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Northern Sol

Barwick's latest on the Broncos

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How do London get special treatment?

They don't there lies the problem. Any expansion team from any team sport in Australia gets help. Thats why Australia is the best Rugby League side in the world. Thats why the Australian union team have won 2 world cups. Thats why the Australian soccer have just qualified for the soccer world ina country where its a minor sport.

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However, Australian rugby league fans are not parochial and resentful in the same way many English rugby league fans are

 

Go and have a look at the League Unlimited Forum and you'll find it full of parochial and resentful Aussie fans - particularly where the Melbourne Storm are concerned.

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I've heard this rationale purported by many English rugby league fans (probably actually more specifically northern English rugby league fans).  However, why shouldn't London get special treatment?  What do you think Australian rugby league fans would be saying at present had Melbourne not received 'special treatment'?  The spine of the very successful national side play for them.  Sure, that spine might have ended up playing for another team but equally it might not either.  Slater et al may have been missed. 

 

However, Australian rugby league fans are not parochial and resentful in the same way many English rugby league fans are and so they have a very successful expansion side which has spawned the spine of a successful national side whereas we have a basketcase of one in London.

 

I wonder which country has got it right?

Slater etc are Queenslanders. I can understand the argument that a London side might help to take talented youngsters into RL and not RU (or apathy) but it's a bit much to argue that without a Melbourne based side we wouldn't get Queenslanders playing RL.

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Really enjoyable post that. We shall see how things pan out......

 

Thanks.

 

It is a very difficult situation. They obviously don't have a winning formula, either on or off the field and I do think the Broncos need to regroup out of the limelight of SL. 

 

Which I don't think would mean the end of RL as we know it in the Greater London/ wider South East area.

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The loss of the development officers is a far greater threat to London RL than any downsizing/relegation of the Broncos.

 

I do think that this is the case, particularly in the schools. 

 

Many talk about the RFL increasing funding to the Broncos/ taking a majority stake. Personally I would much rather see that money spent on salaries in the Greater London area for development officers or put into getting more community clubs up and running. If the RFL and the top clubs could work together, there is nothing stopping them putting on training camps in the summer down in the South East (they may do this already I don't know), or putting on US style combines. 

 

Heck, what is to stop one of the top clubs having a stake in a southern based academy? 

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How do London get special treatment?

 I think you should read my post which you quoted!!!

 

I wrote "They don't and shouldn't get special treatment".

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But the Broncos are part of the "development of the game in the south" the best players feed to the RFL backed London academy, and the Broncos give the young lads their chances at first team level playing the best, and the prospect of a career in RL.

 

Having watched Liam Sutcliffe, Thomas Minns, Brad Singleton and Jordan Baldwinson monday night, being pitched in against SL Widnes, the idea that these London lads won't have the same chances without an SL Broncos is pretty much shutting the door on the southern athletes you feel are crucial to the game's success?

 

The Broncos are part of that development but I don't think the RFL exempting the Broncos from relegation, or allowing them to overspend on the salary cap, or letting them exceed the quota, or giving them a bigger share of central funds is sensible. The Broncos have gone backwards in recent years. Special treatment by the RFL would simply shore up a management at that club that isn't performing well enough.

 

For a relatively small sum (in London terms) a good management team could make the Broncos a much more competitive club that added real value to Super League.

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The Broncos are part of that development but I don't think the RFL exempting the Broncos from relegation, or allowing them to overspend on the salary cap, or letting them exceed the quota, or giving them a bigger share of central funds is sensible. The Broncos have gone backwards in recent years. Special treatment by the RFL would simply shore up a management at that club that isn't performing well enough.

 

For a relatively small sum (in London terms) a good management team could make the Broncos a much more competitive club that added real value to Super League.

 

Point entirely taken....

 

Any extra favours the Broncos got would be dependent of course on them running a tight ship in the first place.

 

There seems to be an idea that someone may take on the Broncos if only Hughes would let go, if so that someone may just well come forward if they know that they are not having to subsidise SLE's expansion plan as well as run an RL club.

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Think I read somewhere London Bronco's pay out something like £300,000 rent to house their players, cost that wont be the same up North, its no wonder times are hard for the club.

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Think I read somewhere London Bronco's pay out something like £300,000 rent to house their players, cost that wont be the same up North, its no wonder times are hard for the club.

 Does property rental count on the salary cap? Ultimately players should be paying their own rent out of their wages.

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Go and have a look at the League Unlimited Forum and you'll find it full of parochial and resentful Aussie fans - particularly where the Melbourne Storm are concerned.

Yet the NRL stood up to them (and continues to do so) and has successfully taken the game to a new audience, engaging thousands more kids in the process, whilst driving up the TV deal and worldwide exposure.

Visionary leaders or parochial, resentful fans - where are we placing our Super League faith?

London are not just any other team and London kids will not pull on rugby league shirts without a local side to feel proud of and a sense of direct engagement with the elite game. To not recognise this is to fundamentally misunderstand what makes kids tick in the modern era, awash with better established sports and entertainment of all kinds. Outside of the heartlands, amateur rugby league is not any kind of religion or right of passage to young lads. It is an oddity, a minority interest. You need glitz, glamour and big names to address that.

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I do think that this is the case, particularly in the schools. 

 

Many talk about the RFL increasing funding to the Broncos/ taking a majority stake. Personally I would much rather see that money spent on salaries in the Greater London area for development officers or put into getting more community clubs up and running. If the RFL and the top clubs could work together, there is nothing stopping them putting on training camps in the summer down in the South East (they may do this already I don't know), or putting on US style combines. 

 

Heck, what is to stop one of the top clubs having a stake in a southern based academy? 

 

Caveat - properly managed Development Officers who are accountable for their delivery. Possibly not the way it was before.

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Caveat - properly managed Development Officers who are accountable for their delivery. Possibly not the way it was before.

 

Well that goes without saying.

 

Just out of interest, does the RFL have a regional office of some sort down south where it co-ordinates regional activity from?

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Yet the NRL stood up to them (and continues to do so) and has successfully taken the game to a new audience, engaging thousands more kids in the process, whilst driving up the TV deal and worldwide exposure.

Visionary leaders or parochial, resentful fans - where are we placing our Super League faith?

London are not just any other team and London kids will not pull on rugby league shirts without a local side to feel proud of and a sense of direct engagement with the elite game. To not recognise this is to fundamentally misunderstand what makes kids tick in the modern era, awash with better established sports and entertainment of all kinds. Outside of the heartlands, amateur rugby league is not any kind of religion or right of passage to young lads. It is an oddity, a minority interest. You need glitz, glamour and big names to address that.

 

Right now the Broncos are a basket case and show no real signs of changing. If I was running the RFL, frankly I would not be looking to put money into the Broncos any time soon, as I think the money could be spent more wisely in the region for greater long term benefit.

 

I would split Greater London (i.e. everything inside the M25) into 4 territories, North, East, South and West with a plan to have a semi pro club running in all 4 regions, which the junior clubs/ schools can feed into. You already have Skolars who would cover the east and initially I would want the other three in the same league as Skolars. That way you can have plenty of 'London' derbies to whet the local appetite and you should be able to do loads of work in the local communities.

 

East London is Skolars, South London could be Croydon, West London could be anywhere between the A3 and the M4 that isn't Twickenham and North London could somewhere between the M4 and say Barnet. Factor in you might also have Hemel and Oxford in the same league and you start to get a good regional flavour to things.

 

I would then want to replicate the link up that Wigan have with South Wales Scorpions so that each of the 4 semi pro Greater London clubs have a direct link up with a top team in Superleague. Part of that deal would be that the Superleague clubs put on so many training camps/ combines in the sub-region in a season. You could then end up with the following structure (an example only):

 

East London Skolars - SL partner Leeds Rhinos

South London - SL partner Warrington Wolves

West London - SL partner St Helens

North London - SL partner Wigan Warriors

 

I feel such a structure would go a long way to addressing many of the issues surrounding RL in London, and would go a long way to ensuring that the young kids currently playing RL in and around the capital have a development structure in place that could see them picked up by a top SL side.

 

Of course, it would mean those wanting to pursue a top flight RL career would still have to move north but that is just the reality of RL in England. Just as all those young Yorkshire RU players have to move elsewhere in the country if they want to be playing that sport at its highest level. 

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Right now the Broncos are a basket case and show no real signs of changing. If I was running the RFL, frankly I would not be looking to put money into the Broncos any time soon, as I think the money could be spent more wisely in the region for greater long term benefit.

 

I would split Greater London (i.e. everything inside the M25) into 4 territories, North, East, South and West with a plan to have a semi pro club running in all 4 regions, which the junior clubs/ schools can feed into. You already have Skolars who would cover the east and initially I would want the other three in the same league as Skolars. That way you can have plenty of 'London' derbies to whet the local appetite and you should be able to do loads of work in the local communities.

 

East London is Skolars, South London could be Croydon, West London could be anywhere between the A3 and the M4 that isn't Twickenham and North London could somewhere between the M4 and say Barnet. Factor in you might also have Hemel and Oxford in the same league and you start to get a good regional flavour to things.

 

I would then want to replicate the link up that Wigan have with South Wales Scorpions so that each of the 4 semi pro Greater London clubs have a direct link up with a top team in Superleague. Part of that deal would be that the Superleague clubs put on so many training camps/ combines in the sub-region in a season. You could then end up with the following structure:

 

East London Skolars - SL partner Leeds Rhinos

South London - SL partner Warrington Wolves

West London - SL partner St Helens

North London - SL partner Wigan Warriors

 

I feel such a structure would go a long way to addressing many of the issues surrounding RL in London, and would go a long way to ensuring that the young kids currently playing RL in and around the capital have a development structure in place that could see them picked up by a top SL side.

 

Of course, it would mean those wanting to pursue a top flight RL career would still have to move north but that is just the reality of RL in England. Just as all those young Yorkshire RU players have to move elsewhere in the country if they want to be playing that sport at its highest level.

With respect, barely 1 person outside of RL circles would notice and you would just consign rugby league in London to permanent purgatory. How arbitrary is your partnership selection there? "Hey big clubs - want some additional player development, for nothing?" Simply hideous.

It's a horrible, over-complicated, dispiriting idea.

What's needed is nothing more than a Koukash investor and a guaranteed elite league licence.

As ever, we pointlessly over-complicate things.

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With respect, barely 1 person outside of RL circles would notice and you would just consign rugby league in London to permanent purgatory. How arbitrary is your partnership selection there? "Hey big clubs - want some additional player development, for nothing?" Simply hideous.

It's a horrible, over-complicated, dispiriting idea.

What's needed is nothing more than a Koukash investor and a guaranteed elite league licence.

As ever, we pointlessly over-complicate things.

 

Seems you are not a fan of the 4 SL clubs mentioned.

 

Doesn't have to be them, the RFL could have a tendering exercise to see which clubs would be interested in adopting a Greater London side. 

 

And what is so dispiriting about increasing the number of London clubs in the lower leagues, clubs that could do a huge amount of development work in their allocated territory/ communities, and who could in time progress up the leagues?

 

Personally I disagree that the solution to all RL's problems in London is a monied investor and a guaranteed elite license.

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As stated previously by Red Rooster and others on recent threads about London part of the problem is the lack of success on the pitch

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And what is so dispiriting about increasing the number of London clubs in the lower leagues, clubs that could do a huge amount of development work in their allocated territory/ communities, and who could in time progress up the leagues?

 

Personally I disagree that the solution to all RL's problems in London is a monied investor and a guaranteed elite license.

 

What "huge" amount of development work have London Skolars done and in turn what has their progression up the league been in 10 years?

 

A superleague club is necessary to make progress in London in the way it's been made in Leeds, Wigan, Warrington, St.Helens, Catalans etc.

 

Why are London always seen differently? Your suggestion would be IMHO like abandoning Leeds and replacing them with Bramley and Hunslet

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What "huge" amount of development work have London Skolars done and in turn what has their progression up the league been in 10 years?

 

A superleague club is necessary to make progress in London in the way it's been made in Leeds, Wigan, Warrington, St.Helens, Catalans etc.

 

Why are London always seen differently? Your suggestion would be IMHO like abandoning Leeds and replacing them with Bramley and Hunslet

 

Maybe I wasn't clear enough in my original post.

 

There is no reason why there can't be a SL side in Greater London, I just see no reason why the RFL should put any money into it as has been suggested. I don't see that having a SL side there will be the panacea for the sport some people seem to think.

 

If you want the sport to really thrive in the long run in Greater London, you need to get the structures in place lower down the pyramid and develop local RL culture. I would much sooner the governing body invest in that, in a proper business like way dividing the region into different territories with clear medium and long term objectives, than throw money at a SL club.

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If you want the sport to really thrive in the long run in Greater London, you need to get the structures in place lower down the pyramid and develop local RL culture.

Why?

The sport of rugby league should have the confidence to implant itself somewhere, not wait decades for some kind of appetite to build. It almost certainly will not. Pro sport is no longer at an embryonic stage. The same wave of rugby league fever that gripped our heartlands over a century ago did so in a sporting vacuum. That vacuum no longer exists. Areas have their sports, their customs, their cultures. Go to any part of the Western world and you will find a myriad of leisure activities in which you can partake. There is no huge youth population in London crying out for rugby league in order to invest their energies and save them from tedium. They don't know about it so simply take their energy elsewhere. Up against billboards of leading soccer players and other high earning athletes, an amateur rugby league outfit has little to no chance. We need to give them something meaningful. Something sexy.

What if the NRL took the same slow seed planting approach in Melbourne? Do you think a leading NRL outfit would have materialised by now? Of course it wouldn't. Rugby league boldly entered an Aussie Rules stronghold and put its flag down and said "We're here now and we're taking your kids". Billy Slater in a Melbourne Storm shirt was absolutely central to that and more powerful than a thousand modestly-funded RL workshops. The Melbourne kids now pick the rugby balls up themselves after seeing Slater on TV and Aussie Rules has a fight on.

We need brave, revolutionary leaders, not all this polite pussy-footing around. Rugby league will work anywhere if we back it on the big stage. But this means franchising and consolidation, not lame half-cocked PSG/Gateshead/Crusaders type enterprises within a hierarchical framework. You either give expansion a genuine chance via a top down mechanism or you don't bother.

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Why?

The sport of rugby league should have the confidence to implant itself somewhere, not wait decades for some kind of appetite to build. It almost certainly will not. Pro sport is no longer at an embryonic stage. The same wave of rugby league fever that gripped our heartlands over a century ago did so in a sporting vacuum. That vacuum no longer exists. Areas have their sports, their customs, their cultures. Go to any part of the Western world and you will find a myriad of leisure activities in which you can partake. There is no huge youth population in London crying out for rugby league in order to invest their energies and save them from tedium. They don't know about it so simply take their energy elsewhere. Up against billboards of leading soccer players and other high earning athletes, an amateur rugby league outfit has little to no chance. We need to give them something meaningful. Something sexy.

What if the NRL took the same slow seed planting approach in Melbourne? Do you think a leading NRL outfit would have materialised by now? Of course it wouldn't. Rugby league boldly entered an Aussie Rules stronghold and put its flag down and said "We're here now and we're taking your kids". Billy Slater in a Melbourne Storm shirt was absolutely central to that and more powerful than a thousand modestly-funded RL workshops. The Melbourne kids now pick the rugby balls up themselves after seeing Slater on TV and Aussie Rules has a fight on.

We need brave, revolutionary leaders, not all this polite pussy-footing around. Rugby league will work anywhere if we back it on the big stage. But this means franchising and consolidation, not lame half-cocked PSG/Gateshead/Crusaders type enterprises within a hierarchical framework. You either give expansion a genuine chance via a top down mechanism or you don't bother.

 

Afraid it all comes down to money though, and we don't have any!

 

Melbourne were funded by News Corp, who I think have only just sold their ownership of the club.

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what's really needed in london is 4 superleague clubs, one at each compass point. it will never happen.we are wasing our time.

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What "huge" amount of development work have London Skolars done and in turn what has their progression up the league been in 10 years?

 

A superleague club is necessary to make progress in London in the way it's been made in Leeds, Wigan, Warrington, St.Helens, Catalans etc.

 

Why are London always seen differently? Your suggestion would be IMHO like abandoning Leeds and replacing them with Bramley and Hunslet

Skolars are still around ten years on. They are higher in the league now than 5 years ago and the crowds are bigger. They have DR Broncos players and run a second team in the London RL structure. They are trying to get the finance to buy their stadium.

 

None of of this counts as "real development" though.

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Maybe I wasn't clear enough in my original post.

 

There is no reason why there can't be a SL side in Greater London, I just see no reason why the RFL should put any money into it as has been suggested. I don't see that having a SL side there will be the panacea for the sport some people seem to think.

 

 

Then we shall beg to differ. Four times more pro players are developed from areas where there's a Superleague club.

I'd guess the hotbed of Cumbria could be a lot hotter if there was a Superleague club there. That's what it all boils down to, if London Broncos pack up as a Superleague club will the numbers of kids being developed into professionals drop?

 

The indications are that they will, but time will tell.

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I think the point that is missed is that most London Broncos players may be "pro players" but they aren't SL standard. The main reason why they are pro players is because London don't have any better options. I can't see how the game benefits from sub-standard players in the top division. 

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