In defence of my point, I think some of you have missed it.
Football was not always an all-encompassing, monolithic sport in this country. It's become what it is, leaving other sports with little breathing room, precisely because of failures on behalf of other sports.
AFL could very well have the same presence throughout Australia as football does in this country but it doesn't, and the reason it doesn't is because the people running rugby league in Australia are competent, where as the people running rugby league in England have allowed the sport to be beaten black and blue.
That was my actual point, that rugby league fans in England use football as a cop out for the ongoing failures of the people in charge of our game.
I think sometimes British league fans severely underestimate just how big AFL is and just how much bigger it would be if not for the success of rugby league in the eastern states. The difference is that while rugby league in northern strongholds(in England) has become an abject failure and allowed football to walk all over it, rugby league in Australia has run itself properly and maintained its strength in the likes of NSW and Queensland.
There are other countries we could talk about with one dominant code, but with other sports thriving, but Australia is truly the best example because the parallels are obvious, despite what some here like to believe. If there is a difference it's that rugby league in Australia has been managed properly and didn't fold in the face of competition, where as rugby league in this country has.
To some extent I think I agree with some aspects of your comment. I do agree that RL here should have focused much more on its core foundation and then from a stronger core it could look at expansion. No doubts that the NRL whilst in quite a relative narrow local area in comparison to whole of Australia has ensured its core base is strong.
I have always believed that RL here have wasted time and effort in the past in the way it has chosen to focus it expansion plans, worthy that expansion is. Their has and continues to be opportunity to grow the game in the core whilst looking to grow the game from grass roots else. Rather than its head strong focus on the super league expansion it chose. Wasted time and effort. Even along the M62 corridor the game is far from saturated amongst its home and that's not including Manchester.
But I do think your initial comments where a little too strong in its criticism.