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Toby Chopra

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Toby Chopra last won the day on October 2 2019

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  1. You're right that Yorks vs Lancs makes us look parochial, and it even suffers vs Aussie origin, where at least NSW and Queensland make up half the population. But East vs West won't catch on either - sport almost always needs identities that people have have real connection to. Of course, in the UK we potentially have something even better than origin - the home nations, just about the oldest sporting rivalries in the world. We should never give up on somehow trying to find a way to make that work.
  2. I expect it will be more the Broncos' destruction of the Skolars - if you're going to raid their team, what better way to do it than appoint the Skolars's current coach. Skolars already finished second bottom of the league with the players they had, so once they've lost the best ones to the Broncos, what's left for them? And taking the funding cuts into account, I wouldn't be surprised to see the club call it a day in the professional structure.
  3. It doesn't matter how big London is. It's a question of where are you getting the players from? Part time in London means players only from in and around the M25 and the Skolars largely get the best part time players in that area. From now on, anyone good enough to play full time will go up north. There isn't a pool of untapped PT players better than the Skolars existing players, so that's as good as Broncos can hope for. And before people say "but what about the academy" that takes years to come to fruition, and Broncos need players now.
  4. I presume this is only the start. If Broncos are truly going part-time, they will raid Skolars for the best PT players the capital has to offer, leaving Skolars with what? I struggle to see how there's room for two part time clubs in London, there just isn't the talent pool to sustain them. They need to come to some sort of deal, maybe Skolars running the academy and Broncos being the league club?
  5. We're not losing 10 clubs. That's hysteria. And no money is being "claimed back" by Superleague. The money's gone already, as Sky are not giving it to us anymore, so there just less of it going to tier 2 and 3 in the first place. Are there concerns? Yes. And some parts of the plan don't look right to me. But to be honest my biggest concern is the distribution WITHIN tiers 2/3, rather than the overall pot. That's where the risk lies.
  6. 10s of thousands of fans? If only the game had that many fans outside Superleague to lose. Also, no-one's getting richer from this deal, SL wages will continue to fall further behind comparable sports, and with fewer long term guarantees. I'm all for reasoned criticism of plans, and I share some of them, but this is just hysteria.
  7. Nope, in fact the opposite. They are favourites to go up next season when the top tier expands, and they have committed to move to share a football stadium when that happens. Trailfinders isn't suitable for top tier sport of any stripe. It may however be suitable for Broncos in L1, which is their future when they go part time.
  8. Exactly. This is where the argument of needing to run skeleton pro squads in the championship falls down. It doesnt really make any difference to SL survival.
  9. I don't think you need unbalanced funding in the Championship to keep P&R. Recent experience shows us that there's no real benefit from funding 3 or 4 clubs to run at hybrid, or skeleton pro level, so that they stand a chance in SL when they go up. They still struggle as the gulf is so large and the structural challenges of assembling a squad remain. So let's make the Championship equally part time, and if the winner wants to assemble a full time squad and take up the place, then let's do what we can to help them in other ways. I like the idea of quota and registration flexibility for example. A club like Leigh shouldn't be scared of this, in fact I think it would thrive in a much more sustainable manner. The clubs like Leigh with the biggest fan bases would rise to the top due to the spending power of higher gate receipts and better sponsors, without having to be drawn into an arms race with clubs being artificially boosted with extra money. And if they win the Championship, then can decide if they want to step up.
  10. Well, yes, teams are always going to complain about less money, but no club in the Championship is going to go out of business because of the cuts, providing they adjust their player payments appropriately. I do share some of the concerns about L1, where there is much less room to make cost reductions and this needs to be addressed. London going part time is a complete red herring: their full time status has been entirely dependent on Hughes for years, but he's using the funding change as cover for getting out. I'll also be interested to see what Leigh says their approach will be from 2023, assuming they get some sort of parachute 2022. In the end, due to the strength of their gate money, we'll still see the same clubs rising to the top of the RFL tiers. (Apart from London)
  11. I agree on the whole, although only where it can be shown that the existence of a semi pro club acts as a catalyst for interest for interest in the local communuty game, and the sport at large. Subsidising tens of thousands of pounds so 3-400 people have something to do on a Sunday afternoon isn't an aim in itself. But if it helps attract the new generation of players and fans into the sport then that's good. I think most of our clubs tick that box, some with clear actions, and others by contributing to a rugby league culture in their town. However, I think there's a couple now where the link has become pretty tenuous.
  12. So I'm glad we're not paying 500k or more to individual tier 2 clubs in some misguided attempt to make P&R work. It was never going to work. So divide the 2m relatively equally between the non-SL clubs, and we save clubs like Coventry and Skolars without wasting money on pipe dreams. People like Mr Beaumont can continue to fund such dreams out of their own pocket if they so wish.
  13. I was with you until your last paragraph. We need a strong, attractive SL with international players. We also need a community game bringing through English players, and L1 does a good job there at a cheap price. It's the mediocre middle where the waste is.
  14. Yep, I think that sums it up well. Any money spent outside SL should be divided equally among all non-SL clubs, dependent on community work. The clubs with the bigger fanbases will still naturally rise to the top as their higher gate receipts will allow them to recruit the best PT players.
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