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Everything posted by zylya

  1. I really like it. Definitely think it's something that people should try and promote unofficially if the governing body have no interest. Things like posting on your own social profiles with hashtags etc/photos of clubs etc. If enough people got into it, it could generate some interest and grow in future years. If the internationals line up again, which is always hit and miss.
  2. You can't win with some people - expansion doesn't count if it's community clubs, or it doesn't count if rugby league isn't as big as football, union or cricket, or it doesn't count unless it's a pro club, or it doesn't count unless that pro club wins cups. I imagine if you cast back far enough, there'd be a long list of clubs in the heartlands that no longer exist. No one would use that to say "rugby league in the heartlands hasn't worked." People talking like rugby league should just arrive in a new area fully formed. It's just not a level playing field. Take WWR - the nearest club with an adult team is about 35 miles away from them, which is a community club. If you looked at Rochdale as an example, there are 5 Super League clubs within the same radius. Not to mention all the Championship and NCL clubs in the area. The opportunities for a heartlands club to pick up players is at a completely different level to an expansion club, both in terms of cost but also ease. Then people will use that disparity to beat down expansion clubs and say it's failed. What does failed even mean in expansion? If there's a club there, it's expansion, no? Crazy the kind of standards people hold these relatively young organisations to without considering that the deck is massively stacked against them. BTW - this doesn't excuse WWR or any other expansion club - they knew how stacked the deck was when they started. They still have to compete regardless of how unbalanced the resources are. But to suggest that expansion has failed because WWR are underperforming, or because London Broncos haven't won Super League, or because fewer people play the sport in an area than football is just nuts. Gatekeepers gotta gatekeep I guess.
  3. Absolutely agree with you and Yorks Tim that this is the right approach, just feel that some people's worries that they might not have a strong squad this year may be overestimating how good their squad needs to be this year - so they might have a lot of local players who aren't up to League 1 standard, but that doesn't mean it's curtains for them so early in their life.
  4. This might not be a popular opinion but since there's no relegation from League 1, I don't think it necessarily matters how good Cornwall are this year on the pitch. Obviously there comes a point where they're losing too much to build supporters etc, but I think a lot of potential fans will be patient in their first season at least, especially if they can demonstrate their policy of bringing through local talent. If I was in charge, then I would be definitely targeting a 3-5 year growth plan with the intention of making the team competitive (i.e. challenging for play-offs) within that time. Any results before that would be a bonus, but the main priority would be growing off the field and developing local players and systems to ensure they've got a good feed-through for years to come.
  5. Apologies for being a massive nerd about it, but is there a ground plan for which bits go where? Really interested to see how it's all put together. Massive congratulations to the club, such a cool project and hopefully leads to increased success.
  6. Cornwall were announced 2 days ago, the other three clubs have nearly 450 years of history between them. How much value for money has been gained by giving these clubs all the money they've had over the past x number of years (since Champ/League 1 funding started)? Some people are suggesting that Cornwall shouldn't be allowed in League 1 because these clubs, who have had around 150 years each to grow themselves into sustainable businesses, might have to pay extra travel money. Not saying they deserve a kicking just for existing, but should they be the main factor when deciding what direction the game goes? If they have no ambition to grow beyond being a decent semi-pro club in their communities, should we be trying to restrict the semi-pro level to what they can manage, or should there be an aspiration to have a truly national game? Unlike football or union, there's no clubs outside the heartlands that can just grow into semi pro teams and get promoted in the same way. All the clubs have to be new or nearly new because for about 100 years of Rugby League, there was very little interest in getting RL played nationally, with a few notable exceptions (London, Wales etc). And whether we like it or not, new clubs, by definition aren't going to have the same level of infrastructure as a club who's existed for 150 years and has been in receipt of central funding.
  7. Couple of questions for people who are anti-Cornwall-in-league-1: 1. If your issue is travel for the other League 1 clubs, what league should they be in instead? 2. If your issue is that it doesn't seem well planned - what details (e.g. financial plan? business plan?) would you have to see that would convince you that it might work?
  8. I agree that none of the clubs, in an ideal world, would be dealing with less funding going forward. I think League 1 represents fantastic value for money, whereas I think SL and the Championship offer lower vfm. Part of that is because the actual cost of League 1 is so low as an overall figure. 1.875% of the previous SL TV deal if all figures are correct i.e. £750,000 for league 1 on a £40 million TV deal - for comparison, if they retained the same percentage on the lower figure, each club would receive just over £45,000 rather than the 0.8% they'd be getting IF the £20,000 per year figure is correct - which would be easier for clubs to manage and would be a proportionate decrease.
  9. Some of the League 1 clubs in the Heartlands have had around a hundred years to drive the revenues required... Coventry has been in the league since 2015, so six years as a semi-professional team which includes a year of COVID. If you don't think League 1 is worth the money it's currently costing, then just say that. Either you think that League 1 is worth the £750,000 that it's getting in central funding or you don't. Which is it?
  10. Be a huge shame if this happens. Despite a lot of comments saying that RL will never take off in the South, the truth is that almost every attempt has either been half-assed or unsupported. When I played in the London Leagues back in the early 2010s there were a load of development officers around making stuff happen. They all got pulled and teams started collapsing. Of the 5/6 teams playing in that League in 2014 I think it was, only 1 of them still exists in any capacity. I think the Southern Conference League is a great idea, but it's so poorly supported by the RFL. The tables they post on Twitter look like someone didn't in Microsoft Word. No branding, nothing to make it seem interesting. Great they they streamed the SCL 2019 Grand Final, but can't just hope for one strong day a year.
  11. You can definitely go too low. I generally don't think discounts are a good way to drum up new business at the best of times - except as very specific, time-limited offers (e.g. have a very cheap game at the start of a season to get people interested, or have an early-bird price). A discounted season ticket doesn't leave you lots of opportunities to make that money back. With that said, I think things like "U16s go free" are a good idea because you're hopefully creating future supporters for your product.
  12. The RFL have been assigned an amount which they can distribute. The understanding, based on this topic, is that they're cutting around £50,000 from League 1. That's a decision, and that's what I'm criticising. Is it a tough decision? Yes - but I disagree with the one they've made and have outlined my reasons. Additionally, SL & RFL haven't done enough to keep the commercial income high - a huge drop in funding can hardly be blamed on the League 1 clubs yet they're facing an 80% reduction on an overall reduction of about 37.5% (£40m - £25m). And even if we take the previous Sky deal as overpriced and this one as more realistic to the value of SL, there's still the real question of why the RFL hasn't done things like develop the international game or create some other source(s) of revenue to fill this gap. The whole "difficult decisions" is a cop out - it's chickens coming home to roost.
  13. It's over-simplistic just to look at players that have taken up the game - what about fans who are watching the Bears each week? Fans who are buying RLWC tickets for the Coventry game? But yes, the opportunity cost is definitely the thing to look at. But of course we're hypothesising, it's a discussion forum. Are you really saying that we can't make any argument unless we have 100% of the stats available to us? How would I even get the figures on who plays RL in the Midlands? Do these figures even exist in a meaningful format? If there was some transparency coming through from the governing body, we might be able to make these calculations more accurately. Based on my opinion of what I see in the game, I see Coventry doing more good work with £50,000 than the 12 Super League clubs, mostly because £50,000 for Cov is a much higher percentage of their budget than £50,000 for the SL clubs. I mean, if you have all these numbers available, and you can demonstrate quite clearly that I'm wrong then I'd happily change my mind. I just don't see how removing £50,000 from Cov (and all the other League 1 clubs for that matter) is going to help the whole game.
  14. I'll take the hit on this for being lazy with my wording. You're right that it's the Super League clubs that made the decision on total funding to the RFL, although it is still the RFL that makes the decision on how to distribute that funding that SL gives them, for example between operations, Championship and League 1 etc so they're not entirely blameless. Especially considering that the RFL haven't done near enough to increase their own commercial revenues. Massively missing the point to hone in on that pedantic issue when there's a much more important discussion going on about where the money would be best spent.
  15. I'm not saying that SOME amateur teams don't do an amazing job getting fixtures played - that's not the issue here and we shouldn't conflate the two. And though Cumbrian clubs in the NCL will often have to play a handful of away games in East Yorks, they'll also have some games that are a lot closer - e.g. other Cumbrian teams. Coventry won't have any close games, no local derbies to create any interest. They'd also be playing against amateur in teams in a league that, IIRC, doesn't allow any payment. They'd be done as a semi-pro outfit.
  16. The point is that the RFL is essentially saying that it's worth potentially ruining a semi-pros club future so that the Super League clubs can share an extra £50,000 a year and everyone's solution is "well we could stick them in an amateur league." I don't get why you guys are so fixated on the amateur leagues - it's not the solution here. I'm sure they're great for the clubs that are in them, but that doesn't make it the best place to put a League 1 club because the RFL can't stick with anything for more than 10 minutes. To take a club that has turned itself semi-pro and say "sorry that we set you up with all this stuff and sorry that you've worked hard to build your club up on that basis - how do you feel about 200+ mile trips every other week for no money instead?" Shambles.
  17. Amazing how people can come into this topic and start throwing around suggestions for an amateur league for Cov to play in like that sorts everything out. A pro/semi-pro club can be in a league with extra travel because they have the funding to do so. An amateur club needs to be in a league that's relatively local because, get this, they don't have the funding for travel and their players aren't getting paid. Believing that you can stick Coventry in an amateur league with round trips of over 200 miles and think that's going to work out is the height of delusion. Creating a situation where they have to take a significant step backwards and do extra work to fulfil fixtures - assuming the opposition even travel for the away games. Absolute madness. As though anyone outside the heartlands would try to build their club towards the pro ranks when they see how easily the RFL will abandon them over £50,000.
  18. TBF they'll probably lean on their academy pretty heavily for this. I mean, yes it takes time for an academy to come to fruition, but it's not like they're starting the academy now. I imagine there's a number of academy players who will be thinking that this could be a chance for them to develop with Championship-level rugby and get themselves in the shop window to be seen by a SL club. Probably see quite a young side next year with some of their current U19s jumping into the squad. Additionally, in Union, there's a number of very decent clubs who are part-time - Richmond in the Championship probably being the highest level example, but also teams like Rosslyn Park, Blackheath etc. When Richmond got back to the Championship after their big relegation when Union turned professional, they deliberately stayed semi-pro (i.e. part time players) and use a lot of players who work in the city - i.e. whose jobs are much better paying than even full-time rugby would be. I imagine the Broncos coaches know a lot of the coaches at these clubs, so they might be able to find some a couple of good players there. A couple of years ago, they ran a trial day for "local" community clubs (although local was as far as Oxford) to help form their reserves grade - in some ways going part-time might open up opportunities for players who could play higher but can't manage a full time schedule. With all that said, I imagine there's going to be at least some short-term pain in this restructure, and possibly some long-term pain as well. Huge shame.
  19. One thing that I really agree with in this article is the idea that geographical expansion of the game and growth in the heartlands have to go hand in hand and can happen simultaneously, rather than being at war with one another.
  20. For the most part, I didn't really feel like any of the questions were answered. I get that sometimes it can be tough because you can't give much detail in this format when matters are ongoing, but it didn't inspire a lot of confidence!
  21. I think the point that we agree on is that RL happening in these places is good and that, should a club like Coventry stop receiving funding then HOPEFULLY (although no guarantees as evidenced by their chairman talking about how disastrous the lack of funding would be for them in the short-term) they can continue as a Rugby League club of some sort, even if that scales back what they can achieve. Your point about the great work of amateur clubs is 100% right and something that we should always be encouraging. But the point that I think maybe we're not agreeing on is that the growth of the game can't JUST happen at a participation level. I'm not necessarily suggesting that Coventry specifically could/would develop into a full-time professional club, which would increase the spread of the game and provide player pathways in new areas, but that pathway needs to exist. If we gut the second and third tiers and clubs go to the wall, what chance does any club have in the future if they don't have a multimillionaire backer? Against a backdrop of reduced funding across the board, where financial backers can pull out and mismanagement can cause a lot of pain to clubs, we should be encouraging clubs that are turning professional in a more sustainable way. For me, the amount of money to fund League 1 as a developing semi-professional competition is small in the big picture, but big for the clubs involved. If necessary, earmark some of that funding to ensure clubs are operating sustainably, but I can't see how a big drop in League 1 funding won't cause significant damage, especially in these non-heartland areas. The game can't just turn into 20 pro clubs and everyone else amateur - it needs to be more than that for the long-term health of the sport.
  22. I mean, they've been launching their schools programme and are creating 3 new junior clubs in the local area. I'm not part of their club so I don't have access to any genuine figures, but based off their profile and messaging it sounds a lot like there are now more people playing RL in Coventry. I don't know if you've been involved in running a club or not yourself, but from my experience, an amateur club is almost always running on extremely limited budgets - having some central funding available seems to have allowed Coventry to help build the community side of their club. Anecdotally on these forums, it sounds like they're receiving more in central funding than they spend on their playing budget, so some of that money is likely spent on building their community work. You're right - Hemel are probably doing better now at growing the whole game than they were in League 1 but that's because exiting League 1 lead to a mindset shift - they decided to rebuild their club as a community club - this was part of their announcement. Essentially, they realised that trying to use players from Dewsbury wasn't sustainable. Coventry, OTOH, seem to have been building towards a sustainable model all along. It's worth noting that when they withdrew from League 1, Hemel mentioned their intention to return to League 1 in 2020 - obviously COVID will have had an impact on that. But it's a red herring either way - Hemel got stronger at their community side because they started focusing on it, nothing to do with funding specifically. A club focusing on its community work will be able to do more with more funding. I don't know what the RFL consider the point of League 1 to be, but for me it should be a breeding ground for clubs making an amateur-to-semi-professional transition. A club like Coventry or Hemel could use it as a chance to take the next step from being a strong community club - so the success will be a combination of playing standards and commercial standards (supporter base, sponsorship revenues etc) with a view to creating sustainable professional clubs. Even if you didn't agree with that as a purpose, it's still not fair to a club in League 1 to slash their funding by as much as 80% without even telling them! The League 1 clubs still haven't even been told what funding they're going to get. How are clubs supposed to plan ahead and recruit, or put in new programmes if they don't know how much money they're going to get? Finally, you can try and pick out an amateur league for them to play in, but as someone pointed out - they would be too good for the Midlands league and any other league is going to have a lot of travel. The fact that it's less travel than League 1 is irrelevant because they currently get funded to travel in League 1. An amateur league wouldn't have that. I don't see how fans of the sport can accept this kind of contraction so easily. "Oh well they could always play in the NW league." Might as well just tell us you don't want a thriving sport and be done with it.
  23. I mean, their Chairman said in an interview that it would be disastrous getting their funding cut. Not suggesting that every club has to be pro or semi-pro, but an amateur club wouldn't necessarily be playing in the same stadium, so fewer people likely to support the team. Playing quality would drop as some players would choose to do other things instead (even local lads who wouldn't move away might decide that it's not worth playing for free). Even if the can survive, do you think the sport of rugby league is likely to have a bigger presence or a smaller presence in Coventry if the League 1 funding is reduced?
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