There is plenty of new customers within Bradford, Leeds etc service areas. Why not focus efforts more on building the game and club in the service area so that more people become part of THE community Sports Club. Why not promote to the hilt Rugby League to youngsters in your service are so that each year the number and Quality of amateur Rugby League is improved. Most if not all service areas are seeing clubs struggling for players and often folding. For me I would like SL Clubs to stay in there own Service areas and promote themselves as THE local sports club and THE hometown community club to follow. Bradford has over 300,000 potential new customers in its Service area, Leeds even more. Why do these clubs need to go outside the area to other towns which have a club anyway?
The reason many Championship clubs struggle is simply down to money. One of the biggest ways of making money is via fans coming and watching, spending money on food and merchandise. But the last few years has seen many fans become disillussioned with the way the game is being run. The championship is in a fragile state as are he clubs. They mostly do excellent work promoting themselves on a small budget. They do not need a big SL club from another service area to then push them out the way by throwing tickets at schools for example. Rugby League is bigger than SL.The game needs strong championship clubs not just a strong SL system. Its this reason why I am not in favour of bradford or leeds going out of their service areas. And I would hope that they would leave keighley and Hunslet areas alone and let them clubs focus on these areas in promoting the game.
Rugby League is still much a small sport even in its "hearland" areas. The game needs to toughen up its approach on marketing, development and making sure that we have a strong Professional game below SL. We also need pro clubs to help out the amateur game more and that more people are playing our game each year. We need more people to watch both SL and Championship games. The potential in Service Areas is there, but I do not feel the game and clubs are doing it right.
You have the whole of the Bradford area plus other ares like Bingley, Ilkley etc to promote yourself as being THE team to follow locally. Guessing over 350,000 potential customers. What fraction actually watch the Bulls? I would rather see Bradford, Leeds etc just concentrating on their own service areas and making Rugby League THE sport to be associated with. With all the success and money Bradford and Leeds have had for example in the past 15 years they still are both smaller clubs than the lower league Soccer teams in them towns. The potential and market is in the service areas in then towns not neighbouring service areas.
And as I have said above I would hope that the SL clubs and the lower league clubs could work together that would leave the particular area/town for the championship club to promote themselves and just as importantly the game. Rugby League needs all its clubs to be as strong as possible. A strong service area with many players and officials with strong well run amateur clubs linked with the local pro club(s) means the Professional teams Community work is easier and should mean more people willing to watch games and spend more cash on them teams. This would be better for Rugby League as a whole. Rugby Leage needs to strenthen its grip in these areas or else we possibly could have little strength in our heartland areas in 50 years time.
The extracts from your last two posts are quite powerful stuff, and obviously heartfelt and I have some sympathy. I have often said that to be in Superleague you need money and I am afraid the NL clubs don't have any (apart from Widnes). But if you take away the SKY money and take away the money from rich backers from the chosen few then who actually does have any money?? Not many???
So although the SL clubs are "big clubs" and the NL clubs are "small clubs" I have sympathy that they all are mainly as you say "smaller clubs than the lower league Soccer teams in them towns". So I suppose the SL clubs perhaps should not be so high and mighty?
But back to the allocation of SKY money (which without it all but the odd few would be back to being semi pro), where 14 clubs are paid over a million a year each and 21 are paid absolutely zilch (yet SKY have the cheek to televise their matches still). It's that extreme divide in the financial support for clubs that creates the resentment when something like Bradfords marketing bus parking up in Batley comes to peoples attention.
You say "Rugby League is bigger than SL.The game needs strong championship clubs not just a strong SL system." Which is worth a think about. Why does the RFL believe that championship clubs matter so little that they can largely ignore them - which they do financially.
I can only guess that the policy of franchises, licences, salary caps and superleague and the pumping of all the SKY money into it, is an attempt to copy what is seen as a successful domestic competition breeding a successful international side i.e. the NRL and Australia.
I know there's lower tier RL in Australia but it seems accepted there's no P & R and the lower clubs seem to know their place. People often say on here that the danger of following the australian model is that Great Britain is not Australia. If Australia doesn't need a strong second tier do we???
I have my views on this, but when the reality of rugby League is it's strength is NOT in the north, NOT in Yorkshire and Lancashire, but in a few pockets off the M62 it is worth just having a think about what you say because I think it's a thought out fair point of view wether I agree with it or not.
If 14 clubs get over £1M a year from SKY 24 clubs could get £600K. I often wonder why NL clubs/fans don't argue this point