Whay the fascination with planning for turning a regional sport into a national sport? Its a regional sport in Australia (largely confined to two states - their equivalent of the M62 corridor), as well as New Zealand and they seem to be able to do things well. The expansion to Victoria (sorry Melbourne - try finding much serious league played other than by the Storm in Victoria) has consisted of one team - originally subsidised heavily by a media organisation and later found to be fiddling the books in order to be competitive.
Aussies talk about expanding but only on the basis of taking in more money (ie commercial greed). I suspect the reason it hasn't happened is because they realise it will weaken the competition.
If the money wasted on planning for expansion in the British game had been put to productive use we might have been able to beat the aussies and Kimis in international tournaments like we used to in the 'bad old days'. Its 1972 and counting. Other than the Branson years its been one long struggle in London and has now become an embarrasment to the game. In the meantime Cumbria remains an neglected stronghold for the game.
If expansion is the goal I suspect those folks you seem to be unappreciative of have already taken the game to Gloucester, Oxford, south London, Hemel etc - though based on attendences this expansion was clearly not 'demand-led'.
Some really interesting points there Anita. I mostly agree.....but then, there is the example over here of the AFL (for most of Australian eternity an exclusively Victorian pastime) becoming more national with every passing year......and successfully too! People said it would NEVER catch on in Sydney......but it did and Sydney is one of the most successful clubs of the past ten years. Perth is a sell out for both teams over there most games. Brisbane has been hugely successful and the Gold Coast now attracts 14,000 per game. Adelaide supports two teams and they take the game to full houses in Tasmania and Darwin every year. The point is.....it CAN be done but it needs firstly a product (we've got a good one).....then a relentless and well funded marketing plan by the league. Below is the average home attendances for AFL teams this past season. Even Sydney's second expansion team are attracting close to 10,000 in a year when another soccer team was also introduced in the same part of the City. I hate to suggest it.......but until the league is franchised, there will be too many individual agenda's and ego's at play to make the sport anything other than regional (and some may prefer that.....i don't offer a personal preference).....but if it is ever to be successful nationally it has to be franchised and run by a business management board with no allegiance to any club.
Hawthorn Hawks 47,700 Collingwood Magpies 55,173 Richmond Tigers 54,800 Essendon Bombers 49,152 Geelong Cats 37,621 Carlton Blues 44,179 Fremantle Dockers 35,015 West Coast Eagles 36,051 Adelaide Crows 33,703 Sydney Swans 29,104 St Kilda Saints 28,965 North Melbourne Kangaroos 27,406 Port Adelaide Power 26,915 Western Bulldogs 22,132 Melbourne Demons 21,816 Brisbane Lions 21,083 Gold Coast Suns 13,907 GWS Giants 9,701
Edited by Rochdale Roughyed, 09 October 2013 - 06:03 AM.