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Martyn Sadler

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Everything posted by Martyn Sadler

  1. I'm sure I would have found it very interesting and there's a part of me that would really have liked to do it. But to spend at least two weeks away from LPL at a very busy time would have been quite difficult, so on balance I'm glad I don't have to do it. But then again I'll never know what I'm missing.
  2. A few minutes ago I was telephoned by a Court official who told me that they had more jurors due to attend than they could fit in the courthouse, so they have now decided that I can be excused, although I will still be recorded as having done jury service. She was very apologetic about it, thinking that I would be upset. To her surprise, I thanked her profusely. Many thanks to everyone on here who responded to my original and subsequent posts. Despite the fact that I won't now be doing jury service, the comments on this thread were very interesting. I'm sure the next member of the forum who gets called up for jury service will find them very useful.
  3. Channel 4 has done a fine job with the Paralympics, so it's not much of a stretch to imagine them covering Wheelchair Rugby League. But in the first instance let's concentrate on them doing a good job for Super League.
  4. Having just spoken to Channel 4's Head of Sport I can confirm that it will be.
  5. Thanks for all the responses. Having never done this before I'm almost totally ignorant of how the system works and I haven't yet had time to read the material that has been sent to me. One other question, though. Does the defence have the right to question the jurors proposed for their case and/or object to individual jurors?
  6. I'll be speaking to Channel 4's Head of Sport later today. Any questions for him that haven't been answered already? What I know already is that Channel 4 will screen live games from the first two rounds of the competition and then they will screen one game each month until the playoffs, when they will then show two more games, which could be simulcast with Sky Sports (although that is not yet certain). On the weekends when they are showing games, Sky will get the first pick, but Channel 4 will get the second pick of matches. And the deal has a commercial value to Super League, although I'm not sure yet what the amount payable will be. Given the value of this deal to Super League, I would be surprised if it was a big deal, but you never know.
  7. There will be a highlights package, but as yet I understand that no final decision has been taken on which broadcaster will have the rights to it.
  8. I don't know whether I can claim any credit for this, but in July I had a letter published by the Yorkshire Post criticising Channel 4 for not covering Rugby League, given that its HQ had moved to Leeds. Did it have any effect? I certainly hoped it would do. I'll be speaking to Pete Andrews, the Head of Sport at Channel 4, a little later.
  9. For those of you who have done it, how does the jury elect its chairman, or chairwoman?
  10. I've been selected for jury service for two weeks from next week. I had thought I would get through life without ever having to undertake this civic duty, but unfortunately that isn't so. So how many people on here have done it already and do you have some advice? I'm not quite sure what to expect or even whether I'll be selected to hear any cases. I assume I should take something to read.
  11. We have a full interview with Rob Butland, the commercial director of the Cornwall club, in the new issue of League Express. I would advise everyone to check it out.
  12. It's a complex debate, but one of the differences between now and the era in which Martin Offiah played is that players today are so much less accessible. Whereas when we began League Express in 1990 it was incredibly easy to make contact with players, and most clubs helped us to do so. But nowadays clubs often actively try to prevent the media from speaking to players, other than in highly controlled circumstances. When Martin played I had his number and the numbers of most other leading players and I could phone them at any time. Now, however, the clubs discourage players from talking to the media without their permission, so the national media turn elsewhere. I'm sure that football and other sports exert the same degree of control over their players, but because they are more prominent they know that the media will always feed off the crumbs they throw them. The problem for Rugby League is that there is no compensating focus on actively trying to raise the profile of our leading players.
  13. Thanks for asking. We are looking into it. We'll let you know as soon as we know. We're looking to make them a regular feature, so it would certainly make sense to do that.
  14. https://www.totalrl.com/league-express-zoomcast-previews-this-weeks-test-match-in-perpignan/
  15. I was talking primarily about players at the top of the professional game, particularly in Australia in the context of Sam Burgess' problems. At different levels of the game it would be surprising if players didn't share material on WhatsApp and other platforms, but we can only speculate on how widespread it is.
  16. Unless you have a unique degree of access to "any club changing rooms" or to the WhatsApp groups of numerous playing squads, I'm not sure how you can make this claim. Certainly in Australia, any activity of that kind is likely to end up in the media, which of course then gives the impression that such behaviour is much more widespread than it really is. I suspect that such behaviour is far less ubiquitous than it was in the days before social media became so dominant if for no other reason that these days you are far more likely to be exposed.
  17. Reading the reporting of the case it's very difficult to know with any certainty what happened in Sam's marriage or whether there was indeed a campaign against him by his wife and father-in-law. All I'll say is that if Sam did genuinely abuse his wife, then he deserves to have the book thrown at him. But if he didn't and the allegations were exaggerated, then he deserves our sympathy. The fact that the police say they will not bring a prosecution tends towards the latter, rather than the former. So it's interesting to see in The Australian newspaper today, posted about an hour ago, another interview with Phoebe in which she continues to attack Sam and the NRL more generally. “Thousands of women have contacted me with their own stories of feeling afraid in their own home and silenced by a culture which puts women and children last,” Ms Burgess said. “I am not surprised police feel unable to proceed to prosecution, and to be honest I feel some relief that my family’s trauma will not now be the subject of a criminal trial. I never approached police – they came to me after The Australian’s reporting and I simply told the truth. Nothing about my life or my story has changed. I look forward to the day the National Rugby League takes action to clean up this game, which has become the punchline of every terrible joke about sexism, violence and cover-ups." A few observations on this. To start with, although Phoebe may indeed have received some communications from other women, I rather doubt that "thousands" did so. That shows a tendency towards exaggeration. The NRL, for all its undoubted faults, certainly doesn't put women and children last as far as I can see. It tries to be inclusive with players' families. Inevitably there may be some individual cases of players mistreating women, but that can hardly be blamed on the NRL. Unfortunately it is a wider societal problem. When she refers to The Australian's reporting, as far as I'm aware its reporting consisted of publishing a dossier that she and her father had prepared. It didn't seriously question her about the accuracy of what she had written. I could be wrong, but I find it hard not to conclude that she is using her failed marriage to Sam to raise her own profile. I'm not sure to what end.
  18. When I saw that £3 million figure it seemed such an obvious move to buy it. Without knowing the legal details it's difficult to comment, but I would have thought that buying the football club and then selling it on would have been a possibility.
  19. Not acquiring the stadium for the Rugby League club strikes me as the biggest lost opportunity for any club since the start of Super League. Ian Lenagan has recruited an extremely wealthy individual to back his club and I can't understand why he didn't make a determined bid to buy the stadium. Of course there are likely to be factors at play that we are not aware of, but the current situation must be immensely frustrating for Wigan supporters. Sharing a stadium when you are not the primary tenant is fraught with risk.
  20. Thanks for your post. I'm perfectly happy for you to reference my post any time you want. As I've already explained, the name of a club reflects the identity of the club itself, but doesn't limit the potential support it might draw. Hopefully the people of Moreton Bay and beyond will support the club whatever it's called and I'm sure there will be a development on its name in the near future. As for Bennett, I haven't said that he shouldn't be involved in the club. I can certainly see your point about the potential bitter rivalry with the Broncos. But I don't think he should be the coach, and perhaps, at the end of the day, he won't be. Unfortunately coaches have a life span, like the rest of us, but the club is wise to draw on his expertise, particularly at this stage of its development on recruitment, both of coaching staff and of players. I'm looking forward as much as you are to the Battle of Brisbane in 2023. And if the Dolphins get full houses for every game in 2023 and Bennett leads them to an inaugural Grand Final victory, please feel free to come back on here and embarrass me. I actually hope you will be doing.
  21. Brisbane Dolphins would be better than just the Dolphins. And Queensland Dolphins is another potential name. But people will happily support a team that takes its name from its own part of town - Tottenham, Everton, Chelsea, West Ham and so on - and they will come from well outside the named suburb to do so. The fact is that clubs have an identity. Unlike the Jets or the Firehawks, the Dolphins are not a new club. They are the Redcliffe Dolphins who have effectively been given a licence to join the NRL. Changing their identity is crazy, at least in my opinion. Remember some years ago when Canterbury and Balmain changed their names to the Sydney Bulldogs and Sydney Tigers. It never really worked and they soon dropped the idea. The only club that it has worked for is the Roosters, who have persevered with their name change from Eastern Suburbs. But I suspect that many of their supporters still call them Easts.
  22. I think you'll find that the club dropped 'Redcliffe' reluctantly at the behest of the NRL. They were reluctant precisely because they do know more about the Queensland market than we do. I'm not sure why the NRL insisted upon it, but I hope wiser counsels will prevail. The clubs you mention have had those names since records began and they were or are all in London. There are few examples of sporting clubs named 'London' being successful.
  23. Alex Ferguson was probably the GOAT in football, but he retired in 2013 at the age of 71. Bennett has been a great figure within the game, but to have him as a figurehead for a new club is a serious mistake.
  24. The new club has already made two serious mistakes. Dropping its name 'Redcliffe' and appointing Wayne Bennett as its inaugural coach. 'Dolphins' without the name Redcliffe is an amorphous identity that doesn't work. The club has been extremely successful as the Redcliffe Dolphins and to change its name at this stage is crazy, as would have been the idea to call the club the Brisbane Dolphins. Given that half the clubs in the NRL are named after suburbs of Sydney, with the same true of the AFL in Melbourne and football in London, the idea that its location name had to be dropped is lunacy. Meanwhile Wayne Bennett will be 73 years old by the time the 2023 season starts. To give him a three-year contract as the coach of the new club, rather than employing a younger, more vibrant figure, looks to me to be the height of optimism. Having said that, perhaps being able to announce him as a figurehead at this stage will help with recruitment, so maybe that underlies the decision.
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