Widnes had been on the edge for a while, they had been having money trouble continually. Lindsay pulled Widnes out of it by buying Lydon for £100,000, Wigan later again got them out of the financial mess when they bought Offiah for £440,000. Widnes had to off-load Davies on a free transfer to Warrington to save them from getting in it once again.
At the time there was nobody on a white charger riding in to save them, Warrington were playing in a dilapidated stadium bumping along at the time with once again no sign of anyone coming to the rescue.
If we had carried on would these two clubs have found a saviour, we don't know, we do know they were both heading for trouble (more so Widnes), did the creation of SL spark an interest from well financed backers for the clubs, maybe, but in reality we don't know.
What I think we do know is that we couldn't carry on as we were and where we were wasn't in a place that a lot of clubs were going to survive in.
It doesn't really matter whether clubs merged or not, in the brave new world those that sort themselves out will survive, others may be lost. The clubs voted for a fight to the death when they rejected mergers. Lindsay didn't want that but the clubs did.
And how's that working out for Widnes and Warrington today? Are both in SL ? Do we have two vibrant clubs
But you are both going to die or at best be on life support for years until you do.
And you might just be wrong, cue Wakefield after their non merger, new stadium imminent, new investor, increasing crowds.