Wigan...an analysis in The General Rugby League Forum Posted August 22, 2021 I won’t quote EEP, as it was such a long post, but I am not convinced by the central thrust. The club’s problems - as clearly identified - are a direct result of believing that there is an inherent advantage in developing and relying on our own players. That has been the club’s focus, and it has lead to massive disinterest and an unfair reliance on players who are simply not good enough simply because we “developed” them. We are getting the wrong answers because we are asking the wrong questions - the only question the board should ask is how can they get star players on the field. Forget where they come from. Every hour spent on anything else is an hour wasted. I am not suggesting that we ditch our Academy entirely, though I would be happy enough with a Wigan Borough approach, but that we should instead invest in the first team’s success instead of carrying out “community” development, or other non first team activities. I agree that marketing needs to be improved, but it’s far far easier to do that if you have star players to sell. You can have as many fancy dress themed game nights as you like, but Wiganers will only come out every week to watch players like Amos Roberts rather than Liam Byrne. Ditch everything non core, invest in the best possible coach, and entertaining stars, and then market them. We have plenty of resources to do all of that, but are deliberately choosing to try to sell an Academy side as first team for a major club. And fewer and fewer people are being fooled by it. Incidentally, I think this is a mistake the whole game is making - wasn’t it Hearn who looked at us as a sport and concluded that we had no stars? He was dead right. With the NRL having cut off the rest of the world, and seeing us solely as a feeder league, and union having left us far far behind, then, unless we as a club and a game aim high again, we are toast as a sport.