Rob

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About Rob

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  1. I heard that nearly half of the teams in the NFL are of average or below average standard. Nearly half of the games in each round of fixtures are lost EACH AND EVERY WEEK which can only mean one thing: for half the NFL teams the novelty of winning must be wearing off and therefore I guess we'll soon see how the attendances fare and declare the NFL a failure? Or just perhaps, you are wrong.
  2. Parky, Parky, Parky. I had such a wry smile on my face when I saw you quoted me. 1) There doesn't need to be a thriving amateur game providing a stream of Canadian players for TW to be deemed successful. No one in Toronto really cares whether the players sound Canadian, French, Australiasian or like a mint-ball chewing pie-eater. A rich successful club can have an overwhelmingly positive influence on a competition such as superleague without producing a single professional player. The benefits could be financial gain spread across the league, which in turn helps clubs in established heartlands train and recruit more players into the system. Of course, you are entitled to your own definition of success, but I may choose not to agree with you! 2) "Unlimited riches" These are your words, not mine. I've simply observed TW's clear financial strength compared to most clubs in the UK game. The club has provided another 25 professional playing opportunities. Many of these places have been taken by English players. This has drawn another 10-20 (my estimate) English amateur players into the professional pool of players further down the league ladder somewhere. More English players playing the game, more competition for England places, more opportunities for our young lads wanting to play RL for a living. The benefits of an additional professional club are felt right across the entire league - even at Hunslet Parkside! Who knows if TW want to develop a Canadian league or not? What if they don't care about grass roots (too difficult and costly) and instead just want to pack a stadium out with fans, have a party, build a world class rugby team, and just want to win the Superleague? Instead of empire building? The fun for the fans is in lifting the trophy, its not in the tedius grass roots work of making some Canadian kid learn how to play-the-ball on a frozen Toronto park. 3) I can't give you and answer with regards to TV rights. As you're perfectly aware, what TV companies pay depends on not just what they are worth, but also the existence of competition for the TV rights from other broadcasters too. Mostly they underpay for the rights and make a handsome profit. Sometimes they overpay - remember ITV a few years back? The current £200m sky contract is valued at £40m/year, or £3 million ish per club. If TW's exposure across Canada gets similar viewers, or even more, then who knows what they might achieve? I have no baseline of Canadian sports contracts values with which to estimate a TV deal. However, if they can pull off blue chip airline sponsors at their current humble level or RL, then maybe they have the right people in charge to get a meaty TV contract too. 4) You're aware that may clubs at the top of the game do not spend up the salary cap. Having another club that are capable of spending up to the limit increases the opportunities for our best players to earn big bucks. This in turn increases their chances of the remaining in league, instead of looking to ply their trade elsewhere. 5) Subjective Parky. I'm disappointed with your level of opposition here. I know you can do so much better than that. xx 6) I mean exactly what I say. A TV contract coast to coast across an entire continent definitely qualifies as exposure on a global scale. 7) I made no reference to the comment you mentioned. However I imagine that TW will probably make plenty of friends across the game, but probably not in some the more insular places where the game is played. Whether they need the friends to not is open to debate. If they buy their way to the top - do they need friends? Or will they make SL invitation only? I look forward to your inevitably lengthy reply!
  3. Really interesting and I'm looking forward to hearing what the forum thinks about your penultimate paragraph! The truth is, TW cannot start a league of their own, and are dependant upon the British (or Aus/NZ) for players and fixtures. I cannot see a supply of players on the Canadian side appearing in the next few years. If what you say about the TW financial strength is true (no reason to disbelieve you) then when TW inevitably rise towards superleague then potentially they have a lot more to offer the British game and can help drag the British game upwards through: 1) Increasing the commercial revenues through increased value of TV contracts due to the additional markets in North America 2) Provide another financially strong club at the top of the game capable of providing top-level salaries for our best players. This will help recruitment and retention of talent for the UK league. 3) Helps improve the image of UK rugby league moving it further from the mainly northern game to one which can be played by anyone, anywhere and provide glamorous opportunities for any player so inclined to earn their living in Toronto, Toulouse, London or Perpignan 4) Adds value to the league sponsorship with exposure on a more global scale For me, it's a marriage of convenience with both TW and the UK clubs benefitting from each other's existence.
  4. There's a sentence about Rugby league in this article. Thought it might be of interest. Breaking away It might be best to not mention anything else in the article, with this being a League forum and all that :-)
  5. I think I read in one of Tony Collins' books that the Welsh clubs took a vote on whether or not to join the NU. The 'remainers' won the day in a vote so close that if just one single additional club had voted to leave (and join the NU) then the whole of the Welsh RU would have switched and joined the Northern Union.
  6. I can't answer your question directly, but I'm in the same situation with you as an (ex-sky customer) but now I'm no longer paying them I'm not able to get any HD channels so beware that you may not be able to get the HD Premier Sports even though your Sky box works. Unless anyone knows any different?
  7. So much to learn for the European clubs. I hate the fact that when I go to a match, even Grand Finals and Internationals, the food and drink on sale to the general public is absolute ######. You end up paying through the nose for a pint of ###### lager in a plastic glass. Why can't UK stadium bars sell decent hand-pulled ales (yes I appreciate the skill in handling real ales) or at the very least decent ales out of bottles? The food on offer usually is equally ###### too.
  8. Two players banned from the same team in the same match. I was wondering, if the drug-testing people show up, how many players get tested at that match? i.e. did they test most of the team (and 2 out of the whole team returned positive results, which is not great) or i.e. did they test only two players (and both were positive, very worrying) which might indicate a huge problem within the Russian players in general? https://www.sportinglife.com/rugby-league/news/russian-duo-banned-for-doping/57996
  9. If the proposed new stadiums are along the lines of Warrington or Saints' then great. But I was underwhelmed with the descriptions I have seen of the new stadium for Cas so far, with a smaller capacity nothing like the original proposed design. Wheldon Road is still within it's community. The new ground is proposed to be in the middle of a retail park near the motorway I believe, even if it's still 'Castleford' sort of.
  10. Contaminated with what? It's been there 130 years? And if that's the case then the ground has very little value to anyone who wants to develop the land into a housing estate, which ironically increases its chances of remaining a RL stadium.
  11. I can't believe I'm writing this as I'm about to sound like a flat-capper, the likes of whom I've raged against for the last 25 years! But here goes. We lose something irreplaceable from the game with every traditional stadium lost and new flat-pack replacement built out-of-town. Both Cas and Trinity have space to develop their grounds and I'd love to see this happen although I do reluctantly accept that neither Belle Vue nor Wheldon Road seem likely to be redeveloped, which is a shame. Instead, the management of both clubs are pinning their hopes on third parties to build a soul-less, minimalist new-builds of limited capacity, and not big enough to cater for the biggest games, in out-of-town locations*. The atmosphere at games in these old stadiums is something that should be cherished and nurtured - it is an intangible asset for our game. We need to bring these grounds up to scratch and keep the clubs in the middle of the communities they serve. More expensive to redevelop the existing grounds? Yes. But if the move to a new stadium coincides with a downturn in playing fortunes then there's a real prospect of fans being lost from the game like at Salford. What's the cost of losing fans who may never come back? What's the cost to the game of losing a club? I'm aware that neither club has the cash to develop their ground. And in Wakey's case they don't even own a ground to develop. I'd like to see the RFL recognise the strategic importance of some clubs over others and get involved in 'investing' directly into these clubs. Help them by purchasing grounds if necessary and leading the development of key stadia using central funds. Subsequent increases in revenue for these clubs should be then fed back into the RFL directly until the 'investment' is paid back. Let's be honest: clubs with reasonably big existing fanbases in the heartlands have huge strategic importance - a focus for the local amateurs, they provide passionate noisy atmospheres for TV games and provide the game with context - history and strong links to the local communities. This strategic importance of these clubs justifies focussed investment of central funds to protect what we have, to ensure our amateur hotbeds of the sport survive and thrive. The governing body investing in one club and not others would be controversial. This is where good leadership and a big set of balls comes in. It'll never happen, but we can dream! *I'm not local to Wakefield/Cas so please correct me if i'm wrong.
  12. Interesting for me that you mention Heysham Atoms. I've been involved with the club for nearly 20 years. 100 years ago this areas was the heartlands. Professional clubs at Morecambe and Lancaster who mixed it up with Wigan and Saints. The politics of the early 20th century saw the professional clubs wither leaving the area largely devoid of league. Heysham Atoms started out in the 1980s as a Union works team from the power station. From what I understand it was stacked full of league lads from the Wigan area who expressed their preference for the 13-aside game and soon switched to league. Like many clubs, we've had our periods of success and occasionally struggles. Fortunately at the moment we're on a bit of a high with 3 junior teams plus a senior team in the premier division and noises about other junior teams emerging too. Despite all this, we can struggle for numbers occasionally at training. But we're ambitious and would love to fill in the gaps in our teams to ensure we can provide rugby kids of all ages. The local Union team is still a much bigger club than us with a full compliment of junior sides and girls / women's teams too, but it's my honest belief that our players in the first team are of a much higher standard. Problems developing the game outside the heartlands: despite only being an hour's drive from the heartlands, many teams we play view a trip to Heysham as being a trip into the outback. One of the problems we've experienced (all teams in the club) is getting teams to travel an hour up the motorway. If we were positioned even further away I can imagine the problem would be even greater. Kids being interested in league: Most of our young boys and girls do not know the difference between union and league. And do not care either. They can hardly sign their name on the signing on forms never mind explain the difference between the sports. There is a ton of kids in the area who will jump at the chance of some sporting action if it's organised for them and is fun. Money: We've been helped by a small grant from the RL Cares charity which helped start one team. We've had some generous sponsorships too. Money is not a huge issue for us. We charge kids £25/year subs plus £2.50/game. £500 from the kids plus a modest sponsorship or two to match gives you a budget of £1000+ which is plenty to buy a junior kit and run a team.. We do benefit from free use of facilities on the back of the seniors. Coaches/Administrators: Our biggest problem. Lack of coaches/volunteers/team administrators is what has always held back new teams forming at our club. There's always plenty of players if you've got the coaches/administrators to go out and do the recruiting.
  13. John Where on totalrl.com are tables published and results (latest scores, scorers etc) and attendances? I've no desire to 'crowd source' information from a 10-page forum thread before anyone suggests that. I'll point out that I am a paying customer of yours - I've been a subscriber to RLW & LE for 20 years or more. I even paid the £10 to be a member of this forum before League Publications decided to make it free for everyone. Respectfully, Totalrl.com doesn't even try and produce a few of the items I mentioned in the OP. And I've no desire to wait until my copy of LE arrives on a Tuesday to find out what happened.
  14. For years my go-to place was Sporting Life. Since the latest re-vamp its absolutley gash, with tables displayed as text, no attendances, fixtures and results not clear. Where is the best place to get online scores, news, attendances and reports from these days?