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London Broncos time to be very afraid

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1. Rugby League World had the big article on how London contribute to the expansion of the professional player pool, this has been repeated throughout this thread my good sir. I am merely reflecting many people DO believe they have a contribution that is important to the game.

2. I am afraid Mr. Leit I quoted examples from 1947 to 2013. However I am quite happy to cut that down and show you how from 1996 to date clubs at all levels of the professional game have not grown or gone backwards, except for the very top SL clubs who have grown the game due to adequate investment.

I'd even be happy to show you how the bottom half of Superleague/the championship has been declining since 2009, how the championship crowds have been dropping and the clubs turning to being feeder and "A" teams, and I can remind you again of how the new CC1 clubs are not a sign of growth, just an addition to the treadmill Skolars and Gateshead have laboured under for years. I hope this clear things up.

3. Some famous guy once said "Maybe it's the anonymity of the internet that breaks down social behaviour". I would normally report this but as the Moderator is around he can deal with it if he so wishes.

 

 

1. With all due deference and respect to those that write for the the RL press, their opinions and research is often no better than what can be found on these very forums.  In fact there are plenty of instances of posts/views etc being directly lifted from on here.  So citing them is as silly as citing your beloved Sir G Hetherington, the Leeds employee who is not in any way impartial on any matter regarding the strategic direction or structure of the game.
 
2. All you have done is quote what we all know, the economic climate and leisure industry has changed almost beyond recognition.  You've brought nothing to the debate as normal.  I've outlined why I think Coventry have a better chance than most, and drawn a comparison with young players entering the professional game where the overwhelming majority will fail.  Guess what that's mirrored in life and business too.  How many businesses, let alone RL clubs, make it through their first year? 
 
3. There you go again crying the victim, the ever so polite and reasonable debate enthusiast that has yet again been wronged.  I'll refrain from calling you a troll, but you're certainly a pest. There is little or no evidence that you like the game that you spend so much time “debating”.

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The key mistake that Parky is not to recognise that RU going open in 1995 opened up opportunities that didn't exist between 1895 and 1995. Coventry joining CC1 next year is an example of the kind of bottom-up growth that wasn't possible before 1995 so basing an argument that bottom-up growth can't deliver a SL club is foolish. We've only had 18 years where it was possible to test this theory.

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1. Rugby League World had the big article on how London contribute to the expansion of the professional player pool, this has been repeated throughout this thread my good sir. I am merely reflecting many people DO believe they have a contribution that is important to the game.

.

I am really glad that RLW has introduced a feature on the game darn sarth.  I think that will prove really valuable in keeping London in the loop and may well open the eyes of some readers who perhaps think that nothing much is going on down there because 1500 turn up to Broncos matches. 

 

At the risk of being told off for referring to a competitior, this month's Forty-20 also has a good little piece on the Croydon Hurricanes, highlighting the hours of travel players and coaches have to undertake just to get to and from matches, and how this impacts on attendances at the Broncos as the amateur clubs all play their games on the same day as the Broncos meaning that many interested people cannot physically make it to Broncos' matches.  As an aside, in that piece it was also disappointing to read that the funding provided by the RFL which has helped the Hurricanes to establish themselves at a local school, has been withdrawn and now their future is looking very uncertain.  I sincerely hope that funding hasn't been withdrawn so that, say, development in Leeds or St Helens or Wigan can continue (bearing in mind the somewhat severe cut in Sport England funding) because that would be 'criminal' in my book.

 

I was a little bored earlier today and made a list of the London based amateur and professional clubs that I follow on Twitter.  So far I've got the Brixton Bulls, London Skolars, London Broncos, Hemel Stags, Stains Titans, Enfield Enforcers, West London Sharks, Richmond Warriers, Wandsworth Raiders and Croydon Hurricanes. That's not so bad for a sport that's supposed to be confined to the M62 corridor and the list doesn't include other southern based amateur sides such as the Sussex Merlins, North Herts Crusaders, St Ives Roosters, Medway Dragons, St Albans Centurians, Cornish Rebels, Plymouth Titans, Southend Spartans and Weald Warriors (Tunbridge Wells, that hotbed of rugby league). 

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So citing them is as silly as citing your beloved Sir G Hetherington, You've brought nothing to the debate as normal.  I'll refrain from calling you a troll, but you're certainly a pest. There is little or no evidence that you like the game that you spend so much time “debating”.

Nope, you still don't get it.

These things don't advance any debate.

Please deal with the proposal that all the growth we get is at the top clubs where the major investment is. They are the ones who develop professional players in the biggest and ever bigger numbers and attract paying fans in the biggest numbers and are our shop window. Beyond that its decline and struggle.The future is not from the bottom up.

Deal with the debate, don't keep switching it to me, it's a very old trick to discredit the other party.

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I am really glad that RLW has introduced a feature on the game darn sarth.  I think that will prove really valuable in keeping London in the loop and may well open the eyes of some readers who perhaps think that nothing much is going on down there because 1500 turn up to Broncos matches.

Good thought!

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It would be sad if the broncos pull out but for me London need drop down to championship there simply not good enough for our supposed elite super league and regroup as a club. Instead of millions been spent on basically flogging a dead horse London and the rfl need to do there research look at wer the best location is for the club to go forward and start again. It would be much more beneficial for London if the money was spent on the community and junior stuff and look at building new clubs for the championship 1 because London is a massive potential player pool for us just have to hav a look at the recent players to hav come through some of these are internationals in the making. How about having some kind of cap reduction of some kind for players that come through our London or southern based development clubs so the pathway for full time rugby league is still there?

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Participation has to be the key to future growth and expansion of the sport.

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Nope, you still don't get it.

These things don't advance any debate.

Please deal with the proposal that all the growth we get is at the top clubs where the major investment is. They are the ones who develop professional players in the biggest and ever bigger numbers and attract paying fans in the biggest numbers and are our shop window. Beyond that its decline and struggle.The future is not from the bottom up.

Deal with the debate, don't keep switching it to me, it's a very old trick to discredit the other party.

 

Big clubs have big bucks and sign, promote and dump more youngsters than other clubs. This isn't news.  They sign players from further and further afield, this isn't news.  They dominate the game, this isn't news to anyone.  

 

I must have dreamt the growth at Featherstone, Wakefield, Coventry, Hemel, Oxford, Bristol, Leicester etc then.  Of course the big clubs have more players graduating through their academies, they have the most money, sign the greatest number and have the best paid and resourced coaches.  Guess what, they also discard the greatest number of failures too, this has been going on for decades.  How does this advance anything in relation to this debate?  It's as obvious as day following night for all but the terminally stupid.

 

The logical conclusion to your constant rattling, is that you want a smaller number of clubs.  Well I don't.  Reduce the league to eight, and guess what you'd still end up with winners (well just one) and losers (seven), and probably two perennial strugglers.  You appear to be arguing, that if a club isn't big now then it never can be and that it should give up.

 

You appear to be arguing that new clubs are wasting their time.

 

As others have said participation is key, and that's at grass routes and junior level.  You seem to think we should all just give up.

 

I don't think you like rugby league, there little evidence of it from your postings.

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You still don’t get it. Posting provocative stuff at the start and end of your post simply invites me to give it back to you in spades, then we have a childish row then the thread gets locked and we can be warned/banned.

In between thanks for your views on the progress at Coventry. One thing I am pleased about is how since the free gangway and the end to sporting apartheid people have chosen RL over RU and we have obtained a nationwide foothold in nearly every county.

I am however talking about the growth of the professional game and the idea that the future is clubs coming in at the bottom and following the virtual cycle of pay good players, attract more fans. get more money pay better players, get more fans use profits to build the business and so it goes on.

Wether it’s 1945 Workington (feeder club 700 fans) after 70 years, or 2013 Hemel Hempstead (122 fans after 30 plus years) the principle of growing from the bottom into a professional club hasn’t worked for virtually all who have tried it. As for the Championship clubs like Batley, Dewsbury, Leigh, Whitehaven, York Workington, Donny, Hunslet, Keighley, Swinton these all average over 100 years of trying to “grow”. In 1995 their crowds were averaging 1500. Today their crowds are half that. Is that growth? Has the amateur game in all those areas grown? Nope. So these clubs are becoming “A” teams and feeder clubs living hand to mouth.

Top of the CC table and exciting competitive year on year Sheffield may have grown something, but at the turn of 2000 they were on 1,200 crowds, they are now down to 1,000 and only one significant amateur club underpins the game in the city after what 30 years? Finally the Superleagues underfunded clubs, seven of them can’t compete and as Hetherington says “(in these) cases there has been no growth at all and in some cases there has been a decline.

Edit - oh Yes apparently Crusaders are now the beacon for growth. Don't forget Hunslet came from rock bottom to lead CC1 and win in 2010. Was that "growth" given we are an "A" team club on 500 crowds?

Yes it’s not rocket science to work out that the top seven properly funded Superleague clubs grow the game, grow the player base, attract the fans and at least break even doing it. However by some long, elasticated stretch of the imagination (and back on topic) there’s an idea removing London Broncos and leaving the growth in the game to Hemel Hempstead and London Skolars, an “organic and sustainable growth” is a viable alternative. The facts are overwhelmingly against it.

 

Looking at the Broncos they are on course for a very sutainable organic decline. The facts are overwhelmingly supportive of that.

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Participation has to be the key to future growth and expansion of the sport.

I think the context of that participation is important too.  It would appear to me that rugby league does best when it engages with and is a part of the local community.  North Wales Crusaders in their present incarnation are doing tremendously well in this regard and another club, again featured in Forty-20 this month, is Medway Dragons where the local council sports rep wasn't convinced that RL would do anything in the area when starting up a club was first mooted and yet now they have 'hundreds of members' and have become 'a huge part of the community' (quoted from the Medway Council Olympics legacy manager).  Rugby league clubs need roots and need to grow into their community because community is what the sport thrives on.  Participation is obviously key to that but of course there are other elements also.  Poor old London Broncos are suffering from that lack of connection to a local community.

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1. With all due deference and respect to those that write for the the RL press, their opinions and research is often no better than what can be found on these very forums.  In fact there are plenty of instances of posts/views etc being directly lifted from on here.  So citing them is as silly as citing your beloved Sir G Hetherington, the Leeds employee who is not in any way impartial on any matter regarding the strategic direction or structure of the game.
 
2. All you have done is quote what we all know, the economic climate and leisure industry has changed almost beyond recognition.  You've brought nothing to the debate as normal.  I've outlined why I think Coventry have a better chance than most, and drawn a comparison with young players entering the professional game where the overwhelming majority will fail.  Guess what that's mirrored in life and business too.  How many businesses, let alone RL clubs, make it through their first year? 
 
3. There you go again crying the victim, the ever so polite and reasonable debate enthusiast that has yet again been wronged.  I'll refrain from calling you a troll, but you're certainly a pest. There is little or no evidence that you like the game that you spend so much time “debating”.

Seriously now, if you genuinely don't like his posting then do one of these three:

 

1.  Use the ignore functionality (click on the arrow next to your name top right, select "manage ignore prefs", enter his name);

2.  Use your own internal ignore functionality and don't respond; or

3.  Keep replying to him, we'll eventually get bored and lock the thread blaming both of you when we look to see if we should be going further than a warning.

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The key mistake that Parky is not to recognise that RU going open in 1995 opened up opportunities that didn't exist between 1895 and 1995. Coventry joining CC1 next year is an example of the kind of bottom-up growth that wasn't possible before 1995 so basing an argument that bottom-up growth can't deliver a SL club is foolish. We've only had 18 years where it was possible to test this theory.

 

 That's a good point and currently Crusaders, Sheffield and Hemels recent progress are all examples of the slowly, slowly approach working. the new entrants to CC1 and next season, Covenrty, will also push this envelope.

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Big clubs have big bucks and sign, promote and dump more youngsters than other clubs. This isn't news.  They sign players from further and further afield, this isn't news.  They dominate the game, this isn't news to anyone.  

 

I must have dreamt the growth at Featherstone, Wakefield, Coventry, Hemel, Oxford, Bristol, Leicester etc then.  Of course the big clubs have more players graduating through their academies, they have the most money, sign the greatest number and have the best paid and resourced coaches.  Guess what, they also discard the greatest number of failures too, this has been going on for decades.  How does this advance anything in relation to this debate?  It's as obvious as day following night for all but the terminally stupid.

 

The logical conclusion to your constant rattling, is that you want a smaller number of clubs.  Well I don't.  Reduce the league to eight, and guess what you'd still end up with winners (well just one) and losers (seven), and probably two perennial strugglers.  You appear to be arguing, that if a club isn't big now then it never can be and that it should give up.

 

You appear to be arguing that new clubs are wasting their time.

 

As others have said participation is key, and that's at grass routes and junior level.  You seem to think we should all just give up.

 

I don't think you like rugby league, there little evidence of it from your postings.

 

 i wish I'd written that. Spot on. It's no good giving more and more to fewer and fewer until Wigan end up playing Wigan A and everybody else has ceased to exist.  i don't see RU or soccer advocating dumping teams so the top half dozen can play in their own little cozy ring fenced ivory courtyard. Smaller numerically is not a good fit for sports leagues. All the major US league from baseball to soccer and with the NBA and NHL in between have expanded aggressively and , despite some failures, the overall effect has been a bigger, better spread of teams and fans and increasing TV coverage as a result.

 

That RL should not try the same beggars belief.

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Crusaders, Sheffield and Hemels recent progress are all examples of the slowly, slowly approach working.

I can't agree because as I have said Crusaders are actually a shadow of their former selves, and leading CC1 is something Hunslet did recently. Sheffield as I have said don't produce professionals even after 30 years and have one local amateur club and their crowds are down from when they re-started and hemel came into CC1 that's not growth, it's just paying your players and on 122 crowds.

Rugby league can't grow and prosper like this. Superleague is the important area to save the game.

If you disagree, and if Larry disagrees then of course let's just agree to disagree on the matter.....

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I can't agree because as I have said Crusaders are actually a shadow of their former selves,.....

Not sure that is the case really.  They are probably now a more genuine rugby league club than they have ever been.

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Not sure that is the case really.  They are probably now a more genuine rugby league club than they have ever been.

Absolutely. They pay their bills, employ legal players, keep the salary cap, do well on the field and are (for CC1) well supported. What's not to like?

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Not sure that is the case really.  They are probably now a more genuine rugby league club than they have ever been.

It's a view but it's an odd term??

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Please deal with the proposal that all the growth we get is at the top clubs where the major investment is. They are the ones who develop professional players in the biggest and ever bigger numbers and attract paying fans in the biggest numbers and are our shop window.

 

 

Beyond that its decline and struggle.The future is not from the bottom up.

 

I think you are making quite a few absolute statements in what you have written there and things really are not as black and white as you make out.

 

Of course, given the history of the sport and the fact they have the top flight academies, one would expect the majority of professional player development to come from the top clubs. (The same top clubs who decided it was a good idea to bin the established comps below 1st team level and go with dual reg which really was a nonsense IMO) And of course the likes of Wigan, Leeds and Warrington are our shop window to the world.

 

A large part of decline and struggle in RL is due to changes in the way people live their lives these days, competing attractions for peoples time and money. And serious mis-management at certain historic heartlands clubs. But to say it is all struggle when you have good, continuous development and expansion of the sport into non traditional RL areas, such as Hertfordshire, Cornwall, Devon and so on actually does a great dis-service to the people who give their time and money to the sport in those areas.
 

It is highly unlikely that we will ever see a Superleague where the majority of clubs are from outside the M62 corridor, but if the likes of Hemel, Oxford or Coventry continue to be well run and gradually rise thru the levels to the Championship, they will be doing the wider sport a great service. More traditional clubs in the North need to be partnering with these junior side elsewhere in England (and Wales/ Scotland). Say what you like about Wigan, I greatly admire the way they go about their business and their link up with Wales is a very canny piece of business. I only wish Saints had got themselves a link up with an expansion club somewhere down south, and open up other pathways for talent to progress up the ranks from outside the traditional areas.

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Absolutely. They pay their bills, employ legal players, keep the salary cap, do well on the field and are (for CC1) well supported. What's not to like?

They're also doing a lot within the community and to promote the sport generally, for example setting up a wheelchair RL team.

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I can't agree because as I have said Crusaders are actually a shadow of their former selves, and leading CC1 is something Hunslet did recently. Sheffield as I have said don't produce professionals even after 30 years and have one local amateur club and their crowds are down from when they re-started and hemel came into CC1 that's not growth, it's just paying your players and on 122 crowds.

Rugby league can't grow and prosper like this. Superleague is the important area to save the game.

If you disagree, and if Larry disagrees then of course let's just agree to disagree on the matter.....

 

Crusaders are involved in their local community, they are approachong a 900 average, by far the best in their league and better than some in the league above. It looks like they will jump to the championships this year in only their third year of operation.  When they do, I bet they do better than Leeds A and they will be doing it to benefit the Crusaders not the Rhinos.

 

Sheffield have teams in Sheffield, North Derbyshire, Nottingham and Rotherham but from somewhere, on minimal money they have a dominant team which might well bust your beloved Broncos in the Cup despite all their superior SL advantages, and which is involved in serious negotiations for a new stadium built to SL criteria.

 

This has all been achieved in a few short years since they came into the league following the Shuddersfield fiasco. Their crowds need improvement but at around 1000 they are only about 50% lesss than London's and are making a profit despite paying a Champion team. If this is failure then let's all fail.

 

You are delighted by that 122 crowd at Hemel because you can drag it up ad infinitum as the gold standard for that club. Lets see what they average after a whole season or even two. They are in their first ever season. They have a junior/amateur infrastructure in the town and have had it for years. They have a ground and have, at considerable expense just built a small covered stand.  This is the progress they have made organically if you like from their foundation in a virgin league area some 30 years ago. Let's see where it goes. i would think consolidation, crowd growth and maybe promotion in the next few years would be reasonable goals.

 

Where do you see London Broncos in the next few years, maybe in the same boat as Paris, the original Crusaders and a pre four restaurants Bradford.

 

40 years ago there were no teams in Hemel, Sheffield, Wales, Oxford, Coventry, Cheltenham or White Hart Lane' How in the name of all the Rugby gods is that not growth,?

 

SL is important but it's track record of top down expansion is the Broncos, Paris and Catalans, 33% success rate then. I think the way that this lower tier approach to expansion is being done is innovative and cheap and to be pursued with vigour and we will see where it goes.

 

This does not preclude a new top down SL team as in for instance Toulouse. Both models of growth have their good and bad points but your constant dismissal of anyone not in the sainted, failing SL, is to ignore what's happening out there outside the walls of the ivory tower. If SL is the place to save the game, then the prospects are not too bright seeing as half of them are in troubled struggling orgainisations.

 

We definately do disagree and I see no agreement in sight.

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40 years ago there were no teams in Hemel, Sheffield, Wales, Oxford, Coventry, Cheltenham or White Hart Lane' How in the name of all the Rugby gods is that not growth,?

 

It's worth noting that before the first world war there was at least one club in Coventry, more I think.  I'm not sure the reasons for their demise, but I'm pretty sure they're not reasons not to try again as some would.  

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Sheffield have teams in Sheffield, North Derbyshire, Nottingham and Rotherham but from somewhere, on minimal money they have a dominant team which might well bust your beloved Broncos in the Cup despite all their superior SL advantages,

Where's the Sheffield team in Nottingham?

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Where's the Sheffield team in Nottingham?

It always makes me laugh when people say amateur teams belong to pro teams, and then beat up the pro team for not having enough amateur teams, just in the same way they praise London for having so many.

Amateur teams are their own entities, rarely if ever formed by or in partnership with a local pro side.

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London rugby league shoudnt b judged on how the broncos do in super league for me a better way of developing the game in London and surrounding areas is to put the money into schools, junior, amateur, community rugby looking at increasing those great figures which have dramatically improved in the recent past. Then on the back of that look at building as many sustainable London clubs for championship as

possible and build from bottom up and in time gain vital links with there local community and build a fan base that way and create match rivalries which the broncos have always sufferd with it can be done in a small cost way rather like what I've previously said spending millions every year just to keep the broncos in the super league which is clear to see that they are simply not good enough for our elite super league and arnt helping the growth of the game down south. again like I've said previously it would be fantastic if the rfl put some kind of cap reduction in place for players that come through these southern championship clubs to encourage clubs to give players full time deals because there's great talent and potential down there.

Whilst on the subject what potential areas or community clubs down in London could make the step up to champ 1 I've heard great things about Medway dragons could they be a possibility?

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Where's the Sheffield team in Nottingham?

 

It;'s not a Sheffie;d team per se. The Op was intimating that there are no amateur teams available to produce players for Sheffield Eagles. In Nottingham there is the Nottingham Outlaws amateur team. Nottingham is not too far from Sheffield and Doncaster is the only other pro/semi pro team anywhere close.

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