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  1. I actually know part of the answer to this - it cuts both ways. I was lobbying hard a few years ago for a U.K. household name sponsor to get involved at RFL/SL level as a sponsor. I was sorting out their sponsorship/marketing/brand awareness and there was/remains a great fit - I’m obviously not going to name them. They were attracted by the low cost of signing up, but at the same time would rather, in as many words, “spend double or triple on something with a nationwide profile”. I tried.
  2. Hi John, potentially a bit of a cop-out post but for the record (just in case you need "weight of argument" at TRL towers) I agree with pretty much every word of this, although I enjoyed the WSL stuff.
  3. and just to muddy the waters further, genetically Celts outnumber Saxons *in England* 3:1. There's a good case, that on the basis of those numbers, if a "Celtic nation" is a thing then England's one of them! https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/we-re-nearly-all-celts-under-the-skin-1-1141420 "If one thinks that the English are genetically different from the Scots, Irish and Welsh, that's entirely wrong,"
  4. Just seen and i’m on my phone https://wakefieldtrinity.com/club-statement-21-03-2019/
  5. ????? https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/43be13a3-ffe9-4aa4-a1cd-adf0efcb1712
  6. There's probably at least 3 categories of not "owning" your ground though: 1 - council/third party owned land, on which the club has a long lease and on which the club owns everything standing on the land and takes all revenues from events at the ground less rent. There are loads in this category. 2 - third party owned ground on which the club has a lease and manages for its own benefit, taking all revenues from events at the ground less rent 3 - paying to play at "your" ground - where the club gets in when the doors are unlocked 2 hours before kick off and receives little to no benefit from corporate hospitality or match day sales, and nothing from other events at the ground. The latter can break a club, and it's a very short list... Given the RFL's financial situation I'd reckon they'd want to do option 3 otherwise the numbers won't stack up. 1 or 2 would be best for BWFC, but much less attractive for the RFL. Given the money in football, it'd be a very rich man/idiot who would take on BWFC without its ground as it would be literally all outgoings and little chance of income from anything other than transfers and a percentage of the home gate less deductions to the stadco. A club wanting a new ground and letting the RFL come in on the ground floor before a sod is turned is one thing, and not a bad idea. Cutting in on "someone else's" ground and making them less attractive as a purchase for their own future is quite another.
  7. As others have said, I'm not sure this is remotely realistic given the RFL's lack of cash, but also I really don't think they should be in the business of profiting off the misery of other clubs in other sports. It's working so well for Wasps - "cuckoos" who have "stolen" Coventry City's ground... Like it or not, football fans expect to own or have primacy of tenure in their own grounds, take all the money from F&B and conferencing and come out swinging against those that displace them.* I'd give it about six months of RFL as the saviour of Bolton Wanderers before the BWFC fans start demanding they're run out of town. Public relations disaster in the medium-long term. Bolton fans will be dreaming of big money investors coming in for them and their ground (the only thing worse than going out of business and phoenixing is separating the club from the ground). They would view someone coming in for the ground only as making the situation worse I would expect - every time it has happened (and it hasn't happened often) the fans have screamed the house down. *In the football league and premiership I can count on very few fingers the clubs that don't control their own grounds and the income from those grounds - Coventry, Oxford Utd and, er... well there must be a couple of others... Regardless of whether out of the 92 league/prem clubs there are 2 or 22 who don't control their grounds and ground income though, I'd imagine it's an academic point given the lack of means to buy it...
  8. some anecdotal evidence from the education sector (especially in the West Midlands) that rugby (either code) and indeed full contact sports in general are a hard sell to the Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi communities - sweeping generalisation I know but backed up by traditional RU schools falling off as their make-up changes. Certainly when I was at school in Birmingham in the 1990s my friends from those communities didn't so much not have interest in rugby as face some family pressure not to play it because of the risk of injury/need to focus on academic studies to become a doctor* (pejorative but over 7 years I can think of about 8 people in my year who basically said that to me). On the other hand, hockey and cricket clubs are doing very well. IMO it's a seriously big job on to turn this round, and potentially existential problems ahead for West Mids RU and M62 RL in some towns if someone doesn't crack it. My view is anything is worth a go, but what works for cricket doesn't *seem* to be an easy translation across into rugby. None of this is to deny the obvious existence of investors from the south Asian communities (lumped together simply for speed of typing), or players, or fans; just that culturally they don't seem to be there in numbers and there are forces pushing against it. *and yes, theoretically cricket should have the same issue with time not spent studying, but it doesn't - presumably because they're coming from a culture where cricket and hockey are culturally embedded. My own (RU) club has had some success recruiting both 1st team fans and M&Js simply from marketing the 350-400 cover banqueting suite firmly at Hindu and Muslim weddings and other rites of passage. We're still not talking great numbers of conversions but some attendees realise where the ground is, and that they're welcome, and come back the following Saturday. Baby steps basically....
  9. That's just pins in a map thinking - the real opportunity's Skeggy
  10. well obviously Ratu Naulago, because he's just been determined "really good" enough to sign for Hull FC. Semesa Rokoduguni at Bath is in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards on the same terms. That's about it in the pro world in either code at the moment I think, although there's probably a couple of others. All I said was that the really good ones would, not that there's loads of them. The 1/2/3 very best are usually on the books at a prem club. Sometimes the very best aren't good enough for that obviously. Then, which was more my point, there's the ones not good enough for the top rank who are at the tier 2/3 clubs. In the current army team, off the top of my head Chris Leathem is at Newport Salop because it's close to his barracks, Ravai Fatiaki is at Moseley although he was at Leicester before that. Lewis Bean is going the other way, at Moseley, but training with and guesting for Worcester in the A League. James Dixon's gone off my radar a bit but I think he's in the championship somewhere. None of that lot are good enough for SL, or the RU Premiership, and accordingly they have to fit in rugby around their soldiering because the army sees no PR value in letting them go and be pro outside the top flight. I suppose all I'm saying, from experience, is that forces rugby (either code) is unlikely to be a hotbed of untapped talent. It's been tapped, and the general standard might help out a Championship or League/National 1 side in either code. I don't know to what extent SL go looking at the moment, but Premiership RU certainly does, and doesn't often dig out someone that they think they can use. However, if someone's good enough, in either code, to play in the top flight then the army is pretty good at releasing them.
  11. Can be a bit of a double edged sword though - the *really* good ones will get release/permission to do this. The ones that aren't going to walk straight into Hull FC/Bath get only half released. Teams at tier 3 in RU are already using loads of army guys, but they lose them from Christmas to the end of the season because it's inter-service championship time and the army wants them back. Can be more trouble than it's worth and disruptive to the rest of the team. I'd go so far as to say that virtually every decent army rugby player, certainly on the RU side of the divide, will already be playing for a club at a good level. There are certainly names I can think of off the top of my head in the Prem and the Championship. Only the top 1 or 2 will be a de facto pro in uniform though - everyone else is kicking around national 1/2 and training twice a week on top of their soldiering.
  12. I’d have another go at Oxford - but back at Iffley Road and without bussing players.
  13. Problem with that though is you frame it like it’s a bad thing nevertheless. If some of it’s an act and she’s effective then does it matter? I’ve never voted Labour in my life but I do like Jess. for clarity I have so far voted Lib Dem, continuity Liberal Party, Green and, er, Mebyon Kernow. for me it all comes down to empathy. If someone’s empathetic then I don’t care who they are, where they come from or the colour of their rosette. By the same token as the “what can she know really about x......” you can turn the tables and say “oh a working class MP who has never earned more than £30k can talk about poverty but i’ll Give their opinions on pretty well everything else a stiff ignoring because what can they know about y?”
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