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Income streams outside of tv income are down from 5 years ago.
Im not one to bash the rfl for no reason, but we do need to be increasing income from events, sponsorship and grants.
This kind of emphasises the point I've mentioned on another thread that as an accountant Nigel has done well to maximise the sport within its heartlands but nationally and looking at the broader outlook, the sport has lost its appeal to sponsors and lost some of its value.
Nigel has consolidated the sports existing position and introduced the new Super 8s concept which appeals to the Leigh's, Halifax's and Featherstone's of this world, again this concept doesn't add new supporters to the sport but builds on historical areas.
To be more specific:
1. Almost helped kill off London Broncos by forcing them to have the same number of Federation quota players as other clubs while at the same time cutting the number of development officers.
2. Cutting the number of development officers in Scotland.
3. Not doing enough to build on brand England, especially only having one England home game in 2 years. Which serious national sport does this?
4. Increasing the number of of club games despite it not adding value to the sport as a whole.
5. Forcing Toulouse to enter Championship one despite the enormous commercial potential of the club and the fact it was beneficial to no one the last time it was attempted.
6. Attempting to bring back the Lions tour concept, mimicking the Union style Lions tours despite England not playing at home in 2 years and there never actually being a point in history where we can say the RL Lions concept was a commercial runaway success.
The theme here is lack of vision, expansion, plain common sense and retracting inwards. As Martyn Sadler quite rightly said his proposals to 'invigorate' the game looked like it was drawn up by an accountant, he also said the plans looked like a blueprint for a sport which has stopped believing in itself which is as accurate as you can get.
I read a year or two ago that the local council were looking to redevelop or sell New River stadium and it was offered to Skolars or RL at a discounted price. I know that some work has since been done to the pitch.
Now bearing in mind that the RFL has leased Odsal on the basis of its historic appeal, why not buy and develop New River on the basis of its future appeal and potential to benefit the sport.
The future of RL in London is Broncos in West London and Skolars in the North.
Now with the redevelopment of White Hart Lane and the surrounding areas which has been approved this week there is potential for growth for the Skolars at New River who are based on White Hart Lane.
This is an opportunity which the Skolars and RFL should grab asap, yes the area isn't brilliant at the moment but you need to think 10 years ahead and take into account the continuing regeneration of urban areas of London like Brixton, New Cross and Peckham.
For RL in London to flourish we don't just need a successful Broncos in the west but a successful inner city club in the north. Add to that SL Derby games. Time for the sport to seize these opportunities before the New River is snapped up as a training venue and base for a London NFL team.
You can't deny a player water in such an intense sport, however I feel that it's just going over the top. The penny dropped a couple of years ago when I noticed Brad Fitler in the State of Origin standing in the NSW offensive lines organising each attacking play. Way over the top and controls definitely need to be put in place.
Having read the RLIF strategic document there's actually a lot of discussion points in it which a number of topics could be started from. It's quite an ambitious strategy.
The objective which stood out to me was the targeting of two additional G20 nations for development and funding as well as targeting of development nations. The big plus out of it is that funding will be allocated on performance and achievements such as playing numbers, training of refs etc.
These are great ideas and I'm keen to get people's ideas as to which nations should and could benefit from these initiatives.
My initial thoughts are USA, Canada and Spain are prime candidates for development.
I have to agree with Walter, it's total hypocrisy and really, how can you complain about too many games when you play an exhibition game like this and yet have little time for proper internationals. As long as the sport has this mentality it will stay stuck where it is.
And please don't give me that BS about reconciliation, a game of rugby is not going to reconcile for what aboriginals have had to suffer in Australia.
I like the way the WRL is progressing at the moment, they are not cash rich but they have a strategy and a plan and if you have that you can't go far wrong. The other positive thing I'm noticing is that all of the entities involved in welsh rugby league Crusaders, Scorpions and WRL are all working together and have a joined up thinking approach where each major decision is made whilst taking into account how it effects the wider picture.
I think since the demise of the Crusaders version 1 the game in Wales lost some of it's ambition and confidence, but remember the Crusaders failed in SL due to mismanagement not lack of interest. The club got the game huge local interest from local newspapers and excellent TV coverage from S4C. In the short time Crusaders were on the crest of a wave quite a few players local players became established Ben Flower, Gil Dudson, Elliot Kear, Lloyd White all came through the ranks and welsh schools have in the past few years done extremely well in the national schools comp matching the established schools in the north. This more or less confirms that the welsh have the natural flair and toughness for the sport and have no trouble producing top players. Even with limited opportunities and not considering the fact they could probably earn more money and notoriety in RU.
I just hope that the WRL can find ways to create revenue and grow the game further over there coz the potential is still huge, the sport has a rich history in Wales.
I would really propose in order to develop the sport in the valleys that we take a more provincial approach to the sport in the UK like Super Rugby and allocate the welsh two franchise places in SL North Wales and South Wales. This would be the boost that the sport needs over there.
Not to mention that they've been training at St Georges Pk training centre and previously at Loughborough University at top of the range sporting facilities. Whilst France can't even find a place to train. The ball is in the court of the French Federation now and they need to modernise their organisation if they want to progress and compete.
Despite the constant spin coming out of Red Hall the game in the UK and Europe as a whole is going nowhere fast. When England V France two of the major countries in Europe with a rich RL history isn't even on TV and treated like an after thought then I despair.
I blame the muppets who run the game over in the UK, they seem more concerned about promoting a car crash, relegation million pound game (whatever the hell that means) between two clubs who are always in or on the verge of administration/bankruptcy. Both based in the same region. Just about sums up this current RFL administration. Insular and going backwards at a fast rate.