i can't remember but had widnes already qualified for the SL application process when o'conner took charge??
The Widnes mob will know far more than me but Widnes went bust before the 2009 licensing round and O'Connor stepped in and re-built the club to the point where he could apply for a license. They were wrongly IMHO turned down, with O'Connor offering a £500K bond to show he was serious about Superleague. He then duly got Widnes qualified for 2012 and got in.
The same intention is happening for Featherstone so there's been a path to Superleague, although it has needed money men to deliver. HKR were the last club promoted. They stayed up with Hudgell's money, and they'd have gone up with licensing anyway.
The businessmen running these clubs have all decided to have a go at SL. Hudgell has found the going too tough in the end, O'Connor is still in there but disappointed with the fans response I believe, Mr Nahaboo is optimistic.
If a club doesn't have a big fanbase it needs big private investment. For me big private investors want to be in the Elite division, why would they pay millions out to be in a second tier. The idea that they may just appear is OK but I do believe they will do their sums first and may back off.
How much do you think it would cost someone to bankroll Oldham all the way back to being sustainable in the top division?