I do dislike the train of thought which is willing to sacrifice existing Northern teams to accomodate the introduction of expansion teams, i.e. dump Castleford so we can have Toulouse or Hull KR so we can have a Welsh team or keep out Featherstone just so there is a London team, however poor they might be.
And there it is in all it’s glory. An undying love for that old lady “Northern Rugby League”. She’s over 100 years old now and bits of her are dying and falling off but she’s given you a life of excitement and ultimately satisfaction and as you grow old together you will remain loyal to the end. She’s still beautiful in your eyes, even though youngsters don’t take a look at her. No soft southern belle, no welsh dragon, no French tart can ever replace her.
Love is unconditional and we have to accept our partners faults. She’s old and past it so she’s not going to be any sponsors poster girl anymore, she’s not going to get her face in the newspapers, she’ll keep doddering on but as long as she does you’ll be by her side, you’ll support her, speak up for her for she is your first and will be your last love.
Indeed why bother with the “Poor” London, we can get poor crowds up here, we can develop new players in Oldham and Keighley, why did we ever bother with Wales or France just to be embarrassed by those international blow outs. Why did we give away thousands of free tickets for those SL openers in Wales and France to those freeloading foreigners when the good people of Halifax will pay full price. Why waste RFL money on the Wrexham stadium when we can waste it at Odsal, why look to Barcelona's riches when we have investors with a "few bob" now and again oop t'north, why bother that Rome can put on a competetive Italian RU international before a massive crowd, that's an alien game that's not "Northern Rugby League".
For some I don't think it's ever thought out in the head, that RL cannot move forward and will go backwards without ambition, without looking beyond it's boundaries, and without trying to be more than it is. Cue cries of "top down doesn't work" made from the heart, reply with it worked better than any bottom up when the money was there made from the head.
But you can't get in the way of an old couple who've been in love this last 60 years, they only have eyes for each other.