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The Challenge Cup Final vs NRL


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#61 808tone

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 07:25 PM

I actually found all this out in a programme Clare Balding hosted on sport generally but one episode focused on rugby league.  I didn't realise how close rugby came to becoming the national sport; but for the split and ongoing feuding it could have been as it was more popular at the time than soccer.

Also there was nearly the merger of Rugby League and Aussie Rule's back in 1919 and 1933 and with that you might of ended up with a proper all Australian grand final alongside SOO between NSW v Victoria and all the British Lions playing test in Melbourne etc.


Edited by 808tone, 27 August 2013 - 07:27 PM.


#62 DeadShotKeen

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 11:56 AM

I think your proposals would destroy the game. They are simplistic, uncosted and take no account of past failures, particularly with regard to the suggestion of wholesale mergers of clubs.

 

For example, if you seriously believe merging Hull FC and Hull KR into a single Hull club would have any chance of success whatsoever, then you've clearly never been to Hull!

 

If you trample all over what a club means to the people who support it in order to shoehorn what currently exists into some 'perfect model' league structure, you do not enhance the sport, you completely undermine it at its roots.

 

Before you trot out Australia as the perfect example of such madness bearing fruit, consider the case of South Sydney Rabbitohs: initially ejected from the league because they wouldn't merge, eventually reinstated as a stand alone club after lengthy legal battles, yet currently doing very nicely thank you at the top of the NRL ladder. The merger between North Sydney Bears and Manly Sea Eagles was also a complete and utter disaster from which only Manly escaped relatively unscathed, and they've since gone on to win the Premiership again as a stand alone club. In contrast, the two remaining merged clubs, St George-Illawarra and Wests Tigers can currently be found propping up the NRL table.

 

It just isn't as easy or simple or assured of success as you want to pretend.

 

Then there's the matter of starting up clubs in new areas. How exactly do you propose to finance them? Because without finance, like any club, anywhere, they will fail. If we haven't learned that lesson yet as a sport, then we never will. I've always been a supporter of expanding the game and will remain so, but you can't just stick pins in a map and wish clubs into existence.

 

Australia has its own share of failed expansion experiments: Adelaide Rams, Perth Western Reds and South Queensland Crushers. Remember them? Auckland/New Zealand Warriors has had a traumatic and not exactly success laden history to date, and without having been bankrolled so extensively by News Ltd up until this year, how likely is it that Melbourne Storm would still be around?

 

If we are going to have a serious debate, then it has to be based in reality, not the fantasy you are currently indulging in.

 

I'm from Hull John, currently live in Manchester but visit friends in Hull occasionally and am seasoned in the age old merger debate with cab drivers etc. I think your suggestion that no-one would take to a Hull or other merged side is just traditionalist scaremongering. These things have to be judged on their individual merits. Some areas would benefit from them, some would not. Whilst it's very easy to support the status quo position (as most do, in Hull and elsewhere), my Hull merger wish does find support (some wholesale, some a more grudging "Well it does make a lot of sense") when I'm back there. The city of Hull IMHO just does not have the fan and commercial resources to support 2 genuinely successful sides. Keeping 2 rather than pooling and having a genuine go at it confines both sets of fans to perpetual mediocrity. When was the last Hull derby that genuinely meant anything? It was nearly 30 years ago, in a different era. Be careful of what you wish for.

 

How would I finance new start-up sides? Well you would likely need Koukash style benefactors. They wouldn't come easy but at the very least the willing and invitation should be there. My initial contraction to 12 frees up more TV cash for those 12, many of whom would be bolstered by amalgamated investment. Then you look to drive up the TV and other commercial revenues from your new, high quality, genuinely intense competition. Bringing Featherstone and Leigh back into the fold is not getting this done, rather it is likely to send our sport yet further into poverty and national mindset indifference. But you will have placated some grumpy, ageing fans. Again, be careful of what you wish for.

 

My intention, anyway, would be that the sport would have more central money before expansion, at that point also you hope to woo the likes of Koukash and then you genuinely take it to soccer and rugby union in their own back yards. The league should centrally fund such sides to the hilt and make no apologies for doing so. If you fail, you fail and you had a go. 

 

You've mentioned some NRL failures that to me are nothing more than growing pains. Some sides lost out, some mooted mergers never happened, some of those sides then did OK on their own, some had already gone. Ultimately, so what? Are all of the Aussie RL heartlands served by an NRL side within spitting distance? Yes, and this really is all that matters. No-one guaranteed any Aussie or Brit RL fan more than that and Super League and the NRL owes them nothing more. The health of the sport and its elite league comes before the self-serving interests of any set of fans, myself as a Hull KR fan included.

 

You say that my proposal would ruin the sport (presumably through being too radical), I say the one we're running with will do the same through inertia. Sometimes to fail you just have to do nothing or rest on your laurels. Ultimately we'll see but it's not just traditionalists that bail on sports when the tide turns against them - often modernists will bail too and for me British rugby league will soon count the unseen cost of future generations lost to the game because they were left uncompetitive, financial basket case clubs within a lopsided structure. We will see indeed.



#63 John Drake

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 12:28 PM

I'm from Hull John, currently live in Manchester but visit friends in Hull occasionally and am seasoned in the age old merger debate with cab drivers etc. I think your suggestion that no-one would take to a Hull or other merged side is just traditionalist scaremongering. These things have to be judged on their individual merits. Some areas would benefit from them, some would not. Whilst it's very easy to support the status quo position (as most do, in Hull and elsewhere), my Hull merger wish does find support (some wholesale, some a more grudging "Well it does make a lot of sense") when I'm back there. The city of Hull IMHO just does not have the fan and commercial resources to support 2 genuinely successful sides. Keeping 2 rather than pooling and having a genuine go at it confines both sets of fans to perpetual mediocrity. When was the last Hull derby that genuinely meant anything? It was nearly 30 years ago, in a different era. Be careful of what you wish for.

 

How would I finance new start-up sides? Well you would likely need Koukash style benefactors. They wouldn't come easy but at the very least the willing and invitation should be there. My initial contraction to 12 frees up more TV cash for those 12, many of whom would be bolstered by amalgamated investment. Then you look to drive up the TV and other commercial revenues from your new, high quality, genuinely intense competition. Bringing Featherstone and Leigh back into the fold is not getting this done, rather it is likely to send our sport yet further into poverty and national mindset indifference. But you will have placated some grumpy, ageing fans. Again, be careful of what you wish for.

 

My intention, anyway, would be that the sport would have more central money before expansion, at that point also you hope to woo the likes of Koukash and then you genuinely take it to soccer and rugby union in their own back yards. The league should centrally fund such sides to the hilt and make no apologies for doing so. If you fail, you fail and you had a go. 

 

You've mentioned some NRL failures that to me are nothing more than growing pains. Some sides lost out, some mooted mergers never happened, some of those sides then did OK on their own, some had already gone. Ultimately, so what? Are all of the Aussie RL heartlands served by an NRL side within spitting distance? Yes, and this really is all that matters. No-one guaranteed any Aussie or Brit RL fan more than that and Super League and the NRL owes them nothing more. The health of the sport and its elite league comes before the self-serving interests of any set of fans, myself as a Hull KR fan included.

 

You say that my proposal would ruin the sport (presumably through being too radical), I say the one we're running with will do the same through inertia. Sometimes to fail you just have to do nothing or rest on your laurels. Ultimately we'll see but it's not just traditionalists that bail on sports when the tide turns against them - often modernists will bail too and for me British rugby league will soon count the unseen cost of future generations lost to the game because they were left uncompetitive, financial basket case clubs within a lopsided structure. We will see indeed.

 

You are assuming by opposing your proposals that I must therefore support the existing restructure proposals.

 

I don't.

 

But I think yours are even worse because they take no account of financial reality and assume mergers of clubs will work, when the evidence for that is almost non-existent.

 

Gateshead & Hull FC? Huddersfield & Sheffield? It's not as if it hasn't been tried before in this country. The results were disastrous.


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#64 boxhead

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 12:56 PM

I think your proposals would destroy the game. They are simplistic, uncosted and take no account of past failures, particularly with regard to the suggestion of wholesale mergers of clubs.

 

For example, if you seriously believe merging Hull FC and Hull KR into a single Hull club would have any chance of success whatsoever, then you've clearly never been to Hull!

 

If you trample all over what a club means to the people who support it in order to shoehorn what currently exists into some 'perfect model' league structure, you do not enhance the sport, you completely undermine it at its roots.

 

Before you trot out Australia as the perfect example of such madness bearing fruit, consider the case of South Sydney Rabbitohs: initially ejected from the league because they wouldn't merge, eventually reinstated as a stand alone club after lengthy legal battles, yet currently doing very nicely thank you at the top of the NRL ladder. The merger between North Sydney Bears and Manly Sea Eagles was also a complete and utter disaster from which only Manly escaped relatively unscathed, and they've since gone on to win the Premiership again as a stand alone club. In contrast, the two remaining merged clubs, St George-Illawarra and Wests Tigers can currently be found propping up the NRL table.

 

It just isn't as easy or simple or assured of success as you want to pretend.

 

Then there's the matter of starting up clubs in new areas. How exactly do you propose to finance them? Because without finance, like any club, anywhere, they will fail. If we haven't learned that lesson yet as a sport, then we never will. I've always been a supporter of expanding the game and will remain so, but you can't just stick pins in a map and wish clubs into existence.

 

Australia has its own share of failed expansion experiments: Adelaide Rams, Perth Western Reds and South Queensland Crushers. Remember them? Auckland/New Zealand Warriors has had a traumatic and not exactly success laden history to date, and without having been bankrolled so extensively by News Ltd up until this year, how likely is it that Melbourne Storm would still be around?

 

If we are going to have a serious debate, then it has to be based in reality, not the fantasy you are currently indulging in.

 

 

Some of the things you have quoted John have more to them than what is on the surface.

 

Just as the ARL expanded and brought new Clubs into the game the Super League War broke out backed by the media moguls trying to sell pay TV.

Norths were in big financial trouble, Manly were never going to be an equal partner their Ego is too big so it was inevitable who would win out, no different than St George, Illawarra, The Dragons have the money, Illawarra has the Juniors and the nursery, its just these two partners accept their roles and get on with it.

 

Most of those teams you mentioned jumped ship to the new "Vision" (dollars) others were manufactured by either side to counter the others local based club like the Crushers and the Hunter Mariners or a Super League stuff up like the Adelaide Rams.

The fact that most of the Clubs that the ARL gave franchises to jumped ship for the money to Murdochs vision was the way it was.

When it all came to a stale mate some of the Clubs had to have their throats cut in the peace process.

Most would have withered on the Vine anyway without massive financial losses from a media backer.

 

It was not just ARL expansion, it was the hijacking of the game at that time. In some ways the game in England, has been and still is a victim of this event.


Edited by AndyCapp, 28 August 2013 - 01:01 PM.


#65 John Drake

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 01:33 PM

Some of the things you have quoted John have more to them than what is on the surface.

 

Just as the ARL expanded and brought new Clubs into the game the Super League War broke out backed by the media moguls trying to sell pay TV.

Norths were in big financial trouble, Manly were never going to be an equal partner their Ego is too big so it was inevitable who would win out, no different than St George, Illawarra, The Dragons have the money, Illawarra has the Juniors and the nursery, its just these two partners accept their roles and get on with it.

 

Most of those teams you mentioned jumped ship to the new "Vision" (dollars) others were manufactured by either side to counter the others local based club like the Crushers and the Hunter Mariners or a Super League stuff up like the Adelaide Rams.

The fact that most of the Clubs that the ARL gave franchises to jumped ship for the money to Murdochs vision was the way it was.

When it all came to a stale mate some of the Clubs had to have their throats cut in the peace process.

Most would have withered on the Vine anyway without massive financial losses from a media backer.

 

It was not just ARL expansion, it was the hijacking of the game at that time. In some ways the game in England, has been and still is a victim of this event.

 

I understand that.

 

But the examples I gave illustrated a point: club mergers are not guaranteed to succeed and expansion will struggle unless it is well planned and properly financed, even in Australia.


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#66 deluded pom?

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 03:39 PM

DSK also assumes that his new franchises will be ultra competitive fom day one and this will drive up TV revenues. Please explain how ths will happen overnight DSk?

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#67 DeadShotKeen

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 11:58 AM

You are assuming by opposing your proposals that I must therefore support the existing restructure proposals.

 

I don't.

 

But I think yours are even worse because they take no account of financial reality and assume mergers of clubs will work, when the evidence for that is almost non-existent.

 

Gateshead & Hull FC? Huddersfield & Sheffield? It's not as if it hasn't been tried before in this country. The results were disastrous.

 

But you know as well as me John that those were not mergers in any real sense but just the swallowing up of a smaller side by a bigger or more cash-rich side. In both cases the geography makes precisely no sense for them to even be called mergers.

 

I don't decree that mergers are perfect or unproblematic, however the whole "We've tried them before and proved that they don't work" argument frequently trotted out against them is flimsy at the very best.



#68 DeadShotKeen

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 12:02 PM

DSK also assumes that his new franchises will be ultra competitive fom day one and this will drive up TV revenues. Please explain how ths will happen overnight DSk?

 

Well they would be competitive in the sense that they would have the financial clout to pay full cap (unlike several current SL sides). So at the very least they would have a number of franchise players that would in theory mean they should be the match of everyone (as should everyone else).

 

Whether they garner results on the pitch is of course the 60 million dollar question and the reason we all watch pro sport. But they wouldn't sit at the bottom of a hierarchical structure (the biggest obstacle to bringing in new fans at places like London, Crusaders etc.) - this is the pertinent point.



#69 deluded pom?

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 12:39 PM

Well they would be competitive in the sense that they would have the financial clout to pay full cap (unlike several current SL sides). So at the very least they would have a number of franchise players that would in theory mean they should be the match of everyone (as should everyone else).
 
Whether they garner results on the pitch is of course the 60 million dollar question and the reason we all watch pro sport. But they wouldn't sit at the bottom of a hierarchical structure (the biggest obstacle to bringing in new fans at places like London, Crusaders etc.) - this is the pertinent point.

So you can guarantee the expansion franchises wouldn't be at the bottom of the league table!

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#70 petero

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 02:24 PM

I honestly cringe when I read your posts.

 

Your worship of the NRL is enough to make me feel sick.

 

Open both eyes.

 

They certainly are Frankly.

 

All I can deduce from that retort is that you are possibly one of those unfortunate souls that cringe easily and possess a weak stomach also. :girlwerewolf:



#71 petero

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 03:23 PM

My stomach is hardly weak, so that really shows the strength of my feelings towards your Aussie adoration.

 

The NRL is good, but nothing is as good as you would have us believe it is.

 

How about we agree to differ, peace man.



#72 deluded pom?

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 04:49 PM

Yeah, peace on you Frankie. ;)


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