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  1. Exactly what I was thinking Commentary way ahead of pictures
  2. I've not heard of their French counterparts wishing to join them, and I don't think the French Catalonians have the same political autonomy as what their Spanish counterparts enjoy. The interesting question is who and how does a national side get sanctioned? If they do break away, and we accept that a French player with Catalonian heritage automatically qualifies for a Catalonian team, then there would already be a Catalonian team of reasonable quality. There would also be 'Catalonian' junior leagues etc with lots of players with dual eligibility. What is the situation on Northern Ireland? Are players who are born in Northern Ireland eligible to play for the Irish team? Or is the Irish team drawn from just the Republic? It would basically be the same situation.
  3. Considering what has happened in politics over the last 2 years, its a brave man who rules anything out!
  4. Seriously, in the NRL there is already a team (New Zealand Warriors) which takes its club name from a nation. So maybe we wouldn't actually have the Catalans Dragons in international competition, but if Catalonia did form a nation, then we could have a Catalonia team. Maybe Catalonia vs France would develop into a Mediterranean 'origin' match!!
  5. Speaking of the Welsh, the Welsh Dragons vs the Catalans Dragons would be a fiery encounter!
  6. If Catalonia break away from Spain, do the Catalan Dragons then qualify as a nation and enter the World Cup? Even though the Catalans would be playing all their games away from home (in France?) I'm sure someone is going to take this thread too seriously :-)
  7. Great news for the game and for Wakey. You know if they move out of town they'd be like Salford or Swinton on a slow road to a painful death.
  8. Future SL breakaway?

    Remind me, which 'Traditional club' made way for Toronto again? I missed that.
  9. Future SL breakaway?

    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.
  10. Toronto v Coventry

    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!
  11. Toronto v Coventry

    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.
  12. 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 :-)
  13. Toronto v Coventry

    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.
  14. Premier Sports Offer

    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?