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Martyn Sadler - Talking Rugby League

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I think there is a genuine argument to be had about London. I've always been pro-London because of the reasons given but the last few years I have really started to doubt whether they ever can be even a moderate success.

It's all well and good saying that they do a similar job to Fev and Fax but London are a ticking timebomb. There simply isn't the money to sustain them in their current form and within the next few years there will be another crisis there unless things change.

My point is that if the potential for their success isn't there and I'm not sure it is, then their perpetual inclusion ahead of teams such as Fax and Fev is grossly unfair. There is only so long potential can be used as an argument. The potential of the new stadium has arguably kept Salford going for years but the move has done nothing to bring out their apparent potential. It's taken a wealthy backer to get anything going there.

good points, although I don't think 'fairness' is an issue. The people charged with running the game have to take decisions and formulate policy based on their judgement on what is good for the good for the game now and in the future. There is no evidence to show that the RFL is trying to do anybody down-just the opposite in fact.

 

I think it matters a lot that rugby league isn't confined to the enclave that is optimistically called its 'heartlands', and represented by a narrow working/middle class demography.

 

London have shown they can perform on the field, they have shown they can attract a decent audience, and the rugby league constituency has developed underneath it over the years for a variety of reasons

 

I didn't say that London do a similar job to fev: what I did say that there is no evidence that fev or Halifax or whoever would perform any better in SL, or flourish and challenge the top teams either on or off the field.

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good points, although I don't think 'fairness' is an issue. The people charged with running the game have to take decisions and formulate policy based on their judgement on what is good for the good for the game now and in the future. There is no evidence to show that the RFL is trying to do anybody down-just the opposite in fact.

 

I think it matters a lot that rugby league isn't confined to the enclave that is optimistically called its 'heartlands', and represented by a narrow working/middle class demography.

 

London have shown they can perform on the field, they have shown they can attract a decent audience, and the rugby league constituency has developed underneath it over the years for a variety of reasons

 

I didn't say that London do a similar job to fev: what I did say that there is no evidence that fev or Halifax or whoever would perform any better in SL, or flourish and challenge the top teams either on or off the field.

I'm not saying that the RFL are playing down anybody. However, London's inclusion above other clubs is largely because of their potential. The chances of their ever fulfilling this diminish all their time. Let's be honest, they haven't drawn a decent crowd for probably a decade aside from an 8,000 crowd against Saints which was their first ever game as Harlequins and clearly included many Quins RU fans giving it a go. The last time they had decent crowds was 1996/7 and their crowds are the lowest they have ever been in Super League. Things are going backwards rather than forwards. When they made the final in 99 they brought 9,000 from memory. I'd dread to think what they would bring now.

Halifax, Fev or Leigh would perform marginally better but it's hard to justify why London get a permanent place and they never get a place. For all the good they apparently do (and I think it's all debatable), they do harm to the image of the game in these communities and others who see a failing club with crowds lower than their own allowed a place at the top table.

This is justifiable as long as they are good for the game and as long as they have the potential to do something great. I'm just not sure that that they have this potential anymore.

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well thanks for that. , but it isn't such a big deal considering the compelling nature of all the other reasons(qv) not to have that that structure.

oh yes the very well balance letters page.......................... now remind me again who chooses who goes on the letters page.   The problem with option 3 is it requires everybody to look at the game differently.  obstacles such as season tickets, sponsors etc etc can be overcome it just requires people be open to a new way of doing things.  Season tickets for example its a matter of giving more flexible options, which is what customers want these days anyway.  All the comparisons from the past just do not stack up now, its a different world.  As you know yourself from featherstone Chris, our crowds have been increased mainly by getting new customers into the club.......bringing kids in, asking people to bring friends etc etc and these new people have no pre conceived idea of how the product should be presented, they just want entertaining and to be part of something aspirational.  The rise and fall of crowds over history has everything to do with economics and a changing society as well as increased competition and how we have competed.  It has little to do with different structures in our game.  And for these reasons I see option 3 as being able to give new customers what they want...........................sporting entertainment with an equal chance to aspire.

 

We can think things to death on here and let the past stop us living the future but personally I do not see the point.   And it looks very much to a lot of people that the people who were so pro licensing etc etc etc are against option 3 just does not fit with their past entrenched mantras.

Edited by petesmithfan

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The biggest obstacle the game has to over come is the one of players wages.  At the minuet too much income is spent on this! Some sort of banding should be brought in and the RFL should decide on the players banding and therefore his worth, instead of agents being able to play clubs off.  Its just a suggestion Im sure their are flaws.  And as for losing talent to OZ or Union.  Let them go they can not accomodate everyone, and not everyone would be suited or have the desire to go.  Infact it would sort the Mercenaries from the devoted, And would breed a better culture and who knows restore some real pride back into our National teams.

 

More money needs to be spent on marketing the game.... it is irresponsible to just spend the lions share of income on players.  When a new film comes out I suspect just as much is spent on marketing as on the acting talent.................. As they know you can have the best product (actors) in the world, but if no one knows about the product they are worthless!

Edited by petesmithfan

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I'm the biggest critic of the way London have been run, the biggest critic. But even at their absolute maximum, if they fulfilled their potential in every single way, Fev and Fax would only just (and I do mean only just) offer more than the currently-shambolic London club. The potential rewards from even a moderately successful London outweigh almost every club in the game, a genuinely successful London would be the most important club in Rugby League. 

 

You are absolutely right and I was a very enthusiastic supporter of the original Fulham club when they burst on the scene and beat Wigan before 10,000 in their first 2nd division match.

 

But they have never kicked on from that and, for the last decade, have been a poor imitation of a SL club, an embarassment when on TV both from their playing standards and the masses of empty seats on view.

 

At this stage, they are not worth a SL place ahead of the other clubs mentioned.

 

They have a chance to redeem themselves in the CUp and get to the semi finals but Sheffield might just riun that dream as they are an up and coming team and the Broncos are dire.

 

What have they given up in their last couple of games, 100 ppoints or so.?

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I'm not saying that the RFL are playing down anybody. However, London's inclusion above other clubs is largely because of their potential. The chances of their ever fulfilling this diminish all their time. Let's be honest, they haven't drawn a decent crowd for probably a decade aside from an 8,000 crowd against Saints which was their first ever game as Harlequins and clearly included many Quins RU fans giving it a go. The last time they had decent crowds was 1996/7 and their crowds are the lowest they have ever been in Super League. Things are going backwards rather than forwards. When they made the final in 99 they brought 9,000 from memory. I'd dread to think what they would bring now.

Halifax, Fev or Leigh would perform marginally better but it's hard to justify why London get a permanent place and they never get a place. For all the good they apparently do (and I think it's all debatable), they do harm to the image of the game in these communities and others who see a failing club with crowds lower than their own allowed a place at the top table.

This is justifiable as long as they are good for the game and as long as they have the potential to do something great. I'm just not sure that that they have this potential anymore.

I agree largely, but I don't think the clubs you mention would do better in the short, medium or long term: we've seen fax and Leigh in sl. And again there's a lot wrong with London that needs sorting out. I think London Are more important to the longer term future if the game

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oh yes the very well balance letters page.......................... now remind me again who chooses who goes on the letters page. The problem with option 3 is it requires everybody to look at the game differently. obstacles such as season tickets, sponsors etc etc can be overcome it just requires people be open to a new way of doing things. Season tickets for example its a matter of giving more flexible options, which is what customers want these days anyway. All the comparisons from the past just do not stack up now, its a different world. As you know yourself from featherstone Chris, our crowds have been increased mainly by getting new customers into the club.......bringing kids in, asking people to bring friends etc etc and these new people have no pre conceived idea of how the product should be presented, they just want entertaining and to be part of something aspirational. The rise and fall of crowds over history has everything to do with economics and a changing society as well as increased competition and how we have competed. It has little to do with different structures in our game. And for these reasons I see option 3 as being able to give new customers what they want...........................sporting entertainment with an equal ability to aspire.

We can think things to death on here and let the past stop us living the future but personally I do not see the point. And it looks very much to a lot of people that the people who were so pro licensing etc etc etc are against option 3 just does not fit with their past entrenched mantras.

Heaven forbid we have entrenched mantras on here

I have no idea who selects the letters for the letters page of league express: why would I even care? Oh I get it, they are preventing the free expression of other views: they make you sick.

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I tell you what is tenuous............. Martin Saddler trying to suggest  that Steve Ganson making his balls up this weekend is a reason not to have the new option 3 structure. 

Scraping the barrel with that one is Mr Sadler. Doubtful the RFL will take much notice. Astonishingly biased journalism from Martyn over the past three weeks. I look forward to the day when we have games of such magnitude for Ganson or any other clown to balls up

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The biggest obstacle the game has to over come is the one of players wages. At the minuet too much income is spent on this! Some sort of banding should be brought in and the RFL should decide on the players banding and therefore his worth, instead of agents being able to play clubs off. Its just a suggestion Im sure their are flaws. And as for losing talent to OZ or Union. Let them go they can not accomodate everyone, and not everyone would be suited or have the desire to go. Infact it would sort the Mercenaries from the devoted, And would breed a better culture and who knows restore some real pride back into our National teams.

More money needs to be spent on marketing the game.... it is irresponsible to just spend the lions share of income on players. When a new film comes out I suspect just as much is spent on marketing as on the acting talent.................. As they know you can have the best product (actors) in the world, but if no one knows about the product they are worthless!

Marketing the game? People who support your club actively denigrated and refused to have anything to do with the World Cup, as I found to my cost a few months ago. I would suggest the alteration of some self serving small minded mindsets amongst the fans at some club might be an idea: and I can't see that as a possibility.

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Scraping the barrel with that one is Mr Sadler. Doubtful the RFL will take much notice. Astonishingly biased journalism from Martyn over the past three weeks. I look forward to the day when we have games of such magnitude for Ganson or any other clown to balls up

It was an opinion piece: opinion pieces in the firm of leader articles and editorials are supposed to be biased... Since they put forward a point of view. If all journalism was supposed to be unbiased there would be no newspapers. You seem to have confused editorial/ leader writing with reportage

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Heaven forbid we have entrenched mantras on here

I have no idea who selects the letters for the letters page of league express: why would I even care? Oh I get it, they are preventing the free expression of other views: they make you SAD

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Heaven forbid we have entrenched mantras on here

I have no idea who selects the letters for the letters page of league express: why would I even care? Oh I get it, they are preventing the free expression of other views: they make you SAD

Editing other people's posts breaks the terms and conditions of the forum

And in this instance is extremely infantile

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Marketing the game? People who support your club actively denigrated and refused to have anything to do with the World Cup, as I found to my cost a few months ago. I would suggest the alteration of some self serving small minded mindsets amongst the fans at some club might be an idea: and I can't see that as a possibility.

Wow Chris so are you telling me you draw your conclusions about the whole demographic of a clubs support based on the ramblings of a few on here  you do not see eye to eye with on here. They like you are at the opposite end of the spectrum most folk fall somewhere in the middle.  And that is why you nor they can some up what the quiet minority would like!   So my point about players wages and marketing is not valid?

 

And "yes" entrenched views............. I just see little point in entering a forum for debate if you think you already know it all.  For the record my instant reaction to option 3 was the same as some on here, what if this what if that blah blah, then i stood back looked at the breath of live it could breath into the game and the effect it would have on the marketability of the game are great. 

 

And I still find it strange that the usual, all for change and brigade are now all of a sudden so prudish to change............................ hmmm i wonder why! just cant put my finger one it!  #thegameisup

Edited by petesmithfan

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Editing other people's posts breaks the terms and conditions of the forum

And in this instance is extremely infantile

about as infantile as you pointing it out really!

 

You intellectuals really are not comfortable with the creative realms of modern communications are you......................... I was merely using your post to make my point.................but if its against the rules (im one of those seat of me pants kinda guy who hasnt read them )   I am very sorry, if it has caused you undue distress.  Your clearly not used to being challenged other than buy your nature!

Edited by petesmithfan

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It was an opinion piece: opinion pieces in the firm of leader articles and editorials are supposed to be biased... Since they put forward a point of view. If all journalism was supposed to be unbiased there would be no newspapers. You seem to have confused editorial/ leader writing with reportage

But what about the letters page Chris? He was quick to point out that he hadn't received one piece of correspondence in favour of option three but failed to mention the week after that more than 50% of TRL members had, in fact, voted for it. He's entitled to his own opinion but if he's attempting to convey the thoughts of RL fans on this then he should give us the whole picture and not just the bit that suits his agenda.

Edited by Terry Mullaney

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It was an opinion piece: opinion pieces in the firm of leader articles and editorials are supposed to be biased... Since they put forward a point of view. If all journalism was supposed to be unbiased there would be no newspapers. You seem to have confused editorial/ leader writing with reportage

He can do what he wants as an editor, and if he worked on fleet street, I would expect him to splurge a political agenda.  But as his address is in Brighouse and he is a RL bloke i would may be expect some depth into the whole proposals.  I would like to be informed not preached to.  And if just a modicom of balance had been shown then I doubt the reaction would have been the same.

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I agree largely, but I don't think the clubs you mention would do better in the short, medium or long term: we've seen fax and Leigh in sl. And again there's a lot wrong with London that needs sorting out. I think London Are more important to the longer term future if the game

They are if the potential is there. Are London's problem solveable? Especially when you consider that they could literally go out of business at any minute. If their owner pulls the plug do we replace them again? Maybe now isn't the time to support a London club in the top division.

I think short and medium term those clubs would do a better job. There is little more demoralising in RL than seeing a top-level game played in a stadium with 3 closed sides and a handful of people there. At least those clubs provide a bit of passion and the odd semi-decent crowd.

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They should be called EASTENDERS RL and move to Walford and make Ian Beale Chairman and Kat Slater at hooker

Edited by petesmithfan

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Wow Chris so are you telling me you draw your conclusions about the whole demographic of a clubs support based on the ramblings of a few on here  you do not see eye to eye with on here. They like you are at the opposite end of the spectrum most folk fall somewhere in the middle.  And that is why you nor they can some up what the quiet minority would like!   So my point about players wages and marketing is not valid?

 

And "yes" entrenched views............. I just see little point in entering a forum for debate if you think you already know it all.  For the record my instant reaction to option 3 was the same as some on here, what if this what if that blah blah, then i stood back looked at the breath of live it could breath into the game and the effect it would have on the marketability of the game are great. 

 

And I still find it strange that the usual, all for change and brigade are now all of a sudden so prudish to change............................ hmmm i wonder why! just cant put my finger one it!  #thegameisup

 

 

But what about the letters page Chris? He was quick to point out that he hadn't received one piece of correspondence in favour of option three but failed to mention the week after that more than 50% of TRL members had, in fact, voted for it. He's entitled to his own opinion but if he's attempting to convey the thoughts of RL fans on this then he should give us the whole picture and not just the bit that suits his agenda.

I'm not being funny but I neither know nor care what goes on in the letters page of the rugby league papers. I do know how newspapers and the media work-hence I felt able to comment. I'm genuinely surprised that you couldn't tell the difference between reportage and editorial.

He's attempting to put forward a point of view in a newspaper opinion piece-pretty normal really for newspapers. I don't think Martyn Sadler claims to represent anybody but himself-but that's for him to ratify or otherwise.

 

maybe the people who voted on the poll didn't write to the paper

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about as infantile as you pointing it out really!

 

You intellectuals really are not comfortable with the creative realms of modern communications are you......................... I was merely using your post to make my point.................but if its against the rules (im one of those seat of me pants kinda guy who hasnt read them )   I am very sorry, if it has caused you undue distress.  Your clearly not used to being challenged other than buy your nature!

 

 

about as infantile as you pointing it out really!

 

You intellectuals really are not comfortable with the creative realms of modern communications are you......................... I was merely using your post to make my point.................but if its against the rules (im one of those seat of me pants kinda guy who hasnt read them )   I am very sorry, if it has caused you undue distress.  Your clearly not used to being challenged other than buy your nature!

really? Why? My response was related to what you said and was civil.

 

The second section of your post shows that you know nothing about me.

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And I'd like to see some serious evidence as to how a small parochial rump SL haemorraging money like a burst artery will do the same. revenues are down, crowds are down, expansion is verboten, Australia are still, overwhelming favourite Fleet Street needs a GPS to navigate past Watford and delusions of grandeur about SL is a serious Phycological problem.

You may well like to see what you ask for but there is a queue and I was first.

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Wow Chris so are you telling me you draw your conclusions about the whole demographic of a clubs support based on the ramblings of a few on here  you do not see eye to eye with on here. They like you are at the opposite end of the spectrum most folk fall somewhere in the middle.  And that is why you nor they can some up what the quiet minority would like!   So my point about players wages and marketing is not valid?

 

And "yes" entrenched views............. I just see little point in entering a forum for debate if you think you already know it all.  For the record my instant reaction to option 3 was the same as some on here, what if this what if that blah blah, then i stood back looked at the breath of live it could breath into the game and the effect it would have on the marketability of the game are great. 

 

And I still find it strange that the usual, all for change and brigade are now all of a sudden so prudish to change............................ hmmm i wonder why! just cant put my finger one it!  #thegameisup

 

 

Wow Chris so are you telling me you draw your conclusions about the whole demographic of a clubs support based on the ramblings of a few on here  you do not see eye to eye with on here. They like you are at the opposite end of the spectrum most folk fall somewhere in the middle.  And that is why you nor they can some up what the quiet minority would like!   So my point about players wages and marketing is not valid?

 

And "yes" entrenched views............. I just see little point in entering a forum for debate if you think you already know it all.  For the record my instant reaction to option 3 was the same as some on here, what if this what if that blah blah, then i stood back looked at the breath of live it could breath into the game and the effect it would have on the marketability of the game are great. 

 

And I still find it strange that the usual, all for change and brigade are now all of a sudden so prudish to change............................ hmmm i wonder why! just cant put my finger one it!  #thegameisup

I'm teling you nothing of the sort., and yet again you show how little you know about me, which suits me fine. Of course the sport needs more marketing. It also needs to keep its elite players in the country, or even more problematic in the game-a no brainer.

 

I'm not sure who these people are who know it all or think they do. It's all about people giving their views and backing them up with information to a lesser or greater extent-I prefer the latter and attempt to do that whenever I put forward my own views.

 

 I'm not sure who this 'all for change brigade is' I haven't come across such people on here at all never mind in Brigade strength. Is it purely coincidental that the changes proposed just so happen to favour your club? If so, then that's very unfair.

 

I don't care that much, I just want a game to watch on the box of a weekend, although I do strongly prefer that the teams I watch represent the expansion of the game. Having three clubs of varying strengths-but none of them that strong within walking distance of each other is a less attractive proposition than having an elite comp with say Toulouse in it. It seems ok for people to want the sport's policy to be designed around their own personal wants: so that's me doing the same, but if I do care anything about Rugby League any more it's about the game as a whole and its growth. 

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I'm not being funny but I neither know nor care what goes on in the letters page of the rugby league papers. I do know how newspapers and the media work-hence I felt able to comment. I'm genuinely surprised that you couldn't tell the difference between reportage and editorial.

He's attempting to put forward a point of view in a newspaper opinion piece-pretty normal really for newspapers. I don't think Martyn Sadler claims to represent anybody but himself-but that's for him to ratify or otherwise.

 

maybe the people who voted on the poll didn't write to the paper

Maybe he should have published the results of the poll.  Fair do's at least now we know you feel he has his own agenda and his paper is merely an outlet for that, finally something we can agree on :-)............ Enjoy the World Cup

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They are if the potential is there. Are London's problem solveable? Especially when you consider that they could literally go out of business at any minute. If their owner pulls the plug do we replace them again? Maybe now isn't the time to support a London club in the top division.

I think short and medium term those clubs would do a better job. There is little more demoralising in RL than seeing a top-level game played in a stadium with 3 closed sides and a handful of people there. At least those clubs provide a bit of passion and the odd semi-decent crowd.

 

 

They are if the potential is there. Are London's problem solveable? Especially when you consider that they could literally go out of business at any minute. If their owner pulls the plug do we replace them again? Maybe now isn't the time to support a London club in the top division.

I think short and medium term those clubs would do a better job. There is little more demoralising in RL than seeing a top-level game played in a stadium with 3 closed sides and a handful of people there. At least those clubs provide a bit of passion and the odd semi-decent crowd.

Your first sentence applies to many clubs if not the majority

 

I think where they play is one of the most obvious issues surrounding the Broncos there does seem to be an issue surrounding it. They need a proper home that their fans can relate to. It would be enlightening to hear from Broncos fans about what they see is the way forward

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