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whatmichaelsays last won the day on August 31

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  1. But isn't the whole question here around why it's somehow incumbent on any newly-promoted or newly-admitted club to provide those benefits? Surely if the criteria of benefits is defined as "crowd growth" or "increased media coverage", surely that applies to all 12 clubs, not just one club that, for no other reason than geography, we're holding to a higher standard?
  2. I'm saying that every club, irrespective of where they are from, should be treated equally by the rules and procedures of the competition. Toulouse and Catalans are not "taking" Sky TV money any more or any less than any other club are. They're not "taking" from the sport any more or any less than any other club is. This should not be seen as "our" sport or an "English" competition. It should be seen as a sport for anyone who wants to and can demonstrate that they can participate and compete in it, and a sport in which they can do so fairly and equitably, rather than having unique and unreasonable barriers or expectations put in front of them due to some "what did the Romans ever do for us?" mindset. You want to keep asking "what are the benefits?" for clubs in the UK from Toulouse but as others have said, it's a bad faith question. The real question is around what all clubs are doing, what all clubs are investing in, and what all clubs are innovating in to make this competition as good as it can possibly be. Why should UK clubs benefit from something that isn't of their own doing, their own investment or their own initiative? Just looking at these expansion clubs, as if we expect them to just turn out their pockets, and asking "how are you making it worth our while?" is fundamentally wrong. It's up to the entire competition, M62 clubs included, to determine how best to commoditise the league with these - or any other - clubs involved. You cite these clubs opting out of the Challenge Cup, neglecting to mention that two clubs were asked to front-up a bond to subsidise a poorly-run English operation that can't work out how to sell one of the UK's protected sporting events. If that's how commercially pathetic the English game is, maybe we need more French clubs?
  3. What benefit do you actually want? The idea overseas or expansion clubs are expected to bring some sort of nebulous "benefit" for everyone else really isn't helpful unless we're applying the same metric to every other club, heartland or otherwise. If Toulouse being in SL gives us at least one game a week played on French soil, and therefore an easy opportunity to earn more TV airtime both here in and France, that's a benefit. If two French teams opens up doors for more commercial interest in France, that's a benefit. If Toulouse come into Super League and just be a competitive team and club in their own right, that's a benefit. It's certainly not their, or Catalans', responsibility to improve the French national team, no more than it is the responsibility of the Rhubarb Triangle clubs to produce a stand-off half capable of single-handedly winning an Ashes series for England. Constantly asking "but what benefit do they bring?", as if expansion clubs are to be treated as some special case, is simply looking for reasons to brand them a failure.
  4. Good signing, although I wonder if this means Tom Briscoe getting a prolonged run at centre? I'd much prefer to see Jack Broadbent get a shot there (and Liam Sutcliffe is still around), but Briscoe must still presumably represent a decent amount of cap space?
  5. Did Widnes own Naughton Park? Aren't they essentially tenants to the local authority now? Salford wouldn't have been able to afford to refurbish The Willows and retain ownership.
  6. This sort of thing isn't supposed to be easy. It might be hard to do, but that is the cost of doing business now because there is just that much more competing for people's leisure dollar. I could run through a list of places I could take my son to amuse him on any given Sunday and on most of those, I've got a good idea of what we can expect and how much he'll enjoy it. If you're basing the "sell" of RL on whether or not the team will be successful, or whether or not the game will be good, it's a lot harder for me to judge whether he'll enjoy the day, or whether he'll be bored and irritable. That's going to factor into a person's decision and that's why it's important that whatever the result, whatever the quality of the game, the clubs ensure that people have an enjoyable experience. You can say that it's hard and make excuses, but people expect a lot from their £20 ticket and if you aren't delivering on those expectations, they either aren't going to come or they aren't going to come back. They'll spend their money elsewhere, go to places where they know that they're going to enjoy themselves, and that "we can't afford to do that" problem will just get even worse.
  7. You're confusing marketing with advertising. People in Whitehaven might be aware of Whitehaven's rugby team, but are they aware of what they offer, what the matchday experience is like and how they're adapting that offer to cater to a broader range of people? You can't just hook your entire approach on a good team and a good match on the field. You have to create an event that, no matter what the result, people go away feeling that they've had a good time.
  8. I agree that you can't necessarily "football can do it, so can we" and I equally agree that weeknights pose a challenge, but how many times - and in how many contexts - do we say that "RL needs to broaden beyond the same people"? This is another one of those times and contexts. If we're going to take the broadcaster cash that comes with strings that we play on weeknights, then the sport has options - either accept that the crowds will be lower and quit complaining about it, or find ways to make it work. I don't think there is any town in RL land where there aren't people looking for some sort of entertainment on a Thursday night - the question is whether RL clubs are finding ways to offer what those people want.
  9. The counter to that is that clubs have been playing on Thursdays for long enough now to have been able to work out how to reach those audiences that are looking for something to do on a weeknight, in the same way that the cinema industry turned Wednesday nights form being it's worst-performing day of the week to it's second most-successful. There are people out there who are looking for some sort of amusement on weeknights - people without kids to get up for school in the morning, the people who don't see a 10:00pm finish as a 'late night' on a school night, people who'd otherwise be finding something else to do who could be tempted into an RL fix. In understand that Thursday nights aren't great for fans that travel, but weeknights are common in sports with much longer travel distances than RL. The sport has had them for long enough now for it to become a much weaker excuse than it once was.
  10. Honestly, who the clubs recruit is up to them. No new signing or hire is risk-free - if the extent of a club's due diligence is "watching a few clips online", then that's their issue. Homesickness is a thing. Mental health is a thing. Most of us think we won't be affected by these, but it happens. There are reasons for having a quota system (supporting local talent, supporting the England team, etc) and there are perfectly good reasons to not have one (allow clubs to recruit the best talent that they can afford irrespective of a player's origin). But "some might not be very good and get homesick" is not a reason to have a tighter quota.
  11. That's my thoughts. The remarks are somewhat "on brand" for him, although he isn't the only candidate.
  12. Dacia? Would a division of Renault be as interested in SL were it not for the presence in two of one of its brand's biggest markets?
  13. My understanding is that Leeds have done both 'in and out on the day' and one night stopover trips. From my recollection, Leeds have preferred to do the former as they prefer to not have the players kicking their heals and getting cabin fever in hotels. They brand it as a corporate trip, rather than a supporter trip because at that price point, they're essentially looking for the sponsors who are travelling with them to cover both their cost and the cost of the players and staff. I don't know what it costs to charter a 737-type aircraft these days but assuming you have 170 seats, 30-40 of which are probably taken by players and club staff, then you've still got a lot of seats to sell and cover that cost.
  14. And also non-corporate. Are you telling me that 11 clubs that aren't Leeds can't find a way to make a game against Toulouse one that has some appeal? Leeds also aren't the only club with corporate partners.
  15. What specifically are you looking for here? Hetherington himself seems excited at the prospect of filling two chartered planes to France instead of one (Leeds charge around £600 for their France "corporate" trip). You can't do that for a coach ride to Wigan - that's monetising Toulouse in the league. You can partner with businesses that have interests in both the UK and France and sell corporate hospitality in that context. That's monetising Toulouse in the league. You can sell that international aspect to potential new supporters, theme those fixtures and use that empty away end as a blank canvas for tactical promotions. That's monetising Toulouse in the league.
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