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markismith50

Newcastle Falcons RU trying to buy Gateshead Thunder

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My understanding at present is that this would be a real takeover, not a case of the Falcons putting money in and sharing their ground. This isn't, therefore, an opportunity for Thunder to make money from bar takings, increased attendance (due to the much better venue) or anything else, it will become something it hasn't really been since 1999, a club run by people other than the fans. From the outside, this may seem like a good thing, from closer than that, I worry.

There has been a lot of groundwork locally recently with the intention of strengthening RL in schools, and getting new schools involved. I understood that the aim of this is to get more bums on seats for Gateshead Thunder. Whilst I hope that this will continue, a cynical part of me is now wondering if Falcon's presence in some NE areas where RL is currently going well in schools might suddenly become more prominent.

Having been there at the first super league Thunder game, and the last, as well as being part of the fight to keep the club going more than once I sincerely hope that this will be a reincarnation that finally rewards the long suffering fans and allows RL in the NE to thrive on the back of a successful Championship club. Only time will tell.

(Apologies for the long first post, I have been around here for years, never felt moved to sign up and post before!)

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Excellent first post.

 

------' a cynical part of me---'  that's not cynicism, that's intuition based on experience. 

 

Experience we are all too familiar with.

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Although obviously a Football area. I've always thought RL could have a significant presence there, because it's so much more affordable than Football or Union.

 

And there is a very similar culture.

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how is it more affordable that union? You can go and watch the falcons for 15 sheets. Top price 35. I think that is comparable to SL, isn't it?

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My understanding at present is that this would be a real takeover, not a case of the Falcons putting money in and sharing their ground. This isn't, therefore, an opportunity for Thunder to make money from bar takings, increased attendance (due to the much better venue) or anything else, it will become something it hasn't really been since 1999, a club run by people other than the fans. From the outside, this may seem like a good thing, from closer than that, I worry.

There has been a lot of groundwork locally recently with the intention of strengthening RL in schools, and getting new schools involved. I understood that the aim of this is to get more bums on seats for Gateshead Thunder. Whilst I hope that this will continue, a cynical part of me is now wondering if Falcon's presence in some NE areas where RL is currently going well in schools might suddenly become more prominent.

Having been there at the first super league Thunder game, and the last, as well as being part of the fight to keep the club going more than once I sincerely hope that this will be a reincarnation that finally rewards the long suffering fans and allows RL in the NE to thrive on the back of a successful Championship club. Only time will tell.

(Apologies for the long first post, I have been around here for years, never felt moved to sign up and post before!)

Regarding the schools thing, it will work both ways I assume, Falcons will get access to Thunder's community links and vice versa. Given the strength of RU in the area that would be of benefit to Thunder i they want to continue and extend their community programmes

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Regarding community links and sharing of good practice, I hope that would be the case. However, as someone else mentioned, football has a real stronghold in the North East and, along with other sports, both codes of rugby can find development work in schools a challenge. The huge, not to be under estimated, difference in the region now is that the RFU has retained a regional development team, which includes community coaches meaning they are able to support initiatives such as the Sainsbury's School Games, RL now has to rely on the community clubs and the support of the schools who are already established and competing in Champion Schools for example.

Thunder have already acknowledged this challenge, so hopefully any link up will be positive and benefit both equally.

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My view on this:

 

I was born in Gateshead in the 60's when it was a "dirty back lane on the way to Newcastle".   It was always regarded as that until money was spent and the likes of The Sage and The Baltic were built (and not forgetting the Metrocentre). Newcastle then started taking an interest in it's poor shabby neighbour and NewcastleGateshead was born....     There was a remark earlier in the thread re: Newcastle and Gateshead being almost one city, we are separated by more than a river. A lot of older sporting people from  Gateshead still resent Newcastle for voting against Gateshead when they applied for re-election to the football league in the 60's, looking after themselves.....  

I am proud to be from Gateshead, it isnt the best place and lives in the shadow of Newcastle but it is my town....  Once Thunder move to Newcastle it will not be my home town club.  I have no affinity with Newcastle, never have.

 

I'll just be one person lost to watching pro rugby league in an area that can't afford to lose any more. The move may add numbers to the gate, if it does than it's a success and best of luck to them but I for one wont be there to watch them, I'll stick to watching amateur rugby league in my home town.

 

The silence from the club is worrying, since the news broke in that media the club(s) have said nothing.....   The fact that Thunderstorm asked the local press not to attend last night's meeting is both worrying and strange. Why not? I think the articles on the takeover have been well written and one thing that Thunder have cried out for is media attention...  

 

I await the Thunderstorm press release to see what the plans are for my home town club... 

 

We have merged/been taken over once before you know... I remember it well, wasn't palatable then and we wait to see whether it is now.

 

Right, back to lurkdom for me

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The silence from the club is worrying, since the news broke in that media the club(s) have said nothing.....   The fact that Thunderstorm asked the local press not to attend last night's meeting is both worrying and strange. Why not? I think the articles on the takeover have been well written and one thing that Thunder have cried out for is media attention...  

Maybe the original piece was someone talking when they should have kept quiet.  The clubs may be trying to get all their dirty laundry dealt with in private then announce it properly once it's a done deal, either that or let it die quietly without people getting all excited if the clubs can't come to a workable deal.

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Wigan bought Orrell, St Helens bought Liverpool-St Helens, Bradford bought Wakefield and Leeds bought Leeds at a time when RL was at a low and RU looked the way forward. Only Leeds sort of worked, Wakefield and Orrell are no more and Liverpool St Helens are something like tier 6. RL has grown a lot from its depths ten years ago but that looked the only way into RU for those clubs

The interesting thing about St Helens is that LSH alway kept their independence from Saints. And kept saints at arms length. LSH although were in the top tier once, when game when pro it couldn't compete and cut it's cloth accordingly. It has a very nice community based set up and regularly host amateur RL finals.

The football club Town, didn't and they alleged that saints did not treat them as they felt they should have. There was a piece in the Guardian whereby Saints were not portrayed in a very good light.

Out of the three club experiment the football club came out worse. Although Town was never the most professionally run club, how much of this was down to poor management on behalf of town is a moot point.

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Maybe the original piece was someone talking when they should have kept quiet.  The clubs may be trying to get all their dirty laundry dealt with in private then announce it properly once it's a done deal, either that or let it die quietly without people getting all excited if the clubs can't come to a workable deal.

I appreciate that and had the article not appeared in the local press we would be none the wiser but the article did appear and I wont be the only one who is interested in what is going on. A simple statement to the effect that talks are ongoing would at least be something.especially as there was an EGM called by Thunderstorm (the supporters association) last night to discuss the the association giving the shares they hold in the club back to Thunder....... 

 

Unfortunately the press were asked not to attend last nights meeting (which had been described previously as open to all Thunder fans and was held in a public house) so we have to wait for the press release to get the information on that...  

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Sources I have spoken to who were in the meeting have said Thunder's MD basically backed up the substance of my story, and presented the offer as a lifeline versus an effectively unsustainable future as things stand.

 

I understand the vote was unanimously in favour.

 

As for the timing of the story, I have been sat on it for a while now trying to stand it up. Nobody at either club explicitly asked me not to publish, but I get the sense they would rather it had come out afterwards than before. 

 

That said, I felt I gave it fair treatment, and I have not had any complaints about the coverage. It has certainly got people talking.

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80 posts on here is testament to people's interest,hopefully things work out well for all concerned parties and league in the north east can move on to bigger and better things.

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Oxford home sunday got a good feeling about our 1st game...come on thunder! Come on thunder!!

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Tricky one for the North East rugby league fan... Do you trust the goodwill of the code with a history of hostility to the sport in the North East? That will, if the going gets tough, look after its own at your expense?

 

Or do you trust a rugby union club?

 

Ok, I'm being tongue-in-cheek, but it wasn't the RFU that voted South Shields RLFC, Newcastle RLFC and the original Gateshead Thunder RLFC out of existence. And besides, rather than a buy out by a rugby union club, my understanding is this is a buy out by a businessman who happens to own a rugby union club, among other interests. I think there are risks attached to this move, but you rarely make significant gains without taking risks.

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I am proud to be from Gateshead, it isnt the best place and lives in the shadow of Newcastle but it is my town.... Once Thunder move to Newcastle it will not be my home town club. I have no affinity with Newcastle, never have.

Is it if they move to Newcastle, or if they're named Newcastle?

I recall when the name "Tyne Fire" was going round. Would a regional name be any better?

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My opinion i dont no anything though i think we will keep thunder in our name though we will change and not be gateshead anymore thats just my opinion.

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Is it if they move to Newcastle, or if they're named Newcastle?

I recall when the name "Tyne Fire" was going round. Would a regional name be any better?

 

I'd be surprised and a little disappointed if they didn't re-brand to a regional name.  At the junior level there has been a push towards a North East brand which people, certainly around the club I am involved with, would find easy to buy in to.

 

I am one spectator the club would gain from moving north.  A stable home in North Tyneside is a very appealing draw.

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I'd be surprised and a little disappointed if they didn't re-brand to a regional name. At the junior level there has been a push towards a North East brand which people, certainly around the club I am involved with, would find easy to buy in to.

I am one spectator the club would gain from moving north. A stable home in North Tyneside is a very appealing draw.

Forgive my ignorance, but I don't really know the area that well. What regional names would you say would be appealing?

Would North East be too broad?

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In all honesty Newcastle Falcons, too, have long wrestled with their name, as their city location doesn't do full justice to a fan base running from the Scottish borders down to North Yorkshire and across to Cumbria.

 

They did toy with the idea of rebranding to 'Falcons Rugby' or 'The Falcons', but seem to have decided to stick.

 

Purely my personal opinion I don't see name as an issue at all either way, but I guess some people will disagree, as they are perfectly entitled to do.

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In all honesty Newcastle Falcons, too, have long wrestled with their name, as their city location doesn't do full justice to a fan base running from the Scottish borders down to North Yorkshire and across to Cumbria.

They did toy with the idea of rebranding to 'Falcons Rugby' or 'The Falcons', but seem to have decided to stick.

Purely my personal opinion I don't see name as an issue at all either way, but I guess some people will disagree, as they are perfectly entitled to do.

I think the brand is very important, and a lot of new fans will want to see some kind of connection with the area they represent. If it's too small an area, people may not be attached to that particular community. But if it's too large, the community feel is lost completely.

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"What's the latest on this? Are they at negotiation stage?"

 

Supporters trust have voted in favour, but no word on the specifics as yet.

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