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Well Done Batley Bulldogs

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Steve, I think it is a bit condescending coming from a happy SL fan.

Before I was a happy SL fan I was a happy NL fan. And if Huddersfield ever got thrown out of SL I'd go back to being a happy NL fan.

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I don't see that it's condescending. I just think it reflects a realistic assessment of Batley's chances of competing successfully in the same league as Wigan and Leeds.

I think having a professional second tier with clubs not wanting to go up is just fine. There's no reason why every club should want to, or be allowed to, play in the top division. There is a role for clubs of all sizes.

The RFL could certainly try and help NL1 clubs reach SL but I'm not sure that even Richard Lewis can suddenly rustle up 50,000 extra people to go and live in Batley.

Some clubs are small. It's a fact of life. The key is to help small clubs that are constrained by their location become better small clubs, not to dream of them becoming big clubs.

If RL does not have a second tier with everyone jostling to go up, I don't think the game is progressing. Imagine if Blackpool refused to go into the prem at soccer. I don't think it is healthy to have clubs with no ambition to go up (perhaps because they aren't incentivised by the RFL). It is also partially preventing ambitious clubs from winning trophy's

Regarding your comments about Batley, I note on a West Yorks map that there are no SL clubs south of the M62 and West of the M1 barring Huddersfield much further south, and the likes of Liversedge, Tingley, Birstall, Cleackheaton, Heckmondwike, Hightown, Bradley and Mirfield could well opt to support Batley. I would guess that is a few hundred thousand. Not a small club then, eh?

I can now see why you wouldn't want Batley in SL. Perhaps you see that territory as potentially Huddersfields?

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Before I was a happy SL fan I was a happy NL fan. And if Huddersfield ever got thrown out of SL I'd go back to being a happy NL fan.

Steve - Apart from the short 1 year stay in the NL's when you had a large parachute payment, Huddersfields VERY long stay in the lower tier was far from happy, and there were very few Hudds fans happy or sad

My guess is that if Huddersfield were thrown out of SL, the days of a few hundred hardy souls would return, because no-one bar these diehards likes being condemned forever to watching lower league RL

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Steve - Apart from the short 1 year stay in the NL's when you had a large parachute payment, Huddersfields VERY long stay in the lower tier was far from happy, and there were very few Hudds fans happy or sad

My guess is that if Huddersfield were thrown out of SL, the days of a few hundred hardy souls would return, because no-one bar these diehards likes being condemned forever to watching lower league RL

I started watching them properly in 1991 and for seven years or so after that we were mostly a mediocre lower league team pulling in crowds of about 2,000. And it was fine. I enjoyed it. If it works out that the club goes back to that and another club steps up into SL I'll be a bit disappointed but I'll still watch them just the same and I'll enjoy it just the same.

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If RL does not have a second tier with everyone jostling to go up, I don't think the game is progressing. Imagine if Blackpool refused to go into the prem at soccer. I don't think it is healthy to have clubs with no ambition to go up (perhaps because they aren't incentivised by the RFL). It is also partially preventing ambitious clubs from winning trophy's

Regarding your comments about Batley, I note on a West Yorks map that there are no SL clubs south of the M62 and West of the M1 barring Huddersfield much further south, and the likes of Liversedge, Tingley, Birstall, Cleackheaton, Heckmondwike, Hightown, Bradley and Mirfield could well opt to support Batley. I would guess that is a few hundred thousand. Not a small club then, eh?

I can now see why you wouldn't want Batley in SL. Perhaps you see that territory as potentially Huddersfields?

It's not that I don't want Batley to go up. It's that I think it's fine for a club to have ambitions that do not include Superleague and all of the extra risks and costs that go with that. I don't think Batley are an unambitious club, far from it. I just think their ambitions are more around serving their own community and I can't see anything wrong with that.

Bradley is actually in Huddersfield BTW. I grew up around there. Noone in Bradley would think of themselves as being in Batley.

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It's not that I don't want Batley to go up. It's that I think it's fine for a club to have ambitions that do not include Superleague and all of the extra risks and costs that go with that. I don't think Batley are an unambitious club, far from it. I just think their ambitions are more around serving their own community and I can't see anything wrong with that.

Bradley is actually in Huddersfield BTW. I grew up around there. Noone in Bradley would think of themselves as being in Batley.

The weakness to yours and many others arguments is the assumption that there is a continued appetite for an SL club in a town or city & that once an SL club is formed it is sustainable for perpetuity.

Arguably even without franchising Bradford, Harlequins and others are showing sserious signs of fan fatigue. So do Batley (or another successful club) step aside to prop up a dud? Or do Batley go hard for those fans south of Bradford who are fed up of Odsal?

The other fact regarding Batley's happy state with their limited ambition is that it does not have a good omen about it. Almost all the teams who have reached either the Northern Rail or Grand Final who do not have access to promotion to SL have fallen spectacularly from grace and have rebuilt from NL2. I believe this is because the club simply cannot kick on and build momentum.

Edited by Ackroman

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The other fact regarding Batley's happy state with their limited ambition is that it does not have a good omen about it. Almost all the teams who have reached either the Northern Rail or Grand Final who do not have access to promotion to SL have fallen spectacularly from grace and have rebuilt from NL2. I believe this is because the club simply cannot kick on and build momentum.

I disagree with this totally. Almost all the clubs that have reached the Northern Rail or Grand Final and not had access to promotion have, until the very last minute, deluded themselves into believing that the RFL will cave in and let them into SL. Keighley, Dewsbury and Hunslet all went down this route in the late 90s or early 00s.

It's not that they can't "kick on", it's that they lead all their fans on and tell them that the only place to be is SL and all other rugby is worthless. Then they don't get in and the sense of disappointment ruins them, with the club directors usually resorting to howling at the unfairness of it all instead of focusing on making the best of the club they have got. The next step is inevitable decline.

The reality is that Batley are a million miles away from being able to compete week in and week out with Wigan and Leeds, or even with Salford and Wakefield. And that won't change unless someone appears with

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The weakness to yours and many others arguments is the assumption that there is a continued appetite for an SL club in a town or city & that once an SL club is formed it is sustainable for perpetuity.

Arguably even without franchising Bradford, Harlequins and others are showing sserious signs of fan fatigue. So do Batley (or another successful club) step aside to prop up a dud? Or do Batley go hard for those fans south of Bradford who are fed up of Odsal?

I'm not sure why this is a weakness. Contrary to the flat cap myth SL is not a closed shop and I personally would be happy to see clubs demoted and replaced by other clubs from the National Leagues. The key is that those clubs promoted are in a position to make a realistic go of playing in Superleague and that requires a great deal more than a halfway decent first team.

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