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The Parksider

Member Since 06 Oct 2004
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 02:51 PM

#3168298 Toulouse: SuperLeague in 3 years

Posted by The Parksider on 31 July 2015 - 09:31 AM

I assume you mean me when you refer to AT.

My point is quite simple.. We have failed to grow the game nationwide at a professional level and the game cannot wait 20/30 years for clubs in CL1 to be knocking on the door of SL and have multi million turnovers.

Therefore CL1 plays a crucial role for the long term growth of the game.

CL1 should be a league that says to any new club 'Come on in. It doesn't matter if you are a club that has been built by hard working volunteers over many years i.e. Gloucester, Oxford or Hemel and have a small operating budget or if you are a club that is to be bankrolled by local businessmen. This league is for you all to test the water and develop at a pace that suits your club'.

IMHO The league should not have a SC. 

If not all we have is a league whereby the SC is set at such a low level it may actually stop local businessmen investing.


If I disagreed over-strongly with you last week can I agree very strongly with the above to make it up?


A game lacking money should not restrict it or turn it down except for the top echelons where a well balanced competitive game is necessary to facilitate the biggest private investor of all SKY.

#3167192 Wakefield to share with Dewsbury?

Posted by The Parksider on 29 July 2015 - 07:28 AM

I think this is all a negotiating tactic from Wakefield to get better terms from the owners of Belle Vue. It would seem crazy for them to leave the town when there is still a stadium there but if the owners are being nobs, they may have no choice. Surely the stadium owners would rather have Wakefield there paying a lower rent than no income at all?


We shall see, the game may be brinkmanship........But.......


Think you're absolutely right. Danger is that the BoI simply sell up to a property developer. Getting a lot easier to get permission to slap a load of houses on a brownfield site whatever covenants are in place and in spite of what the local council thinks.


The BOI may win the gamesmanship race.


On the subject of covenants when Bramley moved next door from behind the Barley Mow to the adjoining McLaren Fields they had a big big covenant on that open space that it could not be used for development.


In the end Bramley moved to Headingley RUFC and they built houses on it. Councils are currently giving planning permission to developers to build homes where years ago they made refusals, I've got that near me and i went to the hearing and they broke their necks to approve the housing.


I've been to Belle Vue many times and it is in amongst housing. The BOI would probably love to get rid of this "guarantee" they inherited for hard cash.


Even if not would someone who wants to develop a big soccer club there want to buy it? Less of a risk but Emley FC had ambitions and since the demise of Wakefield RUFC Wakefield FC have I think filled the void.


(Corrections welcome)


I remember Hunslet shifting to Batley, and that is NOT a long way and we had big crowd falls despite not being a bad side. It isn't that far from Saints to Widnes but the move there when Saints were building their new stadium still lost fans by the thousands.


In an atmoshpere of demise Wakefield have seen 7,000 crowds halve, a move to Dewsbury with NO future on the horizon could send that figure down further what price 2,500 crowds in Dewsbury??


Then what would the position be? The evil Wakey council would not have killed the club, and they feel no shame anyway, so they won't have any pressure to do anything. Carter won't/can't put anything in.


lower gates would mean a scratch SL side....


......and if at any time in this stand off or no way back if Belle vue becomes houses the club drop to the Championship then half that "crowd" again.


1996 Wakefield.v.Whitehaven at Belle Vue attendance 1,300


Switch now over to Glasshoughton and the 10,000 capacity Castleford stadium. If Wakefield RL fans of the future have to pick a club to take interest in will they go to Dewsbury or Castleford?


This is all very fascinating and interesting but of course not very pleasant indeed.

#3167170 Have we just made it simple for the top 4/5 clubs to dominate?

Posted by The Parksider on 29 July 2015 - 06:51 AM

So you don't think the lack of competition in the English league is the reason for English teams falling off in the champions league?


I don't think this has anything to do with Superleague.

#3166593 Overseas signings

Posted by The Parksider on 28 July 2015 - 10:51 AM

Is it me or does there seem to be a lot of NRL players being signed for next season. Are these signings at the expense of local products and should the money be spent on development instead or do the fans of the clubs who are making these signings think these are good for their club?


If you had read the contrast between (as an example) the Penrith JARL in Australia against the Huddersfield JARL in England you would see that the Australian player production set up is massive and they also swallow up pacific and NZ players.


What this means is they have an excess of quality local players whilst we have a dearth.


An example is such as Mantellato who cannot get a game in the NRL but is a superstar points scoring machine in Superleague.


Without doubt every overseas players takes the space of a home grown player, it is just that clubs have to recruit the BEST players they can and those often are very good players who can't get an RL gig being chosen over local products who are not up to Superleague anyway.


Spending money on development is a very low return long term investment, the SL clubs need players of quality now and they are available from Australia.


It therefore puts into doubt the overseas quota that could go.

#3163729 Have we just made it simple for the top 4/5 clubs to dominate?

Posted by The Parksider on 24 July 2015 - 02:40 PM

those top clubs are there because they work for it not just on the field but off it . 


They were priviliged to be top clubs when professional status backed by SKY money was handed out.


They have merely had to maintain that position that gave them great advantages over such as Hull and Widnes who maybe "worked for it. 


Oh but hang on Leeds got caddick, Wigan got Whelan and saints got McManus. SL isn't about "work" it's about money.

#3163356 Rumourville: London Broncos to move again

Posted by The Parksider on 24 July 2015 - 06:20 AM

I got to the home game against Leigh about 90 minutes before the start and while waiting at Wembley Park Station I recognised David Hughes sitting in a Jubilee line carriage all on his own on the surburban line to nowhere. A journey confirmed when he got off at Canons Park in Harrow.


One thing I do not think anybody should claim about David is that heart is not in the right place. He has spent enough of his personal fortune on his hobby and its has caused him both to postpone his retirement and rumoured family problems.


That said for a Trader in Oli Futures he sure has bought from quite a few snake oil salemen, the results of which have been done to death on his forum. However we cannot change the past and the future is not at The Hive.


Simply put the club has to begin to have a revenue stream from commercial activities. This has never been the deal at The Hive and sooner or later commercial reality whould have intruded on the club's unhappy stay in Harrow. The club would always have needed to make this move and the current arrangement made in the scramble to re-establish A Super League Club in name only for the 2014 season and was never going to be a permanent arrangement.


As I posted earlier the club's real death sentence was served in September 2013



As things stand you are probably right. No London team has been met with incredulity down under but although Steve Mascord has claimed that the RFL offered the London Broncos to the NRL. I would surmise this was, in reality, more along the lines of "if you support it so much why do you not pick up the tab". A communally owned club is no more on the NRL agenda than it is on the RFL one.


As for the Wigan game, I am indeed a sceptic but I refer you to Brian Noble's article in this month's Fourty-Twenty (my Italics)



Now I interpret Nobby's comments as referring to the fact that neither Wigan nor the RFL have discussed this with the Capital Club. I could be wrong but that how I read it.



London Broncos Average 2013 (Stoop) - 2,200

London Broncos Average 2014 (Hive)   - 1,294

Only two London Broncos crowds have barely got into four figures in 2015 with the average around 700


Never let facts intrude into your posting..



 A thoughful post and you would have to query if London have any idea what the market is or should be.


Certainly when the thread went up for Southern Rugby League fans to explain why they follow Rugby League there were far too many posts along the lines of:


"Me mam served Pimblett Pies at the Eddington end at Saints when I were our kid and since moving down here I see myself as a missionary in a sea of heathens"


It probably explains the number of pristine Non-Bronco shirts on display at almost Every Broncos forum - that';s when we had them of course.....


You see if wigan draw a crowd of 7,000 comporised of 6,500 Northerns or Northern exiles to a game in London. How does that advance the game in the south?


It does not - you need to tap into a southern based non-traditional audience including BME families (an untapped market). Other sports are beginning to crack this market. Rugby League has not scratched the surface.nor seems to want to.


The period 1991-2003 is beginning to be regarded by Sports Historians as the periodr in which the major sports in the UK finally professionalised themselves, Soccers - Premiership fuelled by SKY, Cricket - two division P&R, Central Contracts and T20, Rugby Union professionalism and the development of credible European and International Competitions.. All these sports evolved and are still evolving.


Rugby League accepted professionalism but then de-evolved and retreated back into the safe world of the 1980's where miiddle aged administrators and fans feel at home. A shrinking sport tugging the forelock to a vanishing Industrial past.,


True in all sports there is this constant battle between aged administrators and fans who want to hark back to a sepia tinted past and those who boldly face the future but League is the sport in which the backwoodsmen so spectatularily triumphed


The 90's and early 2000's were an opportunity to stake a claim for new markets before other sports occupied this territory. Those conditions no longer exist now - as pointed out a couple of years ago in a RLE article by the Skolars chairman Hector McNeil. Sorry but for most people down here is now a case of  "Rugby League had it's chance - Time to move on"


And unless there is some sizemic sporting catastrophy along the line of the Super League war in Australia befalling one of the major sports I'm afraid that's the way it will be..


More like an article than a post RR take care of those who want "long posts" banning on here!!


I enjoyed it though as I always do your stuff.


But I'm hard pressed to join the camp of opinion that somehow but for some smart business thinking Rugby League would now be a growing sport in the capitol.


Respect to all but well staged sideshows to a major event may make the best of a London Broncos RL match attendance, but can a Super league business be grown on the back of good food and good music?


It's the product that needs to sell, and it has had it's moments but it's just "had it" now.


If any analysis of the situation stacks up for me firstly it's investment. As Branson said the investment levels necessary for London Broncos to succeed were humongous. We all agree London Broncos need a permanent home of their own so how many £10's of £Millions would you pitch that at??


London Broncos also needed a professional set up - how often has the backroom staff and chairman been villified on this? how many £Millions a year would we pitch that at??


I really do not know the sum but if £25M for a home and £3M a year for backroom support costs to run and develop the business since 1996 is plucked from the air then I make that a cool £85,000,000.


The other day an estimate of what Hughes had put in was £18,000,000.


So without the villification of Hughes sporting business nouse I'd firstly suggest that gross underinvestment is ONE problem. It would appear Melbourne Storm were provided with the investment to succeed and IIRC it was way above £85M however.......


......1996 onward was indeed an opportunity to grow Rugby in the London Marketplace, but it's a tough ask when your a fledgling up against a seriously big competitor. Big established Rugby clubs with strong infrastructures and a ready supply of old boys investors from a higher league than Hughes was the opposition. That London is a Rugby City for me helped Broncos to some semblance of credibility at times.


Had London had no established Rugby Union to easily mop up the professional rugby opportunity the city offered the sport of Rugby per se in 1996, it would have been a soccer city, like Sheffield who have also failed to grow.


I think it fair to say that growing a professional London Broncos from nowhere against a Wasps, Sarries or Quins was an impossible task, but what growth Broncos had, like the junior game and academy was to a certain extent on the back of Union.


Had there been no union to talk of in London in 1996 it would have been the souths equivalent of Sheffield where the population have no interest in Rugby League. Oddly London are lauded as useless, whilst Sheffield are hailed as pioneers. 


The fine detail of the London Broncos saga is one thing, but the devil was never in the detail.


"In short" ;) London Broncos tried to open a professional Rugby business £10's of Millions short of the required investment sum in a saturated market already cornered by the rival business.


Hughes was never the problem, but we all love a villain. If you want someone to blame try SKY, they created the Super league business and they didn't in the end back the London project.

#3161489 Rumourville: London Broncos to move again

Posted by The Parksider on 20 July 2015 - 04:55 PM

If it is all David Hughes fault why is it that Paris, Gateshead, Bridgend and Wrexham are all also no longer in the Super League with very little prospect of ever coming back?


Because in every case the costs of running an SL club outside the M62 in terms of day to day running and investing in adequate infrastructure to produce a viable competitive club were absolutely massive when said clubs were not along the M62 in their own grounds.  


Nobody who had a go had the level of money required.


The one man who did have the money,  Branson, commented on the massive investment needed and chose not to go that route.


But the RFL let them have a go on a wing and a prayer.


But hey Mr. Hughes is an easy target, he apparently failed to make the magical decisions that would have replaced the need to spend tens of £Millions









#3161068 Rumourville: London Broncos to move again

Posted by The Parksider on 20 July 2015 - 06:57 AM

 With all the money pee'd up against the wall they could of built wembley


London cost Hughes £18Million it is reported.


Wembley cost best part of £1Billion it is reported

#3158195 Hull FC and Hull KR to merge...

Posted by The Parksider on 14 July 2015 - 03:44 PM

The success or failure of any hull merger would depend entirely on how such a thing were implemented and run. The deciding factor of it's success or failure would not be some inalienable fact that mergers are failures, buy the specifics of it's implementation.

There is no default position on it. There is no valid argument that a merger is good for hull nor one that it is bad for them. The only sensible prediction is that a well implemented merger would likely be very good for them. 



Fair point but that is essentially the same generation of fans. 


The point is that if we wind forward another 20 years without any genuine success at either Hull side (save for yet more 8th vs 9th derbies sold to us on here as epic encounters that the whole world is watching) how do you think that will impact on crowds as we most definitely move into the next generation of fans? Can we still expect 10K and 6K respectively do you think?


As Scotchy says many factors will click in.


They used to have three decent clubs in Manchester that was a hotbed of RL. Look at it recently when Salford nearly folded.


Hull could under certain circumstances be a soccer city in 20 years time with both RL clubs OR a merged club struggling annually.


Under other circumstances you may have a merged club winning the league ad nauseum before 20,000 crowds.


Then again both Hull clubs may still be what they are today and be top eight.


The decision to merge the senior sides would be a risk and the outcome uncertain.


Also when's best to do it is another question, for me both have to want it, so if one is doing well at the top and the other collapses as has happened, the successful club would be fools to merge.


If HKR had never got Hudgell then there'd be no merger talks at all now.


Events will shape things not theories....

#3152708 Hull FC and Hull KR to merge...

Posted by The Parksider on 05 July 2015 - 07:12 AM

No-one ever has any evidence when venturing into the unknown so that's not any kind of rebuttal of the idea.


What we all have, however, is intuition and basic common sense, which tells me that all 3 of those are easily achievable.


A merged Hull side in the not-too-distant future is inevitable and deep down we all know this.


You really mustn't tell everyone what they "all know" unless your evidence, logic and reasoning is sound.


What we know is Hull FC are capable of 13,000 crowds whether 1981 or 2007, Rovers are good for 8,500 whether 1981 or 2008.


But they are also capable of crowds of 3,000 and 2,000 respectively and those fans were die hards of their traditional sides.


In Hull success can bring 21,000 through the gates for their beloved FC and Rovers, but combined that will not happen, and we have the evidence of that in the Australian mergers, Merger turns thousands off. The sum of the whole is far lesser that the sum of the two parts.


This is the evidence. It won't matter if 6,000 stay at home as 15,000 will sustain a top side, but top sides only get 15,000 if they win trophies regularly.


Hull have stopped doing that after winning just one and HKR have won nowt for years. Combining two failing SL clubs doesn't give you a winning side and that is logical reasoning. Put Cas and Wakey together and does that guarantee trophies??


It doesn't does it. Nor does putting Hull & HKR together.


If success doesn't come what is the magnet to keep the fans? Is it loyalty?? Well 3,000 and 2,000 clung onto that loyalty in 1996 when the clubs were outside Superleague but they had an affinity and a history with their clubs. If a merged side continues to struggle the "fans" have an excuse not to stick about.


Even on here some of the long time die hard Hull fans threatened to walk due to Hull not winning and same for you - you walked. That's not having a go at you fine chaps. It's just how it is and you can all do as you wish and not be admonished for it.


You underestimate as most do, "the importance of being in the eight" as HKRBob observed yesterday. Merging the sides would be OK if you could merge the Salary caps to £3.8M but you can't and reforming and starting again would take some doing and won't be enthusing many if the club is merged outside the eight? It even begs the question does this new club have to start in CC1?


If you want one big trophy winning club try the successful Leeds/Hunslet model. One grows steadily at the expense of the other before finally they get all the best players and most of the fans. Before you jump at this, think hard.


It was only in 1999 when Hunslet won promotion to SL and attracted investment. It was not long after when during HKR's demise they got just over 1,000 playing Chorley in CC1.


Hull took advantage to grow crowds to 13,000 (taking out the KR match attendances) and they won the cup and got to Old Tradfford without merger.


The reality is if anyone has spoiled the advancement of a "one club in Hull" winning trophies it is Neil Hudgell's "rescue" of Rovers, Hudgell and Crossland's resignations would be a far far better and proven plan than any "merger".


And that argument is based on fact, logic reality and reasoning. 


You have posted only a slogan and if you want to win this debate set out your plan for a merged successful Hull side and the mechanisms by which this can logically happen??


Some details for once my fine friend... 

#3151869 Hull FC and Hull KR to merge...

Posted by The Parksider on 03 July 2015 - 02:07 PM

You've really no right to take any moral high ground here Parky. Your advocated path is for clubs like FC and KR to fight to the death on a "last man standing" basis wasting years and £many thousands, whilst this topic patently proves that this is not happening any time soon. Let it go


You let it go. The bosses now confirm they don't want it, and the fan base of 18,000 regulars seem to be 17,999 - 1 against "merger". You have no evidence a merged side could get a decent crowd, retain the best players in Hull, or get in the top eight. Hudge didn't build his improved ground just to merge.


So in other words all of the areas that need merged academies are those where the fanbases are also low because they're spread across too many teams. Funny that, eh?


Open your eyes and ears man. In a few weeks Superleague will be cut to eight clubs, and this week you've seen the start of a cut to around eight SL academies.


The two Hull clubs are great at failing to get into the top eight. Being in the top eight is now more important than ever.


They have all on as it stands to try to get one of them in let alone two in the new elite to ensure top class RL in Hull continues.


Merge them and you create a much much bigger risk neither getting in and Hull going back to 1996 and literally never seeing SL again.............

#3151663 Hull FC and Hull KR to merge...

Posted by The Parksider on 03 July 2015 - 08:24 AM

OK this has had time to sink in now. 


1. What it means is that in order to pump money into the panting, wheezing pro sides at senior level Pearson and Hudgell have effectively decided to mortgage the future of RL in the area by cutting costs at junior level.


2. So what should have happened? Well, the clubs should have merged. 20 years ago really but today would have done. The whole thing is an unmitigated, half-baked disaster. It probably does mark the first step towards a merger..............


Not sure it has sunk in with you?


Read Hudgell's lips "It is in no way, shape or form a pre-cursor to a full merger between the clubs. The the pride, passion, history and rivalry that exists between the two sides  will never change. I'm a fifth-generation Rovers fan and I cannot ever see the day when there is only one Rugby League club in Hull. I'm sure everybody else feels the same way and it's certainly not going to happen on my watch"


The massive danger is if they DO merge and the two mediocre sides become one mediocre side and actually go nowhere other than maintaining the struggle to get into the top eight, then where do you think crowds would be??


The two chairmen won't take the massive gamble Hull could end up with nobody in Superleague and that has happened. In 1996 Superleague started without either of the Hull clubs at a time when Division One was more attractive than today's Championship. In that second tier....


Hull averaged 3,000 crowds and in the third tier Rovers averaged 1,700.


Hull Rugby League fans clearly are interested in Success not merger. 


This agreement should be taken for what it is, two pragmatic chairmen who realise their clubs are not particularly any good for each other (the "Derby" couldn't sell out NCP last year could it?, and now we find that two Hull SL clubs are not stimulating any growth in junior RL talent in the city - I doubt a poor merged Hull could do that either) agreeing to a deal to help give one or the other what they now crave which will be regular Elite top eight Rugby for one, whilst the other one goes back whence they came.


It's Padges fight to the death.  

#3150933 Number of Academy Players

Posted by The Parksider on 02 July 2015 - 09:02 AM

Not sure how useful the salary cap is in terms of giving youngsters their opportunity. There are professional teams with a poor record in producing talent but they seem to be able to get journey men without much difficulty. That being said where are the RFL incentives for professional clubs to produce home grown players? The Leeds, St Helens and Wigan academies have proved what it is possible in terms of standards to achieve with academy players but outside of that does the standard get diluted? If there is a reason that standards in SL are not as high it will be the demand for talent from professional Rugby Union. Without the risk of bankruptcy a solution could be to tie the salary cap to youth development targets in order to incentivise clubs to go out and bring in talent.


Sorry I failed to reply to your earlier post.


I just don't know about RU "Talent" It's only a gut feeling the English RU game has the same shortages as us and uses the same "solutions".


I think geography is a problem. There may be kids from Kent to Cornwall and Nottingham to Southampton but how much does it cost to find them, to accommodate them in the north and it's a gross assumption that in failing locally at RU professionalism they are in any way a great bet for the RL academies or will want to uproot to take such a massive risk.


The incentive to produce your own players is in the success of Leeds, Wigan and St.Helens.


The disincentive is when your best academy players are picked off by the rich clubs often before you can even get them in the academy. 


Leeds, Wigan and St.Helens prove that success and money talks. They are no geniuses in young player development.


Tying the salary cap to "youth development" will merely reward the Leeds, Wigans and St. Helens even further and kids all across the M62 will all want to go there.


I'm also not sure in the idea clubs can "go out and bring in talent??


You seem, with respect to believe loads of talented young RL players are out there when they are not. The amateur game struggles for numbers. If You get a quality lad playing at Eastmoor U14's then he will be on the Radar of wakefield.


But also Cas, Bradford, and Huddersfield.


He will be however be looking at a no brainer of joining Leeds who will have done nak all to deserve getting him, and  he can join Wigan and car share with the other Wakey lads there.


I'd like a system where SL clubs have an area and can get involved in supporting the junior clubs there (this is not allowed) I'd like a system that compensates both amateur club and local professional club if the kid walks away to be a star at the big clubs (this is not done)


The big clubs can send scouts out to strip the M62 of the low number of really top young talent and they can also sign marquee players.


In the end the smaller clubs just have to live with this rubbish, that is no good for the game. Nor is chasing failed RU youngsters from around the country IMHO.

#3150921 Crowdwatch and Eightwatch - the run in commences

Posted by The Parksider on 02 July 2015 - 08:37 AM

Widnes, Salford, HKR and Wakey are my pick 


Your backing a club on a winning run to be losers, but those fixtures may agree with you.


HKR.v.Hull will hopefully be a monster fixture and a sell out


However HKR.v. Hull april 2014 had well over 1,000 tickets unsold for a "top eight" match.


So It will be fascinating to see if a "bottom four" game does any better or worse??

#3146886 Crowdwatch round 19

Posted by The Parksider on 25 June 2015 - 07:48 AM

Where are you getting that from? Toulouses attendances would make them the 3rd best supported club in the Championship. Comparisons with London are ridiculous.


Oh I'm not sure about that. Celtic Crusaders, Toulouse, London Broncos Les Catalans and Newcastle are all very comparable and all fall into the bracket of expansion clubs who had/have the potential to make Super league and Rugby league this side of the world more of a national and international game.


The rants against them are also highly comparable. They seem to emanate from places like Featherstone, Halifax and Leigh the first three clubs in the Championship (or is it the queue to join Superleague) last year and all clubs who have made applications to join Superleague but have either had them chucked out as inadequate, or ripped up when their backer walked away and the RFL changed the goalposts anyway.


For comparability all these expansion clubs have at times shown their potential, Celtic grew fans and young players apace whilst the money was there.


Newcastle as Gateshead got to be 11th. best supported club and 6th, best team in Rugby league in ONE SEASON and 16 years on they retain a legacy of a decent NEJARL that can only grow again.


Les Catalans got Elite level crowds but last year were the sixth best supported club in Europe and are seen as a top club nowadays with some tremendous players being produced. They nicked their spot off Toulouse who'd had it promised since 1996 and who have exactly the same potential, not just to be an SL club but also underpin a return to top quality pro- International RL tests.


Nomadic London sadly didn't have the investment but crowds got to 10,000 at times, the club got to Wembley, they were SL runners up and albeit very late they had a great production line of talent going. 


All pretty impressive.


I'm not interested in a debate that denies the facts and is based on an agenda for a return to the north because it suits the debaters club. I've gone all around the houses with Featherstone fans who were insistent they had built an SL club on the back of a brilliant business plan that turned out to be running a deficit and the real plan was a rich mans £Millions.


I've been three times round the block with Halifax fans who insist that their junior development has always been immense, yet it shrank to literally nothing in the 1970's when the club itself collapsed, and collapse again they did in Superleague.


Leigh are not the future of Superleague, nor are Hunslet, Halifax, Widnes, Fev Huddersfield or HKR. Nor are Oxford, Gloucester, Hemel Hempstead, but they may have to be if investment in the game continues to be inadequate, and it continues to shrink.


To deny the potential of the SL expansion clubs is to deny the reality that the game can and did grow very quickly in places other than M62 land when the money was to hand. I prefer reality with my debates thanks.