and there was just something lacking which I think would have been there if it had been at RP.

6. I think the attendence next year might be below this years because of the Leeds/Hull/Gareth-Catalan games. However I think we've got to say that as long as Crusaders get all their games at least 4500 with a 5500ish average then they've done really well. If they can add an extra 200 to that average every season then I think thats the way to go. They're reasonable targets which can be hit. But remember any talk about pulling the plug and fans certainly won't go, nobody'll support a team that won't be there next season!!

7. Finally we still haven't seen any Wales games since the Crusaders move. With games in Wrexham, Colwyn Bay and Neath; and perhaps a few Four Nations games in Wrexham or Cardiff in 2011 tongue.gif tongue.gif then it'll be all systeams go. The national team will certainly help the Cru!

#43 Maximus Decimus

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 08:29 AM

QUOTE (dallymessenger @ Aug 25 2010, 12:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
look i can do the funky maths too :

had they not moved the 2 games to neath their crowd average would be 6000

the RFL has learnt from the Celtic crusaders / wrexham thing, and also the pointless excercise that was toulose in the championship and will now accept foreign teams when it sees fit

the evidence shows this is the way to go

putting unrealistic hurdles on expansion teams means theyll never be ready for SL.

lets see if Stade Francaise get a SL team


It's not funky maths at all, it's facts. I purposely didn't include the Neath games because they aren't indicative to their likely crowd levels. You're including artificial crowds that they will find very difficult to recreate.

Since the beginning of the year their crowds have clearly dropped to a similar level to Celtic, that's a fact Dally.

You're repeating a mantra again without actually backing anything up with facts or reason. Who are you to say that the RFL have learned from the CC/Wrexham thing? If they have a brain all they have really learned is that CC weren't ready in the first place. Do you think Hunslet have a good grounding for Super League 2012?

Wrexham could easily still go either way. You've conveniently ignored the fact that we had a top down expansion that averaged far higher than Wrexham in their first year, yet didn't exist by the third.

It's far too early to be using Wrexham as conclusive proof that top down expansion works and it's dishonest to suggest that it works better than grassroots expansion. Especially when there are still many remnants of the previous 4 years in place, such as the youth policy which will provide better quality players sooner.


#44 Mumby Magic

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 08:33 AM

QUOTE (ShotgunGold @ Aug 25 2010, 03:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A few small points...

1. Crusaders obviously had little time to drum up support for season ticket sales due to the speed of their arrival in Wrexham. 2011 season tickets went on sale after Saints game.


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#45 Maximus Decimus

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 08:38 AM

QUOTE (ShotgunGold @ Aug 25 2010, 03:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
4. My main worry is that Crusaders aren't sure if they want to be/should be: Wrexham Crusaders, North Wales Crusaders or Wales Crusaders. Personally I think they should stick to representing the north although


A lot of positive plans it seems.

I think they should stick to the North, the South shouldn't be given up on yet. SW Scorpions could yet provide a market down there.

QUOTE
6. I think the attendence next year might be below this years because of the Leeds/Hull/Gareth-Catalan games. However I think we've got to say that as long as Crusaders get all their games at least 4500 with a 5500ish average then they've done really well. If they can add an extra 200 to that average every season then I think thats the way to go. They're reasonable targets which can be hit. But remember any talk about pulling the plug and fans certainly won't go, nobody'll support a team that won't be there next season!!


This is inevitable because of the 3 early large crowds that were due to extreme circumstances. That's why quoting average attendances this year is just setting them up for a fall next year. If they manage to grow their core base next year to something like 4000 then they'll be doing well. If crowds continue to fall again, I fear the last line as RL is notoriously fickle at the best of times.


Edited by Maximus Decimus, 25 August 2010 - 08:40 AM.


#46 Silvia Saint

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 08:38 AM

On the whole the move has been a positive one for Welsh Rugby League and the current Crusaders club is far stronger on and off the field than its predecessor.

However, there are two fairly major stumbling blocks that will need to be overcome if the clubs is to build on a postive first year in Wrexham:

1) The financial hangover form Celtic Crusaders is clearly an issue.

2) The instablity at Wrexham FC/Wrexham Village is a major threat.

#47 Swansea Jack

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 09:07 AM

I have been a seaon ticket holder for Rugby League in South Wales since 2006. Sadly Crusaders in Bridgend was not successful and the town never supported it.
I have been to Wrexham once this year and was made very welcome. There was a much better atmosphere in Wrexham and I wish them every success in 2011. Hopefully the crowds will grow.

#48 dallymessenger

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 09:27 AM

QUOTE (Maximus Decimus @ Aug 25 2010, 08:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's not funky maths at all, it's facts. I purposely didn't include the Neath games because they aren't indicative to their likely crowd levels. You're including artificial crowds that they will find very difficult to recreate.

Since the beginning of the year their crowds have clearly dropped to a similar level to Celtic, that's a fact Dally.

You're repeating a mantra again without actually backing anything up with facts or reason. Who are you to say that the RFL have learned from the CC/Wrexham thing? If they have a brain all they have really learned is that CC weren't ready in the first place. Do you think Hunslet have a good grounding for Super League 2012?

Wrexham could easily still go either way. You've conveniently ignored the fact that we had a top down expansion that averaged far higher than Wrexham in their first year, yet didn't exist by the third.

It's far too early to be using Wrexham as conclusive proof that top down expansion works and it's dishonest to suggest that it works better than grassroots expansion. Especially when there are still many remnants of the previous 4 years in place, such as the youth policy which will provide better quality players sooner.


waiting for conclusive proof to satisfy you is like waiting for godot.

i think you have unrealistic expectations on expansion teams.

5000 is a fantastic average for an expansion team.

youll never get an expansion club developing in the championship to a level where it can match a heartland team

so if you dont have top down expansion you dont have expansion

putting unrealizable conditions on expansion teams is just another way of saying no to expansion and a league full only of m62 teams

#49 Maximus Decimus

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 09:36 AM

QUOTE (dallymessenger @ Aug 25 2010, 10:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
waiting for conclusive proof to satisfy you is like waiting for godot.

i think you have unrealistic expectations on expansion teams.

5000 is a fantastic average for an expansion team.

youll never get an expansion club developing in the championship to a level where it can match a heartland team

so if you dont have top down expansion you dont have expansion

putting unrealizable conditions on expansion teams is just another way of saying no to expansion and a league full only of m62 teams


Some proof would be nice, instead of absolute statements with nothing to back them up. Now you're changing the argument and putting words in my mouth.

PSG's average was an amazing average for an expansion team. I'll leave it at that.

#50 dallymessenger

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 09:48 AM

QUOTE (Maximus Decimus @ Aug 25 2010, 09:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Some proof would be nice, instead of absolute statements with nothing to back them up. Now you're changing the argument and putting words in my mouth.

PSG's average was an amazing average for an expansion team. I'll leave it at that.


PSG worked fairly well in some cases. the problems were the players were also playing for LER clubs, a key aussie official keeping the club going was recalled to australia and the club having no gate money from tickets.

Gatehead also worked very well but the RFL didnt give them a fair share of Sky TV money.

even on your own analysis that wrexham are as strong as celtic crusaders, it still shows that top down wrexham are as good as bottom up CC.

and i think they are far stronger.



#51 dallymessenger

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 09:50 AM

lets take the case of AFL :

they are expanding to gold coast and western sydney

do they make these teams play in the local VFL first and then only allow them into the AFL if they can match the existing clubs?

thats what proponents of bottom up expansion are asking for.

its mindless.

successful sports use top down expansion backed by cash from the governing body and good marketing.

#52 Maximus Decimus

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 10:26 AM

QUOTE (dallymessenger @ Aug 25 2010, 10:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
lets take the case of AFL :

they are expanding to gold coast and western sydney

do they make these teams play in the local VFL first and then only allow them into the AFL if they can match the existing clubs?

thats what proponents of bottom up expansion are asking for.

its mindless.

successful sports use top down expansion backed by cash from the governing body and good marketing.


There are 95,000 registered AFL players in NSW and ACT. There are 100,000 registered players in Queensland. Many more are aware of the sport as it is a truly national sport in Australia, probably the largest.

How many people play and are aware of RL in North Wales, Gateshead or Paris?

Edited by Maximus Decimus, 25 August 2010 - 10:26 AM.


#53 sgorpioncaerdyddrob

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 10:30 AM

I agree with all of the sentiments of Red Rooster. On our supporters trip to Hunslet last Sunday I found out more about Samuel's dodgy dealings and that the demise of the club was inevitable from as early as the beginning of the season. Its infuriating that all of this was going on behind the scenes completely underminning the club . Clearly the people of Bridgend don't trust Leyton Samuel as shown in the crowds as the Jack says and he has now been behind the collapse of the town's two professional Rugby Clubs. It still hurts now that people and their ego's destroyed something potentially big as I really enjoyed following the Celtic Crusaders more so than my other love CCFC. It brought many local people to the sport in general (including rekindling my interest) and thankfully some of them have stuck with the Crusaders up in Wrexham and/or support South Wales Scorpions .We now have a playing foundation here than can compete against established heartland clubs.

Wrexham should undoubtedly be persevered with as should the South. The crowds aren't bad regardless of the drop off from the beginning of the season, atleast they actually had a real budget to promote games and they have the financial backing and suitable people to run a professional club. None of this happened in Bridgend, the crowds were fairly constant around the 3,500 mark. I speak to people here now and more of them know about Crusaders RL than about CC as they get some positive coverage on Welsh TV now. A successful side will always get more fans , and the travelling support is certainly a big factor in the crowds up North. Should that be seen as a problem, no , not yet and not anytime soon. Some big improvments have been made but theres still a long way to go.

If we had the best parts of South (player development,financial potential) and North Wales (crowds, club management,stadium) behind a SL side it could be very very successful!

Edited by cardifcrusaderrob, 25 August 2010 - 10:32 AM.

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#54 dallymessenger

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 10:31 AM

QUOTE (Maximus Decimus @ Aug 25 2010, 10:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There are 95,000 registered AFL players in NSW and ACT. There are 100,000 registered players in Queensland. Many more are aware of the sport as it is a truly national sport in Australia, probably the largest.

How many people play and are aware of RL in North Wales, Gateshead or Paris?


AFL participation figures are meaningless. if you play 1 hour of AFL all year you are counted as a junior.

the last example of succesful bottom up expansion was Castleford in 1926

its now 2010.



#55 Maximus Decimus

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 10:32 AM

QUOTE (dallymessenger @ Aug 25 2010, 10:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
PSG worked fairly well in some cases. the problems were the players were also playing for LER clubs, a key aussie official keeping the club going was recalled to australia and the club having no gate money from tickets.

Gatehead also worked very well but the RFL didnt give them a fair share of Sky TV money.

even on your own analysis that wrexham are as strong as celtic crusaders, it still shows that top down wrexham are as good as bottom up CC.

and i think they are far stronger.


There's always excuses as to why these clubs fail, but the problem is that as soon as anything goes wrong the club is built on too shaky foundations to survive.

Gateshead didn't work very well, they were much better on the pitch than CC but their crowds were no better, dropping as low as 1500 at one point.

You haven't addressed the point that CC were not bottom up at all, they were as prepared as Hunslet are now. Do you not forget many, many people suggesting that they weren't ready and were another example of ill thought out top down expansion. You also haven't addressed the fact that Wrexham are reaping some of the benefits of this 'bottom up' expansion.

What makes me laugh most is that anybody who called CC a failure this time last year would have been shouted down and derided as a fervent traditionalist, when now every Tom, Dick and Harry is doing so.

#56 Maximus Decimus

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 10:33 AM

QUOTE (dallymessenger @ Aug 25 2010, 11:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
AFL participation figures are meaningless. if you play 1 hour of AFL all year you are counted as a junior.

the last example of succesful bottom up expansion was Castleford in 1926

its now 2010.


How many people played 1 hour of RL in North Wales last year?

Has there ever been a successful example of top down expansion in an area that has no RL played there?

#57 dallymessenger

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 10:34 AM

QUOTE (Maximus Decimus @ Aug 25 2010, 10:32 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There's always excuses as to why these clubs fail, but the problem is that as soon as anything goes wrong the club is built on too shaky foundations to survive.

Gateshead didn't work very well, they were much better on the pitch than CC but their crowds were no better, dropping as low as 1500 at one point.

You haven't addressed the point that CC were not bottom up at all, they were as prepared as Hunslet are now. Do you not forget many, many people suggesting that they weren't ready and were another example of ill thought out top down expansion. You also haven't addressed the fact that Wrexham are reaping some of the benefits of this 'bottom up' expansion.

What makes me laugh most is that anybody who called CC a failure this time last year would have been shouted down and derided as a fervent traditionalist, when now every Tom, Dick and Harry is doing so.


without CC in SL there would be no Wrexham doing well and with an excellent chance of succeeding.

with 2 clubs being admitted into SL bottom up says the teams that finish top two go up

so yeah it was bottom up.

#58 Maximus Decimus

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 10:37 AM

QUOTE (dallymessenger @ Aug 25 2010, 11:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
without CC in SL there would be no Wrexham doing well and with an excellent chance of succeeding.

with 2 clubs being admitted into SL bottom up says the teams that finish top two go up

so yeah it was bottom up.


How would Hunslet go next year then?

By your reckoning Wrexham aren't top down either as they only have an excellent chance of succeeding because of CC.

I don't even know what that middle line is supposed to mean.

#59 dallymessenger

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 10:41 AM

QUOTE (Maximus Decimus @ Aug 25 2010, 10:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How many people played 1 hour of RL in North Wales last year?

Has there ever been a successful example of top down expansion in an area that has no RL played there?


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#60 dallymessenger

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 10:42 AM

QUOTE (Maximus Decimus @ Aug 25 2010, 10:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How would Hunslet go next year then?

By your reckoning Wrexham aren't top down either as they only have an excellent chance of succeeding because of CC.

I don't even know what that middle line is supposed to mean.


salford finished first, Crusaders 2nd in the NL1 the year franchising was being decided. as two teams were being admitted into SL, the RFL just let in teams 1 and 2.

hunslet arent an expansion club so they arent worth taking a risk on.

as ive said before, you cant compare expansion teams with heartland teams.






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