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Lobbygobbler

RFL needs to reform access to SL for Co-Op C. Clubs

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i thought he had a contract as well, but rumour has it, Salford are sniffing.

i do agree with you 3 years is a long time, 2 years would be ideal.

Leigh / Fev / Fax need to get there crowds up for me.

on a side note.

My mate went to the Quins match on Friday, said he was "gutted" as there was more interest in the stands (drinking and watching sky sports news) than the watching the match on the pitch.

he thinks a Championship club will have to be a stand by during the 2012-2014 seasons, cant see Quins surviving.

Quins had an offer for season tickets holders to bring 3 friends for Free and the crowd was no bigger than the "average" he said Wires took approx 1000 fans...... the future is very bleak.

I was at the Quins game hoping that DW would announce that the club had moved and changed name. Sadly its the status quo, so all I can see is a gradual decline in crowds for Quins. Better to move now if DW is happy to underwrite them until 2014

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Four-Five years is a hell of a long time to be in the wilderness with no promotion prospects.

My prediction is that crowds in the Co-Op championship will plummet to circa-1000 levels or less after the licensing decision in 2011. The better supported clubs will lose all but a few hardy souls/WAGS/family, which will in turn affect away followings at the porrly supported clubs.

I cannot make it clear enough that it is not in RL fans nature to watch a second tier with no prospects for so long, so any prat on here who says the usual #### "why not just watch your team for the rugby and find your level" can go forth and fornicate

IMO there is no point making life easy for the likes of one of two SL clubs near the bottom whilst the rest of pro-RL goes into meltdown.

The other thing that the RFL should bear in mind is that the fans that will be lost will also in many cases stop watching internationals and finals, and could also remove sky sports subscriptions, which will in turn harm RL's hopes to get more money from sky next time.

There are other alternatives to keep everyone happy. I am an expansionist as well as a heartlander, and realise that there is no point cutting off our nose to spite our face. What we need is regular promotion to SL, if enough achievable criteria can be met (i.e. youth, finances) with a ringfenced 1 year for the promoted club(s) to get its/theirself sorted on-the-pitch and to make necessary moderate amendments to their stadium (if it is close the the min requirement (e.g. Barrow).

it's not rocket science

To be fair to you if people want a cheese sandwich they can go the the shop/cafe/canteen. You have a right to have a say as much as you want, and Lord knows so many including me and the food jokers are predictable and repetetive.

Just bear in mind on the actual figures of increases in SL crowds and decreases in NL crowds the nett effect of Superleague is 21,000 more fans watching Rugby League.

It is also the case that out of 14 places in SL probably about nine clubs can compete and Salford and Harlequins have already made positive moves to ensure they can compete in the coming years.

At this point in time two clubs are in the mire - Castleford and Wakefield, but both are adamant they can deliver the grounds and kick on with decent fanbases already that can be improved. Bradford are heading for the mire but have plans to try to arrest and reverse the decline.

So I think that it's too early to advocate musical chairs Lobby.

I do have sympathy with what you say and if Cas, Bradford and Wakey genuinely are struggling and aren't going to get out of that then why not give two out of Featherstone, Leigh, Barrow or Halifax a chance in SL.

There are several issues.

1. Does the board of any of the four NL clubs mentioned have the money to spend to properly compete in SL, and most of all have a clear desire to do so. You cannot set rules that force clubs into expenditure they do not have or do not want to commit??

2. The three clubs in SL struggling returned a combined average attendance of 23,000 fans last year

3. The three possibles for SL as above (ex-Barrow) returned a combined average of 11,300 the last season they competed in top flight rugby. There is a chance that in replacing two city clubs with two small town clubs you will get a large nett loss in fans.

You say it's not rocket science, but your calculations are likely to cause a couple of nosedives and a crash.

I had a Ham Salad in Keighley today.

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You can't have P&R between Super League and The Championship with expansion on the agenda and the salary cap as is.

However would staggered licensing help make things more interesting? Instead of all clubs being on 3 year licences you could award lengths of time based on the final rating but also have it so that not all your C rated clubs had licences up for renewal in the same year, if that makes sense.

Or keep licences as they are, but make The Championship the pinnacle of a deeper pyramid system based around P&R marketing it as such, be more imaginative in the type of TV that is offered, ok Rugby League Raw might not be everyone's cup of tea, but offer up fly on the wall or similar documentary style offerings to TV companies as well as your standard live matches, highlight packages and magazine shows might help bring in a decent deal.

Then maybe trim down the Super League play-offs and have some form of competition pre/early season competition (maybe even magic weekend) involving some of the play-off sides, maybe some of Europes developing nations and The Championship champions.

Also change the salary cap in The Championship away from a flat cap to a percentage of turn over to allow clubs to develop into clubs capable of competing at a higher level without wholesale change the moment they are awarded a licence.

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The main competing sport is football (live or TV) or another SL club to a lesser extent. For Leigh it is Man U, Man City, Liverpool etc

Just how has franchising gone off a treat? Crowds are no bigger for SL clubs than they were 3, 5, 7 years ago with P&R. In some cases they are far worse. However crowds are also declining for Co-Op clubs since the last announcement.

I'd like to see you try and market the game to Co-Op clubs for the next 4 years to get them to improve with the current system

look at widnes 3 years ago trying to get into SL and going into administration and now 3 years later.

franchising gives clubs a chance to develop over time rather than mortgaging their futures on one year

why should a promoted club only have 1 year to prove its a SL club.

widnes will get 3 years to show they can handle SL, much better than one season.

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I thought this post deserves a dedicated thread. My club Leigh and its fans, plus other clubs who haven't got an on-the-pitch box ticked, now know that we will not be in SL until at least 2015 (unless the RFL amends the 3-year cycle). All the other clubs eligible will learn their fate next year, with (I'm guessing) only one to go up. Four-Five years is a hell of a long time to be in the wilderness with no promotion prospects.

My prediction is that crowds in the Co-Op championship will plummet to circa-1000 levels or less after the licensing decision in 2011. The better supported clubs will lose all but a few hardy souls/WAGS/family, which will in tuen affect away followings at the porrly supported clubs.

I cannot make it clear enough that it is not in RL fans nature to watch a second tier with no prospects for so long, so any prat on here who says the usual #### "why not just watch your team for the rugby and find your level" can go forth and fornicate

Does the RFL want such a second tier until 2015? By that time all the co-op championship clubs will have lost the majority of their fanbases and be left with little more than an amateur clubs support. IMO there is no point making life easy for the likes of one of two SL clubs near the bottom whilst the rest of pro-RL goes into meltdown.

The other thing that the RFL should bear in mind is that the fans that will be lost will also in many cases stop watching internationals and finals, and could also remove sky sports subscriptions, which will in turn harm RL's hopes to get more money from sky next time.

There are other alternatives to keep everyone happy. I am an expansionist as well as a heartlander, and realise that there is no point cutting off our nose to spite our face. What we need is regular promotion to SL, if enough achievable criteria can be met (i.e. youth, finances) with a ringfenced 1 year for the promoted club(s) to get its/theirself sorted on-the-pitch and to make necessary moderate amendments to their stadium (if it is close the the min requirement (e.g. Barrow).

it's not rocket science

Crikey Lobbygobbler, can't you put another record on.

Whilst I don't particularly like the franchise system, it does give a proper structured pathway for clubs to gain SL status and does, in my opinion, keep the 'lower levels' of our wonderful game competitive.

Saying this, I find it difficult for a Leigh fan to have a moan about promotion and relegation considering the RFL let them remain in the Championship this year after being fairly and squarely relegated in 2009.

Two clubs who are quite happy succeeding in the Championship (and with a fraction of the Centurians resources and their 'duel registration' players) ended your League and NRC campaigns, and in your one tilt at Super League you achieved the sum total of 5 (five) points.

SL entry is all about jumping through the right hoops at the right time. Widnes appear to have done this, the rest of the Championship are either not interested or are quite simply not prepared for Super Dooper Dooper League.

Tick the right boxes and you'll get there. Simple.

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look at widnes 3 years ago trying to get into SL and going into administration and now 3 years later.

franchising gives clubs a chance to develop over time rather than mortgaging their futures on one year

why should a promoted club only have 1 year to prove its a SL club.

widnes will get 3 years to show they can handle SL, much better than one season.

Widnes were guaranteed the next spot as soon as they were told they would not get a license in the last round. Two reasons why:

1/ Sympathy vote for the omittance last time

2/ They have a multi-millionaire

So even if Leigh had won the NRC or got to a GF AND had a millionaire, we would have failed on the sympathy vote. All Co-Op champ fans know that - not just Leigh. The only slight uncertainty was them ticking the on-field box, which they did fairly early in

I think a shorter cycle needs trying next time

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To be fair to you if people want a cheese sandwich they can go the the shop/cafe/canteen. You have a right to have a say as much as you want, and Lord knows so many including me and the food jokers are predictable and repetetive.

Just bear in mind on the actual figures of increases in SL crowds and decreases in NL crowds the nett effect of Superleague is 21,000 more fans watching Rugby League.

It is also the case that out of 14 places in SL probably about nine clubs can compete and Salford and Harlequins have already made positive moves to ensure they can compete in the coming years.

At this point in time two clubs are in the mire - Castleford and Wakefield, but both are adamant they can deliver the grounds and kick on with decent fanbases already that can be improved. Bradford are heading for the mire but have plans to try to arrest and reverse the decline.

So I think that it's too early to advocate musical chairs Lobby.

I do have sympathy with what you say and if Cas, Bradford and Wakey genuinely are struggling and aren't going to get out of that then why not give two out of Featherstone, Leigh, Barrow or Halifax a chance in SL.

There are several issues.

1. Does the board of any of the four NL clubs mentioned have the money to spend to properly compete in SL, and most of all have a clear desire to do so. You cannot set rules that force clubs into expenditure they do not have or do not want to commit??

2. The three clubs in SL struggling returned a combined average attendance of 23,000 fans last year

3. The three possibles for SL as above (ex-Barrow) returned a combined average of 11,300 the last season they competed in top flight rugby. There is a chance that in replacing two city clubs with two small town clubs you will get a large nett loss in fans.

You say it's not rocket science, but your calculations are likely to cause a couple of nosedives and a crash.

I had a Ham Salad in Keighley today.

Where do you get your extra 21k fans from?

By the way be careful with comparing a gain of SL fans to a loss of NL fans. It is the latter (like me) who are more likely to be a hardcore RL fan, subscriber to sky for RL only, watcher of internationals/cup finals, rather than the former who is more likely to be a casual fan/handwaver

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Widnes were guaranteed the next spot as soon as they were told they would not get a license in the last round. Two reasons why:

1/ Sympathy vote for the omittance last time

2/ They have a multi-millionaire

So even if Leigh had won the NRC or got to a GF AND had a millionaire, we would have failed on the sympathy vote. All Co-Op champ fans know that - not just Leigh. The only slight uncertainty was them ticking the on-field box, which they did fairly early in

I think a shorter cycle needs trying next time

How bitter are you.

I suggest you and all like minded 'anti francise fans' stop moaning and give us some peace and quiet.

Maybe you could all meet at the hotel accross from the LSV and create a new game, breakaway from the RFL and create a third code of rugby.

Maybe call it Rugby Leigh.

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Jesus wept not again

When you spit your dummy coz Leigh haven't a hope in hell of doing anything AGAIN and you stop going to the game, and cancel sky and whatever else it is you think will get anyone remotely interested in kicking someone out to make way for leigh, can you also spit your dummy enough to kill your membership on here as well

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The people who already go don't care, and the new people we attract don't know. They just see a great game that they want to watch again. It takes a while before they understand the nuances of the game's structure, and by then they're hooked.

The average at BL is already over 1K, and next year there's no Whitehaven to come down - Hunslet and probably Oldham will bring more than Haven and Keighley did.

couldnt agree with this more.. in relation to sheffield

with the rest of this thread.. i have said my peice often enough on it (as has lobby surely!)

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Where do you get your extra 21k fans from?

By the way be careful with comparing a gain of SL fans to a loss of NL fans. It is the latter (like me) who are more likely to be a hardcore RL fan, subscriber to sky for RL only, watcher of internationals/cup finals, rather than the former who is more likely to be a casual fan/handwaver

The average attendances at clubs are all published for 1996 to date and you can add it up yourself.

It was Trojan who repeatedly spoke about shut out NL clubs losing the game fans, which is a one sided argument as SL gains fans.

So a simple (And I note that it's not as simple as that given your last comment to take care) evaluation of the stats revealed that in effect Superleague has seen the game attract more fans over the last 14 years, by my calculation 21,000.

You will know an NL with an average fan base of 1720 per club (last season) can't lose that many fans can they??

In any event I entirely refute the idea that attendances collapse when SL is refused.

Take Dewsbury - Their fanbase hasn't collapsed it has just consolidated and that has happened after several years of no chance of superleague. 1,263 last year isn't that much different to their fan base pre their failed SL application.

Look at the SL average in 1996 - 6,400 and see how that has grown over the years.....

Your argument is the usual impassioned one and good on you, but the figures don't add up on fans.

I do wonder if the figures add up in terms of finances. Last year Leigh averaged 1917 fans. I would expect that in Superleague that will double and more. You had 4750 for your only Superleague campaign.

However we know that 4750 is the sort of attendance that means big big losses Between

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My club Leigh [...] who haven't got an on-the-pitch box ticked, now know that we will not be in SL until at least 2015. Four-Five years is a hell of a long time to be in the wilderness with no promotion prospects.

So, you're basically complaining that a club that hasn't won anything in the last 3 years (and should have been relegated last year) aren't being promoted to SL?

With Licensing or P&R, you have to win something to get promoted

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So, you're basically complaining that a club that hasn't won anything in the last 3 years (and should have been relegated last year) aren't being promoted to SL?

With Licensing or P&R, you have to win something to get promoted

Err no. Actually my post is applicable for all Co-Op clubs (bar Widnes who will get the nod)

I've no qualms about not going up NEXT YEAR, or even the year after, however what I simply cannot tolerate is a 5 year ##### wait in a no-mark competion with nowt to play for. So goodbye sky sports from next year onwards

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couldnt agree with this more.. in relation to sheffield

with the rest of this thread.. i have said my peice often enough on it (as has lobby surely!)

That won't stop him.

REctangular stadia all round! Heckmondwyke for Super League! Etc

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The average attendances at clubs are all published for 1996 to date and you can add it up yourself.

It was Trojan who repeatedly spoke about shut out NL clubs losing the game fans, which is a one sided argument as SL gains fans.

So a simple (And I note that it's not as simple as that given your last comment to take care) evaluation of the stats revealed that in effect Superleague has seen the game attract more fans over the last 14 years, by my calculation 21,000.

You will know an NL with an average fan base of 1720 per club (last season) can't lose that many fans can they??

In any event I entirely refute the idea that attendances collapse when SL is refused.

Take Dewsbury - Their fanbase hasn't collapsed it has just consolidated and that has happened after several years of no chance of superleague. 1,263 last year isn't that much different to their fan base pre their failed SL application.

Look at the SL average in 1996 - 6,400 and see how that has grown over the years.....

Your argument is the usual impassioned one and good on you, but the figures don't add up on fans.

I do wonder if the figures add up in terms of finances. Last year Leigh averaged 1917 fans. I would expect that in Superleague that will double and more. You had 4750 for your only Superleague campaign.

However we know that 4750 is the sort of attendance that means big big losses Between

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Lobby

are you saying that if an NL1 (or 2) club got its marketing strategy bang on, with great links to the community, got it right on the pitch too and played an attractive brand of football that their crowds would still drop because they couldn't apply for SL for another 3 years?

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be careful with comparing a gain of SL fans to a loss of NL fans. It is the latter (like me) who are more likely to be a hardcore RL fan, subscriber to sky for RL only, watcher of internationals/cup finals, rather than the former who is more likely to be a casual fan/handwaver

During their worst-performing season for over thirty years, Bradford attracted an average crowd of over 8,000 casual fans/handwavers.

How many hardcore RL fans did Leigh attact when they had their one glorious season in Superleague, or even the season when they won the Challenge Cup?

You've got a good stadium and

- if your business plan was good enough

- if you could attract an average crowd of 5000 - 8000

- if your team was good enough to win something or reach a final at their current level

then you'd get a franchise.

Till then, you're just a small town in Wigan.

Nothing to see here, move along, move along

:dry:

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That won't stop him.

REctangular stadia all round! Heckmondwyke for Super League! Etc

WCE - you seem like a bright lad. Do you honestly think that 2nd tier crowds will be much more than 1k with no hope of SL until 2015? This last couple of years has shown that the lack of the annual guaraneteed carrot is unpopular with fans. When Widnes get the nod next time, the remaining contenders will lose heart and we'll be left with bare bones. It'll be like watching amateur RL rather than your boyhood pro team.

Also how will the likes of Sheffield survive on these sub-1k crowds? Where will the money come from to play for exotic imports from PNG etc - because it ain't gonna be through the turnstyles

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Lobby

are you saying that if an NL1 (or 2) club got its marketing strategy bang on, with great links to the community, got it right on the pitch too and played an attractive brand of football that their crowds would still drop because they couldn't apply for SL for another 3 years?

Absolutely spot on.

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During their worst-performing season for over thirty years, Bradford attracted an average crowd of over 8,000 casual fans/handwavers.

How many hardcore RL fans did Leigh attact when they had their one glorious season in Superleague, or even the season when they won the Challenge Cup?

You've got a good stadium and

- if your business plan was good enough

- if you could attract an average crowd of 5000 - 8000

- if your team was good enough to win something or reach a final at their current level

then you'd get a franchise.

Till then, you're just a small town in Wigan.

Nothing to see here, move along, move along

:dry:

Bradford were still well clear of the bottom two so you cannot compare. I would be wary of gloating given the huge %drop in attendances at the landfill this year. By the way is your club saving to get its ground in order for the next round of licenses? The focus might be on Wakey and Cas this time but next time it'll be Bradford with the sheer lack of cover

What was Bradfords consistent attendance in the 80's up unti 1995 by the way?

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Err no. Actually my post is applicable for all Co-Op clubs (bar Widnes who will get the nod)

I've no qualms about not going up NEXT YEAR, or even the year after, however what I simply cannot tolerate is a 5 year ##### wait in a no-mark competion with nowt to play for. So goodbye sky sports from next year onwards

as per form.. the bit in bold is just not true is it.. as the last 3 years have proved and you have said earlier.. you have to win something to be able to apply (or at least get to a grand final) if you cant do that then you cant apply.. as such there is something to play for.. but rather than that being youir sole concern you also need to get other things sorted off the field to make sure that you are viable when you get up...

(BTW you also lost out last time round.. sympathy goes to Widnes becuase of the way as a club they did and continued to respond to this. rather than Leigh's moneing and then continued on with the relegation last year of moqaning that they shouldnt have goen due to Tolouse etc etc.. and yet you put forward again the idea of clubs being ringfenced so that this can contiunue to happen yet fans of your own club could not cope with tis in champ one.. how the hell would they cope with it if a 14 team league had 3 ringfenced and you went down in 11th.. )

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Absolutely spot on.

can you prove this or is it one big supposition?

Can you show me an NL1 or 2 club that has tightened its links to its community, got its marketing spot on, is playing attractive football AND has significantly declining crowds?

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WCE - you seem like a bright lad. Do you honestly think that 2nd tier crowds will be much more than 1k with no hope of SL until 2015? This last couple of years has shown that the lack of the annual guaraneteed carrot is unpopular with fans. When Widnes get the nod next time, the remaining contenders will lose heart and we'll be left with bare bones. It'll be like watching amateur RL rather than your boyhood pro team.

Also how will the likes of Sheffield survive on these sub-1k crowds? Where will the money come from to play for exotic imports from PNG etc - because it ain't gonna be through the turnstyles

Sheffield Eagles have a business model that isn't overly dependent on crowds of a certain size. Since moving to DVS, they've always been able to offer potential sponsors and corporate hospitality types brilliant value compared to the other pro sports clubs in the region - Wednesday, United, Barnsley FC, and the Steelers. Although I'd imagine the market is tougher now than it was, what the Eagles offer those sorts of people is terrific value. I was told (a few years ago, admittedly) that the corporate side of the Eagles business was comparable to that of some Super League clubs. Remember, Sheffield is a big city - while it has always proved hard to get fans in week in, week out, the business community has always been supportive of the Eagles. Gary Hetherington was big on this - he realized it was the lifeblood of the club at that time.

The Eagles are also realistic about their position and their finances. They do not make turnover predictions based on possible gates. They do not survive with the assistance of a 'sugardaddy'. They have not staked everything on getting promoted to Super League. I know for a fact that SL is still their long term aim, but they are sensible and realistic enough to realize that the only way that will happen is if they do X, Y and Z.

The Eagles team is relatively inexpensive. They have lost out on certain players, and let others go, because their wage demands were too high. Many of these players found what they were looking for from other clubs, but these clubs are now struggling to pay the bills.

The Eagles are used to making their business work without much cash. Luckily they have a board of directors who are realistic and want League to succeed in Sheffield over decades, maybe longer, not the next three years.

I would love to see the Eagles in Super League again, of course, but it's got to be at a point where the club is in the right position to make a good go of it. That time will come in a few years, I'm sure. Until then, they will survive, slowly improve on and on the pitch, and continue doing what they see as vtal to the business: community, development and education work.

I agree in principle with your point that something needs to change, but automatic P&R isn't it. If we could get a fully professional (or at least largely fully professional) second tier, with similar but lower standards to SL, then the return of promotion and relegation is an option. At the moment it isn't.

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WCE - you seem like a bright lad. Do you honestly think that 2nd tier crowds will be much more than 1k with no hope of SL until 2015? This last couple of years has shown that the lack of the annual guaraneteed carrot is unpopular with fans. When Widnes get the nod next time, the remaining contenders will lose heart and we'll be left with bare bones. It'll be like watching amateur RL rather than your boyhood pro team.

Also how will the likes of Sheffield survive on these sub-1k crowds? Where will the money come from to play for exotic imports from PNG etc - because it ain't gonna be through the turnstyles

so paragraph 1 we'll have crowds "not much more than 1k" then second paragraph "these sub-1k crowds" which is it ffs?

second paragraph answer.. the way we do now??

Get your marketing right, get the comp marketed right and people will still come.. mabe not the droves that you seem to think came before (that actually didnt) but still they will come..

give liscencing a chance you havent even given it a round yet..

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The world is changing and if Rugby League does not change with it, it will die. This applies equally well to International RL, Sl and all levels below that. The game at the International level is changing but has a long way to go. Sl is in a pretty good state, limited only by the sales and marketing creativity of some clubs.

In my opinion, there are very very few Championship clubs that could in their wildest dreams have a sustainable future in SuperLeage and Leigh is not one of them. The writing was on the wall for Leigh many many years ago even before Tim Street was playing. There are too many clubs with a long-term record of playing and commercial success close by, for one. The last thing we want is for yet another club to go bust in its attempts to buy its way in as this is always at the expense of the taxpayer, the players and the creditors. No more , please.

Of course, it can be done: because of its embracing of and drive to comply with the SL licence criteria, because of the workmanlike way it has gone about things, and because it has an enviable record of success in within living memory, (and so able to bring back lapsed fans) Widnes, (like as Hull KR has already shown is possible), is well able to have a sustainable future in SL. And that is what the licensing criteria , or broadly-based P and R is about.

Give it a few years and other spots will start to look at this approach. Give it another few years and Lobby will still be worshiping Jude the Apostle, the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes.

Edited by JohnM

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