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Everything posted by iffleyox

  1. 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...)
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. 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...
  5. 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.
  6. 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....
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. First question - both yes Second question - both yes Third question - Worcester has none now, Exeter has more external.
  12. But then why does it affect you? If everyone was like you you'd have full grounds. If they lay on other stuff that gets other people in then surely that's good? You don't have to use them, you'd be there anyway. Otherwise is the objection the "wrong sort of fans"? As to why Moseley's relevant - it's a great example of really sweating a small gate. We get about a thousand at £15 on the gate. But we keep them there for hours either side of the match. Other, larger clubs do likewise and sweat their larger gates. Too much of this is about "we get people for a couple of hours on an afternoon then wave them off. Lovely if that makes you loads of money. If it's leaving money on the table though...
  13. Honestly? I don't know, because I haven't really thought about it (although I have been to Leigh and the DW, haven't been to the Halliwell). Have the people there, or has it gone straight in the too difficult file? What I do know is that Worcester play in a stadium the same size as the LSV (and average higher gates) and Exeter's ground and gate are larger, and both teams play in modern purpose built stadia. They seem to manage something like it. The answer's going to look different for every club but I'd say it's a tiny minority where the genuine answer is "we can't do anything at all"
  14. Isn't the idea though that you wouldn't miss it? Because if it was done properly you're just moving all of that, for home and away supporters, to the ground rather than the pubs, and in the process the club hoovers up all the spend that was going into the pubs. If you go to Moseley (I know it's the other code...), for example, then all the bars (corporate, clubhouse, specialist real ale, etc) are open from 1200 for a 1500 kick off, and close about midnight with live music from sixish onwards. You might get a whole other match in before the main event - (academy, amateurs, reserves, whatever), the opposition team and supporters coaches arrive about 1 so they're two hours early too. Obviously you've got the people who want to drink in the city centre pubs and turn up at the last minute (so there is a noticeable surge on the gate at 1445) but the ground is busy for hours before hand, and hours afterwards, because fundamentally people want to be there. Decent beer and food, which changes from week to week, and is priced sensibly makes the ground genuinely compete with the pubs. More sides should be looking to do that IMO.
  15. I don't know about Gateshead but I can answer for Oxford. Genuine interest and positivity, coupled with a willingness to come along and see - it helped that we had a city centre ground that is easily one of the finest venues to watch either code of rugby in England. And the sun usually shone. And all the best pubs in Oxford were a short walk away but you could just drink interesting real ales in the clubhouse if you wanted to. What killed Oxford was moving grounds on top of the reorganisation of League 1 after their first season in it, to be something other than what the RFL had invited them into. And what led to the ground move was, amongst other things, stupidity on the part of other people than the board of Oxford RL. Ok, I'm not claiming we were remotely god's gift, but Oxford (briefly) had a chance. We had a (genuine) couple of hundred per game that first season, from a standing start, in the heart of RU country, without spending vast amounts of money. Without Oxford I'd never have got properly into RL.
  16. Hunslet - that's a lot of sea to sweep and they're the experts...
  17. Too much in RL as a sport, and I say this as a massive fan but not one of the homeland hardcore, walks the fine line between cheap and cheerful and cheap and nasty. And slides over into the latter too often. I mean, I understand how we got here, but it's a shame that here is where we have to start from.
  18. Completely agree with this post from top to bottom, as a non-heartlander who found their way to the sport alone and unaided it's music to my ears. Just on the bit that I've quoted, I'm a 39 year old with no connection to any of the SuperLeague clubs who doesn't want to look like a sandwich board for a local skip hire firm. Have I bought any SL branded stuff in the last 10 years? I have not. Have I bought the Neil Fox Trin 1960 shirt from Ellis Rugby for the best part of £70? I have. (some money apparently goes to one of the RL charities). Would I have bought similar from Wakey if they sold it, rather than a third party? I would. As an outsider, it's a hell of a lot easier to buy into the heritage from before I was born, together with what's happening on the pitch, than it is the Wetherby Whaler....
  19. Yes, but I think it's more of a rugby *union* city than Glasgow. The rugby scene in Edinburgh, for all they like to belt out Flower of Scotland, is overwhelmingly red trousered, private schooled and "Anglo" (for want of a better word). It's not insurmountable, I tick all three of those boxes myself, but there's a weird effect with the Edinburgh bubble where although *very* Scottish, you're basically in the south of England again attitudinally - essentially you go up the A1 and eventually you stop being in the north. Although then you've got the bits that are very much *not* like Morningside (ie Leith, etc), but then they're not RU or RL so you're back to square one. I love Edinburgh, and miss being in and around it. If someone wants to bankroll a pro RL side there then I'll be on the next train north. But (IMO) it would be a vanity project for a long time.
  20. Thanks - all coming back to me now - hence the bitterness of the Chairman of the Scottish Rugby League when the news broke (as things then stood, he did have a point regardless of Sport England ringfencing their money to the RFL): "Perhaps those in charge at the RFL should remind themselves that they are the Governing body of Rugby League in the UK, not just England," says Hogg. "I hope that we can come to a sensible agreement for the future, that the RFL will find some funds to support Scotland, and that we will continue to work together to develop the sport."
  21. Rather germane to my point about institutional memory, I can't actually remember what the exact reason given was. From memory it was indeed dressed up as a strategic reprioritisation or similar. Apparently it was Sport England funding cuts to the RFL - see post above. Whatever it was, I remember it left a nasty taste - the statement below didn't mince it's words https://leagueunlimited.com/news/scotland-rugby-league-in-funding-challenge
  22. Brian Redhead called it "intellectual" in The Game that Got Away - his point was that it wasn't remotely less complicated or technical. "Looks straightforward. Isn't." is probably fair.
  23. It never ceases to amaze me, and this isn't a dig at you so much as a genuine observation, how short the institutional memory of fans is (and also of forums like this). I agree with you, and would like to think the bolded bit was as you say, but has the complete mismanagement of Scottish Rugby League in the last 5-10 years already slipped from the collective consciousness on here? Not many clean hands the English side of the border. When I first started posting on here the shafting of Scottish rugby league was a seemingly permanent, multi-thread topic. Essentially, if you don't recall that, it was run as a development offshoot, complete with grants, of either the RFL or the RLIF (but at the time when there wan't much difference between those two organisations anyway). Until the taps were suddenly turned off and the sport north of the border, minus the more enthusiastic amateur clubs, was basically left to dangle. Along with a lot of job losses, including one of my mates. There do seem to be encouraging stirrings north of the border though.
  24. I think that's right, and it's the sting in the tail of the step 2 advice. Individual sports can now do what they want, but the liability is totally on the heads of the individual governing bodies. The govt has, er, washed its hands... Not for the first time (on this thread) I'm glad I'm not the RFL. They've only got to get it slightly wrong and it's acres of bad publicity, an "invitation" to hand over a lot of cash or a nice day out in court. In a sport where the finances are as precarious as they are, these are high stakes.
  25. I'm not entirely sure that remotely follows... Yes it's a (reasonably) balanced view on how the season *could* progress, but that doesn't mean that "true fans" (I love "true fans" because it's usually used to separate "those who agree with me" from "those who disagree with me") or indeed anyone else needs to row in behind it. Especially the Chairmen, all of whom will know exactly how much money their club has got (which, let's be honest, is usually how much money they personally want to spend - with their directors), and exactly how practicable it is for their iown club to do anything.
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