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Toby Chopra

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About Toby Chopra

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  1. Why is a 20 game season not enough? Once you add the CC and 1895 cups and potentially Yorkshire cup, that should be fine. In fact for development clubs it's probably more than enough and means they don't have to start in the depths of winter.
  2. I thought Salford were tied to the AJ Bell (part-owned by the council) because they owe the council around £1.5m, which would be called in if they tried to leave? Oddly enough, if Sale bought the stadium outright, that could free Salford to move to a more suitable site.
  3. Well, more than zero, so yes. Like I said, I'm not doubting Cats' value to the competition as a whole, even if the Perpignan games stop being televised. I'm just responding to the comments that Cats bring more value to the Sky contract that domestic clubs do. Can't see any evidence of that.
  4. What evidence have you got for saying that? Sky don't sell subscriptions in France. They do in Wakefield, Huddersfield and Salford. Sky only show the Saturday games because they are supplied the feed for next to nothing. They won't cover any of the Perpignan games off their own bat. Now, just to be clear, I'm not arguing that Cats should be kicked out of SL. They bring things to the competition that those other clubs mostly don't: namely one of the strongest revenue generating commercial operations in the league and they are the lynchpin of the French player development pipeline. Both of those things benefit the competition as a whole. But adding value to the Sky contract by just existing is not one of them. I don't belive many people in England decide to buy a Sky rugby league subscription because of some sort of exotic attraction from Cats being in the completion so it doesn't make any narrow difference to Sky if they're there. There's going to be some difficult decisions to make for the sport in the next few years and we need to be clear and accurate about the pros and cons of what each club brings.
  5. Well their destiny is certainly in their own hands, and as a team you can't ask for more than that. I'll freely admit I was one of those who thought they'd get nowhere, and would be dead and buried by now. Delighted to be proved wrong. Good luck London.
  6. All fair points, I certainly don't think there's a sure fire route to a successful Manchester side, it maybe that the UK sports market has matured to a level that means professional club rugby has to make the best of the footprint it already has. That said, I'd hope Elstone knows the answers to the questions you ask about current SL interest in Manchester.
  7. There may or may not be potential for a professional rugby team in the City of Manchester, I don't think we know the answer to that yet. But the crowds at barely-pro, small town historic clubs like Rochdale and Swinton don't tell us anything. Those clubs do not market at, nor are attractive to, potential new fans living in Manchester. If you live in Chorlton, Moss Side, or Levenshulme, or in one of the hundreds of new build flats going up in the centre, and you catch some Superleague on Sky, and you think you'd like to give a match a go, you don't think of heading to see Oldham. You're basically talking Wigan, or at a push trekking out to Warrington, and thats enough effort to put most people off. The question is, would a Manchester branded side, playing in the city, fully pro, and playing at the level of, and with the marketing effort of, the Toronto Wolfpack, attract interest? I don't know. But I think it's the only model that could potentially work. Top down, not bottom up.
  8. To be honest, it's the covering of production costs for 28 games that's the really valuable input. That cost runs into the millions for full TV quality coverage. (ie. not just 2 camera Internet quality that we have recently started to have) It would let Sky have an extra game every Saturday for next to nothing, which indirectly enhances the value of the domestic contract. But Catalans and Superleague need to get an alternative fast, because if additional French TV games aren't provided, then Catalans participation starts to come into question.
  9. Well done Eagles, look forward to seeing you on CCF day, hope the club can use it to kick on.
  10. Different style and tone, but I think Dave Woods and Mark Chapman do a great job. When they cover a great match for the BBC, the real enjoyment they experience is palpable. And I think they connect better with the wider audience than Stevo's enthusiastic but sometimes nonsensical ramblings. Bodes well for getting the most out of the World Cup
  11. There's not an unlimited number of places though. Whether it's 14, 16 or 18, there's always going to be a club left out, and unfortunately for London, there's does seem to be quite a long list of clubs, both from heartland and other expansion areas, that look able to generate more value from a SL spot than London can.
  12. Indeed they do, but they'd be doing even worse outside of it. Of course, that's not a reason to guarentee them a place, but it's just a fact that wherever they are at now would still be better than if locked out for 5 years. These debates always come down to the same question: how do we choose 12-ish clubs for the top flight when there's no more than about 7 clubs (at best) who can make the most of the place. As I say, I think a type of licencing is probably the answer, and there are probably clubs outside SL who could have a better shot at building something than some of those currently in. But it's not clear cut and there are profound risks to those left out.
  13. I'm broadly in favour of licensing of some sort - I tend to think the pluses outweigh the minuses for the game overall - but we should be transparent about the downsides: how would 5 years stuck in the championship give Leigh the opportunity to do anything, particularly on the business side? Crowds and interest would be decimated. Clubs outside the top flight would become souped-up community clubs. Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing because for many of them that offers a more stable long-term future. But for those on the cusp, the longer they are locked out from the top flight, the further away they will be from building a business that could survive in Superleague. In the UK at least, you can't build a Superleague club outside Superleague.
  14. I agree with this analysis I'm just not sure that the Championship is the best FTA content to drive wider interest in the sport. I think people are getting carried away with the idea that the Championship could develop into some sort of equivalent rival to superleague - it's miles off that and there's no scenario where even a majority of the clubs could go full time. And most wouldn't want to anyway. We need to find a way to showcase our best. Cricket has found a way to do that with 'The Hundred' having some FTA broadcasts from next year while the England team will remain behind the paywall. For us, the England team will always be FTA, but we need more content than that. If we can't come to a deal with Sky to have some SL games on FTA without a massive hit to the money, then I've been starting to think about whether we can do something with the Challenge Cup. Obviously this is already FTA but the old competition has seen better days and the sporadic, short notice and random nature of the fixtures doesn't help drive it's profile with the wider public. How about if the last 16 - with the top 8 in SL guarenteed a place - was a group stage with a set fixture list followed straight away by the semis and final. A six week block in high summer on FTA TV, just like the IPL or Hundred. We can promote it, build it up with much more certainty, put all our efforts into showcaseing our best in a narrow window, rather than over months and months, and then when it's done, switch back to Sky for the climax of the SL season. Basically we don't have to sell ourselves all year round - only football can sustain that - just really go for it in focussed periods like with the Six Nations or Hundred.
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