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League Express


Martyn Sadler

Member Since 23 Aug 2004
Offline Last Active Today, 05:39 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: The all-new never-ending League Restructure debate thread

25 July 2014 - 04:42 PM

This whole thing reminds me of the ill-fated World Club Championship in 1997. People got excited when the concept came out because Oldham would be playing North Queensland Cowboys and Warrington would be playing Auckland Warriors. Fans would come flocking because of the exciting 'wow factor' and the rigged group set up meant it was guaranteed to keep SL interest and excitement going right up until the final.


Deep in our hearts we knew it was a mistake, we knew there were going to be big mismatches but we closed our eyes to it. When the floggings came, the cynics and the axe grinders were onto it in a flash and the crowds dwindled to the diehards. When the knock out rounds came, no-one was interested at all and St Helens and Bradford went 12,000 miles to get whooped by 50+ in front of small crowds. Neither Bradford or St Helens actually won a game in the competition (they were 0-6 yet qualified for the QF).


The fall out was millions wasted, no games against Aussie clubs for 3 years and GB ridiculed after being thrashed 48-6 by Australia in front of just 12,000 fans in Brisbane (1999). The World Cup in 2000 was just the icing on the cake. Steady growth and evolution works - blind innovation and contrived 'excitement' is very much hit and miss.

That's a rather powerful post.


I'm in the process of analysing the whole re-structuring process for my column in League Express on Monday and it's been interesting to read on here all the positive and negative views about the new structure.


You have shown that, putting everything else aside, our sport seems to be addicted to making structural changes.


In most other businesses, when change is made, an organisation spends a fortune on marketing the new product.


It will be interesting to see whether the RFL is able to do that.

In Topic: Malaysian airliner crashes in Ukraine

17 July 2014 - 03:56 PM

Is this what happens when you give separatist groups ground to air missiles? Nearly 300 people on board.


(Complete speculation of course!)

Although the full details haven't yet emerged this is tragic news.


It probably isn't wise to speculate too widely on the cause of the crash at this stage.

In Topic: Cabinet Reshuffle (renamed thread)

17 July 2014 - 08:36 AM

As much as I agree with you Martyn, as a teacher in a secondary school I had noticed a catastrophic decline in morale, deep difficulties in recruitment and increased early retirement. This is in schools that has jumped through every Gove hoop. Without the talented people to make the changes, the situation worsens. Picking a fight on every issue, attacking working conditions that attracted many away from other careers and hugely increasing workload causes people to leave the profession. Me included I'm afraid! :(

But change is characteristic of any industry, including teaching, especially when we aren't achieving what we'd like to achieve.


Nothing ever stays the same.


Just try being in the publishing industry.  ;)




In Topic: Cabinet Reshuffle (renamed thread)

16 July 2014 - 05:51 PM

I applied for work experience with your organisation after I had finished university and spent a couple of years writing about RL for the university paper; it was heartbreaking for me that you never even responded, never mind turn me down! ;)

On a serious note, I don't tend to like getting involved in UK politics topics on this forum as most people are very set in their ways and beliefs. However, I believe you are absolutely spot on with that post.

Can you PM me with the details of when and how you contacted us?

In Topic: Cabinet Reshuffle (renamed thread)

16 July 2014 - 04:27 PM

Another Telegraph article suggesting they've lost the plot.


Mr Gove has been a great Education Secretary


If someone had posted that on this forum then I'd be accusing them of trolling.  And I doubt I'd be convinced by any excuses of "honest opinion".

The trouble with being the Education Secretary is that you can only really be judged some years after you have left office.


And very often the role of Education Secretary seems to be held by a politician hoping for bigger things who wants to cause as few ripples as possible with the teaching unions.


The only two Education Secretaries in the last 17 years who don't conform to that stereotype are David Blunkett (1997 to 2001) and Gove.


Both of them identified the fact that the education system is letting down working class kids, and both were vilified for their troubles by the National Union of Teachers.


Both of them thoroughly prepared their brief while they were in opposition. Blunkett once famously had to hide in a broom cupboard, even before he took office, to escape enraged NUT members.


The truth is that the Education Secretary is dealing with vested interests that see any changes as a threat to their members' terms and conditions, which is where their priorities lie. The only change they will accept is more money being thrown at them, which is what happened when Gordon Brown came to power. And Brown threw money at everything, creating a financial black hole.


But as long as most middle class parents can afford to buy houses in areas that give them access to schools with a decent intake, they will go along with this, without caring too much about schools in poor neighbourhoods.


That sense of smug satisfaction and a desire not to rock the boat seems apparent on this thread, but in my opinion it just isn't good enough.


Because of my role in our company I receive hundreds of emails from young kids at school in some of the less affluent Rugby League towns telling me they want to write about the game for a living, and asking for work experience. And it's heartbreaking to have to turn them down because they have never been taught even the basics of good English.


I don't know why this is, and why teachers can't instil some decent writing skills into these kids.


I feel strongly about this because I came from a school myself that had kids from a very poor background. I was the only boy in my school year who passed the old eleven-plus, so I can see what low expectations lead to.


Blunkett and Gove, in their own ways, both wanted to do something about this problem, and both tried.


In the meantime we are falling farther and farther behind our rivals when the educational attainments of our kids are measured against them.


And I can't see any other politician on the horizon who is prepared to do anything about it.


Anything for an easy life.