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  1. Name changes are one up from pins in a map wishful thinking though - and you don't have to look far for worked examples... Over the fence in t'other code the club of my boyhood play. You may, if you're of a certain age, have heard of Moseley. Once one of the powerhouses of the union game they know ply their trade perfectly sustainably in NL1 (L1 equivalent). However, still dreaming of the good times and wanting to have another tilt at getting to the top tier a couple of years ago (3 seasons I think, maybe 4 now), a conversation was had in the boardroom: "we're in the second biggest city in the country, we've got no competition for our code, and no one under the age of about 40 can find us on a map that isn't already a fan" "hold on lads, I've got a great idea.... er…. [gold bars slide towards the yawning chasm as the bus tilts]...wait for it.... we stick Birmingham in front of the name" "great idea" "trebles all round!" So, how have the 3 seasons or so of Birmingham Moseley treated the club formally known as Moseley FC? Well, primarily, we've been relegated from the Championship and lost £500,000 per annum in central funding. -------------- Did the name change suddenly mean we'd got a vast marketing budget to communicate that change around the city? Are sponsors beating a path to the club's door? Do any fewer people think the club's somewhere in Surrey? Fundamentally, if you want to get new sponsors the fastest way is for your existing sponsors to put more money in. Having the best players and winning things brings fans and sponsors, creates awareness, and helps things to become (as relatively as they can be in professional sport) self sustaining. Tinkering with the club's name while not really changing anything else or having the budgets to communicate your tinkering effectively? Not so much.* Manchester Swinton will just be Swinton with Manchester written on the kit. *and yes, I did offer my professional opinion to the club at the time.
  2. Fair enough, I think Colin Jordan's definitely on the record claiming it though.
  3. I did say the Tories didn't disown it, I would say that the Grauniad there are wrong in attributing the slogan to him, as in fact are the BBC. It's become a truism reinforced by institutions referencing each other rather than the evidence. See here for a modern historians take on it. Ignore it being ConHome - the author is not a Tory, he's a very good political biographer: https://www.conservativehome.com/thecolumnists/2016/11/lewis-baston-that-racist-tory-leaflet-in-smethwick-was-certainly-racist-but-it-wasnt-tory.html Incidentally, I do think that Guardian article is problematic - it attributes the slogan to the Tories (I'd go so far as to say that their candidate ran with it as far as the quote you pull out above - "I would not condemn any man who said that" - Griffiths, a nasty piece of work, didn't however say it himself or print or cause to be printed any of the literature being put through peoples' doors that said it AFAIK) rather than a putative forerunner of the National Front, then (apart from mentioning the same youth club I did) soft pedals on what Labour got up to in response and suggests (IMV erroneously) that the picture in that town was one where the Tories were uniquely in the wrong. As a non Tory/Labour voter, my only interest in this one is that Smethwick was just up the road from me growing up and I know it well. Genuinely, Griffiths v Walker must have been one of the most dispiriting choices on a ballot paper.
  4. If we want to be historically accurate, that slogan and the associated posters and leaflets in Smethwick during the 1964 GE were claimed by Colin Jordan and the British Movement (spin-off of the BUF). It has been resurrected in recent years by the internet as a sort of instant-history "look how bad the Tories are" thing but sadly lacks the virtue of, er, being strictly true. FWIW during that election campaign in Smethwick, where the Tories conspicuously didn't distance themselves from the material (despite it being British Movement and riddled with spelling mistakes) race became a massive issue in the constituency. Everyone seizes on the misattributed leaflets as Tory (presumably because it makes a good meme) but forget that during the campaign it emerged that a Labour councillor in Smethwick was operating a colour bar in his youth club, and the defeated Labour candidate (and sitting MP) Patrick Gordon Walker, engaged in a me-too with his cringeworthy statement "this is a British country...the British must come first" because he thought he was being outflanked on who could be most racist.* I say that as a historian who doesn't vote for the Tories or Labour btw. *one of his other greatest hits, as Commonwealth Secretary (as in in the UK cabinet not the Modern Commonwealth Secretary General job) in 1950, had been to persuade Attlee and his cabinet to remove the heir to the throne of Bechuanaland Protectorate (Botswana) for having had the temerity to marry a white English woman. Given Smethwick had previously been the (Labour) seat of one Oswald Mosley all I can say is that it seems to have been full of shocking bad hats on all sides. Anyway, there ends the history lesson...
  5. Quite. And why? Because if you live in the Caribbean these days and you want to get an education, then a sports scholarship to a US university is pretty high up the list of "might come offs" - that's before you dream even bigger and think about making your fortune in the NBA. It's almost like it all comes down to money... Cricket meanwhile, get into the IPL or play tests for England or Australia and you're set for life, hitch yourself to the circus that has been Cricket West Indies in recent years (though it does appear to be getting its act together) and you'll be running a bar at retirement.
  6. I actually know part of the answer to this - it cuts both ways. I was lobbying hard a few years ago for a U.K. household name sponsor to get involved at RFL/SL level as a sponsor. I was sorting out their sponsorship/marketing/brand awareness and there was/remains a great fit - I’m obviously not going to name them. They were attracted by the low cost of signing up, but at the same time would rather, in as many words, “spend double or triple on something with a nationwide profile”. I tried.
  7. Hi John, potentially a bit of a cop-out post but for the record (just in case you need "weight of argument" at TRL towers) I agree with pretty much every word of this, although I enjoyed the WSL stuff.
  8. and just to muddy the waters further, genetically Celts outnumber Saxons *in England* 3:1. There's a good case, that on the basis of those numbers, if a "Celtic nation" is a thing then England's one of them! https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/we-re-nearly-all-celts-under-the-skin-1-1141420 "If one thinks that the English are genetically different from the Scots, Irish and Welsh, that's entirely wrong,"
  9. Just seen and i’m on my phone https://wakefieldtrinity.com/club-statement-21-03-2019/
  10. ????? https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/43be13a3-ffe9-4aa4-a1cd-adf0efcb1712
  11. There's probably at least 3 categories of not "owning" your ground though: 1 - council/third party owned land, on which the club has a long lease and on which the club owns everything standing on the land and takes all revenues from events at the ground less rent. There are loads in this category. 2 - third party owned ground on which the club has a lease and manages for its own benefit, taking all revenues from events at the ground less rent 3 - paying to play at "your" ground - where the club gets in when the doors are unlocked 2 hours before kick off and receives little to no benefit from corporate hospitality or match day sales, and nothing from other events at the ground. The latter can break a club, and it's a very short list... Given the RFL's financial situation I'd reckon they'd want to do option 3 otherwise the numbers won't stack up. 1 or 2 would be best for BWFC, but much less attractive for the RFL. Given the money in football, it'd be a very rich man/idiot who would take on BWFC without its ground as it would be literally all outgoings and little chance of income from anything other than transfers and a percentage of the home gate less deductions to the stadco. A club wanting a new ground and letting the RFL come in on the ground floor before a sod is turned is one thing, and not a bad idea. Cutting in on "someone else's" ground and making them less attractive as a purchase for their own future is quite another.
  12. As others have said, I'm not sure this is remotely realistic given the RFL's lack of cash, but also I really don't think they should be in the business of profiting off the misery of other clubs in other sports. It's working so well for Wasps - "cuckoos" who have "stolen" Coventry City's ground... Like it or not, football fans expect to own or have primacy of tenure in their own grounds, take all the money from F&B and conferencing and come out swinging against those that displace them.* I'd give it about six months of RFL as the saviour of Bolton Wanderers before the BWFC fans start demanding they're run out of town. Public relations disaster in the medium-long term. Bolton fans will be dreaming of big money investors coming in for them and their ground (the only thing worse than going out of business and phoenixing is separating the club from the ground). They would view someone coming in for the ground only as making the situation worse I would expect - every time it has happened (and it hasn't happened often) the fans have screamed the house down. *In the football league and premiership I can count on very few fingers the clubs that don't control their own grounds and the income from those grounds - Coventry, Oxford Utd and, er... well there must be a couple of others... Regardless of whether out of the 92 league/prem clubs there are 2 or 22 who don't control their grounds and ground income though, I'd imagine it's an academic point given the lack of means to buy it...
  13. some anecdotal evidence from the education sector (especially in the West Midlands) that rugby (either code) and indeed full contact sports in general are a hard sell to the Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi communities - sweeping generalisation I know but backed up by traditional RU schools falling off as their make-up changes. Certainly when I was at school in Birmingham in the 1990s my friends from those communities didn't so much not have interest in rugby as face some family pressure not to play it because of the risk of injury/need to focus on academic studies to become a doctor* (pejorative but over 7 years I can think of about 8 people in my year who basically said that to me). On the other hand, hockey and cricket clubs are doing very well. IMO it's a seriously big job on to turn this round, and potentially existential problems ahead for West Mids RU and M62 RL in some towns if someone doesn't crack it. My view is anything is worth a go, but what works for cricket doesn't *seem* to be an easy translation across into rugby. None of this is to deny the obvious existence of investors from the south Asian communities (lumped together simply for speed of typing), or players, or fans; just that culturally they don't seem to be there in numbers and there are forces pushing against it. *and yes, theoretically cricket should have the same issue with time not spent studying, but it doesn't - presumably because they're coming from a culture where cricket and hockey are culturally embedded. My own (RU) club has had some success recruiting both 1st team fans and M&Js simply from marketing the 350-400 cover banqueting suite firmly at Hindu and Muslim weddings and other rites of passage. We're still not talking great numbers of conversions but some attendees realise where the ground is, and that they're welcome, and come back the following Saturday. Baby steps basically....
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