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Hopping Mad

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  1. Extending your analysis (nobody can be attracted to a sport without having a prior interest in it), there is no prospect of any rugby league club, in any expansion area, attracting any support. Maybe Salford RLFC can't attract a decent crowd because, bar their recent Grand Final blip (and unlike Salford City FC), they've achieved next to nothing since the early 1970s.
  2. It depends how you define 'support'. There are loads of, say, Man U 'supporters' who never set foot in Old Trafford. Many because they can't afford to. Some will actively (i.e. by actually attending matches) support other clubs - including the likes of FC United of Manchester and Salford City (or the dozens of other non-league clubs in the Manchester/Salford area). My experience of watching Salford City - and I've been to five games at Moor Lane, in various leagues - indicates the club has plenty of locally-domiciled fans who've started watching live football because, all of a sudden, Salford has a football team worth supporting. At rock bottom admission prices, too. During the club's 'bankrolled' seasons, Salford City's average gate has risen from 150 to 2,500+. You don't think, of circa 251,000 Salfordians, there aren't quite a few who are happy simply to support a football team called Salford - and really aren't interested in any other club?
  3. That sounds like a generalisation. Nonsense, in the other words.
  4. That's it, I fear. Twenty-four minutes, 0-22. Kick by the posts to come. 0-24. I'm switching off.
  5. Blimey. Fourteen minutes and it's 0-16. Third Doncaster try. Kick in front of the posts. 0-18. Doncaster score next and I'm off for my tea!
  6. Eight minutes gone and it's 0-10. Neat Doncaster try. Conversion good for 0-12.
  7. What a start. Length of the field Doncaster try under the posts. 0-4. Conversion is 0-6.
  8. One of those guys who pronounces his Ts as Ds. Sooooo irritating. Usually the territory of commercial radio DJs. Rather classier act calling the game at Colwyn Bay. Wondered what had happened to George Riley after his BBC, erm, departure.
  9. You've got to feel for the Keighley player who conceded the penalty. "The poor lad..."
  10. When Swinton played at Moor Lane, the ground was indeed a toilet (as it was when pre-Man U Old Boys Salford City struggled to attract 50 spectators to games there). No denying, however, it's much smarter now, even if a lot of the revamp is superficial. Last time I visited, a couple of years ago, to the obvious consternation of residents, Salford City and Hartlepool United fans took part in a post-match punch-up that rolled along Moor Lane. Took me right back to watching football in the 70s and 80s.
  11. Out of interest: was the Moor Lane pitch the same size as it is now when Swinton were based at the ground (albeit in its unrebuilt state)?
  12. https://www.nonleaguematters.co.uk/forums/index.php?threads/where-are-you-going-where-did-you-go-rugby-league.527/page-5
  13. I know a couple of guys who attended recent London games, and there wasn’t a programme on sale. I gather Bradford issued a programme for their first game back at Odsal. Since then, nothing (I understand). Whitehaven usually tweet about their programme but haven’t done so this season. Newcastle haven’t bothered with a printed programme for several years. I was up there two seasons ago and asked their PR guy about programmes. He looked at me as if I’d arrived from another planet.
  14. Something I spotted in the ‘other sports’ section of a football forum: the impressions of a rugby league irregular from watching - for free - Magic Weekend’s second day... Courtesy of a free ticket from Sky I went to all three matches at Newcastle and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I am not a frequent rugby league watcher but the day flew by. It was interesting to see three matches so close together. The difference in quality and physicality between the Warrington / Wigan game and the others was quite startling. The attendance was given as just over 25,000 but I saw the list of Sky freebies when I collected my ticket. It was very long and we were all in unreserved seating opposite the cameras. This meant an excellent view above the half way line for me and a full-looking ground for TV presumably. However I wonder how many of the 25,000 actually paid and whether this event makes any money. A couple of observations from an infrequent attender: Why are there so many extraneous personnel on the pitch, especially after tries are scored? Physios, water carriers, trainers, the list goes on. I am all for the safety of players but is it really necessary for the referee and touch judges to have drinks brought out to them after every score? How do football referees cope? Are two cameramen running on to the pitch at these times really needed? There was one collision between a player and a cameraman that I noticed. Why do the referees wear such tight shorts? They would scarcely look less ridiculous in a pair of budgie smugglers. And why do they use such terrible whistles. It was disappointing for me, as an inexpert viewer not to be able to hear the referee, when he is audible on the TV. I was expecting to be able to buy some device to allow me to tune in. Why do caterers serve burgers in brioche buns? I want the filling to ooze into the bread not sit on top of a cross between toast and a stale bun. Especially when they charge a premium for it.
  15. A very frank Q&A about Eastbourne’s recent closure (would the average rugby league club chairman/owner - Alan Robinson aside - be this open?): https://www.eastbourne-speedway.com/ian-jordan-qa/
  16. As you say, uncanny parallels (these days, speedway, too, is similarly ignored by the national media and participation has dropped off a cliff). Speedway squandered - by simply giving most of the money to the riders - the relative fortune it received in recent years for Sky’s live coverage of top-flight meetings. Then, Sky pulled the plug...
  17. I’ll give you British Speedway Promoters Ltd (formerly the British Speedway Promoters Association). A sport that as recently as the 1970s claimed to be second only to football at the turnstiles now attracts a national weekly aggregate attendance of about 25,000. Since the mid-1980s, the number of clubs has more than halved - and not one continues to operate in London. Long gone are the days when the world’s top riders were desperate to ride in Britain. The Eastbourne club, founded in 1929, closed a few weeks ago. Compared to BSP, the RFL is doing a wonderful job.
  18. Branding is, indeed, a tricky one. I worked in Middlesbrough for five years (in the 1990s). Hardly anybody in the North East regards Middlesbrough as part of the North East. And, to an extent, vice versa. Plenty in Middlesbrough still see the town as part of Yorkshire (which, historically, it was/is). Hard to imagine anybody from the Sunderland area - and plenty of places across County Durham - supporting anything with 'Newcastle' in its name! How extensive is the catchment of Newcastle Falcons RU's support?
  19. No merger, Paul. Newcastle Gosforth (later Newcastle Falcons) grew out of the Gosforth club and moved to Kingston Park. A section wishing to remain amateur split away and continue as Gosforth today. Northern have always been independent. The Gosforth (North Road) and Northern (McCracken Park) grounds were virtually opposite each other. Houses now cover the site of Gosforth's former North Road ground. The amateur Gosforth team play at Broadway West Sports Ground (on the other side of the A1 to Kingston Park). Great to see Thunder taking another step forward. Given the progress of the North East ARL competitions, how long before Newcastle can field a team of North East-born professionals?
  20. My team, Halifax Town, are in the same division as Chesterfield and Grimsby Town. Lovely 14,000 capacity stadium that would be perfect for Super League. Oh, wait...
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