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Newcastle Falcons RU trying to buy Gateshead Thunder


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#61 Rascal Bongo Stork

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 12:37 PM

So the Falcons owner is an Arab (possibly a Palestinian one??) and he owns racehorses? Perhaps a certain Uncle Marwan has been bending his ear in the paddock...



#62 markismith50

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 12:53 PM

Opinion column in today's Newcastle Chronicle on the proposed move  http://bit.ly/P3Ya0aOpinion column in today's Newcastle Chronicle on the proposed move


Edited by markismith50, 06 March 2014 - 12:54 PM.


#63 markismith50

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 12:59 PM

"I can't understand why the report in The Journal by Mr Smith has not had any quotes attributed to anyone."

It is quite normal for sources to not want to go on the record. But the info is from very well-placed people, I can assure you. Multiple parties, high up on both sides of the story.

 

"Is there any suggestion that a change of personnel at The Falcons has changed the attitude towards Thunder?"

I suspect it hasn't done any harm, but you'd have to ask them that.

 

"Perhaps Mr Smith can conduct some interviews with Thunder personnel after the EGM tonight?"

I am going to the EGM and will certainly ask if they are prepared to go on the record.

 

"So the Falcons owner is an Arab (possibly a Palestinian one??) and he owns racehorses?"

He was born in Jordan but moved to Northumberland as a youngster and has lived here for most of his life. A Jordanian Geordie, who even has the local accent!



#64 Rascal Bongo Stork

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 01:10 PM

 

 

"So the Falcons owner is an Arab (possibly a Palestinian one??) and he owns racehorses?"

He was born in Jordan but moved to Northumberland as a youngster and has lived here for most of his life. A Jordanian Geordie, who even has the local accent!

 

any idea if he has any connections with Marwan Koukash? Koukash was also born in what was then Jordan (the West Bank) and owns a rugby club (Salford) and owns racehorses.



#65 markismith50

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 01:26 PM

No connection that I know of, although of course it is possible. 

 

Kurdi's horses are more point-to-point and showjumping than racing.



#66 The Parksider

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 01:28 PM

There's always one who just wants to look at the negatives. 

 

This is what was said:-

 

The Falcons are harbouring no grand ambitions of mounting an instant assault on Super League, but the resumption of promotion and relegation to the code’s top division this year was a key marker in their decision to consider a takeover.Newcastle seeing the move as a means by which to stabilise a Gateshead club which has endured significant off-field turmoil.Rugby league’s summer scheduling would ensure the venue is used for the full year, allowing the Falcons to sweat the asset on ticket sales and bar takings during the fallow months in the union calendar.The chances of  (Gateshead’s return to SL) are not uppermost in the Falcons’ thinking in terms of acquiring the rugby league outfit…

 

I do think it is negative to read far too much into such moves, as it only ends in tears. I'm happy to be positive about it but harbouring ideas of SL when the actual wording dismisses that doesn't help.

 

The positive is the stabilisation of the club, which is a survival issue not an advancement issue. I'd hope the venue would be more attractive than an athletics stadium to spectators so hopefully they would find a bigger audience. In conjunction with an RU club maybe we'll get a few more RU people trying league. And finally I'd hope the deal will reduce Gatesheads costs too. These are my positives and i think they are very real.....



#67 stewpot01

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 01:29 PM

It's not difficult - especially if they are going to get a plastic pitch. Currently in the summer, the ground is empty (iirc they have a bit of a fair for the kiddies at some point). Going forward, they will have someone paying to use it and a few extra quid at the bar. The gateshead storm used to play some games just up the road...

 

It makes no difference to me. They are'nt doing this 'out of the goodness of their heart' and anyone who thinks they are are deluding themselves. I wouldn't trust them to sit the right way round on a chair.



#68 markismith50

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 02:20 PM

Update on tonight's EGM... I won't be there because the committee don't want me to attend. They've said they will issue a statement afterwards which, of course, is entirely their prerogative, if slightly disappointing.



#69 dhw

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 02:23 PM

It makes no difference to me. They are'nt doing this 'out of the goodness of their heart' and anyone who thinks they are are deluding themselves. I wouldn't trust them to sit the right way round on a chair.

Nobody has genuinely even suggested that Newcastle are doing the to help out Gateshead. What people have done is talk about the various likely benefits to both Newcastle and Gateshead. Similar comments to yours were made when  Harlequins RU arranged their extremely generous offer to Broncos and gave Quins RL a lot of help and guidance. Given Gateshead's current situation the only obvious downside is if Newcastle go belly-up in two seasons time.



#70 Exiled Wiganer

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 02:39 PM

There's always one who just wants to look at the negatives.  Keep it on the narrow topic please.  No wandering off into the vaguest off-topic recesses on this thread.
 
This thread is a very, very rare example of a rugby league community, except for the weird people, united on the positive aspects of a club's link-up with a union club.


I think it's good. I am happy for any union people to spend money to improve rugby league. If you genuinely think it "weird" that leaguies on a leaguie forum are suspicious of union, then perhaps you should learn more about the history of our great game.
I would similarly welcome Leicester setting up a league team. Wherever they are stronger than us, let's take on the cuckoo role. After all, isn't it the case that many of the expansion amateur clubs have tie ups with union clubs? As PanfaceBurgessgate shows, we just need to be very suspicious indeed of any links higher up.
From my time in the north east, and as a Thunder Storm contributor, anything that makes sense to the heroic pioneers at the Thunder works for me.

#71 Teessidewire

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 03:40 PM

I think it's good. I am happy for any union people to spend money to improve rugby league. If you genuinely think it "weird" that leaguies on a leaguie forum are suspicious of union, then perhaps you should learn more about the history of our great game.
I would similarly welcome Leicester setting up a league team. Wherever they are stronger than us, let's take on the cuckoo role. After all, isn't it the case that many of the expansion amateur clubs have tie ups with union clubs? As PanfaceBurgessgate shows, we just need to be very suspicious indeed of any links higher up.
From my time in the north east, and as a Thunder Storm contributor, anything that makes sense to the heroic pioneers at the Thunder works for me.

I'll go with that.Thunder has been one continuous struggle after the 'First Lady of Rugby League' upped sticks and left overnight after having spent several weeks conning Thunder fans. Anything that gives the chancew of a prosperous future shpould be grabbed with both hands. Even in the SL season there were restrictions on the use of the International Stadium, with us all being bussed up to Heart of Midlothian for a 'home' game against Wigan. Last season they hardly played at home. My vote would be a move to Kingston Park, or look at the 25,000 all seater stadium now owned by Mowden Park.



#72 iffleyox

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 03:41 PM

Wigan bought Orrell, St Helens bought Liverpool-St Helens, Bradford bought Wakefield and Leeds bought Leeds at a time when RL was at a low and RU looked the way forward. Only Leeds sort of worked, Wakefield and Orrell are no more and Liverpool St Helens are something like tier 6. RL has grown a lot from its depths ten years ago but that looked the only way into RU for those clubs

True, although in the case of Wigan surely that was  more one man's fantasy of having a top flight FA, RFL, and RFU club operating out of a stadium he also owned?

 

Orrell was always a bit of an odd club though...



#73 iffleyox

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 03:47 PM

Last season they hardly played at home.

In all fairness neither did Gateshead Utd... That was a stadium fabric issue if ever there was one. I reckon Thunder could have been cruising along at the top of the SL and they still wouldn't have been allowed to play there because the pitch was shot to bits. I know you'll know that but for the education of others who might think there was a conspiracy.... United played "home" matches at about five grounds last season I think, including York, Boston, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough alongside the International...



#74 Teessidewire

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 06:14 PM

In all fairness neither did Gateshead Utd... That was a stadium fabric issue if ever there was one. I reckon Thunder could have been cruising along at the top of the SL and they still wouldn't have been allowed to play there because the pitch was shot to bits. I know you'll know that but for the education of others who might think there was a conspiracy.... United played "home" matches at about five grounds last season I think, including York, Boston, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough alongside the International...

I did know that. but I'd forgotten. The point that I was making though, was that Thunder have played on different grounds almost every season. Blaydon and Percy Park spring bto mind straightaway.



#75 Blind side johnny

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 08:25 PM

Update on tonight's EGM... I won't be there because the committee don't want me to attend. They've said they will issue a statement afterwards which, of course, is entirely their prerogative, if slightly disappointing.

 

 

More than disappointing - they clearly have something to hide, although you couldn't possibly say that from your position.


Believe what you see, don't see what you believe.


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#76 Rhinothunder13

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 08:44 PM

My understanding at present is that this would be a real takeover, not a case of the Falcons putting money in and sharing their ground. This isn't, therefore, an opportunity for Thunder to make money from bar takings, increased attendance (due to the much better venue) or anything else, it will become something it hasn't really been since 1999, a club run by people other than the fans. From the outside, this may seem like a good thing, from closer than that, I worry.

There has been a lot of groundwork locally recently with the intention of strengthening RL in schools, and getting new schools involved. I understood that the aim of this is to get more bums on seats for Gateshead Thunder. Whilst I hope that this will continue, a cynical part of me is now wondering if Falcon's presence in some NE areas where RL is currently going well in schools might suddenly become more prominent.

Having been there at the first super league Thunder game, and the last, as well as being part of the fight to keep the club going more than once I sincerely hope that this will be a reincarnation that finally rewards the long suffering fans and allows RL in the NE to thrive on the back of a successful Championship club. Only time will tell.

(Apologies for the long first post, I have been around here for years, never felt moved to sign up and post before!)

#77 Trojan horse

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 09:17 PM

Excellent first post.

 

------' a cynical part of me---'  that's not cynicism, that's intuition based on experience. 

 

Experience we are all too familiar with.



#78 Trojan horse

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 09:27 PM

Although obviously a Football area. I've always thought RL could have a significant presence there, because it's so much more affordable than Football or Union.

 

And there is a very similar culture.



#79 zorquif

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 07:59 AM

how is it more affordable that union? You can go and watch the falcons for 15 sheets. Top price 35. I think that is comparable to SL, isn't it?



#80 dhw

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 08:11 AM

My understanding at present is that this would be a real takeover, not a case of the Falcons putting money in and sharing their ground. This isn't, therefore, an opportunity for Thunder to make money from bar takings, increased attendance (due to the much better venue) or anything else, it will become something it hasn't really been since 1999, a club run by people other than the fans. From the outside, this may seem like a good thing, from closer than that, I worry.

There has been a lot of groundwork locally recently with the intention of strengthening RL in schools, and getting new schools involved. I understood that the aim of this is to get more bums on seats for Gateshead Thunder. Whilst I hope that this will continue, a cynical part of me is now wondering if Falcon's presence in some NE areas where RL is currently going well in schools might suddenly become more prominent.

Having been there at the first super league Thunder game, and the last, as well as being part of the fight to keep the club going more than once I sincerely hope that this will be a reincarnation that finally rewards the long suffering fans and allows RL in the NE to thrive on the back of a successful Championship club. Only time will tell.
(Apologies for the long first post, I have been around here for years, never felt moved to sign up and post before!)

Regarding the schools thing, it will work both ways I assume, Falcons will get access to Thunder's community links and vice versa. Given the strength of RU in the area that would be of benefit to Thunder i they want to continue and extend their community programmes






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