Cut your posts down for expedience, hope that's OK.
1. Your analysis of superleague is spot on, but it's one side of the coin. The other side is what professional RL has done to boost the game. We have 40,000 plus new fans thanks to Superleague, we have tens of millions of pounds worth of TV contracts thanks to Superleague. We have a large player development system thanks to Superleague, we have millionaires prepared to invest in the game thanks to Superleague.
I'm not having a go at you now, you made your stance clear, but it's an utter nonsense to paint Superleague as any sort of failure and people should forget their petty jealousies and try to engage in the realities now. Superleague has done a heck of a lot for the game, and it has probably saved it.
The anti superleague parody has to be "what did the Romans ever do for us"????
Superleague delivers loads of money, loads of fans and loads of home grown pro players
What more do we want from it????
2. Your analysis of bad management is true, as is the effects of it, but to try to declare the whole thing a mess is nonsense. YES Superleague is probably pitched at a level where only half a dozen clubs can compete.
17 years on this should all have been sorted out but of course all the clubs wanted to do was grab what they could for themselves and fail to recognise the greater good and fail to plan for that. I have to dismiss your attack on the RFL which is same old same old, but will heartily agree that SLE and the clubs have failed miserably to look to the greater good, and the same goes for the championship clubs too - they have been just as bad, they just wanted to do what the SL clubs want to do - to just get in SL wether they can afford it or not, and to recreate the old first and division faiilure. Don't give me the "well run" stuff. The well run halifax was a disaster in SL, Well run Leigh bombed in a year, well run Sheffield went defunct and well run Fev can't make a profit in the Championship.
As for Salford and your attack on them if they sign up with Peel they'll do more years in SL than that lot will have managed between them. As for Saints not making it pay? I thought McManus had won an award for doing just that?
SL management by SL has been rather appalling, but they are waking up and smelling the coffee. Bradford and Wakefield are stabilised as will be Salford. Yes Davey O'Connor and Hughes's money is not guaranteed forever but nor is SKY money and as long as it is delivered it should be factored in. It's silly to criticise and dismiss the private money, Super league attracts millionaires, rejoice in it for gawds sake.
The ability to compete has various management mechanisms to create a situation where all clubs can do this, Reduce to 12 clubs, share the surplus SKY money out, use the Championship as part of the player development system, adjust the salary cap etc.
Clubs still have some way to go - no excuse after 17 years - but to dismiss the possibility Wakefield will get Newmarket, to forget that the RFL Odsal deal will help Bradford, to forget London are now bringing through players in numbers, to forget Peel will save Salford for the next decade, to forget O'Connor is rebuilding Widnes to past glories, to forget that even if Davy departs this mortal coin investment goes on at Fartown, To forget if Wakefield and Hull become the only SL clubs in their area they will prosper on this, is to paint such a one sided picture that the value of your post becomes nothing.
We all know the problems you point out, but why ignore the solutions??
Why use such a one sided one-eyed argument to then go on to say.......
3. "the future doesn't look good". The future of the game IS GOOD look at what Superleague has done for us, look at the growth of the game across the country, look at the wonderful Amateur clubs we have in their own facilities.
All these arguments that I do not recognise as being fair, or balanced or factual are coming from Championship supporters grinding big fat axes. Times change, and events conspire to change things.
The future HAS to be viable professional RL clubs - this has already given us so much more in terms of money, fans, players and private investment.
The future HAS to be viable amateur clubs in modern facilities running clubs with players of both sexes and all ages from toddlers to veterans.- I started out playing in 1974 and my word how massively has our amateur game has grown and blossomed since then.
I just do not recognise the black picture you paint.....
But the reality is the dark clouds have descended on the Championship clubs. Today the fans want Pro Rugby, they want SL. The players want to play SL, the investors only want SL. The pro clubs don't need the semi pros.
Leeds don't need Hunslet of Bramley, they need Hunslet Warriors and Stanningley.
The Championship clubs are becoming redundant and they know it, so the only thing to do has been for them to throw in their lot in and be a part of Superleague and help to make it a bigger success rather then sit on the sidelines boo-hooing.
When in Rome, do what the Romans do......
You were doing well until your last three paragraphs and then you couldn't but help but put on your 'Super league rules forever" hat.
The reality is that fans, players and clubs want SL and the other reality is that those in SL are determined to see that they don't get it.
There are some weak sisters in SL and you know it but probably the weakest with the bleakest future is London but there is no one deemed fit enough to compare with them in the Championships. What do their accounts reveal ? They must lose hundeds of thousands and are propped up by one old rich man but they are indispensable because of their geographical location. What if he dies tomorrow, what if any of them die or walk away. What if Lenagahn is not in the picture at Wigan.? Well, when the finances do not get fixed you get the Crusaders and you get Paris and you very nearly got Wakefield.
The SL has been very successful as you have shown but they are also teetering on the edge of crisis.
The evidence is that whilst some SL clubs are in trouble, most CC clubs have really pulled themselves up by their bootstraps.
Featherstone, annual losses or no, are light years ahead of where they were some few short years ago when they were in CC1. They have doubled their crowds, they have resurrected their team on the field, they have improved ( or are improving) their stadium to SL standards. They are dabbling with the Probiz guy for financial aid.
Halifax have stemmed their losses.They make a profit. Their stadium is completed and better than a few SL ones. They are successful on the field. They are light years ahead of where they were when they were relegated from SL.Their crowds have slowly grown in recent seasons
Leigh have a decent team, they have a SL standard stadium. They have survived the loss of an investor. They seem stable after all the turmoil which almost saw them in CC1.
Sheffield have worked wonders of an almost miraculous sort, to re emerge from the ashes of their death to the point where they make a profit and are CC Champions.
Dewsbury have their own stadium and are improving it as I type. They are in CC. they are recruiting a strong team even before the loanees are there. A few years ago they were groundless and moribound after the loss of Crown Flatt. The future looks good for them. I don't think they are redundant.
Batley have developed their ground, won trophies, make a profit and are a very competent CC outfit.
York have come back from the dead. They are in the championship. There is a new ground on the horizon. Considering where they were, they are doing well.
Doncaster have a SL standard stadium. They just won the double in CC1. They seem to have stabilised their management and finances. Not so long ago they had multiple bankuptcies and were playing in a no stand greyhound stadium in Stainforth. Lazarus should be their mascot but the future seems good for them.
Workington make a profit, they got promoted after years of failure. Their ground is being upgraded for the RLWC fixtures.
Whitehaven got promoted. Pow beck is still a dream. They too survived bankruptcy. They are still alive and kicking.
Barrow have come a long way from the bottom of CC1 with crowds in the hundreds. They too have survived the loss of an investor and just got promoted on the back of an almost all local team. They haved a new stand and plans to refurbish their ground ( I think)
Even the really small clubs are survivors. Keighley have got past two bankruptcies, got promoted ( twice) and made the playoffs last season in CC. I think their head is above water.
The subject of this thread Oldham have survived the loss of a ground, extinction, a longer exodus from their base than the Israelites and more unfortunate promotion final losses than is fair but are still alive, recruiting for a promotion push again, have a ground of their own. They are putting up Salford's old main stand and have other ground improvement initiatives on tap.
Even Gateshead have survived the loss of two sets of investors, one in SL and one that won them the CC1 championship but led to a self imposed relegation but have hung on and have recruited well for the upcoming CC1 season.
London Skolars are durable, profitable and improving their playing standards. I would say they are more stable than the Broncos who are so very dependent on one man.
Hemel have been around for 20 to 30 years and have developed the youth rugby in their town, have secured a ground and are developing it into a decent CC1 level stadium and are jumping into the semi pro league this next season.
Professional Rugby League in Wales seems to have been saved from total annihilation following the Crusaders SL collapse and death. The North Wales team in particular have a good stadium, decent crowds, a great coach and good management team. The South Wales club seems to be surviving. I don't know too much about them really apart from a tie up with Wigan.
Even Hornets, who were at deaths door have resurfaced as a supporters Trust club and are in a decent stadium. The World Cup game in Rochdale might just rekindle any latent interest left in the town for the Hornets club.
Swinton, like Oldham and Hunslet, have been on a not yet finished odysey since they sold Station Road but even they have stabilised, won CC1, got promoted and are well on course to get a new stadium back in their ancestral home. That would be a real fillip for them if it comes off.
Of course the new clubs are a gamble and we will have to see how they go but I have to believe that the RFL would not have championed these expansionary moves if they thought CC Rugby was redundant as you claim. I do not either think they are supporting these new clubs just to make them feeder clubs. That would be a cynical slap in the face for those behind these clubs.
So all in all I don't think this feeder club arrangement is a one way street of desperation on the part of the CC clubs. I think the profligate SL clubs, who can no longer prop up their own player development systems due to the cost, need these arrangements as much if not more than the CC clubs need them. It could just be a win win situation PROVIDED the CC clubs do not completely surrender their independence and are not just 'A" teams at the beck and call of the senior SL partner.
The return of p and r with the requisite conditions met, hopefully,would let the top echelon of the CC complete their plans for SL and encourage investors and sponsors to partner them in their ambitions. If the opportunity was there I am sure, as was the case with Hull KR, Widnes, Huddersfield and Catalans then money would be maybe materialise. If not and the financial conditions were not met then no promotion.
If no p and r then the licencing system must really encourage the admission of fully qualified applicants and not perpetuate an ossified top tier with no new teams ever and no penalties for failure.
You berate Cc clubs for not accepting change but there is no such reciprocal support for any needed changes to SL.
The CC clubs need support if possible from central funding and they need a path to the top as a carrot to tempt the money men.
I am sorry to go on at length. To summarise, I agree with your well written assessment of the SL situation. I disagree with your characterisation of the CC clubs as redundant, obsolete relics of a bygome age. As I have tried to show, most of then are doing quite well compared with their death or near death histories. The jury is out of these feeder club deals. I hope it works out for both sides of the equation. What about the 12 CC clubs for whom there is not an available SL team to team up with?
What is their future ?