still not sure of what your saying, when you refer to the "withdrawal of one source of income" what does this mean? Skolars as the example would get £1.2M from SKY which would not make then an SL club. Skolars may also get £1.2M from a Hughes type character which would make them an SL club along with the SKY money. Same as Broncos....
For any expansion club to succeed in SL in the current circumstances they need SKY money (as an equal share) and substantial extra investment from a private source. withdraw either and they are dead??.
OK, I'm repeating myself to an extent but its worth saying again to avoid confusion, David Hughes, Ian Leneghan et al are deserving of our admiration and gratitude for putting their money where our mouths are and keeping London going and I have no desire to see them kicked out, I'm arguing for finding a better way not giving up.
When I speak of the withdrawal of one source of income or backing I am to an extent arguing against relying on a David Hughes type figure to make a club viable. Perhaps its a point better illustrated if I say I'm arguing against relying on the support of a Leighton Samuels or Jacques Fouroux type figure because as we saw with Paris and Crusaders when their support was withdrawn the clubs collapsed. I don't argue that we should actively try to stop any individual who wishes to own a team(heartlands or expansion) from doing so or investing his/her money in it nor should we actively try to stop them reaching SL but if there is nothing to prop that club up other than that individual we should not afford them special privileges such as immediate entry to SL.
I argue this because I think experience should teach us that if/when the investor/owner is no longer willing or able to support the club the chances of finding a replacement, particularly in expansion areas, is very slim. I have no problem with, for example, splitting the tv money 16 ways instead of 15 and allocating the 16th share specifically to the goal of creating an expansion club but not simply by giving it to one club or owner. That's eggs in one basket stuff and a basket that appears to have a hole in based on previous experience. It might not be the instant gratification of the immediate manifestation of an expansion club in SL but if it avoids Barcelona Whatevers being the latest in the depressingly long list of former RL teams in a couple of years time, it is, to my mind, the lesser of two evils.
The other thing that I think an advocate of top down, straight into SL needs to consider is, where are the players going to come from? Historically our quick fix answer has been a relaxed quota. I'm not a great fan of it but setting aside personal preferences the new TV deal and increased cap in Aus must compromise this option. Either the quality of player will be less or the cost greater.
Forgive and please correct me if I am being thick, but my point is that smaller clubs can succeed in time if they have both the SKY money as it stands and significant private investment to get them on the same standing as top SL clubs. From that point things can develop as enough people (whether fans or players) take notice
I suspect you're right but the key question is how do we either keep the private investment interested long enough for that to happen or have private investors willing to take over if the initial one drops out? The investors in Paris and Celtic had gone before the 2nd year in SL was up, Gateshead only lasted one. I don't know but I suspect they quickly realised that the cost of running a SL club with limited support and interest from spectators and sponsors was not small change and that the situation was not going to improve in the short term.
I'm at risk of the cheap, supporter of champs club after more money for his club, type response here but I'll take the chance and hope what I'm about to say is taken in the spirit intended. Perhaps one avenue that needs to be at least considered is seeking a way to make the 2nd tier better funded and higher profile, actually making it a place where a club can build towards SL, but crucially where the investor input would be measured in the £100,000s rather than millions? Allowing an expansion club time to grow spectator & sponsor interest but crucially allowing the RFL/SLE to spend its money not on propping up the club but on developing the game in that area generally. Development officers, funding for youth and amateur clubs/leagues, on the road fixtures etc...
Salford failed because Mr. Wilkinson provided just enough financial backing to get the club in SL, but not enough to be able to mix it with the true elite. This is why I think Broncos have something when they put 60 past Warrington with a lot of home grown players.
The number of clubs and people playing RL in London & the SE is great, I don't want to get rid of them but I don't think they are by any stretch of the imagination an example we should seek to replicate, that they are still around is something of a minor miracle.