Both you and Keighley feel there should be a co-ordinated and well resourced push to develop Manchester for Rugby League.
You advocate this despite the game going from being big in the conurbation to literally dying out over a long agonising decline.
I think it would be fantastic if a massive and sustained development push was made.
Now can either of you tell me where the resources to do this will come from and why Manchester should have those resources over other areas that could be developed instead???
I think we should look at the success of London's amateur scene and see if there are any lessons, or game plans there.They went from nothing in an hostile environment to where they are today. There may be some lessons to be learned. Soccer is just massive there but the game has prevailed nevertheless.
I know funding from sport England has been cut but any money available for development officers should fund at least a couple for the whole of Manchester. They seem to have done exceptional work in the rest of the UK in kick starting or restarting RL development.
BARLA used to be visionary and expansionary in their outlook. Can they assist. The amateur teams we do have should be encouraged to run junior teams. There are several in Oldham, several more in Rochdale and at least three I can think of in Salford/Swinton What happened to the Broughton Rangers re incarnation as a junior club to encourage kids in that area,.Is it still functioning.?.
The schools competition has been successful for introducing thousands of children to out game throughout the UK. Is there any way to keep some of these children interested by running summer teams. Maybe we could find some dedicated teachers who would be prepared to help.
As you say, if Salford retain their SL status, they should make a renewed effort to support amateur/junior RL in their catchment area. Player visits to schools, free tickets to their new stadium for children, funding a development officer. They might be able to do a better job in this area if they find a really cashed up saviour. let's hope so.
Even the CC clubs, Swinton if they get back to their town and Oldham should be focal points for the amateur and youth teams in their area and help them with player visits, school visits and the like. I think Keighley run some such scheme and they have no money either.
Parksider, a fully professional SL can do lots of things and can be both a magnet and a catylyst for amateur growth. I don't want it to return to semi pro, but semi pro is preferable to extinction. Fully pro needs to be more stable and not be running into these constant financial meltdowns at numerous different clubs. If they don't plug the leaks, that ship will sink.
These are just some random thoughts on the subject of the re engaging of the Manchester public with out game.
The RFL should have long been looking at the decline of the game in Manchester as a serious problem and addressing it. The amateur game seems to be at a crossroads at the moment and they need to pay some attention or we will contract at that level. They need to put some resources into stabilising and expanding our amateur base including Manchester. Maybe the RLWC will be a huge success and give them some funds to make a start. Just a thought.
These failures can be reversed. When I started playing junior rugby a long time ago, the whole amateur game in the heartlands was down to a small fraction of what it had been and was dying from neglect from the governing body. BARLA, for all their later insularity, were formed and turned the whole amateur scene around, growing the number of teams exponentialy and saved the amateur game and maybe the pro game also in the process.
I think there will always be kids who are attracted to our game if we give them the opprtunity. We will never match soccer in popularity but there are plenty of young kids to work with, just look at our growth in London, where soccer is King.