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Member Since 17 Feb 2009
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#2967214 Rugby League's popularity riding high (Merged threads)

Posted by gutterfax on Yesterday, 07:32 PM

Rugby Union has made loads of changes:

English National League restructures

Welsh restructure

Scottish restructure

Celtic League restructure

Salary caps introduced

English restructure of Cup comps

Launch and subsequent restructure of playoffs

'Gimmicks' like the Zurich Wildcard

European Cup restructure


Once they started paying "all" their players, they needed to worry about things like attendances, sponsorship etc etc....they tweak where there are issues (Wales/Scotland/Ireland RFU's all turn over more than the RFL individually BTW) and they are having to learn about "professionalism" the hard way. Before they went openly professional, their English cup comp was the #1 thing......now the Aviva Division and a fully blown European comp is the King.....what I'd give to see the RFL have 10% of the ability or commitment to the game's growth.


Their adjustments could be considered "growing pains".....the RFL yet again messing with the system is more akin to adjusting ones truss.

#2966823 Should struggling clubs crowd source their fans?

Posted by gutterfax on Yesterday, 03:47 AM

Here's a copy of something I posted elsewhere, as well as to the Club in 2009. 


20 Point Plan for Harlequins Rugby League for the 2010 season of Superleague.
1. Obtain the name and contact details (Postal, email, Mobile) for every single recipient of a “discounted/offer” ticket in 2010. This should start with every ticket sold for the WCC warm up game in February and be a requirement all season.
2. The moment that a game has taken place, these people should be asked to answer a short survey about the experience in return for a repeat discounted ticket to the next game. This database should also be used virally, with regular offers for 4 for 2 offers if you bring 3 new friends etc......and the data must be managed correctly.
3. Every company employing more than 50 people in the Borough should be offered a free family ticket for each MD with corporate Hospitality (Food, not booze). Everyone who takes up this offer should also receive 10 free match day tickets for the next home game for their staff. They should also be sent a questionnaire asking if they enjoyed the day and if they would ever consider using the Stoop for corporate hospitality.
4. Australians! Love them or hate them, they are important to our crowds. I have heard it said that TW2 is a “###### to get to”, but find it hard to believe that a nation that thinks nothing of driving hundreds of Km’s has a problem with jumping on 2 trains from the Bush or a couple of buses. I know that the Walkabout in the Bush is an AFL pub, but surely it is in the publicans’ interest to promote all sports to his customers. The Redback in Acton offered a free shuttle bus from the Kings Bar to the venue for a few games this season, so it can be done.
5. Above the line advertising is risky, but you really can’t make an omelette without cracking eggs and I believe that the safest bet for the club is Arcadia Magazine. Some form of ATL needs to be attempted, as our existence is unknown outside of our own fan base.
6. Arcadia is the residents' magazine from the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, produced up to six times a year and distributed to 80,000 homes and selected organisations in Barnes, East Sheen, Ham, The Hamptons, Heathfield, Kew, Mortlake, Petersham, Richmond, St Margarets, Teddington, Twickenham and Whitton. The rate-card for a 1 page advert is £1,400, but anyone in marketing/advertising will tell you that rate-card is rarely achieved. I believe the offer in this magazine should be either for £5 a ticket or £12 for a family of 4. Again, data must be collected and the reaction of these visitors assessed with further offers being sent to them. If 93 people of the 80,000 circulation came to a game after the initial offer and paid £15 for a ticket, the ad will have paid for itself..........that’s 0.0011625% response. No Brainer!
7. On the subject of family tickets, I believe that the South Stand should be designated a family stand. No away fans should be allowed here and Buck’n’Dusty together with 3 cheerleaders should be based at the front of it. As Arcadia goes to every school in the area, head teachers/sports masters should also be offered free tickets to certain age groups throughout the season.
8. Local radio. I have been informed that radio stations charge a hefty sum to broadcast competitions so I would make them an offer, if we are to persist down the “dance/yoof” market that they get co-branding of the event, plus competition winner prizes for any such event. 
9. Communication between the club and its fans has improved out of all recognition this year but needs to be more regular. The e-zine should be delivered at the same time on the same day (Wednesday) every week, with a second email once the 19 man squad is announced and a third on match day. The club should also run weekly competitions on the web site with jerseys, shop vouchers etc offered as prizes. The internet is the future of communication and marketing and needs to be utilised to the full. It is the most cost effective route to market.
10. Current fans need to be canvassed for their thoughts on a regular basis. I don’t mean that the club should open the East/West can of worms fortnightly, but the general feelings of the long term fans should be listen to as these are the people who have followed the club over the years and who have all brought “newbies” to the games......they know what the reactions have been from previous attempt to convert people.
11. Twickenham Station: This is a real bone of contention for me. Very few people in the area know we exist and yet, the best way to let them know sits unused. It is estimated that 75,000 people a day use Twickenham Station, so why not sponsor it, get a local florist/landscaper to fill the place with colourful plants and occasionally have players/cheerleaders handing out flyers to commuters in the evening.
12. I still say (as I did in 2003/2004/2005.........that we should get the cheerleaders and a few players outside “the 19” selling advance tickets to games in Local/Targeted pubs the night before games. Sorry if the next statement upsets anyone on here or at the Club, but guess what? SEX SELLS! I make no bones about this. If you doubt it, I suggest you you-tube the Cadbury flake adverts over the last 25 years. 
13. Away games. The club can easily fill a bus to away games if it tries. Those that travelled to Wales/Wakey know that all it took was a few emails, a couple of RL fans posts and facebook, so the club need to look into this. At £17 a ticket to fill a 72 seater to the M62, there will be enough takers and it really does lift the team. 
14.           Loyal & Loud! The ranks of the L&L need to be swelled. Stuck in the middle of the East, they all have a good view of the pitch, but their “noise” is less projected due to the height of the roof and the distance from the sides of the stands. There is no way that they should be moved, so more people need to be recruited to fill a block. I have no idea how to do this, but “choir practice” from January, in say the Cabbage Patch might be an idea........any excuse and all that!
15. Local Pubs. I posted a while back the idea of targeting 1 pub nearest each station on the route into Richmond/Twickenham. I believe that this long term strategy will attract small groups from each pub to start with, which will hopefully grow over time. Every pub should get a framed fixture list, regular posters sent to them advertising games/offers and each home game they should be entered into a draw for a free signed shirt. During the wendyball season this may not bear fruit, but come May-August, we should see a fair uptake.
16. The Skolars. Again, a topic on which I have been very vocal over the years. The annual game between us is now geared more towards our North London Cousins than us and as such, I believe that they should seriously look at reciprocating this assistance during the season by playing Leigh Centurians, at the Stoop in a double header. Logistically, this can be arranged now if the RFL are made aware of the plan. The games should be marketed HARD and it should be billed as the London Rugby League 30yr Birthday Double Header. I would fill the south stand with free Kids tickets and by fill, I mean fill it. No stone should be left unturned and no avenue not explored/exploited. If the club are going to go down the dance/yoof market again, then this would be the game for it. It should be marketed as a festival of Rugby, with maybe an amateur game on first.
17. As has been suggested before, all of the Services should be invited to our games at a heavily discounted rate. Army, Navy, RAF, Old Bill, Nurses, Doctors, etc...should be targeted on a regular basis. This is an opportunity to gain some decent PR as well as attract potential new regular fans and should be pushed all season
18. Brentford Fans: May to August would see about 6 games where Brentford FC have no games. Why not offer a £40 mini-ST to these people? There is a bus direct from TW8 to TW2 which takes 15 minutes and I am sure that we would see a fair amount of fans take up the offer if it was available. Next Summer, the World Cup will be against us with the RUWC the following year, so we need to be clever how this is marketed. If a WC game finishes at 4pm, then move our KO to 5/5.30pm. If SKY are in attendance, show the WC game on the BIG SCREEN before hand. I am sure there are other clubs in other sports we could extend this special offer to and a few from each will add to our gates.
19. The Jesters Club. Having not eaten there, I can only assume hat this has been fairly well attended, given the fact that the club stuck with it throughout the year. In 2010 I would continue to provide the 3 course option menu and to expand it to a Full Sunday Lunch option on Sundays. I believe that the partition should come down after half time opening up the entire bar for the post match party. Whilst I am all for the membership card scheme for after the game, I would prefer to see the players presentation done in the Kings Bar where all fans can see the players. The jesters post match is fine, but it does seem a little belt and braces by having stuff repeated. The average fan next year will be in the £99 bracket, so why not open up access to the players and get the club BACK TO FEELING LIKE A CLUB.
20. Lastly and maybe most controversial, I would give the free ST back to every registered amateur player in London. I would do this, purely on the basis of use it or lose it and I would get the General Manager of each club involved. If it requires a subsidised bus then so be it, but these guys are the future of the game in London. Their Kids are the future fans/players  in London and we need to get them to games. I would go as far as to offer them discounted Jesters meals, discounted merchandise in the store and give them a free draw all season for the chance to play a curtain raiser on the TW2 pitch. Those fans that have already or are soon to renew their ST’s should have no problem with this as it is in the interest of the club to get more fans (and regular ones at that) through the gates.
So, there you have it. I have laid out my stall for the 2010 season and will watch for results (and attendance figures) with interest from the other side of the planet. I have included loads of free tickets and this is something the club have steered away from in the past, but I believe that if done properly, with resource and follow up activity, it will bear fruit. 
I again repeat that the above is not a blueprint for success, just the musings of a part-time fan. If any are used, I will claim that they were my ideas, but if they are used and fail, I will say I stole them from someone else..............all I know is this. I want nothing more than a competitive team at The Stoop, both on and off the pitch!
Lastly, I have suggested Arcadia Mgazine and Twickenham Station as the only two activities that would involve an outlay of cash. The rest would be a "reduced revenue" activity, with cheap or free tickets used to attract people in. These same people may well spend cash in the bars or at the consessions, as well as in the store and hopefully the ticket office for future games but they would be addditional fans and therefore cost the club nothing other than a few extra £6 an hour stewards.
London professional RL is 30yrs old next year. Why not milk that for all we can with invites to the fans of clubs of every club we have ever played at to our first game of the season v the NRL Champs? An open invite to every ST holder at those clubs to come to the stoop for £5 with a free pint of beer (a la last weekend back at the stoop), together with free entry to anyone who is 30yrs old at the time of the game? Free entry to 30yr olds would surely attract some media attention.....wouldn’t it?



Not saying it would have worked, but I reckon I put more effort into the post above than the club did in marketing itself since.......

#2966820 Should struggling clubs crowd source their fans?

Posted by gutterfax on Yesterday, 02:16 AM

David Hughes wouldn't take advice from a bloke with a hose-pipe even if Hughes himself was on fire........he refused to listen to anyone since 2008 and now he's got the return on investment he deserves. 


As for asking fans? I started off as an enthusiastic amateur offering "sage-like" advice to the Broncos back in 2002.........I am now a marketing professional with my own company. Yes, there would be many ideas that would be "fanciful" but there's also possibly be one or two gems in there......and the simple act of asking the fans their opinion would be appreciated......fans like to feel "part of the club". I sell Season Passes for one client here through the amateur clubs and schools, paying a 33% commission on each ticket sold. We went from having lots of empty seats to 5 "sold out" games from 6 last season.....it takes hard work, constant communication and some more hard work.....but I make sure the clubs/schools players know that it is they that have helped their top tier side popular....


I always thought that it would be cheaper than having a high paid marketing manager to "partner" with a Media & Marketing Department at a University, running competitions for ideas that cost nothing (or a small amount) to boost attendances, with those chosen to be trialed in receipt of some funds to assist with the "hardship" of student life. Worst case scenario, you get a bit of press and a few students who might roll up and help out with boosting the takings at the bar.

#2962608 Bradford officially relegated

Posted by gutterfax on 21 July 2014 - 04:32 AM

Sad day for the RFL who will no doubt now have to reduce the rent they can charge on the iconic ground they lease to Bradford.  :smoke:


As for those who think the Championship top 4 will have a chance of going up......last Year London Broncos were an utter basket case (almost as bad as this year) and yet they dealt to the 2 best Championship sides with ease in the cup. To get to the 4 v 5 Play-off game, this championship team will have had to of at first qualified by beating not only the other top 3 sides from their division, but also by beating at least one SL side.......a SL side with a far superior salary cap allowance and probably more "foreign" players......who they will then have to beat again.

Snowballs have a better chance in hell.........as with licencing, which the RFL gave a whopping 4 years to prove itself before canning it, the goalposts will be moved again inside the next 6 years, once the championship chairmen realise they've been fed a line and in fact, the SL 12 are even more secure now than they ever were under a non P&R Licencing system.

Personally, I'd love the French XIII elite to get up and running as a 100% professional league financed by their own TV deal and for Catalans to join them leaving the M62 to  play what would be as isolated a sport as curling is to the Scottish highlands.........Knock Down Nigel is doing to the RFL what he did to Halifax........and some of you are actually cheering him on?

#2961081 Will the Broncos be swallowed up by the Championship?

Posted by gutterfax on 18 July 2014 - 11:54 AM

I don't totally blame Hughes because the club were already on a downward spiral when he took full control of the club. The rot started by becoming Quins and moving to RU HQ - a blindingly stupid move which the club has made 3 times and always ended up with crowds falling (the people behind these choices are the real culprits).

You also have to blame the licensing criteria of needing a 10k stadium which kept the Broncos locked into the Stoop. If they had moved to the Hive with McDermott still in charge, I think it would have seem crowds increase because it was passionless as Quins RL.

2006/7and 8 delivered the best 3 year period average attendance figures in the clubs SL history. As I've S'au elsewhere what we were called and where we played are not the problwm

#2960219 Will the Broncos be swallowed up by the Championship?

Posted by gutterfax on 17 July 2014 - 01:45 AM

Well, unfortunately, that's how the cookie has crumbled and there is no one to blame but the Broncos themselves for their predicament.

Spot on......and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who wanted the club to succeed more than me, but Jesus H Christ on a bike....have ever a club been managed worse in the history of ANY sport?
Dead by 2016.......thanks Hughes you stupid cu.....

#2958726 Back to the old future.

Posted by gutterfax on 14 July 2014 - 12:18 AM

 They could be back in SL at the end of next year with galvanised support. A team winning its way back into SL would be a great boost for RL on London


1. The only way promotion will be won under the 888 system is if a team in SL goes bust........and London will struggle to make the middle 8 next year anyway.

2. London made a challenge cup final, finished 2nd and also made 2 play-offs......none of which was a boost for London RL.


fact is, if you want to have a team in London at the top level it takes more than just Money as Hughes has shown.......it takes intelligent use of money and passionate belief and determination. The damage done since he took sole ownership of the club in 2008/9 is, I believe, irreparable.

#2958687 13/07/14 - Warrington Wolves v London Broncos KO 3pm

Posted by gutterfax on 13 July 2014 - 09:57 PM

You're becoming as tiresome as GF

Hughes is to blame for the destruction of a club that in 2006 stood on the brink of something special. At every stage he made mistakes......even when given additional cash to boost the marketing he employed the wrong people into wrong positions.
Tiresome it may be to hear, but it is 100% factual. London broncos may well be homeless next year.......if not, I suspect over half their central funding will go on renting the hive.......everywhere you look at the club and to "plans" for next year, nothing adds up.

#2956627 More good news coming from the Broncos

Posted by gutterfax on 09 July 2014 - 03:39 AM

Oh I agree Hughes is a key man. But I've yet to see evidence that he will be leaving.


Broncos with Hughes have a future as a Championship side and maybe more. London without Hughes are destined for Championship 1.


I know you think Hughes has had more than a hand in Broncos' downfall and you have a point but him leaving with no replacement would be a disaster.


I just don't see that happening in the next couple of years. After that who knows?

Hughes has to go. Regardless of if the club slip further down the leagues, he is like a cancer at the club, eating away at it from the inside. All the while he thinks he's doing the right thing, but honestly.....what he's achieved whilst flushing 13 million down the tubes, if I were his kids, I'd have had him sectioned by now.


As they say, the difference between insanity and eccentricity is a few million....

#2956200 More good news coming from the Broncos

Posted by gutterfax on 07 July 2014 - 11:44 PM

I have been told that the Hive are not interested in Year 2 of the hastily agreed Blake Solly deal. Therefore, If London are to remain at the Hive it will be as paying tenants in 2015......

Now, with the average this year sitting at 1,251 and if we generously say 1,000 of those are paying customers, then it would seem that if £260k on the door and another £260k in the bars etc doesn't float AK'S boat, then the club will need to pay the Hive MORE THAN THEY WERE BEING CHARGED AT THE STOOP which in 2012 was £222,244. £900,000 parachute payment + whatever Hughes stumps up will not cover a team challenging for the middle 8 IMHO......


As for the good news in the title of this thread.....signing up kids is hardly a reason to pop champagne corks, but it shows how far Hughes and his lackies have dragged down expectations of supporters.

#2955199 Russian Rugby League (Merged threads)

Posted by gutterfax on 05 July 2014 - 07:08 PM

Is this quite possibly the most insecure thread EVER? After conspiracy theorists announce with great assurance that this is the work of the IRB, with words in the right ears, it turns out it is little more than an attempt to ensure that players welfare is looked after.
And RL fans wonder why the sport struggles outside of its heartlands!?????

#2937997 31/05/2014 - London Broncos v Hull FC KO 3pm

Posted by gutterfax on 01 June 2014 - 11:38 PM

Still a lot of matches to go?

Seriously I don't want to put a downer on things but it looked almost certain that London were going down this year at the beginning of the season.


London were relegated the moment David Hughes decided to wobble last year, although the reality is the club itself was doomed the moment that Ian Lenegan was told he couldn't be involved and the Meglomaniac Oil Broker took sole charge of the club.......his decision making is only matched in it's insanity by his continued pouring of millions into the black hole he created. His record as sole owner in SL since the end of 2008 is currently 36 wins from 150 games and 72% less fans in attendance.


2014's statistics make depressing reading......43 points shipped per game, losing by 30. Average attendance of 1,115 which includes 50% of that being "away" fans and all income other than RFL money going to the landlord........and not a snowballs chance in hell of staying up.


The real concern is that in 2015, with less SKY funding, any talent that we have will be picked up by SL clubs and we will struggle to make the middle 8........and as depressing as it sounds, there may be no London presence in either of the top 2 tiers in RL by 2016. That is the legacy of David Hughes............

#2922731 bronco's into admin

Posted by gutterfax on 29 April 2014 - 08:29 PM

I just think London is prohibitively expensive and difficult to breach considering the number of other attractions to compete with. If we want to make waves down south surely better to target some of the new towns etc? Hemel Hempstead seems like a better chance. 



London is expensive, that's for sure and the 10% allowance on the cap that they currently get is a joke, but the problem isn't just economic, nor geographic. It's managerial. 

London were essentially dropped into SL and expected to get on with it. The only consideration they got was additional foreign players and even that was done on an ad-hoc basis. There was no planning, no forecasting and no accountability, just simply "here's your Sky money...get on with promoting the game"

Within 18 months of this mentality, Paris SG were gone, but London, through the dedication of some ex-pat northern supporters and a few wealthy backers with a belief (but no plan) have managed to stumble on for an additional 18 seasons, whilst the RFL have offered little other than lip service in the way of support. 


I believe that a London SL team can attract 10,000 fans to games and I also believe that the roots put down in SW/W London that are bearing fruit now, can be replicated in other areas, but not by simply flushing good money after bad. There has to be a plan, with rewards and consequences, KPI's and a management that reports to the owners on progress regularly......not David Hughes ploughing 2 million a year into a failing team, with his failing coach and with no business or marketing strategy....AND REFUSING TO ACCEPT ADVICE FROM AMYONE BEGAUSE IT'S HIS TEAM!


When London moved to the Stoop in 2006, Harlequins averaged 4k at best and we had 5k...........now with their OTR games and events, they average 20k, whilst London average 1k....the bloke that built Quins to the 20k mark is now in charge of Melbourne Storm...he also runs the company that promoted the RLWC semi Big Hit and the Sarries Wembley events.....he believed Londons SL team would work, but Hughes and him didn't "get on"......and look where that's got us!


If and when they decide to try again in the capital, then the Melbourne Storm model needs to be copied.....and sorry if it upsets some, but f^^k the upset pit village mentality that "it's not fair"....if you want a game to be taken seriously internationally, then firstly, it needs to be taken seriously nationally and without London, you've no chance!

#2922473 bronco's into admin

Posted by gutterfax on 29 April 2014 - 12:15 AM

Not quite approved. Obviously they would be punished. It might just take a while to get round to their books

Season 1 the broncos should have been part owned by sky and part owned by the other SL clubs.....double the level of funding of the other teams with 25% of that being allocated for development and no limit on loan players from other clubs.........you can be damn sure that they would have been better run from day 1 and would have maybe moved once in 20 years......not 5 times and lastly to a miniature training facility!

#2922376 bronco's into admin

Posted by gutterfax on 28 April 2014 - 07:12 PM

Is (what I think, but I am glad to be corrected) the NRL model of expansion team funded centrally and buying success the only way forward? that's what they did with melbourne isn't it? They may well break the cap but as long as it is only checked after plenty of success bringing the fans in that shouldn't matter...

Part 1 central funding= yes
Part 2 approved cheating = no