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Statement from RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood

RFL media release

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#221 Ackroman

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:50 PM

I'm not really sure of what your point is. What problem do they need to sort out? Plenty of other teams lose - England Football have done nothing for years, neither have most of the Home Nation RU teams in World Cups, yet they still turn up. As a Wire fan I saw us win pretty much nothing until the last few years, do we all just give up? I find the attitude baffling, but that's your choice fair enough. That isn't the RFL's fault though.

How any RL fan can not be interested in seeing a game like Samoa v NZ at Warrington is beyond me - this isn't a criticism of you btw, there will be plenty of empty seats at the HJ Stadium I suspect - I just find it genuinely amazing!


I don't take offence but these "statement frustrate the hell out of me. We have 2 teams to beat to win a WC. 2. No amount of spin can paper over that crack and no amount of bigging up a hammering for Samoa will pull in the punters. The longer we show little commitment to building a side that can beat the Aussies then the more the apathy will build. That side is grown out of the "games" commitment to increasing competition and competence in our players and administrators. IMHO the structure and direction the game has taken has offered nothing to improve it beyond 1990, the period Nigel Wood is referring to.

I believe the Aussies truly want us to compete but you can understand their attitude when we don't make a commitment to it, even after 20 years and 17 bagging Sky's money. Plenty has been said about why we can't compete, money, strength in depth or whatever but the facts remain we can't win. And it's not RL fans that will dictate whether the comp. is a success, it will be sports fans looking for blood. I just don't see anything in it for them or me. His spin on some bright future has to come with a change in strategic planning for improvement, instead we get to drool over the first round of fixtures? I would be ashamed to use such a reference to declare 2013 as the most important year since 1895 the guy is taking to his reflection not the floating punter.

#222 Ian (Pencil) Elliott

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:53 PM

Perhaps I can help.
Ask yourself why you don't want to watch the world cup(entirely your choice). You've used the words 'principle', 'morality', 'fairness' many many tgimes in connection with talking aboput why the game isn't run in the way you want it to be...some would call it taking one's bat and ball home. I doubt whether anybody cares whether you watch these or any other games or not...but you and others like to tell eveybody about it. The point about hypocrisy centres around a duality of standards-having 'principles' when it suits, and ignoring them when it doesn't. Touting oneself as one kind of person, when but being willing to behave in the opposite way-that little errand you ran for a senior official of your club at BOD election springs to mind, and I can think of others.

Everybody is a hypocrite at some time or other. It only bercomes a little malignant when people actively spout about 'fairness', 'morality' and so on when it suits , and not standing up to be counted when it's inconvenient.

Here's a little story-assumed you haven't stopped reading-which of course is fine.

A few weeks ago my grandsonAl came round to see me as he often does(he isn't technically my grandson, but I've always been proud to fulfil that role). He's a fev and wildcats fan due to the influence of me and his stepfather. He's transport manager for a big vehiclr acciodent recovery firm in Leeds, a qualified HGV mechanic(bear with me...this matters: to me anyway), he used to manage William Hill's in Gipton: one of the toughest most deprived parts of Leeds. He's the most enthusiastic, positive person I know and he loves his rugby league. Before work demands took over he played second row for Headingley Hawks and Milford Marlins. He came to see me about thiss year's world cup and what we were doing about it. He's decided to apply to be a volunteer, because he felt there was a lot he could do.
Alex has been blind in one eye and has severely restricted vision in the other. He's my role model even though he is younger than me. His enthusiasm prompted me to start a thread on your club's forum about what people were doing about the world cup. I'm sure you know what the response was.

Rugby League has unique issues to deal with.

It's narrow demographic-eg union has followers from working class right throuygh to the royal family, as do cricket and soccer.

It has far less money than other sports.

It is limited especially at professional level by its geography

As this and other countless threads repetedly show it has a vociferous,maunjy, self serving('it doessn't suit me so I want nothing to do with it') group of narrow minded parochial followers, which have an effect on perceptions on the game often perpetuated by professional northerners, and the media.


We can accept this and wallow in our' gritty northern-ness`, and go down the knurr and spell route,

or we can do our best., and that includes the much derided people at the top, to do something about it.

We can't run our professional competitions on the same lines as soccer, or the same as cricket(where only dozens of people turn up to the county game which has prom and reg) because we dopn't have the money, or the geographic spread.


Mr Mullaney as it happens was right, when he said that only a small number of clubs outside the elite wanted to join it-although his dismissal of the rest as accepting mediocrity was insulting, arrogant and untrue. There are issues regading theswe clubs, one of which is yours and their asdmission to the elite, and again they have been gone over time and time again. It seems odd, but entirely typical to me that people-not 'suits'at( least one of whom-is a former amateur player) as Mr Crowther called them on your 'forum', who are trying to make something of the century old mess are reviled for attempting to do so, just because what they do doesn't suit some people. The people running the game get it wrong-I'm still bemused that no one lost their job in the aftermath of the South Wales affair. But if you want incompetence-or should I say 'jokes', 'laughing stocks' and all the other trite whingeing cliches, then you will find them in abundance in other sports.

And finally: the terms 'friend' and 'mate' have meaning and are not IMHO to be bandied about willy nilly.
cw

Nice story Chris (not sure if I am allowed to call you mate?)

I also have a story about someone who is my role model. He is a lad who unfortunately was disabled from birth. Despite being in severe pain and often feeling unwell he would have a bash at anything. He would put his body through hell just so he could join me and the rest of his mates watching his beloved Fev Rovers.

However in 1995 he had is heart ripped out by the decision to kick us out of the top flight. When I say heat I mean heart because Featherstone Rovers and betting on horses was his only true love in life at that time. He unfortunately no longer felt that the game was the same and he had no heart to fight the wrong doing that had taken place.

This lad is one of the most loved characters in Feathersone and I am delighted to say he was my best man who again despite his disability did a cracking job. I did however persuade him to go to some Fev games, with the last one being the play off final in 2011 against Sheffield. Unfortunately an over the top steward could not tell the difference between him being disabled or drunk and was not allowed entry to the ground. Again typical of the man he said he would watch the game in the pub because he did not want to spoil the day for me and the rest of his mates.

I will not and not any one person on this forum will stop me from voicing my concerns about the RFL being one big joke. If you don't like it I don't give a toss. By all means enjoy the world cup but don't for one minute expect me to post anything positive about it.
"You cant be scared of death. When that time comes, it comes....I've been blessed. God's looked out for me, so, I'm happy." -Sean Taylor, #21, Washington Redskins

#223 Ian (Pencil) Elliott

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:57 PM

You have put that more eloquently than I could ever have done. Thank you

That's not exactly hard is it.

The best response you have come up with on here is not being bothered to save me because I am endangered.
"You cant be scared of death. When that time comes, it comes....I've been blessed. God's looked out for me, so, I'm happy." -Sean Taylor, #21, Washington Redskins

#224 Dave T

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:01 PM

I don't take offence but these "statement frustrate the hell out of me. We have 2 teams to beat to win a WC. 2. No amount of spin can paper over that crack and no amount of bigging up a hammering for Samoa will pull in the punters. The longer we show little commitment to building a side that can beat the Aussies then the more the apathy will build. That side is grown out of the "games" commitment to increasing competition and competence in our players and administrators. IMHO the structure and direction the game has taken has offered nothing to improve it beyond 1990, the period Nigel Wood is referring to.

I believe the Aussies truly want us to compete but you can understand their attitude when we don't make a commitment to it, even after 20 years and 17 bagging Sky's money. Plenty has been said about why we can't compete, money, strength in depth or whatever but the facts remain we can't win. And it's not RL fans that will dictate whether the comp. is a success, it will be sports fans looking for blood. I just don't see anything in it for them or me. His spin on some bright future has to come with a change in strategic planning for improvement, instead we get to drool over the first round of fixtures? I would be ashamed to use such a reference to declare 2013 as the most important year since 1895 the guy is taking to his reflection not the floating punter.

But what do you want them to do?

As far as I can see they are genuinely trying to catch the Aussies up!

Have you never just gone along to a Rugby League game simply to enjoy the action? If not, then I suggest you give it a go as it can really be quite enjoyable!

#225 Griff

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:02 PM

Unlikely to be in the Fev area that Leigh players are looking for RFL funded jobs. ;)


Or anywhere else by the sound of it.

Nevertheless, point made.
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#226 Ian (Pencil) Elliott

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:04 PM

Spot on petero.

I think people would get much more respect for their views if they stated things like 'I like watching Super League, but I am not supportive of the lack of P&R'. The problem we have is that due to the lack of P&R, some fans will now mock and criticise the SL at every opportunity. It's as though if they admit they enjoy it they will be betraying their views, when you can absolutely enjoy something but think they could be doing something even better.

I for one am not looking for respect from anyone. I am posting my views based on the way I feel.

As for enjoying SL. I look at it this way, I could have a better life if I made my money as a drug dealer but I have morals so I earn my money in a legal way by working. I look at SL the same way, yes I bet I miss some belting matches but morally the concept is wrong so I pass on it.
"You cant be scared of death. When that time comes, it comes....I've been blessed. God's looked out for me, so, I'm happy." -Sean Taylor, #21, Washington Redskins

#227 JohnM

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:06 PM

I will not and not any one person on this forum will stop me from voicing my concerns about the RFL being one big joke. If you don't like it I don't give a toss. By all means enjoy the world cup but don't for one minute expect me to post anything positive about it.


However, if your publicly expressed opinions are based as they are on false premises you must expect them to be challenged. If you then take action, or fail to take action because of those falsely-based opinions, you must also expect to be challenged. not least because you are not being fair to yourself and may be missing something. Of course, if you really were true to your beliefs, you'd stop supporting Featherstone as they owe their continued existence to all the you despise about the game.

#228 Ackroman

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:07 PM

(I've cut most of the quote as I can't see the point in quoting it in full)

Can I add to John's comment. I was beginning to despair of the insular attitudes displayed in this thread. Your post was a timely and much-needed counter to those comments. Thank you.


I don't get the point. We all know people who are prepared to extend their hospitality for a good cause. Some people organise charity events, others run marathons or grow a tache. Good for them , it's something they are passionate about.

The reference was used to say "hey look, someone less fortunate than you has lots of drive and enthusiasm and will volunteer for the world cup because frankly they have no prejudices".

I know a guy, a very close friend who is a paraplegic, came off his motorbike, a complete speed junkie running on adrenalin. His drive is built in him and often you find people with disabilities, particularly those who become one through their own activities are often even more driven, more passionate and often very successful because they have to focus themselves even more than an able bodied person. It does not however make one side of the argument a better proposition than the other just because a disabled guy supports the RL world cup and to add weight to an argument that to think otherwise is narrow minded. BTW my mate in the wheelchair thinks the RLWC is a load of old tosh. He is however extremely passionate about wheelchair rugby, which I think is ######.

Edited by Ackroman, 02 January 2013 - 03:08 PM.


#229 Griff

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:07 PM

But what do you want them to do?

As far as I can see they are genuinely trying to catch the Aussies up!

Have you never just gone along to a Rugby League game simply to enjoy the action? If not, then I suggest you give it a go as it can really be quite enjoyable!


Is that not the problem today? Few go to see a game just to see who wins. If their team wins they're masters of the universe - lose, and it's "I'm not going to see that rubbish again". Someone has to lose to enable another team to win. Fact. "Second is nowhere" is a good motto for an athlete. For a supporter, it does the sport no service.
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#230 Ackroman

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:10 PM

But what do you want them to do?

As far as I can see they are genuinely trying to catch the Aussies up!

Have you never just gone along to a Rugby League game simply to enjoy the action? If not, then I suggest you give it a go as it can really be quite enjoyable!

I'm not paid £200K a year to come up with the answer, Nigel Wood is.

Of course I've been just for the sake of it, I love the game and I can agree with your view. However I'm not going to a windswept Workington to do it and get a crick in my neck.

#231 Ackroman

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:11 PM

Is that not the problem today? Few go to see a game just to see who wins.


How do you know that?

#232 Ian (Pencil) Elliott

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:13 PM

However, if your publicly expressed opinions are based as they are on false premises you must expect them to be challenged. If you then take action, or fail to take action because of those falsely-based opinions, you must also expect to be challenged. not least because you are not being fair to yourself and may be missing something. Of course, if you really were true to your beliefs, you'd stop supporting Featherstone as they owe their continued existence to all the you despise about the game.

What a load of garbage.

1, False premises - Please explain. Is there currently a franchise system in place that replaced P&R. The other year we won the grand final and we are still in Championship 1. Really struggling with that one.

2, I owe the existance of Featherstone Rovers to the current members of the RFL. Again please exaplin without quoting from a bible or come up with twaddle about saving me.
"You cant be scared of death. When that time comes, it comes....I've been blessed. God's looked out for me, so, I'm happy." -Sean Taylor, #21, Washington Redskins

#233 Gav Wilson

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:15 PM

I don't get the point. We all know people who are prepared to extend their hospitality for a good cause. Some people organise charity events, others run marathons or grow a tache. Good for them , it's something they are passionate about.

The reference was used to say "hey look, someone less fortunate than you has lots of drive and enthusiasm and will volunteer for the world cup because frankly they have no prejudices".

I know a guy, a very close friend who is a paraplegic, came off his motorbike, a complete speed junkie running on adrenalin. His drive is built in him and often you find people with disabilities, particularly those who become one through their own activities are often even more driven, more passionate and often very successful because they have to focus themselves even more than an able bodied person. It does not however make one side of the argument a better proposition than the other just because a disabled guy supports the RL world cup and to add weight to an argument that to think otherwise is narrow minded. BTW my mate in the wheelchair thinks the RLWC is a load of old tosh. He is however extremely passionate about wheelchair rugby, which I think is ######.



I'm a C4 Quadriplegic. Have been for 12 years now (since I was 14).

I love Rugby League at all levels, though I'm not sure what relevancy my spinal cord injury has to do with any of it...

(You're mate is wrong about the RLWC though!)
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#234 Dave T

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:16 PM

I'm not paid £200K a year to come up with the answer, Nigel Wood is.

Well to be fair - he may be making the correct decisions - if you don't know better then your complaints are futile (IMHO).

Of course I've been just for the sake of it, I love the game and I can agree with your view. However I'm not going to a windswept Workington to do it and get a crick in my neck.

Aye, I wish I didn't have to, but unfortunately I'll be supporting Scotland as well as England meaning I'll probably have two trips to Workington! Not my idea of a great time in November, and I'm wondering what my partner will say after taking her to Wembley and Old Trafford for two of her last games :D

#235 Dave T

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:18 PM

I for one am not looking for respect from anyone. I am posting my views based on the way I feel.

As for enjoying SL. I look at it this way, I could have a better life if I made my money as a drug dealer but I have morals so I earn my money in a legal way by working. I look at SL the same way, yes I bet I miss some belting matches but morally the concept is wrong so I pass on it.

There is nothing morally wrong with it at all. It doesn't suit you and your club, that's all there is to it, nothing to do with morals at all.

#236 Ian (Pencil) Elliott

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:19 PM

and thats fair enough Richie. Enjoy the competition.

I indeed am stamping my foot and registrring my disquiet.
I am thst naffed off with the game I want nowt to do with any aspect of it beyond my club and the cc. Thats the connrction.
Im sure the world, rugby league, the world cup and SL will get on fine without me.

Spot on Robin. When you feel like something is not right you need to protest and not attending the world cup or watch SL games is the only few options we have.
"You cant be scared of death. When that time comes, it comes....I've been blessed. God's looked out for me, so, I'm happy." -Sean Taylor, #21, Washington Redskins

#237 JohnM

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:21 PM

What a load of garbage.

1, False premises - Please explain. Is there currently a franchise system in place that replaced P&R. The other year we won the grand final and we are still in Championship 1. Really struggling with that one.

2, I owe the existance of Featherstone Rovers to the current members of the RFL. Again please exaplin without quoting from a bible or come up with twaddle about saving me.



Its not rocket science, pal. ...though it might seem it to you.

#238 Ian (Pencil) Elliott

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:21 PM

There is nothing morally wrong with it at all. It doesn't suit you and your club, that's all there is to it, nothing to do with morals at all.

If you are an RFL member club and denied your place in it even when finishing the Champions of the league below then morally it is wrong.
"You cant be scared of death. When that time comes, it comes....I've been blessed. God's looked out for me, so, I'm happy." -Sean Taylor, #21, Washington Redskins

#239 Dave T

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:21 PM

Spot on Robin. When you feel like something is not right you need to protest and not attending the world cup or watch SL games is the only few options we have.

But if and when Fev do make the SL - I assume you won't be watching as you have morals and the SL concept is morally wrong?

#240 Dave T

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 03:22 PM

If you are an RFL member club and denied your place in it even when finishing the Champions of the league below then morally it is wrong.

Well no - not if they are not the rules.





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