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The Parksider

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  1. People really cannot have it both ways. We've got Trojan trying to convince us Bradford are dead and gone and are no longer a big club yet they still play out of home ground Odsal, they still count support at 6,000. they still run an academy that produces players and they now have the missing ingredient, that of a rich owner. Remember as soon as Featherstone got that rich owner in Nahaboo there was post after post about how the club would be going places, buying up all the best players and reaching for the stars. OK I accept we are in the here and now and it's not 2001 and Bradford have not just crushed Wigan in the SL final, but by 'eck Brdford are still three times the club Featherstone or Leigh are. Now we get the myth of how marvelously run Sheffield Eagles are. The club was so well run it collapsed out of existence, then when it came back it was so well run that it couldn't manage to develop a player production system. Compare and contrast the London academy with the Sheffield academy, which one produced the results? Then Sheffield brought in the right players to win the Championship and how well did the crowds go? They went nowhere despite the successes. But again people can't have it both ways and declare that in the here and now Bradford or London are shot, when in the here and now "well managed" Sheffield are well down the Championship and playing before falling crowds out of a bigger dump than Odsal. That a non RL city can pinch the Championship twice from under the nose of Halifax Featherstone and Leigh, may say more about the standard of RL in the championship and the gulf between that and Superleague, than it does about the readiness or the ability of CC clubs to be up to P & R. You look at the tables in the here and now and if the CC clubs have to go to places like Hull and star studded Salford next year there could be immediate problems with this "brand new" exciting system.
  2. I had to hang back for this one!! What's your anecdotal or logical evidence for this? Fans come and go all the time. They die, they lose interest, they grow up and become RL fans, then they die, lose interest etc. I know this as I've sat with them for nigh on 50 years. Fans who come into the game travel more nowadays, so they don't necessarily gravitate to the local club they may be attracted straight to starting supporting SL through an SL club in the next town.Fans decide to switch clubs and many fans may have watched Championship sides and now they choose to watch SL sides. They aren't lost to Rugby League. Nor are fans who decide rather than go down the local championship club I'll buy SKY sports instead. We still get the money It looks like your only evidence is "because the RFL said so" but then they got it from KPMG and they won't back their research that supposedly shows the championship who averaged 2,047 fans when P & R was removed now averaging 1,020. If they get those alleged disenfranchised fans back via P & R fine, but they should remember the fans they will lose by the relegation of Bradford Bulls. They used to attract as many fans as all the lost championship fans put together.........
  3. Not into fantasy RL I spent 35 years following Hunslet to a locked door!! I think an Anglo French league with a big city spine is easy to organise from Manchester, Leeds and Hull through London to Perpignan and Toulouse. Instead they organised P&R. Sorry John that's it over my posts for the day quota.....
  4. Ackromans post saying attendances had gone down over the years prompted me to look at the aggregate figures for all competitions. Roughly speaking people went to as many games in 1991/2 as do today. You are way off beam on the loss of attendances at cup games, it's less than that but a significant loss none the less. It's balance by a significant gain at league games and I do take your point to a point about some of the discounting taking place but again it doesn't really affect a general summation that we haven't lost out on fans going to games. But it's a business. As you indicate what is the point in free/dirt cheap tickets (apart from the additional spends at the ground each attendee provided), but tried, generally failed and moved on?. Your argument cannot logically stop there though because we need a comparison of the aggregate sponsors prize money in the old days of league, county, regal and challenge cups to be set against the value of sponsorship for the SKY Superleague and the Challenge cup today? It would seem that Superleague has brought home a lot more bacon cups or not.
  5. What? Potential to be big RL places? If they do then London, Paris, Barcelona and Rome have even bigger potential...... by gum lad Paris 17,000 crowd at the start, London 10,000 crowds at the start, 18,000 in Barcelona for Les Cats and Warrington, and Rome not a Rugby City? Check out the six nations. I find it weird that so many people scoffed at the idea these faraway big city places could be big in RL, now propose a suburb in Manchester could be huge. That's cost me and you another post on our huge posts count. The writer should buy us a pint each for that.
  6. I enjoyed your opening analysis although it put me off when you said it didn't matter who was in the sponsorship vehicle. I think a rip roaring Leeds.v.Bradford rather than a struggling Salford.v.Widnes essentially does make a difference, we are in the business of selling the best product we can. If we were not then why bother going professional? Just take the extra money as profit. As for dead wood, you and I know that Bradford still have up to 25,000 fans out there, still have a Superleague set up and now have a rich owner. Far from getting rid of "dead wood" it was as Martyn Sadler says the SL clubs who made them operate on half SKY money and effectively killed one of our golden geese. Again thats another post clocked up countering these unfounded justifications for P & R (in my opinion anyway) Now I know you vehemently disagree, but that aside, and inspired by a fine opening to your post I took a little look in my Rothmans for 1981/2 which shows that a total of 2,203,457 spectators attended domestic RL in this country that season. I did a rough add up for last season and it's around the same figure (no point doing it accurately it only gets dismissed as "selectively suiting an argument). But thanks to Superleague we now have a massive TV audience in addition to just as many fans attending games?
  7. What evidence do you have that their division 2 campaign gave them the boost? The M62 led to West Yorkshire by then and Hull used good old money to buy........ From Fev....Dave Busfield, Charlie Stone, Keith Bridges, Steve Evans, John Newlove. Vince Farrar From Cas....Knocker Norton, Sammy Lloyd,Charlie Birdsall From Wakey....Trevor Skerrett, David Topliss That's how they made it to the top in reality, and this is the problem with RL in your area, it's a nursery for big clubs because none of you have the ambition to be one you can ever realise. and as for your dismissal of statistics then I know that even official stats you dismiss as made up. I disagree with you entirely and always have done (at the same time as keeping respect for you as a fine fellow of an RL fan), and this may help people understand why I've made over 16,000 posts on this subject, 10,000 may have been me disagreeing with 10,000 of yours.........
  8. What struck me about looking back at clubs attendance figures is that Wigan have failed to grow their crowds this last 25 years they are no greater than they were in 1989. Wigan give the game strength though and other potential big clubs need to hit their potential ceilings though. What also struck me is Leeds have lost support.
  9. Really not sure about this myth that being relegated does a club good. Ask Halifax, Oldham and Workington. The game outside Superleague went backwards with promotion during 1996 to 2009. Many people had found out there was no hope of promotion like Dewsbury or hope of staying up without a rich man. Resurrecting Halifax as an SL club will only help to keep Bradford down as fans and juniors would head there and it would push Fartown downwards too, At least in Salford/Manchester there is relatively new territory to conquer and Salford gives a top class product for RL fans in areas like Swinton, Oldham and Rochdale who stay at home to easily get to. Championship clubs never inspired the kids to play in any number just as perennial second division clubs didn't either. The old Players annuals from the 1970's show that even in those days the second division clubs used to make their teams up out of first division cast offs.
  10. A massive point. they may have flogged the players into 45 games (Wigan) and 42 (Leeds) in 1994/5 but you cant do that now. It's a professional RL business and business is about profit - you can turn over all the fans and players you want but if there's a big financial loss at the end of it then what's the point? Besides as Derwent may agree we don't have to chase small fry sponsors in sideshows now a well tailored Superleague can attract £200,000,000 all in one go.
  11. So what crime has been committed/rule broken then? Pray tell? As for the comparisons of the top 4 CC clubs and the bottom 4 SL clubs there's a year to go yet and I note your prediction that nobody may ever go up, but pressure is again on the SL clubs not to be cut adrift, and the top eight will be happy to raid the bottom four for players. Remove the whipping boys and someone ends up in their place. Is your prediction based on salary cap differentials??
  12. I really like this post, shame we can't do straight one up and one down between the eights. The 2 x 12's bit would probably retain the "off the pace" element.
  13. 1980/81 1,226,428 average 5,110 16 clubs 1981/82 1,264,520 average 5,268 16 clubs 1989/90 1,173,815 average 6,450 14 clubs 1990/91 1,168,407 average 6,420 14 clubs 1991/92 1,185,117 average 6,511 14 clubs 1992/93 1,122,955 average 6,170 14 clubs 1993/94 1,364,056 average 5,683 16 clubs 1994/95 1,330,538 average 5,543 16 clubs Here's the danger of reading stats without the fuller picture. 1991/2 looks like the game was at it's peak in the First Division at 6,511 a game and by 1995 it had slumped to 5,543 a game. As you can see the addition of two lesser supported clubs affected the average. But 14 clubs is the order of the day today so maybe it's easy to set the 6,511 against Superleague:- 2007 9,833 12 clubs 2008 9,819 12 clubs 2009 8.730 14 clubs 2010 8,730 14 clubs 2011 8,879 14 clubs 2012 9,431 14 clubs 2013 8,473 14 clubs No If's no But's, the best season of the 1st.Division at 14 clubs was an average of 6,511 fans the best season of Superleague at 14 clubs was an average of 9,431 fans 45% increase in gates, Corrections welcome.....
  14. It was indeed a full season of 30 games apiece and was also saleable as the "Centenary" season. Rothmans recorded the aggregate attendances, but club for club wise the average was 5,543. Interestingly by that time Wigan had become a big attractive outfit with Leeds hanging onto their coat tails, and these big clubs were turning in average crowds of 14,195 and 12,516 respectively but sadly outside this the other clubs averaged 4,427. This was becoming an uncompetitive league in a game which clearly could draw the fans to the excitement of top class RL, but outside the top two it wasn't happening. The danger of tweaking anything was of course to risk the demise of Wigan and Leeds as powers, just to elevate someone else to have a turn at winning. Superleague came in and in time salary capped the clubs and to be fair (and positive) Wigan maintained their crowds despite no longer being top dogs every year, after some money troubles and a blip accordingly Leeds regained their slumping crowds and grew them to 17,416 in 2007.. But the roaring success of Superleague was that other clubs grew into "big clubs". In 2006 Hull recorded a 14,553 average on the back of being able to compete for trophies. By 2012 Saints had had their share of trophies and found a decent ground to maximise their crowds and they returned 14,113 average. Bulls were the big crowd success, without the ground or the steadying influence of a rich owner a massive 15,259 trooped in to Odsal in 2003. Warrington weren't a bad side 1994/5 they were runners up to inevitably Wigan in the Regal Trophy and averaged 5,380 that they now can compete better from a new stadium has seen that average grow and peak at 11,149 in recent seasons. The trick for Superleague is of course to try to keep all clubs competitive and those wonderful crowds up there whilst growing some more big clubs. In recent times we have turned to France and Les Catalans have attained an average of 9,280 in 2012. Eyes then turned to the bigger city of Toulouse. Poor stadia in the Calder area and lack of investment hold things back but Castleford's 7.490 in 2009 and Wakefields 8,172 in 2012 indicate that if one of them could find the ground and the money to keep players in that area then 10,000 gates would be realisable. I've always thought that Superleague has done extremely well to rescue the game but could have done so much better, but that's another argument we've run for 17 years. Despite running into a bit of a dark period (but nowhere as near as black as 1994/5) we can still hope that further strides may in time be made.
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