Jump to content


Rugby League World Issue 400 - Out Now!

RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD MAGAZINE - ISSUE 400 - OUT NOW!
84 pages, 38 years of history from Open Rugby to the present day.
Click here for the digital edition to read online via smartphone, tablet and desktop devices including iPhone, iPad, Android & Kindle HD.
Click here to order a copy for delivery by post. Annual subscriptions also available worldwide.
Find out what's inside Issue 400
/ View a Gallery of all 400 covers / WH Smith Branches stocking Issue 400
Read Jamie Jones-Buchanan's Top 5 RLW Interviews including Marwan Koukash, Lee Briers, Gareth Thomas, Steve Ganson & Matt King OBE


League Express

Podcast

Photo
* - - - - 1 votes

RIP Hull KR?


  • Please log in to reply
282 replies to this topic

#61 Maximus Decimus

Maximus Decimus
  • Coach
  • 7,677 posts

Posted 08 April 2013 - 01:25 PM

How many Melbourne lads are in the Storm team ? I don't think it's very many and they have been champions twice and league leaders on another occasion before they were deducted all their league points.
 
Whilst it's important to develop local players it's not immediately important for success.
 
Of the local Hudersfield players are there not several who are England internationals. When did Lyndsay become the prophet for all future RL progress.? He was just a follower of Murdoch  Didn't he run Wigan into near bankruptcy? His one big idea was Paris, how many local players were in that team? It could be argued that he ruined the rest of French RL by making them play for Paris and their local club. In just the same way by marginalising all teams not amongst the anointed in SL, it could be argued he started the slow decline of RL which we are discussing here.
 
The SL might be a marginally successul operation but the neutering of all the other teams has resulted a large loss of fan base numerically and the future fans, kids, who used to come to the game from these areas. I was one, but Keighley were getting three times as many fans then as now and 5 times as many later in Cougarmania days.
 
Where is the games future fan base from the 700 or so who currently constitute their supporters.?
 
Oh by the way, Dewsbury did quadruple their support  when they won the league. They were in the 3 to 4,000 range and several years earlier, before that talented team, headlined by the two Stephensons, was assembled. their crowds were numbered in the hundreds. I know, I used to watch Keighley at Crown Flatt. The trouble was, as at Bradford and lLeds they flatlined and could not increase further, probably due to the small size of the town.
 
As for making Odsal the ground a a single West Yorkshire franchise. Not without many millions of pounds of investment. It's old and tired.

It cannot be asserted that there has been a net loss of attending fans. I agree that the spread has shrunk and it is now concentrated in smaller pockets but I suspect if you did the maths you would see that the bigger clubs have in many respects made up for it.

I suspect we have fewer fans casually following the game. When we used to have 30 odd clubs getting low to medium crowds most of these clubs had a greater potential to draw a large crowd from the surrounding area when they had a big Challenge Cup game. Nowadays, the decline of the CC as a draw has seen this stop, leaving just the few hundred fans that regularly follow them.

I'm not blaming anyone for this, I think it is an inevitability of full-time professionalism and the appeal of bigger sports.

#62 keighley

keighley
  • Coach
  • 4,832 posts

Posted 08 April 2013 - 02:27 PM

It cannot be asserted that there has been a net loss of attending fans. I agree that the spread has shrunk and it is now concentrated in smaller pockets but I suspect if you did the maths you would see that the bigger clubs have in many respects made up for it.

I suspect we have fewer fans casually following the game. When we used to have 30 odd clubs getting low to medium crowds most of these clubs had a greater potential to draw a large crowd from the surrounding area when they had a big Challenge Cup game. Nowadays, the decline of the CC as a draw has seen this stop, leaving just the few hundred fans that regularly follow them.

I'm not blaming anyone for this, I think it is an inevitability of full-time professionalism and the appeal of bigger sports.

 

I do not disagree with you and comparisons are difficult because in the late 60's and early 70's the game was literally dying. huge swathes of support drifted away or died and there were no replacements forthcoming, the kids, the future supporters, abandoned the game.

 

Fast forward to now and ceratinly SL attendances are very good but the net loss, I think is still there, as the lower tiers are leaking fans. I think the game has gambled on the all the eggs in the SL basket model without ever changing the constituent members or by making such change virtually impossible. i think this is a mistake. The game should not be losing support in Halifax, Cumbria, Oldham, Rochdale. there needs to be a wider fan base than provided by the SL and there are attempts afoot to make this SL base even smaller. A tree wtihout widespread roots will fall in any decent windstorm.

 

Hopefully, P and r will be resetablished and the older, stronger areas of RL will regain some strength, Oldham, Cumbria and also the new expansion teams will put down some strong roots and increase the spread of the RL community.

 

The bigger sports you speak of embrace changing the water at the top level and mnore teams are successful in their games as a result.

 

One thing is for sure, the recent steep drop in SL attendances a very worrying.



#63 Ant

Ant
  • Coach
  • 3,033 posts

Posted 08 April 2013 - 02:33 PM

Isn't a drop in attendances affecting all sports? Including the Premier League?

#64 keighley

keighley
  • Coach
  • 4,832 posts

Posted 08 April 2013 - 02:42 PM

Isn't a drop in attendances affecting all sports? Including the Premier League?

 

I don't know but RL has no wiggle room. the game simply cannot be sustained of the fan base continues to shrink.



#65 The Parksider

The Parksider
  • Coach
  • 16,861 posts

Posted 08 April 2013 - 08:22 PM

1. When did Lyndsay become the prophet for all future RL progress.?
 
2. The SL might be a marginally successul operation but the neutering of all the other teams has resulted a large loss of fan base numerically.

3. Oh by the way, Dewsbury did quadruple their support  when they won the league. They were in the 3 to 4,000 range and several years earlier, before that talented team, headlined by the two Stephensons, was assembled. their crowds were numbered in the hundreds. I know, I used to watch Keighley at Crown Flatt.

That was quite a rant my old friend, sorry if I "got your goat" again.

1. Nobody especially me has said Mo was a prophet. All I ever say was he recognised what would happen to the clubs if they all tried to go it alone under modern economic conditions. Just because it's taken 17 years for his prediction to finally materialise doesn't make him a prophet. Just a smart businessman who said his piece and was ignored.

2. I'm sorry but the """neutering"" of the teams "other than" Superleague ones hasn't resulted in a large loss of the fan base.

Why do you say this ridiculous thing??

More people watch Rugby league in 2013 than did so in 1996. Thousands more.

3. I used to watch clubs at the same time as you and I remember as clear as daylight that Mick Lumb was cheesed off that Dewsbury's success (one championship win BTW) did not increase the clubs bread and butter league crowds by much at all.

your way out on the 3000-4000 for league games..... they got far less than that in the main. For cup games they got crowds of 9000 (Halifax) 10,000 (Leeds) and 13,000 (Wakefield).

Cup games really did it for fans in those days.

But Lumb resented the bread and butter crowds of "only" 1500.

#66 The Parksider

The Parksider
  • Coach
  • 16,861 posts

Posted 08 April 2013 - 08:28 PM

As for Hudgell's statement - he's made this kind of comment before, of course, and it could be a clever way to make the RFL sit up and take notice of what I'm saying above. If he could combine his view with the likes of Davy & O'Connor it would certainly be a very powerful message and one that neither the RFL nor the more powerful sides' owners could ignore or discredit.The small market sides have more power than they think but need a conjoined approach.

This is a great post IMHO. He's threatening to take his ball home and if others follow who do the bigger clubs have left to have a decent game with.

It's not a pleasant thought that Superleague ever goes back to clubs playing each other three times.....to start with! Contraction can be good business but only up to a point.

Beyond that its purely shrinking away to nothing.

#67 The Parksider

The Parksider
  • Coach
  • 16,861 posts

Posted 08 April 2013 - 08:31 PM

Hopefully, P and r will be re-established and the older, stronger areas of RL will regain some strength, Oldham, Cumbria and also the new expansion teams will put down some strong roots and increase the spread of the RL community.

This wishful thinking stuff really gets my goat.

#68 The Parksider

The Parksider
  • Coach
  • 16,861 posts

Posted 08 April 2013 - 09:25 PM

1. Maximus said "The wealthy benefactor model is never going to be sustainable". I disagree with this. The secret is making the SL versions more attractive to people like Hudgell. He's disgruntled, Davy's disgruntled, O'Connor's disgruntled. There’s a trend here and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what’s wrong. We’re asking these benefactors to over-spend on their teams in light of past financial woes and hierarchical hurdles not of their making. I doubt any of them expected it to be easy but they’re finding out the hard way that it’s much more of an uphill task than they thought. And I sympathise with them, whilst also thinking the game would be making a grave mistake in letting their like walk away.

2. I think prospective owners of teams like Hull KR, Hudds and Widnes need more of a carrot and more return on their investment personally. The "small market dividend" I’ve hinted at numerous times or some other direct funding or leveling measure to help their own money go further. It’s too much of a labour of love taking on these heartland clubs with limited (but nonetheless decent) latent fanbases. Hudgell has spent a lot of cash on youth development at HKR. What’s the upshot? Our best kid was cherry-picked (pun intended) by the ruling elite Wigan with ease and he didn’t even get to sit down with him and offer him terms. He’s spent money on a new stand. What’s happened? The council and developer have let him down, costing him yet more money. He’s funded a full cap spend for about 6 years to the tune of £3 million (I believe) to himself. What’s happened? He’s found that it takes more than that to get amongst the incumbent elite and that attracting the best players in large numbers to an unfashionable club is a mighty hurdle to overcome. All of these factors add up. Hudgell is no different from Hetherington, McManus, Lenagan et al, he just happens to have backed the wrong pony, whilst they’ve taken over - through no skill on their part whatsoever - established thoroughbreds. The question is whether that’s his fault or rather something more indicative of the climate we expect these moderate clubs coming out of decades of decay and under-funding to now exist and compete in.

My view personally is that it’s the latter. You can pick 13 existing clubs from an old P&R system with bedded-in hierarchies, add the expansion Catalan, pull up the drawbridge and call your league "Super League" but it doesn’t mean you instantly have 14 healthy clubs. Old problems remain. Why should Hudgell, Davy & O’Connor uniquely foot the bill for these old problems? Are they not the wider game’s responsibility?

1. A stunning analysis DSK, quote of the year so far.

How do I square this truly perceptive (no joke - it is perceptive IMHO) analysis with your accusation that when I say anything about Hull/HKR I am "Hull bashing" and I should "give it a rest"???

How quickly you have travelled from the truly ridiculous to the sublime.

2. Another super analysis but you ask "Why should Hudgell, Davy & O’Connor uniquely foot the bill for these old problems?"

They SHOULD IMHO foot the bill because they know exactly what the hierarchy of the game attempted to do in 1996 which was reduce the number of clubs to leave one big club in each of the areas RL had a chance of succeeding in. This was because as Mo pointed out there were too many clubs chasing too few resources in most RL areas.

Davey was at Huddersfield Town and his missus loved the rugby so instead of buying her a season ticket like you or I would do with our spouses he bought her the club. Wouldn't it have been better for the game if Davey had become the rich owner the truly mighty Bulls never had??

Instead he fights for fans and players with the Bulls and neither will probably ever win anything again...

O'Connor is a Widnes fan who probably followed their fortunes from turning over Wire at Wembley in 1975 to that great day at Old Trafford when they became world champions. I wuz there for both games. Which Widnes fan would not want to turn the clock back.

But is this all it is? Is O'Connor trying to take Superleague forward or just wanting to recreate the past. I can't think anyone would want to spend a few million on helping Superleague to prosper, I can think of many rich people who want self gratification.

Maybe I should win the lottery rebuild Hunslet's SLS to a 10,000 seater and fight Leeds for every fan and junior in the city. Then when I start to struggle I should cry to the RFL/SLE that I am valuable to the future of Rugby League and should be given a break.

And what of Hudgell?

Is he in the game with his millions to build Superleague to the benefit of all his fellow chairmen? Is he a true RL philanthropist or does he want to just outdo his old boyhood rivals??

Blame the Wigans of this game all you want, but the reality is that the reason why HKR can't build a self sustaining crowd is that 12,000 Hull people support another club. The reason he can't hang onto his stars is that the local rival club covet all the best he has. Hull wanted Taylor too.

But somehow it's all Wigans fault.....

From the ridiculous to the sublime and back again Keeny?

Edited by The Parksider, 08 April 2013 - 09:41 PM.


#69 Ant

Ant
  • Coach
  • 3,033 posts

Posted 08 April 2013 - 10:24 PM

What will Wigan, Saints and Leeds do when everyone else is gone?

Go to Union?

#70 The Parksider

The Parksider
  • Coach
  • 16,861 posts

Posted 08 April 2013 - 10:38 PM

What will Wigan, Saints and Leeds do when everyone else is gone?

Go to Union?

Maybe.....

Leeds added Leeds RU, Wigan looked to Orrell, Wire were connected with Sale, Bradford looked to Wakefield RU, Quins allowed RL into their fortress. etc etc.

If circumstances dictate why not?

Only tired old prejudices from tired old men would stand in the way..

Hardly a barrier................

#71 Ant

Ant
  • Coach
  • 3,033 posts

Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:11 PM

And exactly which of those experiments played out?

How about some genuinely radical thinking in RL
Like all playing contracts held by the RFL, all gate money's collected centrally and distributed evenly?

FWIW Ken Davey took over at Huddersfield because he was amazed at the honestly of the game, its fans and players. I think in the first years of his ownership (and Huddersfield in SL) he was also very, very naive and has suggested as much himself - I don't think it is fair to say he knew what the situation was when he became involved and didn't find out just how bad things were until he was in hook line and sinker

I suspect that he assumed that because the game itself was honest, it's administrators and directors were too - and got burned

Maybe that memory is coming back, that some clubs wield all the power and influence the game only for their benefit instead of the game as a whole - same as they have always done?

#72 The Parksider

The Parksider
  • Coach
  • 16,861 posts

Posted 09 April 2013 - 05:37 AM

And exactly which of those experiments played out?

How about some genuinely radical thinking in RL
Like all playing contracts held by the RFL, all gate money's collected centrally and distributed evenly?

They never played them out. The clubs merely got into a position to switch to RU if it came to it.

It didn't, and I like your "radical thinking" but there's a limit as to how much of a clubs money another can take for doing nothing.

The clubs need a joint business plan, they don't need to turn the top clubs into charities for the bottom ones.

#73 Ant

Ant
  • Coach
  • 3,033 posts

Posted 09 April 2013 - 06:56 AM

I totally agree - there needs to be a joint, unified and possibly very hard hearted look at how we protect and grow the game

Personally I think we need to push international RL over all else

#74 RidingPie

RidingPie
  • Coach
  • 1,202 posts

Posted 09 April 2013 - 08:29 AM

How about some genuinely radical thinking in RL
Like all playing contracts held by the RFL, all gate money's collected centrally and distributed evenly?

 

So what would be the motivation for Wigan, Leeds, Saints and Warrington to bring extra revenue in to their club, when they'd only get, what 7p for every pound extra they bring in?

 

Communism doesn't work it doesn't make businesses want to make money, it removes the reward, but doesn't remove the risk, and tends to leave things in a downward spiral. I've frequently said all clubs need to up their game in terms of how they market themselves. This is sadly still true. We need the clubs to be run by people who understand business and people and how to get them involved.



#75 deluded pom?

deluded pom?
  • Coach
  • 8,547 posts

Posted 09 April 2013 - 09:04 AM

Just how far is "too close" and "fighting for the same fans and players" Parky because Google tells me it's fifteen miles from Bradford to Huddersfield. Bradford to Leeds is a darn sight shorter but that seems to be OK by you. Why is that?


Davey was at Huddersfield Town and his missus loved the rugby so instead of buying her a season ticket like you or I would do with our spouses he bought her the club. Wouldn't it have been better for the game if Davey had become the rich owner the truly mighty Bulls never had??

Instead he fights for fans and players with the Bulls and neither will probably ever win anything again...



 


rldfsignature.jpg


#76 deluded pom?

deluded pom?
  • Coach
  • 8,547 posts

Posted 09 April 2013 - 09:08 AM

This new forum is driving me crackers. I tried to post below Parky's quote but it wouldn't let me. It won't even let me use the angry emoticon. Any chance of a system restore John?


rldfsignature.jpg


#77 Ant

Ant
  • Coach
  • 3,033 posts

Posted 09 April 2013 - 09:41 AM

So what would be the motivation for Wigan, Leeds, Saints and Warrington to bring extra revenue in to their club, when they'd only get, what 7p for every pound extra they bring in?

Communism doesn't work it doesn't make businesses want to make money, it removes the reward, but doesn't remove the risk, and tends to leave things in a downward spiral. I've frequently said all clubs need to up their game in terms of how they market themselves. This is sadly still true. We need the clubs to be run by people who understand business and people and how to get them involved.


Absolutely none
They might as well go join the RFU now

#78 RidingPie

RidingPie
  • Coach
  • 1,202 posts

Posted 09 April 2013 - 09:49 AM

OK and lets look at the other side of the league. What is there to encourage the likes smaller clubs, Cas, Waki, HKR to really grow their business when they can hang off the coat tails and use the money raised by the bigger clubs?

 

You've failed to address the point though why you think communism would work in RL when it doesn't work anywhere else.

 

Absolutely none
They might as well go join the RFU now



#79 deluded pom?

deluded pom?
  • Coach
  • 8,547 posts

Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:18 AM

 We need the clubs to be run by people who understand business and people and how to get them involved.

 

 

Who's running the clubs now? I'd like to think that the money men in the game knew how to run a business to enable them to amass their wealth in the first place. Unfortunately when it comes to running a sports club common sense goes out of the window and decisions are made that that same person wouldn't make with their own personal business in a million years. People keep saying pro sport is a business but it's a totally different beast to a high street shop or a factory. Yes, it's a business that needs to generate money to survive and prosper but someone has to be at the bottom of the pile and that leads to bad "business" choices. Is there a top pro sports league in the world (outside of the NFL) where the teams regularly at the bottom end of the table actually turn a profit


rldfsignature.jpg


#80 RidingPie

RidingPie
  • Coach
  • 1,202 posts

Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:27 AM

Who's running the clubs now? I'd like to think that the money men in the game knew how to run a business to enable them to amass their wealth in the first place. Unfortunately when it comes to running a sports club common sense goes out of the window and decisions are made that that same person wouldn't make with their own personal business in a million years. People keep saying pro sport is a business but it's a totally different beast to a high street shop or a factory. Yes, it's a business that needs to generate money to survive and prosper but someone has to be at the bottom of the pile and that leads to bad "business" choices. Is there a top pro sports league in the world (outside of the NFL) where the teams regularly at the bottom end of the table actually turn a profit

 

One of the big changes at Wigan was when they got a big sports marketting guru from I think it was Newcastle RU. I can't remember the guys name, and I know a couple of years later he was poached by Sale RU, but he made a huge difference to how the club marketed itself in the area and beyond. Other clubs need similar, in fact Wigan probably need a new one as well.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users