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Everything posted by Damien

  1. These stadium threads always go round in circles. Yes many clubs would benefit from different, or more suitable, stadiums but we are were we are. I will never forgive Dave Whelan for his role in the stadium and Wigan RL not owning any of it but as Lenegan has never shown any inclination towards building an alternative it is up to the club to make the most of it. I would certainly like them to seek an alternative but there has to be a will on the clubs part. Similarly I know Huddersfield fans would love a 12k stadium but short of that happening they are stuck where they are. I do think we get too hung up on stadiums. From a Wigan point of view for me the biggest issue has been a decline in the really big crowds and events. It was only a few years ago that Wigan v Saints regularly sold out and matches against Warrington came pretty close or did one time from memory when they were made an event. Matches against Leeds always sold well. That has all been lost somewhat and that is a huge dent in an average attendance. I think other clubs tell a similar story from matches I see on TV. Two big issues for me are loop fixtures and Thursday night games and it is certainly within the sports grasp to improve these things. Loop fixtures simply devalue the big games and make them less special and less of a must see event. I know some disagree but it is evident that plenty of people feel this way and it is certainly enough people to have an impact on attendances. I am not against Thursday games if needs must but if they are to happen lets at least be sensible about it. Looking at fixtures this year Wigan played 6 times on a Thursday and each time was against a Yorkshire team with Hull FC being the furthest. Cross penine travel can be bad enough at the best of times and that to me is just daft when they could play Salford, Leigh etc on a Thursday night instead. At least limit travel and make it easier for fans to attend. That is before clubs working much harder to get fans to attend. I know the last 2 years have been tough but all clubs really need to make a concerted effort to get fans back next season before they are lost for good. Wigan have certainly gone off the boil from what they were doing when they averaged 16k. A long winded post but I think stadiums being too big are the least of our problems in the main and in most cases are beyond our control so lets focus on improving the things we can control.
  2. This again for me shows the issue with the current low salary cap. Clubs can be artificially propped up in Super League safe in the knowledge that any promoted club has significant disadvantages to overcome and that they cant be outspent, or at least outspent enough to make a difference when it comes to building a squad in a few months. I don't particularly like the idea of clubs being booted out but things like the salary cap are at odds with P&R and allowing the cream to rise to the top. If we are to have a salary cap then minimum standards should certainly be part of that. The sport has a real mish mash of policies to placate all stakeholders and these contradict each other and only serve to hold the game back.
  3. Hodgson seemed to fall out of favour at Canberra pretty quickly. Yes he had injuries but his play was pretty much the same. Its like Stewart suddenly woke up to the flaws that Hodgson had that many have been speaking about on here.
  4. I agree. I think the more mainstream broadcasters that show the sport the better and it can only help to have more interested parties when rights come up for renewal. A broadcaster like Channel 4 may start off with Super League but if successful may then become interested in things like internationals and the Challenge Cup. The more competition the better.
  5. Maybe they haven't been offered them for free? The sport certainly shouldn't be giving these games away for free as it immediately sets their value as zero going forward.
  6. South Sydney play at ANZ because they have a great deal and amongst other things it is financially very lucrative to do so.
  7. I remember switching from O2 when they began to sponsor a certain sports England team. I did feel a strong moral obligation not to contribute to funding such a deal.
  8. The Roosters name change was at a time when the club were fearful of surviving and was an attempt to grab the Sydney name when relocations and mergers were on the cards. Canterbury Bulldogs similarly renamed to Sydney Bulldogs and Balmain renamed to Sydney Tigers. Some fans understood it as the lesser of two evils but many Roosters fans haven't accepted it. The word Sydney is actually barely used by fans or commentators and the club still uses Easts on some of its merchandise. I've also seen various articles saying Nick Politis himself doesn't like it too much. As for the Dolphins I think rebrands are much easier when it is to form a club to play at a higher level. I think for Redcliffe it's clear that for their bid to be successful they needed to show a wider appeal than just Redcliffe.
  9. And a few years ago Wigan were averaging 16k+. That would never happen in a 17k stadium. Wigans range has been largely between 10-16k for 30+ years. These things are cyclical.
  10. I don't have an issue with this per se but I would like any monies to be ring fenced for the amateur game and its administration and development. I certainly don't think it should be used to subsidise any aspect of the professional game or high administrative salaries. When this was mentioned some months ago my biggest fear was the effect it may have on junior numbers but £12 for u11s and £18 for u18s seems reasonable.
  11. To be fair it is a couple of games less than the 29 in 2019 and 3 less than the 30 during the Super 8s seasons.
  12. Interesting, thats about 3 weeks later than the last few seasons, which in my opinion has been far too early.
  13. Both the men's and women's matches shown live on the BBC. After worrying if they would be shown at all to get both on BBC1 and BBC2 respectively is quite a result: International rugby league will return to BBC television screens with England men's and women's teams featuring in a double-header against France. The two matches, played back-to-back at Perpignan's Stade Gilbert Brutus on 23 October, will be shown live on BBC One and BBC Two respectively. France v England: International rugby league double-header on BBC television on 23 October - BBC Sport
  14. Kibula is a giant of a man and I had really high hopes for him coming through at Wigan but he never cracked it and it obviously didn't work out at Warrington either if he has now signed for Bradford.
  15. You forgot the most likely scenario - it gets locked!
  16. I certainly agree with your first paragraph that I have quoted. However I think the second is a little melodramatic. Whilst a reduction is not ideal it merely takes funding back to the levels of funding prior to the last TV deal. It is certainly not an insurmountable problem to tackle. That is also before any secondary FTA deals, digital rights etc. Clubs should have also always been looking to diversify their income streams, it shouldn't have taken a funding cut to do that. The doing the bare minimum and thinking TV money is just a handout is a huge part of the issue. Yes some clubs may struggle and have to cut their cloth accordingly but it shouldn't mean the end of any club. Yes that may mean that some end up dropping down to the Championship and be replaced by wealthier clubs but that is sport. This is where a vibrant part time Championship, and league 1, should come in so clubs can find their level.
  17. Yeah only caught bits that have been posted online. I would love to be able to watch it all proper.
  18. Well done Sam: Sam Burgess has opened up about his ‘rollercoaster’ experience on SAS Australia after finishing as the final star standing on the reality show. The retired NRL player was the the only celebrity to pass selection on the gruelling military-style course that saw 18 competitors at the start of the series. https://7news.com.au/sunrise/entertainment/sam-burgess-speaks-after-passing-sas-australia-selection-process-c-4221156
  19. You keep going on about skin colour. Fifita never mentioned skin colour and you are trying to twist the debate.
  20. Yes I completely agree. I have always said that the women's game should build as a standalone entity and I firmly believe it can grow quicker and easier than the men's game as it doesn't face the same barriers. The sport should be seeking to ride the crest of the wave that is women's sport at the moment. Separate events make complete sense in doing that and tying events with the men's game can only hold the women's game back.
  21. I've never really thought of it like that but its a valid point. Do we want the women's game to be a stand alone entity or just piggy back off the men's game? A stand alone entity building its own strong competition is certainly preferable and the way to go. However I presume, and this is a complete guess, that the women involved would love to play at Wembley even as part of a double header which realistically isn't going to happen for the women's final as a standalone event.
  22. There is no way that Man Utd would agree to 2 back to back games in the middle of their season.
  23. As much as anything I would love a decent French TV deal to give France and Catalans and Toulouse a bit of clout when it comes to Super League and its running. I think if we could ever get to a position where the a French deal covered the costs of the two French clubs then it makes taking a more strategic view of SL much clearer and easier. It also makes French clubs a much easier sell to the knockers.
  24. I'm just glad to finally see expansion of the NRL, it is long overdue. Another team in Queensland also removes an obstacle when it comes to Perth and NZ2.
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