1. I think you are making quite a few absolute statements in what you have written there and things really are not as black and white as you make out.
2. Of course, given the history of the sport and the fact they have the top flight academies, one would expect the majority of professional player development to come from the top clubs.
3.a. A large part of decline and struggle in RL is due to changes in the way people live their lives these days, competing attractions for peoples time and money. And serious mis-management at certain historic heartlands clubs.
3.b.But to say it is all struggle when you have good, continuous development and expansion of the sport into non traditional RL areas, such as Hertfordshire, Cornwall, Devon and so on actually does a great dis-service to the people who give their time and money to the sport in those areas.
4. It is highly unlikely that we will ever see a Superleague where the majority of clubs are from outside the M62 corridor, but if the likes of Hemel, Oxford or Coventry continue to be well run and gradually rise thru the levels to the Championship, they will be doing the wider sport a great service.
What a breath of fresh air Foozler. Someone to discuss matters sensibly with, as opposed to the middle aged cyber bullies!!
1. Maybe not, let's see?
2. I'd take your point there if the big SL academies were pinching lots of lads from amateur teams in championship areas and non heartland areas, and turning them out as their own. It's just that so many of the lads being churned out in places Like Leeds, Hull, Wigan & St.Helens are actually born in those locations, we see more Huddersfield and Warrington born players coming through now as well. So on the facts it appears that having a successful competitive local SL club creates top local RL players. I don't know how exactly how it happens but it does.
Whilst of course there's no academies in York, Swinton, Rochdale, Batley, Keighley, Doncaster & Barrow the SL scouts go there and only three current SL first team squad players come from those places.
3.a. I agree about how people have changed. I think people move about a lot more to live and people travel about a lot more day to day to seek work, and entertainment. So it comes to pass that the championship clubs have lost half their audience this last 17 years and have an ageing fanbase, and the kids and families new to the game seem to enjoy seeking out Superleague. The top SL clubs have put thousands of bums on seats for the game.
3.b. No, be fair here. I have qualified the "struggle" as being about the struggle to develop and grow professional Rugby League. The free gangway has allowed our game to be played anywhere, and people have responded to that and play, watch and organise the amateur game all over and it is of course a delight.
The "struggle" comment is about clubs who decide to leave the amateur ranks and go professional hoping to develop bottom up. Sadly it's never worked in nigh on 70 years. If you take any of the new clubs, their problem is paying players. It takes up all the money. Look at London Skolars who are ten years on now. They have gone nowhere and nor has the fan base. 400 fans x £10 x 12 home games gives you £48,000. If you give all that to your playing squad through the season it's not much is it £50 quid a week???
4. It's a nice thought that these wonderful clubs like hemel, oxford or coventry can be well run and rise through the championships, but you leave yourself being asked to explain to me how this process can work when after all those years of slog Hemel for instance could only draw 122 fans to a game in a town we've always had high hopes for.
I'm just going on the reality here, and the future isn't the bottom up, we have to hold our nerve and try to keep the policy of one elite league as the flag ship for the game. A league that is responsible for most of the star players, most of the paying fans, the whole of the SKY contract and I'd hazard a guess - the inspiration for people outside the north to play amateur Rugby League......
Edited by The Parksider, 14 June 2013 - 02:36 PM.