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Lowdesert

Elston - stop searching for the silver bullet.

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Elston piece from the guardian.  Sinfield spoke to him of what we should be seeing in the GF.  Well, we got that yesterday and the semi’s.  

Are we now going to see some real positivity after, what appears to be, a frustrating start to his role?  

Forget the rhetoric, work hard, listen to others outside RL and start working together.  

“And we’ll only make the changes we need if we’re brave enough to put every aspect of the game under the spotlight – the pace, intensity of the product; the profile of our players; the facilities we play in; the investment being made by our clubs in marketing, community and audience development.”

“We need to make an impact in 2019, and in 2020. We need to tell our broadcast partners there’s something new, some momentum, a commitment to change, a commitment to growth.”

“We’re talking to commercial partners, we’re talking to Sky, we’ve consulted internally with players and coaches. We’ll be announcing a number of rule changes to speed the game up”

https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/bradford-bulls/time-for-super-league-to-listen-to-those-outside-the-tent-says-robert-elstone-1-9395262

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28 minutes ago, Lowdesert said:

Elston piece from the guardian.  Sinfield spoke to him of what we should be seeing in the GF.  Well, we got that yesterday and the semi’s.  

Are we now going to see some real positivity after, what appears to be, a frustrating start to his role?  

Forget the rhetoric, work hard, listen to others outside RL and start working together.  

“And we’ll only make the changes we need if we’re brave enough to put every aspect of the game under the spotlight – the pace, intensity of the product; the profile of our players; the facilities we play in; the investment being made by our clubs in marketing, community and audience development.”

“We need to make an impact in 2019, and in 2020. We need to tell our broadcast partners there’s something new, some momentum, a commitment to change, a commitment to growth.”

“We’re talking to commercial partners, we’re talking to Sky, we’ve consulted internally with players and coaches. We’ll be announcing a number of rule changes to speed the game up”

https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/bradford-bulls/time-for-super-league-to-listen-to-those-outside-the-tent-says-robert-elstone-1-9395262

Super League may have 10, 12, or 14 clubs.  It can have any selection format to choose what those clubs are, there issue is there are about seven strong candidates.

In that, the endless clubs about how to choose the 10, 12 or 14 clubs are pointless.

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22 minutes ago, Lowdesert said:

Elston piece from the guardian.  Sinfield spoke to him of what we should be seeing in the GF.  Well, we got that yesterday and the semi’s.  

Are we now going to see some real positivity after, what appears to be, a frustrating start to his role?  

Forget the rhetoric, work hard, listen to others outside RL and start working together.  

“And we’ll only make the changes we need if we’re brave enough to put every aspect of the game under the spotlight – the pace, intensity of the product; the profile of our players; the facilities we play in; the investment being made by our clubs in marketing, community and audience development.”

“We need to make an impact in 2019, and in 2020. We need to tell our broadcast partners there’s something new, some momentum, a commitment to change, a commitment to growth.”

“We’re talking to commercial partners, we’re talking to Sky, we’ve consulted internally with players and coaches. We’ll be announcing a number of rule changes to speed the game up”

https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/bradford-bulls/time-for-super-league-to-listen-to-those-outside-the-tent-says-robert-elstone-1-9395262

He does keep mentioning what I believe is the stadia of some clubs, are we soon expected to hear some timescales of "improove or else" given to a couple of certain clubs who reside in the Rhubarb Triangle, if as he says "we're brave enough".

I have great admiration for both clubs and would not wish anything untoward to come to them, BUT, if the game wants to be treated has a high roller it has to give the correct asthetic apperance from all of it's prominent members without exception.

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6 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

He does keep mentioning what I believe is the stadia of some clubs, are we soon expected to hear some timescales of "improove or else" given to a couple of certain clubs who reside in the Rhubarb Triangle, if as he says "we're brave enough".

I have great admiration for both clubs and would not wish anything untoward to come to them, BUT, if the game wants to be treated has a high roller it has to give the correct asthetic apperance from all of it's prominent members without exception.

I can't see why there is so much fuss about grounds, I'd take the jungle over most of the new soulless grounds any day.

 

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6 minutes ago, Marauder said:

I can't see why there is so much fuss about grounds, I'd take the jungle over most of the new soulless grounds any day.

 

I think Elstones point is,he thinks those outside the sport "potential new fans" have very little interest in spending a couple of hours in these horrid places

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The image/perception of The Jungle to neutrals/sponsors/tv viewers is disasterous.Fine for those happy to project a 1960's working class game,useless for anybody wanting to take the game forward.Shame,because Castleford is a Club we need.Castleford in a new stadium,with an 8,000 crowd would be beneficial for the game,at present,their ground is an embarrassment.Unfortunately,same applies to Wakefield and Bradford before anyone mentions they should be back in SL.The problem ofcourse,is that there aren't a queue of clubs with modern facilities and good spectator base waiting to get into SL.

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7 minutes ago, jpmc said:

I think Elstones point is,he thinks those outside the sport "potential new fans" have very little interest in spending a couple of hours in these horrid places

Tell him to go to watch Salford at home and then Castleford, I know which atmosphere  would promote the game to anyone going to watch their first game. 

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4 minutes ago, Marauder said:

Tell him to go to watch Salford at home and then Castleford, I know which atmosphere  would promote the game to anyone going to watch their first game. 

For different reasons both wont be in the sl much longer then

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The brand of rugby league is unjustifiably low, with negative connotations where any even exist. And the clubs and the governing bodies have completely failed to grow revenue at all. The two are linked, but any strategy has to work out how to make a step change in both.

Might a modest investment in opening up northern American and possibly French opportunities transform both image and income in the medium to long term future? Shuffling league structures, the same clubs playing each other over and over again and tinkering with rules won’t make any significant impact.

And the issue of grounds being sub standard should largely just be an issue insofar as it affects club revenue - which it does for many clubs, although do Salford make more money now as a tenant than they did in the Willows? - and brand, which night actually be enhanced with full atmospheric historic grounds.

There are a lot of challenges but there are also a lot of opportunities out there too with sporting globalisation and a change in how people watch sport. We need strong leadership rather than design by committee and I hope Elstone is the man to deliver this. His last days at Everton and his first days in SL haven’t inspired a lot of confidence, but it’s still early and there may yet be a grand plan being developed. 

Edited by Mushy
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54 minutes ago, Marauder said:

I can't see why there is so much fuss about grounds, I'd take the jungle over most of the new soulless grounds any day.

 

If Elston thinks the venues are why people are not interested in Super League.

He is just a suit and a lot of noise and not the real deal.

The game needs competent leaders and a fixed and interesting structure for a set period of time.

Money and effort putting aside to increase its market profile.

It would be nice if you could ask someone in any position of authority what they were going to do, they could just turn round and say "just run things properly, no sound bites, no politics, just get on with the job".

Saying we need need North America is the same as saying I am going to pay my mortgage of by winning the national lottery.

Its not going happen.  The USA is a  country that believes in isolationism.

That just suggests you have no ideas for fixing the game in the european market.  Its building without a solid foundation.

 

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21 minutes ago, TheLegendOfTexEvans said:

Saying we need need North America is the same as saying I am going to pay my mortgage of by winning the national lottery.

Its not going happen.  The USA is a  country that believes in isolationism.

A TV deal in NA would be massive, I’m not saying that in the next 10-20 years rl will become a huge sport in NA but look at Toronto and the crowds and coverage they get plus in the long term there is a chance to expand the player pool. 

However wr shouldn’t just focus on NA, there’s a lot to be done in this country that could improve the sport

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1 minute ago, Mr Plow said:

A TV deal in NA would be massive, I’m not saying that in the next 10-20 years rl will become a huge sport in NA but look at Toronto and the crowds and coverage they get plus in the long term there is a chance to expand the player pool. 

However wr shouldn’t just focus on NA, there’s a lot to be done in this country that could improve the sport

Just be realistic and have a 10-20 years plan for North America.

The short term should be about sorting out the UK and France.

 

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Just now, jpmc said:

For different reasons both wont be in the sl much longer then

Crowd sizers haven't really grown when clubs have moved into new grounds and the switch to summer also hasn't seen a massive increase and that's with all he razzle dazzle of summer rugby.

Wigan averaged 11,307 in 1995/96 and 11,708 in 2018

Leeds averaged 10,674 in 1995/96 and 12,807 in 2018

Saints average 7,459 in 1995/96 and 11,478 in 2018

All have been very successful in the super league period, then we look at the other end

Salford average 3,383 in 1994/95 and 2,748 in 2018

Hull KR average 8,906 in 1981/82 couldn’t find 1995/96 and 7,964 in 2018

Widnes average 5.982 in 1981/82 couldn’t find 1995/96 and 4,897 in 2018

None of the three mentioned  (HKR, Salford & Widnes) where in the championship (Top Division) and none played in new grounds but either now play in new or refurbished grounds.

Another example,  If you take Hull FC, they averaged 4,285 when finishing 15th in the 1994/95 season and 12,174 in 2018 finishing 8th but in the 1981/82 season they averaged 13,402, So I'd relate crowds sizes more to where you are in the league than a shiny new ground.

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7 minutes ago, TheLegendOfTexEvans said:

Just be realistic and have a 10-20 years plan for North America.

The short term should be about sorting out the UK and France.

 

Totally agree and I'd start with junior development.

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6 minutes ago, Marauder said:

Totally agree and I'd start with junior development.

Don't get me wrong on this I am not saying we ignore all opportunities in North America. 

I am just saying we don't use them as a Plan A for taking our sport forwards.

Plan A is fix everything that is fixable and undo the damage the RFL have done in the last 20 of years.

 

 

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1 hour ago, cookey said:

Unfortunately,same applies to Wakefield and Bradford before anyone mentions they should be back in SL.

Ive always loved the idea of doing up Odsal.  Obviously its not going to happen any time soon because of the cost but architecturally I don't think it would be that difficult. I would extend the bowl around to the block of flats to incorporate them into the ground, plus a small bowl of seating in front of them at the bottom to link up to the rest and really tie in the boxes.  Make it all seater, add a roof all the way around, flatten the pitch out, jazz up that dark concrete around the pitch with some bulls and sponsor logos and done.  Wouldn't be massive, probably about 20-25,000 capacity but it would be a great renovation.  Probably never gonna happen though unfortunately but its good to fantasise sometimes...

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1 minute ago, TheLegendOfTexEvans said:

Don't get me wrong on this I am not saying we ignore all opportunities in North America. 

I am just saying we don't use them as a Plan A for taking our sport forwards.

Plan A is fix everything that is fixable and undo the damage the RFL have done in the last 20 of years.

 

 

Yes, I knew what you meant and I still agree, my fear is the introduction of to many teams like Toronto in a short period will kill the game at the bottom, we simply don't have a playing pool strong enough or big enough to maintain what we have now, erosion at the bottom will see the top collapse.

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17 minutes ago, TheLegendOfTexEvans said:

Don't get me wrong on this I am not saying we ignore all opportunities in North America. 

I am just saying we don't use them as a Plan A for taking our sport forwards.

Plan A is fix everything that is fixable and undo the damage the RFL have done in the last 20 of years.

 

 

Undo the damage Super League (Europe) Ltd as done in the last 25 years as well. 

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43 minutes ago, Marauder said:

Totally agree and I'd start with junior development.

I think he alludes to that with his mention of clubs and community development.

Bit of a sweeping statement, but still relative to what’s going on, on that front.  That said, kids could do with more headliners to idol, so increasing profile at either end of the spectrum ain’t all bad.

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39 minutes ago, TheLegendOfTexEvans said:

Don't get me wrong on this I am not saying we ignore all opportunities in North America. 

I am just saying we don't use them as a Plan A for taking our sport forwards.

Plan A is fix everything that is fixable and undo the damage the RFL have done in the last 20 of years.

 

 

I don’t really see his comments on just NA Tex.  Weve certainly a lot to learn from the efforts of TWP, which Argyle covered recently.

When we talk about Plans, we’ve had one for some time - the RFL Strategic Plan.  He might just let that carry on as it is and create something completely different with bigger aspirations.  I’d welcome that.

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47 minutes ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

Ive always loved the idea of doing up Odsal.  Obviously its not going to happen any time soon because of the cost but architecturally I don't think it would be that difficult. I would extend the bowl around to the block of flats to incorporate them into the ground, plus a small bowl of seating in front of them at the bottom to link up to the rest and really tie in the boxes.  Make it all seater, add a roof all the way around, flatten the pitch out, jazz up that dark concrete around the pitch with some bulls and sponsor logos and done.  Wouldn't be massive, probably about 20-25,000 capacity but it would be a great renovation.  Probably never gonna happen though unfortunately but its good to fantasise sometimes...

The easiest thing to improve Odsal would be to ignore the existing bowl and build an entirely new stadium within the crater.

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2 hours ago, cookey said:

The image/perception of The Jungle to neutrals/sponsors/tv viewers is disasterous.Fine for those happy to project a 1960's working class game,useless for anybody wanting to take the game forward.

I genuinely think this is not the case. Belle Vue less so but I think the Jungle when even two thirds full portrays a game which is authentic and passionately supported. The broadcasters no doubt would rather have modern facilities with which to work but from an image point of view the rows of empty seats at Huddersfield, Wigan, Salford, Widnes and now Saints are much more damaging, especially the big clubs in big games.

I believe that stadia yes should ideally be modern but more importantly they should be appropriate to the clubs concerned in terms of size, ownership and facilities. Newer stadia will usually help generate better income so that is positive for the clubs but from a wider game perspective they need to be or appear mostly full if the face the game shows to the world is going to be improved.

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10 minutes ago, M j M said:

I genuinely think this is not the case. Belle Vue less so but I think the Jungle when even two thirds full portrays a game which is authentic and passionately supported. The broadcasters no doubt would rather have modern facilities with which to work but from an image point of view the rows of empty seats at Huddersfield, Wigan, Salford, Widnes and now Saints are much more damaging, especially the big clubs in big games.

I believe that stadia yes should ideally be modern but more importantly they should be appropriate to the clubs concerned in terms of size, ownership and facilities. Newer stadia will usually help generate better income so that is positive for the clubs but from a wider game perspective they need to be or appear mostly full if the face the game shows to the world is going to be improved.

But the reality is new stadia means less income. 

Most clubs don't own the assets and this leads to clubs losing money.

Wigan's loss of central park means they now need to plug the gaps with a bigger share of the TV deal.

 

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11 minutes ago, TheLegendOfTexEvans said:

But the reality is new stadia means less income. 

Most clubs don't own the assets and this leads to clubs losing money.

Wigan's loss of central park means they now need to plug the gaps with a bigger share of the TV deal.

Yes well the biggest lesson is that clubs shouldn't have got themselves into a position where they don't own their grounds or are stuck in poor arrangements with unfriendly landlords.

I think this only applies to two or three clubs though? Fortunately Cas will have full control of their new ground so whilst there is some risk in the move will be best placed to exploit increased revenues.

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