What holds RL back is its outdated view of itself and its backwards view of the sort of person that would enjoy it
The RLWC showed there is an appetite for it outside the flat cap northern enclaves of working classishness!
But as ever no one wants to support a losing team, or one that struggles, or one that comes in for so much stick from others within it
Geographically we have a large spread across the UK at semi pro level. That needs feeding
Its no accident that there are Romanian/polish/Nigerian etc kids killing it in the London academy - absolutely no baggage, don't care about where they play, nothing to do with the good ol british preoccupation with the class system, they just want to play a fast exciting sport
So please stop eulogising/patronising etc the London area like it is even remotely the same as anywhere in the north, it isn't.
We want success in London? Let London drive it. The problem with that of course is a Londoners priorities making a successful team in a London environment will be a lot different to that in the hinterlands of the Midlands and the North and sadly requires a lot of money and media presence, which don't actually go hand in hand but to a Northern audience seem to
The Money because its twice as expensive, the media because large sports concerns across London (soccer etc) blanket the media every single hour of every single day.
In my experience Londoners LIKE RUGBY LEAGUE
They respond to it, they appreciate it, they even admire it but it has no social or environmental context in their day to day lives
Media and Money all else follows
Grass roots development? Community ownership?
Outdated and outmoded in a city like London where the big sports clubs have overdrafts that dwarf the whole income of RL in one team alone. There is no such thing as 'local' development there.Name one London team of any sport in the spotlight that has 90% London born players?
RL should play to its strengths, it is egalitarian in nature, always has been, a mongrel with a rebel spirit. On the frontline of expansion even more so than PNG or Samoa or the USA or Canada, London should be a flagship outpost and should always have had dispensation to sign above the salary cap with extra income from the RFL
Same as half the teams in the USA football leagues when the franchises move geographical locations and the top Aussie RL side in the NRL outside of the East coast or the Super 14 RU teams etc etc
A level playing field is level only if the context is the same for each club, it isn't ever that simple, never was, and you reap what you sew.
London was not allowed to invest properly when it could, now it cant it never will unless the cap can be altered to assist and hopefully another money bags hits the scene to allow this to happen. Otherwise we are lucky to have a London team with no ground of its own, no money and no way to access a level playing field in the first place.