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London Broncos time to be very afraid

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Whether Crusaders kicked themselves out or whether the RFL did still remains shrouded in mystery as far as I'm concerned.  

Very true. I suspect that it was a bit of both. It was so last minute that you can only suspect that there were behind-the-scene negotiations that didn't reach an agreement.

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What on earth is a typical Londoner?  There are 8 million or so, and it's probably one of the most culturally diverse cities on the planet.

 

I agree with you about the static base, it's certainly hard to get established if you're flitting around every few years or worse.  The name is well worth thinking about, but that can only come if you have a firm solid home to call your own (or secure tenancy).  I wonder how much this was debated or whether they defaulted to London when the days at Craven Cottage came to an end.

 

What strategic decisions should be taken in your view?

I suppose I had the demographic in my head that a typical Londoner spending money on sport actually had quite a few quid in contrast to a typical RL fan.

I then postulated that this individual would spend on a big day out not a trip to the dogs so to speak. So if RL want to tap into that they put all their big gun events on in London. A big strategic decision to move 2 events from Manchester and possibly pee off northern fans. It may however be worthwhile to put more London £££ in the RL coffers that what we get now.

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You need to deal with the point made by a number of people inc CKN, that if Rugby kids in london start as RL juniors and then go on to London RL championship clubs they won't have a pro career unless they travel up north to be developed by an M62 club.

I don't see many RL professionals coming out of championship clubs in the north let alone london??

Shall we kick Catalans out because their developing players can all just go and live along the M62?

 

OK a number of points.

 

How many kids from the South East have the Broncos given (for want of a better word) pro careers to in the last 10 years versus Antipodeans? I would suggest that moving down to the Championship and the resulting financial restructure of the club would force the club to actively recruit more players from the South East than they have done in SL.

 

I think you make a big assumption that any kid coming out of the South East wouldn't want to move north to be paid to play the sport they love at a top club. Look at English RU,all their big clubs are well south of the M62 and going on the large numbers of northern rugby players plying their trade at these clubs would suggest that people are willing to move to another part of the country for the right opportunity. 

 

If they are playing for the London championship clubs, then the odds are they have a semi-pro career which if they are good enough should put them in the shop window for a full time contract. 

 

In relation to full time pros coming out of northern clubs, a lot of the SL clubs have been guilty of not recruiting enough players from their own back yard and relying on overseas players. This surely will change significantly over the coming years as more club chairmen wake up to the fact that there are plenty of very good part time players at Championship level who could readily succeed at SL level in a full time set up - Hill and Big Alex at Saints being a case in point. I would suggest there is plenty of good value to be had in the Championship, and you would do away with a lot of baggage that you can get with overseas players.

 

Plus what is to stop a SL club, for example Saints, having a tie up with a Championship London to provide a pathway for the young talent in the South East, just as Wigan have done with Wales.

 

Not sure what your point is about Catalans.

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Crusaders kicked themselves out.

 

I won't reveal my source, but I don't think it was as cut and dried as that.  There were plenty of people at the Wakefield club feeling pretty optimistic about their chances well over a month before the announcement.

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Whether Crusaders kicked themselves out or whether the RFL did still remains shrouded in mystery as far as I'm concerned.  

Hardly mysterious!  It was as clear as the nose on everyone's faces. 

 

Interesting though that the Cru seem to be doing incredibly well just at the moment, and not only on the field.  They also have almost 1000 supporters turning up to their home matches on quite a regular basis.  I remember all the vitriol spouted in their direction from the northern flat capper brigade and yet here they are, achieving more than many of the so-called heartland clubs, and they're a cooperative too.  They even have a wheelchair team now.  Shows what can be done when a rugby league team roots itself in a community.  Personally I think that not doing the same thing is where the Broncos have gone incredibly wrong.

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What a tedious excuse for a rugby league fan you are.

 

But, anyway, I think the Barnet move was discussed here before and the ground really is too small for Super League, even allowing for the Broncos only having a core crowd of about 1,000 these days.  If it really is the best option for the club to play there structure/development-wise then they can't continue as a Super League club.

 

I presume you're also starting the clock on there being no London club in 5 years time.

 

Why is that. Are the Skolars in trouble as well ?

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Fair enough.  I've spent a good chunk of my working life stuck between the two.

 

I'm not sure I'd include Oxford in the London "group" though, it's not really London, but then neither is London.

I've cursed it now. It'll take six hours next time I do it (and I know what you mean about that Berkhamstead stretch).

The idea of a London/Herts 'rugby league triangle' with Hemel, Haringey (Skolars) and Canons Park (Broncos) has some appeal.

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I've never said that London were a requirement for Sky.  

 

I have said, and do still believe, that there will be major implications for the development of players without a local top-level professional side.

 

That's not the case in Cumbria. Why should it be the case in London.?

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Hardly mysterious!  It was as clear as the nose on everyone's faces. 

 

Interesting though that the Cru seem to be doing incredibly well just at the moment, and not only on the field.  They also have almost 1000 supporters turning up to their home matches on quite a regular basis.  I remember all the vitriol spouted in their direction from the northern flat capper brigade and yet here they are, achieving more than many of the so-called heartland clubs, and they're a cooperative too.  They even have a wheelchair team now.  Shows what can be done when a rugby league team roots itself in a community.  Personally I think that is where the Broncos have gone incredibly wrong.

You remember wrongly. 95% of the "vitriol" was about stopping Crusaders from the inevitable boom-bust-move-boom-bust cycle that has seemingly doomed Broncos. They were doing well as a semi-pro club and in due time might have made the step up, instead it was rushed and it all ended in tears.

 

The current North Wales Crusaders are doing fine. I fail to see any outraged posts by "flatties". And a "club rooted in a community" is all that the vast majority of so-called "anti-expansionists" wanted. It is what I want for Broncos as well, one final home, no name changes, no new colours, no new badges and local players.

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Why is that. Are the Skolars in trouble as well ?

No, let's not start any rumours.

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You remember wrongly. 95% of the "vitriol" was about stopping Crusaders from the inevitable boom-bust-move-boom-bust cycle that has seemingly doomed Broncos. They were doing well as a semi-pro club and in due time might have made the step up, instead it was rushed and it all ended in tears.

 

The current North Wales Crusaders are doing fine. I fail to see any outraged posts by "flatties". And a "club rooted in a community" is all that the vast majority of so-called "anti-expansionists" wanted. It is what I want for Broncos as well, one final home, no name changes, no new colours, no new badges and local players.

 

+1

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You remember wrongly. 95% of the "vitriol" was about stopping Crusaders from the inevitable boom-bust-move-boom-bust cycle that has seemingly doomed Broncos. They were doing well as a semi-pro club and in due time might have made the step up, instead it was rushed and it all ended in tears.

 

The current North Wales Crusaders are doing fine. I fail to see any outraged posts by "flatties". And a "club rooted in a community" is all that the vast majority of so-called "anti-expansionists" wanted. It is what I want for Broncos as well, one final home, no name changes, no new colours, no new badges and local players.

 

Spot on. Anyone calling for organic or sustainable growth is labelled on here in a negative way.  If people really think that fans from Featherstone, Hunslet, Barrow, Hull, Rochdale etc don't want to see the game grow nationally and internationally then they're deluded.

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It's all been said on here a thousand times already; some people think a top-flight London club is important for the game, some people don't. None of us can say definitively one way or another, but I guess we'll find out in the years to come.

 

What I do know for certain is the following:

1) that a London club in the Championship will never, ever grow strong enough to gain promotion to SL and then stay there. We tried doing that through the 1980's and 90's and it never once looked like working.

2) having a championship club down here with an RFL-backed Academy will do nothing for this club, but may provide one or two players for northern clubs, and will undoubtedly become a finishing school for RU clubs.

3) whatever polite noises people make publicly on here, there will be many, many self-righteous, parochial, small-minded northerners celebrating the demise of this club.

 

Those three things I can absolutely guarantee.

 

Fulham were promoted twice from the 2nd division and were promptly relegated both times. The difference between then and the probable new p and r is that four teams were relgated in those days and Fulham finished 4th from bottom both times. they would stay up if they did that now.

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Fulham were promoted twice from the 2nd division and were promptly relegated both times. The difference between then and the probable new p and r is that four teams were relgated in those days and Fulham finished 4th from bottom both times. they would stay up if they did that now.

 

Wasn't the league sixteen teams at the time?

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Fulham were promoted twice from the 2nd division and were promptly relegated both times. The difference between then and the probable new p and r is that four teams were relgated in those days and Fulham finished 4th from bottom both times. they would stay up if they did that now.

We had this same discussion last week and you ignored everything I said then. We'll find out over the next few years who is right.

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Anyone calling for organic or sustainable growth is labelled on here in a negative way.  If people really think that fans from Featherstone, Hunslet, Barrow, Hull, Rochdale etc don't want to see the game grow nationally and internationally then they're deluded.

There's no delusion to conclude fans from traditional areas often resent SL expansion clubs when it's at the expense of their own club, that's been rife on here. As long as London, Wales, Catalans or Crusaders don't take an SL place from people's own clubs of course they are fine with expansion. But not when they see their own clubs being leapfrogged.

Equally nobody I know "negatively labels" people any more on here who call for organic or sustainable growth.

I don't know exactly what you mean by those terms, is "organic" where the game lays down roots that multiply and divide so more and more play, more and more watch and this throws up individuals who may excel at playing administering or funding the game??

Is sustainable where clubs make some profit as modest as that may be then pop that back into the business so the club gets that bit more profit next time round and so the virtuous circles sustains that growth.

This subject of the game just growing leads to terms like "grass roots up" and "building in the championships" etc etc. Ever since 1945 when Workington came into the pro ranks (a club that may have grown once but has shrank this last 17 years) we have had Blackpool, Whitehaven, Doncaster, Huyton, Fulham, Sheffield, Mansfield, Trafford, Nottingham, Scarboro,Skolars, Gateshead, the list goes on attempting to grow.

You know the record on that this last 70 years??

And what of the "growth" of our historic championship clubs in recent decades founder members Halifax, Oldham, Hunslet, Leigh Batley, Rochdale, and York, Keighley and Swinton who followed?

Do you want to tell me what "growth" these are achieving??

That's all I ever ask for but never get the answer. Instead the classic switch comes in saying people are being "labelled negatively" for holding such views.

That isn't the point, and it isn't how we've worked on here for some time. How we have gone about the debate is people fairly offer the opinion the game doesn't need Superleague to grow, it can build outside Superleague organically and sustainably.

Other people fairly ask how does this work because we have so many failed attempts to grow the game outside the heartlands and inside the heartlands. The answer never comes. The debate gets switched.

Have you got the answer as to how this growth actually works??

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I've cursed it now. It'll take six hours next time I do it (and I know what you mean about that Berkhamstead stretch).

The idea of a London/Herts 'rugby league triangle' with Hemel, Haringey (Skolars) and Canons Park (Broncos) has some appeal.

 

Squares are better.

 

St Albans need to sort themselves out.

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That's not the case in Cumbria. Why should it be the case in London.?

 

I haven't lived in Cumbria for a long time but there are at least two issues that are different: firstly, it's under 2.5 hours from west Cumbria to Wigan.  A scout, agent or whoever can do that easily.  It's four hours from London, which is a bit less convenient all told.

 

Secondly, there is (or was) a very strong amateur rugby league community in Cumbria that brings players through.  There's very little chance of that being replicated anywhere where such a community doesn't already exist - at least not with the same spread and connections.

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But the Broncos are doing more harm than good in their current state.

 

I completely agree with this and I don't think you'll find any serious supporter of the game who believes otherwise.  The issues I think are more whether this club can be saved within Super League or without, and what the impact of it will be if they are outside Super League.

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Equally nobody I know "negatively labels" people any more on here who call for organic or sustainable growth.

 

 

You are the biggest culprit.

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There's no delusion to conclude fans from traditional areas often resent SL expansion clubs when it's at the expense of their own club, that's been rife on here. As long as London, Wales, Catalans or Crusaders don't take an SL place from people's own clubs of course they are fine with expansion. But not when they see their own clubs being leapfrogged.

Equally nobody I know "negatively labels" people any more on here who call for organic or sustainable growth.

I don't know exactly what you mean by those terms, is "organic" where the game lays down roots that multiply and divide so more and more play, more and more watch and this throws up individuals who may excel at playing administering or funding the game??

Is sustainable where clubs make some profit as modest as that may be then pop that back into the business so the club gets that bit more profit next time round and so the virtuous circles sustains that growth.

This subject of the game just growing leads to terms like "grass roots up" and "building in the championships" etc etc. Ever since 1945 when Workington came into the pro ranks (a club that may have grown once but has shrank this last 17 years) we have had Blackpool, Whitehaven, Doncaster, Huyton, Fulham, Sheffield, Mansfield, Trafford, Nottingham, Scarboro,Skolars, Gateshead, the list goes on attempting to grow.

You know the record on that this last 70 years??

And what of the "growth" of our historic championship clubs in recent decades founder members Halifax, Oldham, Hunslet, Leigh Batley, Rochdale, and York, Keighley and Swinton who followed?

Do you want to tell me what "growth" these are achieving??

That's all I ever ask for but never get the answer. Instead the classic switch comes in saying people are being "labelled negatively" for holding such views.

That isn't the point, and it isn't how we've worked on here for some time. How we have gone about the debate is people fairly offer the opinion the game doesn't need Superleague to grow, it can build outside Superleague organically and sustainably.

Other people fairly ask how does this work because we have so many failed attempts to grow the game outside the heartlands and inside the heartlands. The answer never comes. The debate gets switched.

Have you got the answer as to how this growth actually works??

 

 

Of course people resent what they consider unfair and unjust favouritism of other clubs. That does not mean that they don't want to see the sport that they love grow and prosper both internationally and domestically. To suggest that it does is putting two together with two and getting five. I have held a deep resentment for the way that my own club was excluded from Superleague at its advent, and then subject to some pretty rough treatment by the governing body when they seemed to be doing all they could to grow the professional game in Huddersfield.

 

Plenty of people are labelled as flat cappers, for suggesting that clubs must grow with junior structures and amateur clubs in their areas, build their support base, prove that there is a demand etc, rather than simply be created overnight in a magical puff of smoke and hope to attract fans that will stick with them through thick of thin. If you've not spotted that trait on here, then you're either not reading as much as your post count would suggest or you have blind spot.

 

Again you use examples of clubs that have no relevence to Superleague in 2013 as examples, some from decades back. I'll tell you what, the world has changed, the misakes of the past should be learned from and avoided, and if you're going to suggest that the bulk of those clubs had sound business planning and were run as tight ships with a good solid foundation then you're again back in a dream world. The way thew were structured/setup and run has as much relevance to what we're talking about in 2013 as horses have to the modern battlefield.

 

It's quite clear what growth or otherwise some of these clubs are achieving. Again you're not making a point, merely pointing out the totally irrelevant as usual.

 

I didn't realise that you were in charge of the debate on here, and how it should be structured, your comments are your view, they are however not universal facts. Featherstone and Sheffield are building outside of Superleague, as are the new boys – why have they joined to throw money away and fail or to compete and grow in a sport that they want to be part of?

 

Probably less than about one in ten junior signings ever make it, does that mean clubs shouldn't sign any juniors on? The same can be said for expansion in and out of heartland areas, the better structured planned and marketed the better the chance of success. Just like with a junior, the harder they work and train, the more chance that their talent will shine through.

 

I really don't know if you like rugby league at all.

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I completely agree with this and I don't think you'll find any serious supporter of the game who believes otherwise.  The issues I think are more whether this club can be saved within Super League or without, and what the impact of it will be if they are outside Super League.

 

I nearly commented on Mark's point earlier, I'm not sure what tangible harm is being done by their current plight.  Who are they hurting?

 

Their fans? - Yes but this is emotional.

The game? - How? It's not like they attract the national press.

Other clubs? - Only when they win (so not often).

Their players? - Nope, they're being paid.

Junior development? - I doubt it, the London junior scene is doing well, and I believe is independent from the Broncos.

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I nearly commented on Mark's point earlier, I'm not sure what tangible harm is being done by their current plight.  Who are they hurting?

 

Their fans? - Yes but this is emotional.

The game? - How? It's not like they attract the national press.

Other clubs? - Only when they win (so not often).

Their players? - Nope, they're being paid.

Junior development? - I doubt it, the London junior scene is doing well, and I believe is independent from the Broncos.

 

Their fans for sure. It's not just an emotional question if they actually stop going.

The game too, although it's not trumpeted in the national press.

Im sure the players are less than thrilled at the moment, despite their salaries.

 

 

Potential fans & sponsors too.

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I nearly commented on Mark's point earlier, I'm not sure what tangible harm is being done by their current plight.  Who are they hurting?

 

Their fans? - Yes but this is emotional.

The game? - How? It's not like they attract the national press.

Other clubs? - Only when they win (so not often).

Their players? - Nope, they're being paid.

Junior development? - I doubt it, the London junior scene is doing well, and I believe is independent from the Broncos.

 

Fans.  Not just emotional.  If you are as woeful as the Broncos on the field yet as skilled at alienating your fanbase then you lose money.  People don't come to matches, they don't sign up for things sponsors are selling.  And so on.  And because they don't go they don't introduce new fans.  There's no growth of a culture of attending.

 

The game.  London should be a flagship for what rugby league has done outside the M62 corridor.  For a brief spell (mid 90s - 99) for anyone not from Keighley that's what they were.  2nd in the league; Cup finalists; Offiah and Edwards.  And now what they are is a bottom-placed team with no fans playing dull rugby.  They have become a stick with which to beat the game.

 

Other clubs.  Ask Featherstone.  Or Sheffield.  Maybe Halifax and Leigh.  But not Keighley because that was so long ago as to be laughable.  But to see London get a SL shot when the licences were renewed ahead of clubs that could probably offer more on the field is not helpful to anybody.

 

Their players.  Well, it's nice they're being paid.  Good for them.

 

Junior development.  I don't know the ins and outs.  I believe having London there is important.  But it's more important that good young players enter a beneficial set-up.  Right now, that's definitely not happening.

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Wasn't the league sixteen teams at the time?

 

I believe it was and we relegated 25% of the teams.

 

1 from 14 would be about 7%. I an useless at maths so if that is wrong, i apologise but it/s way less than 25%.

 

Many teams got caught in the 4 relegation spots overreach and didn't survibe promotio, Whitehavn and York come to mind. very few teams were able to reatin their spot with such a high relegation percentage.

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