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glossop saint

League 1 Expansion - Spreading the word or diluting the standard?

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With the post added on here today about West Wales looking to make the step up to the semi-pro ranks (along with Manchester, Scotland, USA and possibly more besides) how do people feel about more teams joining League 1?

It could be seen as a good thing as more and more teams are wanting to be part of the rugby league family and work their way to the top tier.  This brings increased crowds, sponsorship, new communities, fans and players, new grounds to experience and growth to the sport.

Or is it negative by increasing the divide of money even further, increasing the travels/stresses of semi-pro players and reducing the standard of league 1?  And if this is the case how do we go about expanding the game (if indeed we want to?) without these issues being a problem?

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More teams playing RL outside the heartlands means a bigger pool of players, more fans who come to watch the game spend money at clubs and then possibly international, which also attract bigger sponsors just give expansions teams time to grow nad develop

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52 minutes ago, glossop saint said:

With the post added on here today about West Wales looking to make the step up to the semi-pro ranks (along with Manchester, Scotland, USA and possibly more besides) how do people feel about more teams joining League 1?

It could be seen as a good thing as more and more teams are wanting to be part of the rugby league family and work their way to the top tier.  This brings increased crowds, sponsorship, new communities, fans and players, new grounds to experience and growth to the sport.

Or is it negative by increasing the divide of money even further, increasing the travels/stresses of semi-pro players and reducing the standard of league 1?  And if this is the case how do we go about expanding the game (if indeed we want to?) without these issues being a problem?

If more teams continue to enter what would work best? Would splitting into conferences work to reduce travel at league one level or should the amount of teams in league 1 be reduced but remain national with a league 2 below split into conferences.

I'd also like to see the French competition being aligned with league 1

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More teams, more players, more geographical spread - that's all positive.

Making it manageable for all involved without taxing the resources of those people who give their time and energy is tricky, and regionalising the leagues might be the answer. But there's also a danger of the established heartland teams playing between themselves and not giving newer clubs the chance to build experience by playing better opposition.

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Managing of the resources is crucial but also the expectations of the new clubs.  Are they coming in with the intention of getting to Superleague as soon as possible, with the local development, whilst being nice, as almost a secondary concern (maybe like Toronto?) or wanting to use the semi professional status to improve their current squad and position in the community to build on (possibly like Manchester)?  

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Whats all this more teams players all about - nonsense. It just weakens the NCL teams as more of their players travel south, or whichever direction the new clubs are playing. I follow an expansion team and have watched most of the new clubs that have come and gone over the years because I would love to see RL expend the boundaries but lets not keep kidding ourselves. We might well be the greatest game on Earth, and for me we are, but we are already a minority and the standards in the bottom division are being diluted on and off the pitch year after year. There is only so much money in the game and the vast majority of it doesn't get past Super Greed. The only thing that will get any new teams into Super Greed is lots and lots of money.

Edited by Celtic Rooster

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2 hours ago, Celtic Rooster said:

Whats all this more teams players all about - nonsense. It just weakens the NCL teams as more of their players travel south, or whichever direction the new clubs are playing. I follow an expansion team and have watched most of the new clubs that have come and gone over the years because I would love to see RL expend the boundaries but lets not keep kidding ourselves. We might well be the greatest game on Earth, and for me we are, but we are already a minority and the standards in the bottom division are being diluted on and off the pitch year after year. There is only so much money in the game and the vast majority of it doesn't get past Super Greed. The only thing that will get any new teams into Super Greed is lots and lots of money.

There will always be a short term hit from any expansion as resources are spread, be it players/money/officials or even spectators. No new club in any sport has ever brought everything to the table. If even a fraction of these new clubs can bed in and establish themselves on proper foundations and start to contribute to the resources of the game then it would have been worth it. Whether or not to expand shouldn't even be a question anymore - if we want the game to thrive and grow it's the only way to do it. The only debate is how we go about expanding.

 

 

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13 hours ago, Celtic Rooster said:

Whats all this more teams players all about - nonsense. It just weakens the NCL teams as more of their players travel south, or whichever direction the new clubs are playing. I follow an expansion team and have watched most of the new clubs that have come and gone over the years because I would love to see RL expend the boundaries but lets not keep kidding ourselves. We might well be the greatest game on Earth, and for me we are, but we are already a minority and the standards in the bottom division are being diluted on and off the pitch year after year. There is only so much money in the game and the vast majority of it doesn't get past Super Greed. The only thing that will get any new teams into Super Greed is lots and lots of money.

I think we should just all be honest amateurs because clubs like Stanley Rangers get 30,000 turn up every week to gleefully watch non-league Rugby against the team from the next village. ?

A club needs time to develop an amateur scene around it and junior development after that. The reason so many players come from the M62 based NCL is because the pro clubs have had 125 years to do this. Just because in 20 years london skolars don't have 10 directly associated amateur clubs with teams from u7s to open age producing SL quality players doesn't mean give up entirely surely? It just recognises the situation they're at atm. I'm sure however that they would love to have the amateur set up behind them and will have long term goals of working towards that.

Super League is the pinnacle, its going to attract most attention and money. Undoubtedly it has also done this in all its forms for the history of RL. 

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I don't think that we ever should be asking the question, 'do we want to expand?' as a sport.

If there are other markets that want to join our code and have the money to fund entering at even our lowest tier (still roughly a 200K investment per annum), then we should always be looking for a way to say yes.

There is no doubt that we can't be silly with expansion and just add teams without consideration for the effects they might have on either other clubs or integral feeder systems like the NCL,  but these are not issues which can't be overcome or minimised.

For me, the game should be seriously considering adding an NL2 to the structure and capping NL1 at around 10 teams.

This will help protect the standard of play in NL1 whilst also giving an easier entry platform for the likes of West Wales, Manchester, etc. 

This model will cater for the majority of our expansion sides. For the real edge cases, like Toronto or Toulouse,  we should not force them to join NL2, and just add them as a new team for NL1.

In terms of reducing reliance on feeder structures by NCL, hopefully by not forcing new teams to take on those which were only recently playing Championship level football, will make those clubs more inclined to leverage more local talent and develop their existing talent and own local pathways as they move up the pyramid. 

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I think we need to decide why we want to expand. I think Hemel playing a team full of southern players in the National Conference League would be better for the game than them bussing in Dewsbury's reserves to play in front of an empty stadium. Whereas say Gloucestershire All Golds are bringing new players into the sport. I also think we need a much better structure for the amateur game in the south as six team leagues playing in the RU off season with big standards gaps really aren't a good way to develop clubs

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19 hours ago, glossop saint said:

With the post added on here today about West Wales looking to make the step up to the semi-pro ranks (along with Manchester, Scotland, USA and possibly more besides) how do people feel about more teams joining League 1?

It could be seen as a good thing as more and more teams are wanting to be part of the rugby league family and work their way to the top tier.  This brings increased crowds, sponsorship, new communities, fans and players, new grounds to experience and growth to the sport.

Or is it negative by increasing the divide of money even further, increasing the travels/stresses of semi-pro players and reducing the standard of league 1?  And if this is the case how do we go about expanding the game (if indeed we want to?) without these issues being a problem?

The more the merrier for me. I can't see how expanding from the so called heartlands can be a negative thing. As with dividing the money out, it's up to the RFL to get their finger out and sell the sport to potential sponsors

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What about dividing the players? and when did a pro team ever develop a amateur scene around it? Some of them have been doing a bit over the past few years but only because the RFL told them to. They wouldn't if they didn't get funding to do it.

Edited by Celtic Rooster

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Your not gonna like this but part of the reason for dwindling crowds is due to expansion. Most expansion teams offer little resistance to established clubs often been high scoring contests even with players rested. Not many fans are going to pay£15 to watch a one sided match. A bit like when a sl club gets a lower league club. Also because there is not enough room for all these teams we have a cock eyed league structure playing each other only once further tarnishing the credibility of the sport. Sorry but that's the way it is

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" ....part of the reason for dwindling crowds is due to expansion. ":O

"Grab your mates,

And watch them play the game somewhere

 

This mighty game they’re playing,

It really goes without saying

 

Rugby league,

 The greatest game of all !:dancer:

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Fun, exciting, pleasurable, cool, joy and exuberance are all a bit lost is misery corner ..... "The only debate is how we go about expanding". ........The season's about to start!:clapping::taunt::danced:

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6 hours ago, Yakstorm said:

I don't think that we ever should be asking the question, 'do we want to expand?' as a sport.

If there are other markets that want to join our code and have the money to fund entering at even our lowest tier (still roughly a 200K investment per annum), then we should always be looking for a way to say yes.

There is no doubt that we can't be silly with expansion and just add teams without consideration for the effects they might have on either other clubs or integral feeder systems like the NCL,  but these are not issues which can't be overcome or minimised.

For me, the game should be seriously considering adding an NL2 to the structure and capping NL1 at around 10 teams.

This will help protect the standard of play in NL1 whilst also giving an easier entry platform for the likes of West Wales, Manchester, etc. 

This model will cater for the majority of our expansion sides. For the real edge cases, like Toronto or Toulouse,  we should not force them to join NL2, and just add them as a new team for NL1.

In terms of reducing reliance on feeder structures by NCL, hopefully by not forcing new teams to take on those which were only recently playing Championship level football, will make those clubs more inclined to leverage more local talent and develop their existing talent and own local pathways as they move up the pyramid. 

I am all for expansion, especially coming from a none-heartland area myself, it was more a debate about how and at what rate we expand and what the negative effects are of doing it too quickly at the lowest (pro) tier.

I like this idea of 2 leagues at this level, especially combining it with Wellsy's (I think) idea on another thread about even having 2 leagues of 9 and then super 6s.  That way the top performing L2 clubs (which at the moment are likely to be southern) could get the chance to test themselves against the poorer performing L1 clubs (likely to be heartland) but still keeping the travel costs relatively low, reducing the miss-matches and hopefully creating some exciting games and derbies. Add new teams in pairs and increase the league sizes by one each.

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2 hours ago, DEANO said:

Your not gonna like this but part of the reason for dwindling crowds is due to expansion. Most expansion teams offer little resistance to established clubs often been high scoring contests even with players rested. Not many fans are going to pay£15 to watch a one sided match. A bit like when a sl club gets a lower league club. Also because there is not enough room for all these teams we have a cock eyed league structure playing each other only once further tarnishing the credibility of the sport. Sorry but that's the way it is

So Toronto, Catalans and Toulouse have small crowds and are offering little resistance?

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Well supporting a team in the north that has at least 4 London born/based players in tomorrows 19 man squad plus Omari Caro, I'm all for it! Seriously it sounds immature but a lot of the new clubs that join the ranks are better run than a lot of established clubs. People say it should be conferences next, I disagree. League 1 can support 16 teams and so can the championship. The "league one cup" can be discarded if need be. As a previous poster said. More clubs, more players, more potential stars. Rugby League WILL achieve it's potential by 2121.

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2 hours ago, Wellsy4HullFC said:

So Toronto, Catalans and Toulouse have small crowds and are offering little resistance?

Super league fans are already sweating on these clubs taking their place. They will prosper in super league or die

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1 hour ago, DEANO said:

Super league fans are already sweating on these clubs taking their place. They will prosper in super league or die

They are?

Funny how you've completely changed your argument without answering the original question...

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What I'm saying is clubs with mega£ will prosper or be allowed to prosper the rest will just be a drain. Touloose and Toronto bring nothing to my club as we never play them at home . Oh but we played Toulouse 3 times last year. Farce

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19 hours ago, Celtic Rooster said:

When did a pro team ever develop a amateur scene around it? .

Excellent question Doncaster have been around since 1951 and not got too far, nor have Sheffield.

Now Celtic Crusaders managed it whilst they were climbing the leagues and getting into SL.

I don't think hanging out in CC1 inspires amateurs to play, the shame is that alleged RL town of Hemel Hempstead busses in Dewsbury players.

It may be the reality that CC1 clubs aren't really "pro teams", after all they struggle against NCL amateurs, but they give the RFL who prop them up a sense of a national game when you look at those three leagues. .

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On 03/02/2017 at 4:55 PM, NickG14 said:

More teams playing RL outside the heartlands means a bigger pool of players, more fans who come to watch the game spend money at clubs and then possibly international, which also attract bigger sponsors just give expansions teams time to grow and develop

They aren't growing and developing, they are maintaining tiny footholds in areas outside the traditional areas for the game. Again Doncaster were the games 1951 expansion team and they haven't really got anywhere in 66 years. Nobody is saying "what's the point" I'm sure that those who play organise and watch have a great time flying the RL flag.

I'm also sure they don't welcome expectations that they will develop into Superleague clubs, it's a big enough burden just surviving.

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