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League Express


The Parksider

Member Since 06 Oct 2004
Offline Last Active Today, 12:21 PM

#2999723 Cumbria

Posted by The Parksider on Today, 07:44 AM

The only reason Leeds get decent crowds is because the football team are not doing well




Check the stats and check the stats for SL clubs when Bradford City, Wigan Athletic and Hull City were/are "doing well"


The idea support is totally interchangeable between soccer and RL isn't there, the idea that soccer success overides RL success because it's the same audience isn't there.

#2999701 Opinion: Super League attendance drop should cause concern

Posted by The Parksider on Today, 06:05 AM

No, the first year of licensing was 2009. Apparently, 2008 actually saw SL crowds of 10338 (http://en.wikipedia....per_League_XIII). That was the peak of P&R and shows what can be achieved under such a model. The first year under licensing saw an average crowd SL crowd of 8864 according to wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_League_XIV) - that is to say that the introduction of licensing brought a 14% reduction in crowds. It may take a while to recover from this, and we certainly shouldn't expect it from one or two years of P&R, but we can't expect all of the experiments of our esteemed leaders to work, can we?


"One of the biggest problems with such a debate is people deliberately or otherwise twisting the figures to suit their argument. It is wholly wrong to conclude that, "the introduction of licensing brought a 14% reduction in crowds". Average attendances in 2009 compared to 2008 dipped primarily because Crusaders and Salford were added to the existing 12 teams - and no-one realistically can argue they would expect either of those sides to equal or exceed the 2008 league-wide average. Therefore, all other things being equal, the average simply had to reduce".


This is what M j M wrote in his excellent post above. Your post was seemingly a great example of disingenuously arguing a point to achieve a personal outcome - that you favour P & R.


P & R as a motivator for the fans to turn out has been analysed extensively, especially by Padge who got a rough ride on here for introducing the facts, and isn't heard of much now. Whether the two things are related only he can say. But relegation brings terrible crowds, we saw it in the past and we saw it this season. Facts you seem blind to.


I get a rough ride for bringing in the facts, and somehow I'm labelled a Superleague junkie who equally has an axe to grind, and therefore twists things. Jeez, I'd adore P & R with clubs shooting up the league to replace other clubs who then regroup and fight their way back up and all the time all their fans stay on board win or lose. Why would I not want that??


But it's fantasy land, P & R is damaging to the game, and if I had to justify it by twisting figures to the massive extent you have done then it's simply not for me.


The 12 clubs under P & R 2008 averaged 9819, the same 12 clubs under licensing averaged 9518 in 2009. You may now crow that "Licensing saw an immediate drop of SL crowd of 300 a game". Wrong again.


The games the 12 played against the two extra clubs Crusaders and Salford were in the main attended by below average crowds. That's what pulled it down, the unattractiveness of these fixtures and the low away fan turnout. What also contributed to pulling things down further in later years was financial collapse and the lower clubs inability to compete.


When Halifax collapsed financially "under P & R" their gates that had peaked at 5,700 collapsed to 2,900, equally when Bulls were at the top on 15,500 those gates have collapsed to 6,000 "under licensing". 


I've banged on for thousands of tedious posts that deserve my removal from this board about Superleague needing to be better controlled to prevent financial collapse, and made more competitive. For the five hundredth time I've brought up "Halifax 2003", but at least I haven't turned fantasy into fact for which on a "lively debating" forum there should be no place. 

#2996405 Cumbria

Posted by The Parksider on 16 September 2014 - 06:58 AM

The amateur game has the clubs, running junior sides. This is where players are produced.


The amateur game doesn't exist in Doncaster Barnsley or Sheffeld.


It exists in Leeds because of a history of senior clubs playing the sport at top level.


The amateur game in Leeds died a death with the senior clubs late 60's and early seventies.


The resurrection of Senior and junior RL under BARLA went hand in hand.


here at Leeds the Rhinos are instrumental in inspiring and encouraging the junior amateur game. They are behind the formation of new Junior clubs whose dads and lads number many Rhinos fans.


The Rhinos go into Leeds schools and hold summer camps and kids fun days and that helps dads, mums, lads and even sister to get involved in the game.


At junior games you see kids and dads and mums wearing their Rhinos shirts. 


It is not the case that "in the begginning there was nothing" then amateur clubs grew out of nothing, flourished and THEN a professional club was born out of it.


In the 1930's the biggest junior set up was said to be in Broughton. Broughton Rangers decline saw the decline of that set up and kids don't play RL in Broughton any more. In Wigan the most kids play, this is on the back of Wigans 30 year reign at the top.


I wish I had £Millions to build Newmarket, fill it with stars, and promote the game in all the Wakey schools, and help set up new amateur clubs. You would then find out which way round this works. I'd even give you a gold season ticket and buy you a pint.

#2995805 What can we do to increase attendances?

Posted by The Parksider on 15 September 2014 - 11:25 AM

If I had you on ignore, I wouldn't have been able to pull you on calling me arrogant, for daring to like a view that differs to yours.


That hardly sounds like a great solution.


Dave - just let it drop and enjoy the debate. I didn't take kindly to you calling me a Tro........ the other month, so all this having a personal go works both ways. I personally heartily apologise to you and anyone I may have offended, let's concentrate on the debate.

#2994962 What can we do to increase attendances?

Posted by The Parksider on 14 September 2014 - 07:37 AM

This opinion typifies why RL has and will continue to ever market itself - it is like RL bingo. RL fans and many of the people who play it or administrate it have a huge blind spot when it comes to comparing RL to RU. There is an innate inability to reconcile that some people might find RL boring/dull/predictable/etc and prefer RU.


I always ask RU people about what they think of RL and have done for many years. It is evident that one of the biggest factors is when they have a strong preference for RU is that they grew up with it and played it.


I have asked non RU "northern" people who've watched both games casually and some like one some the other. What we need to do is stop believing our own hype that if only people knew about RL they'd be following it en masse.


This is our own "The greatest game" hype leading us to think there's some magic marketing trigger that somehow will have them flooding in anywhere you choose in the country. Fantasy marketing.


RL at top level is attractive. I can say that because the World cup, and top class SL games bring them in. The figures are there and good marketing works on fact and not fantasy. The latest fantasy being relegation and second tier competitions will bring them flooding in.


The fantasy of the year on here was how Doncaster were a new emerging force in the game. This was despite the town being soccer through and through, despite few people playing or watching there and despite over60 years of abject failure.

#2994481 What can we do to increase attendances?

Posted by The Parksider on 13 September 2014 - 08:19 AM

Interesting attendaces last night with the "dead rubber" Hull/Leeds game coming in at a reported 12,000 whilst the all to play for - top four finish or league leaders - match came in at 7,000.


Let's hope the new structure doesn't end up with us losing Hull as well as Bradford from the top flight. Big clubs equal big attendances far more than what is supposedly at stake/in jeopardy. If Huddersfield were playing Saints next year in a final second eight decider to see who gets back in SL I wonder what KPMG would predict for the crowd?

#2987430 Expansion

Posted by The Parksider on 03 September 2014 - 06:43 AM

what is to say that the current faces could emulate that success again? 


Mr. Green is the wealthy owner they didn't have, other clubs had one to bail them out. Hence this spawned the crass idea Bradford were badly managed yet Fartown are brilliantly managed.

#2986397 Daryl Clark to Warrington (merged threads)

Posted by The Parksider on 01 September 2014 - 07:45 AM

The problem is that they have won one major trophy in that time, been relegated twice from SL, have a dilapidated stadium, relatively low crowds and have had to sell their best players and rely on gifts to survive. 


It's true Cas have sold players for years historically.


They were shorn of top players by Hull in the early eighties and bounced back with the Beardmores, Joyner, Kevin Ward, Barry Johnson, etc. to win the RLCC in 1986. Even Fev survived Hull picking off their best to defeat Hull with an all Featherstone team in 1983. But the massive difference is those were the semi pro days when BARLA's excellent work had revived the junior game.


Today the clubs struggle to field "local" sides as professional RL is a whole new ball game, as we see costly imports have to be drafted in to most clubs. The area does produce quality still but many don't go in big transfer deals, several just never sign in the first place and go straight to Leeds and Hull.


What quality Cas can produce and retain is vital to hang onto, but they can't. What used to happen and how the way things are today are vastly different. 

#2985307 York - The Games Sleeping Giant?

Posted by The Parksider on 30 August 2014 - 06:57 AM

Well the idea nobody in York watches Leeds has been destroyed by anecdotal accounts of Yorkies following the Rhinos and I certainly have picked up on York and Tadcaster addresses and admissions of coming from there from Leeds fans.


Last nights game at Headingley featured York Acorn JARLFC as the "guard of honour" for the entry of the players to the pitch. That was a bit of an eye opener to an extent, but I never really believed the myth that fans of Rugby League somehow all sit at home not bothering with the game but waiting for their local club to one day get in Superleague.


Equally Leeds interest in the junior game beyond the Leeds City boundary was there for all to see, there was a Catterick junior team there too and of course Leeds have spread their connections to the armed forces. Not 100% sure that's the link, but all this indicates that true, effective Superleague clubs work towards being "regional" clubs, spreading their net far and wide.


So if those RL fans in York who want top class RL are travelling to Leeds, and if the kids who want to play it are being courted by Leeds then dreams of the "Minstermen" once again becoming the giant they never ever were just ain't gonna happen. That may sound sad, but not for me when you see big crowds and tremendous matches being underpinned by an interest in the pro game that crosses town boundaries. 

#2983967 Expansion

Posted by The Parksider on 28 August 2014 - 02:05 PM

That's a funny one then - so the clubs at the bottom before relegation were also guilty of not moving forward? So licensing obviously didn't allow that happen. How could we have made it happen then? For example, London were never going to be replaced under licensing because of the obvious geographical advantage. 


No, wrong again. London stayed in because they underpinned the growth of amateur RL in London and a very handy new player pool, whole articles were written on it.....

#2983180 Expansion

Posted by The Parksider on 27 August 2014 - 06:13 AM

1 - my point here is that there are more things needed than a rich backer. Moran never had any desire to build Warrington a stadium on his own, he could have done that had he wanted. What happened in Warrington's case was a combination of many things lining up nicely, ie. the supermarket investment, a supportive council prepared to put their money where their mouth is, plus a decent setup at Warrington driving through these partnerships to deliver this.


2 - I would say Celtic Crusaders were not right for Super League 100%. Ultimately what did they have apart from a rich backer? Rich backer walks away and they have nothing. It was  massive shame, and I still wouldn't give up on South Wales, although I'm not convinced Bridgend is the place to target.


3 - You seem to miss my point here, my OTT language was in reference to your claim that you cannot strengthen your club through good management. I still find that claim ludicrous, and am interested to know your rationale behind that. 


4 - Technically it doesn't have to be 'taken off' existing clubs. This is where I talk about ringfencing of funds for expansion purposes - anybody who doesn't think that is possible, look at the latest TV deal, which was structured in a way to stop SL clubs simply hoovering it all up. The financial realities may be that we need to wait until the next TV deal until we make a serious attempt at top-level expansion - if it is, then so be it, but again, TV deals can be cleverly worked so that the successful bidder need to invest in an 'expansion' pot. This ring fences that income, but it needs a clear vision and strong leadership to push this through.

Let's not forget that as part of this deal, Sky are funding coaching and player development or something similar.


1. Rich backers may or may not get additional council support, it's pot luck whether our big clubs get a rich backer. or whether their local council help them out big style. Bradford did not get a rich backer and Bradford Council reneged on developing Odsal. Wire got a rich backer and were handed a stadium on a plate. These are the fundamental reasons one is at the top of the league and the other relegated.


One is not at the top due to "good management" and the other at the bottom due to "bad management".


Their wildly differing situations are 90% down to luck. Tell me that if Bulls had landed Ken Davey and Bradford council developed Odsal they would still be going down because their management is poor?


2. That's up to you, but the game needed expansion and it needed that to be International expansion too. How you can discount the diamond studded prize of professionalising clubs in Wales and France I don't know. We have all agreed on here that our game suffers so very badly from a lack of International competition 


You ask what did they have? They created a momentum that took the club through the leagues all the way to Superleague. They were not parachuted in they built and they grew. The crowds steadily rose and they opened Superleague with 6,000, junior RL took off and that rose in numbers - didn't Wire benefit from Welsh lads?, quality Welsh lads started playing for them, aren't three of those at Wigan now? They put a Welsh international side on the pitch and that was all in the space of a few short years.


You ask "what did they have" they had everything the game wanted, but it all hinged on the investment. So what?? many northern clubs also grew due to investment and once it was pulled they collapsed. Wakefield collapsed after Richardson, what do they now have?? What do Oldham have??


To indicate you would not have accepted Celtic Crusaders then to say we should not give up on Wales is maybe as you say "Ludicrous". Celtic Crusaders brought far more to International RL and Superleague than HKR, Wakefield, Leigh, Workington, Oldham, Halifax, etc ever did. If the game received real investment from SKY to expand it nationally and internationally Wales would be first back on the agenda. You need to explain your point here, it's not a very good one.


3. You say I said "you cannot strengthen your club through good management" That is not what I said exactly and you have put it in a false context then proceeded to call the point "Ludicrous". My comment derives from the awful habit people have on here of looking at the league table and automatically assuming those at the top are "well managed", and those at the bottom are therefore "poorly managed". It's crass.


Some clubs are at the top because of the minor issue of several million pounds worth of backing on a plate from rich owners and councils, some are at the bottom due to not getting either of these two massive boosts. Hopefully you will now understand my point that these real and factual events are provable, that a club was "mismanaged" is not.


Take Wakefield. Richardson pulled out, they didn't get the ground and they collapsed. For all the lazy commentators know Wakefield may well have been superbly managed in the circumstances to hang on in SL. Take Hull, they got Adam Pearson and had a super ground and look at where they are - perhaps they are "badly mismanaged" far worse than Wakefield or Celtic Crusaders.


Whether a RL club management is good or not has to be assessed in terms of the hand they are dealt. I am saying there are circumstances where bad sports club managers can do what looks like a good job because their club has everything going for them, conversely good sports club managers may be dealt a bad hand, like London. Inadequate investment, no ground of their own, players from the main pool won't move south. That's circumstance not bad management.  


4. The SL clubs have largely hoovered it all up. Before the details of the £200M were released many on here were hoping CC or SL2 as they were calling it would all get a £Million each. When it was announced the bulk of the money was going to SL clubs and parachute payments for SL clubs, many posters posted to say how disappointed they were. There are funds to things outside the SL clubs but only a low portion and as far as I am concerned sops to those missing out. 


You state that the next deal can have money "ring fenced" by cleverly working the deal. I cannot see how any of the SL club chairmen will not see through that? Please explain what you mean??


You state to achieve this " it needs a clear vision and strong leadership to push this through. " That seems to me to be a slogan. Again you can have the best "Leadership" in the world but if those that are being led have the vote and do not want to give their money up to expansion club then that is that.


That is exactly what happened when Richard Lewis planned expansion. He rescued London and brought in Wales & France. The SL clubs wanted London out, and none of them would give way to an expansion club, or give them a penny more than they got.


He got London back despite opposition, he bought in France and ring fenced them, he set south Wales going and they grew and raced up the league to SL and he got two extra places in SL for them and set up licensing to stop them being relegated.


I call that amazingly good management, with clear vision and strong leadership don't you?? In the circumstances he was in he did brilliantly. No doubt many people on here will class Lewis as a "bad manager" because he didn't win a battle in which the odds were stacked against him.


You talk about the "next contract" as being the opportunity if we have "strong leadership". The last one was the opportunity and we had a strong leader and the clubs wrecked it. This one at £200M was the opportunity and again the clubs wrecked it. When it comes to expansion whether Hemel, Sheffield or Toulouse it's always going to be "next time" and the decades sadly roll by.......

#2983178 Expansion

Posted by The Parksider on 27 August 2014 - 05:21 AM

Kirk Dixon, Liam Finn, and Mark Sneyd are not the reason why London struggled last year.


Well I've pointed out to you the main problem London had and pointed out to you several in the know commentators on the game said this, that London had great juniors not ready for SL and could not get the established players that their lower SL rivals all had access to along the M62 to consider going down to London to play for the Broncos. 


Wakefield for instance don't produce their own players, they take them from the other SL clubs, and have far greater access to them and in turn the players are happy to sign at Wakefield as there is far less uprooting from their home, friends and family.


If you won't accept that and want to call it mis-management then we will leave it there.

#2982815 What can we do to increase attendances?

Posted by The Parksider on 26 August 2014 - 10:04 AM

Contrary to the democratic nature of a league like Super League, that entrenched caste system in soccer actually helps attendances, because it doesn't give those peasants and serfs any scope for toppling the kings and queens.  In Super League, with a salary cap (and thereby no caste system), there are only so many years where you can fool your fans before they agitate for bigger and better things, and cease attending if you don't begin to show more ambition.   


I like that post especially the ending.


We see crowds plummet and rise on ambition and the lack of it.


I don't think fans are daft, I think many fans are looking back on 18 years of super league and saying "we'll never win owt ever" and walking away. 


I certainly think in those circumstances offering the likes of wakey, London, Bradford and Leigh fans the chance to "win promotion" instead of Superleague or the Challenge cup is a silly sop they see right through.


I support the "democracy" of the salary cap designed to enable all SL clubs to compete for the prizes the fans want to see being competed for. For me the problem is the cap has not yet worked properly and after all these years there are fans who are realising this. What is the point in paying top dollar to see your local SL club make up the numbers? 

#2981241 Expansion

Posted by The Parksider on 22 August 2014 - 06:02 AM

What they rejected was the mergers, which imho were extremely badly thought out as per my previous posts.

Lindsay had plenty of good ideas and plenty that failed, I see no reason at all to suggest mergers would have succeeded.


Sticking to mergers then I do not see that not merging has been a success either.


Keeping Cas, Wakey and Fev seperate has been a massive failure as has keeping Fartown, Bulls and Halifax seperate.


Hull and HKR have become weak since the pair of them started operating seperately in SL.


These three areas should be delivering a massive competitive club each to challenge the monopoly of Leeds, Saints, Wigan and Wire.


The only actual SL merger tried was Les Catalans hailed as a massive success.


Take "Calder" we have three clubs their on loss making crowds who can't keep their best players, sure Cas are at Wembley tomorrow, but in a couple of weeks Wire will help dismantle their team.


The local council refused to help on a ground because if they did it for one they would have to do it for all three. When we need "10,000 crowds" this was a massive blow.


Tell me if Wire had swallowed Widnes you would not benefit from another couple of thousand fans and a few more professional players from the halton District?


I see every reason for four of the mergers to certainly have worked, as for the rest, as I have said Lyndsay did not IMHO envisage many of the mergers working, what he envisaged/hoped for the future was not IMHO a successful "south Yorkshire" or "Cumbria", but the eventual inclusion of a Welsh powerhouse, A Rome, A Barcelona etc. Please don't ignore this point.


As for launching Superleague calling for one big club in Manchester to fly the SL flag big time, if you can't see how that has finally worked, then think again and let me know. As I say all the merging was to try to get all the fans and as many clubs into SL - an all inclusive policy for which Lyndsay should have some credit from you - then open the league up to rich men.


Not enough rich men came forward quickly enough, that big sports investors rejected the opportunities was indeed a failure, but you may consider IMHO they didn't want to invest in a small parochial game which is what this game did it's best to stay as and has reverted to post Richard Lewis whom I would think walked away shaking his head.. 


What was "extremely badly thought out" was the plans and policies of the clubs themselves, who were collapsing this time last year. 

#2980173 Expansion

Posted by The Parksider on 19 August 2014 - 08:19 PM

I don't think it was too radical.


Every area pencilled in for version 1 has been represented (replace Toulouse with Perpignan) and many have failed. 


The original proposal was badly thought out - the secondary proposal was better - the best 10 clubs, a couple of expansion clubs - the missing piece was a strategy around how to support the expansion clubs and further grow into new areas - funnily enough a piece that is still missing 20 years on.


It was too radical, in terms of the definition of the word i.e. extreme change. The proposal to merge Cas, Wakey and Fev was certainly too radical for the fans and too radical for the club owners. The former demonstrated and wrote books against it, the latter took fright and succumbed to fan power. 


The proposals were based on the principle that the game needed to get all the resources it had - fans, players, sponsors and board level benefactors into one league of just 14 clubs that would all go on the TV and support the SKY contract.


This principle was not in any way "badly thought out" at all. It was instead badly reacted to as fans wanted the big fat SKY contract but wanted also to keep their little clubs, P & R, and not merge or get into the spirit of Superleague and support what has been the saviour of the game. You see it today on here with fans still moaning their tiny clubs must be given a chance in SL. You do not know that the "secondary proposal was better" because you do not know how the original proposal would have gone.


Despite this poor reaction from fans "many" clubs did not fail. Leeds, Wigan, Wire, Bradford, Hull, Les Catalans, and Saints have succeeded. Several more clubs remain work in progress.


As for your point that  "the missing piece was a strategy around how to support the expansion clubs and further grow into new areas" There was no intention of having a "strategy". It was simply a case of presenting the European sporting world with the opportunity to embrace Superleague and invest in it. Lyndsay set up London and Paris and it was up to sporting investors to take it on. Richard Branson took on London.


Lyndsay invited Barcelona, Newcastle, Wales and Rome to get involved in Superleague. Barcelona had a dabble and attracted 18,000 fans, Australians opened a Newcastle club but were not supported by fellow SL clubs, Leighton Samuels tried Wales and the parochial fans hated it and Samuels and Rome decided to take on Rugby Union. 


I'm afraid Maurice Lyndsay led the revolution extremely well for a modern Rugby League game, and set us up for a major step into the modern world of global televised sport. That the sport itself couldn't bring itself to modernise and that the big players generally then shied away was not his fault.