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flyingking

Nigel Wood- London must improve

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Once again you are really being selective with your facts.

There is nothing about winter that created or aided the expansion, the expansion came from the fact that they had never taken the club game seriously. They essentially created a proper league system for the first time off the back of huge national support for Rugby Union, with internationals etc. This has been replicated in other parts of the world where Union has treated club rugby seriously for the first time, look at Australia for instance. The NRL has seen growth but nothing compared to the growth of domestic Rugby Union. This is not in any way to downplay the NRL as like us the strength was already in the club game and Union exploited an already large grassroots and international network.

RL in this country couldn't be more different than the RU Premiership, our game had been all about the clubs since 1895. Our biggest successes have always been in the club games. We created growth from an arguably already saturated market and a bigger growth than NRL clubs have managed (staying in their winter) since 1995.

What I find the dishonest about your reasoning is the fact that you treat your own speculation about what might have happened winter as if it is fact. You then oddly use this speculation to try and make out like summer rugby has been unsuccessful in comparison to it. We have no way of knowing what would have happened in winter and it is far from guaranteed that there would have been the same growth.

Very true, leagues only existed in English RU from 1985 onwards (IIRC). They were only 8 years old when the game went (openly) pro.

I'd be surprised if the game wasn't growing as a spectator sport before the end of shameuterism.

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Parky, are you seriously suggesting that if there was the possibility of a second London team to enter SL and both London teams were viable, that the RFL would not entertain the second team because there's already a SL team in London!!!!!

You make a great point.

I remember Richard Lewis talking about London and really pushing the idea of a second club being something the game really wanted. The same principle applied to France, and I'd guess Wales too!!

Yes this is a good principle in theory, and it would have been great to see but it was never going to happen without rich men coming in to join the party. Sadly one rich man doesn't lead to another probably because rich man 2 sees rich man 1 struggle and get no help from RFL/SLE!!

You got me there!!

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Very true, leagues only existed in English RU from 1985 onwards (IIRC). They were only 8 years old when the game went (openly) pro.

I'd be surprised if the game wasn't growing as a spectator sport before the end of shameuterism.

It was only 1987 when they started the Courage Leagues and even then clubs arranged fixtures amongst themselves!

Just a quick look at the teams that competed in those leagues shows how minor it was. It included Liverpool St Helens, Waterloo, Orrell, Moseley, Rosslyn Park etc. It's really no surprise that once their leagues adjusted to teams that could sustain professional RU that they saw a big increase in their crowds.

There are no parallels with RL, we already had a history of clubs that had drawn 20k+ crowds in their past and crowds had found their natural level, since 1995 we have increased from that base. Professional rugby is still pretty new to most of the towns in the Premiership and to an extent it is still finding its level. There are some clubs that clearly have the potential to get regular huge crowds but they are still held back by some poorer performing clubs (often in the North).

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Who is going to support an Australian or Kiwi side based in London?

Probably not enough fans and business to finance it, but two SH teams stacked with players knocking on the nrl door would lift the quality and intensity of sl no end

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It's a red herring to compare Union and League on this topic.

I remember when I first went down to the Stoop to watch London v Wire - I was shocked that basically it was a couple of crappy stands round a field. Once Union took their club game seriously, it was always going to be pretty easy to make some quite massive improvements. League already had the structures in place, and played in proper grounds (sort of!) - so we didn't have the level of improvements that Union could offer to their fans.

Our sport was already professional, the opportunity for improvement wasn't realistically there on the same scale imho.

But we went full time pro at the same time as they did. The game on the field improved as spectacle - and intitially at least their's didn't - but they got the crowd increase. Playing in winter. We didn't even give playing full time in winter a chance. We just supinely switched to summer. Who knows with the likes of the (then) MCAlpine, KC, (then)JJB coming on stream what would have happened. (plus other stadia at Warrington and Widnes and the improvements at Headingley) We actually play the game in what often (looking out of the window) are the worst months of the winter anyway. We abandoned the early autumn, which even into November can be quite pleasant weather-wise, we abandoned what used to be lucrative Christmas fixtures. Time was when RL was played over all the bank holidays - early season games over the summer one, derby fixtures at Christmas and Easter, May Day was often the CC Final and Spring Bank Holiday for (what would now be) the Grand Final. As I said I'm ambivalent, but it wasn't tried and now it's probably too late. But someone just decided in what seemed a quite arbitrary way to switch fo summer for no better reason than that's what (it's said) Sky wanted. SL crowds are up marginally on pre SL crowds, but as I say we sacrificed some lucrative opportunites plus the Test Tours. The point I was trying to make is that so much of RL is like that - the fans (who let's be honest make some contrbution to the costs of the game) seem to be the last in the queue when it comes to these decisions. Threre was an instance last season when a fixture was moved from Friday to Sunday without any notice at all -fans had booked time off and some had train tickets to travel that would no longer be valid - but no one cared. The 2000 World Cup was another example of the fans taking a back seat. I'm sure had the fans been consulted beforehand a 6-00pm ko at Twickenham could have been avoided for starters. I went - I saw the chaos. IMO RL needs to get its act together in terms of PR and start listening to feedback from fans.

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But we went full time pro at the same time as they did. The game on the field improved as spectacle - and intitially at least their's didn't - but they got the crowd increase. Playing in winter. We didn't even give playing full time in winter a chance. We just supinely switched to summer. Who knows with the likes of the (then) MCAlpine, KC, (then)JJB coming on stream what would have happened. (plus other stadia at Warrington and Widnes and the improvements at Headingley) We actually play the game in what often (looking out of the window) are the worst months of the winter anyway. We abandoned the early autumn, which even into November can be quite pleasant weather-wise, we abandoned what used to be lucrative Christmas fixtures. Time was when RL was played over all the bank holidays - early season games over the summer one, derby fixtures at Christmas and Easter, May Day was often the CC Final and Spring Bank Holiday for (what would now be) the Grand Final. As I said I'm ambivalent, but it wasn't tried and now it's probably too late. But someone just decided in what seemed a quite arbitrary way to switch fo summer for no better reason than that's what (it's said) Sky wanted. SL crowds are up marginally on pre SL crowds, but as I say we sacrificed some lucrative opportunites plus the Test Tours. The point I was trying to make is that so much of RL is like that - the fans (who let's be honest make some contrbution to the costs of the game) seem to be the last in the queue when it comes to these decisions. Threre was an instance last season when a fixture was moved from Friday to Sunday without any notice at all -fans had booked time off and some had train tickets to travel that would no longer be valid - but no one cared. The 2000 World Cup was another example of the fans taking a back seat. I'm sure had the fans been consulted beforehand a 6-00pm ko at Twickenham could have been avoided for starters. I went - I saw the chaos. IMO RL needs to get its act together in terms of PR and start listening to feedback from fans.

But we went full time pro at the same time as they did. The game on the field improved as spectacle - and intitially at least their's didn't - but they got the crowd increase. Playing in winter. We didn't even give playing full time in winter a chance. We just supinely switched to summer. Who knows with the likes of the (then) MCAlpine, KC, (then)JJB coming on stream what would have happened. (plus other stadia at Warrington and Widnes and the improvements at Headingley) We actually play the game in what often (looking out of the window) are the worst months of the winter anyway. We abandoned the early autumn, which even into November can be quite pleasant weather-wise, we abandoned what used to be lucrative Christmas fixtures. Time was when RL was played over all the bank holidays - early season games over the summer one, derby fixtures at Christmas and Easter, May Day was often the CC Final and Spring Bank Holiday for (what would now be) the Grand Final. As I said I'm ambivalent,

I actually just spat my coffee out at this point. There is absolutely no way you are ambivalent, hense your half-truths and speculation just to back up a weak point.

You're arguing a nonsense speculative point yet again. I could just as easily state that crowds would have dropped massively in winter and that we've done a grand job keeping them up. There is no way of proving or even implying either, all we can deal with is facts and the fact is crowds have improved.

You are over playing the effect full-time professionalism has on the spectacle, it's arguably made it worse and certainly made the results more predictable. The difference with RU is that they went from playing friendles in fields with fences around them to going professional on and off the pitch. As I pointed out and was ignored, the same has happened in Australia with RU but the NRL hasn't seen growth in comparison at all. At least we've seen some growth.

Test tours are unrelated to summer rugby, there is no reason why switching to summer necessarily meant the scrapping of tours. If anything, it puts all the nations in line with each other. Football doesn't seem to have problems with internationals when their seasons are all at the same time.

but it wasn't tried and now it's probably too late. But someone just decided in what seemed a quite arbitrary way to switch fo summer for no better reason than that's what (it's said) Sky wanted. SL crowds are up marginally on pre SL crowds, but as I say we sacrificed some lucrative opportunites plus the Test Tours. The point I was trying to make is that so much of RL is like that - the fans (who let's be honest make some contrbution to the costs of the game) seem to be the last in the queue when it comes to these decisions. Threre was an instance last season when a fixture was moved from Friday to Sunday without any notice at all -fans had booked time off and some had train tickets to travel that would no longer be valid - but no one cared. The 2000 World Cup was another example of the fans taking a back seat. I'm sure had the fans been consulted beforehand a 6-00pm ko at Twickenham could have been avoided for starters. I went - I saw the chaos. IMO RL needs to get its act together in terms of PR and start listening to feedback from fans.

Just like which other professional sports....? Are you honestly suggesting that Sky put the 6:00pm Twickenham game on because they thought it would be good for fans? We fit around them or we don't get televised, it's as simple as that.

Like I said earlier, even if there had been a unanimous reaction against it doesn't make it right because we now have a situation where there might be a unanimous number of fans for it. How would you have ever known if you went with what the fans say? That's why you need leadership rather than ruling by the majority.

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But we went full time pro at the same time as they did. The game on the field improved as spectacle - and intitially at least their's didn't - but they got the crowd increase. Playing in winter. We didn't even give playing full time in winter a chance. We just supinely switched to summer. Who knows with the likes of the (then) MCAlpine, KC, (then)JJB coming on stream what would have happened. (plus other stadia at Warrington and Widnes and the improvements at Headingley) We actually play the game in what often (looking out of the window) are the worst months of the winter anyway. We abandoned the early autumn, which even into November can be quite pleasant weather-wise, we abandoned what used to be lucrative Christmas fixtures. Time was when RL was played over all the bank holidays - early season games over the summer one, derby fixtures at Christmas and Easter, May Day was often the CC Final and Spring Bank Holiday for (what would now be) the Grand Final. As I said I'm ambivalent, but it wasn't tried and now it's probably too late. But someone just decided in what seemed a quite arbitrary way to switch fo summer for no better reason than that's what (it's said) Sky wanted. SL crowds are up marginally on pre SL crowds, but as I say we sacrificed some lucrative opportunites plus the Test Tours. The point I was trying to make is that so much of RL is like that - the fans (who let's be honest make some contrbution to the costs of the game) seem to be the last in the queue when it comes to these decisions. Threre was an instance last season when a fixture was moved from Friday to Sunday without any notice at all -fans had booked time off and some had train tickets to travel that would no longer be valid - but no one cared. The 2000 World Cup was another example of the fans taking a back seat. I'm sure had the fans been consulted beforehand a 6-00pm ko at Twickenham could have been avoided for starters. I went - I saw the chaos. IMO RL needs to get its act together in terms of PR and start listening to feedback from fans.

Oh and as for the 'small improvement in crowds,' the last proper season in winter (94-95) had an average crowd of 5,624. Last season had an average of 10,124, an increase of 80% albeit with 2 fewer clubs. This is likely to go down this year after the worst recession for a long long time.

In the same years, the top Australian division has increased its crowds by 18% staying in the same season and with numerous better facilities.

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Probably not enough fans and business to finance it, but two SH teams stacked with players knocking on the nrl door would lift the quality and intensity of sl no end

Would it?

Do we get high quality Aussie / Kiwi players at the moment?

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Would it?

Do we get high quality Aussie / Kiwi players at the moment?

I think it would,The strength in depth of SH RL must be massive compared to here.If each nrl club was to provide five or so of the most experienced and best up and coming players to play in these teams,i think they could very easily compete with the bottom 10 clubs.It could also make it a bit more interesting with the different styles of play.As i say though its all about finance.

Not anymore it seems, but is that down to finance?.

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I think it would,The strength in depth of SH RL must be massive compared to here.If each nrl club was to provide five or so of the most experienced and best up and coming players to play in these teams,i think they could very easily compete with the bottom 10 clubs.It could also make it a bit more interesting with the different styles of play.As i say though its all about finance.

Not anymore it seems, but is that down to finance?.

Wouldn't it be rather more likely that we get sent some hasbeens looking for a pension?

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Oh and as for the 'small improvement in crowds,' the last proper season in winter (94-95) had an average crowd of 5,624. Last season had an average of 10,124, an increase of 80% albeit with 2 fewer clubs. This is likely to go down this year after the worst recession for a long long time.

In the same years, the top Australian division has increased its crowds by 18% staying in the same season and with numerous better facilities.

But you can't say what would have happened had we stuck with winter. That is the point. Not that winter is best - that it was never tried and no one was consulted. You just don't get it do you? I'm not saying go back to winter I'm using the example of the switch to summer - could there have been a bigger swtich? - of the way Rugby League treats its fans.

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Wouldn't it be rather more likely that we get sent some hasbeens looking for a pension?

That being the case there would be little point in doing it. :lol:

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I have presented a long, but even then incomplete list that addresses your's and lobbygobbler's self serving ideas about running the game by plebiscite, perhaps yu might like to answer the questions it poses.

I have never advocated that the game should be run by plebiscite. But for such a major change in the game such as from winter to summer surely justifies asking someone what they think of the idea. AFAIK no such questions were asked. For me it was symptomatic of the way those who run the game treat the fans. I don't advocate a return to winter although I believe there were many advantages that we sacrificed in the move to summer that weren't taken into account. All I say is that the next time such a major change is contemplated, perhaps someone somewhere should take some thought for the fans' views.

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I have never advocated that the game should be run by plebiscite. But for such a major change in the game such as from winter to summer surely justifies asking someone what they think of the idea. AFAIK no such questions were asked. For me it was symptomatic of the way those who run the game treat the fans. I don't advocate a return to winter although I believe there were many advantages that we sacrificed in the move to summer that weren't taken into account. All I say is that the next time such a major change is contemplated, perhaps someone somewhere should take some thought for the fans' views.

but this is an example of it. Who decides when thi plebiscite takes place? Who is entitled to vote and so on and so on-see previous post forfull list.

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I have never advocated that the game should be run by plebiscite. But for such a major change in the game such as from winter to summer surely justifies asking someone what they think of the idea. AFAIK no such questions were asked. For me it was symptomatic of the way those who run the game treat the fans. I don't advocate a return to winter although I believe there were many advantages that we sacrificed in the move to summer that weren't taken into account. All I say is that the next time such a major change is contemplated, perhaps someone somewhere should take some thought for the fans' views.

When I started watching RL, around about 1993, there was lots of talk of a switch to summer. IIRC Gary Hetherington was involved in drawing up a document that looked at it, as one of many proposals, and this was before Sky got involved in discussions over Super League.

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When I started watching RL, around about 1993, there was lots of talk of a switch to summer. IIRC Gary Hetherington was involved in drawing up a document that looked at it, as one of many proposals, and this was before Sky got involved in discussions over Super League.

the original proposal was put forward by lance Todd in the 1930s. There was a strong constituency for it for decdes bfore it happened.

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When I started watching RL, around about 1993, there was lots of talk of a switch to summer. IIRC Gary Hetherington was involved in drawing up a document that looked at it, as one of many proposals, and this was before Sky got involved in discussions over Super League.

But IIRC when it was proposed the overwhelming feeling was that no one wanted it. But we got it anyway!

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But IIRC when it was proposed the overwhelming feeling was that no one wanted it. But we got it anyway!

Then you remember incorrectly

Many people wanted it and had been campaigning for it for years

It seem to have worked just as for instance taking the cup final against strong opposition without a plebiscite to decide it worked

So how will deciding rugby league by plebiscite or if you wish referendum work?

I have asked some questions on the topic that you might like to answer what with lobby being off the radar right now

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Aye - I certainly don;t remember 'nobody wanting it' when summer was announced.

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Once again you are really being selective with your facts.

There is nothing about winter that created or aided the expansion, the expansion came from the fact that they had never taken the club game seriously. They essentially created a proper league system for the first time off the back of huge national support for Rugby Union, with internationals etc. This has been replicated in other parts of the world where Union has treated club rugby seriously for the first time, look at Australia for instance. The NRL has seen growth but nothing compared to the growth of domestic Rugby Union. This is not in any way to downplay the NRL as like us the strength was already in the club game and Union exploited an already large grassroots and international network.

RL in this country couldn't be more different than the RU Premiership, our game had been all about the clubs since 1895. Our biggest successes have always been in the club games. We created growth from an arguably already saturated market and a bigger growth than NRL clubs have managed (staying in their winter) since 1995.

What I find the dishonest about your reasoning is the fact that you treat your own speculation about what might have happened winter as if it is fact. You then oddly use this speculation to try and make out like summer rugby has been unsuccessful in comparison to it. We have no way of knowing what would have happened in winter and it is far from guaranteed that there would have been the same growth.

I've just done a back of a fag packet calculation: Wiki says 28 clubs have played in the English RU top tier since 1987.

By my reckoning 14 of them have been in proper financial difficulties, including actual going bust & administration etc, in that time.

A 50% hit rate, in fact.

This is definitely what rugby league should be aiming for.

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I've just done a back of a fag packet calculation: Wiki says 28 clubs have played in the English RU top tier since 1987.

By my reckoning 14 of them have been in proper financial difficulties, including actual going bust & administration etc, in that time.

A 50% hit rate, in fact.

This is definitely what rugby league should be aiming for.

What's that got to do with RL? ;)

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What's that got to do with RL? ;)

I just dread to think how many more would have gone to the wall if they'd tried to play in nice weather.

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I've just done a back of a fag packet calculation: Wiki says 28 clubs have played in the English RU top tier since 1987.

By my reckoning 14 of them have been in proper financial difficulties, including actual going bust & administration etc, in that time.

A 50% hit rate, in fact.

This is definitely what rugby league should be aiming for.

Surely that was inevitable when the game went honestly pro. Teams in the North especially who had been fairly dominant in the "amateur" days - Orrell and Wakefield spring to mind - could not continue when they had to pay players a living wage based on their poor crowds because of the lack of interest in Union in such Rugby League heartlands. Even well financed well run Leeds Carnegie can't get decent crowds to Headingley in order to sustain top flight status.

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Aye - I certainly don;t remember 'nobody wanting it' when summer was announced.

Put it this way, before it was announced I don't recall fans at grounds or the letters pages of LE being full of letters demanding summer rugby. There were plenty of things RL fans wanted but summer rugby came pretty low on the list.

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Put it this way, before it was announced I don't recall fans at grounds or the letters pages of LE being full of letters demanding summer rugby. There were plenty of things RL fans wanted but summer rugby came pretty low on the list.

But that doesn't mean it shouldn't be done - and in fact is completely different to the point you originally made.

Fans weren't demanding a Grand Final, that seems to have gone well.

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