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(Renamed thread) What RL can learn from the union 6 Nations


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#101 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:20 AM

Its not pointless Wellsy, apathy in RL is a major issue. Call it what you want its still apathy.

It's pointless if you aren't asking why people are apathetic and offering a solution.

Just saying they shouldn't be apathetic is as effective as saying "the grass shouldn't be green" and expecting it to change on it's own (some of it might do, but not because it was told to!).

Its not comparable with me because I believe in supporting the things I believe in and not asking why I should do so. I do this because its how I am. If I'm out of step with the rest of RL then so be it.

And so do most people. It's not out of step with anyone at all really. You just don't seem to accept that some people don't don't believe in international RL, probably in the same way that you don't believe in other sporting events. It's not wholly difficult to comprehend that just because you like club RL doesn't mean you believe in all RL and they shouldn't feel like they HAVE to. They have a choice and are choosing not to. We need to know WHY. They're not wrong not to.

It still doesn't explain the historical attendances though does it?

It doesn't. I was offering one of MANY issues that international RL has. And there are many. And until many of these are addressed, international RL will stumble from one issue to the next.

If your club merged with Leeds tomorrow, how many would still watch them? I mean, it's still RL right?
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#102 Johnoco

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:27 AM

Ok, I give up. People don't have to go and to be honest, who gives a toss because they probably won't turn up this autumn either, so ###### it mate.

Just to add, I am not having a go at Wellsy. I'm just confused by the attitude that seems so prevelant in RL and in my experience, is not like other sports. The one whereby its own fans have never consistently backed its big games historically and yet it is up to the game to prove to them why they should attend and it has to produce reasons why its own fans should attend? Sorry but in my book that's garbage.

It's not as if the general trend has always been one of huge crowds, but they have tinkered with it in the SL era and crowds have disappeared; they've always been more or less terrible/decent at best but never outstanding. I know its not all down to the fans; the ruling bodies over the years have made mistakes and put club interests first but ultimately its all about a mentality that says 'I have no interest in my national side and won't attend'.

I'm not sure why I'm arguing here because if people don't want to back the national side, then that will be the end of the matter because they will fade even more. But even then i'm sure someone will be blaming it on someone else.

Edited by Johnoco, 20 March 2013 - 12:50 AM.

No I don't care if you're if you're into different bands

No cause for so much hatred, I'm just a different man

Pull off that cover, I will too, and learn to understand

With music deep inside we'll make world unity our plan

 

7 Seconds -Walk Together, Rock Together


#103 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 07:19 AM

Ok, I give up. People don't have to go and to be honest, who gives a toss because they probably won't turn up this autumn either, so ###### it mate.

Well I give a toss, and clearly you do.

I think the RLWC will be well attended personally. The reason being that the RFL haven't left it until last minute to decide dates and venues, have promoted it well, have made each game seem an event, have taken the big games to unusual stadia...

Basically they've done the things they should have been doing for years, but will no doubt not do it for the next international tournament and then think "well why aren't people coming?!"

Just to add, I am not having a go at Wellsy. I'm just confused by the attitude that seems so prevelant in RL and in my experience, is not like other sports. The one whereby its own fans have never consistently backed its big games historically and yet it is up to the game to prove to them why they should attend and it has to produce reasons why its own fans should attend? Sorry but in my book that's garbage.

It's garbage because you're looking at it the wrong way. You're still looking at RL fans as an equal thing - that they all have the same reasons and motivations, and that's just plain wrong.

Why do many follow international RU but not club? It's the opposite problem in effect.

You need to read about the Psychological Continuum Model to have a greater understanding as to why people like what they like and don't what they don't. Google it. It's a good read and will hopefully open your eyes a bit to the issues you've not considered.

Just
It's not as if the general trend has always been one of huge crowds, but they have tinkered with it in the SL era and crowds have disappeared; they've always been more or less terrible/decent at best but never outstanding. I know its not all down to the fans; the ruling bodies over the years have made mistakes and put club interests first but ultimately its all about a mentality that says 'I have no interest in my national side and won't attend'.

Well we've gotten somewhere at least - in that you're now saying it's not all the fans' fault!

Again, you need to ask "why have they no interest?" and scratch under the surface. There are so many motivations that people have and so much attraction needed to keep them and we haven't done that at all for decades!

JustI'm not sure why I'm arguing here because if people don't want to back the national side, then that will be the end of the matter because they will fade even more. But even then i'm sure someone will be blaming it on someone else.

It's up to the powers that be to create events that people want to attend. They CAN do this but they aren't doing this in great enough numbers with great enough effort.

People aren't being stubborn and holding a protest. They just don't see the point... yet!
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#104 Johnoco

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 07:51 AM

Believe it or not Wellsy, I generally agree with you. We agree on more than you think.
But ATEOTD however hard they try, it will be undermined by fan apathy. I don't know why this is the case, its clearly an historic thing, but it is so.

No I don't care if you're if you're into different bands

No cause for so much hatred, I'm just a different man

Pull off that cover, I will too, and learn to understand

With music deep inside we'll make world unity our plan

 

7 Seconds -Walk Together, Rock Together


#105 Dave T

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 08:14 AM

I agree wuth you both. The fan apathy is a strange RL thing, nobody will convince me otherwise.

Our crowds dropped against the Aussies at Wembley because we couldnt beat them.
NZ has never caught the imagination of the RL masses - in any other sport their fans would be flocking to this quality of game.

Wellsy is right though, simply saying this and blaming fans is not going to change this. This is why imho we need to take the game to as many new fans as possible. Wembley 2011 was the start and this needs to be continued.

#106 Johnoco

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 08:29 AM

Well I agree with that lot Dave.

No I don't care if you're if you're into different bands

No cause for so much hatred, I'm just a different man

Pull off that cover, I will too, and learn to understand

With music deep inside we'll make world unity our plan

 

7 Seconds -Walk Together, Rock Together


#107 Futtocks

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:41 AM

That's why I suggested marketing more to the non-RL audience. Decent attendances and competitive matches will eventually win over some club-only fans, much more than leaflets and emails. But that's years down the line, assuming our international scene continues to develop. In the meantime, there will be a percentage of the new bums on seats who become converts.

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


#108 hindle xiii

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:48 AM

We need to spread the field in ideas too, look at Cheltenham last week, plenty of people go who have probably never been to a race in their lives.

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#109 bobbruce

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 10:55 AM

That's why I suggested marketing more to the non-RL audience. Decent attendances and competitive matches will eventually win over some club-only fans, much more than leaflets and emails. But that's years down the line, assuming our international scene continues to develop. In the meantime, there will be a percentage of the new bums on seats who become converts.


Absolutely when England RU and football are playing the grounds aren't full for premiership season ticket holders. What they manage to do is get the wider general public to think of England RU or football as their team. My guess is that a combination of press coverage not just negative but also the way if it was covered positivly it was done as an oddity. Then the fans defensive reaction to this over years has also contributed to creating an us and them attitude. We need to find some way of getting the general public to feel an affinity with the game.

#110 hindle xiii

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 11:07 AM

This is where Brian Barwick should earn his corn. He says he has a burting book of contacts and was at the top table of an organisation that could fill big stadia. When the big tournaments roll around England footy has a load of support, a lot aren't just footy fans either.

We have contacts with plenty of people around sports who have their big events, whether we enjoy them or not, not just in RU but tennis too.

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#111 Maximus Decimus

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 03:56 PM

I agree wuth you both. The fan apathy is a strange RL thing, nobody will convince me otherwise.

Our crowds dropped against the Aussies at Wembley because we couldnt beat them.
NZ has never caught the imagination of the RL masses - in any other sport their fans would be flocking to this quality of game.

Wellsy is right though, simply saying this and blaming fans is not going to change this. This is why imho we need to take the game to as many new fans as possible. Wembley 2011 was the start and this needs to be continued.


I still insist that there is nothing uniquely different about RL fans and nothing will convince me otherwise! If you think that there is then you are somehow applying this to worldwide RL as the Australians have also seen a decline since we stopped being as competitive and the Kiwis have never seen us as a particularly big draw either. What is it about the rules of a sport that stops people from following it internationally?

The sad reality is that aside from a tiny number of games, international RL isn't a big draw because it just isn't that appealing. If AFL put on Australia vs South Africa it wouldn't suddenly fill the MCG just because they get big crowds to their domestic games. It is so much more complex than simply thinking if you like Rugby League that you would want to go all Rugby League games. It also ignores the huge number of fairweather fans that follow all sports.

I've pointed out that I don't find games against France or Wales that appealing and I've been a fan for 24 years. Even when RL was my life and I thought about nothing else I wasn't that interested in them. Call me a bad fan but I don't enjoy watching games that are processions. For me RL only works when it is two sides relatively evenly matched. You end up with the bizarre scenario where you are secretly hoping for the other team to put up a fight, which ironically means that England must be doing pretty bad form wise. Also, most of these events are devoid of any away fans and any media attention meaning that they have a strange feel to them.

I don't think this is the case in any of the major sports. I don't think there are any fans attending out of loyalty or just because they are Football fans. There is something about the event that appeals and usually it is the appeal of a big well-hyped event where there is some doubt about the outcome. There might be the odd massacre, but even in club RL you welcome this if it is a rare event or if it is unexpected.

As for fans turning away when we lost, well you see that in every instance of sport. If it didn't, relegated teams wouldn't lose fans and teams at the bottom wouldn't lose fans either. We built up huge crowds off the back of the anticipation of potentially beating them. Despite largely mediocre rather than horrendous results, there hasn't been the genuine possibility of usurping them since 2004 and look at how quickly we sold out Elland Rd when there was. That was a real sucker punch as well and one that proved to many that they are just playing with us.

The only thing that would bring the fans in is a genuinely competitive international scene between countries that actually play the game. We're quite a distance away from that eventuality.

#112 JohnM

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 04:00 PM

We need to spread the field in ideas too, look at Cheltenham last week, plenty of people go who have probably never been to a race in their lives.


We went on Gold Cup day. It was cold, wet, windy, and a complete waste of time. Won't be going again.

Back to Internationals. In my view a huge factor is the largely Northern demographic.

#113 Maximus Decimus

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 04:04 PM

Just as an aside much is made of when we used to get huge crowds at Wembley and Old Trafford, presumably in the vein that fans made more of an effort then and have declined since. It peaked with 72,000 at Wembley in 1992 but look at some of the other crowds from that period,

1989 - Beat NZ 26-6, 13,000 Leeds.
1989 - Beat NZ 10-6, 20,345 Wigan. (Decider)
1990 - Lost France 18-25, 6,554 Leeds.
1991 - Beat France 60-4, 5,284 Leeds.
1991 - Beat PNG 56-4, 4,193 Wigan.
1992 - Beat France 5,250 Hull.

None of those would be impressive by nowadays standards and some would be much worse, proving that the Ashes clashes of that late 80's and early 90's really were an anomoly.

#114 hindle xiii

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 04:06 PM

We went on Gold Cup day. It was cold, wet, windy, and a complete waste of time. Won't be going again.

And yet farzands of others went too. Interestingly, why did you go? And do you go to many other horse racing events? I ask because I think it might be either 1. you always go, which should help when it comes to RL that eventually fans will buy tickets, or 2. it was something you wanted to go to, which would help RL because it means people will try a new event if sold the right way.

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#115 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 04:24 PM

Believe it or not Wellsy, I generally agree with you. We agree on more than you think.
But ATEOTD however hard they try, it will be undermined by fan apathy. I don't know why this is the case, its clearly an historic thing, but it is so.

I can't believe that no matter how hard they try it will come down to fan apathy. There's a reason why fans are apathetic, and unless that is addressed there will be no change. Fans aren't apathetic for the sake of being apathetic. I'd say the governing bodies of RL are apathetic towards international RL and it rubs off on the fans.

We have no proper international governing body for a start. We have no structure. If the people organising aren't bothered enough then it will rub off on the fans.

Until the strategy is right, the results won't improve significantly. I think we're finally getting it right with the RLWC but I'm pretty convinced it won't continue. The fact we don't know what's happening after that is a great deal of the reason why people just aren't feeling the international RL brand. And it is a brand at the end of the day.

We shouldn't rely on on-field results to pull a crowd, but it appears that that is our only tactic at the moment and it's failing miserably!

Until we get a fixed respectable international schedule, the same things will keep happening. This is an RLIF isssue. And because the RLIF have no power whatsoever things will not change anytime soon.

It takes more than a game if RL between two nations to attract a crowd. It's enough for you to attend but not for others.
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#116 hindle xiii

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 04:30 PM

Sounds plausible to me.

By jove I think he's got it!

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On Odsal Top baht 'at.


#117 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 04:39 PM

I agree wuth you both. The fan apathy is a strange RL thing, nobody will convince me otherwise.

Our crowds dropped against the Aussies at Wembley because we couldnt beat them.
NZ has never caught the imagination of the RL masses - in any other sport their fans would be flocking to this quality of game.

I can't say I agree with that though Dave. Did crowds drop purely because of on field results? Could there not be other reasons?

I wouldn't say fan apathy is exclusive to RL fans at all. Any competition or event that is a poorly organised after-thought will pass it's apathy on to the fans. Look at the early rounds of the cup competitions in football and you can see it's not just RL fans who give excuses not to attend certain games.

Wellsy is right though, simply saying this and blaming fans is not going to change this. This is why imho we need to take the game to as many new fans as possible. Wembley 2011 was the start and this needs to be continued.

But it already hasn't been continued. 2012 was a joke. The RFL aren't learning from their experiences. 2004 was a great step in the right direction, yet they managed to go backwards in 2005, replacing an opener against Aus at COMS to an opener against NZ at Loftus Road was a poor move. They guaranteed that the crowds would be smaller simply by picking a smaller ground! Why not build on the momentum?!

There needs to be a respectable four-year schedule for the whole of the top end of international RL. There needs to be clear goals. And this goes further than the big 3. I thought it was a huge step in the right direction to expand to the 4N and have qualifying tournaments for the fourth 4N place. Clear goals for all teams to compete well. I thought it was a backwards step to reduce the number if games each team played though. Why could they not have each team play each other twice like in the Tri-Nations? Build up the momentum by adding to it? It's one step forwards, two steps back. We went from four competitive games and a final for England/GB to two and an experiment plus a final.

The apathy comes from poor planning and strategy. That's the real issue.
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#118 Dave T

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 05:13 PM

I can't say I agree with that though Dave. Did crowds drop purely because of on field results? Could there not be other reasons?

I do agree there are other reasons as well, but the 1997 crowd at Wembley for GB v Aus was down to 40k from 65k for the WC 2 years earlier. All that had happened in the meantime was that GB had lost against the Kiwis and had obviously lost in the WC final v the Aussies. The last 4N game at Wembley had a lot of decent promotion, if it was only organisation then this crowd would have been much higher, surely at least at the early 90's Wembley levels?

I wouldn't say fan apathy is exclusive to RL fans at all. Any competition or event that is a poorly organised after-thought will pass it's apathy on to the fans. Look at the early rounds of the cup competitions in football and you can see it's not just RL fans who give excuses not to attend certain games.

Fan apathy around international games is a strange thing in RL, although Welsh football also struggles for fans when they struggle.
Whilst there has been issues with some of the organisation for the 4N, generally they were advertised well in advance and organised well. I find the venues boring, but that shouldn't stop us filling them for games against NZ and Aus.

But it already hasn't been continued. 2012 was a joke. The RFL aren't learning from their experiences. 2004 was a great step in the right direction, yet they managed to go backwards in 2005, replacing an opener against Aus at COMS to an opener against NZ at Loftus Road was a poor move. They guaranteed that the crowds would be smaller simply by picking a smaller ground! Why not build on the momentum?!

I agree with much of this, but then if they had arranged the games in the Autumn at Wembley and Cardiff I suspect many would have slated them for playing in front of 10k in empty grounds.

There needs to be a respectable four-year schedule for the whole of the top end of international RL. There needs to be clear goals. And this goes further than the big 3. I thought it was a huge step in the right direction to expand to the 4N and have qualifying tournaments for the fourth 4N place. Clear goals for all teams to compete well. I thought it was a backwards step to reduce the number if games each team played though. Why could they not have each team play each other twice like in the Tri-Nations? Build up the momentum by adding to it? It's one step forwards, two steps back. We went from four competitive games and a final for England/GB to two and an experiment plus a final.

Agreed.

The apathy comes from poor planning and strategy. That's the real issue.

I'm not sure it is as exclusive as you suggest. If the well organised double header at Wembley had seen 60k there then I'm sure they would have continued with it (although in fairness they have for the WC) - but even 42k was a poor crowd for the effort and presumably cost put in.
Both of these things are issues, it is a vicious circle - the fans won't change first, so it is up to the RFL to change what they are doing.

#119 Maximus Decimus

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 06:24 PM

I do agree there are other reasons as well, but the 1997 crowd at Wembley for GB v Aus was down to 40k from 65k for the WC 2 years earlier. All that had happened in the meantime was that GB had lost against the Kiwis and had obviously lost in the WC final v the Aussies.


You simply can't ignore the impact of the 1997 World Club Challenge in this. It came literally a couple of weeks after the final. I even remember Eddie trying to play the significance of it down by making out like our best 13 have always been able to compete with their best 13.

Also, 65k was the figure for the final. The opening game of the tournament also at Wembley got 41k.

#120 Dave T

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 06:27 PM

You simply can't ignore the impact of the 1997 World Club Challenge in this. It came literally a couple of weeks after the final. I even remember Eddie trying to play the significance of it down by making out like our best 13 have always been able to compete with their best 13.

Also, 65k was the figure for the final. The opening game of the tournament also at Wembley got 41k.

that supports my point that fans stopped going due to us losing.
In 95 the opener was 41k as people expected us to lose. We get a shock win and there is a 60% uplift for the final.




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