I agree with a lot of what you say, and yes, it could have been planned better. But i don't think those at the top end of decision making have learned from past lessons.
I know all about clubs going to the wall, my family were involved with the original Hunslet club on both the playing and supporting side since its inception. But one of the main contributing factors to their downfall was the regeneration of the area and the hard core of the support been scattered around, some, no doubt closer to a successful Leeds united side or dare I say Leeds RL.
Some of the sides you mention, particularly in the latter years had little if no following in their death throes, wasn't it Southend who got something like 60 people for a game v Huddersfield?
There is need for expansion, but right now the RFL needto be looking at more local issues, for now, it's no good setting up three clubs in the south if we lose two in its traditional heartland.
Yes, we don't need to lose clubs EVER, from anywhere but it will happen inevitably. I don't know how the establishment of these new clubs will negatively affect Northern strugglers though. I didn't think the RFL was bankrolling the expansion. I think they have to sink or swim on their own without RFL funding.
Ah, funding. There's the rub. The game dosn't have enough money and needs desperately to raise more to assist SL strugglers, current CC strugglers and expansion teams. TV, sponsorship and investor money all need targeting and increasing BUt is it possible ? Once the ecomony improves, I hope so.
Hunslet, Swinton and Oldham are sad cases. Great RL towns, with great histories. Hunslet are unique in, as you say, the whole town/suburb just up and all but vanished. Then there was the way Parkside was lost. That was very sad. There was plenty of room for rebuilding and regeneration there but the loss of it and the consequent relocations to Elland Road, Batley etc coupled with the dismantling of the town just about finished them. The Phoenix is an apt bird for them though. You can never say die until you put a stake through the heart of RL clubs. they are incredibly resilient.
Oldham also, what a great history, still producing top class players from the town. They, too, like Hunslet were wanderers following the loss of their ground. Their efforts at regrowth had been stymied by a succession of unfortunate grand final defeats. I hope they win CC1 next year.
Swinton, another of the four cup winning triumvirate. Once again they lost their ground, went walkabout, and are still not back in Swinton. Let's hope this Agecroft ground comes off and they are able finally to regroup. After all, rumour has it Salford Council are going to invest in the Reds so the Blues have a right to expect some assistance.
To be fair, and to repeat myself, which I'm good at, I don,t think the expansion in CC1 affects these heartlands teams as there is no funding to be had for either group.