I don't see St. Helens and Wigan as having a strong amateur game only an amateur game stronger than smaller clubs. It wasn't that long ago London fielded a side with more British players in it than Wigan.
I don't see enough players and fans to support more than 3 maybe 4 clubs in Lancashire. Union only has one club.
I don't want to abandon anywhere, I want to see big clubs appealing beyond their town boundaries to find the 10,000+ crowds and fully home grown quality pro sides.
London would be long dead if they only drew fans and players from Twickenham, Widnes are disappointed that the fans haven't returned in large enough numbers and their junior system nearly ground to a halt in the Championships.
At the level the pro game is pitched at your right, there's only about seven areas strong enough to support a real superleague club in the north. That's why I have championed London, Wales, Gatehead, Catalans, Toulouse, but when some of these clubs can't compete due to the lack of players, fans and investment to make up for that, then you end up having to put the smaller M62 clubs back in SL who then end up fighting for the same resources their neighbours want, Hull/HKR, Widnes/wire.
An admission of defeat? Defeat in terms of what?? Trying to find resources where they don't exist, trying to get people to watch or play a game most have no interest in? Trying to do that with no money to do it with as sports England reduce funds??
Regressive?? In terms of what making the game smaller? I think we've already established Superleague is the vehicle that has made the game bigger. We have agreed that we'd like to see a 16 club Superleague in which the salary cap is pitched lower to make it affordable. No "regression" there we were expansive in our thoughts.
But if Oldham, Salford, Swinton, and Rochdale can't hack Superleague what's the point in sinking central resources into trying to boost these failing clubs. Nice idea but any resource we have for boosting the game needs spending where there is a return to be had. Many of the things you suggest clubs should do Salford DID do when they were an SL club. Many of the things my club may do they can't do as there's nobody to do it.
London would be long gone if it weren't for Hughes. Their supporter base is so small, it's irrelevant where they come from. If an investor with pockets the size of Hughes could be found for Salford and indeed several current struggling lower level SL teams and some top CC teams, any one of them could survive ,like London have done, and in all probability get much better gates.
SL already has 5 clubs from Lancashire and all except Widnes would appear to have decent enough players.including Salford judging by the way the other SL vultures are signing them. Making progress in the amateur realm in Widnes, Salford and the rest of Manchester would enable even more players to be found. You don't seriously think Wigan and Saints and Warrington are going to go to the aid of Folly Lane, Eccles, Oldham St Annes, Langworthy, Higginshaw etc do you. Why should those clubs be left to exist for the benfit of SL clubs miles away? Spectators are drawn to successful clubs. When clubs are not successful, heir crowds plummet. Check out Wigan's 2nd division average, so if Salford were succesfull the crowds would increase. Of course there are enough spectators and players for more SL clubs in Lancashire.
You don't know resorces don't exist. You keep playing that same sad song but in the last few years, this has not been the case. Glover, Lenahagn, O'Connor, Nahaboo, Khan, Hudgell, Pearson, Hughes. Peel Holdings,Sport England have all emerged from this realm of non existence to put resources into the game.
Ther are reputed to be investors in the wings for Toulouse, the local council are upgrading Derwent Park, Premier Sports are engaged, maybe they will pay at some point, Sky seem to be in for the long haul, the Al Jazheera group are interested in French RL and then there are the various sponsors, major and minor.
So , if we downsize our expenses, tap into any further resources lurking out there, added to those listed which exist already, then maybe Salford and some others can hack it in SL. I don't think the answer to the games problems is to forever shrink the base of the game and pour money into a smaller and smaller number of bigger and bigger clubs.
The resources you talk about pouring onto those Manchester clubs would have to be generated by their own efforts. I don't know what you are talking about here, unless you want all Sport England money to go to the Leeds, Wigan, Hull and Saints juniors, because all other areas are lost ccauses.
We are going to celebrate a World Cup next year with 14 nations taking part. If your theories had been followed there would only be three teams in it, Aus, NZ and England. All the rest would have been written off because we need to focus our resources where there is a return to be had and small countries on small turnovers can't find resouces and the need is for the big three to pull back to their lairs and take all the resources for themseleves. Some tournament that would have been and some tournament a hidebound, rump SL competiton will be, not too big to fail, but too small to suceed. Strength in numbers anyone. Diversity and variety, the spice of life.
Parksider, you are a deep thinker and vastly knowledgeable about RL, but you are so pessimistic. look on the bright side occasionally. Look at things and say "Why not" instaed of "No way".
And to get back to the thread I hope Salford find a saviour.They have come too far to fall now. The game needs more not less top teams.