West Leeds Riviera

Oxford and All Golds to merge?

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49 minutes ago, BBR said:

Let's see if Coventry are around in 3 years time. The main problem with scattergun expansion is that people who fancy running a team come along with no plan in place. They get bored and pull their funding and the club goes bust. It's embarrassing and makes the sport look stupid. 

This is a very ill informed opinion. 

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Isnt the uni of gloucs in Cheltenham?  Surely moving the club to Bristol would ruin any links with the uni as it's nowhere near?  They seem a very well run club doing a lot of things right, they just need to do a bit of Wolfpacking on their attendances / game day marketing.  I'd be very disappointed if they left Gloucs.

Oxford on the other hand I can't say im too bothered / surprised about if they do go under.

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Hello Everyone,

Seems to be a bit of anti-Coventry feeling.

I am the guy who writes articles for Coventry Bears, and am a passionate fan of the game. What I thought may be a reasonable discussion amongst like minded friends turned earlier into a personal attack against me and the job I do (completely unpaid) for Coventry Bears.

Some thirty years ago I was a founder member of Redditch Halcyon, and played against Pittville Pirates and other MASWARLA teams, such as Plymouth, West Midlands Police etc.

Now as a volunteer I give my time to the Bears. I am not a journalist, and if a missing space between words is bringing the game into disrepute, then so be it!!

When writing a preview, I look for the backstory and insight into what is going on.

For the Bears v All Golds home game this season, I wrote an article linking the events in Cheltenham in 1908 with Coventry first RL team in 1910-13, stressing the heritage and previous amateur rivalry. This was picked up by Love Rugby League as a story as well as the local free paper and radio.

For the recent game, I picked up on some of the issues facing the All Golds to give purpose and meaning to the game, and to generate interest among fans of the Bears who might travel.

Should I have just said it was a meaningless fixture at the end of the season? Great.

And then when it comes to reporting, I mention things like the weather, the crowd reaction etc., again to give context and flesh to a report. 

It would have been a lie to talk of a stadium packed to the rafters and creating a cauldron of atmosphere!!!

Also, Moscow should note that the reports are not aimed at people who frequent this website or even support other clubs.

The Bears have been totally ignored by the city's daily paper and this has brought about a complete rethink of social media and broadcast media strategy.

The main outlet for our news is a weekly freesheet circulated in an area dominated by football, and the tone of writing and it's sometimes partizan nature reflects this, and it's target audience to whom we are still introducing the game.

We now regularly get half page prime slots, all good for the game.

We are building something here which is on solid foundations on and off the pitch.

I feel it would be good if volunteers at clubs could get together, learn from each other and move forward.

Incestuous, internecine bickering amongst keyboard warriors saps energy and achieves little, which is why I rarely post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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49 minutes ago, Tattersfieldtreiziste said:

Hello Everyone,

Seems to be a bit of anti-Coventry feeling.

I am the guy who writes articles for Coventry Bears, and am a passionate fan of the game. What I thought may be a reasonable discussion amongst like minded friends turned earlier into a personal attack against me and the job I do (completely unpaid) for Coventry Bears.

Some thirty years ago I was a founder member of Redditch Halcyon, and played against Pittville Pirates and other MASWARLA teams, such as Plymouth, West Midlands Police etc.

Now as a volunteer I give my time to the Bears. I am not a journalist, and if a missing space between words is bringing the game into disrepute, then so be it!!

When writing a preview, I look for the backstory and insight into what is going on.

For the Bears v All Golds home game this season, I wrote an article linking the events in Cheltenham in 1908 with Coventry first RL team in 1910-13, stressing the heritage and previous amateur rivalry. This was picked up by Love Rugby League as a story as well as the local free paper and radio.

For the recent game, I picked up on some of the issues facing the All Golds to give purpose and meaning to the game, and to generate interest among fans of the Bears who might travel.

Should I have just said it was a meaningless fixture at the end of the season? Great.

And then when it comes to reporting, I mention things like the weather, the crowd reaction etc., again to give context and flesh to a report. 

It would have been a lie to talk of a stadium packed to the rafters and creating a cauldron of atmosphere!!!

Also, Moscow should note that the reports are not aimed at people who frequent this website or even support other clubs.

The Bears have been totally ignored by the city's daily paper and this has brought about a complete rethink of social media and broadcast media strategy.

The main outlet for our news is a weekly freesheet circulated in an area dominated by football, and the tone of writing and it's sometimes partizan nature reflects this, and it's target audience to whom we are still introducing the game.

We now regularly get half page prime slots, all good for the game.

We are building something here which is on solid foundations on and off the pitch.

I feel it would be good if volunteers at clubs could get together, learn from each other and move forward.

Incestuous, internecine bickering amongst keyboard warriors saps energy and achieves little, which is why I rarely post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

But when you do contribute it's meaningful and positive.

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This thread has moved on quite far from the opening post hasn't it. This problem with the written word is that you cannot sense the tone in which it is meant. Be that with emails, previews, texts etc. People can take offence to something which isn't there.

anyway

With regards to the above the work done by Coventry is to be admired, i met the podcast lads on Saturday albeit briefly, nice chaps, enjoyed the game away with the set up they have. Every league club could learn from them and not just the expansion clubs. If they did then i don't believe that there would have been a need for this thread.

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1 hour ago, Tattersfieldtreiziste said:

Hello Everyone,

Seems to be a bit of anti-Coventry feeling.

I am the guy who writes articles for Coventry Bears, and am a passionate fan of the game. What I thought may be a reasonable discussion amongst like minded friends turned earlier into a personal attack against me and the job I do (completely unpaid) for Coventry Bears.

Some thirty years ago I was a founder member of Redditch Halcyon, and played against Pittville Pirates and other MASWARLA teams, such as Plymouth, West Midlands Police etc.

Now as a volunteer I give my time to the Bears. I am not a journalist, and if a missing space between words is bringing the game into disrepute, then so be it!!

When writing a preview, I look for the backstory and insight into what is going on.

For the Bears v All Golds home game this season, I wrote an article linking the events in Cheltenham in 1908 with Coventry first RL team in 1910-13, stressing the heritage and previous amateur rivalry. This was picked up by Love Rugby League as a story as well as the local free paper and radio.

For the recent game, I picked up on some of the issues facing the All Golds to give purpose and meaning to the game, and to generate interest among fans of the Bears who might travel.

Should I have just said it was a meaningless fixture at the end of the season? Great.

And then when it comes to reporting, I mention things like the weather, the crowd reaction etc., again to give context and flesh to a report. 

It would have been a lie to talk of a stadium packed to the rafters and creating a cauldron of atmosphere!!!

Also, Moscow should note that the reports are not aimed at people who frequent this website or even support other clubs.

The Bears have been totally ignored by the city's daily paper and this has brought about a complete rethink of social media and broadcast media strategy.

The main outlet for our news is a weekly freesheet circulated in an area dominated by football, and the tone of writing and it's sometimes partizan nature reflects this, and it's target audience to whom we are still introducing the game.

We now regularly get half page prime slots, all good for the game.

We are building something here which is on solid foundations on and off the pitch.

I feel it would be good if volunteers at clubs could get together, learn from each other and move forward.

Incestuous, internecine bickering amongst keyboard warriors saps energy and achieves little, which is why I rarely post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well said. I enjoy your match reports and they are always timely and accurate. Some of the personal comments were uncalled for,  and about things that were taken out of context. Try not to take it personally and keep up the good work ?

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3 hours ago, stevevalerugby said:

I have seen this week England will be travelling to the World Cup Business Class and with their entourage will probably cost in excess of £100K just in travel and players will be paid  England, for example, who earns a weekly salary of £800 and a winning bonus of £3,000, or £1,500 for defeat.   £1500 for loosing a game really  there is alot of money at the REL it comes down to priorities.  4 weeks of world cup and RFL with squad of 23 players will pay players if they loose 4 games £211k and if they win 4 games £350K so world cup when you add in all the other things like ancillary staff Coaches, welfare staff probably wont be much change from £750k.  But there is no money at the RFL.

What do you want the players to do, work their passage on a steamship? Pay for their own kit and meals?

FFS! Sometimes I do worry about the people who watch this sport.

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Well, this is hardly a surprise as the "rumours" have been doing the rounds down here for some time. When these first emerged earlier in the season it had those of us who have been involved in the game in Bristol scratching our heads, as we'd had no contact from anyone from either the All Golds or Oxford, which common sense dictates would have happened - after all, the Sonics, who celebrate their 15th birthday in September, have more of an idea of what's happening on the ground here than anyone else.

When Bristol City Council was persuaded to bid to host a RLWC 2013 game, those in the "inner circle" (not myself, but RFL staff, selected local coaches etc) were told off the record that it was part of a bid to get a semi-pro side in the city. In the end, those behind the planned team vanished, only to re-emerge in Cheltenham with the backing of the University of Gloucestershire. Now, had a semi-pro side been formed in Bristol in the wake of the RLWC match at the Memorial Stadium, the sport and the spectacle of that game would have been fresh in people's memories. As it is, the last few years has seen a steady decline in interest in the sport at grassroots level from players, volunteers and spectators. This season, the Sonics struggled on and off the pitch for various reasons, even losing local players to other West of England League sides. The game is arguably at its weakest in the city for many years; hopefully we can build up the community/grassroots/junior side of the game again, but this will require a lot of effort regardless of whether or not a semi-pro team ends up on our doorstep. Going on past experience and the way the All Golds somehow managed to alienate most of those involved with community clubs in the West of England, I have my doubts about whether any mooted Bristol semi-pro club would help grow the game in the city.

The strength of the previously mentioned "Bristol Combination" association of local union clubs is a blessing and a curse. There are a large number of rugby union players in the region, many of whom watch League and some of whom are keen to give it a go. At the Sonics we have seen players come from union who have then become more committed to League; a handful have even ended up graduating to the semi-pro ranks via the All Golds, Oxford or South Wales (Marcus Brooker, Jack Uren, Sam Hodge etc). At the same time, there are even more who try the game and enjoy it, but naturally prioritise union committments (even in the summer - 7s comps, club tidy up days, tours etc etc). The RL Academy at South Glos and Stroud College in Filton is a good tool to develop talented young players who could make it in League, but the links between that outfit, the local commuinity clubs and the semi-pro clubs has been poor over the last few years. In the couple of years following the RLWC 2013 game there was a pathway from junior RL at the Sonics, through to the Academy, and then on to open age via the Sonics, or semi-pro at the All Golds, Oxford and South Wales. Recently that pathway has fallen apart to such an extent that players leave there and either return to union, don't play League again or end up playing for random amateur clubs miles away when there's a club on their doorstep. This infrastructure still exists - even loosely - so could be utilised by any merged/new club.

As someone else has mentioned, the person driving sport in Bristol at the moment in Steve Lansdown, multi-millionnaire owner of Bristol Sport, which includes Bristol City, the women's football team, Bristol "Rugby" and various other teams based at the college in Filton. Lansdown and co are willing to invest in sports clubs in BRistol if they think they have potential. I suspect they would look on League at this stage as not being of that much interest, though a team COULD work if it was somehow linked in with the union club they own (similar colours and kit, marketed to those fans and local union players and volunteers). Certainly a city the size of Bristol should be able to sustain a semi-pro RL team and sustain crowds larger than either the All Golds or Oxford were getting. That said, we should not expect it to be a success if it does happen; after all, the game in the region at a grassroots level is now weaker than it has been for some time (the admirable Swindon St George aside) and the general visibility of League in the UK has dropped dramatically. 

My worry is that any new (or merged) semi-pro club would fail within a year or two and have a serious knock-on effect on the community game. The All Golds chose not to invest in development in this part of the west, despite previous success in the city in getting kids and juniors playing in the two years around the 2013 RLWC. Once the RFL had got rid of the local development staff, any meagre resources went straight to the All Golds to do schools work. They did a bit in and around Cheltenham (and, I think, Gloucester), but ignored Bristol, Bath, Swindon etc. For sustained success we need coaches on the ground and, in time, amateur clubs in different parts of the city. As it is, Bristol struggles to sustain one open-age adult team as it stands. That's not a recipe for success unless something dramatically changes. Having worked for what seems like a lifetime promoting RL in the city, I should be more excited about this than I actually am.

Either way, it would be good to hear from whoever is behind it (presumably Lionel Hurst) and be told what their plans, if any, actually are.

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4 hours ago, OriginalMrC said:

Not sure why you would use Coventry as an example. This is not a club based around people who've 'decided to run a team' . Maybe your not aware the team has been around for over 15 years, that it has junior set ups that has produced first team players,  and that the club does massive work it in the community. It is also building for the future with a long term plan for sustainable growth (as it doesnt have outside investment like other clubs). 

There's always been healthy crowds at games and a real possibility for growth in what is a sports mad city. I say all this as a fan that can see the club is going in the right direction (even if results this year haven't been great) 

Great, I hope they do thrive. Guess in three years we will see. Hemel were supposed to be an example of a team built on similar local foundations. Not sure they are thriving

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24 minutes ago, West Country Eagle said:

Well, this is hardly a surprise as the "rumours" have been doing the rounds down here for some time. When these first emerged earlier in the season it had those of us who have been involved in the game in Bristol scratching our heads, as we'd had no contact from anyone from either the All Golds or Oxford, which common sense dictates would have happened - after all, the Sonics, who celebrate their 15th birthday in September, have more of an idea of what's happening on the ground here than anyone else.

When Bristol City Council was persuaded to bid to host a RLWC 2013 game, those in the "inner circle" (not myself, but RFL staff, selected local coaches etc) were told off the record that it was part of a bid to get a semi-pro side in the city. In the end, those behind the planned team vanished, only to re-emerge in Cheltenham with the backing of the University of Gloucestershire. Now, had a semi-pro side been formed in Bristol in the wake of the RLWC match at the Memorial Stadium, the sport and the spectacle of that game would have been fresh in people's memories. As it is, the last few years has seen a steady decline in interest in the sport at grassroots level from players, volunteers and spectators. This season, the Sonics struggled on and off the pitch for various reasons, even losing local players to other West of England League sides. The game is arguably at its weakest in the city for many years; hopefully we can build up the community/grassroots/junior side of the game again, but this will require a lot of effort regardless of whether or not a semi-pro team ends up on our doorstep. Going on past experience and the way the All Golds somehow managed to alienate most of those involved with community clubs in the West of England, I have my doubts about whether any mooted Bristol semi-pro club would help grow the game in the city.

The strength of the previously mentioned "Bristol Combination" association of local union clubs is a blessing and a curse. There are a large number of rugby union players in the region, many of whom watch League and some of whom are keen to give it a go. At the Sonics we have seen players come from union who have then become more committed to League; a handful have even ended up graduating to the semi-pro ranks via the All Golds, Oxford or South Wales (Marcus Brooker, Jack Uren, Sam Hodge etc). At the same time, there are even more who try the game and enjoy it, but naturally prioritise union committments (even in the summer - 7s comps, club tidy up days, tours etc etc). The RL Academy at South Glos and Stroud College in Filton is a good tool to develop talented young players who could make it in League, but the links between that outfit, the local commuinity clubs and the semi-pro clubs has been poor over the last few years. In the couple of years following the RLWC 2013 game there was a pathway from junior RL at the Sonics, through to the Academy, and then on to open age via the Sonics, or semi-pro at the All Golds, Oxford and South Wales. Recently that pathway has fallen apart to such an extent that players leave there and either return to union, don't play League again or end up playing for random amateur clubs miles away when there's a club on their doorstep. This infrastructure still exists - even loosely - so could be utilised by any merged/new club.

As someone else has mentioned, the person driving sport in Bristol at the moment in Steve Lansdown, multi-millionnaire owner of Bristol Sport, which includes Bristol City, the women's football team, Bristol "Rugby" and various other teams based at the college in Filton. Lansdown and co are willing to invest in sports clubs in BRistol if they think they have potential. I suspect they would look on League at this stage as not being of that much interest, though a team COULD work if it was somehow linked in with the union club they own (similar colours and kit, marketed to those fans and local union players and volunteers). Certainly a city the size of Bristol should be able to sustain a semi-pro RL team and sustain crowds larger than either the All Golds or Oxford were getting. That said, we should not expect it to be a success if it does happen; after all, the game in the region at a grassroots level is now weaker than it has been for some time (the admirable Swindon St George aside) and the general visibility of League in the UK has dropped dramatically. 

My worry is that any new (or merged) semi-pro club would fail within a year or two and have a serious knock-on effect on the community game. The All Golds chose not to invest in development in this part of the west, despite previous success in the city in getting kids and juniors playing in the two years around the 2013 RLWC. Once the RFL had got rid of the local development staff, any meagre resources went straight to the All Golds to do schools work. They did a bit in and around Cheltenham (and, I think, Gloucester), but ignored Bristol, Bath, Swindon etc. For sustained success we need coaches on the ground and, in time, amateur clubs in different parts of the city. As it is, Bristol struggles to sustain one open-age adult team as it stands. That's not a recipe for success unless something dramatically changes. Having worked for what seems like a lifetime promoting RL in the city, I should be more excited about this than I actually am.

Either way, it would be good to hear from whoever is behind it (presumably Lionel Hurst) and be told what their plans, if any, actually are.

Some great points made!


However on your point about choosing not to invest in Bristol is not the case. I know for a fact that the Sky Try community funding had to be spent in Gloucestershire and came with a lot of rules and requirements to tick the RFL boxes. Much to the frustration of the foundation manger at the time who was very pro Bristol. The All Golds also directly Match funded one of the academy roles at Filton. they have also have given out a lot of scholarships to players who came from Filton.

Edited by AlbertGriffin
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2 hours ago, Tattersfieldtreiziste said:

Hello Everyone,

Seems to be a bit of anti-Coventry feeling.

I am the guy who writes articles for Coventry Bears, and am a passionate fan of the game. What I thought may be a reasonable discussion amongst like minded friends turned earlier into a personal attack against me and the job I do (completely unpaid) for Coventry Bears.

Some thirty years ago I was a founder member of Redditch Halcyon, and played against Pittville Pirates and other MASWARLA teams, such as Plymouth, West Midlands Police etc.

Now as a volunteer I give my time to the Bears. I am not a journalist, and if a missing space between words is bringing the game into disrepute, then so be it!!

When writing a preview, I look for the backstory and insight into what is going on.

For the Bears v All Golds home game this season, I wrote an article linking the events in Cheltenham in 1908 with Coventry first RL team in 1910-13, stressing the heritage and previous amateur rivalry. This was picked up by Love Rugby League as a story as well as the local free paper and radio.

For the recent game, I picked up on some of the issues facing the All Golds to give purpose and meaning to the game, and to generate interest among fans of the Bears who might travel.

Should I have just said it was a meaningless fixture at the end of the season? Great.

And then when it comes to reporting, I mention things like the weather, the crowd reaction etc., again to give context and flesh to a report. 

It would have been a lie to talk of a stadium packed to the rafters and creating a cauldron of atmosphere!!!

Also, Moscow should note that the reports are not aimed at people who frequent this website or even support other clubs.

The Bears have been totally ignored by the city's daily paper and this has brought about a complete rethink of social media and broadcast media strategy.

The main outlet for our news is a weekly freesheet circulated in an area dominated by football, and the tone of writing and it's sometimes partizan nature reflects this, and it's target audience to whom we are still introducing the game.

We now regularly get half page prime slots, all good for the game.

We are building something here which is on solid foundations on and off the pitch.

I feel it would be good if volunteers at clubs could get together, learn from each other and move forward.

Incestuous, internecine bickering amongst keyboard warriors saps energy and achieves little, which is why I rarely post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

48 minutes ago, OriginalMrC said:

Well said. I enjoy your match reports and they are always timely and accurate. Some of the personal comments were uncalled for,  and about things that were taken out of context. Try not to take it personally and keep up the good work ?

Excuse me while I go find my Violin!

its the big rectangle bar on the keyboard :) 

Regardless of your perceptions of your own club maybe its time to look at the coaching structure, time for a change at Cov?

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13 minutes ago, AlbertGriffin said:

However on your point about choosing not to invest in Bristol is not the case. I know for a fact that the Sky Try community funding had to be spent in Gloucestershire and came with a lot of rules and requirements to tick the RFL boxes. Much to the frustration of the foundation manger at the time who was very pro Bristol. The All Golds also directly Match funded one of the academy roles at Filton. they have also have given out a lot of scholarships to players who came from Filton.

I stand corrected re: Filton, but to be honest the scholarship thing has had absolutely no impact on the grassroots game in Bristol. While one or two of those players - some of whom were in the Sonics junior academy before going to the college - have remained in the game, quite a few haven't. Some others have ended up playing for community clubs miles away from Bristol for no good reason. It's great to see some making it with semi-pro clubs, which is always the aim, but players should be encouraged to play at the local community club. I don't know the inner workings of the All Golds (despite reporting on them, on and off for League Express, over a number of years prior to this season), but I do know that the good work around the 2013 RLWC game has been wasted. The All Golds can't be blamed for this, or the RFL for that matter (though some decisions individuals there made over the years have not helped), but the All Golds can be accused of not doing enough to work with existing community clubs. I personally don't have an axe to grind with the All Golds, but I know plenty within the community game in the region that do. That's not a healthy state of affiars in an expansion area - we should all be working together for a common cause.

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18 hours ago, yipyee said:

The Welsh clubs tick all the boxes apart from number 3 

The French clubs tick all.

Doesnt stop inward looking northeners complaing about their inclusion!

Northeners, complaining? I am shocked. Look, League Express started this. Instead of posters kicking each other to death can someone, somewhere ask them to comment, true or not? If not, they should apologise for stirring up the hate and bile this is causing.Please, I love Rugby league. This ain't helping. 

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2 hours ago, Word Warrior said:

 

 

its the big rectangle bar on the keyboard :)

It seems a bit pathetic to get riled up over a missing space between words.

But to be pedantic. If you are such an expert on keyboards, how is it you couldn't find the apostrophe key?☺☺

Edited by Bearman
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3 hours ago, Word Warrior said:

 

Excuse me while I go find my Violin!

its the big rectangle bar on the keyboard :) 

Regardless of your perceptions of your own club maybe its time to look at the coaching structure, time for a change at Cov?

Coventry had a stable coaching team last week year and achieved their best league position. This year they appeared to change it at the start of the season and haven't done very well. Sometime you need the consistency of good coaches. 

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18 hours ago, Tattersfieldtreiziste said:

Hello Everyone,

Seems to be a bit of anti-Coventry feeling.

I am the guy who writes articles for Coventry Bears, and am a passionate fan of the game. What I thought may be a reasonable discussion amongst like minded friends turned earlier into a personal attack against me and the job I do (completely unpaid) for Coventry Bears.

Some thirty years ago I was a founder member of Redditch Halcyon, and played against Pittville Pirates and other MASWARLA teams, such as Plymouth, West Midlands Police etc.

Now as a volunteer I give my time to the Bears. I am not a journalist, and if a missing space between words is bringing the game into disrepute, then so be it!!

When writing a preview, I look for the backstory and insight into what is going on.

For the Bears v All Golds home game this season, I wrote an article linking the events in Cheltenham in 1908 with Coventry first RL team in 1910-13, stressing the heritage and previous amateur rivalry. This was picked up by Love Rugby League as a story as well as the local free paper and radio.

For the recent game, I picked up on some of the issues facing the All Golds to give purpose and meaning to the game, and to generate interest among fans of the Bears who might travel.

Should I have just said it was a meaningless fixture at the end of the season? Great.

And then when it comes to reporting, I mention things like the weather, the crowd reaction etc., again to give context and flesh to a report. 

It would have been a lie to talk of a stadium packed to the rafters and creating a cauldron of atmosphere!!!

Also, Moscow should note that the reports are not aimed at people who frequent this website or even support other clubs.

The Bears have been totally ignored by the city's daily paper and this has brought about a complete rethink of social media and broadcast media strategy.

The main outlet for our news is a weekly freesheet circulated in an area dominated by football, and the tone of writing and it's sometimes partizan nature reflects this, and it's target audience to whom we are still introducing the game.

We now regularly get half page prime slots, all good for the game.

We are building something here which is on solid foundations on and off the pitch.

I feel it would be good if volunteers at clubs could get together, learn from each other and move forward.

Incestuous, internecine bickering amongst keyboard warriors saps energy and achieves little, which is why I rarely post.

 

I used to do your job when I was at South London (as did Number 16 on here).. its not the easiest and you can find yourself banging your head against a brick wall sometimes. Your style may well be different to others but do what works for you and gets you the coverage you want. (if it doesnt then maybe do a short version that is just the bare facts doesnt take too long as you can write that first, send it, and then puff it out a bit for other places. Some publications want to just get the piece and print it without thinking or doing anything so the shorter the better just to fill a gap, then it grows from there. I started that way with a couple of publications then ended up being the go to and was often asked for a bit more as they had more space to fill and in the off season was phoned a few times asking for "anything" so they could fill space so ended up sending some complete nonsense about possible new players with no names mentioned etc)... Its a tough job though and you have my sympathy. 

Just remember even true pro journalists are often love them or hate them in their style or what they have to say, you cant please everyone.

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On 8/15/2017 at 11:10 PM, AlbertGriffin said:

Spoken to a former All Golds official today, who is still friendly with the back room staff. He didn't have much on the alleged merger but said the Uni pulling out is 100% untrue.

He did say the club had given a response to the League Express? before the article was printed but cannot issue any futher comments on the matter.

This is due to the University issuing the League Express with notice of their intent to pursue legal action, over the paragraph about financial issues. I did think that statement was a ridiculous thing to say, apparently they had the 3rd highest turnover in League-1 last season, just ask the RFL.

Another important point, which has been brought up before, is that the club is a department of the Uni and not a separate legal entity so by default they have said the Uni has financial issues, Major mistake! 

As said by a couple of people in the thread this is poor journalism that could ironically put the League Express finances to the test, poetic Justice?

 

This is a wildly inaccurate post.

1. The League Express article did not say that the University is going to pull out of the All Golds.

2. We asked both clubs for a response before publication. None was given, although one individual tried to threaten us with a legal action before publication.

3. The article said that both clubs had been experiencing financial difficulties. I wish it were not so, but given the crowds that the All Golds have attracted this season I struggle to see how it couldn't be, regrettable though that is.

4. The idea that, by default, we have said that the University has financial issues is too ridiculous even to comment on.

5. I'm quite prepared to let someone from the club or from the University have the space to refute any of the points made in the article and to explain the true position, which is always the case with any article that appears in League Express. Any money spent on a legal action will be a total waste of money.

I should add that I would strongly prefer both clubs to remain as they are and develop into the strong clubs I'm confident they could be.

Unfortunately, as more sensible people at the expansion clubs would confirm, some of the newer clubs have been hampered since their formation by re-structured leagues and a reduction in central monies spent on development.

That is disappointing, but I would hope they would all find a way to continue as separate entities and that, ultimately, we have an additional club in Bristol.

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20 hours ago, nadera78 said:

What do you want the players to do, work their passage on a steamship? Pay for their own kit and meals?

FFS! Sometimes I do worry about the people who watch this sport.

Sorry you feel like that but i'm sure all have good contracts with their respective clubs.  The student world Cup was Last month and every Student who attended Paid for the privilege of representing their Country and all did so even though most are struggling with tuition fees and living costs.  I'm not advocating that they travel by steamship but is there really any need to travel business class at twice the price of other tickets but then to pay them £1500 for failure to win a game really.  I understand the game has moved on and players are paid to play for their country but surely the biggest payment you can get is pulling on that jersey and representing your country.

 

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1 hour ago, Martyn Sadler said:

 

3. The article said that both clubs had been experiencing financial difficulties. I wish it were not so, but given the crowds that the All Golds have attracted this season I struggle to see how it couldn't be, regrettable though that is.

 

Maybe they aren't reliant on paying spectators for covering their costs?  Quite a few Champs 1 clubs make very little to zero effort to sell tickets to home games so I suspect it's not a particularly important revenue stream at that level?  It does seem odd to me though saying that.

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19 minutes ago, Tre Cool said:

Maybe they aren't reliant on paying spectators for covering their costs?  Quite a few Champs 1 clubs make very little to zero effort to sell tickets to home games so I suspect it's not a particularly important revenue stream at that level?  It does seem odd to me though saying that.

Of course it depends on how you define "financial difficulties", but I doubt whether there is a club in membership of the RFL that doesn't experience them to a greater or lesser extent.

We all know that Rugby League generally tends to be chronically short of money.

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18 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

Of course it depends on how you define "financial difficulties", but I doubt whether there is a club in membership of the RFL that doesn't experience them to a greater or lesser extent.

We all know that Rugby League generally tends to be chronically short of money.

Well surely you define 'financial difficulties' as not being able to pay some or all of your wages and bills?  If they have the income streams to cover those costs without any paying spectators then surely they are not having 'financial difficulties'?

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Well I have fished and you have bitten Martyn.

Firstly, it was good of you to confirm some of my points, although not your intention. It is clear you are not a lawyer and are confused between what is your opinion and what you can prove as a fact. This is where you have left yourself open to legal action in what you printed. You may feel that the defence of "well we didn't know" is a response to some of the points I will make, however ignorance is no defence in a legal battle. You have also confirmed that your paper published at least one lie, so the creditability to anything you have written is fair to question. 

1. My post did not say you had said this. Although if you were smart, you would have used this point to speculate your publications points rather that writing them as facts, I will explain as we go on.

2. Your actual publication said you were "unable to elicit any response" however you have now said "one individual tried to threaten us with a legal action before publication" So which is it?

If you have been threatened with legal action, this would mean you lied in your article about being able to elicit any response, you have also confirmed this was before publication. It would also mean you are wrong when you said my post was wildly inaccurate, as you have confirmed you have indeed been threaten with legal action.

3. On to your main problem in terms of legal defence, this is where I can see their point of view. Your article didn't just blur the lines between stating an opinion and stating something as a fact it legally crossed the line. As previously mentioned it is about what you can prove, so opinions aside and time for the facts. The major issue with what you have written is that you have stated something which is both untrue and misleading. The statement could also lead to a loss of earnings for the University an impact on the clubs’ ability to Recruit players for the 2018 season. You have no plausible defence for the statement your paper made. Whether you think that is fair is quite frankly ill relevant. 

The truth in you point, yes there is some, both the All Golds and Oxford have had low crowds this season. You are entitled to say that this is a source of income and that this could impact on the financial viability of any club should they not have a large backer who was prepared to write of any losses if other source of income were also not covering costs. This is the case for every professional club, there is more than one Super League Club whose income does not cover the overall costs, are you going to write that these clubs have financial issues because of this? no of course not as most of them have wealthy owners who personal guarantee (PG) the costs of a club to the RFL every season i.e. put their own money in to cover the difference. Now should said wealthy owner pull away then you could say it’s likely a club would go into financial difficulties if their source of income were poor. As pointed out you should have used point number one to speculate this scenario for the All Golds.

Another important point as has already been highlighted, this is not a club’s only source of income, in case of the All Golds is a very insignificant portion of their income. Even if the All Golds had 500 paying fans at every home game this would equate to a small portion of the income generated by the club for the University (yes for the University).

4. On to what you call "too ridiculous even to comment on" this is where I see your point of view, as most people perceive this to be a pedantic point to pick you up on. However, this a very important factor in regards to what you have said. This refers to my comment about ignorance being no defence in a legal battle. The reason why they are justified to say your point has therefore said the University has financial issues, is because the All Golds is not a separate legal entity from the University. 

The fact of the matter is the All Golds do not have financial difficulties and you cannot simply write such an untrue miss leading defamatory statement. However, you have done so and are therefore liable, you should retract the particular paragraph from the article in question and apologies. 

5. You already confirmed your own point, they have threatened legal action around something you have written is surly a sign they have refuted your article. 

On defining financial difficulties well you’re a journalist maybe look it up, oh wait you’re not a fan of that. I don't know whether your conduct is disgraceful or just stupid.

4 hours ago, Martyn Sadler said:

This is a wildly inaccurate post.

1. The League Express article did not say that the University is going to pull out of the All Golds.

2. We asked both clubs for a response before publication. None was given, although one individual tried to threaten us with a legal action before publication.

3. The article said that both clubs had been experiencing financial difficulties. I wish it were not so, but given the crowds that the All Golds have attracted this season I struggle to see how it couldn't be, regrettable though that is.

4. The idea that, by default, we have said that the University has financial issues is too ridiculous even to comment on.

5. I'm quite prepared to let someone from the club or from the University have the space to refute any of the points made in the article and to explain the true position, which is always the case with any article that appears in League Express. Any money spent on a legal action will be a total waste of money.

2 hours ago, Martyn Sadler said:

Of course it depends on how you define "financial difficulties", but I doubt whether there is a club in membership of the RFL that doesn't experience them to a greater or lesser extent.

We all know that Rugby League generally tends to be chronically short of money.

Edited by AlbertGriffin
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34 minutes ago, AlbertGriffin said:

Well I have fished and you have bitten Martin.

Well, aren't you extraordinarily clever!

My previous post stands and is unaffected by the points you raise, although I should perhaps clarify that we had someone, perhaps it was you, threatening us when we had already gone to print.

There was no response from either club before that point.

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46 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

Well, aren't you extraordinarily clever!

My previous post stands and is unaffected by the points you raise, although I should perhaps clarify that we had someone, perhaps it was you, threatening us when we had already gone to print.

There was no response from either club before that point.

I do not work for the ether club, so to answer your question it was not me. You have clearly learned how to suggest something rather than state it as a fact, Well done your never to old to learn new things!

However, the only place your post stands is within your own head. Your counter argument is nonexistent, I pity you if they do pursue legal action. It will take your reputation a lot longer to recover from it then it will take ether of these clubs to recover from your nonsense. 

I am not as clever as most lawyers, so good luck with that...

 

Edited by AlbertGriffin

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