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PurstonJavelin

Is it really all my fault?

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bigoted, no. dinosaur, well since they announced the return of P&R, i'm in raptors.

Some of us saw that sharp beacon of humour...!!

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Your perpetual misery and that of your fellow travellers IS to blame for many of the games ills...

It isn't, though. It really isn't. How can it be? We supporters of the lower league teams number only a few thousand; it doesn't matter what we think, no one beyond internet forums hears us, listens to us, or reacts to us. We are irrelevant to the outside perception of the sport, irrelevant to decisions made inside the sport. Our teams have had no say in the organisation of the game for a good while. The profile, progress, development, status and prospects of British rugby league are not down to us, or our teams.

 

Nor am I immersed in perpetual misery. My team is doing OK, has a secure future, and provides me with a significant amount of entertaining involvement. The overall structure of the sport doesn't matter to me, I doubt we'll ever be in Super League. I have no issue with promotion and relegation: it will turn out to have surprising little effect on the sport.

 

If I have concerns, it is with the game on the field. I once believed it was the most wonderful sport in the world, full of skill, craft and courage: now, it can seem more like a homogeneous high speed battering contest, played by very large men, and orchestrated by a referee with a loud and nagging voice. I wonder if outsiders and potential new fans and players might see something dubious in it, something detached, arcane and inaccessible.

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...talk the sport up don't try and death ride it until you get the chance to say 'I told you so'

 

This isn't me. I want it to prosper. I want future generations to watch and play it. It's a valuable sport, and should not be lost. Most agree that there are problems, which I believe derive from the game attempting to be something it isn't. A very careful and honest study is needed to define exactly what British rugby league is, and what it can be.

In fact, I'd suggest mine is a healthier view than the one held by those who believe that the entire sport should be constructed in order to provide Leeds and Warrington with a fixture list of their choice.

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This isn't me. I want it to prosper. I want future generations to watch and play it. It's a valuable sport, and should not be lost. Most agree that there are problems, which I believe derive from the game attempting to be something it isn't. A very careful and honest study is needed to define exactly what British rugby league is, and what it can be.

In fact, I'd suggest mine is a healthier view than the one held by those who believe that the entire sport should be constructed in order to provide Leeds and Warrington with a fixture list of their choice.

 

what should rugby league be then?

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... cheer up. Interest is growing in new areas - see championship 1. We are soon starting a world cup, potentially the best ever, talk the sport up...

Those of us who have been disenfranchised can easily see the Super League cartel as a different sport: it chose a different name, and has different operational rules on and off the field. To some of us, England is Super League – from which we have been excluded – and can be surprisingly difficult to get behind. A visiting Australian team, though, is exciting, as are the other teams we rarely see. I'm looking forward to it.

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what should rugby league be then?

What it is, and what it realistically can be, are the important questions.

Its combination of footwork, ball handling, kicking, running, evading, team organisation and individual responsibility to the team, have always made it, for me, the perfect sport, and it should have a much higher profile than it does. But these dreams are a poor basis for planning the future.

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What it is, and what it realistically can be, are the important questions.

Its combination of footwork, ball handling, kicking, running, evading, team organisation and individual responsibility to the team, have always made it, for me, the perfect sport, and it should have a much higher profile than it does. But these dreams are a poor basis for planning the future.

but that's exactly what we have

 

what should it realistically be then?

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I wonder if outsiders and potential new fans and players might see something dubious in it, something detached, arcane and inaccessible.

 

 

I think they're more likely to be put off by all the incessant navel gazing that goes on in all corners of Rugby League in this country. As a sport we spend more time talking about the merits and demerits of league structures, licensing and mechanisms of promotion & relegation than we do extolling the entertainment the players on the pitch provide each week irrespective of what competition they happen to be playing in. In other words, if we project the image to the outside world that even we don't think the game is much cop, it's little wonder we struggle to attract new interest, regardless of how we structure our competitions. We can't see the wood for the trees.

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I think they're more likely to be put off by all the incessant navel gazing that goes on in all corners of Rugby League in this country. As a sport we spend more time talking about the merits and demerits of league structures, licensing and mechanisms of promotion & relegation than we do extolling the entertainment the players on the pitch provide each week irrespective of what competition they happen to be playing in. In other words, if we project the image to the outside world that even we don't think the game is much cop, it's little wonder we struggle to attract new interest, regardless of how we structure our competitions. We can't see the wood for the trees.

we do on fans forums, because that's the place for it

 

John this isn't the real world

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Those of us who have been disenfranchised can easily see the Super League cartel as a different sport: it chose a different name, and has different operational rules on and off the field. To some of us, England is Super League – from which we have been excluded – and can be surprisingly difficult to get behind. A visiting Australian team, though, is exciting, as are the other teams we rarely see. I'm looking forward to it.

 

But then every sport has its showbiz league with different rule interpretations and operations than the semi-pro and amateur game.  I know more than a few football fans who can't watch the Premier League due to all its diving, referee abuse and so on.  I know more than a few rugby union fans who can't watch their Premiership because it's just one big reset scrum with referee pedantry and so on.  I know more than a few rugby league fans who can't watch Super League because of all the persistent dummy half runs, weak refereeing and so on.

 

As a fan of a club not in the pro league of your sport, where there are plenty of concessions for TV audiences and full-time professional athletes, you don't have to like it but you should respect it.  Look at the BARB figures for Super League, regularly in the weekly top 10 for Sky Sports, even during the peak football and union seasons and regularly out-rating rugby union's big matches with run-of-the-mill SL matches.  Even the more recent Monday night games still get into the weekly channel top 10.  For me, that proves there's a good audience for our professional sport as it is.  To call it a failure is just one-eyed reading of the figures at its worst.

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...what should it realistically be then?

That's too hard a question for me.

Throughout its history, it has proved extremely difficult, almost impossible, to generate a sustained appetite for the sport in new areas. If it is to be done, it will need a much more selfless approach from the top clubs. When I see Leeds sacrificing their home advantage to play Saint Helens at Nottingham in a high profile, well advertised, low priced, televised fixture, I will feel a beginning has been made. Or Warrington v Wigan at Bristol, or Hull v Hull KR at Newcastle. When London is generously centrally funded, sufficient for a top team, their matches low priced, televised, well advertised, taken to various venues around the capital, I'll feel progress is being made. Replacing Catalans by the French national side could be a move forward. All clubs forced to run U12, U14, U16, U18, U20 teams would be progress, in my opinion.

But I also believe a change to the on field view of the game would help. Re-adjusting the rules to reduce the value of size and power, so increasing the need for a wider range of skills, making the game just a little more accessible to smaller and more nimble players could increase junior participation.

But that's nothing more than a personal vision for taking the game forward. I'm sure there are more effective ones.

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That's too hard a question for me.

Throughout its history, it has proved extremely difficult, almost impossible, to generate a sustained appetite for the sport in new areas. If it is to be done, it will need a much more selfless approach from the top clubs. When I see Leeds sacrificing their home advantage to play Saint Helens at Nottingham in a high profile, well advertised, low priced, televised fixture, I will feel a beginning has been made. Or Warrington v Wigan at Bristol, or Hull v Hull KR at Newcastle. When London is generously centrally funded, sufficient for a top team, their matches low priced, televised, well advertised, taken to various venues around the capital, I'll feel progress is being made. Replacing Catalans by the French national side could be a move forward. All clubs forced to run U12, U14, U16, U18, U20 teams would be progress, in my opinion.

But I also believe a change to the on field view of the game would help. Re-adjusting the rules to reduce the value of size and power, so increasing the need for a wider range of skills, making the game just a little more accessible to smaller and more nimble players could increase junior participation.

But that's nothing more than a personal vision for taking the game forward. I'm sure there are more effective ones.

 

 

Smaller than Rob Burrow?

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we do on fans forums, because that's the place for it

 

John this isn't the real world

Unfortunately, for far too many people forums, twitter, facebook etc are the real world.

 

Views are spread over social media extremely quickly nowadays, much of it negative for RL. I think only Joey Barton and Wayne Rooney actually like RL!

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Those of us who have been disenfranchised can easily see the Super League cartel as a different sport: it chose a different name, and has different operational rules on and off the field. To some of us, England is Super League – from which we have been excluded – and can be surprisingly difficult to get behind. A visiting Australian team, though, is exciting, as are the other teams we rarely see. I'm looking forward to it.

 

 

Those of us who have been disenfranchised?

 

Have you ever been franchised?

Have you ever put forward your views to anyone at the RFL?

The long term trend in the game is for increasing attendances and increasing viewers

However , it seems to me that has also been an increase in those who fear that this increasing popularity and  expansion will result in the loss of control of the game from the "heartlands" and the loss of some small town Northern clubs.

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but that's exactly what we have

 

what should it realistically be then?

 

 

Always questions, never answers.

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Unfortunately, for far too many people forums, twitter, facebook etc are the real world.

 

Views are spread over social media extremely quickly nowadays, much of it negative for RL. I think only Joey Barton and Wayne Rooney actually like RL!

over the years I've spent a lot of time on here for several reasons

 

but it occuppies a minute ammount of what I think about during my waking moments. I don't think I've ever made a post that's taken longer than a minute to type.

There are interesting, decent' funny  people on here witth lots of ideas to share.

 

but it's just a talking bshop

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That's too hard a question for me.

Throughout its history, it has proved extremely difficult, almost impossible, to generate a sustained appetite for the sport in new areas. If it is to be done, it will need a much more selfless approach from the top clubs. When I see Leeds sacrificing their home advantage to play Saint Helens at Nottingham in a high profile, well advertised, low priced, televised fixture, I will feel a beginning has been made. Or Warrington v Wigan at Bristol, or Hull v Hull KR at Newcastle. When London is generously centrally funded, sufficient for a top team, their matches low priced, televised, well advertised, taken to various venues around the capital, I'll feel progress is being made. Replacing Catalans by the French national side could be a move forward. All clubs forced to run U12, U14, U16, U18, U20 teams would be progress, in my opinion.

But I also believe a change to the on field view of the game would help. Re-adjusting the rules to reduce the value of size and power, so increasing the need for a wider range of skills, making the game just a little more accessible to smaller and more nimble players could increase junior participation.

But that's nothing more than a personal vision for taking the game forward. I'm sure there are more effective ones.

 

you say on another post that you are 'sidenfranchised'. How does that work? When and how were you franchised in the firsat place regarding how the sport ids run? I would be horrified if I was expected to take part in the decision making of the sport. people are paid to do that, and I believe they do it in good faith. I have doubts about this change in the game, but don't think it means that the people who have taken that decisio are being unfair, immoral, dishonest, incompetent and all the other sliurs that have been levelled at them over recent years for whom the previous ways of doing things didn't suit.

 

There are players of all sizes playing rugby League. Compare Andy Kain/Jon Hepworth to say lamont Bryant and Andy Bostock and this is reflected throghout the game.

 

You claim to be 'disenfranchised', but don't seem to have anything radical to offer in the way the sport is run.

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over the years I've spent a lot of time on here for several reasons

 

but it occuppies a minute ammount of what I think about during my waking moments. I don't think I've ever made a post that's taken longer than a minute to type.

There are interesting, decent' funny  people on here witth lots of ideas to share.

 

but it's just a talking bshop

Aye, for all my moans, this place is a good place to discuss RL.

 

There are plenty of people who's interaction with RL is through forums, twitter and facebook - even mine, I rarely get to games any more, maybe that's why it depresses me so much!

Same with some of my family that do still go to games, I often hear them repeating things where I know the source online.

 

The internet has replaced the pub gossip and taken it to a whole new level. Unfortunately there is no quality control!

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Aye, for all my moans, this place is a good place to discuss RL.

 

There are plenty of people who's interaction with RL is through forums, twitter and facebook - even mine, I rarely get to games any more, maybe that's why it depresses me so much!

Same with some of my family that do still go to games, I often hear them repeating things where I know the source online.

 

The internet has replaced the pub gossip and taken it to a whole new level. Unfortunately there is no quality control!

Was there quality control in a pub conversation Dave?

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Was there quality control in a pub conversation Dave?

No, but I couldn't see/hear what was being said outside of my group of friends.

 

Now we hear such a wide range of views from across the globe. Generally a very good thing.

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No, but I couldn't see/hear what was being said outside of my group of friends.

 

Now we hear such a wide range of views from across the globe. Generally a very good thing.

True. I know we don't have to read everything that is posted but we do tend to read things we might not have heard in a pub conversation.

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I think they're more likely to be put off by all the incessant navel gazing that goes on in all corners of Rugby League in this country. As a sport we spend more time talking about the merits and demerits of league structures, licensing and mechanisms of promotion & relegation than we do extolling the entertainment the players on the pitch provide each week irrespective of what competition they happen to be playing in. In other words, if we project the image to the outside world that even we don't think the game is much cop, it's little wonder we struggle to attract new interest, regardless of how we structure our competitions. We can't see the wood for the trees.

You are right, but there are folk - not you - who want to point a finger of blame. The astonishing level of negativity this week has come from Super League supporters, because - effectively - the top clubs have manipulated a vote to get rid of a couple of their less valuable fixtures.

I don't understand why a few powerless supporters of the lower leagues get the blame for a perceived lack of progress in the sport. The real reactionary force comes from those who believe that because Leeds and Warrington are doing well, the sport is perfect, and should never change, ever.

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you say on another post that you are 'sidenfranchised'. How does that work? When and how were you franchised in the firsat place regarding how the sport ids run? I would be horrified if I was expected to take part in the decision making of the sport. people are paid to do that, and I believe they do it in good faith. I have doubts about this change in the game, but don't think it means that the people who have taken that decisio are being unfair, immoral, dishonest, incompetent and all the other sliurs that have been levelled at them over recent years for whom the previous ways of doing things didn't suit.

 

There are players of all sizes playing rugby League. Compare Andy Kain/Jon Hepworth to say lamont Bryant and Andy Bostock and this is reflected throghout the game.

 

You claim to be 'disenfranchised', but don't seem to have anything radical to offer in the way the sport is run.

You asked me to expand my comments, and I did so. Reluctantly, because they are one view amongst thousands, and have very little value, derived from the heart, carelessly thought out, and probably inconsistent. And you are right, I most certainly have nothing radical to offer. All I really did was claim that if there are problems in the sport, I don't see how it is my fault, and mused on whose fault it is. Rather pathetic, really, looking back.

 

I have to say, I am disappointed with the quality of responses from some, who have taken the trouble to read my posts, who clearly have a passion for the sport, and, in many cases, a deep knowledge, and yet involved themselves in a discussion without convincingly developing their own viewpoint, resorting instead to short, disparaging, dismissive attacks. And the predominant response seems to be from Super League supporters who must believe that the sport has reached its apex, because they want nothing to change. They may, of course, be right.

 

I would actually be interested in someone describing a potentially successful pathway for the progress in the sport for the next few years. Not a dream or a hope, but a set of minor adjustments with a realistic chance of positioning the sport in the place we all believe it deserves.

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Having had the misfortune to have been born in a small Northern town and of being a loyal supporter of the local team, I am, apparently, a small-minded, self-interested, flat earth believing, banjo playing, flat cap wearing, bigoted dinosaur responsible for holding back Rugby League from it's rightful place in the sporting hierarchy.

 

If the sport does not meet expectations, it is not our fault. If those who make the decisions have to make changes because they are worried about the progress of the sport, it is not our fault. When London finally fail, when the Salford euphoria comes to nothing, it will not be our fault. When SKY reduces its money, it will not be our fault. When Bradford, Hull KR, Huddersfield and others, find themselves in financial trouble, it will not be our fault. Failure to generate an appetite for the sport in new areas is not our fault. And when the 12 team Super League reduces to 10 and then 8 teams, it will not be our fault.

 

Disappointingly, some of us may have a smile if any of the above crises occur; small-minded self interest is quite unpleasant. But big-minded self interest is much more destructive.

 

 

If you are not a voting shareholder at your club then of course you have no power or influence on the way the game is run. I think we work on the idea this is a free country, and if any RL club wants to offer members of the public the chance to watch a rugby league match in return for a small sum of money that's between them, and once the game is done the deal is over.

 

How you feel anything is "your fault" I dunno, how you manage to allow others to make you feel that way I dunno.

 

If I ever took exception to "supporters" views I suppose it was the protests against mergers in 1995/6. Whilst I'm not against protest at all I am against minority groups overbearing influence on the "silent majority" but then again who knows what supporters want if the views of everyone whose ever paid for a ticket to an RL match are not fully canvassed. The protesters may have represented the vast majority of fans at that time.

 

So it was those who owned the clubs then and those who own the clubs now that carry the burden of being part responsible for the health of the game, certainly not you. The collective responsibility lies with all the clubs for the professional game belongs to them. If they choose to do what they do it's their choice, and if we all end up with no clubs to support it's not any of our faults. 

 

As for Featherstone, or Wakefield or Castleford the situation is fluid and the clubs make their own decisions as to how to progress and none of the non shareholding with voting rights supporters have any influence and therefore no responsibility for those decisions. If merger was the way to go then I assume there's been no vote and I assume you therefore have not effectively voted against it?

 

Besides it's a dead policy, and the collective policy is for clubs to fight it out for the fans sponsors investors and players needed to run a profitable SL club, rather than a liability, if that's what they want to do. Featherstone have just as much right to do that as Cas or Wakefield and who knows where this will go but events may see Rovers succeed in the way such as Huddersfield came from behind to succeed over Halifax and Bradford.

 

If that happens, I trust on the basis things are not your fault, you won't personally claim any kudos for such a success!

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