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.