There is a serious soccer presence - a major constituency of leeds United support
Not sure about the 20,000 figure in fact I gave grave doubts.
This is because I don't think soccer and rugby are really in competition and the potential for a new audience is great
The potential for a major club in the area to compete for honours on a consistent basis is enormous and could be one if the most exciting stories in the history of the game. But as you say 'the fans' won't have it due to resistance to change, narrow self interest, living in the past, and reactionary attitudes. What a shame
Anecdotally Ange lots of people watch both soccer and RL so there's a big crossover. Hetherington says RL competes with soccer but hey ho. The 20,000 quote is the 8K Wakefield got 2012, Cas's 7K in 2009 and the 5K estimate we tended to agree on on here Rovers could get in SL.
I think the argument "well many of those won't watch a merged club" is a disingenuous knee jerk reaction to the horror of losing "the dream" that just won't happen. Leeds, Wigan, Saints etc have it all stitched up.
Each club realistically needs over 10,000 fans to survive without a rich man. Even if half the fans that I quote did not go to a merged club, you still have to take into account how many new fans would respond.
If half the 20K RL fans in the area stay at home and a couple of thousand new ones come on board you have one club, one clubs expenses, and 12,000 fans to pay the way.
But I think the "fans" think they have the power to dictate when in reality it's rich men who dictate what goes. The likes of Davey and Koukash don't need fans to compete in SL. The "fans" also don't get that corporate money - sponsors, advertisors, rich patrons etc are worth far more per head than them and a successful go ahead modern club can attract them. Finally there's the ground. Because the three clubs were all knocking on the council's door WMDC said no to all three. A merger may also get the council on board.
The old excuse that "The fans" won't wear it is very lame, and if the fans have their way which they seem to have had for years then the fans are the ones dragging the game down. I suspect however these are the "noisy minority" who may well drive away any rich investors who fancies bringing RL into the modern world.
Edited by The Parksider, 04 December 2013 - 06:47 PM.