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#241 keighley

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:05 PM

That's the truth of it and our top clubs, our true Super clubs like Leeds, Saints, Bradford, Wire and Wigan average gates of well over 13,000. Pre SL 1995 that figure was 9,000. In the fourties that figure could have been close to 20,000.

Professional RL has rescued the crowds.


And there are no more spectators watching RL in Leeds today than there were in the 60,s when there was no Sky money. The game is in much better shape than it was from the 70s to the 90s but that is due to the money. I am not denying that but the claims about trebling the number of spectators in Leeds viewing RL and the improvements in the amateur game there being solely attributed to Leeds Rhinos are preposterous.

#242 keighley

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:14 PM

I'm not sure what I meant now!!. Leeds and Wigan seemed to chomping at the bit to be the big professional clubs well before SL gave them the chance to go properly down that route. They had spent big and gone out in front crowd wise already by 1995.

I just think it's a basic principle that part time rugby didn't draw may fans and top class professional Rugby draws shedloads.

As for the exact figures (did you miss Saints at 7.5K) as you rightly say they can be manipulated, but the principle can't.

Time they brought top class professional Rugby to Hull and the Calder area :lol:


Are you so sure that if RL was not professional that the crowds would just melt away. Surely the fans would still love the game. Whilst not decrying professionalism, I am also not sure that it is financially sustainable except in a few cases and even there, Wigan, Leeds, Warrington they have had to be kick started by massive entrepreneur investment before achieving their current levels of profitability. Bradford on mage success and mega crowds could not sustain full time professionalism.

#243 keighley

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:32 PM

We shall see today when Blackpool Hawk reports on the Hunslet-Leeds game.

From listening to him and you, this is no conspiracy as such but a realisation that if clubs are not careful they may end up where Oldham and Rochdale are now, or even worse, i.e. Bramley, so it's worth monitoring their progress this coming season.

Clubs bust a gut to get out of CC2 last year and are grasping at the lifeline the partnerships provide. You yourself point to survival. Blackpool Hawk made it plain in no uncertain terms - dropping to CC2 with no partnership would be the end for Hunslet.

Blackpool Hawks's comment that Hunslet will never be in Superleague (something we have both known for years but he confirms from a position of club official) puts into perspective the real reason why any criticism of the partnership on the basis of Superleague clubs stifling their partners ambitions for SL are totally illogical and have no foundation nor reason.

For Workington or whitehaven, I recall the RFL's fessibility study that even a joint SL effort was unfeasible. I have argued against that but even Cumbrian fans put me down! Let's hope Workington's 10,000 average crowd in their 1951 Championship winning season is not trawled up as proof they can do it?

Is the partnership for survival when it comes to Swinton, or Oldham or Rochdale or Donny? Clearly it is, they are all in the same boat as Hunslet and Workington. Equally Skolars, Scorpions, Crusaders and Gloucester have to fight back as they also don't want to be in the "league of death".

As for the benefits we shall also see but you allude to several. As for the fans reaction we shall also see. Last year you managed as low as 439 fans for a league game. Rochdale sank to 238, Hunslet 305......

As for the suggestion York for Superleague, now Gav has gone, I find this hard to swallow. The city is is 200K strong but beyond the boundary there's little more population. There's a couple of top amateur clubs as well, but as Gav says there's been no history of any investment. They are in the same boat as I remember well the Hunslet/York game when they came to us saying this will probably be our last game.

Their tie up with Hull is interesting as their histories go back the same length and they played each other a lot in the early days.


Investment by millionaires in RL is a relatively recent phenominen. Who was the first, maybe Caddick or Lindsay. Many others have followed, mostly for SL teams, but the trend is that most of the SL teams now have investors and now some of them are becoming interested in CC teams as in Featherstone and Halifax. They all have ambitions of SL though and will not support a team whose ambition is just to survive as an appendage to a SL incumbent.

Given the number of investors who have emerged in recent years, it is not necessarily true to to say that since York, or any other team, have never had investors in the past they will never have them in the future.

I do not know why you would write off a city of 200,000 people as not being big enough for SL. Is that not about the size of Wigan, St Helens, Warrington, Wakefield and Huddersfield and considerably bigger than Widnes and Castleford.

#244 The Parksider

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 03:52 PM

Investment by millionaires in RL is a relatively recent phenominen. Who was the first, maybe Caddick or Lindsay. Many others have followed, mostly for SL teams, but the trend is that most of the SL teams now have investors and now some of them are becoming interested in CC teams as in Featherstone and Halifax. They all have ambitions of SL though.........


Rugby league clubs who want to be successful need top quality professional players. Rugby league clubs who want to be successful need paying fans/sponsors etc.

You cannot just buy a 12,000 crowd and 17 quality professionals. Money merely papers over the cracks.

Hudgell came in with millions he could neither buy a british quality SL team nor a 10,000 crowd.
O'Connor came in with millions he could neither buy a british quality SL team nor a 10,000 crowd.

Koukash is next what's he going to do to get a decent team and a crowd?
Nahaboo is threatening to come in what's he going to do to get a decent team and a crowd.

Millionaires are coming into the game and struggling to build a club. Until these sort of people actually look to build the strength of the grass roots game in their areas they are fairly pointless.

Mr. Hetherington is not a millionaire. Mr. Caddick no longer lavishes any money on either code. But what Hetherington is doing is what other clubs must try to do.

Edited by The Parksider, 27 January 2013 - 04:19 PM.


#245 The Parksider

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 03:56 PM

Are you so sure that if RL was not professional that the crowds would just melt away. Surely the fans would still love the game.


The attraction of professional RL led to a boom in the gates. Big names, big matches high profile.Take away professionalism and you'll take away the thing that grew the gates in the first place.

Top players, sponsors and fans will walk. In what number who knows, the only guide we have is the 1990's pre SL. first division crowds.

In addition you won't get back the fans who walked away from the Championship clubs after SL came in. They have lost 400 fans per club.

Edited by The Parksider, 27 January 2013 - 04:15 PM.


#246 Padge

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 04:24 PM

It isn't just about the population of the town/city though, its about population density of the surrounding area and transport links to those areas.

The Lancashire clubs sit in the second most densely populated urban area in the country and are easily accessible by road and rail, and sit between two of the countries major cities.

York may have a population of 200,000, but it is surrounded by nothing for miles, the surrounding population density is tiny, the largest and nearest large urban areas to York are Leeds and Hull and why travel miles from those places to York when you can watch Leeds, Hull FC or Hull KR. Throughout Yorks history they have struggled to break the 4k mark on crowds. Their all time best attendance was in 1934 and that was only 14,689 and since then their best has been 4,977. York has never been a 'hotbed' of rugby league and its relative isolation will make it difficult in this day and age to become one.

Clubs need to be in areas of high population density and with good transport links, it is no good presuming that if Wigan has a population of X then any club in any town anywhere with a population also of X will achieve the same attendances, places like Wigan and Hull are steeped in RL, and until recently neither place had a successful soccer team, Comparing York to Wigan is as daft as comparing Accrington Stanley to Manchester United.

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#247 The Parksider

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 04:31 PM

I do not know why you would write off a city of 200,000 people as not being big enough for SL.


I do not know therefore why you write off a capital city of 6,000,000 as not being big enough for SL?

We have massive cities in the north including Liverpool, Manchester and Gateshead/Newcastle.

To have a true Superleague club you have to have a large catchment area of fans and access to a sizeable population of grass roots clubs.

Around 1980 York attracted crowds of approx 3,800 when they had two stints in the First Division. They didn't have the players to survive, Today the only York born professional in SL is Peter Fox.

Featherstone is what 20,000 a tenth of York but they have access to top class players and will attract 5,000+ gates.

It's about the size of the RL culture not the population of the city/town, and this is what did for Salford.

Hetherington is trying to grow that culture.

#248 The Parksider

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 04:35 PM

Comparing York to Wigan is as daft as comparing Accrington Stanley to Manchester United.


I do apologise for saying pretty much the same thing straight after you. I didn't see your post until I pressed the post button.

#249 Padge

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 04:50 PM

I do apologise for saying pretty much the same thing straight after you. I didn't see your post until I pressed the post button.

No problem, you're entitled to have your say regardless of what I or anyone else has previously posted.

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#250 deluded pom?

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 04:55 PM

Their all time best attendance was in 1934 and that was only 14,689 and since then their best has been 4,977.


I could have sworn I was in a 10,000+ crowd at Wigginton Road the year Hull went undefeated in Division 2.

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#251 Padge

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:11 PM

I could have sworn I was in a 10,000+ crowd at Wigginton Road the year Hull went undefeated in Division 2.

What year was that? Forget that, it was 78/79, I'm off to check things out.

It isn't in their records but give me the year and I'll see what I can find.

Edited by Padge, 27 January 2013 - 05:20 PM.


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#252 deluded pom?

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:17 PM

1978/79

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#253 Padge

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:36 PM

1978/79

I've found the result but not the attendance.

Bit more research needed.

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#254 deluded pom?

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:38 PM

I've found the result but not the attendance.

Bit more research needed.


I'm struggling to find anything myself.

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#255 Padge

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 06:21 PM

I'm struggling to find anything myself.

Found it, 9,124 York 13 Hull 24 April 16th 1979

York could do with updating their records.

Well remembered.

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#256 Griff

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 06:54 PM

I do not know why you would write off a city of 200,000 people as not being big enough for SL. Is that not about the size of Wigan, St Helens, Warrington, Wakefield and Huddersfield and considerably bigger than Widnes and Castleford.


Sheffield has about 600,000. Trouble is about 599,000 of them aren't interested.
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#257 davewd

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:43 PM

Wasnt it the case that Featherstone Rovers were the biggest supported team per crowd size/population ? Its the amount you get through the turnstile that matters.

#258 Griff

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:48 PM

Wasnt it the case that Featherstone Rovers were the biggest supported team per crowd size/population ? Its the amount you get through the turnstile that matters.


Precisely.
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#259 Padge

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:56 PM

Wasnt it the case that Featherstone Rovers were the biggest supported team per crowd size/population ? Its the amount you get through the turnstile that matters.

Stats like that are hard to verify, they possibly were, but, if you take a town like Wigan, the population of Wigan Borough is about 300,000, Featherstone is in Wakefield Borough with a similar population.

Wigan as a town is recorded as having a population of around 130,000, but this includes a host of other settlements such as Standish, Pemberton, Hindley and others. Wigan as a town in its own right probably has a population not much larger than Featherstone but urban sprawl makes it appear larger.

Is Normanton part of Featherstone? if its not then Hindley and Standish etc shouldn't be included in Wigan's population figures.

Similar can be said for other towns such as St.Helens and Bradford, where are the defined boundaries.

Its a nice claim to fame for Featherstone but far from provable.

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#260 The Parksider

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 06:40 AM

Wasnt it the case that Featherstone Rovers were the biggest supported team per crowd size/population ? Its the amount you get through the turnstile that matters.


It's not comparable. Featherstone is close to Pontefract who were in the northern union before Rovers. They dropped out due to money problems whilst Rovers increased in strength eventually joining the N.U.

The immediate support for Rovers comes from Pontefract and Featherstone and of course progressively further afield. People estimate significant support for Cas also comes from Pontefract too.

Fev's 1973 Challenge cup winning team came from Pontefract, Featherstone, Normanton, Castleford and Knottingley.

In the area there's a massive concentration of RL fans and players. Enough for a succesful Superleague side. Ah well.




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