You're comparing apples with oranges there. The early 90s and early 10s are 20 years apart. There are different obstacles and challenges now facing anyone planning events. Relative to the crowds of the last decade, Wembley was a huge success and almost double the interest and of persisted with could grow and grow. The GF wasn't a sell out from day one, was it?
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?
Also, the 65k was for a RLWC Final. Hardly a fair comparison. It's a completely different event. The event opener at Wembley got 41k.
But most of the big sports have much bigger and better organisation and dedication to their international programme than RL does. I think the apathy towards our international game by the organisers is stranger.
Fan apathy around international games is a strange thing in RL, although Welsh football also struggles for fans when they struggle.
I wouldn't call announcing venues and fixtures 2-3 months beforehand "well in advance" to be honest. Anything but, in fact. Why aren't they organised a year in advance so people who are at the current internationals know what's happening next? It's like we make it as difficult as possible for fans to know what's going on.
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.
It's really concerning that there is absolutely no idea what's happening next season internationally.
Well that's an argument based on extremes though, isn't it. Nobody would suggest playing at 70k+ grounds, but playing at 10k grounds that are partly knocked down as announcing it a month in advance hardly screams "big event" does it? That's where they apathy begins, not with the fans. It's spread from the poor organisation.
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.
The RFL knew that the NRL players weren't available. Why didn't they organise and announce this after the 4N and promote it for a year? KC was down the road and has a good track record for internationals. Why not build that?
France pulled 14k in Avignon for a friendly versus England. Why not there?
There's no strategy or logic at all. It was like someone had forgotten to do their coursework and rushed to finish it last minute before the deadline!
42k was fairly good considering. They're pretty much having to start from scratc so you can't expect a huge crowd on the back of nothing. And again, announced 3 months beforehand is hardly ideal. It needs to be A LOT earlier.
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.
42k is a great start, and roughly what the first GF got. It needs to be stuck with. I'd rather watch Eng vs Aus at Wembley than a CCF not featuring Hull.