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yanto

The old days...closer games...no blow outs

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Just got some old Workington Town programmes today from a friend ,some interesting reading from 1980-81 season.

31 august away to Featherstone lost 40-23 then from then in 1-1 v Hull KR.11-14 away to Halifax,5-13 home to Leeds,8-36 away to Salford,16-16 home to Saints,5-28 away to Leigh,5-21 home to Fev,10-18 away to Oldham,13-8 home to Halifax,8-18 away to Saints,12-16 home to Warrington,25-4 home to Oldham,15-12 home to Salford,18-4 home to Barrow,7-15 away to Widnes,10-15 away to Bradford,15-8 home to Cas,0-4 home to Leigh,14-14 away to Cas,14-10 home to Widnes,5-10 away to Leeds,8-18 home to Wakey,15-13 away to Hull,17-6 away to Warrington ( top of the table at the time )........Town got relegated this year BUT NO BLOW OUT SORES...so was the game more competetive before it went full time.....was the game more exciting...where the games closer...some of the above scores suggest so .....not harping back to the old days but when a team that got relegated could go to Wire and Hull and win then MAYBE we should have left it alone to develop its own course instead of bringing in the SKY money..and ending up with a massive gap between them that have and them that have not.......just a thought :-)

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Maybe all the teams were equally poor?

Widnes came up last season and beat Wigan, it doesn't really prove anything.

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Its been shown previously on here there were lots of blow outs in the past,

However to reply to your point about should we have carried on as we were. Lets move forward ten years (because we did carry on) and look were carrying on got us to in the 1990s.

January 1990

RFL sign deal with BSB for live Sunday game at 6:30 on a Sunday evening.

February 1990

Wigan announce record £280,000 profit.

March 1990

St.Helens home fixture v Warrington abandoned after 3 minutes after part of roof blows off stand and lands on the pitch

April 1990

BSB announce first ever live coverage of a tour to NZ

Halifax players threaten strike action over unpaid wages, Fax sell Neil James to Leeds for £20k to pay outstanding wages to players.

Barrow list 10 players

Halifax hit with £70,000 tax demand from inland revenue and face winding up order.

June 1990

Halifax hit money troubles and are being administered by accountants Price Waterhouse

August 1990

Its revealed that Halifax owe creditors £760,000, Price Waterhouse have trouble off-loading Fax to new buyer because players are in dispute over reduced contracts. Eventuall resolved and new board take-over.

RFL sign a£1.5m 3 year SatelliteTV deal with British Aerospace, 90 games per season are to be shown in pubs and clubs only, 30 games to be live on Sundays at 1:00PM

September 1990

Runcorn Highfield apply to RFL to be allowed to move to St.Helens Town FC, the move is approved.

Sheffield Eagles move to Don Valley Stadium

October 1990

Runcorn coach Dave Chisnall quits after losing all his 38 games in charge.

November 1990

Second diision clubs hold a crisis meeting to discuss the contract system

December 1990

Leigh start listing players as they hit a financial crisis.

Scarborough anounce intention to apply for membership of the RFL

January 1991

Scarborough admitted as a member club of the RFL by getting the exact minimum votes required.

Arbittration ruling forces the RFL to accept that players from EEC countries are exempt from quotas

Mick Dean of Leigh threatens to sue the club for nonfullfilment of contract.

Rugby League Council recommend acceptance of The Hetherington plan for 3 division of 14, 8 and 14.

April 1991

Leigh enter administration

Wigan Win Challenge Cup for 4th season in a row

May 1991

Runcorn Highfield seek approval for name change to Highfield RLFC

Sheffield Eagles sign their first local recruit, Jason Davidson

June 1991

Doncaster list entire playing rosta of 36 players

Leigh are running out of time for a buyer to step and save the club, fans launch a petition asking for the local council to save the club.

Swinton offer Leigh the option of a ground share at Sation road, they turn it down.

RFL project £17m of sponsorship and TV deals over next five years.

August 1991

Tony Cotteral heads a syndicate that saves Leigh at the last minute.

Wakefield escape threat of closure with fomation of its first ever board of directors.

December 1991

Swinton a bid to resolve cash crisis sever contracts of three Australian imports one of which is also coach.

May 1992

New club Scarborough in financial crisis

RFL agree £3m+ four year deal with BSkyB, deal includes Friday night games from League and Premiership. They also sign a 4 year £2.5m deal withe BBC for the challenge cup and regal trophy.

Vote on return to two divisions defeated.

Swinton sell Station Road and move to Bury

June 1992

Chorley Borough move to Horwich

Revealed that Scarborough are in trouble with £113,000 of debt they can't pay.

August 1992

Scarborough fold still owing £60,000 to creditors

Two French teams receive invite to play in Regal Trophy, XIII Catalan and Carcassonne

September 1992

Blackpool Gladiators move to Blackpool Mechincs FC

October 1992

Blackpool chairman Alan Sherrat puts the club up for sale at £50k

November 1992

Leigh get High Court reprieve following threat of eviction from Hilton Park.

Swinton coach Tony Barrow accepts pay cut to ease financial worries at the club.

December 1992

RFL propse two divisions of 16 with the three bottom clubs demoted to the Aligance League.

Hull KR players refuse to turn out for a game against Leigh in a pay dispute talks take a week to settle the dispute.

January 1993

Swinton saved from liquidation by a consotium headed by former chairman Malcolm White.

February 1993

Leigh fail in a bid to buy back Hilton Park for £300k

March 1993

League appoint a 3 man study group to investigate switching to summer rugby.

Wigans balance sheet shows loss of £300k on a turnover of £3m (includes £440k paid for Offiah)

June 1993

Leigh are offered a reprieve over their ground problems when they are allowed to stay for 12 months.

Hull FC put 7 players on the transfer list and coach Royce Simmons runs 5 marathons to raise money tp pay for Aussie imports.

Warrington list 13 players for a total of £340k when they refuse lower contract payments

Blackpool, Nottingham and Chorley join new national conference league.

London Crusaders move from Crystal Palace to Copthall Sports Stadium, Barnet.

July 1993

Jonothan Davies gets free transfer to Warrington, thus easing financial pressures at Widnes.

August 1993

Halifax list 7 players for a total of £170,000

November 1993

London Crusaders impose 20% pay cut to ease financial problems.

December 1993

The RFL offer help to London in finding additional or replacement directors.

January1994

Bradford have a clear out, Hobbs and Noble given free transfers, McGowan and Cordle listed at£40k an £15k.

Bramley announce plans to leave McLaren Field and move in with Northern Premier League soccer club Farsley Celtic.

Plans for 1995 Centenary World Cup are threatened by RFU making noises about moving the union World Cup for that year from S.A. to England.

March 1994

Wigan's wage bill tops £2m a year mark.

Huddersfield in administration, administrator says all British players are available and is open to offers.

May 1994

Receivers at Huddersfield sack coach Murphy.

June 1994

Oldham sell Watersheddings for £1.25m to pay-off debts.

Bramley decide to stay at McLaren Field for 12 months.

Widnes look into selling ground to council.

Hunslet look to playing games at McLaren Field instead of Elland Road.

U.S. cable TV company Prime Television pay £1.3m for rights to the centenary World Cup.

July 1994

Government proposals on tabacco advertising threaten lucrative sponsorship deals.

Leigh enter administration.

August 1994

The RFL presents a crisis document Framing the Future, it includes proposals to merge clubs and the setting up of a Premier League.

Clubs give the RFL the nod to formulate plans for a Premier League.

Huddersfield celebrate the opening of the McAlpine Stadium by beating Barrow.

September 1994

The RFL propose a 16 club Premier League.

October 1994

Widnes in more talks with council about sale of ground.

November 1994

Hunslet list 7 players.

December 1994

Leigh appoint their 19th coach in twenty years, Ian Lucas

Doncaster enter administration with debts of £1.4m

February 1995

Salary cap introduced 50% of income can be spent on players with a reduction to 40% in 2 years

March 1995

Leigh secure future at Hilton Park by entering ground share deal with non-League soccer club Horwich RMI

Sheffield Eagles pull out of a proposed merger with Doncaster following a "breach of confidentialty", Sheffield then set to take-over Doncaster in a deal with administrators, deal falls through after RFL declare Doncaster players as free agents.

Leigh buy club back from administrators.

Take-over bid for Bradford Northern

Doncaster bought from administrators by owners of Tattersfield ground.

Ken Arthurson, head of Australian RL, asks the RFL to reconsider summer rugby proposals as it threatens the international tour cycle.

April 1995

All hell lets loose.

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Let's go back to part time and see what happens when we play the aussies.

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I am sure a list of events since 1995 could throw up similar circumstances, so how far have we come?

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I am sure a list of events since 1995 could throw up similar circumstances, so how far have we come?

That wasn't the point of the OP, Yanto said things were rosey in the 80s and should we have carried on, we did and I posted the results.

Go ahead and do another list if you want to prove your point.

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That's a really interesting look back twenty years ago and tallies with what I recall experiencing at the time.

All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again, to quote my favourite TV show, BSG. That being said, we are in much worse economic conditions than any time in living memory, and the game is struggling but perhaps slightly less than I feared and is still keeping its head above water.

Although it is completely off thread, I also seem to recall there only being a very small pool of good UK players in the 1990s, despite what Schoey and others say. My own impression is that the rules 20 or 30 years ago were more attritional keeping the games closer, and that hence teams could carry some fairly average players. Just look at the GB team at Wembley in 1990 - not exactly a field full of geniuses although Hanley could carry any team pretty well of course.

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Was it 97 Wigan hit the rails with £3m of debts, thats a lot more than Fax, Leigh and the others put together. All the cloak and dagger with the sale of Central Park, Whelan and the move to JJB. I also recall Wigan had a turnover of some £3m pa pre SL, what would that equate to in todays money with £1.3m from SKY, £8m??

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How many profit making clubs were there in 1980?

How many are there now?

I would see this as a fair barometer of how the game has strengthened or weakened.

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Was it 97 Wigan hit the rails with £3m of debts, thats a lot more than Fax, Leigh and the others put together. All the cloak and dagger with the sale of Central Park, Whelan and the move to JJB. I also recall Wigan had a turnover of some £3m pa pre SL, what would that equate to in todays money with £1.3m from SKY, £8m??

Wigan's problems began in 1996 when Jack Robinson was charged at Bolton Crown Court of attempting to pervert the course of justice and incitement to create a false instrument. this eventually led to the clubs bank refusing to do business with the current board of directors and limiting their overdraft facilities until such time as the board was replaced with directors the bank felt they could trust. In 1997 the proverbial hit the fan as without the bank playing ball Wigan were financially in it.

On top of that Robinson was locked in a battle with Whelan over Central Park, Robinson had pulled the plug on the idea of joining Whelan in a joint venture of a new stadium for soccer and rugby. Whelan then drew up plans to buy Central Park and redevelop it as a dual use stadium. Robinson once again turned Whelan down. Whelan knowing that the club was struggling, because of the aforementioned bank problem, sat and waited knowing full well that Robinson wouldn't be able to carry on.

Whelan got on with building his new stadium, and oddly enough in the planning process he had to provide a traffic impact assessment for the stadium for Saturday and Sunday afternoons and Friday evenings.

Robinson did the Tesco deal, but still had to go and eventually Whelan got control. Basically as in rugby league on the pitch the guy with the most money won.

That's a quick potted history and not an invitation to debate.

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Was Robinson convicted?

Had Wigan run up £3m of debt?

How do Thomas's, Robinsons and Nolans' memories differ to yours?

Leigh's huge error was allowing its assets to be virtually stolen,

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Had Wigan run up £3m of debt?

Wigan's debts were largely due to the construction costs and overspends on the Whitbread Stand alongside the bank issues summarised by Padge. An unfortunate series of unforeseen circumstances when the club was trying to upgrade its facilities, rather than the mythical reinventions that have emerged since. In hindsight, if Wigan had followed a model of investment purely in the squad whilst playing in a hovel and hoping for a magic wand like nearby clubs did successfully over the next 10-15 years, then they'd have been fine. In the end it all worked out in any case, and the club has rebuilt assets through the Whelan and Lenegan eras whilst playing in a modern facility at a decent rental price.

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Was Robinson convicted?

What assets do they have playing at Whelans stadium? Is it the lease?

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How many profit making clubs were there in 1980?

How many are there now?

I would see this as a fair barometer of how the game has strengthened or weakened.

A few news stories from the 79/80 and 80/81 Seasons. Figures in brackets are modern equivalents accounting for inflation

79/80 season

Saints lost £120,000 (£542,400)

Huddersfield had a player pay dispute as did Hull KR and Hull FCs players went on strike.

Huyton have no ground for start of season.

At a Hull derby 37 people are injured at the Boulevard by spectators throwing bricks.

Fulham are born

Hunslet told to find a new ground at end of season when lease expires landlords not willing to extend, RFL give permission to ground share with Batley next season

80/81 Season

Carlisle and Cardiff are born

Another pay dispute at Fartown

Newly promoted Whitehaven coaches walk out in pay dispute only to return weeks later.

Doncaster players threaten to strike over non-payment of expenses

Oxley seeks meeting with BBC over poor JPS Cup Final coverage, BBC insist RL is not being used as a filler.

Fulham pull out of a league game against Bradford due to lack of players, Fulham fined £250

Blackpool beaten 66-7 at Oldham in one of those scores that never happened.

Blackpool call in the receiver.

Halifax coaches walk out in pay dispute

Oldham lose £70,000 (£279,300)

Salford have to clear £150,000 of debts by selling parts of the clubs property. (£598,500)

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Snippet from an Interesting piece from 1980.

Guardian Sept 6th 1980

Paul Fitzpatrick

Many Unhappy Returns

An unfortunate aspect to rugby league since the formation of two divisions has been the monotonous regularity with which the same teams are promoted and relegated.

Clearly there is a formidable divide between the two divisions, a fact acknowledged by a player of one of the sides promoted last season. While delighted for the success of his club he admitted he was dreading playing in the first division because he doubted that ageing legs and lungs would be able to meet the severe challenges that lay ahead.

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That's a really interesting look back twenty years ago and tallies with what I recall experiencing at the time.

All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again, to quote my favourite TV show, BSG. That being said, we are in much worse economic conditions than any time in living memory, and the game is struggling but perhaps slightly less than I feared and is still keeping its head above water.

Although it is completely off thread, I also seem to recall there only being a very small pool of good UK players in the 1990s, despite what Schoey and others say. My own impression is that the rules 20 or 30 years ago were more attritional keeping the games closer, and that hence teams could carry some fairly average players. Just look at the GB team at Wembley in 1990 - not exactly a field full of geniuses although Hanley could carry any team pretty well of course.

I suppose it depends upon whether you consider the 20's and 30's as in living memory. Not in mine or yours but certainly times when RL was still fighting to survive and economic conditions were far worse, believe me.

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Was Robinson convicted?

What assets do they have playing at Whelans stadium? Is it the lease?

Wigan own a rugby ground complete with full facilities, stands, club house gymnasium etc. it is situated on some of the most sought after building land in the borough.

They also are part owners of Central Park. http://www.wiganwarriors.com/WContent.aspx?id=6590&type=1

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Wigan own a rugby ground complete with full facilities, stands, club house gymnasium etc. it is situated on some of the most sought after building land in the borough.

They also are part owners of Central Park. http://www.wiganwarr...?id=6590&type=1

ah that fantastic multi purpose stadium at orrell i think you refer to .. whats the ground capacity again ?

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ah that fantastic multi purpose stadium at orrell i think you refer to .. whats the ground capacity again ?

The capacity of the ground is irrelevant to the question asked, the question was do Wigan have assets, that ground is worth millions.

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The game is no better now than it was yesteryear. Clubs still being run badly and throwing money away instead of doing things properly. Wigan like Halifax, Widnes, Crusaders, Wakefield, Salford etc etc got into a mess due to poor management and business decisions. Wigan was lucky to survive, let alone stay in SL. Wigan could easily have been a championship club and not just in 1997 but more recently. SL has not changed anything really except it has given clubs more money to waste not invest. The RFL still dont have the balls to make decisions that will benefit the whole game and not just a select few. Until major changes happen in the game led by the RFL, the Pro game will keep on being a mess, that tries to hide the real problems within the game that have existed for decades. The short term decisions and attempts to save clubs will keep seeing the game playing a game of russian roulette where many clubs end up in the last chance saloon hoping for a saviour.

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I may have got the wrong end of the stick but isn't the building council/education owned and central training are one of those companies reliant on grants/education money to exist, spongers to us taxpayers, they play the system they know very well and are obviously well in with the WMBC timewaters. (Put me in charge of the money wasting councils and their workforce and I'll get rid of the debt in 2 years)

Now Orrell's old ground - Whelan owns that does he not? Didn't he seize the deeds after ploughing a few million in - then sold a fair chunk of the land off for housing?

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I may have got the wrong end of the stick but isn't the building council/education owned and central training are one of those companies reliant on grants/education money to exist, spongers to us taxpayers, they play the system they know very well and are obviously well in with the WMBC timewaters. (Put me in charge of the money wasting councils and their workforce and I'll get rid of the debt in 2 years)

Now Orrell's old ground - Whelan owns that does he not? Didn't he seize the deeds after ploughing a few million in - then sold a fair chunk of the land off for housing?

Whelan doesn't own Orrell. Wigan Rugby Club do.

As for your other point I am not getting in to a debate with such an ignoramus.

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Whelan doesn't own Orrell. Wigan Rugby Club do.

As for your other point I am not getting in to a debate with such an ignoramus.

Are you sure on Whelan not owning Orrells land/ground. The only references I can find quote Whelan owning it??

I take it I was correct on the other point, and I have touched a nerve with my local government views - I now also assume I pay your wages from my council tax.

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Are you sure on Whelan not owning Orrells land/ground. The only references I can find quote Whelan owning it??

Try looking harder.

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went to a lancashire cup final in the 60's between saints and wire at wigan, the final score was 2-2

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