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Everything posted by keighley

  1. Is this due to the Broncos efforts or is it due to the great advances in amateur and youth Rugby from the london amateur clubs producing many more players and Boncos have benefitted from that and reaped the rewards. If London are better now at producing players due to this, they are failing on other fronts, i.e. their playing record is abysmal, their crowds are abysmal and their ground situation is precarious whereas before they once averaged around 5,000, beat an Australian team on the WCC, came second in the league and got to the Cup Final and they were playing at Charlton which seemed to be a better draw for the spectators than The Stoop. On balance i would say they have regressed more than progressed. Let's hope they start to turn the corner and, at least, get to the Cup semi finals this season but I think there might be a banana peel lying in their path at Sheffield.
  2. You always make the assumption that kids take up RL with a view to turning it into a professional career. i think nothing can be farther from the truth. I think kids take up RL because they want to try it and then keep playing because they like it. The vast majority will never be either pro or semi pro. This is true anywhere amateur RL is played from Cumbria to London.The ones who do become good enough will , in the case of London, turn semi pro with the Broncos or the Skolars or Hemel and, if they become stars at that level, will move to SL clubs as countless Cumbrian youngsters have done. A select few will be so good that they will come to the attention of SL clubs early and will move away to join the junior programmes at the SL clubs directly, as, again, youngsters have done from Cumbria. I think you correlate the impressive amateur and junior development of RL in the South and in London with the existence of the Broncos as a SL team and I, personally, don't think they are connected. i have mentioned this before but where is the amateur game strongest in London, Brixton, South of the river near Greenwich. in the Gillingham area. Near the skolars in Haringay. Why is is not dominant in Richmond and Twickenham and Brenftord on the doorstep of the Broncos ? According to your theories that is where the strength of the amateur game in London should be fostered by the allure of the SL Broncos in the area. I don't think this theory holds water. The junior/amateur game is similarly making prgress in Wales and the North east and the Midlands with nary a whiff of a SL club on the horizon. The added option, hopefully, in the future, will that the Broncos will be psuhing for readmission to SL via promotion and will keep some of these stars on the premise that they can get to the top level by helping the club get promoted. To summarise, I think junior RL will continue to thrive in London irregardless of the professional level of the Broncos and talented youngsters will still be able to gravitate to the higher levels if the game. This has been the case in Cumbria for the last twenty years since Workington were the last SL club in the area. Why should the same scenario not be applicable to London.
  3. Looking at the present status of the Broncos and taking on board all the factors you quote in paragraph one of your post. I think the club has not moved forward at all since those days, except that they have Hughes on board. How are they any better now than they were at the start of the SL when they were artificially spooned into the competiton.? They have regressed since then, not progressed Once Hughes has gone i do not see anyone stepping forward to replace him. The other rescued clubs had a lot more going for them than the Broncos and they were all plucked from the fire at the last moment. If no investor steps forward, then the only alternative will be to play in the lower divisions, so the Broncos had better start a business plan for such an eventuality./
  4. Firstly, it's my impression that most youngsters playing in both London and Cumbria are RL players from the get go and not union players so they will not be switching " back" to union and many of them, especially the forwards would not easily adapt to union. The distances between Hunslet and Leeds are so small that there would be no need for such players to move away from home. that's a nonsensical comparison.
  5. 1. They will so under p and r. 2. It's exactly the same situation. You have to leave Cumbria if you want to play SL and, if Boncos are relegated, you will have to leave London to do so.
  6. I would hope that any Championship level London based clubs, including the Broncos if they ended up there, would be able to pitch to their local players the chance to play in SL with them, given the probable re introduction of promotion in some form with the new plans being debated and voted on by the clubs and thus not lose them to the game. I agree that to lose players to RU would be a terrible thing but the loss of top flight clubs in Cumbria does not seem to have resulted in mass defections to RU, so maybe that would not be the case in London either..
  7. Just so you know there are no teams curremtly averaging above 15,000 pit tea, big city team or red wine conoiseurs. However, on a one off basis each can fill stadium for a cup final .
  8. You are absolutely right and I was a very enthusiastic supporter of the original Fulham club when they burst on the scene and beat Wigan before 10,000 in their first 2nd division match. But they have never kicked on from that and, for the last decade, have been a poor imitation of a SL club, an embarassment when on TV both from their playing standards and the masses of empty seats on view. At this stage, they are not worth a SL place ahead of the other clubs mentioned. They have a chance to redeem themselves in the CUp and get to the semi finals but Sheffield might just riun that dream as they are an up and coming team and the Broncos are dire. What have they given up in their last couple of games, 100 ppoints or so.?
  9. And maybe no avenue to the top is partly responsible for such a state of affairs. But you miss the point. The point I was making is that 50 or more years ago these clubs were the top dogs but things changed. A cast in stone, unchanging SL will have teams in it that are on their way down to the levels of the Swinton's and Workington's but ring fencing will keep them slowly fading in the top tier and prevent any newly vibrant clubs from replacing them. Why on earth should the Broncos be kept in SL at the expense of Fax or Fev or Toulouse ? Look at Huddersfield pre Davy, rotting stadium, crowds in the hundreds and in what is now CC1. If Davy was just taking charge of a Huddersfield in that state now, we would never see them in SL and maybe looking at a double and providing England with numerous international players, Look at Hull KR, same thing. Crowds in the low 1000's, decrepit stadium. In CC1. Now they are in SL, crowds in the 7,000 range, totally revamped stadium. yes they are losing money like most of the rest of SL but look how far they have progressed. If the SL was ring fenced they would not have been there. These new proposals will give lower level teams who are making serious progress a chance of making the top tier and replacing failing clubs who are already there. This, in my opinion, is a good thing. The creation of a larger number of stable teams and an avenue for them to progress and replace stagnant, moribund teams from the top division is a good thing. Don't give me the "Promotion has never worked guff either ". For Huddersfield, Wakefield, Hull KR, Salford and Castleford, it has worked just fine. Even Wigan maybe.
  10. And I'd like to see some serious evidence as to how a small parochial rump SL haemorraging money like a burst artery will do the same. revenues are down, crowds are down, expansion is verboten, Australia are still, overwhelming favourite Fleet Street needs a GPS to navigate past Watford and delusions of grandeur about SL is a serious Phycological problem.
  11. It's all about the money but an extra 180,000 will not help. Are you talking out of both sides of your mouth at once ? I didn't say such funding would enable a team to enter SL. I said it would help to make them stronger organsations and on the back of success from that strength then gates, revenues and maybe investors will come along and, ultimately, SL might be a possibility especially if the salary cap for SL is lowered. If Salford suffers mega losses and Koukash bails out where does that leave your vaunted SL elite. Same for Toulouse. If they don't make money they might bail, . You could say the same about any of the investor funded SL teams, which is a majority. All the more reason to lower the salary cap to negate excessive losses i would say these recent re organisation proposals are designed to creaed a raft of solid clubs so that any investor witthdrawal at the top and subsequent failure of the particular club involved will lead the their seamless replacement with a team from the lower division which is more fit to purpose than at present.
  12. And with all those advantages at their disposal it is unlikely that they will be although Bradford weren't able to hack on big gates alone in their last incarnation. However, it will not be the end if their administration and/or playing strength is so weak that they do get relegated. Like Wigan before them they will have the opportunity to be promoted asap following their relegation. Only last year you were saying that Salford could go and good riddance but along comes Koukash and suddenly they are blue blooded members of the aristocracy. If they get relegated we will see where his heart is. Koukash came out of left field as they say in baseball to rescue the Reds. Good for him, good for them. However, now that p and r is back on the agenda there is more likelihood of Championship teams attracting deepocketed individuals. Nobody should be above the law or exempt from failure just because they are rich and powerful.
  13. 1. I don't know what their ambitions are. maybe they only aspire to be feeder clubs like Hunslet. on the other hand...... 2. It is up to the individual clubs to sort out their finances coupled with any initiatives coming from the RFL. Going by the majority of current SL models, the finances will be heavily dependent on investor input and now the avenue is about to be opened for progression all the way to the top, there is much more likelihood of attracting some. Maybe the progression will be slowly, slowly like Sheffield eagles, from nothing to potential double winners and possible Challenge cup semi finalists by strong administrators, prudent player recruitment and slowly expanding their junior base and with the possibility of a new council built ground on the horizon. They are now on a pole position to find money men and they are in the much desired big city environment. Always you throw it to me to account for finances when it will be clearly up to the club and league officials. I throw the gauntlet back to you and pose the question that I have asked already. Do you think the RFL are putting forward these suggestions for p and r and league re organisation without considering how any such plans will be financed.?
  14. The NRL has gone from a Sydney metropolitan based league to one with teams in Penrith, Newcastle, Brisbane, the Queensland Coast, Canberra and Auckland. They are considering bids from Perth, Gosford and, I think, another Queensland area. They, indeed, are cashed up but now they have an independent governing body who control the money, not the clubs, and are willing to spread it thinner. I would expect any new entrants to the NRL to be financially sound. I would expect any new entrants to SL to be financially sound. Are these new proposals calling for automatic p and r or will any clubs who win promotion have to meet financial guidelines ? I suspect the latter. Similarly if new SL licences are issued in the absence of p and r, the licencees will have to be evaluated for their financial strength 9 properly this time ).
  15. Swinton had over 100 years, to get where, to the top and back. Workington set out almost 70 years ago and have won the challenge Cup, the Champions cup, the Lancashire Cup and have been in SL only to regress. now they are on the move again and with the opportunities made available when p and r is reinstated have the chance, however slight, of regaining past glories. Present SL powerhouses, Wigan, Hull KR, Hull, Widnes, Wakefield, London, Huddersfield, Bradford, Salford and Castleford have all spent varying amounts of time in the lower tiers. Broughton Rangers once did the double. Things are not unchangeable forever including SL. For you therefore to dismiss the ambitions of Hemel and Gloucester and even Crusaders and South Wales, Gateshead or Skolars or even Oldham shows a remarkable lack of vision. No one is suggesting that such advances are going to happen tomorrow or even in the next ten years but, over time I can see no reason why Hemel could not be playing Wakefield in SL in a purpose built stadium, having captured the imagination of the local populace and attracting a decent attendance. the same goes for Oxford or Crusaders. Gloucester might be more of a long shot than even those above mentioned teams but, given that Gloucester is a hotbed of rugby, albeit of the 15 a side variety, I don't see why they can't tap into that support over time. This never, never, never argument is futile. the past is only a guide to the future. Once, no one had ever crossed the Atlantic to the Americas, no one had flown in a plane, defied the RU and got away with it. Australia was adamantly opposed to the Northern union. there was no chance of a world cup in RL with more than flour teams. I hope you get my drift. There is something to be said for the what we have we hold arguments put forth by the SL supporters but equally, eventually change must come, and, I think, in the case of RL, we must change and expand our horizons or ultimately perish. This is the case with soccer, with RU, with the NBA, NHL, NRL, NFL and even cricket and baseball and to pull in our horns and refuse to get on this expansionary model of progress demonstrated by all these various sports will be disastrous in the long term.
  16. To refuse to consider what makes a sport successful and to consider adapting any such successful conditions to our sport is to stick your head in the sand. The most successful RL competition on the planet is the NRL and they are moving towards expansion, albeit by awarding new licences, but expansion nevertheless. In the UK P and r is the way to get to the top tier, but I am open to the argument that they just award more licences and increase the size and scope of the top tier that way. In any event, I think your unchanging static vision of SL is due for a rude shock in the near future and not before time.
  17. Just to jump in on ther lies, damn lies and statistics tangent. As you know i am an old geezer and i remember going to cup semi finals, both played at Odsal on consecutive weekends where one attendance was 43,000 and the other 37,000. the smaller attendance was involving one of the smallest clubs, to whit Featherstone Rovers. I think this was in the early 1960's but i have no reference books where I am presently located. I also went to a Championship final where 80,000 went to Odsal to see Wakefield demolish Wigan and this was when there was just one big league of 30 clubs. No Sl, No p and r either. then the wheels fell off. The game used to be much bigger than it is now and there was no need of fully pro teams to make it big. The Challenge cup used to be the Biggest RL competiton by far. third round ( Last ties were routinely attracting blockbuster attendances. I was even in a crowd of 10,000 at Keighley to see them play Wigan. O don;t know why the Cup lost it's allure but it certainly has done so.
  18. I ask this question with no rancour. Do you think that if there was a small rump SL of the top few clubs, unchanging and unchangeable and all the rest were left to their fate and died off or reverted to being amateur clubs, that the SL would continue to be successful.? Much as the games between the elite are compelling theatre, don't you think that by the time if the fourth set of repeat fixtures, the mega important TV audience might be bored and even the fanatics attending in the flesh might be getting weary of the same old same old ? The footprint of the game would be very small and parochial with maybe Catalans as an isolated exception and no chance ever of London or Wales or the midlands or south Yorkshire or anywhere else joining the party. Nature abhors a vacuum and RU might just fill the gaps, Don't you think that Sky might also balk at supporting such a small regionalised competiton especiaally if the rating were falling due to the overkill factor. Wouldn't it be better to speculate to accumulate and persevere with increasing the size of the top league and getting a bigger mix of successful clubs and the resulting variety of fixtures and extra interest. Wouldn't a fixture between a successful London and a David v Goliath like Fev or a vibrant Crusaders filling the Racecourse ground for an important fixture against Wigan, interspersed by the regular fare of Leeds v Bradford and the Hull derby be better than the repetitive five fixture revolving door fare put up by a ten team SL.? I know all the arguments that have been put forward against any expansion of of SL and dissolution of the Sky money but I don't think the game can sustain itself on a top level league of the small numbers that seem to be being touted as nirvana.
  19. By the same token, SL started with 14 and no p and r, then it went back to p and r, then the number dropped to 12, then they went back to 14, then they put Catalans in as a franchise but exempted them from relegation but not for everybody else , then they scrapped p and r. then they introduced licencing. The numbers in the playoffs fluctuated depending in which way the wind was blowing. But according to all the cast iron defenders of SL, it's a vibrant league and only needs a further tweak, to whit, kick out a couple of stragglers. I don't think the " if it ain't broken, don't fix it" method you are advocating has been applied to SL so maybe the SL concept has not been an unparalled success either given the chopping and changing that has gone on.
  20. I totally agree with you and I think it's a recipe for disaster but the point I was making is that the whole membership of the RFL pro and semi pro sections are being consulted re these changes. I am not sure if they all get to vote on it but hopefully, as it's a decision being made by Woods, it will not be a SL rubber stamp dictat as has previously been the case.
  21. I think the key quote in your post is the phrase ' It appoints people to run it", ie there is the consent of the governed. What we have had in RL since the inception of SL is a cabal who seized power and ran the sport from the point of view of their narrow self interests without the consent of the rest of the game. Now that some form of return to control including the rest of the game is in the offing the game is becoming more of a representative democracy within the admittedly narrow confines of the sport What Padge defines as the tail wagging the dog.
  22. Padge, I don't remember exactly when but they did have an 8 team middle division at one point where they all played each other several times. It was a disaster but it suffered from having some over achieving teams with small fan bases like Rochdale and Carlisle. I am sure you have the exact year and other details at your disposal as your research base seems impressive.
  23. It's called democracy and involves he concept of doing what's best for the whole not having a divine rights group appropriating everything to their own narrow demographic elite. It's a good thing. Ask most Western countries.
  24. When i was growing up in Keighley in the 60s there were four teams,Keighley Albion,Worth Village(the Worth is the river that gave Keighley it s start as a mill town)and Silsden. I beieve these are all still going or recently amalgamated. However I remember a 4th team which was called NSF and i believe that was a works team for the National Switch Factory in Ingrow. I do not think they lasted too long but I think they played in white shirts with a blue band similar to the old Workington shirt.I played for Albion and the ground was where the roundabout just to the NW of the Cougars ground is now situated before they built the bridge.Quite a few lads went pro for Keighley and I think Terry Hollindrake, for many years Keighley s only GB player, originated at the club.
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