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The Daddy

Yesterday was a great day for French Rugby League, Toulouse must be in Super LEague 2015

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TO President quoted in League Express as saying they'd sold 7000 tickets in Toulouse. So anything above that is Dragons fans,HKR fans and freebies I presume

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7,000 is a fantastic figure and notice the key word being sold, ie not freebie.

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From the outset of the TO13 SL murmurings a few years back the target Carlos had set for attendances was between 6 - 8K fans for the initial couple of seasons for the home games with a gradual increase over a few seasons to a steady 10K home crowd, hence the desire for a 10K seater stadium - any predicted crowds over and above the 10K ceiling would be accommodated at Earnest Wallon thanks to an agreement between TO13 and Stade Toulousain

Regarding the Hull KR game last weekend I purposely did a tour of the car parks within half a mile of the ground (getting some funny looks !) and did a very approximate personal survey of french car registrations ( the department or county numbers can be found on the vast majority of french cars) and I found the majority coming from the Perpignan area with the next popular county being the Lezignan/Limoux/Carcassonne areas followed by Albi and the north  and then Villeneuve and all points west including Bordeaux. Assuming about 7000 were locals from the Toulouse catchment area which I feel is accurate including the important  St Gaudens area,   and allowing for about 750 HKR fans I estimate a travelling Catalans crowd of about 3500 with about 1500  etc  from the Carcassonne areas 1500 from Albi etc and about 1000 from the Villeneuve area

Ok, not a very clinical method of calculating maybe but I think it gives a pretty clear indicator as to the origin of the travelling fanbase - I reckon Carlos has done his homework and knows that even a semi-successful TO13 side will attract a steady 7/8K regular fans for the home games

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As would any new entrant to Super League. As my comment above. The state of the current team of part-time players has little to do with setting up a full-time professional Super League operation.

No this is Toulouse it's completely different.

First of all Catalan have first dibs of all the French talent. So where is Toulouses French players going to come from seeing as Catalan is there.

They can't attract any real British talent as who would want to go to Toulouse when they're likely to be losing every week. It's a big step moving from England to France to play RL then travelling to the north of England every other fortnight.

So they don't have much French talent to pick from. It's unlikely English folk will travel down their to live.

Who's left... Aussies and Kiwis. Great a team full of them.

Toulouse should only be in SL once there is at least 10 French players good enough for SL not getting a game for Catalans. Then Toulouse have some chance of having a real French side and compete.

Otherwise you are going to have a team full of Aussies and Kiwis who are looking for a good pay day and won't put effort in.

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So who defines if these 10 French players not in the Catalans' squad are good enough to grace SL?

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I think if a city of the same size in England had a RL club who wanted to join SL and also had a long tradition of the sport being played there then nobody on here would question it. Let 'em in!

As for the ground - I think it's important that they do develop their current one rather than share with the RU lot. I think I'm right in saying that the Dragons had a less than pleasant time of it sharing with the local Vichyballers. I doubt very much Toulouse RU will be overly enthusiastic about a new show in town, best to have your own base than have an unhappy groundshare

 

May I say that I am delighted that RBS has used the term Vichyballers.

Toulouse could be huge - they have a treiziste tradition, they are in a fashionable, large wealthy city, they have shown in other fields that a lot of them will turn up to watch top class sport, Les Catalans have already shown that a French SL club can quickly overtake a number of the incumbents, we may get extra TV money.

Toulouse could fail - the player base may be too thin, people may not turn up to watch a team that loses every week, esp given the competing attractions, there may be no extra TV money, the Vichyballers may go out of their way to deny them sponsorship, access to facilities etc.

Given the size of the upside and that most of the risks can be assessed, and you would hope mitigated in advance, then they seem to have a compelling case.

I look forward to watching Nottingham take on Barcelona in 2015!

 

One final point, and like SOL I search the forum for any scraps of "evidence" that will confirm my entrenched position, I think this reinforces my view of the way forward for London as a host city for RL events. People will turn up if the quality is high enough and it is sold well enough. You don't necessarily need a franchise in a place to spread the word.

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TO President quoted in League Express as saying they'd sold 7000 tickets in Toulouse. So anything above that is Dragons fans,HKR fans and freebies I presume

That is an excellent figure.

A French derby could do wonders for the game.

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If you make Toulouse wait until such a time Catalans are literally having to turn away French players then it'll never happen. If they come in then right from the get go you will have a Super League setup in Toulouse and they will start to produce their own players. Yes it might take a good while until you start to see the full fruition of that but what's more likely to produce more French players - 1 French SL club or two? Pretty easy question to answer I think. I have little doubt that Toulouse can support a fully pro RL side, making them jump through so many hoops isnt going to achieve anything.

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No this is Toulouse it's completely different.

First of all Catalan have first dibs of all the French talent. So where is Toulouses French players going to come from seeing as Catalan is there.

They can't attract any real British talent as who would want to go to Toulouse when they're likely to be losing every week. It's a big step moving from England to France to play RL then travelling to the north of England every other fortnight.

So they don't have much French talent to pick from. It's unlikely English folk will travel down their to live.

in.

Is this for real? Why would any Englishman want to do the same job in the south of France than up north in the uk?

Maybe a better standard of living

I think you would be mad If you turned down the opportunity to live there for a few years.

Let's start, you could have just over an hours drive to the Mediterranean, but why would you Want that when you can drive to Scarborough & Blackpool in the same time.

You could live in the north for the beautiful wet summers or have constant sun.

Oh I nearly forgot, in winters you are a couple of hours from a ski resort, but then again if you played at castleford you have the xscape at your doorstep.

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Another reason to have Toulouse in, and answering the French player question is escare's sudden rise, which has only happened because greenshields decided to go back to Oz.

I'd put them in next season

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Is this for real? Why would any Englishman want to do the same job in the south of France than up north in the uk?

Maybe a better standard of living

I think you would be mad If you turned down the opportunity to live there for a few years.

Let's start, you could have just over an hours drive to the Mediterranean, but why would you Want that when you can drive to Scarborough & Blackpool in the same time.

You could live in the north for the beautiful wet summers or have constant sun.

Oh I nearly forgot, in winters you are a couple of hours from a ski resort, but then again if you played at castleford you have the xscape at your doorstep.

Why is there only two Englishmen at Catalans then?

If Toulouse can attract 7 or 8 quality english players then I'll be surprised, especially when an English club will likely be able to match their offer and not relocate, travel every fortnight and leave their families ect.

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Really barrow raiders fringe players at catalans is a start, baile, pala, gossard, bathau all more than capable not getting opportunity.

Stacul left catalans because he could not get start at fb where he played quite well, the Bentley boys in particular Kane does well.

Quintella did not get good go at catalans is at to xiii now, griffi young miloudi is another and I would imagine web raguin being a local may play in first season. Why the negative spin ....cannot understand.

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Really barrow raiders fringe players at catalans is a start, baile, pala, gossard, bathau all more than capable not getting opportunity.

Stacul left catalans because he could not get start at fb where he played quite well, the Bentley boys in particular Kane does well.

Quintella did not get good go at catalans is at to xiii now, griffi young miloudi is another and I would imagine web raguin being a local may play in first season. Why the negative spin ....cannot understand.

I constantly ask on threads where Toulouses players are going to come from and I never get an answer.

I think one of the reasons for the 12 12 split is too accommodate Toulouse and Avignon which will be great for the sport.

I'm not being negative. It's so hard to attract players as I feel we are really stretching the resources we have with fourteen 'super' or 'elite' clubs which ever you are going to call it. Toulouse are going to have to sign 20 players minimum to even compete. You see how hard it is for London to find quality players, it's going to be even harder for Toulouse. If you could draw up a team which Toulouse could realistically field containing majority of French players which are good enough for the 14 club competition then I'd like to see it.

I just think that the step from where they are now to the current SL format is too large players wise. I think they could compete in the 12 12 split though with assisted help from elsewhere.

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I constantly ask on threads where Toulouses players are going to come from and I never get an answer.

I think one of the reasons for the 12 12 split is too accommodate Toulouse and Avignon which will be great for the sport.

I'm not being negative. It's so hard to attract players as I feel we are really stretching the resources we have with fourteen 'super' or 'elite' clubs which ever you are going to call it. Toulouse are going to have to sign 20 players minimum to even compete. You see how hard it is for London to find quality players, it's going to be even harder for Toulouse. If you could draw up a team which Toulouse could realistically field containing majority of French players which are good enough for the 14 club competition then I'd like to see it.

I just think that the step from where they are now to the current SL format is too large players wise. I think they could compete in the 12 12 split though with assisted help from elsewhere.

Any new club changing up a division is going to have the same dilemma. Toulouse should be given notice sometime soon if they are to be accepted for 2013. It gives them 2 years of off-contract players to target instead of one.

I would think the initial squad set up would be something like:

10 Current TO 13 players including any fun juniors.

5 Catalans Fringe players.

5 of Elite 1's best

5-8 Imports (Either antipodean or from the UK).

That squad would probably see them favorites for the spoon but they should be reasonably competitive. Once they are there they have something to build on and it's a new avenue for promising French juniors to make a professional career.

What you're saying really seems like a chicken & egg situation. How are we supposed to find all these French full timers needed for Toulouse's entry without an avenue for them to become full timers?

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I think it's more a question of would you really want to either move on your own to a country where you don't speak the lingo, leaving your family and friends, or maybe uproot your (probably) young family to move to somewhere with a foreign culture ad language leaving your support network behind.

Is this for real? Why would any Englishman want to do the same job in the south of France than up north in the uk?

Maybe a better standard of living

I think you would be mad If you turned down the opportunity to live there for a few years.

Let's start, you could have just over an hours drive to the Mediterranean, but why would you Want that when you can drive to Scarborough & Blackpool in the same time.

You could live in the north for the beautiful wet summers or have constant sun.

Oh I nearly forgot, in winters you are a couple of hours from a ski resort, but then again if you played at castleford you have the xscape at your doorstep.

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I constantly ask on threads where Toulouses players are going to come from and I never get an answer.

I think one of the reasons for the 12 12 split is too accommodate Toulouse and Avignon which will be great for the sport.

I'm not being negative. It's so hard to attract players as I feel we are really stretching the resources we have with fourteen 'super' or 'elite' clubs which ever you are going to call it.

 

I think the plan is for Toulouse to enter "SL2" in the second tier which acknowledges the player problem.

 

Yes they will struggle with quality French players and may struggle to attract a share of the English player market. They will of course turn to Australia for players, and will get the best they can from where they can.

 

Yes they may struggle for some time, but if their set up offers sustained major investment year on year, and yes they may need a lot of years before French quality players come through, but the prize is too big not to go for it. A return to meaningful England.v.France test games.

 

The investment Toulouse offer and the International RL they also would underpin is what I think you need to match against your alternative to allowing the club into Superleague. Which penniless M62 club on low crowds who can barely develop it's own players despite being in the heartlands were you thinking of instead of Toulouse??

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I constantly ask on threads where Toulouses players are going to come from and I never get an answer.

I think one of the reasons for the 12 12 split is too accommodate Toulouse and Avignon which will be great for the sport.

I'm not being negative. It's so hard to attract players as I feel we are really stretching the resources we have with fourteen 'super' or 'elite' clubs which ever you are going to call it. Toulouse are going to have to sign 20 players minimum to even compete. You see how hard it is for London to find quality players, it's going to be even harder for Toulouse. If you could draw up a team which Toulouse could realistically field containing majority of French players which are good enough for the 14 club competition then I'd like to see it.

I just think that the step from where they are now to the current SL format is too large players wise. I think they could compete in the 12 12 split though with assisted help from elsewhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course there is not an alternative pool of ready-made, established full-time professional players in France. There is only one full-time professional club, the Catalan Dragons. But then the season before the Dragons entered Super League UTC became a full-time pro club giving the Dragons a year's lead-in time. Before that there were no full-time pro French RL players, only lots of promising part-timers who with a full-time professional training regime could make the transition. Having just one full-time pro team means that is hardly going to change in a big way. Talented youngsters, and France produces many of them as results at Junior international level, either get snapped up by the Dragons, stay part-time in the Elite or leave RL altogether. I even know of talented young players who could have gone to the Dragons but opted against the full-time route because it was too risky to give up a professional secure job/education outside, for they would get only once chance as a pro. If it did not quite work out then they were snookered, with no alternative. Also as pointed out above some pro players if surplus to requirements at the Dragons revert to part-time. Cyril Stacul has just signed for part-time Lezignan for example. Avignon have two or three ex-Dragons but now playing on apart-time basis. The argument that if there were enough potential French SL players and they could not all get into the Dragons squad they would sign for English SL clubs is not relevant One or two might and do occasionally but that is not going to happen. Again it is too risky for them.  A second SL club in Toulouse will give that alternative and reduce the risk somewhat, as well as encouraging more younger athletes in France that RL can offer a good career. Sure it will take some time. The first squad will have a significant antipodean element. But the sooner the decision is made to accept Toulouse into SL the more lead-in time will be available to encourage, increase and assemble, and place in a professional environment, the best of the undoubted young talent that has always existed in France. It just needs time and a stage for that potential talent to be promoted. Toulouse are in no different a position than that which UTC/Catalan Dragons faced before they started SL life.

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Is this for real? Why would any Englishman want to do the same job in the south of France than up north in the uk?

Maybe a better standard of living

I think you would be mad If you turned down the opportunity to live there for a few years.

Let's start, you could have just over an hours drive to the Mediterranean, but why would you Want that when you can drive to Scarborough & Blackpool in the same time.

You could live in the north for the beautiful wet summers or have constant sun.

Oh I nearly forgot, in winters you are a couple of hours from a ski resort, but then again if you played at castleford you have the xscape at your doorstep.

Don't knock Scarborough some great surfing spots

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I think the plan is for Toulouse to enter "SL2" in the second tier which acknowledges the player problem.

 

They've already done the equivalent when they joined NL1 / CC. It didn't work. It's SL or stay in Elite 1.

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I assume it'll be SL1 but wouldnt be a mega shock if it was SL2. It would be different from last time, if it was SL2, in that this time they'd be full time pro. Either way I guess the first few years are going to be spent firmly in the 2nd pool of 8, be that coming down into it or going up into it (if that actually is the format of course)

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I think that a fully professional SL2 is a pipedream, we find it difficult enough to keep 14 clubs solvent whilst operating a full-time set-up.

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I assume it'll be SL1 but wouldn't be a mega shock if it was SL2.

 

I read that Toulouse would be proposed for SL2 as a start.

 

It makes perfect sense. The club has to build a pro team and that takes time, and at the same time they need to win games and not get drubbings off the top eight.

 

If they don't build a team good enough to qualify for SL1 after one year they get longer in SL2 to build and try again.

 

It's been said on here that Toulouse's sojourn in the Championship was marred by the best part time players in France not wanting to break time to travel, it was a silly move and has no bearing on a Toulouse who would operate full time in the second tier and basically build an SL quality team by.........

 

Doing what the mighty Cliff Spracklen says.....

 

The only question it raises for me is the idea Toulouse have to have SL1 before the Maire and local big industrialists get on board.

I hope they don't interpret SL2 as simply the Championship again. I suspect they won't.....

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I read that Toulouse would be proposed for SL2 as a start.

It makes perfect sense. The club has to build a pro team and that takes time, and at the same time they need to win games and not get drubbings off the top eight.

If they don't build a team good enough to qualify for SL1 after one year they get longer in SL2 to build and try again.

It's been said on here that Toulouse's sojourn in the Championship was marred by the best part time players in France not wanting to break time to travel, it was a silly move and has no bearing on a Toulouse who would operate full time in the second tier and basically build an SL quality team by.........

Doing what the mighty Cliff Spracklen says.....

The only question it raises for me is the idea Toulouse have to have SL1 before the Maire and local big industrialists get on board.

I hope they don't interpret SL2 as simply the Championship again. I suspect they won't.....

Why would they not? Attendances for the last time they were in the english second tier tells us whether this would be a success or not. French league fans will not part with their money to watch this level of football no matter what you call it, the championship os SL2.

I also wouldn't expect sponsors or the local marie to invest in a team at this level as the last foray indicates. Sports fans in Toulouse want to watch the top level of our sport and any other introduction would back fire.

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