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The Parksider

Member Since 06 Oct 2004
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 10:12 AM

#3046703 Super eight or relegate?

Posted by The Parksider on 18 December 2014 - 02:11 PM

Don't you think that the top bods at Twickers and the big pro R.U. daily's would have great fun and delight with Headlines along the lines of

"Regional UK Sport Implodes Even Further"

Let's be totally honest...........


Being totally honest since the free gangway RFU animosity has died down at all levels. We have no battle to fight with them.


The ERU have a Rugby Union footprint across England from Quins to Sale and  Exeter to Newcastle.


It only sustains 12 clubs. Perhaps we should be writing the derogatory headlines over RU's failure to manage more than a 12 club Elite.


Lets be totally  honest, those who fear a tighter, more competitive, better financed Elite of 12 or 10 clubs in Rugby league are usually fearful of the effect that it will have on their club if they are not in it and that is fair enough.


I just want the best for the game and if that is the worst for someone's club I'm sorry. I've lost mine.

#3046287 Super eight or relegate?

Posted by The Parksider on 17 December 2014 - 10:02 AM

Halifax is less than 10 miles away from the nearest SL club. London and South Wales are approximately 180 miles away from their nearest SL clubs. To compare these areas with Halifax is ludicrous.


Well as far as Halifax goes they produce few professionals, by the 1970's the production of players for the senior game - semi professional then, had almost dried up. That lack of a strong junior game led to their fall to the bottom of the RFL, below both Huyton, Doncaster and Blackpool by 1978.


Halifax's resurrection 1978-1988 was mainly based on importing players. By 1988 the Pennine League  on the impetus BARLA created some junior ARL in the area that became effective, but never great numbers, and of course by 2003 Halifax had slid to the Championship and today seem to harbour few ambitions of SL today. In recent times they have imported a number of players from outside Halifax.


Halifax have always had some tidy clubs in and around the town. Siddal manage a full junior set up at all age groups, and Kings cross try to match that (couple of gaps). After that its sketchy. This can all be looked up, but if someone wants to argue black's white because they want a certain outcome they don't look the facts up. They may not suit what they want to say/happen.


I'm sure Halifax's resurrection to champions and cup winners got the junior game in Fax going somewhat, but I would not complicate your position.


Best to examine another "Outpost" in South Wales. The rise of the crusaders brought with it senior Welsh players turning pro successfully Flower, Lloyd, James, Dudson. It got junior ARL going very well even in the Swansea area as Swansea jack told us those years ago. As Celt told us recently when the pro club were going many young RU players keen for a career were ringing Celtic C for trials. The presence of a professional club correlated exactly with the growth of interest in RL, the growth of pro players, the growth of the junior game. 


All this can be looked up. There are abandoned web sites that will list all the junior clubs that rose and fell to nothing exactly on the rise and fall of Celtic Crusaders. 


Today there remains the odd effort to rescue things, the WRL try to keep junior development going through schools trials. This at least provides enough players to form an academy, but it isn't by number of games or results anywhere near the standard of the north. The junior game in south Wales is in dire straits now.


Londons attitude to the junior game was in the early SL years overshadowed by Australian Imports, but after being rescued by Lewis they were forced to look to Junior development. It grew and we can see the results. 


There is therefore your model to prove your point, however you also need to quote the London academy coaches who were quite clear that Superleague was a driving factor on London's players development. They were quite clear that like Wales the game would go into reverse in london if the Broncos lost their SL place and never got it back.


Beware contrivances though. Having invested so much into an RL career many Broncos lads had nowhere to go once the Broncos were relegated but north so they were forced up there. This is seized on as proof players will travel. The next generation won't do that apart from the odd exception that will prove the rule.


A couple of Welsh academy lads got a slot up north this year and they are to travel up to seek their fortune in SL next season. They are unlikely to make it as few do, but they have a chance. Of course these two lads were seized on as proof positive the removal of Celtic C. from  Superleague had no effect on the junior game there. That that ridiculous claim was made at a time when there was no junior game in Wales shows you the extent to which many arguments are so heavily contrived and agenda driven.


Your only on 700 posts, I am on 17,000 due to replying to this stuff. I try not to....

#3045332 Super eight or relegate?

Posted by The Parksider on 15 December 2014 - 07:21 AM

All those clubs are still in existence ,what more do you currently expect of them?


Far more than they can be bothered to deliver.


If the chairmen whom these clubs belong to really like to be big fish in a drying up pond and can always leave the game and amuse themselves wasting money elsewhere, then perhaps I should just accept that.


It may turn them on swanning around the boardroom, I dunno there's always this bouncer type on the door who won't let me in


Turns me on when I go to games with big stars, and big crowds in decent stadia and the press reacting positively, and when I see the game played internationally whether between clubs or countries


That may actually not be your bag, that may be the difference between us. It's fair enough

#3045213 Where our pro's come from?

Posted by The Parksider on 14 December 2014 - 09:54 PM

I would be interested to know for example how many of the FevWakeyCas group are actually at Wakey or Cas.


Well apart from Liam Finn I have 23 players in Calder (profuse apologies for blaspheming) as follows.......


6 from Castleford

5 from Ponte

4 From Fev

4 From Normanton

3 from Wakefield


and erm....... Liam Finn.


Of the 23 there are 8 at Cas/Wakey


There are 7 at Hull/HKR which I think is interesting (and as has been the case in the past) - one could say that the Calder area  is raided regularly by the Hull clubs to "prop" (RL analogy there) themselves up.


It is also interesting how Wakefield seem to be doing so so badly for such a (once) big club.


Here's my Calder X111


1. Hardaker

2. Cockayne

3. Shenton

4. Whiting

5. Briscoe

6. Finn

7. Burrow

8. Huby

9. Clarke

10. Westwood 

11. Ferres

12. Ellis

13. Westerman

#3044805 Where our pro's come from?

Posted by The Parksider on 14 December 2014 - 07:56 AM

It's almost as if he posts in order to provoke isn't it?


Come on Larry, grow up Mate. I don't think you have any takers. We often disagree but so what, that's debate. let's do it with a bit more respect please.

#3044381 Where our pro's come from?

Posted by The Parksider on 13 December 2014 - 08:59 AM

This year there's 74 imports from down under. In terms of where the British players come from who are established in the first teams squads and can be counted as senior players now and feature regularly, there's a list below. It's not an exact science, There's a few who come from RU, we have a few French here, a few who started late in life but in terms of the main way players come to our game they tend to be born in an RL area, learn playing for a local junior club, get picked up by a pro club, and are honed into SL professionals. Here's the 2015 numbers and places they started out:


25 from the Wigan area

24 from the "Calder" area Cas, Ponte, Wakey, Fev, Normanton

17 from the Leeds area

15 from the Hull area

14 from the St.Helens area

13 from the "bradhuddersfax" area

8 from the London area

7 from the Oldham area

6 from the Warrington area

5 from Wales

4 from Salford area

4 from west Cumbria

3 from the Dewsbury area

2 from the Widnes area

1 from the Barrow area


There are a few difficulties when clubs are so close to each other picking up where they played amateur. A couple of possible Leigh lads who made it are listed as born in Wigan and is Golborne Wigan or Leigh? and a few Hunslet lads are down as Leeds born so there's no point being "exact" about boundaries as no town is an island with a moat around it.  I'm sure if Hunslet were SL top dogs we'd get all the north Leeds lads.


Of course lads home towns may have Amateur clubs but only semi-pro Championship so players may play local then move a short way (sometimes a long way) to an SL club for their career. Braddhuddersfax may be a good example where whoever is top dog, will pick up the best local kids.


The eyebrow raising stats? London's growing contribution that may get knocked back like Wales. The strength of Oldham JARL despite the senior clubs massive fall from grace. How far Widnes have fallen as a town that raises quality RL players, nothing from south yorkshire after many years of their presence in the game, pick your own eyebrow raiser.


The overall impression is although the game was free to become a national one and they play it all over England and did so in south Wales, the playing strength of the game remains Humberside, west Yorkshire and over the hill to Oldham, then across to West Lancashire.


Unlike soccer and RU our junior ARL roots are limited and we fight for the same kids, most of whom are a car drive from anything from two to half a dozen SL clubs.


Anyway there you go, I enjoyed doing that. If you disagree with the stats please do your own fully before moaning to me. 

#3044043 Toulouse

Posted by The Parksider on 12 December 2014 - 12:30 PM

1. Not just money, but also players. There are c. 75-80 clubs in France, which even if you exclude the real outposts in Paris & Nantes, are spread across an area several times larger than Britain. Not all of those clubs are not able to put 17 adult players out for a game on an any given weekend.The number of clubs has been in steady decline for 30+ years. 


2. The sticking point for Toulouse should be the level of local government support, not a tv deal, commercial sponsorships or attendances. That's how most French pro sport is funded. If the city/department/regional govts are prepared to stump up millions of euros per year (as they do for Catalan) then the other income sources are nice to have rather than essential. I think Avignon/Vaucluse or Aude bids would struggle to match the level of money potentially attainable by Toulouse, even if they have more local RL interest and less competition from other sports.


1. When we go into fantasy mode it's worth finding a dose of reality to calm things down. It's quite clear why Les Catalans have been with us eight years now and still have to rely on overseas players.


2. That was exactly what Toulouse majored on in their bid, that they had the access to the local government and the local aerospace industry support.


It's highly disappointing we have clubs in SL who can't hold on to their players no matter where they are from and get not a penny from their local councils, yet Toulouse are blocked on a silly TV deal.


They may as well just get rid of Les Cats and have done with it. 

#3044033 Super eight or relegate?

Posted by The Parksider on 12 December 2014 - 11:56 AM

I think we could slow the drain for some if they could be offered more monies and hence we see them get to their prime. At which point they could command a better contract when they do go as a proven article as distinct from developing.


It may not be possible but at least give it a try is my thought before we are all watching as standard fare either emerging academy players and aged end of career players plus the journeymen. That seems to be the trend and maybe overly exaggerated but I wonder if thats where we are ending without some concessions.  


Take care not to give Jordan Baldwinson an early professional contract to keep him here, because when the lad went over there he failed. We can't be paying players more than they are worth.


I think your analysis of the current player pool is not exaggerated, when the reality is a good number of the best players are now off on their travels.


It's an inevitability of professionalism and Superleague being the least attractive venue to ply your trade against RU or NRL if you have that choice.


Some like Ryan Hall have that choice but do not (to date) defect. We still have top players to cheer but less and less of them and it's an easy correlation to link that to the lack of money.


Bit harder to link it to reducing crowds but who can doubt there is an effect John?

#3043611 Super eight or relegate?

Posted by The Parksider on 11 December 2014 - 07:05 AM

Well you shouldn't be surprised that I agree... a more pragmatic approach.


The only thing I would add is how do we try and keep our top talent playing for longer in SL.  That is the level of salary cap, at a level for the lowest common denominator or higher so that clubs that can afford are able to keep top talent here for longer.  Yep the later may keep certain clubs at the top end but then that's the way it has almost always been... e.g. Wigan, Saints etc have always been in the top ecleon and whatever the approach I suspect that would be the same.  Maybe other Leeds or Warrington's may evolve as they did to be part of that top echelon, like Bradford also did for a while. 


Can we have it both ways, a Superlegue that "keeps it's best players" and is competitive from top to near bottom. I don't think so to continue the pragmatic/reality theme.


Do we allow a couple of the richest chairmen to fight Union and NRL, in a fight where their only weapon is more money against the opposition who offer lifestyle, even more money, bigger ambitions and a bigger stage. If we allow this because we've always had the same few winning the cups for decades now, do we continue to have to put up with everyone else struggling and imploding as well. 


I'd want to get away from the way it has always been, wasting £Millions, failing to get growth, failing to get expansion, running up debts, clubs imploding. 


The pragmatist takes a choice of which way to go, the wishful thinker stands still and hopes both paths will converge.

#3042441 Super eight or relegate?

Posted by The Parksider on 08 December 2014 - 01:23 PM

completely absurd.


Well for Leeds and Hunslet it became very clear over the years that south Leeds people were gravitating to north Leeds to watch their Rugby league, and south Leeds lads were queuing up to Join the Loiners. David Heron played Hunslet colts and signed for Leeds and that was the first big defection. Leeds success dragged Hunslet down.


For Hull and HKR, Rovers absence from SL for 10 years dragged their crowds down to near 1,000 at one point whilst Cup winning SL finalists Hull had record attendances 2007 following this success even when you took out the HKR attendance from their average. Paul Cook the big star was an East Hull lad helping West Hull to the top.


Since then the two clubs have been average and at times poor. In recent time both have shipped in record losses to Wigan and Fartown, and Hulls crowds are dipping to their lowest for years. Player quality is a problem, two clubs have only a half share in the best locals, and the best look to leave for bigger clubs.


As for Wigan and Saints or Leeds and Bradford all these clubs were able to run their own player rosters without having to fight each other for the same players in the same player pools. All these clubs were able to find fanbases well into five figures each at the same time and all these four clubs met each other repeatedly in finals.


I'm stunned at the idea "if one supports the principle of closely located geographical amalgamations to create mega clubs then it should be done across the board that appears in your post as a quote and flies in the face of the above easy to work out logic and easy to research facts and figures.

#3041302 Super eight or relegate?

Posted by The Parksider on 05 December 2014 - 10:02 AM

Maybe not totally but it may have been a pragmatic step. Wouldn't be much different than having a central contract with TV rather than each club doing their own thing.


Your a businessman. Bet you don't have magic solutions in the filing cabinet?


Fairly easy to work out stability is a key. But hey lets re-introduce relegation and watch it blow up in our face.No stability under a 14 club licensed league, so the cut to 12 clubs is a start.  


Beyond that what makes the difference between clubs?. Money, so less clubs sharing a bigger TV contract is good.


After that what next? Playing rosters so clubs have to start to develop their own players and the creep towards stealing other clubs because of the financial inequality is something that perhaps remains the most destabilising factor.


But relegation has already blown a hole in two decent academies.

#3040702 Fui Fui Moi Moi confirmed at Leigh

Posted by The Parksider on 03 December 2014 - 08:53 PM

My point being that whilst in theory we could come up with a Licence and clubs/selected area's for clubs plan to suit, in practice it would create so much mayhem that would cause too much damage that I would not be sure could in time be overcome. It in itself kills the sport.


At least with P & R a natural order can evolve. 


P & R has already failed in losing Bradford with their large fan base and decent academy, and London with their significant player pool. The "natural order" has clubs who despite rich owners fail to grow crowds and develop professional players. Will Leigh be the next Salford or the next Widnes?


If Castleford's acute lack of money means they hit the buffers what price no club from Calder being part of the natural order, the natural order has now left both Hull clubs outside the Super 8. Your natural order has been going one year and it's small clubs run by rich men who have the advantage over areas where RL is very strong indeed but faces decline.


I think we already have the mayhem and damage you fear but you don't recognise it. Rugby league may be that much stronger if big clubs from big areas like Hull, Bradford and Wakefield were able to mix it with Leeds, Saints, Wigan, Wire and Catalans.


I think you should look at the way the natural order is making the game recede back to the M62. No real junior RL in Scotland, Wales the Midlands and London set to go the same way. That's mayhem that's damage.


All I know is the "we're not going to change" campaign started on the pitch at POR with "merging on the ridiculous". If you thought that lot were creating Mayhem John then they were. They helped to scupper any thoughts boardrooms had of radical change to suit the changes the game proposed and needed to make. I think there were 4,650 at the game that day but when Fev sank in terms of playing fortunes by 2006 crowds were dipping below 1,000.


They all created mayhem, and when it left Fev in the third division they all stayed at home and watched SKY super sunday soccer instead.


Give a thought for the silent majority, those who don't create mayhem when the past isn't preserved, those who would be happy to put 10K crowds back into Odsal, those who given a successful Calder club would go along for the entertainment not for the diehard "tradition", those who'd really prefer to watch a Hull club win something cup shaped rather than a game over their local rivals, several thousand of them now sit at home since they did win something worthwhile.  


The failure to accept change has already created a "mayhem", the "damage" you fear John just may be damage already done.

#3040580 Super eight or relegate?

Posted by The Parksider on 03 December 2014 - 02:48 PM

 We think we can make a whole bunch of small teams in the same areas work. It's unrealistic and self-defeating.


The 1995 plan was on the money.



small clubs in small areas will NEVER work in a fully pro league, christ they struggled in a semi-pro league. Its a very harsh reality, but you are going to have to live with it.


Oooh that makes three of us in agreement, and we are of course backed up by logic and facts.


But what are fans of small clubs who still harbour hopes of SL (predominantly Leigh, Fax, Fev and Keighley) to say to the truth of the matter? I suppose they have got to argue growth is possible. They have got to argue black's white so I don't get involved anymore.


We of course had this argument for several years after Featherstone Rovers were rescued by a rich man from CC1. After that it was all about "growing the club" which was exposed as spending every penny they had and more to meet licensing criteria. Then once SL was imminent the club announced "growth" would actually just be free private money from Nahaboo. 


He left and the "growth" balloon popped. Semi-pro's again I hear acting as Leeds "A".


Nowhere has "growth" exposed it's fragility more than at Widnes where neither local talent or crowds have managed the growth expected, and especially Salford where playing talent has been imported and thousands of empty seats are subsidised.


Now we hear Leigh are going for SL and my simple question was. "are the directors rich" and the answer was "yes thanks". More "growth"? Not really.


I'm told it's a sport and it's great seeing clubs come and go. I don't call the collapse of Bradford and London, and the stagnation at Widnes or the raids on castleford's stars "great". It may be some sort of fuel for an argument that anyone can make it, but it's the most sub-standard coal anyone can burn.


We discussed what Superleague was and what in meant to RL as a game. We were pretty unanimous that it meant survival for the sport if not every club in it, that meant that if the future of RL is anything it's the business side that counts for without that £200,000,000 Rugby league would wither across the board.


Businesses need good planning whether that's the simple no brainer decision to keep Bulls in SL, or whether it's the radical decision to merge clubs who are going into decline together because they cannot find the will to change.  Shame is the RFL can do neither and already the disaster of leaving things to chance has struck the game two heavy blows.


Ah well. Nice posts gents....

#3040562 Fui Fui Moi Moi confirmed at Leigh

Posted by The Parksider on 03 December 2014 - 02:06 PM

Licensing, that was as near a closed shop as could be imagined, the RL went through all the criteria that had to be accomplished to gain entry to the big club with consequences for those who did not maintain the mandate, it did not take long for some clubs to default but there they stayed.



The problem with licencing is that the requirements were not applied and enforced as appropriate.  It gave a sense that it was hard to fail and hence even harder to get in. The theory is fine but it doesn't fulfill objectives if rules not enforced. 


Lets be right about this.


Licensing was put in place originally to protect expansion. Les Catalans got their own such licence before anyone else did. London were saved from being booted out of SL and their protection was formalised via Licensing, when the Welsh didn't win the CC Grand final they added two more licenses and gave them one. When the situation deteriorated badly with Wales a sub standard north Wales version of the club was given a license.


If you gents want to say Licensing was a sham then I would agree with you entirely. Expansion clubs were flagged through.


But on the removal of clubs, both Cas and Wakey were warned they "could" not "would" be kicked out if they didn't get grounds. When it came to it the applicants for SL who had been refused entry because their applications were "inadequate" "Insufficient" "substandard" were such as Halifax and Leigh and I am sure that neither were up to Wakefield or Castleford's standard at the time ground or no ground.


I'm not saying Wakey or Cas were great Superleague clubs, licensing classed clubs as either "A" "B" or "C" with Barrow being unclassified. Wakey and Cas were deemed to be third rate. I can only think their possible replacements were fourth rate.


Widnes did get refused though and people can take their pick whether the "administration" excuse was fair. At the time I thought not, but they got in second time round so it's not as if it was a closed shop per se.


Licensing was a sham, and a dishonest process as it was applied by the RFL. This certainly does not mean that licensing is something we can now discount as a failure. Licensing gave clubs a chance to grow and it was the clubs that failed to grow, that is where the failure actually was whether it be big time M62 Bradford or tiny North Wales Crusaders.  


I'm not for bringing licensing back in the form it was in. To set standards that only four applicants had achieved was another nonsense in the process as the RFL applied it. But I am of the opinion that if you want growth in Rugby League then you need the clubs who are best placed to achieve it.


L'ange's point remains an excellent one. promote Fev with a small fanbase for Bradford and you lose thousands of fans, promote leigh for London and you lose an important junior development area.


This is the problem with Clubs whose credentials for SL are no more than a Chairmans fat wallet. As we see with Leigh and Beaumont, Fev and Nahaboo, Salford and Koukash, Davey and fartown, if they get to Superleague just through the chairmans wallet and not through the growth of spectators and junior development (two issues blighting Widnes at the moment) the game will end up being based more on private individuals throwing money about than anyone actually growing resources for the game itself.


Empty seats and imports all round?

#3039633 Fui Fui Moi Moi confirmed at Leigh

Posted by The Parksider on 01 December 2014 - 09:27 AM

That would be my concern about how much he's on. Because you won't go up and a massive wage to pay out isnt a good thing to be honest. I just have the feeling that Leigh have gone all out for promotion and not getting it is not an option. Hope I'm wrong but if you don't get promoted (which you won't) as the system is too one sided then I fear the worst for Leigh in 2016.


Did you fear the worst for Cas when they stayed professional after relegation and went back up? Did you fear the worst for HKR when Hudge was pumping money in when they were in the second division?

If the lad who runs the club wants to shove a load of money in then why not?


As for the one sided system don't forget how many SL clubs collapsed on the field in recent times, you assume all the SL clubs will stay strong. Had we had promotion last year I'd guess Leigh would have done London and maybe Bradford in a late season play off.


Leigh have two choices - either go for it and enjoy the ride, or stay semi professional and offer to take young Wigan lads on board, if you see what I mean. I'm not having a dig but clubs must be allowed to take the opportunities afforded them if they can afford them. Do you know how rich Mr. Beaumont is??