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nec

15 years on

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That was said in Inverness prior to the merger there, the mergedclub gets gates many times larger than the combined crowds of the old clubs

There was no one watching the game in Perpignan before the Dragons. XIII Catalan and St Esteve each averaging may be 5-600. Last season they took 100 coach loads of fans to Barcelona for Wire game. In the last year they've won what two or three home games and sit rock bottom. They'll average this year I reckon not far off 7000.

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And the answer is they won't be. At least not in enough numbers to make the clubs viable. Because fans develop a loyalty over the years. To the club, to your mates who you watch with. Break that link and - there's no reason to go any more. Because you don't have to.

what about those without a link to break, what about those who just want to watch top flight rugby league?

what about those that dont go now to some of these clubs becuase they are not linked to them.. give them a club they feel a part of.. ie not Rochdale but north manchester, South Yorkshire not Sheffield.. maybe they will want to be involved then.. with the larger catchment area maybe more will come..

you say all the above and yet it has worked in some places with mergers in football, it has worked in RL in aus, it CAN work.. each merger needs to be taken on its own merits..

you and your mates may not want to go.. but if 3,000 more people do and we lose you and your mates then that is a price that is worth paying..

its about NEW people to the game as well as the old people... it is the old supporters that support the club due to the link and the whole point of mergers is that there are not enough of these old supporters with the link to make the clubs viable entities at the top level.. if there were (ie Saints, Bradford, Leeds, Wigan) the merger talk does not appear (unless we go back to 1995 at which point it was the whole "new era" idea) its only where one, two or three clubs in the same area are struggling that it gets mentioned.. you have a link fantastic, but that link and bond is not enough for enough people to make a viable top 2-3 teams in that one area.. sever the link, new team representing everyone and all of a sudden MAYBE there is a chance of the club being strong enough.

as i say i am not saying that all mergers will work or that all are viable but just becuase some people say "i wont go every again" is not a good enough reason to not do them.. its about long term good and that is about new supporters surely, and so mergers are all about will it attract new supporters and whether looking to the future the clubs as seperate entities will be viable at the top level in the future and if the top level is impotant to them.

Edited by RP London

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And the answer is they won't be. At least not in enough numbers to make the clubs viable. Because fans develop a loyalty over the years. To the club, to your mates who you watch with. Break that link and - there's no reason to go any more. Because you don't have to.

You "dont have to" go now!

First and foremost you go to be entertained, loyalties come after that but if "your" club goes under or is merged you do without, watched a merged team or do what some have who need success, go and latch onto a SL club like many fickle folk have from Leigh, Swinton, Oldham, Hornets, Doncaster, Hunslet etc.

A successfully merged team of two or three current lowly standing sides will attract greater numbers than those merged clubs origins combined.

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You "dont have to" go now!

First and foremost you go to be entertained, loyalties come after that but if "your" club goes under or is merged you do without, watched a merged team or do what some have who need success, go and latch onto a SL club like many fickle folk have from Leigh, Swinton, Oldham, Hornets, Doncaster, Hunslet etc.

A successfully merged team of two or three current lowly standing sides will attract greater numbers than those merged clubs origins combined.

If the only reason I went to the Rugby was to be entertained I wouldn't have continued to go to POR for the last 15 years or so. I go because I'm committed to my team. If entertainment is the only criterion then I could go to Headingley just as easily. Trouble is I wouldn't be that bothered about the outcome.

Edited by Trojan

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That was said in Inverness prior to the merger there, the mergedclub gets gates many times larger than the combined crowds of the old clubs

STOP THAT :angry2:

Rugby league debates are more than just stating facts to completely back up an argument.........

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I am not a fan of mergers as I have previously stated but I do think that the likes of Workington and Whitehaven could form a new venture (how's that nec?) and it would get the support.

When Town were in SL1 they averaged somewhere just under 3500 and when Haven were at the top of the NL they were getting 2500. Now Town average around 500 and Haven are down to about 800 and I would guess that at least half of those would support a new venture. Add that figure to those that have walked away from both club and you would have a majority of RL fans in the area.

We are always hearing the "community club" theme and people saying they wouldn't go and watch a new venture team, well to me that's fine if that is what the majority want but clearly by the loss of fans week by week, year by year, it isn't and yet no-one wants to lose these people who stand by and watch others walk away.

It seems foolish to see people walk away from the game for the sake of a few hundred "over my dead body" types. Soon, here in west Cumbria, we will all be watching our RL either at the amateur clubs or on television!!!!!

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What is clear is that fans will split between the traditionalists who want a club to which they have an emotional tie and who they'd watch at any cost at any level; Elitists who think that the only valid existence is to do whatever is necessary to get into the top tier; and the ambivalent who'd just go and watch whatever was happening if it kind of suited their mood.

I'm cool with that - we're all absolutely entitled to choose what type of RL would get our hearts racing a bit.

But one thing is absolutely inarguable: there will only ever be a finite number of places in SL and a clutch of credible wannabees hot on its tail. What then for the rest?

If there are 12 places in SL available and 36 clubs, do they all merge in threesomes so everyone gets to see a fragment of their team play at the top level? And if you're falling short, do you look for a merger to get you over the line?

Do all the teams merge randomly until the magic number is reached? And what happens to those who can't find a partner?

Why not a merger of all the Lancashire clubs into one mega club, all of the Cumbrian clubs into one mega club, and all of the Yorkies into one mega club? Add Wales, London and Catalonia and you'd have a sh*t hot competition featuring the very best players in the Northern hemisphere. And another 300-odd players doing what? Kicking around doing nowt? Playing *nion?

Not everyone can play at the top level. Those with serious, credible ambitions will compete at a tier below, and everyone else will find their level.

If mergers get you hard, good on you. But I'm not on that bus.

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It seems foolish to see people walk away from the game for the sake of a few hundred "over my dead body" types. Soon, here in west Cumbria, we will all be watching our RL either at the amateur clubs or on television!!!!!

Yes, but if every amateur team in Cumbria merged, you could have one Super League team to not watch.

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If the only reason I went to the Rugby was to be entertained I wouldn't have continued to go to POR for the last 15 years or so. I go because I'm committed to my team. If entertainment is the only criterion then I could go to Headingley just as easily. Trouble is I wouldn't be that bothered about the outcome.

As I said, loyalties come later! But the first time you went was presumably to be entertained or out of curiosity!

Surely you were not loyal or committed to your team having never gone?

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As I said, loyalties come later! But the first time you went was presumably to be entertained or out of curiosity!

Surely you were not loyal or committed to your team having never gone?

I took my mate to a his first game when he was 14. He was hooked on the game and the team from about 10 minutes in.

I was hooked in from being a toddler. Game and team. I think Trojan's point is very well made; signature material.

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Hornetto, the position in Cumbria is very different to where you are located. Here we have two towns, 6 miles apart, with a total population of around 65,000, with two mediocre teams who presently get crowds of around 500 and 800, two stadiums to maintain, each fighting each other for the same sponsorship deals, same local players,etc. The nearest SL club is Wigan at a round trip of 250 miles and Barrow, who several people keep shouting about doing something for Cumbria is 60 miles away from the rugby league" heartlands" of west Cumbria.

If Barrow get in to SL, and I genuinely hope they do, it will be of little benefit to the west of the county and I don't think it will attract many people from our area. Many fans of both clubs have walked away from the game not just the clubs because they can see there is no future for either club other than struggling along in the lower leagues. Three seasons ago Town went 14 months without losing at home and struggled to get crowds above 750 so not even a winning team can get some of these fans back. It needs something to re-invigorate the game up here or it will certainly wither and die and that won't happen with just patronising talk.

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Three seasons ago Town went 14 months without losing at home and struggled to get crowds above 750 so not even a winning team can get some of these fans back. It needs something to re-invigorate the game up here or it will certainly wither and die and that won't happen with just patronising talk.

Interesting point that Keith. There seems to be an attitude of bit of cash on the team a few wins and the fans come flocking but our experience has been stagnation and decline when the wheels fell off.

I agree that West Cumbria is a special case for mergers due to the distance to the next Superleague Club. Rochdale fans wanting top flight Rugby League only need to go 25 miles to watch Wigan (less than Carlisle to Workington).

My only concern is where will the extra funding come from to support a SL team up in Cumbria? Which sources of revenue haven't been tapped by Town or Haven or just simply unavailable at that level? For me Town and Haven should be independent if there is only funding for semi-pro RL in the area but I would add my name to those supporting a joint venture if the cash was there to go full time.

Another depressing point on Co-operation was the Challenge Cup match between Haven and IIRC Warrington at the Recre a few years. It was an early kick off and televised. Town were playing an NL2 match up the road but stuck to the 3pm kick off thus guaranteeing any floating fans would miss the majority of the first half.

I live out of the County but travelled back to see the Cup tie. I made the effort to travel to Derwent Park and be charged full price for around 50 to 60 minutes of the match. It was the emptiest I had seen Derwent Park during that period, yet there was no point in moving the fixture out by 45 minutes because Town fans don't watch Haven and Haven fans don't watch Town you see :rolleyes:

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What is clear is that fans will split between the traditionalists who want a club to which they have an emotional tie and who they'd watch at any cost at any level; Elitists who think that the only valid existence is to do whatever is necessary to get into the top tier; and the ambivalent who'd just go and watch whatever was happening if it kind of suited their mood.

I'm cool with that - we're all absolutely entitled to choose what type of RL would get our hearts racing a bit.

But one thing is absolutely inarguable: there will only ever be a finite number of places in SL and a clutch of credible wannabees hot on its tail. What then for the rest?

If there are 12 places in SL available and 36 clubs, do they all merge in threesomes so everyone gets to see a fragment of their team play at the top level? And if you're falling short, do you look for a merger to get you over the line?

Do all the teams merge randomly until the magic number is reached? And what happens to those who can't find a partner?

Why not a merger of all the Lancashire clubs into one mega club, all of the Cumbrian clubs into one mega club, and all of the Yorkies into one mega club? Add Wales, London and Catalonia and you'd have a sh*t hot competition featuring the very best players in the Northern hemisphere. And another 300-odd players doing what? Kicking around doing nowt? Playing *nion?

Not everyone can play at the top level. Those with serious, credible ambitions will compete at a tier below, and everyone else will find their level.

If mergers get you hard, good on you. But I'm not on that bus.

whats good for the goose is not always good for the gander.... one area may be great for a merger the other may not..

It depends what you are happy with as the smaller clubs. If you are happy to be that smaller club where Super League is a pipe dream quite frankly with or without P&R then that is fine. the supporters that dont want to watch the lower level can go somewhere else and support another team and thats fine no issue.

But if said lower team thinks that they want to at last be a part of something bigger then a merger sometimes is the only way forward..

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Hornetto, the position in Cumbria is very different to where you are located. Here we have two towns, 6 miles apart, with a total population of around 65,000, with two mediocre teams who presently get crowds of around 500 and 800, two stadiums to maintain, each fighting each other for the same sponsorship deals, same local players,etc. The nearest SL club is Wigan at a round trip of 250 miles and Barrow, who several people keep shouting about doing something for Cumbria is 60 miles away from the rugby league" heartlands" of west Cumbria.

If Barrow get in to SL, and I genuinely hope they do, it will be of little benefit to the west of the county and I don't think it will attract many people from our area. Many fans of both clubs have walked away from the game not just the clubs because they can see there is no future for either club other than struggling along in the lower leagues. Three seasons ago Town went 14 months without losing at home and struggled to get crowds above 750 so not even a winning team can get some of these fans back. It needs something to re-invigorate the game up here or it will certainly wither and die and that won't happen with just patronising talk.

So several thousand missing fans would re-emerge from the woodwork and watch a JV in SL? And you'd take the 1600 (best case scenario) from the two existing clubs as a given?

I understand where you're coming from (I'll be at Worky on Sunday as I always am when we play up there), but will RL fans take to a new entity in W. Cumbria. You could be starting from a minus 1600 position if the hardcore foundation you need to build on don't buy it.

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whats good for the goose is not always good for the gander.... one area may be great for a merger the other may not..

It depends what you are happy with as the smaller clubs. If you are happy to be that smaller club where Super League is a pipe dream quite frankly with or without P&R then that is fine. the supporters that dont want to watch the lower level can go somewhere else and support another team and thats fine no issue.

But if said lower team thinks that they want to at last be a part of something bigger then a merger sometimes is the only way forward..

With smaller clubs like the one I support, SL isn't a pipe dream: it's not even our radar. Out dream is to be around in 100 years.

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So several thousand missing fans would re-emerge from the woodwork and watch a JV in SL? And you'd take the 1600 (best case scenario) from the two existing clubs as a given?

I understand where you're coming from (I'll be at Worky on Sunday as I always am when we play up there), but will RL fans take to a new entity in W. Cumbria. You could be starting from a minus 1600 position if the hardcore foundation you need to build on don't buy it.

Hornetto, my cup is always half full but I have no way of knowing how many of our lost fans would return just the same as you don't know if we would lose fans or gain thousands.

What I do know, from my own experience and talking to others who still attend and some of those that don't attend, is that unless something in the nature of a new venture happens, one or both of our semi-pro clubs will go out of business in the not too distant future through lack of support through the turnstiles. Both clubs have stadiums to maintain and all the other costs of running a lower league club plus trying to put an attractive, competitive team out on the pitch in an area outside the M62 heartlands. We often say it is easier for us to get players from Oz or NZ than the north of England as they move to the area not suck clubs dry with travelling costs, etc.

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With smaller clubs like the one I support, SL isn't a pipe dream: it's not even our radar. Out dream is to be around in 100 years.

ok so we;ll add another category of "wanting to survive" if you like but the rest doesnt change.

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Why should clubs merge becuase they are going through a bad patch AND it is co-inciding with this awful licensing krap.

Imagine if the year were 1980 - Wigan would not have been allowed back in the top division because they failed to win the second tier comp, and also there were a range of newbie teams who would have been given preference

Would they have been forced to merge with Saints (who were also not breaking any pots at that time)

Our game is a complete joke at time. Too many idiots on here who would like to see just 12 pro teams and the rest to go away

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Imagine if the year were 1980 - Wigan would not have been allowed back in the top division because they failed to win the second tier comp, and also there were a range of newbie teams who would have been given preference

Yes in the 80/81 season when Wigan were in Div II didn't Leigh win the Championship? By today's standards that would surely cement them in SL for all eternity.

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What I do know, from my own experience and talking to others who still attend and some of those that don't attend, is that unless something in the nature of a new venture happens, one or both of our semi-pro clubs will go out of business in the not too distant future through lack of support through the turnstiles. Both clubs have stadiums to maintain and all the other costs of running a lower league club plus trying to put an attractive, competitive team out on the pitch in an area outside the M62 heartlands. We often say it is easier for us to get players from Oz or NZ than the north of England as they move to the area not suck clubs dry with travelling costs, etc.

Having been around RL for many years the game has always had low crowds below the top level. Many clubs remain break even on crowds in the hundreds. Paying players too much is the bigger problem than crowds. Clubs need to adjust their finances to their incomes, and play their rugby at a level they can afford.

In time most NL clubs will be past the SL dream not because they are shut out, but because they can't afford it something the dreaming SL wannabees keep ignoring. When the realisation comes, perhaps led by Karl Harrison and Batley a new NL will emerge on sensible financing and home grown local players.

You would be able to compete then and there would be something for the fans surely Keith??

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Why should clubs merge becuase they are going through a bad patch AND it is co-inciding with this awful licensing krap.

Imagine if the year were 1980 - Wigan would not have been allowed back in the top division because they failed to win the second tier comp, and also there were a range of newbie teams who would have been given preference

Would they have been forced to merge with Saints (who were also not breaking any pots at that time)

Our game is a complete joke at time. Too many idiots on here who would like to see just 12 pro teams and the rest to go away

who is saying anyone should be forced to?

if clubs think that they can make it on their own then that is fine.. as wigan did.. even with P&R there are a huge swathe of the clubs who will not be able to get there or grow to the level they need to to be a sustained championship challenger..

the discussion is more about whetyher they area good idea to get 1 strong team rather than 3 weak teams, or 2 weak teams.. whether they would attract more by having a wider spread of potential support etc

no one has said you force clubs to merge it is just an option, whih sometimes may be the best option IF the clubs or areas want to have the strong presence and which will sometimes open a lot more avenues up to the teams and larger catchment areas..

re the bit in bold.. there are as many idiots who would have RL retract back to the M62 and the rest can go hang and let the sport die on its ######.. there are very few who want either.. most are looking atthe best way forward in their opinion and the best way to grow the game to the best of its ability..

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Having been around RL for many years the game has always had low crowds below the top level. Many clubs remain break even on crowds in the hundreds. Paying players too much is the bigger problem than crowds. Clubs need to adjust their finances to their incomes, and play their rugby at a level they can afford.

In time most NL clubs will be past the SL dream not because they are shut out, but because they can't afford it something the dreaming SL wannabees keep ignoring. When the realisation comes, perhaps led by Karl Harrison and Batley a new NL will emerge on sensible financing and home grown local players.

You would be able to compete then and there would be something for the fans surely Keith??

Compete for what Parky? You sound like Marie Antoinette - "let them eat cake" We all know what happened to her :P

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Where are Huddersfield in your plan?

They've already had their merger and remained in Super League.

How convenient.

Is there anyone else they can merge with/takeover if Uncle Ken snuffs it and his money goes elsewhere?

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Having been around RL for many years the game has always had low crowds below the top level. Many clubs remain break even on crowds in the hundreds. Paying players too much is the bigger problem than crowds. Clubs need to adjust their finances to their incomes, and play their rugby at a level they can afford.

In time most NL clubs will be past the SL dream not because they are shut out, but because they can't afford it something the dreaming SL wannabees keep ignoring. When the realisation comes, perhaps led by Karl Harrison and Batley a new NL will emerge on sensible financing and home grown local players.

You would be able to compete then and there would be something for the fans surely Keith??

I don't think having a second tier based on the Batley model is a desirable thing for RL. We'd be left with a second tier watched by a handful of care-in-the community style fans, with most other normal people drifting away to other sports/pastimes.

If the Batley model is so great, why are the worst supported clubs in NL1 those which have no desire to go up?

This is what we'll end up with, as I'm sure there are stil a fair few fans at Fev, Leigh, Widnes etc who are watching with the goal of competing with the best

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I don't think having a second tier based on the Batley model is a desirable thing for RL. We'd be left with a second tier watched by a handful of care-in-the community style fans, with most other normal people drifting away to other sports/pastimes.

If the Batley model is so great, why are the worst supported clubs in NL1 those which have no desire to go up?

This is what we'll end up with, as I'm sure there are stil a fair few fans at Fev, Leigh, Widnes etc who are watching with the goal of competing with the best

WTF is wrong with you lobby... care-in-the-community style fans.. what the hell are you on about??

Batley have brought through an English only mentality whih will help with players and coaches developing, they are wanting to win things for the sake of winning things not for what that might lead to (the way amateurs do) and if they play well they personally will move up the tree arguably faster than a club would/could..

what exactly is wrong with this?

how well supported relatively have Batley been in the past btw?

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