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  1. 15 points
    Not official yet but according to posters on the French forum Catalan's viewing figures on the station thus far have been. 200,000 for the live games against Saints and 442,000 for the game against Castleford. Both good audiences if this is the case and the Cas one especially when you consider it was recorded. Imagine if both TO and Cats were on L'Equipe. Can the French posters verify those figures and also tell us what impact the coverage has had locally?
  2. 15 points
    Haven't posted before and am a soft southerner with an RU background so please be gentle! I watch and support both codes and look at it in a completely different way from Jampot so I'll try to summarize: RL is a great sport but let down by various groups within it 1. really poor administrators and strategists 2. the sky commentators have for many years done the sport a disservice - you only have to compare with the NRL to see how amateurish they are and not likely to bring in many new fans outside the heartlands 3. because of the managed decline of the sport, it has left itself open to chancers - I don't blame Argyll for the mess [I do blame him for walking away] but the constant thread through this is Perez. Does he actually have any real experience/cash or is he just a golden tongued charmer, selling a dream of riches to various gullible folks? I suspect, when the book is written on this debacle, it will be Perez who looms large. And he is still doing it - a transatlantic club in League 1/Championship with potentially no central funding - if you thought Toronto was expensive, relative to income.......... There is hope though - let's just put expansion on the back burner for a while and deal with what we have * the new laws have made the game so much better to watch - RU has a lot of catching up to do * the proliferation of new sports channels mean they are all light on content, particularly live content * the NRL has shown what can be done with far sighted administrators and supportive media partners Sorry for taking up so much space - hopefully today's news on the positive tests doesn't ruin the rest of the season
  3. 11 points
    Since it’s return I’ve been absolutely overjoyed at the skill level and entertainment it has provided. I was worried that mistakes would be high and intensity would be lacking but it hasn’t been the case for me. Positivity alert: we’ve got a cracking sport and a cracking product on our shores.
  4. 11 points
    I think its sad that Toronto may not survive. Looking from outside SL was in a slow death spiral pre COVID, and only something bold could make a difference. The way Toronto went about things was always a 'hail mary' play hoping to catch on in Canada and get some serious cash involved to move forward. It may even have worked without COVID. Unless you get Bill Gates interested there's probably no other way to do it. The most laughable criticism is that Toronto should have focused on development or even started a Canadian league. SL is utterly dependent on Aussies/Kiwis to have maybe half a dozen sides of any quality. The Melbourne Storm - hugely successful for over a decade - have produced virtually no Victorian players. Its a pipedream and utterly unfair to expect an overseas side to do something member clubs are clearly hopeless at.
  5. 11 points
    For me, this is one of the biggest problems Rugby League has. The tendency to relentlessly talk itself down. The Championship is a fantastic competition in its own right. Can't we talk it up, up, up, just for a change!!? Compared to the 'old' second division, in the days before Super League existed, it is of a completely different class. League 1, as well. My club was in it for a season qite recently, I watched every game, home and away, and it was one of the most enjoyable periods of watching Rugby League I have ever had, at any level. Sure, it wasn't Super League, but there are only ever going to be 12 or so clubs in that, and we've tried every imaginable combination for the clubs outside it already. Haven't we all learned yet, there is no Holy Grail, the perfect structure that suits every club and every fan and makes financial problems disappear as if by magic does not exist. We need to make the best of what we've got, and to be positive about it, and never again refer to these competitons as 'sub-standard' when they are not.
  6. 10 points
    But a 50,000 increase on the peak is significant (which is what they mean, it is just really badly worded) as is a 16% increase on the rolling average when the average for 2019 was just over 150K per game (and that was an increase on 2018). It shows a pretty significant turnaround to where we were at in the age of Super 8s. Doing the maths, we would be tracking around the 180K per game as the average on Sky so far and enjoying peaks up above the 400K mark. As for L'Equipe, if those figures are legitimate, if I was Rob Elstone, I'd be on the phone to them and be saying "what do we have to give you so you keep broadcasting SL for the rest of the year?" Sure they're not paying and they're reluctant to even cover broadcast costs, but if SL can guarantee a regular 200K-400K every week in France, even if they have to fork out a bit of cash from their pockets, they will get sponsors from that market, and they will eventually get someone who is prepared to pay for those rights.
  7. 10 points
    ...and also RL in the headlines for good reasons: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-53680384/keith-mason-and-fiance-go-viral-after-inspirational-posts
  8. 10 points
    The RFL needs to do 3 things immediately :- 1. Pay the players what they are owed from Toronto, whether thats directly or via the Benevolent Fund 2. Terminate their contracts with Toronto with immediate effect and make them free agents and salary cap exempt for the rest of this season (as they did with Celtic Crusaders players) so they can resume playing elsewhere. 3. Launch legal action against Argyle for repayment of the costs under the Personal Guarantee he signed and lodged with the RFL when Toronto were first admitted.
  9. 10 points
    Yes, it's entirely the fault of everyone except the Toronto management...
  10. 10 points
    Are you sure you’re a rugby league fan as I could detect zero level of moaning in your post!
  11. 9 points
    Its hardly the fall of Rome is it?
  12. 9 points
    I think the big elephant in the room is that Elstone doesn't seem to actually have that much power. It looks as if he has free reign to do stuff like branding and persentation, and there have undoubtedly been improvements there. But on key issues such as operational strategy, format, structure, the "product" and on the situation with Toronto, it appears as if he is rendered completely impotent by the clubs, all of whom have voted in their own self-interest. Super League didn't need a Creative Director, a Branding Manager or a Sales Director - it needed a CEO who understand who could lead the competition to commercial growth. It's all well and good the shop window looking great, but it's wasted if there is a chaotic mess behind the front door. On the TW issue specifically, it's no secret that certain club owners have seen Toronto as the unwanted step child of Super League. I stand by my comments on the TW thread that the Wolfpack threatened to be a tall poppy and certain individuals would have stopped at nothing to cut it down. Even if Elstone wanted to do something, I really question whether he would have been enabled to. The sport is crying out for "disruption" - for something to get it out of a commercial malaise, and Elstone should be empowered to facilitate that disruption. The problem is that the clubs themselves will do anything to resist that disruption - presumably because they're frightened that it just might work.
  13. 9 points
    He'll be Senior Paulo by the time he gets out.
  14. 9 points
    Not dead yet, it seems. https://www.torontowolfpack.com/toronto-wolfpack-ownership-update-august-7-2020/
  15. 8 points
    If Hull forfeit their next fixture 18-0 it could be seen as an improvement on recent form.
  16. 8 points
    A very long winded post to say that it's fine for David Argyle as a man and Toronto Wolfpack as a club to walk away from their obligations to the people who actually play the sport because, well, life's tough get over it. The ability of some supposed fans to show slavish devotion to the money men but contempt for actual sports people is always quite impressive.
  17. 8 points
    He's choosing not to pay players who are under contract to him. For three months and counting. I don't care whether that's Toronto or the Hastings Mighty Love Gods, someone who chooses to do that should not be welcome anywhere near our game.
  18. 8 points
    Don’t bother explaining mate, some people just don’t understand that billionaires don’t have a billion in their current account, or that they shouldn’t have to spend it if they choose not to.
  19. 8 points
  20. 8 points
    Nobody will hold it against SL if players don't get paid. They will rightly hold it against TWP, their employer.
  21. 8 points
    I think the exact opposite of all this ! Vossy is the best . I love his style , his enthusiasm , his love and knowledge of the game at all levels . It’s great how he ups the English game and can talk about the championship , league one and amateur game even . No one else there gives us a sniff . He’s the best advocate of the game on telly . I’d throw owt to get him if I were sky , but generally he just makes the game even better with his comms . They’re light years ahead in commentary professionalism and delivery . Bill Baz Tez ‘ he’s a good player ... tuck it under his wing ‘ do the exact opposite . We may not have their profile or resources but they can find a few guys who can be better than that
  22. 7 points
    So in essence, they lost their opening games on high wages so they shouldn't whinge about not getting paid for three months???? Jesus H Arkwright, that takes the garibaldi
  23. 7 points
    I'm not so certain that would be best. Most successful leagues are based on a local/regional core that added to that core - NHL from Eastern Canada/Northeast US, NRL from the NSWRL, AFL from the VFL, NFL from Ohio/PA leagues. Rugby does give us two example of "equal" members in multiple countries without a defined core, the Pro 14 and Super Rugby. One was very successful but now appears to be collapsing, and one is fairly successful overall but appears to be in danger of taking on the same problems as SR by adding the SA teams. To me there is a pretty obvious way to accomplish what you're suggesting while keeping most (not all) people happy. Expand Super league with defined slots per country, and let each country allot them as they see fit. So England can have their 12 spots, and keep P/R, with the bottom English team being replaced by the top Championship team. Canada and France can have two spots each and give them to Toronto, Ottawa, Catalans, and Toulouse. If they do this now, England actually gains two spots (Catalans and Toronto). It will be on the historical record that the "foreign" slots are in addition - no bitching about an English team going down from 12th place out of 16, it's clear and obvious that the four extra spots are "bonus" spots that wouldn't exist if not for the foreign clubs. It will greatly increase the likelihood of broadcasting deal in Canada in France, since they have a guaranteed 2 spots and a local derby. All TV money present and future divided equally. Travel for all teams comes out of that pool before splitting. Nobody is disadvantaged by location (why this blindingly obvious solution isn't already in place I don't know). Get airline agreements done at the league level. Given the locations of the teams and possible future teams in USA, the rest of UK/Ireland, and Spain seeming mostly likely, call it the Atlantic Super League or Atlantic Rugby League if a rebrand is necessary.
  24. 7 points
  25. 7 points
    There were a minority who just rubbished the whole thing, however most i saw were just voicing legitimate concerns. After all, the issues around TWP were around long before Covid-19 struck. From the late payments of transfer fees for MCB, Westerman, GOB and Springer, to the ultimately never paid £100k investment into London Skolars that was promised, to later wage payments on multiple occasions blamed on admin errors and Reni Maitua going public on visa concerns after he left. All these were dismissed in a way they wouldn't for any of the member clubs because on the opposite side of the coin to the resolute anti expansion lot are a group that places so much hope in expansion teams being the secret to world domination they are willing to overlook almost any legitimate concerns or criticism. Both sides are just as bad as each other and equally damaging to the game. The best way to maintain any real balance, in my opinion, is before reacting to these kinds of stories, consider what would be your reaction if it was a rival club, then your own and try to find the answer in between. Toronto Wolfpack did have a huge amount of promise and did some unprecedented work in marketing the game to a new market that everyone in RL should be learning from, however behind the scenes it's been a mess from pretty much day 1. Alarm bells should've been ringing the minute Brian Noble and Martin Vickers were given senior positions as both have horrendous track records and should be nowhere near the running of an RL club.
  26. 7 points
  27. 7 points
    Others had already corrected you on this, but to add... Cumberland clubs Millom and Haverigg switched in 1896-97 alongside the Furness clubs with which they were more geographically aligned. The west Cumberland clubs started to move to the Northern Union from March/April 1898, with Workington, Wath Brow and Maryport being the first. In September 1898 Workington and Maryport joined the NWL alongside Askam, Barrow 'A', Dalton, Lancaster 'A', Millom and Ulverston. In 1899 the Cumberland Senior League began, underpinned by a Junior league, and for a few years, an Intermediate competition. At one point in the mid 00s there were approximately forty clubs in the county. By the summer of 1909 it was down to only three! Chronic mismanagement being the main cause. This is the full list of clubs that played in the Cumberland Senior League prior to WW1, plus their years in the Junior league. * DNF the season Clubs came and went. Brookland Rovers were the only club to participate in all fifteen seasons. Some clubs paid 'Broken Time'. Aspatria were, in effect, three different clubs. Seaton were two. Neither Workington nor Whitehaven have any connection with the current pro clubs. History Lesson endeth!!! Senior Junior Aspatria 1900-02, 1904-06, 1912-14 1902-03 Barrow 'A' 1908-09 Barrow St George 1908-09 Brookland Rovers 1899-1900, 1902-14 1900-02 Broughton Moor 1909-14 1900-07 Broughton Red Rose 1912-13 1913-14 Cleator 1902-04 1899-1902, 1906-08 Cleator Moor Athletic 1905-06, 1907-08 1906-07 Crosby United 1909-12* Dearham Rangers 1911-13 Dearham United 1909-14 Egremont 1902-07*, 1908-11* 1900-02 Flimby 1902-03 1900-02 Fothergill United 1909-13 1900-05 Glasson Rangers 1912-13 Harrington 1907-08 1902-07 Hensingham 1902-03 1900-02 Highmoor Rovers 1902-04, 1907-09 1900-02, 1904-07 Kells United 1903-04 1902-03 Maryport 1899-1907, 1909-11 Millom 1906-10* Parton 1901-06, 1908-09 1899-1901 Penrith United 1900-02 Seaton 1899-1905, 1911-14 Wath Brow 1899-1906* 1906-07 Whitehaven 1899-1900* Whitehaven Recreation 1899-1909, 1911-12 Workington 1899-1909
  28. 7 points
    After all the years of bile for pointing things out regarding the type of people involved and things that just dont ring true. This thread is now very funny to read.
  29. 7 points
    Nah, Wilkin was right. His insight into how the game is actually played and fronting up when players make stupid plays has really shown up the cliches and banalities of the Sky regulars.
  30. 7 points
    It's an interesting point, take away income and teams fold. It is an odd thing to throw about when we have seen a flavour of that happen and the one that collapsed was the one with the billionaire backer. A bit more humility wouldn't go amiss.
  31. 7 points
    Well after 5 months of unemployment it looks like I’m returning to the big city. Commuting in a mask will be fun, but I’m lucky to be going back To a job, as many are losing theirs.
  32. 6 points
    OK, it’s largely about the NRL but it’s probably the finest (and definitely the longest) magazine article about the game I’ve ever read. Excellent. https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2020/august/1596204000/lech-blaine/art-class-war#mtr
  33. 6 points
    To some, sure. But out of say 10000 regular Wolfpack fans (the specific numbers aren't terribly critical to making my point): If we suppose, as many do, that roughly half of them are "here for the beer" i.e. a social outdoor event with friends at a convenient location, or just your casual sports fan who will watch anything - will a slight change of code on the field matter that much? If they can continue their habit of spending sunny afternoons at Lamport, would they stop? How many would care that much, 500 out of a supposed 5000? Say a quarter of our 10k were existing union fans, players/former players/their friends + families in the Ontario amateur scene, expats, etc. This is probably the "overlap" crowd, i.e. the 2500 strong "base" supporting potentially both the Arrows and the Wolfpack. How many of those do you think would prefer league so strongly that they would not go / no longer go to the Arrows one TWP is no longer an optio.? Obviously a few as commented above, but I'd say less than 10%, call it 5%. Then again, not really an area of growth for the Arrows since they already have most of these people. And our last quarter is the true opportunity lost for rugby league, is the sports fan who, previously unexposed to any form of rugby, saw the Wolfpack as their first introduction to rugby and fell in love with rugby league. These are the people who will have RL as their benchmark when watching RU, and may find that they don't like the different pace of play or the often unclear breakdown. This is the largest chunk of people who may not bother with switching then, but I'd suggest that if they were open minded enough to adopt a new "foreign" sport when a new team came around, and they really enjoyed their experience, then they may be open minded to following a similar (if not quite as appealing to them) version of the sport, at the same location with a similar game day experience. I'd say that at least 1/3 to 1/2 would be open to that switch. The team is only 4 years old, most people won't be THAT diehard. So I'd put it at 500 + 125 + 1675 = 2300 who would find RU so unappealing as to turn them off of the rest of the Lamport experience. And I assumed that 2500 were already union/Arrows fans. That still leaves 5,200 possible fans that will be looking for something else that the Arrows can provide. It is a big opportunity for them. They key will be finding a classy way to reach out once TWP is dead (and it isn't yet, let's not forget that!) and say "Hey, if you still want to watch rugby at Lamport, we're here". Maybe a discount to former TWP STHs? The crux of everything I've said is that there is far, far, more to a successful sports team than the specific version of chase-a-ball-around-a-field. Marketing, game day experience, fan culture, community outreach, visibility, all play very large parts. In fact, in Toronto, the biggest hurdle by far is not the code, or even the location. It's being perceived as "major league", i.e. big enough to be taken seriously. In sports especially, Toronto loves to be among the best, to the point of excluding the rest of Canada. Soccer tried and failed many times, and was seen as the game for girls/sissies/European immigrants. But when big-time, big money MLSE (Maple Leafs, Raptors, Toronto Rock Lacrosse, minor league hockey) bought into the "major league", big American MLS, it became one of the most successful franchises in that league. Proving the sport didn't matter so much as the big league credibility and right kind of marketing. Toronto continually looks down on and fails to support the Argos while the NFL increases in popularity - The Argos play at the same field as TFC, so it's not location, it Toronto's desire for the big-time, and turning it's nose up at anything "second rate". Instead of enjoying our game for it's different rules and field and history (much of Canadian football's history came about from various Toronto clubs and U of T), because the American's do it different that must be the better way. They're to big and too important to play against Saskatchewan and Hamilton, they want to compete with New York and Boston. In fact, despite it's reputation as a hockey town, Toronto is actually notoriously bad at supporting junior hockey. That's something that small towns do, not Toronto. Their AHL farm team (senior men) the Marlies get ~6k attendance (13th out of 31 teams in the league), largely because the NHL is so expensive that many families can not attend, so instead go the affordable option with a few rising or rehabbing stars. That attendance number is beaten by 2 or 3 OHL junior teams every year, in cities a fraction the size of TO. Several OHL or previous junior leagues had Toronto teams drop out or move. So a big part of TWP's attraction was the double whammy of playing in England (instant credibility - we play with the best on the American leagues in American sports, now we play with the best in England in an English sport) AND the big-money,big-time professional appearance of having a very rich owner like David Argyle. Spare no expense, millions upon millions of dollars operations is the expectation for a sports team, not nickel-and-diming over sandwiches and coach bus costs. And while they didn't go straight into Super League, the path was clear, and by having or at least attempting to have a Super League calibre team from the get-go provided that perception that they would be in the the big league very shortly. "Build slowly" as the mantra on here would not work with that. They could overcome the perception being in a "minor league" with teams getting attendance in the 100's, with the combination of playing in England and being a multi-million dollar operation, but only for a short time. Fake it till you make it. The "big league" perception is a WAY bigger challenge for the Arrows than any quibbles over what oval-ball rules they play by. Right now MLR exists somewhere in the Major League Lacrosse, Arena Football, WNBA, USL soccer, minor league baseball realm. All of these teams can have decent fan bases, make a bit of money, have some games on a secondary sport channel etc. But they never have their scores on the TSN or ESPN ticker, they don't get included in the results-roundup on sports radio, and might get a once a year highlight on TV with a miracle play or a championship win. The MLR is following the MLS's approach so closely because MLS is the only league that has managed to make that step to "major" league status. So petty English code rivalries are the least of anyone's worries here.
  34. 6 points
    I agree. My rugby exposure started with union in school (I was a hooker), and I only learned about the existence of RL while travelling in Australia in 2014. Now I find League by far the better game. I have watched parts of a few Arrows games on TV, but I get bored watching the ruck push their way over the goal line. Good luck to the Arrows, but if the Wolfpack can't be rescued, I won't be going to Arrows games.
  35. 6 points
    It can be hard to admit you were wrong about a person. Argyle has been defended left right and centre, from the racism incident, to broken promises, to incompetent running of an RL club, it is difficult for some people to now admit that he was a problem. If TWP survive in any form, they may be better off without him.
  36. 6 points
    Have Featherstone put out a statement saying they’re looking into taking Hull FC place in SL yet?
  37. 6 points
    Well, we're looking forward to next year, whatever form the league takes. Made our first signing for 2021 today. http://northwalescrusaders.com/news/gav-rodden-on-board-for-2021/ I don't mind if it goes to conferences, so long as League 1 has a viable future.
  38. 6 points
    I think one of the biggest alarm bells for me was when they cutbthe broadcasting of those handful of games last year, breaking yet another commitment of theirs, this one being that all games would be broadcast. It is interesting to hear people who criticise the current TV deal as it stopped TWP getting every game on TV (and their argument was this is an absolute must in NA), also defended TWPs decision at that time. This was apparently to save a billionaire a few thousand. Of course the narrative came up that Sky would only show it on red button, before they confirmed that wasn't the case. Then these apparent showpiece games around Europe to launch TWP in SL became a cheap game in Leeds and a miserable one in Warrington. Just those things alone really should set off those klaxons.
  39. 6 points
    In signing that PG I'm sure Argyle is well aware that he can throw more cash at legal bills than the RFL can afford. It will go nowhere - the RFL did the right thing, they asked a billionaire (does anyone actually know how much money this chancer has or is he a "billionaire" in the same way people said Marwan Koukash was? Not bad-mouthing MK but he's clearly not a billionaire and his own ego-trip is neatly manifested in the club mascot introduced during his time at Salford) to provide a personal guarantee that players would be paid if things went wrong. He is a dishonourable disgrace for leaving players unpaid for three months. The RFL should NOT be paying three months wages to the likes of SBW. Maybe small hardship contributions but certainly not full wages - we can't afford it and shouldn't do it even if we could. It literally couldn't have been any more apparent that this was an ego trip built almost entirely with hot air - people were so desperate for it to be true (publically listed global sporting megabrand based in the UK Super League - do me a favour) that they ignored or worse still shouted down people who pointed out the blindingly obvious.
  40. 6 points
    Toronto rugby fans will turn their attention to the Arrows now. RL blows up their beachhead in North America and just hands it over to RU. The shortsighted stupidity of RL and flat-out greed of SL owners boggles the mind... I would far sooner watch RL than RU, but if that's the only rugby I'm going to get that's what I'll take.
  41. 6 points
    The big positives for me The 6-Again rule seems to have dramatically cut down the amount of delaying tactics at the play-the-ball Salford & Sts in particular have shown an extremely high & inordinate level of skill Ian Watson proving once again that a quality coach can get average to good players to play great high level superbly skilled Rugby League Hull KR are trying their best to get away from the scripted attacking play we’ve seen all teams use over the last few years, it’s refreshing if not yet successful. The time that the ball is in play has increased by around 15% making the game better to watch and more value for money The refereeing has been very good throughout
  42. 6 points
  43. 6 points
    Cricket, you beautiful bustard
  44. 6 points
    Tom Burgess hasn't just looked good in patches this year, he has been the dominant prop on the pitch in pretty much every game he has played. He has also made 9 errors in 13 games which is exactly the same as Elliot Whitehead who nobody would even come close to suggesting is 'clumsy' with the ball in his hands. It's time to stop judging people on lazy stereotypes and actually looking at their performances.
  45. 6 points
    If someone was looking for a tax write off scheme there are many, many easier ways of doing it. Why not find some generosity in your soul and say that they gave it a decent shot but, for a host of reasons, failed.
  46. 6 points
    Expecting Toronto to succeed was always hope over experience. This article from Brian Noble from the 18 March 2020 in the Independent is very interesting. “I still genuinely think that the Wolfpack was set up to fail,” he said. “Ralph Rimmer wasn’t the RFL CEO when he made the comment on our acceptance that ‘this is the harshest deal I’ve ever seen’. “He was in a position to change it – a fact I kept reminding him – but there was no will to do something and still isn’t. Maybe that’s because I’m as myopic as all the other clubs with the individual challenges they face. “But I’m an expansionist too, and you have to give things help to be successful, I don’t care what anyone says. “The club isn’t seeking favours, just not to be disadvantaged. “The extreme of that is if it is perceived to have failed, they get relegated from Super League after one season and the ownership group pulls out, what does that say about the sport? “Are we done with expansion? Is that it then? Is bringing in Ottawa just lipservice? Is there any policy? “ “I could stomach all of it if there were different, known, criteria as you progress through each level – and not just for new teams. There isn’t any of that. “All the clubs in each division have a say and, if you become a threat, there’s a fear factor in what you’re potentially achieving and you hit a lot of brick walls. “I just hope that if the Wolfpack was to fail, it wasn’t as a result of restrictions placed on the club that no-one else has had to deal with. “There are no more difficulties than at any club I’ve been part of, just twice the logistics with two bases and one massive difference – they’ve not taken one penny of central distribution to help out with all that. “It’s wrong, anti-competitive and discriminatory.”
  47. 6 points
    Kayakman advised "fearing the pack"! I do feel for those who took to the game, vanity project or not. Its fans like me n thee that will feel it.
  48. 6 points
    I consider myself a true RL fan. Therefore, I would attend but moan about the fact I didn’t get a COVID discount. Of course, there are benefits to getting COVID as a Warrington fan. If you catch it at the play-off semi-final you have to self-isolate and not see the inevitable loss in the Grand Final. Every cloud ‘n’ all....
  49. 6 points
    We had this conversation on the last thread. Of course we are allowed to ask but I don't think we should ask. For the last 125 years players have come onto a pitch and then started to play a game. Now we have a situation where players and officials are kneeling to demonstrate their support for a cause. In this conversation it can be any cause - whether we support that cause or not. A player has decided not to participate. Why should we ask him why? I didn't join any of the BLM marches and nobody asked me why. And it definitely wasn't because I don't support the cause. And I don't buy this idea that he is in the public eye and so he is fair game. The sport changed around him, he didn't suddenly decide to do something different or new. Unlike his social media posts where it was entirely legitimate to challenge him, here he is simply exercising a personal choice. He is not deciding to do anything and he is not changing his behaviour or actions... he is simply doing what he has always done. If he decides that he wants to share his reasons then fine - he can, and if we don't like them so we can challenge them. Until that point it is private. Just because we can ask him to explain himself doesn't mean we should.
  50. 6 points
    And the reason the sport can't support them properly is because we are chronically cash-poor which is caused and undoubtedly exacerbated by our almost exclusive location in deprived post-industrial towns across Yorkshire and Lancashire.


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