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  1. I have played watched coached and supported this game for 50 years and sometimes I really do think the negativity starts at the top and runs down the hill We have some really successful business people running clubs that they support with millions of pounds of their own cash year in year out because they are as dedicated as any fan out there i just dont get why they cant see they need to get a market expansion policy going that doesn’t require a carbon copy of them joining the boys club lets think for a second - if it was music, financial services, legal services, oil, shares and commodities you name it every single one of the owners we have in sl would be out in the world hunting down new markets and listening to those in the markets they hold to look at trends and asset movements across all demographics. as soon as they move into rl they become the mill owner circa 1895 if you build it they wont chuffing come - they have to know its there first then they need to know its something they can enjoy for whatever reason and the actual sport is nice but not always a necessary reason for going - but becomes that when the sport manages to get under the skin of its any good the NFL London games are a real pointer to this as are England RU matches as are 20/20 cricket matches - i know loads of people that go for the event, like going to see a top music star, they might not like the music but its familiar in a way and their mates are going - the point is the day after they may well buy the CD or buy that England RU top in Burton's because their mates have it and you are part of something bigger I had hoped Elstone had a view beyond SL and vested interest. I had hoped he was going to be more than a patsy pulling a salary and promoting the same stuff to the same markets. So far he has disappointed. Rimmer on the other hand seems to be supporting the rest of the game including internationals through OurLeague without the financial clout to get a decent server to host it on - but at least he’s having a go, if slightly limited in scope - if i was in a team under sl level i would be looking t what i could do to help that limited imagination rather than sitting back and waiting - you never know it might produce a bit of magic in its own right and that level sorely needs it - capitalise On the interest on the field that is there, possibly more so again than in SL My hope is that the green shoots we see over seas in the northern hemisphere, wherever they may be, dont wither and die and that where we can as a sport we support this growth, because it is the future of the game here whether some of us deny it or not, look up and see what we could have, not what we dont.
  2. Wow thought i was the only one that waffled!!! The North American dream will live or die on the back of self interest from sl clubs given the history of rfl/sl decision making i am expecting myopic at best short sightedness but hoping for some genuine leadership and strategic planning again not too excited but always see glass half ful twp are just what we needed when we needed it - more please london getting promoted is great news - just hope they hold their own and grow - they are the team no cap would most benefit - and they now have a home Toulouse have missed the boat again and require help or significant investment bulls need to get in the playoffs this season otherwise the momentum goes - they more than anyone need fans to be successful again - lots of pressure there USA teams? - why not - expand the comp - play us players mixed with journeymen plus marquees - if they have the cash they are in - sl needs TWP and i would guess at least 2 east coast USA teams - then look to the balkans for a sl club from that region the Aussies look to a 20 team comp so should we they collectively fly 10000’s of miles every year - no issues - we look to do it and its impossible? Clearly not i recall league in the 80s and 90s absolutely skint and dying (again) low playing numbers etc etc BBC showing internationals for nothing players getting winning or losing pay - some weeks late as well - clubs owned by one person creditors everywhere Tonga - just think what has been done there just by saying YES instead of WHY? let the game grow or kill it by ‘protecting’ something we never had!
  3. It would be OK if it had fixtures for the likes of Cook Islands and Niue etc as well but as usual we let them out of the box when its convenient As for GB, NZ are willing as are any other SH team, Australia seem to want to avoid GB/England and that’s a terrible indictment of their international policy - they wish to lead expansion in their own guise not ours Said it before and would say it again we need to forget Aus altogether and let them come to us, beat everyone else as we will do and carry on making the point that they are shirking and not facing the real threat that is GB - and after watching them against NZ i would be wary of playing England now as well We need to develop what we have in the NH and make the SH come to us so a meaningful international calendar in the NH would raise a lot of teams profiles around us if England were in those comps with GB playing NZ/other pacific nations, a reverse of the Knights in PNG and England at home And a pointed statement about Aus during out needs to be made
  4. He. Said he was a TWP player on his pod cast. - very surprised if he has had a change. Of. Heart - although he may well have a SL clause in the contract and now be aware of it - not a problem testing the market - but he would be a very good signing for the championship and offer a great deal - as well as expanding his coffee empire organically to Toronto - would be interesting to see Argyle back that one with his restaurant business
  5. The reality is that if this was played in France it would pull in an audience - played in the UK its a glorified practice session I’m in Devon and would like to go but mid week is poor by any stretch - a weekend to cover some BBC blank space would have been good but i guess the RFL just don’t want empty seats and its just not the event it should be If we dont support these things they wont grow and we haven’t supported the France matches for years more is the pity
  6. Kris

    Paul Rowley Perrenial Choker

    5 team play off - winner takes all goes straight up - SL loser gets a parachute payment otherwise same funding as all other champ clubs So the teams with backers will flourish - welcome to a RL flashback from the 80’s - have cash will win Mind you it will even up the comp across the bottom end and at least they should have some cash for the odd good player to supplement the squads TWP will have to play hard to win next year, Widnes will i think have a different edge now all youth with a few old heads and they have SL experience albeit a few seasons too early for a lot of them Halifax may look at going full time apparently with that level of consistent funding, Toulouse are full time and Ford has resigned so a big push there, Fev have rejigged the squad, the Bulls will be looking for a good season and possibly consolidation as will York so perhaps TWP wont have it all their own way? There will no doubt be some heavy recruitment to make sure i would suggest in the off season What about NYC? That would be interesting as well - needs to be progressed i think
  7. Kris

    Paul Rowley Perrenial Choker

    TWP are a pro side in a semi pro comp - the players they have were more than good enough to get promotion, any other year with the points they got they would have gone straight up London haven’t been praised on here and neither has Ward, that team of young lads and a few old heads should be celebrated - TWP didn’t have an answer but in reality crossed the whitewash three time for no points. Had TWP kicked for goal on the several occasions they were in range on the back of penalties they would have won - i would promote them both if i could but ain’t up to me London will struggle because they have no recruitment plans and there has been absolutely no move to bring anyone in - i recall ward stating it was possibly a year early for promotion in the summer although i suspect he’s a happy teddy now regardless - good for them very well done The match was far from a classic, Rowley tried to play play off football which is very defence orientated and failed mostly, in my view, because his team isn’t that good at playing that sort of game. They have a good pack that should have outgunned London, but was nullified by youth and energy. London wont be able to sustain that through a SL season without new blood. TWP need some new halves or at least fit halves. Possibly another strike second row and not the workhorses that played. Gary Wheeler was very good, but no edge at the line. Too much defending. And TWP struggled against real pace. Both game plans were conservative and quite poor in reality and neither would/will survive SL with the staff they have and the methodology they use. I imagine there is a lot of work in London right now to get players on board, frantic almost. Rowley is gone, McDermott as predicted is in, there will be changes so bye bye Brierley and possibly a number of others - Dixon isn’t a Mac type player for a start - whatever he puts together will be interesting but he cant change too much as the Champs will be very competitive next year Another interesting point is the lack of fitness in the TWP - nt sure what the staff are doing with them but they aren’t SL standard fitness wise, London showed much more in fitness terms than TWP - need to get out of Beswicks gym and on the field Rowley gone, Finnegan to follow? One thing we can say, TWP have now got a real home, and that’s worth celebrating - potentially an 8 team shoot out if Bradford get out of the blocks well - i will be watching that comp, just wish it was on TV!
  8. Kris

    Empty seats etc

    Just watched the Bulls on OurLeague app - see the crowd anyone? The championship may well be the better league for drama next year - Uncle Ralph must be laughing his socks off London/Toronto, Bulls, York, Toulouse, Fev (if they sort themselves out) Fax, possibly Leigh, possibly Warrington if they can raise for one more game, Batley are recruiting well, Dewsbury finished the season well, Sheffield need some troops, Rochdale favourites to go down already. Top 5 play off, and potentially some very decent crowds. SL needs TWP more than TWP need SL right about now - very odd but true - a splash of glamour that otherwise it doesn’t have - I would take London as well, but that wont happen unless they win as underdogs, but work off the field there needs to rival that on it and doesn’t If you get the chance view the crowd shots of the Bradford game, a full home stand plus some - it looked really rather heart warming and I am not a Bulls fan SL needs to live up to the level of interest the Bulls, York, Toronto etc have created this year and there needs to be change at the top of the tree - Warrington win would be good a start but the field needs to open up now - otherwise what’s the point? Meanwhile Uncle Ralph now has a product that could go on regional TV if not national TV, free or not he wont be bothered, the exposure alone would drag in commercial revenue when comparing it with the other sports throwing free TV games out there Today is a good day hope it gets better - go TWP
  9. Kris

    UK SL Attendances 2018

    If we look at what has been successful since the inception of SL and how the game grew for a decade there are obvious things we need to do 1. Bradford as a successful community led club need to be back in SL - and as a city where RL should still be the number 1 sport 2. Top 5 play off - got that now, would prefer a 14 team sl with top 8 but you cant have everything 3. Play off in the Championship - got that, it worked very well in the past, if we cant have a middle 8’s because SL teams underperform and fear it, then a play off is the next best thing 4. No loop fixtures because the super 8’s show people are not stupid and wont turn out for meaningless rubbish - oops! - no wonder crowd figures are down, continually turn out rubbish meaningless tat and people will walk away 5. Expansion - TWP will bring an average home attendance of 6500 at least - and increase attendances in the UK because they will have that Hollywood factor next year in SL - Argyle is already buying players and they wont necessarily be from our comp or sport which is brilliant and what other SL chairmen have prattled on about but not done for a few seasons now 6. Just adopt the NRL rules for SL - and referee to that standard - the NRL is exciting and free flowing footy - thankfully this seems to be on the cards at all matches including a video ref - forces the standard to grow on the field instead of pandering to the foibles of players in matches and ###### technique Looking forward to the next few years now, 2018 seems like a lost year, we have them from time to time, best to use it as a foundation year and not a trap door year But please, someone somewhere either get a few more teams into SL soon or just drop the loopy games because they kill a season otherwise - fill the gap with internationals, turn the CC into a real all game inclusive tournament, whatever, just drop those meaningless stupid loopy droopy fixtures And if you think they should stay have a look at the crowd figures for those games in the super 8;s where there was nothing to play for, and the momentum from that leading into the semi’s with empty seats on TV - woeful - you cant hide ###### fixtures in and amongst either people are not stupid, three Hull derbys minimum arent events they are excuses to see just one, probably Magic as a day out - otherwise its just normality and people rightly want the exceptional Lots of ups at the moment, still neeed to get rid of the road humps that remain
  10. He is buying a club with its own facilities and a rather large player pool to draw from - he is a philanthropist, believes rugby is a way to stop kids going off the rails - and there are a lot of talented athletes who will never see the light of day down there He gets players, facilities, and membership of the RFL - they are not invitees like TWP or Catalans or TO I dont think this is about moving a team to Philly or anywhere else, i think its about using the skolars as a development team/reserve grade to get his players from over there over here and playing at a higher standard I would also be a bit wary if i was the Broncos, because Skolars may well end up being the big boys with Argyle behind them now Note he has a 25% stake - i think you cannot own 2 member clubs in RL - TWP aren’t a member - maybe this is a way of testing the waters a bit Strategically it wouldn’t make sense relocating the team out to Philly or anywhere else unless he moved the membership/franchise to the USA, which would be amazing, and kept the Skolars on for resubmission at a later date complete with facilities to do it - ends up with three teams, one full member in the USA, one invited TWP and one he only owns a 49% sure in - so doesn’t own the Skolars To be fair surprised he hasn’t bought the Widnes franchise/membership!
  11. Andrew Chambers raises a very good point when he discusses the Premiership Union move to a private equity owned league in Where would it leave the rest of the game if it happened in RL? RU has the same issues RL has but on a larger scale, however economies of scale seem to show a larger salary cap gives larger debts The RU game benefits from its international exposure in its home markets significantly - clearly the club game has no more ideas than ours does even with greater playing numbers and financial resource to call on, overall it still doesn’t make money The only relatively new boy on the block that also happens to make money is Exeter, but that’s a welsh style regional team that sucks up everything else down here and RL doesn’t really have this unless you look at Catalans as a possible similar example In the USA private equity firms effectively own sports and award franchises and therefore large chunks of cash to those areas and club owners that present the best business cases, and are not afraid to move a franchise if it isn’t working - across all sports - and also isn’t afraid to direct large resources into establishing a club that wont pay its debt back virtually ever - so there is no debt it’s owned by the governing body, or as we should call them, the private equity companies that own the sports. There will be two potential sides now in RU - International (RFU) owned assets and premiership owned assets - they are no longer players Private equity frankly wont give stuff about the international game, it will enforce contracts on its assets and if they follow the other equity models in USA sport, the club game will rule and franchising will spread internationally through the club game Chambers talks about a billion dollars - if, and it is an if, Elstone has been brought in as the link between a private equity firm and SL, and negotiations with the RFL, it will be to buy the RFL, not just the SL assets - which suggests Rimmer will know this and will negotiate accordingly In the context of the whole sport this may be a good thing, in the context of SL alone its a bad thing because the rest of the sport has no financial support without the RFL - the Premiership and the RFU each have their own pots to fall back on. I am not sure why Chambers repeatedly infers there is something going on without being openly transparent about what it is - i think the SL break away is a bit of fake news - i think there is a bigger issue here and Chambers may have found it if he doesn’t k now what it is about in full Bear in mind Davy at the Giants has a private worth over £50 million, same as Moran, Lenagan and Caddick/Heatherington (potential worth as a pair £150 million) We talk a lot about all kinds of other more immediate things in RL but haven’t really discussed this - the owners of our sport at the elite level are worth hundreds of millions of pounds - net worth. The RFL is essentially a non-profit organisation so will never ever be a long term benefit to the game other than as an administrator and arbitrator So where do we get the money for real meaningful lasting expansion similar to Melbourne or even Catalans - its either a personal individuals wealth - (Guasch net worth is hard to find but rumoured to be over 20million euros and his companies, and there are several, worth more) - or its from a sponsor - newscorp in the case of Melbourne The RFL cant do that and a disparate group of very rich club owners cant either So..a what if... Elstone could have been the FA’s next bigwig, or head of the Premier league - on a lot more cash and with a lot higher profile Instead he is now in a sport torn with internal strife and suffering like the RU premiership with a lack of investment and no leadership - a man who spent his time with private equity firms and local and national authority to get a multi million pound stadium built in one of the poorest areas in the UK Money attracts money - he is employed as a CEO not just because he is a good administrator and a nice bloke who loves the sport - he brings a very active and I would say potentially interested group to the table through his own contacts - i would love to see his employment contract, i bet there is a link to a percentage perpetual amount even if he leaves based on income into the sport and how it grows - incentivises the deal - makes it more attractive The people who have the money in our sport could bank roll a revolution - but they wouldn’t own it - and there is commercial risk in doing so The safest model is for central funds = central profits = greater central funds etc - if the company fails the loss is limited to that central body - look at the failed USA RU leagues over the last few years - the governing body folds as a company and reawakens somewhere else and has another go - learns the lessons etc Putting it all together this may be where we are now headed - its both exciting and worrying - because if you take it to its natural conclusion, RL is a very strong product in the Southern Hemisphere while RU has a stronger northern hemisphere presence - if you want to conquer the world you either do it through conquering the opponent or through merger and acquisition, then you have to integrate and engage with all stakeholders - a hybrid game - the money in that would be huge - the identity of both sports would be lost And anyone that knows the corporate commercial world knows that mergers and acquisitions are very much the order of the day. Is this what is really happening now, are we seeing the real commercialisation of sport and is RL on the cusp of going down the road? Chambers makes some interesting points, but a billion dollars to the clubs? Even if that figure was close, it would be to the private equity firm that owns and runs the sport to allocate full stop - which would then leave the owners of each franchise the liberty to have a sport without a cap and all cash from the sport would effectively run the administration and day to day expense of having a team - including the stadium fees - leaving owners free to hit whatever they wanted to in fees for players Private equity would be a strategic player - and that means some teams would miss out - who is safe then? Leeds, Saints, Bradford, Warrington, London, Catalans, Toronto (richest owner in the English game!), Hull as a city, possibly Wigan and Huddersfield as they have the finances to play with the others if they wanted to Everyione else, and this includes the lower division teams, would merge/become feeder clubs/relocate to strategic positions across the UK/EU/North America There is then the issue that private equity needs to be interested in a sport because there is money (a return) to be made - clubs with external TV deals in Asia and North America such as Toronto bring a value - what we have currently in a closed market doesn’t so much - so would private equity be interested in RL now without the strategic plan of massive change across the sport? Is this what is actually on the agenda and getting lower league clubs to take a back room position the start of that? It certainly weakens them significantly going forward and a quick change in the RFL constitution would open the way for multiple team ownership. Maurice Lindsey wanted mergers across the north and expansion into wales and Scotland on the back of it as well as across the EU - are we back there? The RFL and SL are private companies - i genuinely wish someone would cough what the hell is actually going on and where the sport is going in the future - if its mergers and a move to expand through external investment then just disclose so we can all get used to it and support the game going forward- if not stop chewing on the same old bones and get on with it! Anyone else a bit fed up with it all now? I think loyalty is a 2 way street and as fans we deserve to know what is going on, its the behind closed doors approach that screws up this game - either keep it all quiet and tell us when you have something to talk about or open the bloody door to scrutiny and live with it.
  12. Kris

    Union trying to poach Gigot

    He has not gone anywhere yet - after all he has been through I wouldn’t be surprised not see him stay - always prefer to be where i am wanted than where the so called premium opportunities are - it can be a lonely non productive place when you dont have your mates to spare off - ask Sam Burgess
  13. Kris

    England need a game.

    Samoa, Fiji. France and England 4 matches over 2 weekends - 2 in France 2 in the UK - then England v France end of season prior to whatever end of season series there is going to be Sam v Fiji back home end of season gives them some added value too Following year bring in Tonga and PNG, France pre series again Exiles was interesting but the quality isn’t there every year Better off with a Best of Europe side as above - that would be a good squad worth watching - few niggles in that one especially if there are players not in the knights and not in the GB squad with a point to prove along with French players
  14. It’s huddersfield I’m afraid - dont seem to get many matches on TV even when we are playing well and the fans turn up - would have been nice to watch this one
  15. Kris

    Louis Anderson retires.

    Great player. At. His best and at his worst still very useful. - always gave it some, great player to watch still a great impact player off the bench. Hope he ‘retires’ and carries on in the Elite - passes on some skills and advice to young french players