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Amber Avenger

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Posts posted by Amber Avenger

  1. 9 hours ago, Martyn Sadler said:

    It may or may not be feasible and there is no guarantee that the government will support the project but to describe it as pie in the sky is surely a defeatist attitude. If you live in Bradford you would be better advised to contact your councillors and urge them to support this project. Insist on some accountability from them.

    But if the stadium development goes ahead, all the other problems would become much easier to solve.

    There is no doubt that communication from the club has been very poor but when you refer to accountability in this context, what precisely do you mean?

    Martyn, with the greatest of respect - it looks like we live in completely separate realities. I'm trying to chose my words carefully here, but I find it hard to believe someone could read everything I've posted in here, and then seriously suggest my next step is to lobby Bradford Council (I haven't lived in Bradford for 17 years incidentally, but I do go back often). 

    But here we are, someone who works in the game, and knows the pain this club and the fans have gone through and suggests that I as a fan - who has poured his heart out sharing some of that pain - should be doing more even more to back an institution I have literally just told you I have no faith in. Ok then. I'm so so tired of talking into a void. Faith has run out, I cannot keep backing things on people's say so. 

    There is more than enough in my initial post in this thread if you are genuinely curious about my feelings on the more immediate issues facing the club but I'm not particularly minded to discuss it further with you - like I said, there's more than enough evidence we won't see eye to eye and I don't think either of us have much new to say.  

    If in the event Odsal does get some levelling up funding, I'm happy to come back and discuss as the landscape will have changed significantly - but until then (!), for my own sake and nobody else's, I cannot keep coming back and discussing history repeating itself at the club. 

    • Like 4
  2. 1 hour ago, Martyn Sadler said:

    I suppose you have every right to feel cynical about this but it would be better, I think, to try to support the initiative for the sake of the city, the stadium and the club.

    I'm not against the initiative, I think it's pie in the sky. As my original post states, my concern for the club runs deeper than the 42nd artists impression of a new Odsal. 

    Hope for the best yeah, but prepare for the worst. It's possible to want Odsal to get investment and yet remain cynical that it will ever come to fruition. Even if it comes off, it'll be papering over the cracks. The problems are deeper than just the stadium.

    Make no mistake - what I'm after is clear accountability and communication from the club, not a Nigel out witch hunt. Lessons have clearly not been learned from the past, and it's worrying that so much reassurance of the intentions of our chairman has to be decoded by his colleagues in the industry who have worked with him in the past rather than coming from the club directly. 

    But anyway, that's just me. I know we aren't going to see eye to eye on this.

    • Like 2
  3. 30 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

    The application for levelling-up funding was supposed to be made initially on 7 July, which is a date I remember because it was my late brother's birthday.

    That date has now been put back, I think to 1 September, which I would need to check on, but coincidentally that happens to be my birthday. Could the stars be aligning?

    The bid is an absolutely serious bid by Bradford Council and shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.

    I can't think of a city in the country that would appear to have a greater claim on levelling-up funding than Bradford.

    That, of course, is no guarantee of success but Nigel Wood extracted £200 million from Sky for the broadcasting contract and £25 million from the government for the World Cup. The bid for funds is being made by a partnership with the local authority as the lead player, rather than the Bulls, but Wood has a track record of persuading organisations to part with their money and I hope he can be successful once again, unless of course he is driven out of the club by some of its supporters.

    Invoking the name of Bradford Council makes it less likely for any Bradfordian to think this will happen, not more. 

    • Like 1
  4. Interesting - if depressing thread. 

    To me, the redevelopment of Odsal is a complete dead cat thrown into a fans forum where they didn't have much good to say and a number of legitimate concerns dismissed or inadequately addressed. It's laughable that they couldn't find anything better to say, as literally nobody is giving it even the slightest chance of happening.

    I find it continually baffling that the one thing anyone coming into the club post Chalmers et al should have known is that the relationship between boardroom and fan is at an all time low, especially if you've been around as long as Mr Wood has been. To my mind there has been the square root of naff all to fix that in his tenure. There are only so many times to be told to trust in the various parade of chairmen. Fool me once, shame on you. What is it when you've been fooled six or seven times? 

    It's eight years ago today since the Bulls were officially relegated from SL and I can't see us ever getting back. I never would have thought that at the time - this article from Aaron Bower pretty much sums up my thoughts at the directionless gaslighting the fans are being fed. 

    It's funny to see the comments about the size of Bradford district etc. It's irrelevant. As a newbie, why would you come and watch such a damaged brand right now?

    The damage done in the past decade means the club are left with an aging, dwindling fanbase - not many kids coming through - that nobody in professional RL wants to touch with a bargepoll (see Aaron's article regarding recruitment for the current head coach!) There is no quick fix, the damage done will last a generation more or longer.  I fear there is further to fall, before this can get turned round. 

    • Like 6
  5. 2 hours ago, Jughead said:

    Was he the Bradford coach they appointed who didn’t turn up for about six months or was that someone else?

    No that was Geoff Toovey.

    Smith was well thought of by a lot of players who played under him and quite a few fans, but he essentially took us backwards. My lasting memory of him will be the last match of the regular season in 2016 was a must win to get us in the middle 8s and we ended up losing 20-0 to Fev in one of the worst tactical decisions I've seen by a head coach including dropping Adam O Brian for no particular reason.  The last realistic chance of us getting back to SL and the club never really recovered (for way more reasons than Smith). I liked him, but that Fev game really tainted my view. 

    Will be interesting to see how he goes. 

    • Like 2
  6. 8 hours ago, Eddie said:

    Your experience of this is obviously completely valid but on the flip side we have people saying tickets are too cheap. Must admit I thought £40 for ten rows back in the stretford end was more than I’d expected, though compare it to football or Union and it’s a bargain, especially for a game like today’s. 

    Yeah I do get that and at the end of the day, I thought it was worth if before we went, however I do wonder if two price hikes over the past two finals is put the casual off especially if times are tough post covid. I'm not sure what anyone could have done differently about that - obviously money has to be made. 

    Im sure for people who don't go to RL a lot that price is great, but we need a mix of RL die hards and neutrals and there aren't many RL matches where 40 quid is the second cheapest option. You've always been able to spend a lot on GF tickets if you've wanted to as well!

    It was just an observation anyway, I do wonder if it would have been on the low side whoever was in the final. 

  7. Haven't read the whole thread, so sorry if this has been mentioned before. Anyway I usually go with a similar, non RL crazy group who like the occasion and we tend to get the second cheapest tickets. Like getting a wine in a restaurant cos we are so classy like that.

    Anyway this year they couldn't believe that that option was 40 quid. Last GF in 2019 it was 35, before that it was 30. Quite a hike over the course of 3 finals and I suspect took its toll on the crowd as much as Catalans getting there.

    Im not complaining, we were there at the end of the day and I'm sure it's been budgeted by the people that know how. However I was surprised at how much it's gone up looking back now and surely it's a factor along with Catalans and Covid 

    At the end of the day, they enjoyed the game so almost 'nuff said, except gotta convince people who weren't there. A toughie.

  8. 8 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

    Hopefully there’s not too much hassle with the rearranging of the tournament in terms of dates, venues and the like. 

    It's possible the clash FIFA world cup might actually help in that regard. The Premier League winter break will probably start around 10th November-ish, which should mean the Emirates, Anfield and Old Trafford are all available for the latter stages of the tournament. 

    • Like 2
  9. 3 minutes ago, weloveyouwakefield2 said:

    Whoever decided he was worthy must be a Bradford fan, maybe it was Boris Johnson I’ve heard he’s a fan of bull manure…

    Well not all Bradford fans would be so quick to give him an award.

    Interestingly the official club press release today says Nigel has been "at the forefront" of the clubs actions to try and come back to Bradford since 2019, despite insisting previously he was very hands off until a couple of months ago. 

    Anyway, I'm sure it's all above board and fine and that's all I'll say about that. 

    • Like 2
  10. 8 minutes ago, RP London said:

    to be a bit of a pedant.. they are saying that they would do 66 game "exclusively live" could this imply that 14 games in france are not "exclusively live" because the French will be showing it and they will be buying the stream from there (even if it is a sky subsidiary)?

    No idea, it is just a thought, devil in detail and phraseology etc??

    I don't think that would be the case, Sky would describe the Catalans games they have now as exclusively live, it think it just means in this country. 

    EDIT - In fact the press release on the SL website does say Sky is the broadcast partner for the UK and Ireland


    • Like 1
  11. 3 minutes ago, Spidey said:

    Maybe I read it wrong, i assumed the Sky FTA would be simulcast.  Do sky hold any Freeview channels?

    Sky's freeview channels I believe are Sky News, Sky Arts, Pick TV and Challenge. 

    Not really a natural home for SL anywhere there, although the two channels with (very mild) sporting history are Pick TV and Challenge. Pick last year simulcast Premier League coverage when basically they were under pressure to due to Covid restrictions when the season returned last summer. They haven't repeated that trick in the 2021/2022 season I don't think. Challenge as mentioned in this thread has a history showing wrestling and MMA but hasn't done for a long time. I think it has shown a Premier League game in the past, but only as overspill when all the games were on the last day of the season and Sky ran out of channels. 

    I think it's probably more likely to be Mix, or YouTube, as I don't think any of the Freeview channels available from Sky fit the bill with what the RFL are looking to achieve. Sky One would actually be a big deal, and whilst not truly Free to Air like the BBC, it would reach a bigger audience than Mix, even though generally Sky One customers will have access to Mix.

    • Like 1
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  12. 38 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

    We've been around a long time, I suppose, but again I would take you up on one of your comments.

    What do you mean by 'criticism of the game'?

    By 'the game', do you mean the people who run it, or 'the game' in a wider sense?1

    If it's the former, then we are far more critical of those who run it than anyone else, and by that I mean justified and reasoned criticism, not just ranting for the sake of doing so.

    Bradford Bulls is a very interesting subject.

    I have a lot of documentation about the Bulls going back many years, and, because the club went under owing me a lot of money, I had far more insight than most people into the nature of what happened there over time and under successive boards of directors.

    The blame for what happened isn't necessarily as clear cut as some would have you believe.

    It was an immensely complicated situation that would merit a book of its own, although it would take a brave man or woman to write it, because you would be risking some major law suits.

    I wouldn't expect you to suggest your own content was anything except justifiable. I know what you are getting at with the rants but of course one man's rant, could be another's justifiable comment and for that reason I can't completely agree and don't expect we'll concede any middle ground here. 

    I totally agree there is a book in the Bulls situation. Not posted about it here properly in years - and don't intend to start now - but it's hopefully reflected in my posting history that I've also believed for a long time it hasnt been clear. To sound like a broken record, the report in Forty 20 made it clear as it could without straying into those legal issues that the blame lay at the door of dozens of different stakeholders. Anyway its clearly a conversation for another day. 


  13. 52 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

    I'd be interested to know how you define 'the establishment' and what you think those words mean in a Rugby League context.

    A fair question, and I did think perhaps it wasn't quite the right choice of words. I'm not suggesting  - as some might if they see something they like on the wrong Monday morning - that it's an RFL propaganda sheet, so in that sense perhaps I can see why you might think me saying LE being part of the establishment is unfair criticism.

    Perhaps "part of the furniture" is more appropriate? It's the market leader and you know where you stand certainly and it's a comfortable read but any criticism of the game is more muted than both of the main rivals mentioned in the Guardian article. To be clear, I'm not saying it doesn't exist, but it's clearly different. Nothing wrong with that, and there is a place for that and it clearly works very well. 

    I would certainly agree LE has more clout than League Weekly ever had - the old joke was any news that was in Weekly but not Express might be of dubious quality, but to me looking at the Elstone example are you just greasing wheels already in motion? I genuinely don't know. I think because LE has that clout I always think it can do more - eg The Bulls/Forty-20 example I posted above, was very critical of many people still in the game and plenty who aren't and I can't imagine anything similar appearing in LE (and I have read everything about the subject going) but I realise they are separate periodicals with separate resources. I'm sure I'm leaving myself open to accusations of bias, and it's really not about that one issue, but it comes easily to mind for me.

    I'm not saying LE isn't an enjoyable or worthy publication I hope you understand, but I couldn't particularly describe it as consistently hard hitting and maybe you wouldn't either. Not everything has to be. 

    To ask a question you'd be well within your rights not to answer - how do you feel about the demise of "the other paper"? Whilst I'm sure some extra sales have come your way, it's hard times for everyone. Did the competition keep you sharp?

  14. For the want of a better phrase, to me LE is more part of the establishment, especially now it's the only (weekly) game in town. Nothing wrong with that but the more voices analysing the game professionally, the better. 

    LE claiming the scalp of Elstone when every man and his dog had it in for him is not how I'd interpret it, but then I don't have any skin in the game. Will be interested to hear Elstone's thoughts on who he might blame when he is as far away from the job as Wood is now. I mean lets be honest we haven't ever really heard from him when he was in the job so I guess we'll never know. 

    Each publication has their own merits, for me Forty 20's damning analysis of the whole Bradford Bulls saga (where I do have skin in the game) towards the end of 2019 is far more critical than anything on the matter I have ever read in the pages of an LPL publication, but then it has the breathing room to do so. 

    • Like 1
  15. 5 minutes ago, The Phantom Horseman said:

    There seems to be an increasing crop of potential news sources within RL, some of them following the subscription model. Rugby League Live, is an interesting, if slightly confusing, recent addition, but they have signed up as their editor Matthew Shaw, who seemed to have a knack at LE/TotalRL for unearthing stories and just as importantly, usually being right about them.

    I say their model is confusing from a reader's point of view because their stories seem to be published on a wide array of sites such as the Hull Daily Mail, Manchester Evening News, Leeds Live etc, so presumably there's an umbrella organisation that runs all these sites. If you look at their blog today for instance at https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/live-rugby-league-news-feki-5016276 there's quite an impressive amount of content.

    They seem to have been very busy in their opening weeks, which is good, though the focus so far has been very much on SL rather than Championship or League 1, which I hope changes as they settle in.

    Then there are premium servces such as TotalRL's, plus Thirteen Rugby and the Rugby League Hub via Patreon. There are suddenly quite a few separate organisations competing with each other to break RL news first and add content, I think that's probably  a good thing espeically if they can all survive and thrive but time will tell.


    I really admire the efforts of Reach to tap into the RL market, plenty of hard work has gone in to get good coverage in The Mirror in recent years and this seems to be an extension of that. 

    I agree there are confusing elements to it, being linked to the regional papers sort of makes sense, except in the regions where a team's local paper isnt owned by Reach. How many fans of Bradford and Halifax are going to log on to the Huddersfield Examiner website to read the scoops about their teams, I'm not sure. The email newsletter seems to be a halfway house to try and resolve that but seems a little old hat to me but I'm sure they've done their research. 

    The positives are in the bigger regions, pooled resources might pay dividends. A story about Wigan was the main story on the back page of the Manchester Evening News this week.

    • Like 2
  16. 28 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

    Big fan of Forty20. That said, I don’t want another publication to go out of business. 

    In terms of content, have any RL publication evolved on to social media/YouTube or are they all still just doing podcasts?

    Depends what you mean, Social Media is a broad term, and the main publications all have Facebook and Twitter accounts. TRL are putting LE content on their site as a premium, have tried doing Facebook Live events. Forty 20 have lots of YouTube content that isn't podcasted. They're all trying their hand and some stuff will work and some won't. Some journos are going it alone with their own premium content on their own sites or Patreon. There is plenty of graft being put in that's for sure.

    Social media is an easy catch all but there is so much of it, loads of it will sadly go undiscovered. 

  17. 32 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

    Papa John’s are writing off thousands a week here (ten large pizzas at £20+ each across ten teams) 

    Hmm, I think those figures are overegging the pudding - to mix the food analogies slightly.  I doubt giving away 100 pizzas a week results in thousands of pounds of loss to the accounts of international pizza business of Pappa Johns.

    Perhaps thats what they might cost Joe Public to buy the pizzas from them if you bought them at shop prices - even then, like Dominos, the abundence of voucher codes and coupons means that you should never really be paying full price for a pizza at their gaff. 

    I'm not sure what the cost of the ingredients per pizza are to PJ - I suspect it is considerably less than 20 quid. I know labour costs etc, but there is a healthy amount of profit in those prices even when they slash them in half. 

  18. 37 minutes ago, Dave T said:

    Yep, the fact you can't name others shows the effectiveness of this kind of advertising on TV during an SL game. And I'm not just being awkward on this point, I am making a serious one that these are nowhere near as effective as football for example. On football there is a lot of screen time for them, when the camera is zoomed out (often), during throw ins, corners, goal kicks etc. 

    I think a point worth highlighting is that of the KFC one being noticable as well - the link (apart from food) being is that they are recognisable international brands. 

    I have noticed Pappa Johns at pitchside long before the announcement - I was surprised that the announcement seemed to come about two weeks after the deal was underway. I think this is largely because I already knew the brand - if it was Joe Bloggs Pizza who were a brand new company looking to get off the ground, I'd have probably taken a lot longer to notice.

    I think football can be the same, if you watched a game in the premier league you'd end up naming the brands you know, rather than the odd firms that don't even operate in this country but are for the international TV audience. 

    Similarly KFC in the NRL is one you know, Telstra, Sportsbet, Bundaberg are all over the coverage but wash over us here because they aren't hugely relevant to a UK audience. 


    • Like 1
  19. 2 hours ago, Futtocks said:

    Not the absolute best Partridge, but very good. This was a scene-setting first episode, so I'm sure things will go much worse for Alan over the next few weeks.

    If you are precious about spoilers then don't look, but the synopsis for the next episode sounds like a brilliant scenario to set up some classic Partridge. 

    I really enjoyed it, it's kind of cherry picked the best of things like Knowing Me, Knowing You, Day Today, Mid Morning Matters and the recent "documentaries" on Sky and yet created something new with it. It started off slow, but there is lots of potential there. I listened to a podcast with the writers the other day and they said they are already working on the next Partridge project for the BBC so I wonder if this series is only intended to be a one-off. 

  20. On 15/05/2018 at 9:14 PM, DavidM said:

    I never find myself saying that what cinema really needs is another superhero movie 

    Fair enough. They aren't everybody's bag. I find it odd though that superhero films get singled out. Generally nobody ever seems to ask if cinema needs another RomCom, another spy film, another war film etc. There are plenty of sub genres within, Ant-Man is basically a heist movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming a high school comedy, The Dark Knight Trilogy is as polar opposite from the first two as you can get. And if you don't like 'em then fine, but they may well be paying for films you do - Inception wouldn't exist if the Dark Knight hadn't done great guns at the box office. 

    • Like 2
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