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Everything posted by RugbyLeagueGeek

  1. That's exactly my point. The foundations of a lot of pro RL clubs are very precarious. It's easy for people to point fingers at Toronto (and rightly so) and other expansion clubs, but often the same criticisms can easily be levelled at a number of 'heartlands' clubs.
  2. That's classic given that this thread is supposed to be about West Wales!
  3. How many other clubs would have gone to the wall had it not been for the furlough scheme? I suspect a lot.
  4. Any evidence for this? I'll happily be persuaded if you can provide a convincing argument. As a combined aggregate maybe, but nowhere near the same impact in terms of public consciousness. I'm pretty sure most people in the UK could tell you that England won a football world cup in 1966, but I expect very few could tell you who won the league that year. Likewise, the same for England's rugby union and cricket world cup wins.
  5. You say "varying domestic competitions", but let's be clear - it's the NBA, MLB and NHL that are massive. The common denominator is the North American market. Take these competitions out of the equation and does your point still stand? What metrics are you using for this statement? I can only speak from experience in the UK, but the competitions that seem to generate the most public interest and media attention are always international competitions.
  6. And likewise, you haven't addressed questions I've put to you either. I haven't got the time or energy to trawl back through old threads, but I'm pretty sure I made some of these criticisms on this forum at the time, so I can assure you it isn't from hindsight. But fair enough, let's leave it there.
  7. Yes I completely agree If we're talking about a professional element, then they're going to be relying heavily on private investment regardless of development model. From my perspective, it should be about filling in the gaps to create a proper development pathway from grass roots to pro level. I don't see the point in dropping in a new club to virgin territory, if the majority of their squad is coming from the heartlands and there's minimal development work going on alongside it. People keep mentioning hindsight, but the game was doing that 30+ years' ago with the likes of Fulham and Nottingham City, and it didn't work then, so lessons hadn't been learnt and mistakes were repeated. It has to be more of a holistic approach. What remains to be seen with Cornwall is whether it will be the latter or the former. If it's the former, then they'll probably end up being another footnote in the chapter of rugby league's weird expansion attempts. If it's the latter then hopefully we'll end up with a new region and new source of players and spectators enjoying the game. Unfortunately, the RFL doesn't have the proverbial pot to piddle in at the moment, so their contribution to the project will be minimal.
  8. I completely agree. Which is why I think the RFL would have been better targeting one specific area for expansion back in 2012/13, instead of admitting several new clubs and consequently spreading their limited resources and finance too thinly.
  9. It's not a straw man argument at all. It was the RFL's money - they chose to allocate it to new League 1 clubs with limited/non-existent foundations underpinning them. Nobody was forcing them to do this. This is a discussion forum. It is not my job to formulate a strategic plan for the RFL, or to humour yourself. I do not have the knowledge, time or inclination to do this. No I do not believe it is good on its own. I never said I did. What I did say was that it would have been better than pouring a million pounds down the drain. I can only assume that you think spending a million pounds over 5 years on 3 clubs that have folded was money well spent and a risk worth taking, because you haven't said otherwise. As I've said, it isn't my job to do this. I don't work for the RFL. This is a discussion forum. Since when did wanting the RFL to devise a strategic plan for developing the game equate to me having to devise it?? That is a ludicrous viewpoint. Is your opinion that the RFL shouldn't have a strategic plan for developing the game?? I don't believe the other League 1 funding was well spent either, regardless of location of team. But as least those other League 1 clubs are still going. I'm a lot more comfortable with it than when it was 70k. If clubs generate their own investment then it's absolutely fine for them to spend it how they like. That was how pro rugby league always used to operate.
  10. Presumably you think that million pounds provided good return on investment then? Given that two of those former clubs no longer exist, and Hemel are now back playing at community level again, I don't think it was worth it. Given that there is zero tangible legacy from that million pounds investment, it's a low bar. If they only put on a schools tournament every year then it would provide better return on investment IMO. It was the RFL's money. They chose to spend it on expansion teams in Championship 1. They didn't have to choose to spend it on that. Surely it is possible to support development efforts and want a strategic plan? The 2 don't have to be mutually exclusive.
  11. I'm not sure what point you're making. I haven't slated Hemel anywhere - they're a terrific community club and have been doing a great job for years. But their foray in to the pro game was a disaster with them ending up training in Dewsbury and Sheffield before fizzling out completely. Unless you think that the £350k that they received over the 5 years was money well spent?
  12. You're being obtuse - you understand the point I'm making. Unless of course you think giving a million quid to 3 clubs that have since folded is money well spent?
  13. Probably quite a bit. Besides, my suggestion wasn't a comprehensive strategic plan. It was just highlighting that they could have invested that money in plenty of other ways and there would be more to show for it. Well for starters, you would have had an additional 25 years' rugby league activity to show for your investment. You only need to see what one person did on the ground in each of the Midlands regions for participation in schools and community clubs before the development funding was cut. Moreover, this long-term involvement would cross 2 generations of player, so you would start to see children of former players taking up the sport, and would therefore be more able to recruit volunteers who have a background in the game. Exactly - there needs to be a clear strategy, with different elements of the strategy complementing one another. There was no strategy from the RFL whatsoever when admitting the expansion clubs to Championship 1 - instead it was a sticking plaster to cover up the lack of a national development strategy, as they capitalised on a few enthusiastic clubs who stuck their hands up to volunteer to put some pins in maps for them. As evidenced by this: No joined up thinking whatsoever from the RFL. Instead of 3 expansion clubs, why not focus on one area for the long term, and put additional investment in to develop the surrounding infrastructure - schools, community clubs, colleges/universities etc? All the RFL did was give clubs the opportunity to sink or swim. A few have sunk, and the other expansion clubs are frantically doggy-paddling to keep themselves afloat. I think there should have been more of a longer-term strategic plan to help new areas, rather than just chucking money at a new League 1 club which all went towards paying players to help maintain some semblance of competitiveness.
  14. That is a fair question. But those other clubs are still going, whereas Hemel, All Golds and Oxford aren't. So there is zero tangible legacy from the financial outlay to those clubs. There's loads of different things they could have done with the million quid that they spent on those 3 clubs. Even if they just focused on one of those areas and funded a development officer for 30 years with that money, it would have been far more effective for developing the game than what they actually did. In the case of Northampton Rebels, those checks obviously were nowhere near enough. And yet the money wasted on Hemel, All Golds and Oxford could have been used to fund a development officer for literally decades. Spend it on grass roots development instead. There was no requirement from Sky to spend that money on League 1 clubs - that was a strategic decision from the RFL. And in the cases of those clubs that have folded, it hasn't paid any dividends whatsoever.
  15. If the home was the same design as the away, but in maroon with a gold and white V, it'd probably look quite good.
  16. I was led to believe that the RFL central funding was approx £70k per club. Multiply that by the number of seasons they were in League 1 and you're talking over a million quid that went to those clubs, with nothing to show for it. The RFL's strategy for developing the game doesn't have to be solely based on chucking money at League 1 clubs in new areas. They could have developed a strategy for grass roots development that would have seen that million quid go much further in my opinion. This is the crux of the problem for me - at the time of the Championship 1 (as was) expansion, the RFL basically said "who wants to be in?" and then accepted clubs with very little underpinning them, other than some enthusiastic people who replied with a "yes" (Northampton Rebels as Exhibit A). There was no joined up thinking, and no long term plan for how to actually develop the game in those areas. And there still isn't. I'm seeing the same pattern with Cornwall now.
  17. As we've seen with the recent cut to League 1 funding, the RFL doesn't have money to 'scatter gun'. Expansion attempts should have been part of a strategic plan, as opposed to a pins-in-map approach. The money 'scatter-gunned' on Hemel, All Golds and Oxford was completely wasted, with zero to show from those projects. That money could have been used far more wisely. I'm not sure they've 'hit the target' with Coventry either, given that the Bears have had to move to Birmingham and rebrand. Cornwall and Toronto are different. Toronto had no central funding, so their money was coming from a benefactor. Cornwall have a token amount from the RFL, but most of their money will need to come from outside investment, so essentially these projects were/are less problematic for me with regard to 'scatter gunning' money (although I gather there are now lots of unpaid bills from the Toronto situation).
  18. And that's fine. But not everyone falls in to that category. There is a big difference between scepticism versus not wanting it to work.
  19. I think you're describing one category of person. I fall in to the category of expansionists who are fed up of a common theme of every expansion attempt in this country being under-resourced, under-funded and not properly considered as part of a wider strategy. When these poorly-resourced expansion attempts fail it then adds more fuel to the fire for that category of people that you describe, who then have yet more ammunition to claim that the South/Wales/Canada (delete as appropriate) aren't interested in RL and that it's all a waste of time and money.
  20. I suspect there's a significant proportion of posters on this thread (myself included) who are pro-Cornwall, but just can't see it working (based on all of the available evidence of all of the game's recent expansion attempts).
  21. I hadn't seen that, and that is very disappointing. As you say, there's no need for any of that and it would no doubt be very dispiriting for newcomers to the game. But from the posts I've read on this thread (which is 35 pages long now) there has been mainly scepticism and constructive criticism, rather than hostility. And literally all of the available evidence should tell us to be very sceptical of another expansion project - the common theme with all of them is that are invariably under-funded and under-resourced. It would be fantastic for the game to have a new, successful club in Cornwall, but every single pro expansion club that started in the last decade has either disappeared or relocated.
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