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Rugby League the fastest growing sport in Wales


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#21 Northern Sol

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 08:17 PM

QUOTE (Dave T @ Sep 9 2010, 09:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why when there's something negative is it a dreadful mistake,


Because it was blindly obvious that something like that would happen.

QUOTE
but then when there is a positive it is lucky?


Because none of Lewis' actions were directed towards producing that particular outcome.

#22 Northern Sol

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 08:22 PM

QUOTE (RP London @ Sep 9 2010, 09:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
actually there was quite a bit going on behind the scenes with the WRL at the time about different possibilities and talking to different people..

Lewis to a certain extent lucky but he also knew the right people were in place in the WRL to make sure that Super League had a presence in Wales.

To be fair Lewis also knew that it was a risk having a Welsh team and all the issues with it..

Personally i get the feeling Lewis couldnt give a toss about his reputation at all. If he did then he wouldnt take the risks that he has taken. Being outspoken about Quins' necessity to exist (or a london franchise), Franchising being needed and putting it into practice, getting Catalans in, Getting the welsh in. All of these were a massive massive risk, all of which could have made him look very very silly. The safest thing to do if he was that worried about his reputation was to do ###### all, pull the rug from under London and settle the game in the M62 corridor. He has taken massive risks that could make him look stupid and quite honestly we need that. these decisions are high risk but if they work (ie Wales gets a huge presence, London at last kicks on, the Championship clubs pull their socks up etc) the game will grow immeasurably and its that which we need.


Lewis did look very silly at the time and whilst the other decisions seemed to have been calculated risks this one just seemed stupid. The fact that Bridgend Crusaders fell apart after less than one season speaks volumes about how prepared they were to join SL. He should have seen this, he had access to the books.

Having said that, despite this one mistake (even a very big one), he does generally make better decisions and take more intelligent risks.

#23 dallymessenger

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 02:29 AM

QUOTE (Northern Sol @ Sep 9 2010, 09:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Very few people said that (and I certainly wasn't one of them). There wasn't any time to replace them with a heartlands team, only Widnes could possibly have done it and even then it would have been a bad idea.

There was no other course of action aside from having a 13-team league which would have been embarrassing.


lots of people were saying widnes should replace celtic crusaders.

again richard lewis ignored what i consider to be the conservative elements in the game - those that arnent expansionists and did the right thing by RL

its so easy to sit back and be a critic and the game gets nowhere if our leaders listen to them

when expansion does work all the critics magically disappear

#24 The Parksider

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 08:09 AM

QUOTE (Northern Sol @ Sep 9 2010, 09:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Lewis did look very silly at the time and whilst the other decisions seemed to have been calculated risks this one just seemed stupid. The fact that Bridgend Crusaders fell apart after less than one season speaks volumes about how prepared they were to join SL. He should have seen this, he had access to the books.
Having said that, despite this one mistake (even a very big one), he does generally make better decisions and take more intelligent risks.


Lewis is responsible for a game that has the glaring opportunity to break out of the north at all levels. The individual opportunities to do this wether in Paris, Gateshead, London, Catalans, Toulouse, South Wales or wherever are naturally a "risk" and more so a risk because of the inherent problems finding players and finances outside the M62 where what little RL have is "concentrated".

What do you mean by "Intelligent risks"? Risks are risks they either come off or they don't and if they don't it doesn't make the person that took the risk stupid. Risk takers in business are essential to the economy, and if RL is to grow at pro level which is a business risks have to be taken. Mindst you, your slant smacks of championing a nice "safe" policy towards expansion that will nicely leave pro RL along the M62 forever and that's what was often posted on here, we want expansion but don't take any risks........

.......let the game grow from the roots up, let clubs as you say "prepare" in the NL's which is another policy championed by those who know nobody "prepares" in the largely ignored NL's - rather they go backwards. Thus such an intelligent policy (If heeded by Lewis) would effectively stop these "outsiders" pushing traditional clubs aside. A great sounding "Intelligent" policy, that in reality is totally vacuous.......

Samuels was to deliver money and deliver money he did. It didn't get very far as he himself had business problems, but the project got going, it got sold on to new investors and we have a Welsh club in the play offs and to get back to the thread title RL is the fastest growing sport in Wales.

Richard Lewis has pulled off getting a pro club in Wales succeeding on the pitch and succeeding at junior level.

He has by any other definition than yours played a blinder here under very very difficult circumstances.

On the issue of Lewis "looking at the books" do you think he's had a check of Wakefields empty books, or HKR's books. How about Castleford's books. Are these clubs place in SL "intelligent risks"??? Sould Wakefield and Castleford step down and "prepare" properly this time for a return to SL. The NL's will of course be the making of them as they would have been the making of Crusaders.


#25 dallymessenger

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 08:17 AM

pretty much since the inclusion of CC into SL and the way AFL goes about expanding unless someone is a fan of top down expansion then most of the times they are anti expansion but just dont want to admit it

making an expansion club jump through the same hurdles as a heartlands team is just a fancy way of saying no to expansion

the only way to expand is to take opportunities as they arise, especially if things like CC or even Stade francaise want a SL spot

if other people want to spend their money on expanding the sport we should welcome it

the RFL show also help expansion clubs with the following

1. SC and import exemptions
2. additional marketing by RFL of RL
3. international games at clubs home ground as a further revenue raises
4. additional central funds where required for development officers, marketing etc

#26 The Parksider

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 08:34 AM

QUOTE (RP London @ Sep 9 2010, 09:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Personally i get the feeling Lewis couldnt give a toss about his reputation at all. If he did then he wouldnt take the risks that he has taken. Being outspoken about Quins' necessity to exist (or a london franchise), Franchising being needed and putting it into practice, getting Catalans in, Getting the welsh in. All of these were a massive massive risk, all of which could have made him look very very silly. The safest thing to do if he was that worried about his reputation was to do ###### all, pull the rug from under London and settle the game in the M62 corridor. He has taken massive risks that could make him look stupid


With respect can I suggest you are getting dragged in to Northern Sols assertion that Lewis is taking risks with the pro game.

Crusaders risked Leighton Samuels money, and now risks the investment money of the people at Wrexham.

Harlequins risked Lenegan and Hughes money and now it risks Hughes money.

Reality check is that Richard Lewis has taken no risks at all with these clubs, he's taken the "risks" with other peoples money!! A very very smart bit of business/leadership.

The key here is your own realisation that without putting expansion clubs in he'd effectively be settling the game in the M62 coridoor.

Now that is a big risk.

It's been suggested "Ad nauseum" that cash strapped Halifax and Leigh are "ready" now they have shiny grounds, to fill the places of Quins and Crusaders. Given we know how cash strapped clubs go in Superleague on low attendances (Wakefield? castleford?) and given we know these clubs performances in SL in the past then what a masive risk it would be to reject what "outside the M62" investment has been available in Wales, London and Catalans in favour of skint M62 clubs.

Clearly at losses of around a Million a year Quins, Crusaders and Catalans have probably attracted investment to the tune of well over 10Million.

How much investment are Wakefield, Castleford, Leigh, Halifax, Featherstone attracting from businessmen???

Nowt much, so what sort of an M62 league would we have? Half a dozen successful clubs and eight skint makeweights.

A league that smacked of insularity, peering up it's own bum. A League that said to the rest of britain "we're a nothern sport for northern folk". A league that offered only 100 players a decent living beyond which they need to seek employment in the union. And a fixture list where for the top clubs playing each other all the time, there's be eight dead rubbers against the easybeats.

Lewis has taken the game forwards. he mustn't take the game backwards, because once you get in a spiral of decline it's very hard to stop it. It may be nice in some people's minds that a major business with rivals to compete with can just "stand still" but it can't.

That's the massive risk Lewis has chosen not to take.

Top guy.

#27 Allan Marsden

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 10:55 AM

All for expansion etc etc BUT as someone who analyses / interprets statistics then I am sorry 'fastest growing sport in Wales' and '300%' mean very little with more substance and their use in such a manner is what politicians do.

A sport with no presence in an area will / should be faster growing than an established one. It is easier to grow from virtually nothing than it is from capacity. What does 300% mean. How many clubs existed at the start and how many are there now, what was the participation numbers then and what are they now? How regularly are these new players participating? Where geographically is this participation taking place?

Whatsmore how does one equate participation increase with a professional club? There may be other factors leading to an increase. The impact of TV, the presence/work of development officers. As an example American Football became a very fast growing sport in this country with a professional presence so does grass root development in an area require a professional presence in that area? I would say not always.

We have always been told that grass root development is the key to successful expansion of RL professionally so on that basis and what we know in the past with Cardiff in 51/2 and Brigend 81/2 professional clubs do not magically lead to development and that development takes place before a professional club prospers or should do.

#28 Dave T

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 11:07 AM

QUOTE (Allan Marsden @ Sep 10 2010, 11:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
All for expansion etc etc BUT as someone who analyses / interprets statistics then I am sorry 'fastest growing sport in Wales' and '300%' mean very little with more substance and their use in such a manner is what politicians do.
Yep, you are right, but aren't we as a sport guilty of not spinning things positively?

Why would you turn this into a negative, what benefit is there to that at all?


#29 bowes

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 11:15 AM

QUOTE (1976PMJwires @ Sep 8 2010, 10:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
biggrin.gif biggrin.gif from me.

300% increase well done Wales, i would be interested in how much of that is in N Wales to S Wales.

All in the South apart from Crusaders and a 9s tournament up north I believe

#30 Allan Marsden

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 11:33 AM

QUOTE (Dave T @ Sep 10 2010, 12:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yep, you are right, but aren't we as a sport guilty of not spinning things positively?

Why would you turn this into a negative, what benefit is there to that at all?


In search of the truth Dave just as we have a right for the truth from the greatest statistical spin masters that run our country at any time then we have the right to accurate, detailed data. The RFL or whomever can put a positive spin and leave it to fans to interpret the data which is impossible when they hide it. If an academic presented data the way it is presented to the public they would rightly get torn apart and deservedly so.

#31 The Parksider

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 12:10 PM

QUOTE (Allan Marsden @ Sep 10 2010, 11:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
1. All for expansion etc etc BUT as someone who analyses / interprets statistics then I am sorry 'fastest growing sport in Wales' and '300%' mean very little

2. Whatsmore how does one equate participation increase with a professional club?

3. Does grass root development in an area require a professional presence in that area? I would say not always.

4. We have always been told that grass root development is the key to successful expansion of RL professionally so on that basis and what we know in the past with Cardiff in 51/2 and Brigend 81/2 professional clubs do not magically lead to development and that development takes place before a professional club prospers or should do.


I. I'm as sceptical as you on the stat but delighted at the headline. As wrong as it may be it will be fine by me if that get's people thinking "shall I have a go"......

2. By looking at a pro club in an area and seeing how the kids respond. Round here the Rhinos do a lot to get kids interested and wanting to have a go, kids fun afternoons, summer camps, schools visits etc, once playing you get to play at half time on Headingley. Again there's no actual figure on this but from where I'm standing the Rhinos do a great job and we have junior clubs starting across north Leeds a wasteland in the past.

3. Across the country there is grass roots development. It seems it is strongest in erm Wales and London where we have pro clubs in place. Looking at it round here it needs Rhinos....

4. In 51/2 and 81/2 the culture in south wales was to strangle the game at birth wherever possible and shun those who played it. It's not relevant to today and the sort for all free gangway. There's no cart before the horse here, A professional club can start up alongside a developing junior base and they can feed off each other.

#32 Bob8

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 12:20 PM

QUOTE (Allan Marsden @ Sep 10 2010, 12:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
All for expansion etc etc BUT as someone who analyses / interprets statistics then I am sorry 'fastest growing sport in Wales' and '300%' mean very little with more substance and their use in such a manner is what politicians do.

A sport with no presence in an area will / should be faster growing than an established one. It is easier to grow from virtually nothing than it is from capacity. What does 300% mean. How many clubs existed at the start and how many are there now, what was the participation numbers then and what are they now? How regularly are these new players participating? Where geographically is this participation taking place?

Whatsmore how does one equate participation increase with a professional club? There may be other factors leading to an increase. The impact of TV, the presence/work of development officers. As an example American Football became a very fast growing sport in this country with a professional presence so does grass root development in an area require a professional presence in that area? I would say not always.

We have always been told that grass root development is the key to successful expansion of RL professionally so on that basis and what we know in the past with Cardiff in 51/2 and Brigend 81/2 professional clubs do not magically lead to development and that development takes place before a professional club prospers or should do.


Would you say that the grass roots rugby league scene in Oldham is better or worse than when Oldham Bears were in Super League?

Is the apparent decline in youngsters coming into pro RL a sign that things were going badly in Oldham and this lead to the sudden drop in the Oldham Bears? Or the other way round?

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#33 Dave T

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 12:34 PM

QUOTE (Allan Marsden @ Sep 10 2010, 12:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In search of the truth Dave just as we have a right for the truth from the greatest statistical spin masters that run our country at any time then we have the right to accurate, detailed data. The RFL or whomever can put a positive spin and leave it to fans to interpret the data which is impossible when they hide it. If an academic presented data the way it is presented to the public they would rightly get torn apart and deservedly so.

Are you saying that the release is not true? It may give limited details (intentionally) however I have no reason to doubt the 300% stat, and if they are basing the 'fastest growing' element on that stat, then fair enough, no lies there.

This isn't an academic report or anything like that, it is a release about the fact that RL in Wales is growing, and they have tried to grab some headlines with statements that are hard hitting. What is the issue here.

I could understand if you were just doing further digging and asking exactly how much participation has increased by, as that would be interesting to understand, but tbh your post just comes across as negative, unnecessarily IMHO.

#34 Futtocks

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 12:36 PM

QUOTE (Allan Marsden @ Sep 10 2010, 11:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
All for expansion etc etc BUT as someone who analyses / interprets statistics then I am sorry 'fastest growing sport in Wales' and '300%' mean very little with more substance and their use in such a manner is what politicians do.

A sport with no presence in an area will / should be faster growing than an established one. It is easier to grow from virtually nothing than it is from capacity. What does 300% mean. How many clubs existed at the start and how many are there now, what was the participation numbers then and what are they now? How regularly are these new players participating? Where geographically is this participation taking place?

While I'm fully aware of the context of that 300%, if every other existing sport (apart from Football) can trot out the "fastest-growing sport" line (and they do, regularly), why can't RL? smile.gif

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


#35 Allan Marsden

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 12:48 PM

QUOTE (Dave T @ Sep 10 2010, 01:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Are you saying that the release is not true? It may give limited details (intentionally) however I have no reason to doubt the 300% stat, and if they are basing the 'fastest growing' element on that stat, then fair enough, no lies there.

This isn't an academic report or anything like that, it is a release about the fact that RL in Wales is growing, and they have tried to grab some headlines with statements that are hard hitting. What is the issue here.

I could understand if you were just doing further digging and asking exactly how much participation has increased by, as that would be interesting to understand, but tbh your post just comes across as negative, unnecessarily IMHO.


Of course it is true Dave but my point still stands and I like to see such headlines accompanies by quality data that Jo Public can look at and analyse at the very least on the RFL website and RL media. National media, fair enough. However, I want more substance because 300% means nothing without it. It is a poor lazy effort IMO and if that is decreed as complaining by you so be it but I like to be objective and want to know as much as I can. The mushroom treatment is the realm of politicians.

#36 dallymessenger

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 01:20 PM

QUOTE (Allan Marsden @ Sep 10 2010, 11:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
All for expansion etc etc BUT as someone who analyses / interprets statistics then I am sorry 'fastest growing sport in Wales' and '300%' mean very little with more substance and their use in such a manner is what politicians do.


300% means the sport is growing 1% more than 299% and 1 less than 301%.

#37 dallymessenger

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 01:21 PM

QUOTE (Futtocks @ Sep 10 2010, 01:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
While I'm fully aware of the context of that 300%, if every other existing sport (apart from Football) can trot out the "fastest-growing sport" line (and they do, regularly), why can't RL? smile.gif


nah only in RL will people come out of the woodwork to knock it

the reasons either are

1. fan of another sport who is feeling insecure
2. fan of non SL club that has chip on shoulder

#38 The Parksider

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 02:16 PM

QUOTE (Allan Marsden @ Sep 10 2010, 01:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I want more substance because 300% means nothing without it. It is a poor lazy effort IMO and if that is decreed as complaining by you so be it but I like to be objective and want to know as much as I can. The mushroom treatment is the realm of politicians.


Fair shout, but doubt you'll get the facts.

I'm just pleased it's going shall we say "very well".

#39 John Rhino

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 02:27 PM

QUOTE (Northern Sol @ Sep 8 2010, 09:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Lewis made a dreadful mistake and was extremely lucky with the Wrexham FC intervention; otherwise his reputation for competence would have been tarnished.

Nothing to do with "keeping the faith" and everything to do with being so desperate as to have to accept any offer to keep Crusaders going.


If he hadn't taken the risk, luck, good or bad would not even have had a chance to take part.

Good managers take risks and he is to be congratulated for getting a side going in Wales against all the odds.

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#40 Allan Marsden

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 02:29 PM

QUOTE (dallymessenger @ Sep 10 2010, 02:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
nah only in RL will people come out of the woodwork to knock it

the reasons either are

1. fan of another sport who is feeling insecure
2. fan of non SL club that has chip on shoulder


Well I do not meet any of your criteria. However, I can offer you an alternative;

People who attack others in using the guise of negativity when they are asking more searching questions. These very same people sit back and prwetend everything is wonderful and let things happen to them, their sport, their country.





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