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Posts posted by keighley

  1. Direct experience: even at their most recent best, in the early 1960's, Swinton was barely viable as a club. If you can't pack the fans in when you win Div 1 two years in succession then to be honest, you never will. That is not to belittle the efforts of those who continue to work hard for the club. But potential? No.

    I recall that era and, as I remember, Swinton were RL Champions two years in a row and pulled in 5 to 6,000 fans. This would seem to be better than Salford are currently managing. Are you then saying Salford have no potential because they cannot yet get more than Swinton did.? Bradford were champions in the Peter Fox era but barely got 6,000 to watch them. Do you deny they have potential.? What were Catalans pulling in in the French leagues prior to their SL entry. Not much but people could see and realise their potential and we have what we have now as a result.

    If you want to go back in history, when Swinton won all four cups and built a huge 30,000 seat stadium to accommodate their crowds, then I would argue that that demonstrates the potential of the area. Everybody agrees London has potential and they have never averaged 6,000.

    As I keep saying potential is what could be not was is or was.

    It's a matter of opinion, but, under the right circumstances, I believe Swinton have potential.

  2. 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.

    ll those large European cities you list do have potential.As with my examples, that's all ghey have, potential and less scope for it happening than the UK examples. I hope you noticed Skolars was on my list ( Last time I looked they were in London). Everton are a tiny suburb of Livrpool. Swinton is a suburb of an even bigger city, Manchester, and I think I read a story about Dr Khoukash wanting to buy them and develop a stadium/retail park in Swinton centre. I call that potential whether it happens is of course a moot point.

    I think some people should look at the definition of potential as opposed to probable or certain.

  3. That's a very big statement not backed up by the facts over the years.


    Gateshead ?  Sheffield ?  Not long since they had a go.........

    Potential to me means what is possible, not what is or what was. All of he clubs in the list have, in my opinion potential. They are all in big population centres, vital as alleged by some for a SL team9 Swinton being a part of Salford/Manchester).

    Most all of them have some culture of RL already in place with varying degrees of success.

    Some have ready made stadia ( Doncaster, Gateshead, )

    Some have stadia supposedly to be built, (York)

    Some have had decent successs in the past Sheffield and Gateshead ( they finished in the top eight, pulled in 3,000 plus crowds and thet did it without Sky money)

    Gloucester is a Rugby area, albeit union and have a unique new concept in the University link uo and a serious entrepreneur in Lionel Hirst.

    Ti me they all have potential to make it. However, as I did say, realising that potential is another thing entirely.

  4. I think 'being as good as the clubs outside the top six' is in itself wishful thinking, and- please don't take this the wrong way completely unacceptable as an ambition .

    The competition needs to grow and become stronger, not have more foot soldiers . Look at it another way. Two clubs with huge potential one way or another have been ejected . Is there a club outside SL with more potential than either if them. Look at the clubs outside the top six. I would suggest they all have huge potential for growth. Is there a club or clubs outside SL with more than for instance Salford?

    Swinton, Sheffield, Doncaster, York, Oldham Gateshead, Gloucester, Skolars, Crusaders all have huge potential. Whether any of it can be realised is another matter entirely.

  5. 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??

    No rule is broken when a drip of water for a thousand years wears away the hardest granite.

  6. I really can't see how DR can be used amicably in the new system. Would Hull want Jacob Miller and Ben Crookes aiding Doncaster's promotion push if they are lingering in spots 9-12. And if a team has DR for key games during the pre-split will they then have to scratch around for players in the second phase?

    I think you are right that Hull would be reluctant to allow those players to threaten their club by their performances for Doncaster. This leaves the ball in Doncaster's court. They must try and raise the cash to sign these players on a permanent basis so that Hull cannot derail their challenge in that way. This is what must happen at he championship clubs. They must up their game if they want to compete.

  7. I think you might be confusing 1994/5 with 1995/6.

    The latter was the stop gap season (otherwise known as the Centenary Season) before Super League began. It ran from Aug 1995 to Jan 1996 and was interrupted for a month because of the World Cup. It was an 11-team comp, so just 20 games each at an aggregate of 606,728 according to the Rothmans.

    1994-5 was the last 'proper' winter season, running from August to April and the aggregate was 1,330,538, a slight decrease on 1993-4.

    I think you might be confusing 1994/5 with 1995/6.

    The latter was the stop gap season (otherwise known as the Centenary Season) before Super League began. It ran from Aug 1995 to Jan 1996 and was interrupted for a month because of the World Cup. It was an 11-team comp, so just 20 games each at an aggregate of 606,728 according to the Rothmans.

    1994-5 was the last 'proper' winter season, running from August to April and the aggregate was 1,330,538, a slight decrease on 1993-4.

    That skews the aggregate comparison then but the average of 5,515 is still the worst since 1986/87 when it was 4,844. In 1988/89 for instance the average was 7,292. Perhaps that season should have been used as a comparison

  8. With regards to post 59 on the locked 'Back to the future" thread, where I alleged that the last season of DIv 1 prior to SL was the worst for many years as regards attendances and I was challenged on the accuracy of that.

    I Googled on the subject and a chart by that excellent statistician Padge came up.

    According to Padge from 1976 to 1993/94 1976 was the worst season with 900,000 aggregate spectators for Div 1 and the best was 1993/94 with 1,280,000m aggregate spectators for Div 1.

    In 1994/95 the last winter season and, as I stated a dead rubber season waiting for SL to start, the aggregate was 600,000 spectators at Div 1 games. This was clearly the worst season for many years and to use it as a comparison with SL attendances to demonstrate a huge increase is disingenuous.

    Just saying.

  9. The fans have never ever been consulted.


    SOME fans down Fev Ponte and Cas way took it upon themselves to have a "vote" of sorts with a sit in on the pitch.


    At that time under semi pro league there were 12,200 fans watching at Wakey, Cas and Fev.


    The few hundred got their way. Fourteen years later under professional Superleague the three clubs returned a total attendance this week of 11,700.


    The junior playerbase is reducing in Cas, Featherstone have one junior club, and Wakefield don't turn out any great quality of young players.


    The new structure is supposed to revitalise them?? Isn't this tragedy something worth talking about??

    This reduction in crowds would suggest that SL has been a miserable failure. Lies, damn lies etc.

    Wakefield and Castleford have been in SL all those years. Isn't part of the remit to develop and assist he junior base. Didn't you laud the number of players the Calder region produced on another thread as being just behind Wigan and Leeds. This was when you were pushing your amalgamation theory of a massive Calder entity to challenge the big boys. You can't have it both ways. Does the Calder area produce players it does it not. I guess it depends which way your weather vane is turning on any particular day.

    The new structure is not in place yet. Jockeying for position is what's happening and it's two weeks into the season. It's too small a sample to determine if attendances are down or not.

    There are other factors at work in your sample example such as Wakefield having just escaped bankruptcy, having sold many players and operating on a health and safety crowd restriction.

    Castleford were at home to Catalan, a notoriously poor draw with Northern fans. Castleford finished in the bottom three last year. A few wins and the Castleford crowds will increase. Winning does have that effect.

    Featherstone's crowd was excellent. I don't see what your beef is there at all.

    If the lower crowd figures transalate to the full season ahead, you might have a point. At present you don't.

  10. Your still thinking inside the box.


    Which 10 of the 37 professional clubs we have today should be ring fenced for a real Superleague??


    I can safely suggest Hull, Leeds St.Helens and Wigan.


    After that I'm stuck. After that the clubs either play out of dumps, don't produce professional players in any number beyond a few or don't attract enough fans. or are handicapped by any combination of these things.


    Warrington perhaps? Les Catalans?? Toulouse??? Is Salford/Manchester too great a risk without long term commitment from D. K? would any clubs merge rather than carry on declining? Crowds well down at Fev, Cas and wakey this week??


    How about Bradford/Fartown/Fax? All three in SL in 2003 when they interested 24,000 paying fans, today over ten years on they interest 16,000 paying fans.


    Maybe the NRL can give us some inspiration?




    Fev got 2,500. Is that well down ? Cas were playing Catalans, no away support and not a big draw, Now cas are top of the league, expect a much bigger crowd at their next home game.

    Halifax are in the championship. Bradford are in the bottom two with two bankruptcies in two years. Is it any surprise the aggregate attendance is down.

    Now if Bradford were stable and in the top eight I would expect 10,000 and if Halifax were in SL I would expect 4,000. This would give you 21,000. The lost fans would be from Bradford, whose 15,000 average is not likely ever to return. That era was a one off.

    Statistics are only good if you don't totally skew the numbers and circumstances just to make them prove a point.

  11. Not sure I understand what your saying? I'm too busy looking at the ring fenced 16 club NRL Premiership.


    16 clubs there to do a job and doing a blooming brilliant one at that.


    Not sure the ambitions of Newtown Jets are relevant. Not sure if they have any? OK a couple of their fans may have "high hopes" and post them on forums, but I don't think IMVHO with respect that the tip of the tail should wag tie dog to repeat an embellished Padge quote.

    If your hopes for SL were to be transported to the NRL, Brisbane and the Warriors and Canberra would be ditched to seek a slimmed down mini league compressed into Sydney.

    There would be no room for a Perth team or the Melbourne Storm because those areas don't produce players. There would be no room for a second team in Brisbane because two team cities strangle and dilute the spectator base and thin the playing talent pool.

    Fortunately for the game of Rugby League, your view does not prevail and the NRL is and has not been ring fenced and will expand and grow the game in the years to come.

  12. Your right IMVHO to warn against ring fencing failures.


    But perhaps we should look at your "areas that have been famous for producing talent".......











    South of France


    Why not ring fence a club for each of those areas then we will ensure that places that produce players and attract fans through the turnstiles are not "condemned to a lifetime of obscurity".


    Totally logical stuff, but those who want to preserve all the small clubs of yesteryear, clubs who put off people attending their games, clubs who don't produce players but feed off clubs who do, will baulk at this and find an argument for preserving the status quo, i.e. throwing money at preserving the past rather than investing in the future.

    Completely defeatist like an ostrich or a tortoise. In the face of risk, stick your head in the sand, pull back into your shell and retreat.

    Forget the several players in SL from London, from Wales, from Cumbria, Batley, Dewsbury. Forget that there are teams in Cheltenham, Oxford, Hemel in the pro game finding new sources of players as we speak and forget the spread of the amateur game in the midlands, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham, Telford and Derbyshire. Forget the thriving North East amateur scene.

    Forget the renaissance at Leigh and Fev, Halifax and Crusaders. Forget that Castleford are top of the league and Dewsbury and Doncaster are in the top four. There are just no players to be found to have decent teams in anywhere but ring around the roses ring fenced nirvana land.

    The system is producing players at various levels and SL players will eventually surface.

    Forget that this game is a game for small to medium sized clubs. There are no soccer sized behemoths in our game. This is a game of medium sized at best and ambition, drive and energy can still get small to the top.

    Long may it continue.

    We need more Winston Churchills and fewer Neville Chamberlains in the face of danger from RU and other monsters. Those who dare win, I think I heard somewhere.

  13. London are gone, Wales is gone, the midlands never started, France has been blocked.

    London are gone, Wales is gone, the midlands never started, France has been blocked.

    Last time I looked there were two teams in London, two in Wales and one in France with plans in hand to give Toulouse a Championship place. There have been plans to give Coventry a CC1 place for a couple of years.

    With p and r, sort of, scheduled to return, all these teams can theoretically make SL.

  14. If the hard facts are that there are 8 super clubs then as a sport we should do something like this if we want to move forward.

    Give say 10 approximately £2,250,000 each a season (£22.5 million), only allow one overseas player per squad to promote the opportunities for English players and the best youth in the country.

    Overseas players are classed as anyone who has not been resident in the UK for the last 5 years, so even if you have a passport for the UK, your uncle was born in Scotland or your great grandmother grew up in the valley's etc etc etc you are classed as a quota player.

    From that 10 teams you have a maximum of 10 overseas players in total, you play 18 league fixtures, plus playoff fixtures and have a cup comp, a rep comp series and a regular international schedule.

    The door is shut, P&R never returns and everybody else plays in a Championship comp on equal financial terms and a part time basis!!!

    That includes the French because in reality the European SL is hardly a reflection of a European contingent and a European interest!!!!








    The other 3 spots are up for grabs, but surely need to be based on the long term financial stability and backing a club has in place and it's fan base, ie the capability to realistically generate 10k home gates week in and week out.

    Even if it means creating new clubs such as a Cas/ Wakey merger or turning Salford in to Greater Manchester (Salford,Swinton,Oldham) or just Humberside (FC/KR), Huddsfax is another!

    That's just so ambitious. A whole sport of just 10 northern teams, ring fenced forever. That should really appeal to Sky who want to sell dishes throughout England. It should really expand the fan base to astronomical proportions and should produce a wide variety of interesting fixtures of wide geographical spread.

    It should also encourage entrepreneurs to put their money into the game, the only question is where would they invest since there are only ten teams and they will already have their money men in place.

    London will be gone, any chance of Wales or the midlands will be gone, France will be gone.

    That is so forward looking and full of optimism for the games future, I don't know why we havn't done it years ago. A 10 team sport. What a great idea ? Small and irrelevant is the way to the future.

  15. Not at that time. The days when a locally produced team could all stay at the semi pro club.


    The dice will be loaded against them this time Daz big time.


    If nahaboo can pump £2,000,000 a year in for 12 years and if Wakefield and Cas collapse you may win the hubcap like Fartown.


    Looking at Fridays result, the Huddersfield model looks more likely to win the whole enchilada than the self sustaining Wigan operation. There is more than one way to skin a cat.

  16. They attracted poor crowds for a City club but with a large catchment area have got up to 8,000 as an average and have put a number of 10,000 crowds in Belle Vue including an 11,000 crowd me and Agbrigg were in.


    So I've seen all the Wakefield support with my own eyes.


    Rovers are based in a small town so yes we have a really good idea what their crowds will be. Try looking at small town Widnes or Leigh for likely SL crowds. Ponte are seemingly split between Cas and Rovers, the danger being Rovers 18 years in the championship may have depleted that support in Ponte.


    Rovers crowds for the big cup games were poor as well and prompted a whole thread on here discussing likely Rovers SL crowds. It started with the idea thousands would flock down from Barnsley to watch Fev, but in time we tended to have a concensus of opinion that about 5,000 average would be a very good estimate IF they competed.


    The trick is to declare that nobody can have any idea what crowds Rovers would get which is ludicrous and just an attempt to shut down a reality you don't like. We know they wont get nobody turning up, and they won't average 10,000 so let's split the difference?


    So to see if Fev can hack it or not, the other variables have to be added such as, stadium ownership and revenue, investor contributions, club lotteries, marketing inititiatives. 


    As we can see from the Bradford scenario, crowds alone are not the barometer by which to measure success.

  17. Terry, the bad news is when Featherstone Rovers were breaking 4,000 competing in the top division Leeds were breaking 12,000.  It's not rocket science is it - the bigger the population to draw from the bigger the crowds can be and actually were.


    Bet you never wished you asked that question Terry?


    London, Sheffield, Manchester urban area do not support that pronouncement although it would generally hold true, variables change the equation.

  18. Try again please.


    I am not the one going round insulting Marwan Koucash?.


    I do not "want it to end badly" where on earth do you get that rubbish from?


    Your stance seems to be that I should be sat here wishing all clubs win the league, all 37 of them.


    They won't, sport is about winners and losers, for every winner there is a loser, but apparently I'm not allowed to talk about who may be losers and if I do I apparently want them to lose.


    Again you have told me what I think, when all you had to do was ask.


    I think that mega rich men taking on clubs with few fans and little player development are more likely to be the losers because what people cannot get their head round is SKY are now paying the salary bills of the SL clubs. The RFL are currrently maintaining a £1.65 salary cap.


    So if Mr. Koucash has £Billions to put into Salford he cannot do it. He says so himself. So how is he going to get them to the top as things stand??


    Sport is indeed about winners and losers. You seem to want the current winners to remain the current winners into the foreseeable future and have no time for the list of winners to change.  If your approach was to be the norm and we were in the 1960's, you would be in favour of retaining Swinton in SL/1st Division because they are a big team ( Champions, big round, decent crowds ).


    Clearly Swinton crashed and burned because they didn't do the work necessary to remain at the top but your approach would have had then ring fenced because they were big in that present.


    You are taking the same approach now in your defence of the Bulls. You picked a moment in time when they were top dogs and want them retained at the top for ever because of that success.  


    Salford and Huddersfield and Widnes have improved for the cellar to the top level but because they were not elite at the time Bradford and Leeds and Wigan were, in your slice of time that set the makeup of SL for all time they are not big clubs and are in a false position because they have investors. Oh please.


    Winners change and losers become loser and vice versa.


    We need real  and r to enable this natural evolution of winners and losers to take place easier. 


    This is from a RL genius from his playing days to his coaching and administration days. As we several of us at least, have deduced, Aston backs up our thoughts that this 3 x 8 is a fraud and so stacked against Championship sides, that a team actually getting promotion will be as rare as a dodo egg.


    What is the thought process from those making the decisions to introduce such a doomed format. ? Go knows I support p and r but this is going to be worse than licencing.


    Not only does it keep the top CC clubs from promotion but it further weakens the CC by creating a permanent top four at that level and marginalsing the rest but not funding them equally. More money to the top four, what the hell is that about ? It will make reaching the 3 x 8 academic and leave the other 8 or ten playing for nothing.


    His point on the academies is also illuminating. There is going to be a severe shortage of players soon and just reducing the number of SL clubs to divvy up the pie in bigger pieces will not solve that.


    Just as the game should be on the crest of a wave of success after the World Cup and the Sky deal, it shoots itself in the foot.

  20. The deal protects the two relegated clubs from financial collapse giving them around £800K to play in the championship with. They may be able to keep a number of players on full time.


    This happened when clubs like Salford, Castleford and Fartown went down under P & R. Wilkinson, Fulton and Davey backed them with money. IIRC Huddersfield went undefeated, Cas lost one and Salford lost two games so the parachute payment loads the dice for these relegated clubs if they maintain their chairman's backing as well.


    Four SL clubs in the play off will be all the stronger and debt free thanks to this deal.


    That leaves two current CC clubs to probably be the underdogs in the first round of "8" Fev, Leigh or Fax.


    They will have had a £500K boost pre-season allowing them to try to strengthen their squads, but only at the last minute before the new structure starts, and that could be a problem for them as it always was for top CC clubs when we had P & R before.


    That's my quick analysis but it looks like the middle "8" is loaded. What I will be looking for is the top CC clubs crying "foul". Bet they don't.....


    yes it's loaded. It's a load of rubbish. Another scenario is that Sheffield again win a playoff place, actually do win a promotion spot but are then turned down on standards.


    When this format has been in place for several seasons and no CC club has come within a smell of promotion and the public therefore completely tires of it and votes with their feet, what then.


    If they are to have p and r, have p and r, not some loaded half assed system which will not result in any promotion and with loaded deck finances to even further discriminate against likely threats from below.


    I cannot believe that a ten team league with one fifth from a foreign country, unchanging and unchangeable for the foreseeable future is the way forward for a sport that wants to expand and grow.


    It's not beyond the realms of possibility, with BT still lurking out there, that this one sided mess will provoke a breakaway and split the game asunder.

  21. Barely sneaked promotion? We won the league and the grand final, as for avoiding relegation that's the excitement that this new league structure is all about isn't it.


    If I remember rightly, Featherstone had the grand final all but won when Trinity staged a miraculous comeback. That's what I meant by sneaked. I have admiration for your club. The point I was making was that a poster was putting them in the "big" club column and these events in the 2nd div and limping along at the bottom end of SL do not support that viewpoint.

  22. I accept everything you say about the spread of League World wide. I think you know my point was about the level of the two games, in Probably every country in the world other than Oz, One or two minor exceptions.


    The days when League would sign good union players have been reversed , It is them signing our best players now, ( something that needs to stop ) How many top Aussie Union players now cross to League ,as opposed to League players going over to Union. Look at this weekends Nat papers and see who's getting full page spreads ,as opposed to a 2" in a coloumn somewhere.


    Unpleasant as i find it I don't think Union needs to look over their shoulder at us. Where are A Farrell and S Edwards and the like these days, Our games top players , coaching the opposition, and who can blame them , they have famillies like everyone else.


    Much as i dislike whoever is running that game , I wish we had some just like them.


    The top Aussie RU players are all ex RL players. They have no RU produced players who could get into the NRL on merit. England RU are in the same boat.


    RU has some top people running their game no doubt but recent developments in RL from the WC to the new Sky TV deal suggest that we have some half decent administrators ourselves.

  23. I dislike Union as much as you do, In fact i hate it for what it has done to League in the past. That does not stop me from seeing what's real, Rugby league is played in London as is Union, Which is the bigger sport in London.


    The same is true World wide, If you carn't accept that, so be it.


    It's a close call. Both codes have only one top level club in London with Harlequins being more successful than the Broncos

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