That's a very interesting analysis thank you Adeybull. At the height of Courarmania Keighley averaged 4,781 fans. Sadly the business was heavily in debt.
Ironic that isn't it that at the height of their attraction as a club they were at the financial depths.
I don't know where these fans came from but I guess many were from keighley, dormant supporters willing to follow their local side on condition that local side is winning games heading for Superleague, and that the local side gets in Superleague and competes.
But 5,000 fans wasn't enough to pay the bills just as it won't pay the bills at Salford, nor will 6,000 pay the bills at Widnes and 7,000 won't pay the bills at Fartown, Cas or HKR.
The reality may well be most Keighley born and bred people will watch keighley in SL but not Bradford. I'm sure that thousands of HKR fans will watch HKR in Superleague but never Hull. These local rivalries were great for the old semi pro game but they work against us now.
Will these rivalries ever subside? They have in Leeds, and IMHO people in south Leeds attend Headingley in numbers.
Well, you have completely changed tack from the Bulls supposed support in Keighley to the failures of the Cougars. two completely different subjects.
Since you have steered the thread there and I will once again give a synopsis of the Cougars demise and destruction.
There are two facets to this.
1. Keighley embarked on a risky strategy of risking all for the ultimate prize and rewards associated with it of promotion to SL. If it failed they would have paid the price that they did, bankruptcy and almost extinction.
The sad part of it is that this strategy suceeded and they won their promotion off the field but were denied it off the field by two sets of goal post moving by the SL cabal, who wanted no part of them. The first was the ground requirements and the second was the abolition of p and r halfway through the season ( THATS HALFWAY THROUGH ) when the expectation and promise at the beginning of the season was that p and r was in place.
2. The second part of this is that once promotion was denied ( even though it was re instated once they got rid of Keighley) was that the loss of Sky money, loss of revenue from increased crowds from SL fixtures and the wirthdrawal of rumoured investors all combined to create the conditions whereby the risky outcome of failing to win promotion came to pass.
To return to the subject of the thread, namely the catchment areas and geographical proximity of teams being an impediment to progress.
Keighley, as you say were averaging 4,700 in the second tier. They would have increased that number in SL and further marketing ( and don't forget they were masters of marketing) would have extended their reach to the hinterlands to the north of Keighley up the aire valley.
Now all those spectators, bar the 700 hardy souls who still support the Cougars, have been lost to RL. They have not transferred their allegiance to the Bulls, trust me on that.
This was the price the wider game in general and the Cougars paid in particular paid for the lack of ambition and goal post moving excercises of the ruling initial SL cabal.
The 10,000 average for survival in SL is a bridge too far for most of the clubs and is tilting at windmills. The league needs to be restructured to allow survival in the 7,000 range. The elite few who do achieve the holy grail of 10,000 can contribute to a revenue sharing scheme if they can't find anything to spend their money on.
Such a restructuring would eliminate the proximity problem for the most part and would allow more clubs to compete in SL from the lower tiers and help diversify the SL product, something that is needed to prevent stagnation and regression. A successful Keighley or Barrow or Doncaster or Sheffield would improve the reach and attractiveness of the league immeasureably.