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Tommygilf last won the day on August 14

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  1. I definitely think a French derby is more likely at this stage, indeed I think 3 or more french teams in the whole system is just as likely. However I think with new Canadian teams we will see sides that can comfortably spend to the salary cap and thus challenge to get in SL relatively easily (which will be true so long as we have teams like Wakefield and Salford who don't spend to cap). I don't necessarily think we'll see as many French teams with the same financial clout.
  2. Its not the priority its just a sporting principle. Also, it seems Bradford Leigh and Widnes were all in SL and only hit (serious) financial problems outside of it. It seems getting 1.8 million a year helps turnover! Shock! I have no doubt that if you dropped Wakefield, Salford etc into that scenario you'd end up with similar results.
  3. Before the usual suspects jump on this I'm just going to say that I would be in favour of this sort of derby. I would prefer when we brought in expansion clubs that they were initially brought in in pairs so that each team would have a natural on field "rival" as well as off field partner to help shoulder the growth of the game. Also would add that in receptive markets such as the South of France and as we are seeing (as surprising as it is to some) in the Greater Toronto/Ontario area, a derby guarantees 2 big events a year for the local media etc to get around and thus provides the game with a bit of a boost in exposure.
  4. Ok, almost all major sports in countries with populations counted in the millions if you want to be picky. Only major sport without P/R I can think of is GAA and even then that is competed on regional and then national level. I'm not relying upon tradition. Even so in RL that is a flawed argument as for a large portion it was all one league as clubs, unlike their counterparts in the football league, did not commit to a full multi league system and consistently and chopped and changed. Never the less the situation for at least the past 30 years has been one with multiple leagues and for the most part the potential of movement between. You still ignore the fact that there is minimal qualitative difference outside the top teams in SL for who else is in the comp. Salford or Halifax? Widnes or Wakefield? Bradford or Hull KR? Huddersfield or Leigh? I've said previously on this thread that expansion clubs are different in terms of what they bring to the SL table, but for the rest its clear to see there is minimal qualitative difference and certainly not enough to distinguish between them for a franchised system.
  5. Precisely, and European sporting leagues have for over a 100 years agreed that the fairest way to do that is to relegate the poorest performing teams and promote the best from below to give them a chance. As qualitatively there is minimal difference.
  6. I have to agree with a lot of what you say Harry. Although I would add that expansion clubs, particularly Toronto and Catalans who are as financially strong (if not stronger than) the big 4 are outside that middle 12 or so clubs and can break into that top tier at a consistent level. The relative closeness of that middle group of teams (and how it is easier for clubs outside that bracket to reach that stage) is the primary argument I have against a closed shop.
  7. Exactly Harry. These owners are 9 times out of 10 not in it for the money they're in it because they love their team and would do so in the 3rd division or even lower in future, so long as the route upwards is open and is achievable.
  8. Because they provide opposition (and therefore content) for those that do?
  9. Currently it would be that they operate as an incubator for potential SL teams both Heartland and not as well as a high standard place for SL clubs to loan players to to get experience. I've got to go to work now so thats just off the top of my head.
  10. Would be interesting to see the impact of the taking away of promotion from the championship too. A far more devastating blow I'd guess.
  11. I agree, I think its certainly the reason why they went with Lam and were going to go with Edwards because fans were voting with their feet and they wanted a change of direction and style of play.
  12. Leeds have had 2 seriously good performances against Huddersfield and Catalans and are still in the mire and that's it imo. As I've said before I think there are many reasons contributing to the Rhinos attendances that aren't related purely to relegation or even this season. I never actually specified which fans it was interesting for - which is an important aspect of why I said at the start we can't pull specifics from generalised figures. Clearly for many supporters of those in a relegation battle it doesn't increase their likelihood of attending, I'd argue from experience with fellow Leeds fans as much of that is about being out of the habit of going and the generally rubbish quality on the pitch all season - rather than relegation. For others in the media and fans of all teams it adds another chapter to the story of the season and gives a narrative to each game.
  13. I think we have to be vary careful about drawing conclusions on specific points out of general statistics like average attendances. For example Leeds and Wigan's attendances have dropped significantly since 2010. There's plenty of factors that feed into that imo: For Leeds: Going from the threepeat team to a bang average league side who could turn it on in the playoffs, losing the big Bradford game, the club generally taking its eye off the ball with regards visibility and presence in the city, failing to come up with a solution to keep lots of fans attending during the rebuild meaning many got out of the habit, not capitalising on Grand Final wins, then of course 3 woeful years out of 4 since 2015 based a lot on poor recruitment. Many of these are interlinked of course. For Wigan (as an outsider): Long term effect of Waneball and Maguire's methods producing efficient but robotic rugby, decrease in atmosphere at the DW. I assume Wigan fans will know more. For both: decline in profile of RL more generally (and thus these teams leaned upon more on TV repeatedly). Now I'm not going to say relegation is brilliant for spectators, but its certainly more interesting than dead rubbers. Equally, without the threat of relegation I doubt my team Leeds would have got their fingers out and made some mid season changes so we'd have had to put up with more dross with no prospect of the club doing any different because they wouldn't have to. The big losses (multiple thousands) these two clubs have seen in their average attendances are just as much a factor in the overall stagnation of the league's average attendances.
  14. Hi Harry, sorry for the late response I've been busy all weekend and thought this topic deserved more than just a quick glance at my phone! I clearly can see that taking the game to new areas is going to require an initial investment of players. My view is that that is worth it because in my view we have to grow that player pool as ultimately our current (shrinking) pool won't be sustainable in my opinion - for the current clubs never mind any new teams. That in my opinion is linked to the general popularity of the sport not being high enough to attract enough people to play and engage with the game both in heartland and non-heartland areas. New teams bringing new (and more cumulative) interest is going to be massively more important as we move into an interconnected internet world imo. More people are wanting to be involved in and watch big events that other people are interested in and there is a real risk that RL gets left behind. My point is that more people involved in the game more generally, rather than the huge densities we currently have, strengthens the game and makes it much more resilient in the modern world. With the RFL withdrawing from the development officer route then that is going to be reliant upon clubs, such as London Broncos, who go out their and do the work in schools etc themselves. Now I'm not a fan of bringing in a raft of new teams at once with no consideration for issues such as player pool or current clubs and wouldn't want to be mistaken as such. FWIW I don't think bringing in swathes of new teams in one go is either likely or beneficial (certainly not at SL level), but strategic growth in new markets that are both UK based and internationally are going to be a major part of the future of the game. That said lets be realistic here the demise of a team like Oldham from one of the largest to a team barely existing in a professional sense isn't the fault of expansion.
  15. I think there is a correlation, but it's not the be all and end all. Success breeds success and so the most successful clubs at senior level can attract the best youngsters in the same way they can attract the best players for less. Its a shame other clubs however don't make a big thing that their USP is that because they aren't "one of the big clubs" they actually rely on their academy more.
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