1. You need an owner with deep pockets, who really loves the club. Ian Lenagan is a Wigan boy, who is very smart and very wealthy, and he loves Wigan.
Warrington is the only other club apart from Wigan that has that kind of owner at the moment. Harlequins and Les Catalans have devoted owners, but the owners do not have deep enough pockets -- in Harlequins case not deep enough to cover the revenue losses from a poor fan base.
However Leeds is very well managed and profitable, so it offers an alternative model of ownership and management.
2. You need a top class coach who can not only prepare a team, but also recruit the best talent in the world. Wise recruitment is a skill. Again, Warrington seems to be the only other club that has that kind of coach.
3. The cheque book can only take you so far. You need a good juniors structure as well, to keep the playing talent coming through. You also need good juniors to be able to step up when there are injuries to the senior players. This is where Wigan is ahead of Warrington. But Leeds and Hull FC also have good junior set ups. So does Harlequins, and increasingly Les Catalans -- though the devoted owner of the latter does not seem to take full advantage of the juniors, preferring to buy Aussie imports.
Edited by ParisSurtout, 02 October 2010 - 08:05 PM.