With respect, I don't really feel that - results aside, the club has progressed at all off-field since the last new stand was completed around 2003. Fair enough, we won a trophy in 2010 and reached the Grand Final in 2013. I'd argue that Karl Harrison fell into our lap due to family connections. I'd then argue that, while bringing John Kear to the club was great business which should be commended, it was his acumen and ability alone that was responsible for our great season last year.
What hasn't changed since KN took over the club is our pitiful lack of sponsorship, a complete and utter lack of promotion and communication with the fans, and our eternally decreasing crowd figures which will now plummet even further. My belief is that our success on the pitch - down to shrewd and astute coaching by quality personnel, has masked a total lack of progress off it.
I don't doubt KN's love of the club for one minute. I just feel that we've stagnated horribly behind the scenes in all aspects - which has culminated in what has been a horror season. Despite our recent successes, we're now left in a position where several clubs who have had nothing like the same on-field consistency over the last decade are now in a much better all-round position than ourselves - including Dewsbury, who will probably be in a higher division next season and have (so I believe) five directors on their board who are reportedly able to invest money whenever necessary. They have also attracted sponsorship which dwarfs our one. I have to ask why they have been able to achieve this whereas we have failed to do so. Like you, I don't personally know KN - and as I've already said I don't for one minute doubt his love for our club, but I've got to question how we have ended up in this situation despite having so many apparent advantages over some of the clubs who will be taking their place in the lucrative second tier next season?
Whilst I agree with most of the very good points you make, I think the answer to the question of how we ended up in this situation is really very simple, and I'm sure you know the answer to the rhetorical question you are posing as well as most reading these boards. We have just one person running the club, who is expected to do everything, from signing players on, negotiating contracts, to marketing the club, to keeping things running behind the scenes on a day to day basis.
We invested what money we had on the playing side of the club and have not really invested in the back room admin staff that are needed to communicate with fans, increase sponsorship etc. It has proved to be a mistake this season, but given we used the same format last season and we were runnner's up in the grand final, it could be argued, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
You mention the eternally dwindling support, but is that not the same for the whole division barring maybe Leigh this season and possibly Featherstone? Halifax's gates have dropped significantly too, I'd bet not many other clubs have seen an increase in support over the last 10 years. I feel sure part of the reason for the lack of support in the lower divisions is due to the closed shop which is SL. I for one am not convinced that despite the positive messages being transmitted from Red Hall that the situation has really changed either.
Featherstone and Leigh have a chance of gaining promotion to SL but they will have to put a squad together better than Bradford Bulls and London Broncos who will be getting double the money they get, but tougher than that, they will also have to be better than one of Hull KR, Salford, Wakefield and Hull FC in order to reach the top division, who are getting nearly 4 times the amount of money they will get.
One thing for sure is, this jeopardy situation the RFL have conjured up to increase excitement hasn't really captured the public's imagination looking at the gates around the division.
BSJ makes a very good point that we will not get anywhere near the money if we are relegated, fair point, but what is the point of getting £200k when some of the teams you are competing against are getting 4 or 5 times as much? THe RFL could give all teams £1M a season but if they are competeing against teams getting £4 or £5M, does it really make any difference? It means the same thing the big clubs will have the ability to sign who they want and the rest of the division will be fighting over the scraps.
At least the CH1 teams will be competing against teams on an equal footing, so it should make for a better and more exciting season, a bit like the CH has been in recent years with any luck and I don't think it will be easy to predict.
In the CH/SL2 next yea,r the top 6 at the end of the season will be Bradford, London, Leigh, Featherstone, Halifax, Sheffield and Doncaster, quite possibly in that order, does anyone fancy a flutter against it?
Edited by DOGFATHER, 16 August 2014 - 10:49 AM.