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whatmichaelsays last won the day on August 31 2021

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  1. I totally get that the need to drive turnover through the tills of the retail store probably comes ahead of the need for a consistent brand/design identity, but is it really too much to ask for the club to have a consistent colour swatch? Nothing in particular against this shirt, but if you lined up the last 20+ years of Rhinos shirts and removed the logos, you'd have no idea they belonged to the same club.
  2. A gig at Leeds United's ground. By a band that are unashamedly Leeds United fans. Named after a Leeds United player. And on the day before Leeds United played in a play-off final (if it's the gig I'm thinking of). Yep, can understand why he'd be surprised at the Leeds United influence.
  3. I think this is spot on. We're talking here about the influence that better facilities might have on RL scholarship prospects, and holding up the NFL draft as a way around that, but the NFL isn't where the players are recruited. It's further down the chain in the colleges and, in the college game, that schmoozing the players and their parents is a huge deal. The quality of the coaching, the size of the scholarship, the quality of the degree and the school reputation, the prestige of the conference, the "shop window" that they're put in for NFL scouts - they all come into it and the top colleges go all out to recruit the top high school prospects. YouTube is full of "MTV Cribs" style videos of college football training facilities and it's all part of a carefully choreographed marketing push and it's no coincidence that teams like Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State and Oklahoma attract the prime talents.
  4. I absolutely agree with the point about the system entrenching certain advantages, but aren't they the symptom rather than the cause? Ultimately, doesn't this all come down to two major issues; the first being that the salary cap is too low, and the second being that there simply aren't enough young players being developed in the community game to sustain the professional game in its current guise? These two issues create a situation where, for example, stronger clubs get more value from the salary cap - certain players see the chance of playing in finals as an opportunity cost worth paying. That dynamic also works (admittedly in a different way) in the favour of heartland clubs vs expansion clubs, especially those in high cost-of-living areas (such as London) or those which would require players to uproot families (such as Newcastle, Cornwall, Wales and to some degree, even Hull). And I would also argue that this is where things like playing and training facilities, post-career opportunities and the quality of the business leadership comes into it. Nobody wants to work in a dump, people want to feel supported, and there's no way in hell I could (willingly) work for a boss like Michael Carter. All of that stuff counts when it comes to recruiting talent. The sport has seemingly acknowledged these challenges, whilst at the same time trying every which way to fix the problems that this causes without actually raising the cap. Cap exemptions for developed players were introduced as a response to a problem that the low salary ceiling made it harder to retain top talent and marquee rules were introduced to try and attract talent from the Australia who could otherwise earn more money as a benchwarmer in the NRL, but they by design can only benefit those clubs that develop their own players and/or can afford to pay marquee money. Raising the cap isn't without its own consequences, but the current format isn't achieving on any of the aims it was supposedly setting out to do - to protect clubs from themselves financially, to spread around the talent and to spread around the success.
  5. In isolation, probably not, because Wakefield have a worse record than Leeds on a number of other aspects of youth development. If I were a parent of a scholarship player, I'd also be concerned about some of the comments of the Wakefield chairman in the context of player welfare (although admitedly, Gary Hetherington's copybook isn't blot-free on that front either). But it undoubtedly improves their hand. Not just for competing with Leeds/the "big three". Even if we assume that the big three are going to take the pick of the crop, Wakefield are still competing with eight other clubs for talent that isn't spotted / can't be acommodated by Leeds, St Helens and Wigan.
  6. Whilst there is probably some truth in this, I do think it would be a factor for many parents. You see it in other sports (US collegiate sports in particular) where a big thing is made of impressing parents with facilities, coaching, education opportunities, pastoral care, etc, and parental influence is definitely a big factor when you're recruiting scholarship players. If your folks are impressed by the tour of Leeds' training facilities, the educational programmes with Leeds College / Beckett and "randomly" bumping into players like Jamie Peacock and Jamie Jones-Buchanan milling about the hallway, are they going to encourage you to go there, or to those clubs that don't offer something comparable? I think it is definately going to be "a" thing, if not necessarily "the" thing that helps to tip the balance.
  7. It ultimately depends on what that event is and who it's aimed at. The "cannibalisation" point is credible because RL has, for a long time, pitched all of its events at the same pool of people, and all of those events have been (by and large) the "original" flavour of RL. If we assume that everyone has a finite amount they're prepared to spend on RL events, we have gone from two events (CC and GF) competing for "share of wallet" to three events (four if you count semi finals day) - without really noticing whether or not the "wallet" has got bigger and without really offering much differentiation between the three events and the regular weekly rounds. Let's be honest, Magic for the last few years hasn't been much more than a weekly round, with the hope that some Geordies / Mancs / Scousers turn up. If a "Magic 2.0" is pitched at an entirely different audience, offering an entirely different flavour of RL and an entirely different reason for RL to go, then there's merit in exploring that and experimenting with the event to see what works.
  8. Given that the fan survey (and presumably the focus groups) were prodding around issues like a 7s / 9s / international event, I could see Magic being repurposed as some sort of "test bed" for one of those. It does seem surprising that, given IMG's talk of trying to grow what we have rather than play with the structures, they would dispose of a potentially useful asset so quickly.
  9. Maybe, but if you're trying to make a point, having to use the RL equivalent of The Beano as a prove point probably means that it isn't the strong argument you think it is.
  10. "You'll never sing that.... "You'll never sing thaaaat.... "Best stadium as voted for by a website that plagarises rugby league content for click-bait.... "You'll never sing that....."
  11. A quick Google seems to suggest this particular award is handed out by Serious About RL. Which presumably means the winner certificate was made with crayons. Next up, we have the award for "best stadium cooling system", presented by The Game Caller.
  12. Is that actually a thing? Is it presented just before the Man of Steel?
  13. On the thread discussing the recent podcast with one of IMG's leadership, there was mention of them wanting to create an environment where owners felt confident or encouraged to invest. Surely this is the manifestation of that? If you invest in the club to the standard necessary to receive an A grade, then the risk associated with that investment is seriously reduced?
  14. And they were doing so well until that bit....
  15. Leeds run and operate the hotel and the corporate event spaces, even though it is on the cricket ground side.
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