I understand your points. The amateur scene is vibrant and there are many ex pros who have been involved in coaching Cumberland ARL sides in recent seasons such as Ricky Wright, Craig Barker, Hitro Okesene, Jon Roper and Stephen Holgate. There have been players capable of stepping up who have choosen to remain in the amateur ranks. You could argue that at times in the last fifteen years sides such as Egremont, Ellenborough and Wath Brow were as professional as the so called professional set ups especially Workington who really struggled to survive after their pre super league adventures in the big league.
A combined West Cumbrian side would have the potential to match anything at Championship level. There is nothing wrong with the 50/50 split of games between the Rec and Derwent Park on paper but the finances of having two stadiums hosting a handful of games does not add up. Both clubs have ambitions of playing in modern stadiums but realistically the only option may be a merged club playing in the Lillyhall area and this would need super league rugby to be financially viable. A successful championship side would struggle to get more than 2000, similar to what Leigh, Featherstone and Halifax pull in at the moment.
I prefer to describe us as realistic rather than depressed!! I lived in West Cumbria for fifteen years and have a genuine interest in the game at all levels within the county. I can only see a merger being taken seriously if and when both Town and Haven are in dire straits and forced into a corner. I personally would like to see officials and senior personalities from the clubs and the towns working towards a super league franchise now but dont hold out too much hope. For the forseeable future Town and Haven will be average teams playing in National League One struggling to attract gates of more than 700-800.