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nec

15 years on

131 posts in this topic

You are a daft devil, trying to tell me about the people who watch Bramley and Hunslet and Leeds.

The fact is I have been one of them, have been amongst them for 40 years, and have known so many of them over the years.

Stop making it up.

It's never the same people Parky. I've been watching Fev for thirty years (I supported Wakey - well Neil Fox) for twenty before that. But I'm 63 and sometime in the next few years I'll probably be too old to keep going. It'll be nearly forty years since Parkside closed. How many of those who attended regularly are still alive today, or able to attend a football match? Crowds are dynamic. If Fev had won in 1998, instead of Wakey, I've no doubt that they'd have at least similar sized crowds to those Wakey have today. Because it's 12 years since, there are probably kids from Sharlston, Crofton, Ackworth, who had Fev been in SL would have supported Fev - instead they go to Belle Vue to watch SL and who can blame them? There are people who were at Huddersfield that night supporting Fev who have either died or become too infirm to turn out any more. Crowds are dynamic. It's never the same people - week by week even.

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It's never the same people Parky. I've been watching Fev for thirty years (I supported Wakey - well Neil Fox) for twenty before that. But I'm 63 and sometime in the next few years I'll probably be too old to keep going. It'll be nearly forty years since Parkside closed. How many of those who attended regularly are still alive today, or able to attend a football match? Crowds are dynamic. If Fev had won in 1998, instead of Wakey, I've no doubt that they'd have at least similar sized crowds to those Wakey have today. Because it's 12 years since, there are probably kids from Sharlston, Crofton, Ackworth, who had Fev been in SL would have supported Fev - instead they go to Belle Vue to watch SL and who can blame them? There are people who were at Huddersfield that night supporting Fev who have either died or become too infirm to turn out any more. Crowds are dynamic. It's never the same people - week by week even.

Is it only me that thinks your argument and parky's are starting to converge?

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Is it only me that thinks your argument and parky's are starting to converge?

No, :huh: I was struck by the thought too.

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Don't disagree for the small number of clubs that have built brands and rivalries like saints Wigan fc kr wire, but there are a fair number of fc fans in east hull & vice versa. There are saints fans in Wigan and Warrington. There are also a number of fans at these clubs that are first generation supporters. These are the people I mean, they ( like my mate euan who I took to a few saints games and became more passionate than

most sintelliner residents despite no link to the town).

There are Saints fans in Wigan, (I know one) no doubt there are Wigan fans in St Helens - there are Wigan fans everywhere for God's sake -even in Cas. Wigan are RL's major brand, (a bit like Man U) Max Boyce's song about the Pontypool Front Row doesn't mention Widnes Saints Bradford, Hull or Leeds, it mentions Wigan.

But for the most part in RL fans are parochial. Fev and Cas are only three miles apart, you could see Mount Pleasant from the old Crown Flatt. It doesn't make sense. But for those who support the sides it does. When I worked in Cas I used to buy my morning paper from a papershop next to the Fourways pub. He was a nice bloke, we always had a bit of chat about the Rugby at the weekend on Mondays and Fridays. But one night I went to Wheldon Road for a Cas/Fev game and happened to see him - his hatred of Fev for that ninety minutes for incandescent. That's one of the reasons people keep going.

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Is it only me that thinks your argument and parky's are starting to converge?

If they are I'll have to think up a new argument :P

I still need to get him back re Beeston v Hunslet Fire Station :lol::lol::lol:

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Feelings run too high in most cases to permit a merger. Fans just wouldnt swallow it. Realistically, mergers would only happen where two clubs were literally on their knees, getting pitiful attendances in the hundreds and probably on the verge of liquidation. Both would also have to bring something to the party. Suggestions like KR + FC, Widnes +Wire etc are just pipe dreams as the clubs involved are just too big, and the fans too numerous and hostile to each other.

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If they are I'll have to think up a new argument :P

I still need to get him back re Beeston v Hunslet Fire Station :lol::lol::lol:

Truth is, I think the argument for West Cumbria is completely different than for 'Rhubarb Rangers'. If there is not a merger and the clubs have to endure a sustained period outside the top tier that leaves Marras with a 200 mile round trip whereas the same situation in Wakefield MBC would have little effect. All 3 clubs could retain their identities and play in the Championship and have fierce rivalries for their existing fans. New fans may well decide to go and watch one of the SL clubs in the surrounding towns & cities but the diehards can stay supporting their own clubs.

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Widnes +Wire etc are just pipe dreams as the clubs involved are just too big, and the fans too numerous and hostile to each other.

they're not too big at all! i'd happily groundshare with widnes.

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Crowds are dynamic. If Fev had won in 1998, instead of Wakey, I've no doubt that they'd have at least similar sized crowds to those Wakey have today. Because it's 12 years since, there are probably kids from Sharlston, Crofton, Ackworth, who had Fev been in SL would have supported Fev - instead they go to Belle Vue to watch SL and who can blame them?

:O You've seen the light then? In the NL's supporters do not walk away from the game they go watch Superleague instead.

Finally we have the tacit admission. Superleague does not lose the game fans, it gains the games fans..........

Alleluyah, Hosana etc etc ......

I hope Wakefield get their ground and Neil Fox leads the team out and kicks off the first match, and you hold the kicking tee for him.......

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:O You've seen the light then? In the NL's supporters do not walk away from the game they go watch Superleague instead.

No you've misunderstood me. Supporters do not walk away from clubs, they either grow too old to attend or they die - or both. The new supporters who should be replacing them gravitate to the SL clubs. There's no gain for the game overall, just a redistribution. Fev's crowds were larger than Wakey's in the last seaon Wakey were in the same division as Fev. Since then Fev's crowds have declined and Wakey's have improved. A redistribution Parky. Who knows, perhaps if Fev had won that night in Huddersfield, with a ground at least twice as good as Belle Vue they could have attracted even larger crowds to SL.

The same goes for 'Fax now especially now they've got the Shay sorted. Pehaps the missing thousands from Odsal will start supporting their hometown club.

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Feelings run too high in most cases to permit a merger. Fans just wouldnt swallow it. Realistically, mergers would only happen where two clubs were literally on their knees, getting pitiful attendances in the hundreds and probably on the verge of liquidation. Both would also have to bring something to the party. Suggestions like KR + FC, Widnes +Wire etc are just pipe dreams as the clubs involved are just too big, and the fans too numerous and hostile to each other.

I suspect you are right that fans just wouldnt swallow it, therein the problem and the reason why 98% of the Championship and Championship 1 teams will never get out of the weeds. Strange though that the supporters of these basement sides have drifted away to SL sides or drifted away from being regular attendees.

A merger between teams who are "literally on their knees" would be a merger for the wrong reasons!

I will wager now that a large slice of "supporters" in Leigh, Oldham, Rochdale, Hunslet etc would declare Jihad at the very mention of a merger ................................... yet have not attended one game in two seasons!

Edited by Sleeper

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I suspect you are right that fans just wouldnt swallow it, therein the problem and the reason why 98% of the Championship and Championship 1 teams will never get out of the weeds. Strange though that the supporters of these basement sides have drifted away to SL sides or drifted away from being regular attendees.

A merger between teams who are "literally on their knees" would be a merger for the wrong reasons!

I will wager now that a large slice of "supporters" in Leigh, Oldham, Rochdale, Hunslet etc would declare Jihad at the very mention of a merger ................................... yet have not attended one game in two seasons!

I certainly think that Oldham are a sleeping giant given the amount of talent the town has produced. Harris, Eastmond, Barrie Mac, Sinfield, the Sculthorpes are just a few recent names off the top of my head

Edited by Trojan

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:O You've seen the light then? In the NL's supporters do not walk away from the game they go watch Superleague instead.

Parky, I was a committee member/director/commercial manager at Featherstone for 28 years and I knew many many fans personally and became great friends with a lot of them. Distressingly a large proportion of those people do not watch Rovers any longer, BUT neither do they now watch local SL clubs. They are lost to the sport forever unless they can see some light at the end of the tunnel for Rovers to, one day, emerge from second tier football and challenge the best again. There is a lot of latent support out there and it staggers me that the RFL do not seem interested in targeting it.

Supporters do and have walked away from the game in large numbers Parky. Of that there is no doubt whatsoever. Your belief to the contrary is misguided my friend.

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I certainly think that Oldham are a sleeping giant given the amount of talent the town has produced. Harris, Eastmond, Barrie Mac, Sinfield, the Sculthorpes are just a few recent names off the top of my head

Oldham have been a sleeping giant since I were a lad and I started watching them c 1963. Sadly and in the main they all (Harris, Scullies, Sinfield, Eastmond) escaped Oldhams clutches after their demise. More apt to refer to Oldham a comatose giant but, I have to say they have made more progress on and off the field this year/season than they have in the last 10, small steps eh.

Be a few years before they are anywhere near to SL status as a standalone business but again, small steps! That 200,000+ population would need to revive their interest themselves in RL, incidentally, a few of em have become Wigan fans, so much for "RL folk not swallowing watching a merged team", seems they are happy to watch a different team ................. And a few of the non attendees have much to say but cant be arsed!

They have a great model, here's hoping! ;)

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Is it only me that thinks your argument and parky's are starting to converge?

No he's coming round to my way of thinking, and Terry should be too :D

Fans come and fans go for many reasons and they do not do this all at once so I hope we are all agreed that the fans are an ever changing ever evolving group.

I agree that we can all think of fans who have left the game - I had a work colleague who packed Batley in when SL came along because he hated the razamatazz Batley were aping from SL. That's one story.

Every fan who comes and every fan who goes has their own story often unique as to why they packed in and as to why they were attracted to the game.

My point was clumsy and Trojan was right to pick up on that, but I would say that of course there are fans of NL clubs who are now getting fed up of not seeing any chance of a place in the sun - even for a season, and are leaving watching their local club and going nowhere else.

HOWEVER the other side of the coin is fans who now see RL in the form of SL as a professional game that appears on national TV news and is an exciting spectacle. I know many people here in North West Leeds who have no RL culture at all, but they have in recent years taken up season tickets and go as a family. In my little area I know three such families well and that's 10 season tickets to Leeds.

Wether SL had come along or not the principle that the fans are ever changing cannot be argued

But the principle that the advent of SL has attracted thousands and thousands more fans to the game as opposed to the numbers lost in NL due to a realisation their clubs won't go anywhere is a massive NETT GAIN is a sound one

So Terry and Tro need to address that point and not ignore it.

It's a shame when people pack in but that's their choice and as long as the nett gain is greater then I see no problem but........

I do think that the NL could become a fine competition and get fans back and pull new fans in themselves once it stops being full of SL wannabees, most of whom I suspect are run by people who know they can't afford to play in SL but feel they must chelp on to the fans about their "ambition".

I think Mr. Johnson at Barrow is enjoying the club being a big fish in a small pond and I think Barrows 2,206 average attendance last year against their 928 average seven years ago flies right in the face of Terry and Tro's argument.

I think Dewsbury's average of 1134 fans seven years ago after they had found out the club would never be in SL ever again against Dewsburys 1263 average last year - AN INCREASE!!! should also be addressed by Terry and Tro who frankly and with respect are arguing against both the reality and the facts...........

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1. There is a lot of latent support out there and it staggers me that the RFL do not seem interested in targeting it.

2. Supporters do and have walked away from the game in large numbers Parky. Of that there is no doubt whatsoever.

1. The RFL/SL do target support. Don't you realise that the RFL would like only one club in your area and that club would be charged with targetting support from all over the area, from Dewsbury to Knottingley and Kippax to Barnsley???

One dynamic club in your area would be attractive to a wide range of fans, three struggling parochial clubs are not.

2. Of that there is no doubt. That thousands upon thousand MORE have walked into the game is another blind spot you and Tro have in your view of things.

You cannot please all of the people all of the time Terry, there is no all encompassing solution - either we move backwards and bring back the fans of yesterday, or move forwards and bring in the fans of tommorrow.

Current RFL policies are doing the latter and doing it well. SL attendances up SEVERAL THOUSAND per match over 14 years.

I keep mooting the kind of RL you may wish to see where two leagues of 12 clubs share SKY money at

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1

2. Of that there is no doubt. That thousands upon thousand MORE have walked into the game is another blind spot you and Tro have in your view of things.

Can you prove that?

Because I don't think it's so generally, perhaps in Leeds, but generally over the whole pro and semi pro League I reckon attendances are down. Not at Wigan, or Saints, not at Leeds or Hull, but in the rest of the League.

If as you suggest Hull KR shut up shop they'll be down even more. The League cannot continue with only 4 or 5 teams Parky. Expansion is very difficult and with what's about to descend on the country will become almost impossible.

Super League missed the boat in 1995, when there was a chance in South Wales, they missed the point in France by putting a team in Paris, now Union has got its act together I'd say any form of expansion will be nigh impossible. Once Jonny's drop kick went over in 2003 RL in the Uk was in trouble. IMO League is a better game to watch, but Union's attendances say that my opinion is a minority one. The best thing to do in the current economic storm is to batten down the hatches and try and preserve what we have. Franchising IMO jeopordises that option because it puts more clubs in danger of closing.

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Is there no overall figure available for the number of fans through the gates every week at all RL clubs?

I imagine that crowds are up at SL clubs on pre 96 figures.

I imagine that crowds are down at NL clubs on pre 96 figures.

What's the overall figures?

Imguessing it's been pretty constant around 80,000. SL clubs have gained fans. NL clubs have lost them. It's probably not the same people. SL extra fans are new to the sport Im guessing, and NL fans who no longer come are lost to the game.

All that being true, how are we better off? SL has just polarised crowds to the bigger clubs, that's all.

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From the old Rothmans:

Total RL fans at all games:

1990/91: 1.54million. Average 3,235

1991/92: 1.55 million. AVerage 3,253

1992/93: 1.45 million. AVerage 3,225

1993/94: 1.68 million. AVerage 3,499

1994/95: 1.55 million. AVerage 3,456

1996: 1.25 million. AVerage 3,351

1997: 1.27 million. AVerage 3,607

1998: 1.24 million. AVerage 3,288

Does anyone have the figures for 1999 to date for all games?

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Can you prove that?

In 2009 seven NL1 clubs who have had SL aspirations moved into the new NL season with a sense of being shut out by SL franchising with not a great deal of prospect of ever getting in again.

They were Halifax, Barrow Leigh Fev, Whitehaven, Dewsbury and keighley.

Those clubs averaged gates of 2645 in 1995 before Superleague. Shut out by Superleague today their current average gate is 1712 for 2009. A loss across the seven clubs of 6,531 spectators - you and Terry have a point to be fair.

In contrast the seven clubs whom have been most priveliged by Superleague and Franchising protection are Leeds, Saints, Fartown, Wigan, Bradford, Wire and Hull.

Fully protected by franchising their crowds have gone from an average of 7469 in 1995 to 11400 in 2009 an average increase of fans across the seven clubs of 27,517.

These are the facts from the official stats as presented by the yearbooks, and as best presented in light of the debate's basis. Superleague franchising is unfair, but damn good business with a nett gain in tarditional M62 support of 21,000 fans - where they come from I don't know but the fan who went to his first game in Hull last night, his money is as good as the money I spent when I went all over with Hunslet over many years.

We are owed nothing by the game guys, the game owes it to itself to grow and go forward.....

Edited by The Parksider

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We are owed nothing by the game guys, the game owes it to itself to grow and go forward.....

Without the fans, and the clubs those fans support there is no game at least at pro level. Without clubs to play there'd be no crowds for the likes of Leeds etc. I'm sure even you would get tired of pick any from Saints, Wire, Wigan, Hull every week Parky.

Franchising is unfair and any competition that is unfair is unltimately doomed. As I said before Fev's crowds pre Wakey entering SL were greater than theirs. No doubt the same applies to other neighbouring non SL sides.

SL was a snapshot of the League as it existed in 1995. With p&r there was some chance of changing that snapshot. Now it's frozen. As the sayng goes "no change - no chance"

If you look at the posts on this board those in favour of franchsing are almost exclusively those who support the better off teams. Those who favour p&r are those who were excluded. Without p&r there is absolutely no chance of the lower rank clubs ever aspiring to SL status - and they will die. Thin end of the wedge Parky.

Edited by Trojan

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I've got some shocking news for you: This isn't Australia. We do things differently here. The fans are different, the sporting climate is different, and the sooner the people in charge of this sport realise that fact this sport can get over its fascination with beating the aussies at a game they are much more interested in.

Mergers have never ever worked in this country. They've tried and failed. We are dicing with the health of our game in two towns where it currently exists to a decent degree for a short term gain, and there wouldnt be this ridiculous scramble to ensure top flight rugby were there a fair and equitable way of achieving top flight status and a chance for every team to manage it.

Thats why we never beat them we dont have the same win at all costs mentality. The population here would rather watch an average side, based on history and tradition (those days are gone, the whole game has evolved) rather than a merged team that would surely challenge for honours. Its all down to the mentality in this country. Winning is all thats important. End of story.

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1. Without the fans, and the clubs those fans support there is no game at least at pro level. Without clubs to play there'd be no crowds for the likes of Leeds etc. I'm sure even you would get tired of pick any from Saints, Wire, Wigan, Hull every week Parky.

2. Franchising is unfair and any competition that is unfair is unltimately doomed. As I said before Fev's crowds pre Wakey entering SL were greater than theres.

3. Without p&r there is absolutely no chance of the lower rank clubs ever aspiring to SL status - and they will die.

1. I don't tire of Leeds, Wigan, Fartown, Wire, Hull and Saints, and in the future I feel that one side in your area will do great, and Salford will become a force again. Widnes will compete with O'connors money and hopefully in time the culture of RL will build in the south, France and wales and they'll have a monopoly of the best kids in their areas and eventually come good. Exciting times ahead.

2. "Unfair" means nothing, life and business is unfair, the NRL and the USA football leagues aren't doomed at all so stick to that nonsense if you like. As for Wakeys crowds history shows this city club has many more times the potential for big crowds than Fev. Not having a go but Fev have always struggled for crowds even when at the top.

3. Once the lower clubs stop pretending they are going for SL creating negativity and become positive like Batley, and once a decent comp is organised for them the NL crowds will grow back, not by a lot but they will improve.

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Initially, several mergers between existing clubs were proposed:

1. Castleford, Wakefield Trinity and Featherstone Rovers would form Calder

2. Hull FC and Hull Kingston Rovers would form Hull"

3. Whitehaven, Workington Town, Barrow and Carlisle would form Cumbria

4. Warrington and Widnes were to form Cheshire

5. Salford and Oldham were to form Manchester

6. Sheffield and Doncaster were to form South Yorkshire

They were to be included with the following stand-alone clubs: St Helens, Wigan, Leeds, Bradford Northern, Halifax, London, Paris and Toulouse.

Which of these would have been better than the current situation for clubs in that area and which will eventually happen anyway?

In my opinion 3, 5 and 6 are arguably better than what we have now in those areas

In my opinion 1, a version of 3 and 6 may well eventually happen to get a club into SL from those areas as Wakey & Cas are stymied by a lack of decent stadium and the Marras go ahead without the other 2 listed (who ironically merged 11 years ago).

The ludicrous petition and associated threads made me curious.

I would suggest the winners from this NOT happening as planned have been Wire Hull FC & HKR, all of which have gone on to be successful on their own.

Just to add, Halifax & Toulouse may well get back to where they were envisaged in 1995 in the next round of licences

:D:D

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In 2009 seven NL1 clubs who have had SL aspirations moved into the new NL season with a sense of being shut out by SL franchising with not a great deal of prospect of ever getting in again.

They were Halifax, Barrow Leigh Fev, Whitehaven, Dewsbury and keighley.

Those clubs averaged gates of 2645 in 1995 before Superleague. Shut out by Superleague today their current average gate is 1712 for 2009. A loss across the seven clubs of 6,531 spectators - you and Terry have a point to be fair.

In contrast the seven clubs whom have been most priveliged by Superleague and Franchising protection are Leeds, Saints, Fartown, Wigan, Bradford, Wire and Hull.

Fully protected by franchising their crowds have gone from an average of 7469 in 1995 to 11400 in 2009 an average increase of fans across the seven clubs of 27,517.

These are the facts from the official stats as presented by the yearbooks, and as best presented in light of the debate's basis.

A very partial manipulation of the stats. How about the full figires for all clubs?

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