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  1. Ah, this is why the Hundred is for you! If you're from the NW and have no affinity with Lancashire, the ECB has cracked how to make it relevant to you. Get yourself over to watch the Manchester Originals.
  2. Of course, if people feel strongly enough about it, it can go the other way. Rutland achieved its independence, we in Worcestershire broke free from the hated Herefordian oppressor yoke of the abomination that was Hereford and Worcester, and supplies are still sent to the resistance movement in Huntingdonshire to aid their fight. #prayforsaddleworth
  3. Bees are going in with London Irish as their tenants. Given the general faffing around (in both rugby codes) at the moment about what's going to be played when (and the potential for summer RU and winter RL depending on what's going to be allowed) I'm not sure the addition of a third set of fixtures to deconflict is something that either LI or Brentford would jump at sadly.
  4. To be honest I think you're both right - if, in Harry's example, you're a six year old in eg Dewsbury who's dragged to Dewsbury by your family every week until the age of 14 then those players are going to be your heroes and you will go by yourself later on as you get older. If you're a child in Dewsbury who doesn't go to Dewsbury games then you will be watching SL. And you're right in that many many more are in the latter camp than the former along the M62. So every child in every small town is not worshipping their local players, but the small number that go are. Which again, comes back to my take on expansion being as important for the current clubs as it for people wanting to set up new clubs in new areas. We need clubs to pick up as many in their communities as they can for the health of the game. The Dewsburys, Swintons, Batleys, Doncasters, need to get more through the gate (although, as has been pointed out by others, Batley do a lot already), so do the Leeds, Wakeys, Salfords, etc. *And* then it would be ideal if it grew outside the heartlands too.
  5. Somerset's ex CEO, who resigned over ECB handling of various things, is on record on the damage he thinks will be done to Somerset by antagonising their current Devon based supporters. It's not about whether there was first class cricket or not in Devon, it's about how many from Devon travel to Taunton currently. Which apparently is quite a few (and would make sense as it's half an hour from Exeter...)
  6. Indeed, but then there have been some revealing figures bandied about in various places on how large the current travelling Devon contingent is to Taunton, for example. So there is a constituency of current cricket fans who are now over three hours from their nearest live cricket (and being told to support the Welsh) instead of just over 30 mins. That's before you try the same trick with the Bristol based fans, for whom it's *only* a trip over the Severn Bridge, at the height of summer...
  7. Even as a Worcestershire fan, I think the real losers are the whole of SW England - they've taken out Gloucestershire and Somerset entirely but that's ok because if you live in Gloucs, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall or Dorset you can support Welsh Fire in Cardiff...
  8. well exactly - leaving aside the fact that my own side in cricket is being shafted by the 100, I might have been more on board with it if the ECB hadn't gone out of their way to tell me it wasn't for me...
  9. Which is where cricket has finally lost the plot - for the 100, which is taking all the best players and the best weather (well it was before the obvious current situation happened) and dumping them into new teams no one cares about) you don't even have to read between the lines - the ECB has explicitly said "if you're out there in England and like watching cricket this isn't for you. it's for all the people that don't" - which is what you might call brave... Nothing in this thread, with the possible exception of the "international flat pack big city league" is even remotely as far down that road. Overall, long term fans will put up with a lot. And a lot more than anyone who isn't a long term fan. So, to grow the number of fans, long term fans will *always* to a degree, just have to take it. The trick is to not push them so far that they walk away, which (from the noises from some of the counties concerning a slump in memberships on last year (and pre covid outbreak) I think is what cricket is risking.
  10. I totally agree, but the argument for the last 5 pages or so has been almost entirely about making what we've got better and more appealing, not fantasy big city leagues or dropping a flat pack team into Dublin. In some ways, this turned into quite an encouraging expansion thread by the standards of how it usually goes - the conversation for the last day or so has mainly been about expansion in terms of making a trip to the current clubs more attractive to more people where they are. I want more people to discover RL like I did and adopt it as their own. Bluntly, thinking it's great and hoping that the action on the pitch will do the talking is wishful thinking - if it was that straightforward we'd be laughing. And being happy with what you've got, the protect and hold strategy, is usually a recipe for disaster too. I don't mean we need to go haring off in the opposite direction and blowing all the money in the game on gimmicks, but standing still and hoping that the rest of the world lets you get on with it is just as high risk IMO. When teams do it they normally end up descending through the leagues. When whole sports do it....
  11. One more, but despite what I said above this was a cross post. Then I will leave it. I agree with the account of the separate development and everything in terms of what happened over the first hundred years, so as far as it goes I agree with the thrust of this post. However, I would make one small alteration - the third word, "are" should now be "were." We've ended up in a sporting landscape in the UK, if not the world, where sport is basically binary: football, and other. LIke it or not every spectator sport is operating now in football's long shadow, and there's more to learn from each other these days, whether cricket, RU, ice hockey, horse racing, whatever, than there is to stand apart and say "we're more similar to football." IMO anyway. But I accept that there are limitations on space because of that history obviously. I'm not sure we're actually that far apart on this really, but I think the future's going to have to look different to the past, and that means borrowing from other sports and trying to brak out of *some* of what RL has been. Evolution not revolution. Anyway, now I really have got to do some work.
  12. I don't want this to go cross code, and also I've got work to do, so that's me done on that tangent - sorry for dragging it in that direction. I think that there are opportunities to do *something* more going begging, and too many people defaulting to "we can't do anything and I'm only bothered about the 80 mins on the pitch anyway" - which is a totally legitimate opinion obviously but they've got you in the bag. It's other people that are the target here. I had also thought, in an expansion thread, that Moseley was relevant given that their days of getting 14,000 through the gates are long gone, and what they do with 1,000 people every week *and which has got them to the stage where they could build everything they have built debt free without a benefactor* might be useful. They lost their old ground and nearly went out of existence at the turn of the millennium. They saved over £5 million to build that one stand from donations and income from sweating the ground. Admittedly I didn't make it clear why I thought it was a useful case study. My broader point was that if you're an expansion club in League 1 and the Championship then there might be something to learn from them. Hell, even if you're a normal club in League 1 or the Championship. But where I was actually going with it too was the line that there's nothing to learn from Toronto, cricket, or anyone who provides a match day experience which is more than the game, and relies on taking more money than from the game itself. I just don't buy it, whatever the level. People that want to come and watch rugby for 80 minutes are catered for at the moment, and literally nothing anyone's suggesting changes that. But at the moment nothing is done for anyone else, and there's too much feeling across 11 pages that nothing *should* be done for them either. It's a comfort zone. But it's a comfort zone that relies on the current crowds continuing to replace themselves. Unless the situation is worse than I thought and it's actually like the CofE where the dyed in the wool are happy that "it will probably last long enough to see me out but after that it's lights out and it won't affect me". Which is a terminal comfort zone.
  13. what's a wedding venue? You asked those questions about, and I answered them for, Worcester and Exeter, a quick google of football grounds suggests most of them are too... you've lost me. Also isn't that the point? It's not enough to just have a ground. To maximise your income (and I accept this isn't going to happen if you're a tenant of someone else) you want to be a wedding/conference/hospitality venue that happens to have a rectangle of grass. Not a sports pitch that tries to do the reverse. On your second bit - it sounds, again, like we've got the wrong stadia for the sport then doesn't it? Football's awash with money so it matters less to them. RL very much isn't but there's a resistance to doing anything other than unlocking half an hour before kick off and locking again the same time afterwards.
  14. Ok, I didn't want to make this too union but let's look at how Northampton and Gloucester do it as they're large, modern city centre grounds on constrained sites that do what I've said Moseley do (rather than out of towns like Exeter and Worcester) - which is apparently not scaleable for super league and shows nothing to learn for RL Championship sides either... They sweat anything they've got at all between the perimeter fence, on any side or corner that has got one between the ground and the road. They redesigned the internal concourses as they redeveloped to be something other than concrete passageways. They decorated, they put in bars and concessions, in the case of one of those grounds they even carpeted non corporate areas. That's where they then put the bands on etc after the match. But more to the point I accept that they though about all of this at the time they were (re)building, so that ship may well have sailed. Generally train or bus in most cases. I tend to drive but then I live 75 miles away, I get the train when I can. The station's about 15 mins walk and is 10 mins to Birmingham city centre.
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