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Member Since 08 Mar 2009
Offline Last Active Today, 12:48 AM

#3046240 Batleys ground now to be known as fox's biscuits stadium

Posted by keighley on Yesterday, 04:04 AM

Fox's are now owned by 2 Sisters Food Group who employi 23,000 people and have annual sales of £3.4 billion, mainly in food processing


Can we get at least one of the sisters to be a sugar mommy for the club.?

#3046034 Super eight or relegate?

Posted by keighley on 16 December 2014 - 04:42 PM

How many kids in inner city London have any clue what RL is? Probably very few.


Out of those young kids who are talented athletes, what is the likelihood that any of them will prioritise RL as their number one sport, given the scarcity of playing opportunities down south? Probably significantly fewer.


In one of your earlier posts you suggested that the emphasis for U14s should be on enjoyment when participating in sport. I wholeheartedly agree. Yet for this very reason many children tend to try their hand at lots of sports, and invariably the most talented athletes excel at a number of them.


By your own logic, kids would therefore not specialise in a given sport before 15/16+. In London, given the far greater opportunity to specialise in sports such as soccer, RU, cricket, athletics etc, how many talented athletes are genuinely going to focus on RL? And out of that number, how many are going to be offered a contract to move away to play somewhere like Wigan? And of those offered an opportunity, how many are going to take it up given the massive upheaval? And of those who take it up, how many are actually going to be good enough to make a career out of it? This will be a miniscule amount - if any.


The likes of Sarginson, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Clubb etc all came through the Broncos system. By Sarginson's own words, if a pro opportunity in London hadn't been an option then he'd have taken a different path as he was also in the Saracens academy.


As I mentioned before, only time will tell as to whether the Broncos dropping out of SL will harm the player development pathway in London. But as Parksider mentioned in a previous post, the model is the removal of Celtic Crusaders from South Wales and the associated reduction in quality players coming through.


I presume this is tongue in cheek. Either that or you are referring to some sort of 'lodgings' stuck in a 1950s timewarp.


Last time I checked the Brixton Bulls were in the very definition of an inner city neighbourhood. Feltham was a young offenders institution, the London Skolars and their associated junior clubs are in the Wood Green/Tottenham/Walthamstowe area, east end locations. So RL is active in the inner city locations. The same temptations of the other sports were equally present when the Broncos were a SL club.


As for the miniscule numbers, well how many kids growing up in the heartlands are actually offered pro contracts out of the total playing numbers ? That's the progression to pro sports. Only the very few at the zenith of the pyramid will be good enough to be offered pro contracts.


Time will tell but it's my opinion that it will not be as great a problem as you all think.It wasn't in Halifax. I have to believe that by now RL has been played for so long in many parts of London that it has put down some roots independent of the Broncos SL club. The Broncos, by the way, who are still there with a parachute payment and an investor in their closet and can still sign local youngsters.


As for accommodations. That was my suggestion. If it's not fit for the times, I suggest the clubs could check and see how the likes of Man U deal with their 15n year old apprentice players gleaned from the length and breadth of Britain. The problem of accommodations for teenage RL players moving away from home cannot be an insurmountable one. How do they do it for their Cumbrian recruited teenagers.? Wasn't Theo Farge a teenager when he relocated from France to Salford ?

#3045910 Where our pro's come from?

Posted by keighley on 16 December 2014 - 12:57 PM

That's very interesting indeed - it begs the question that is always asked about so many things do we need quality rather than quantity?


I remember the figures cooked up to support Sports England funding and in turn get DO's in place whose role was to get kids playing many of whom threw a ball about RL style for a bit and became RL players. Then they put the ball down and went off to do something more interesting to them.


Despite the fortunes of  the senior clubs as we heard from Spud and Lizzy (who hopefully will give us some more positive contributions about Halifax) there are some very strong and effective clubs (also in Ackroman's Dewsbury) that do the business for the game without having SL in their area.


I have a feeling (no figures this time) that although Leeds have increased the quantity of JARL in the city as the Golden generation pass we may not be seeing the quality, as the club struggle to replace the old guard locally and heroically (or foolishly) refuse to get out the cheque book. 


Regardless of who is in or not in Superleague there seems to be a swathe of Junior clubs very special to the game across the north AND NORTH WEST whom may be a better SKY money investment than giving it all to the senior clubs to often waste.


I think you need quantity to discover quality. As an example I live in a place with about 15 to 20,000 males. Soccer is the national sport. They have produced three professionals who have played un the UK pro leagues in 50 years. The numbers are just not there. There will only be so many top class athletes produced per x numbers of participants and population.


Thus in junior RL, the more kids you have playing the game, the more top talent will emerge as you might have 2 or 10x population base. Thus Leeds and Wigan and Calder produce the most players because they have the biggest numbers playing amateur rugby. As the numbers have increased in London, so has the number of pros being produced from the area.


If therefore, DO's can be again financed it would make sense to increase the footprint of the junior game geographically and with numbers, pros will be produced from these areas. Is this not the rationale behind the Catalans academy, more junior development in Perpignan will produce more pros.


Thus to me, if the amateur game is strong, stable and prolific in Leeds, Wigan and so on then it would seem to be carrying coals to Newcastle to pour extra resources in the form of  cash and DO.s into these thriving areas.


It would be better to send DOs into underperforming areas, say Doncaster, Sheffield, York, Salford/Manchester or areas fairly new to the game like Bristol, Coventry, Gloucester, Leicester, Wrexham, Cardiff and South Wales, the northeast, more expansion in London and so on.


In the long run if we succeed the player base will increase manyfold and the production of pro calibre athletes will surely follow to he benefit of all, including top SL clubs who will, as always, take the cream of the crop.

#3045621 Super eight or relegate?

Posted by keighley on 15 December 2014 - 06:03 PM

london deliver 8 players to sl squads this season. Excluding themselves last year, this figure was 3.......the year before 2. It takes a generation to start delivering a steady stream..but thanks to mismanagement at the club and the rfl ..youll see just how quickly you can do 15 years development work.
crowds in london since 2009 have more to do with a ###### team and cricket administrators than interest in the game.


Yes but this discussion has been had before. Is it the broncos who deliver London SL players or is it the London junior clubs who find, them teach them the game and then London cash in. Looking at the number of London born SL players up north I would think there will be some direct scouting and signing by SL clubs and the Broncos will also still sign a bunch and any who prove decent will be poached by SL clubs in quick order. 


Your point re London's crowds may be valid but you could apply the same argument to Wakefield and Hull but their crowds have not declined to the same extent.

#3044997 Super eight or relegate?

Posted by keighley on 14 December 2014 - 03:42 PM

Why stop there? Why doesn't Keighley fund its own development officers? Free up more funds for the areas of the UK actually bringing money in to the game?


Keighley is in England, not France. That is just the kind of area where the RFL should be funding development officers. The suburbs of Perpignan are in deepest southern France and the French R should be funding any development officers there. If they are not, they may as well disband and let the RFL run the whole game in France.

#3044957 Toulouse

Posted by keighley on 14 December 2014 - 01:57 PM

You could change London for Wakefield, Castleford, Salford, etc. If licensing were to have forced them out and they were to disappear What has been lost?


I see no problem with Leeds being the one representative of West Yorkshire RL, id have thought they'd continue to be in a position to attract the cream of West Yorkshire RL. Whether theres enough talent in west yokrshire to cover 4 SL clubs is open to debate. Surely we can put the franchise verse P&R argument to bed as we have already seen the failure P&R has been.


Huddersfield and Castleford made the top eight. Promotees both. Hull KR, Hull and Wakefield survived, promotees all. London and Bradford, licence babies both were relegated because they were poor.


Someone must have misplaced the yo yo. P and R has not been a failure.


As to your other point, Castleford were arguably the team of the season. Wakefield and the Tigers represent probably the most productive area in the UK for RL along with Wigan. Salford are in a new stadium, have doubled their gates, have a new rich owner and represent one of the biggest conurbations outside of London.


How the heck can you replace any of these with the Broncos, an itinerant club which has seriously declined in recent years and play in 5,000 capacity stadium before crowds in the low 1,000 range and get battered every game, having produced one of the worst SL seasons in history last season.


A top RL club in London would be a fillip to the game but, unfortunately, there isn't one.

#3044646 George Williams gets Wigan #6 shirt

Posted by keighley on 13 December 2014 - 06:29 PM

As a Workington Town fan I`m seriously worried were going to get that number 18 on DR.....


You can but hope. An instant 10,000 plus crowd would do you he world of good.

#3044522 NRL considering 4 quarters over 100 minutes

Posted by keighley on 13 December 2014 - 01:56 PM

As someone who follows MLS, that's probably not the best way to describe its progress. A better way is to list their broader achievements in the 20 years since the US held the World Cup:


- 20 teams, to be 24 by 2020. 

- Average attendance of 19,000+ this season, almost certain to crack 20,000 next season. Cumulative attendance this season over 6 million.  

- New franchises now being sold for between $70-100m. The 2nd Los Angeles team sold recently went for a record $110m. 

- Over $2 billion spent on stadiums purposefully made for MLS; 2 stadiums currently under construction, one under expansion, and potentially 3-4 new stadiums in the pipeline for new franchises and existing ones. 

- New TV rights worth $720m over 8 years. Also World Cup rights in US fetched $1 billion for 2014/2018. Obviously it's also been reported heavily here that Premier League gets $80m a year from US as well. 

- A participation base of close to 15m, which makes a huge difference if you're trying to build a sport from the ground up.


So I agree with you. Because of how huge other sports are in the US, MLS' achievements may not seem that significant. Compared to just about anything else in the world, it's a big deal how far its come. And other factors are important too:


- Immigration of people from footballing countries such as Mexico

- Popularity of FIFA video games

- Pay-television making games available

- Internet making the ability to follow sports easier


And so on. 


That's not to say its all roses and rainbows. It still has huge challenges in terms of national relevance and TV ratings, but the progress is stark.  



The rise of soccer in the US is very simple, and it's the same reason why it's so popular in most other regions - participation. As I said above, soccer can muster millions of kids playing the game in a very short amount of time. Rougher sports, like RL, don't do this as easily. Soccer participation really took off 30 years ago (part of the soccer mom phenomenon), so it should come as no surprise that a generation or two down the line it begins to gain traction.  


RL currently has nothing even remotely comparable in the US. If there were 10 million kids today playing RL in the US, I would say to you with confidence that RL is going to build a decent following around 2035. The fact is this simply isn't the case. There is very little that suggests that RL has a base which can be used in the future to really take off.


For me, the things people bring up for improving popularity in the US (or anywhere) are all irrelevant unless it's underpinned by significant participation rates at youth level. That's how you build fans. 



Agree. I wanted to press like on most of your posts, because I think you have a good grasp on reality.


Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on making MLS viable. It came close to being dissolved in 2002. In the first ten years of its existence it was looking like it was destined for failure. The 10 years that followed that are, by all measures, something of a miracle. 


RL needs way more people playing before the type of things that people mention become reality. Then it needs a solid 20-30 years to see any noticeable impact. 



Rugby Union in Argentina is amateur. It is a top 4-5 sport in Argentina, and even with its history and the success they've had at an international level, is still an amateur sport without no professional league on the horizon. 


Thank you for your further statistics you have provided regarding soccer in the US. As you say your facts were a better demonstration of the progress than were mine which were just produced from memory and a quick google search.


I think the main point to me was the amount of participation by the youth of the US, which is a key. I think even the mighty NFL have concerns about the explosion of soccer players at youth levels.


Now to return to rugby. Union, which is not as attractive game to the American public as League has a lot of clubs and a lot of players and has broken into the Universities. Whist I am not suggesting they rival soccer in any way, they have made a start, 60,000 for the all blacks, college RU on TV, I think 20,000 for a game against Ireland or Scotland, I can't recall which. They have fledgling schools programmes and an inner city sports initiative and now the 7s is in the Olympics their sport should grow more even more as the US has a serious love affair with the Olympics.


This is not a new development. I was playing RU against teams from Boston, New York, Washington and in a tournament at the University of Virginia 30 years ago and I know they have a strong presence in California..


RL is a newcomer to this party. The AMNRL and the USARL have been around for a much shorter period of time. Now, following our World Cup, the unification of the two rival leagues and with some enterprising leaders around as at the Jacksonville Axmen, developments in the Midwest at Chicago, and with exposure of our game on Fox soccer extra, there is a window of opportunity for our game to start to expand if we seize it. There is a ready made base of players in ex high school and college American footballers and every one of them will have links to his high school. If we are determined and clever we might get a look in in some schools.This will lead to a bigger player pool for the local USARL club and growth could happen.


All this is small potatoes but the RU lot, having started much earlier, are creating a niche for their game. Even soccer has come from virtually nowhere in the American consciousness to the mini behemoth it is today. Ice Hockey is played in Florida and Los Angeles.


If the RLIF can spare any funds or promotional assistance to RL in the US, they should do so. I fully believe we have an opportunity. It just takes time, dynamism and commitment to make it happen.

#3044474 RL Hard Men

Posted by keighley on 13 December 2014 - 12:23 PM

Kevin Ward has to be in any selection, surely? Although I see he's not in the 'Era of the Biff' Dream Team.


Barrie McDermott, Brian McDermott, Kelvin Skerrett, Dean Sampson, Kurt Sorensen. The big guys are easier to pick, I suppose.


In the backs, Gary Connolly was a tough one.


Kevin Ward, the best prop I ever saw.

#3044356 They "borrowed" the name Rugby World Cup, guess what name is now in t...

Posted by keighley on 13 December 2014 - 02:12 AM

The RFL/RLIF/NRL should copyright the name Rugby League in the USA and derail this false use of the term before it get's going.

#3042937 The world's third biggest sports event (RWC?)

Posted by keighley on 09 December 2014 - 04:19 PM

I don't even recognise it as a sport, so that's the first problem with the claim.


Do you think golf is a sport or crown green bowling or curling, or dressage ? Baseball is definitely a sport. I defy you to hit a 100 mph fastball with  a miniscule rounded bat surface or a curveball that drops out of the strike zone of throw a runner out from deep right field with a cannon of an arm or dive headlong, snare a ground ball, get to your feet and throw to a base for an out on a speeding baserunner.

#3042838 RFL Premises-Media City

Posted by keighley on 09 December 2014 - 12:42 PM

maybe in the 20th century....but not in the 21st 


It is a serious upgrade on that Victorian warehouse they had in the inner city crime infested area though. 

#3042825 RFL Premises-Media City

Posted by keighley on 09 December 2014 - 12:26 PM

Is there not an element of being seen to be somewhere upmarket?


Red Hall always looks to me like a funny old place to bring people.


I thought Red Hall was a former country mansion. I would have thought that was upmarket.

#3042473 The world's third biggest sports event (RWC?)

Posted by keighley on 08 December 2014 - 02:01 PM

The Rugby Union World Cup will not be shown on FTA tv in most of Europe certainly not in Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, Eastern Europe, Russia etc and a vast majority of the people in these lands/areas have no idea or interest in Union. However Handball or Ice Hockey will see massive interest and get far more publicity and you could easily argue that them sports, have a bigger reach than Union. Union outside the UK, France, NZ and South Africa its a minority sport. How many people in China, India, Brazil Russia, Mexico, Most of Africa have even heard of RUgby let alone have watched a game? The Spin from the kick and Clap brigade can make claims bt the reality is Union is not a global game and it certainly is not the 3rd biggest sporting event in the world. I can accept RUgby Leagus is a very tiny sport even in France and England. But it seems Union fans/people get very upset when you say that Union is not a Global Game and is not as big as they think it is. 


I agree but they are making strides with this 7's stuff in the Olympics and elsewhere. I was just at the Caribbean and Central American Games in Vera Cruz Mexico and they even had RU sevens in that including  teams from Mexico and  Costa Rica as well as the English speaking Caribbean nations. The Pan American Games, just one step below the Olympics next year in Toronto also has a sevens competition when the likes of Argentina, the US and Canada will join the party.


We need to push RL nines asap in these competitions although the Americas need some domestic league foundation and development first but in the Pacific Games and European competitions we should be pushing hard.

#3042088 NRL considering 4 quarters over 100 minutes

Posted by keighley on 07 December 2014 - 02:10 PM

Whatever the merits or otherwise of this, it should be proposed to the RLIF and RL world should consider it and approve it or not. This Aussie attitude of it's their game and we will change it as and when we see fit is creating slowly but surely two different sports. 


if we want to be a world game, we must all sing from the same hymnsheet. If this happens in Australia but the World Cup or SL of France stay with what we have currently, then the game will ben split.


There is no need for it. I know it's all about advertising slots but, even so, it shoukd be discussed with the RLIF and if it doesn't go the Aussies way they should accept it and abandon the idea.