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About iffleyox

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  1. don't disagree with a lot of that, I just think we need to be careful what we wish for (which is not remotely the same thing as wanting Toronto to fail or hoping that it'll go away). It might bring success and money, but will it necessarily be RL still (this is where the wag will say "no, because it will have success and money")? Seems to me that a *potential* pitfall of going down this route is that after 20-odd years of adopting half baked American glitz it just goes the whole hog and becomes an American sport which gets exported back to the UK. Not saying that will definitely happen, but it's an option - personally I do think it should be the springboard to Toronto eventually being off-shored back into a professional north American league, not turning SL into a northern hemisphere competition.
  2. I think this is dying down a bit to be honest - my Dad (67) was certainly brought up to believe that "going north" was the worst sin in the world, but I was 15 in 1995 and have never had any pressure from friends or family not to watch League - despite being an RU playing public schoolboy. I suspect that that's increasingly the case - one of the members of my gang of touring southern ex-public schoolboys that go and watch SuperLeague matches is an Old Etonian.... We get a few funny looks when we open our mouths in backstreet Wakefield pubs (for example), but generally people take all of about 2 seconds to work out that we're genuine and not there to take the mick and end up buying us a pint. Where I do think there's a problem is not with the upper class, or even the upper middle class (any more anyway) - they've always had the insouciance to do whatever the hell they want - but with the lower middle class. That's where I've encountered residual resistance to RL far more than anywhere else - sort of "we've made it, and we will demonstrate this fact by the adoption of and jealous guarding of Rugby Union as a talisman of our status." That's not an anti RU point, before this gets punted into the cross code netherworld, it's intended as an observation on the "class argument" which I've not seen advanced on here before. Essentially, being an outside, you tend to notice other outsiders. The average RL fan in the stands or on the terraces of their local SL club might be surprised just who's sitting/standing 50 yards along.
  3. I've just ruined the new England logo for myself a bit more by clocking that it's has a similarity to that of the Decepticons - arch enemies of Optimus Prime.... Maybe that's just me.
  4. Speaking as someone who is a brand consultant, you wouldn't believe the amount of time we spend having to persuade companies that the answer isn't just or always a new logo. And from a strict business point of view that ought to be counter intuitive for us, because there's money in it. But if you're in the habit of trying to do what's right for your customer rather than what they want to spend their money on, then it pays to be honest. No one (hopefully) would deny that there are issues and challenges facing RL right? Given that starting point, *why* do a brand refresh? Is it the answer to any of those challenges? Or is it a bit of fiddling around the edges? The SL one needed to change, because the sponsor has changed. Did the RFL actually need to change it's own, or that of the England team? The England one (IMO) wasn't great, but neither of them were terrible. It's not that it's intrinsically wrong to do it, more that it shows an odd set of priorities. I've got no doubt that they are trying to address all the other problems the game's got (maybe I'm just young and naive), but this is just something that will feel to them like a quick win because it's cheap and visible. Cheap, visible and *necessary* is an entirely different argument - so it comes down to whether it's an improvement. Personally, I don't like the England one and both look like we're basically hitching ourselves to the NRL brand family - which would be lovely if that meant we'd be getting their cash and success, but as it is looks to people who recognise global RFL iconography that the designer was able to take even more shortcuts. Personal opinion, obviously. Edited just to add a caveat that my lot don't do sport brands, so this isn't professional jealousy. Who knows what constraints the agency had to work within.
  5. yes and no - my last post before above was criticising people for knocking Sharp's sponsorship of the HAC match. However, I've only been watching RL since 2013 and even *I* think this is a nonsense....
  6. You think? A halfway competent designer could have knocked up both of those in a morning without breaking a sweat. Which is exactly why they've done it - *much* quicker and easier than any of the real challenges. Add rebrands where the branding is the least of the problems to the list of business indicators.
  7. Completely agree that it's overproduced - although if you get it in Devon and Cornwall then it's still brewed in Rock and as good as ever. Rest of the UK it's brewed in Burton IIRC and not a patch on it.... However, the more positive way of spinning the story would be to say that it's Molson Coors (global owners of Sharp's) backing an RL event in the heart of London. Who knows, if they get a taste for it they might just extend the sponsorship to other RL things - Molson Coors having the budget to do that, rather than "one of the London microbreweries".... Or, this being RL, we could just find fault with it within 15 hours of the press release
  8. Massively, although I'm spoiled because my union side (Moseley) are going well at the moment so that's keeping my mind off the RL closed season. After a couple of years break/falling out of love with them I'm going to get over to Oxford for at least a couple of games this season, plus the odd trip to Belle Vue to deepen my new found ties with Trinity. The southern-public-schoolboys-who-go-on-outings-to-league-matches-periodically society have pencilled in Cas for the first trip north of the season. Be interested to see how Castleford compares to Wakefield, who actually made us embarrassed with their welcome. Wakefield made friends for life that game we first went up last season.
  9. and Americans. No idea why it's suddenly crossed the Atlantic.
  10. Old as the hills in RL, RU and cricket, not so much for the association code of football. Both codes sold memberships rather than season tickets when it suited them. "The dentist leads the way into his surgery. 'Sit in the chair,' he says. 'I've a member's ticket. That'll be how you traced me." This Sporting Life (1960), page 16.
  11. I agree with your last sentence; other than that.... I'm not sure you'd find many people who would agree that regional franchises have "saved" RU in Wales and Scotland. Scotland's ended up with 2 clubs, neither of which are in its RU heartlands. They get decent gates, but from memory overall spectators and participation in RU up there are through the floor. Scotland were the last to go professional/honest - and then it was mainly driven by an aspiration not to lose all their players to clubs paying more in England. As it is, with only 2 clubs, they could arguably not have bothered and just called players back from "abroad" for internationals - it's basically what they do with many of them now anyway. Regionalisation in Wales has been a disaster. Scarlets has worked because, alone among the franchises, it basically is Llanelli anyway. Ospreys still struggle with gates because of the number of people in Neath and Swansea who won't follow them (and the youth may well not remember the time before the Ospreys but they've been hoovered up by the meteoric rise of Swansea City anyway. Dragons are from the playing heartlands, and have small gates because everyone is either still playing, or spectating in penny packets across the large number of Principality Premiership clubs. Wales in particular is used by English RU fans as a reason *not* to go down that route. Ireland did work, after a fashion, but some of that was down to the fact that they were doing expansion anyway, so grafting in an "all in Ireland must be near top flight RU approach." If the RFL was going to (quietly) take lessons from RU, then look at Ireland and for god's sake don't pray Wales/Scotland in aid. Incidentally, before we all beat ourselves up too much, it might be instructive to note that there is a groundswell of opinion in RU looking over the fence and quite liking the 8s as a concept, and way to hold something out to championship clubs who can't aspire to actually get promoted to the Aviva. The grass appears to be greener on both sides of the fence depending on which side you're looking from.
  12. I think the clue's in Parksider's post - multiple clubs running multiple sides throughout the country. Go to an international in say 1972 and I reckon pretty well every man in a full Twickenham would be a current or ex player. RU is/was a game for players far more than spectators and in the "amateur" days it didn't matter if Wasps had a gate of 100 for their first if they were putting out 5 sides that afternoon, against the Bank of England who were putting out 6, or the Met Police with 4... You could fill Twickenham with players from around the country coming to see the top players, before you get onto ex-players or have to start worrying about fans who'd never played. As a confessed johnny come lately to League, I've got no idea how many people at the 1972 CCF were current or ex players, but with far fewer clubs to start with, there's the problem.
  13. It's got to be a bit of both - without going straight over to the CC forum there's a forum called Rolling Maul which deals with al RU outside the Premiership. There's currently a 29-pages-and-counting thread on there about the death throes of London Welsh which pretty much mirrors the one on here about Bradford post for post. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that Bradford fans could do with reading the LW thread and vice versa - if only to get tips, understanding and inspiration on liquidation and rebuilding. The difficulty in both codes is money - whether it's the RU prem or SL, the situation has run away from the games administrators (RFL or RFU, neither of which has covered themselves with glory), and individual clubs have beggared themselves trying to keep up. The difficulty these days (if it was ever any different) is that you can't really make money from most sports clubs - they're a plaything of "investors" who have to be realistic that most of the time it's not an investment so much as a donation. Clubs shoot for the top because that's what sport's about, but then really most of them should be happy with bumping along at a level that's sustainable. My union club was one of the all-conquering titans of the code in the 1960s and 1970s - they're now bumping along in tier 3. That's the breaks - along the way we lost our ground and a few thousand fans. But thanks to the dedication of the die-hard fans and ex-players, at least we still exist. Same in RL L1 - there are clubs in there that are basically making up the numbers from the point of view of the wider sport, but they are basically playing for the love of it - and very good luck to them. I never went to Oxford RL expecting to see them win from one game to the next but I still went. If I knew the answer it might suggest that there was an easy answer - but the relative levels of chaos in both RU and RL would suggest to me that it's just the new reality. Yes, the RFL and RFU make breathtakingly daft decisions (more often than not), but I'd be tempted to cut them some slack. Each club gets to decide whether or not to do something silly to keep up, so ultimately I think it has to be laid at the club's door primarily when the wheels come off.
  14. Agree entirely, outside military intervention- it just seemed to me that military intervention was the direction the thread seemed to be going in, which is why I was focused on that.
  15. "Intervention" is of course a very elastic concept. I've got no idea if you've served, or more to the point if you've served since September 11th 2001, but I have. There is nothing we can usefully do. There just isn't. Caroline Lucas is now wittering on about how the UK should be supporting a humanitarian corridor out of Aleppo. Just a shame she hasn't joined the dots and realised that that can be done really easily - if we just enforce a no-fly zone on Russian forces. Remember General Jackson's response when NATO ordered him to seize that Kosovan airfield before the Russians got there? That's the sort of territory we're in now. Everything, pretty much, that the west has touched in the sandy places in the last couple of decades has got worse, fallen over or exploded. Frankly, the window to do something in Syria was about the time the Commons were busy telling Mr Cameron he couldn't and then celebrating when they got their own way. Since then it's been even more of a hiding to nothing. There's nothing we can realistically do, even should we want to. The ship has sailed. It's a human tragedy, but it didn't start this week, and can't be stopped by an intervention this week either. The time for action was at least 2 years ago.