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walter sobchak

Season 1992-93 restructuring

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What with all the recent talks and plans to restructure professional rugby league in the UK I couldnt help but notice that 20 years ago we went through a similar restructuring process with the change from 3 to 2 divisions and the scrapping of 3 teams, Blackpool, chorley and Nottingham. Looking at the final standings for division 3 keighley finished 1st and Workington 2nd, this would have been around the time of the start of cougar mania and town reaching the playoff finals at old Trafford, it would be interesting to find out what the average attendances were back then as I can remember if im not mistaken keighley getting crowds of 4,000-5,000 and town getting 3,000-4,000 which is fantastic. Can anybody provide the actual average attendances of all 3 divisions?

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What with all the recent talks and plans to restructure professional rugby league in the UK I couldnt help but notice that 20 years ago we went through a similar restructuring process with the change from 3 to 2 divisions and the scrapping of 3 teams, Blackpool, chorley and Nottingham. Looking at the final standings for division 3 keighley finished 1st and Workington 2nd, this would have been around the time of the start of cougar mania and town reaching the playoff finals at old Trafford, it would be interesting to find out what the average attendances were back then as I can remember if im not mistaken keighley getting crowds of 4,000-5,000 and town getting 3,000-4,000 which is fantastic. Can anybody provide the actual average attendances of all 3 divisions?

 

91/2   1st  6511    2nd. 1824    3rd. 875

92/3   1st  6170   2nd.  1501   3rd. 1027

 

Cougarmania, built on big debts peaked after 3 divisions ended, same as up at Workington.

 

Both clubs averaging 3700 by 1995 on the back of building up their teams

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Why would they need to do something as radical as that?

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91/2   1st  6511    2nd. 1824    3rd. 875

92/3   1st  6170   2nd.  1501   3rd. 1027

 

Cougarmania, built on big debts peaked after 3 divisions ended, same as up at Workington.

 

Both clubs averaging 3700 by 1995 on the back of building up their teams

The denying of keighley into super league and the signing of daryl Powell on big money killed off cougarmania. No?

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The denying of keighley into super league and the signing of daryl Powell on big money killed off cougarmania. No?

 

I think Keighley pulled in over 3000 for the championship decider against Batley in Division 3. Just to show that p and r was capable of increasing attendances and generating crowds now and then.

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I think Keighley pulled in over 3000 for the championship decider against Batley in Division 3. Just to show that p and r was capable of increasing attendances and generating crowds now and then.

Always remember keighley bringing a good following to Whitehaven during cougarmania, one match there was more cougar fans than haven.

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I think Keighley pulled in over 3000 for the championship decider against Batley in Division 3. Just to show that p and r was capable of increasing attendances and generating crowds now and then.

Keighley increased crowds by slick marketing.

 

Oh and gambling on the clubs future.

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I think Keighley pulled in over 3000 for the championship decider against Batley in Division 3. Just to show that p and r was capable of increasing attendances and generating crowds now and then.

how does that compare to a modern championship grand final?

 

what did the relegated club get that year at the end of the season?

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The denying of keighley into super league and the signing of daryl Powell on big money killed off cougarmania. No?

 

Keighley were second division champions in 1995 averaging 3723. However along came Superleague and only the top 10 of the first division got Superleague places along with Paris and London.

 

First division sides like Fev, Salford, Wakefield, Widnes and Hull missed out not just Keighley.

 

Keighley fought on and whilst the first Superleague season was in action Keighley were returning increased average gates of 4871 coming second to Salford who got the promotion to Superleague replacing Workington for 1997.

 

In 1997 Keighleys gates dropped by over 2,000 despite an excellent season whilst the Bulls crowds rose by nearly 5,000.

 

It wasn't until 2001 that the financial bubble burst and the club went into liquidation, but even then they managed to end that season in a play off place and with a season average of 2,000 fans. The collapse was felt the following year when most games were lost and crowds finished on 840 for a game against Workington.

 

Getting on the verge of Superleague allied to the "mania" razzamatazz marketing that ironically the Bulls copied to even greater effect (before copying liquidation to even greater effect 2012) made the crowds peak. But if anything was the cause of the clubs demise it had to be the debts.

 

Salford, Widnes, Wakefield and Hull all eventually got to Superleague and Fev have of course got to the verge of it.

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Salford, Widnes, Wakefield and Hull all eventually got to Superleague and Fev have of course got to the verge of it.

 

Not without some financial issues on the way, though.

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I do like that we can breeze over the fact that we just wiped three teams out.

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I do like that we can breeze over the fact that we just wiped three teams out.

I was only watching RL on TV back in 1992/93. Did anyone make a fuss about those three clubs? 

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I was only watching RL on TV back in 1992/93. Did anyone make a fuss about those three clubs? 

 

I was drifting away from the game at the time.  From memory: not really.

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I was only watching RL on TV back in 1992/93. Did anyone make a fuss about those three clubs?

im sure there fans kicked up a stink, but at tge time the likes of chorley were shipping 50 plus points per game and had a very small fan base

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Blackpool and Chorley did re-emerge at different times. I recall Lancashire Lynx playing out of Preston (with a young Jason Dimitriou) and If I recall, there was a competition with the French in about 1997 that Lancashire Lynx got to the final of. They may even have won. However they eventually headed back to Chorley and the eventual loss of the club was the result.

 

Blackpool came back 10 years or so ago, only to fail again.

 

Edit: I was thinking about other clubs like Carlisle and Bramley who lost their status at the time, as well as South Wales who managed 2 seasons?

 

It was therefore more than 3 teams that we lost.

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Had Runcorn/Highfield already gone by this time?

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I was only watching RL on TV back in 1992/93. Did anyone make a fuss about those three clubs? 

 

 

No. They weren't traditional clubs, so didn't matter.

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Had Runcorn/Highfield already gone by this time?

No, they struggled on as Prescot Panthers until 1997 before closing. Their's was a voluntary closure with Geoff Fletcher accepting a pay-off from the RFL to close the club down.

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carlisle merged with barrow, when they became barrow border raiders.

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carlisle merged with barrow, when they became barrow border raiders.

 

'Merged'.

 

Snort.

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im sure there fans kicked up a stink, but at tge time the likes of chorley were shipping 50 plus points per game and had a very small fan base

Sounds like the London broncos.

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Blackpool and Chorley did re-emerge at different times. I recall Lancashire Lynx playing out of Preston (with a young Jason Dimitriou) and If I recall, there was a competition with the French in about 1997 that Lancashire Lynx got to the final of. They may even have won. However they eventually headed back to Chorley and the eventual loss of the club was the result.

 

Blackpool came back 10 years or so ago, only to fail again.

 

Edit: I was thinking about other clubs like Carlisle and Bramley who lost their status at the time, as well as South Wales who managed 2 seasons?

 

It was therefore more than 3 teams that we lost.

And the Scarborough pirates.

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Barrow only avoided going out of the league in 1993 by having a better points difference than Chorley. Highfield brought a few players in late on and managed to finish above Barrow.

 

Blackpool and Chorley did re-emerge at different times. I recall Lancashire Lynx playing out of Preston (with a young Jason Dimitriou) and If I recall, there was a competition with the French in about 1997 that Lancashire Lynx got to the final of. They may even have won. However they eventually headed back to Chorley and the eventual loss of the club was the result.

 

Blackpool came back 10 years or so ago, only to fail again.

 

Edit: I was thinking about other clubs like Carlisle and Bramley who lost their status at the time, as well as South Wales who managed 2 seasons?

 

It was therefore more than 3 teams that we lost.

 

Chorley made a decent fist of life in the NCL as I remember, and were voted back into the league in time for the last winter season in 95/96, and became the Chorley Chieftans.

 

Blackpool Gladiators and Nottingham went down into the NCL and sunk. I think they both appeared in the Cup (or maybe Regal Trophy) in 1993/4 and were both beaten by over 100 points. The Blackpool team that appeared in 2005 was yet anther reincarnation of the Chorley side which played its last game in 2004.

 

South Wales only played 1 season in the Second Division in 1996. They applied for SL but were knocked back, but offered a place in what was the First Division for 1997 but knocked it back.

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I was only watching RL on TV back in 1992/93. Did anyone make a fuss about those three clubs? 

 

There was some fuss from the RL Supporters Association about it being the end of the expansion dream or similar.  I remember a petition going round.

 

Looking back, they were basically wrong about that.

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Blackpool Gladiators and Nottingham went down into the NCL and sunk. I think they both appeared in the Cup (or maybe Regal Trophy) in 1993/4 and were both beaten by over 100 points.

 

Blackpool lost 142-4 to Huddersfield and Nottingham lost 138-0 to Barrow on the same weekend.

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