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Everything posted by iffleyox

  1. I genuinely think I might be the only non pre-existing RL fan who got into RL through Oxford and is still watching it. Toronto were a bigger set up, and went further, but with gates of say 9,000 it really wouldn’t astonish me if the genuine converts/stickers generated at this point weren’t in the *very* low hundreds at the most. I’m not sure we can really blame them. Something blew in, caught the imagination for a bit, then vanished as unexpectedly as it had come... Incidentally, I should have been going to watch them this year with a mate of mine who was living out there. He’s now relocated his family back to the UK so will be interesting to see if they now go and watch Newcastle Thunder as their new local side.
  2. While I admire your optimism, you're suggesting that in 25 years we could be where RU is *now* and that it will have stood still in the meantime....
  3. Since 2000*? Exeter Chiefs - new, non shared stadium, on a new site, from scratch. That's all I can think of. I can think of loads of other clubs with new grounds that they don't share in other sports (particularly RU), but not "stadia". *1998 would have got you Worcester Warriors
  4. Swinton. Just a hunch. In other unrelated thoughts, must stay off the late night cheese.
  5. but as a fan of a club that was shafted by complete redesign of the leagues when they were promised (and indeed as a new club needed) stability, if I was a director of (any) RL club I wouldn't think I was safe just because there was licensing. Less so now actually given all the twists, turns and out of the blue changes to structure we've had since the last there was licensing. I'd be very tempted, regardless of the people arguing licensing = stability, to continue to spend money on the squad above everything else, just to be on the safe side. If they brought back licensing for say 5 years tomorrow, I'd be planning for the 'what if it gets canned after 18 months instead?' scenario. The greatest pro of RL is the willingness the try new things, the biggest con is the inability to stick with anything. As a sport at the highest levels I sometimes think we've got the attention span of a mayfly combined with the stickability of teflon.
  6. In a surprisingly large number of cases, by the fans, with no health and safety, using landfill/spoil/refuse/ash/cinders to build the terracing, in their own time, for no money. That ship (quite rightly) sailed some time ago.
  7. I know I'm still relatively new to the sport having only started watching it properly in 2013, so this shouldn't be a surprise - but you've been to more grounds than I've been to games....
  8. more of a modern classic than the team ever was
  9. think it's just England... £59m Premiership £44m RFU central Championship £9m Below Championship £23m As has been said by a few though, I think most of this is loans, and I'd expect when that actually sinks in we'll see what we saw with the money the RFL got a few months ago, i.e. a good few clubs deciding that they don't want that particular millstone.
  10. Which is lovely, but as a southern evangelist for the sport, where do I take newcomers to get them hooked? Cas. And I’m not a Cas fan. But when they’re on song a packed Wheldon Road has the best atmosphere in the league. When we go for their second or third match somewhere else I’ve had to apologise that it’s not going to be like that before now...
  11. Oh sure, I’m on your side of the fence. I do think we’re both mad though.
  12. really? in my mis-spent youth watching Kidderminster Harriers in the Conference we'd dream of watching them in the Premier League (while thinking it probably wouldn't happen). But you should have seen the party when we got promoted to League 2. I'd agree most fans don't realistically think their team is going to play in the top flight, but I bet most fans of teams at any level think they could realistically watch them a tier or two up. Incidentally, when Kidderminster did make it to the dizzy heights of League 2 (4th tier) at the turn of the Millennium (then called Division 3), amongst their opponents were Hull, Cardiff and Swansea*. That's the difference right there. In football, in the last 20 years, that's 3 clubs that have gone from the 4th tier to the Premier League. There may even be more - but that's just the ones I can remember us playing. *edited to add, in the interests of fairness Swansea were promoted to the second division in 2000 so left the third division at the top as we arrived at the bottom - must have played them in a cup. But I'll leave them in because they still qualify for the bottom pro division to the top in the last 20 years point.
  13. so you'll let them up without meeting the standards? In the meantime, assuming they finish bottom, are you protecting them and if so are you relegating someone else? How else do you prevent the money going on SL wages rather than infrastructure? It's not insurmountable but I'd worry that 2 years might not actually be long enough...
  14. 100 years of free gangway (within the 92) - everyone is at ease with the eco-system. Compare that to RL where in living memory there was only one division, and you might have grown up watching Hunslet but you'll watch Rhinos now because the top flight is over for Hunslet.* It's the same in RU - although the analogy there is the game going open, to RL's introduction of 3 tiers. It's had the same disruption to the ecosystem. There are big clubs, with England international lists as long as your arm, trapped in tier 2 and 3, and it's killing them - just like in RL. You can't compare soccer with either code of rugby in England. SL and Premiership RU pulled away from the rest at a given moment in relatively recent history and have left carnage in their wake. Might have been good for the respective sports (I don't believe that but you can make the case), undoubtedly good for the clubs with chairs when the music stopped, but (and I say this as someone who simultaneously held season tickets at L1 RL and Championship RU clubs) I can understand entirely why anyone with half a brain has walked away from the clubs not in either top flight. I can say that. I haven't walked away! Really, unless you're a fan of a couple of clubs in either code who knock on the door every year and have got the chequebooks ready (I'm not), then it's over. They're all junior clubs now, and probably forever. The dream has died. It's the dream that keeps football going down to about level 6, and even below that you've got some lunatics who turn up to watch. Outside a couple of clubs in level 2 of RU and RL, the remaining fans are turning up out of habit, and not really being replaced. By and large anyway, there'll always be exceptions. *OK, never say never, but absent a lunatic billionaire turning up.
  15. would like to agree on paper but leaving that sentence to one side as it's unlikely to be the sole way they decide... Toulouse makes all kinds of sense but do they have the appetite to make 1/6 of the league subject to the Covid legislation of another country? Unless they make them both play all their matches next season over here, that's a risk. (NOt saying it's insurmountable but it's a reason to push back on Toulouse, Catalans OTOH being already in the tent). The sensible option for me is probably Toulouse, but it isn't the safe option (or at least it comes with another potential set of problems which admitting an English team wouldn't have).
  16. Agree in theory, but that has risks on both sides and would probably need to be accompanied by a return to licensing, which has it's own risks It ought to focus the minds of the clubs on the right side of the line, but how long have they got to make the improvements? At the same time, what incentives are there for clubs the wrong side of the line to build facilities without a guarantee that they'll get to the top flight in due course? Basically, done wrongly/badly it's a recipe for shrinking SL - booting clubs (rightly) for not keeping up, but without a tranche of clubs waiting in the wings to replace them. Similar worst case scenario would be (without expansion) Fev/York or whoever blowing a load of cash on SL standard facilities and patiently waiting for the licensing review only to find when it comes round that Wakey and Cas have sorted their grounds out and there's no appetite for expansion... I struggle to see any way forward that isn't (as usual) just a different can of worms sadly.
  17. while I basically agree, as a southerner who never goes to any of these places for the day and always has to make a weekend of it... Headingley maybe, but Leeds is always an easy sell to friends who might come with me Not much going on in Castleford, but I've always enjoyed spending time in the pubs Hull is vastly underrated as a short break destination, genuinely Wigan (sorry Wiganers) I agree St Helens - also (sadly) agree - selling it as 'handy for Liverpool doesn't really count IMO! Warrington - never been Leigh - never been (no station) Wakefield is really grim in parts but the city centre is surprisingly nice, great pubs, good night out Huddersfield - have been lots of times, some of the architecture is breathtaking, They're not top locations, but I bet most people could find them on a map - well, Leeds, Wakefield, Huddersfield and St Helens anyway. Featherstone, not so much - although I've always quite liked it. On the list though, in all honesty, Leeds is the only one I would have gone to without rugby. Hull is the best kept secret, and I could make a case for 24 hours in Wakefield without Trin, but overall you're right that none of them are compelling.
  18. Well that's two different sporting systems talking past each other right there... (without prejudice to whether either philosophy is a good idea) "expand the league and get rid of some teams if they don't invest in it" might be the way things are done in the US (it is) but along the M62 are *any* of the club owners interested in investing more money in league shareholdings alongside their club ownership? Or in a position to do so? Really? Even in RU, the Premiership A and B shares that each club has (cant remember which way round it is but one you get by being in the prem, and one you can buy after something like 4 years of being in the prem from the ex prem club in the championship - if it's been down there that long) are loose change - single figure millions. Introducing that to SL is either going to see half the clubs out or be set so low that you might as well not bother.
  19. In the current world where the clubs own the academies, and have the players under contract before they come through..... indulge me, how much of a magic wand are draft picks going to need?
  20. without ever entering the 'delirious cheerleader' realm I've always been at least relatively pro Toronto on here. However, I can confirm from outside the heartlands that for every one person who thought the inclusion of Toronto was exciting/innovative/etc, I spoke to at least a couple who thought it was ludicrous and in a funny sort of way made it even more small time.
  21. I think we can knock that question down to 2 clubs actually. Everyone in the room would have had a fairly good idea of what was going to happen, so on that basis: Catalans nailed on to vote for Toronto because it's the club closest to them in situation and they need to keep the flame alive. RFL know it's going to be defeated so 'doing the right thing' costs nothing and they get to look like the good guys -vote for it. Saints and Leeds? I reckon somewhere between Catalans and RFL - but of the four votes in favour those are the two where I think it's not obvious.
  22. If (big if) that were to happen then it s got to be bottom up because the individual clubs and their fans want it. If you want a worked example of what happens when you create a league with a couple of the old big clubs and merged regional teams then you only need to look at Welsh professional RU... Cardiff Blues who aren't really Cardiff but are really = no problem for the Cardiff Fans. Ditto Scarlets who aren't really Llanelli but are really. Then you've got the others. Newport Gwent Dragons and Neath Swansea Ospreys. No love for either of those sides from the clubs and locales who are supposed to feed them. Neath and Swansea in one team is like forcing a merger of Leeds and Bradford when both were at their peak. Dragons is the only one which is arguably better than the sum of its parts but they don't get the crowds because the fans don't really want it. That's without mentioning Celtic Warriors, who are no longer with us. And if you'd told a Bridgend or Pontypridd fan of the 70s or 80s (or 90s to be fair) that they'd be merging to make a superclub you'd either have been laughed at or lynched. But they might have accurately predicted it was a way to take two decent clubs in a rugby hotbed and kill them. Then you've got the fans of any club who walked away because despite not being affected personally they didn't like the idea of franchising, or whose clubs were shut out of the top flight. Basically how not to run a sport. We might be at the point where if Wakefield and Castleford (for example) wanted to merge, it might be in their best interests and if the fans were on board then why not? But I doubt we'll ever be in the position where the RFL (or any other body) could dictate it down to the clubs. Emotions aren't rational, sport isn't rational.
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