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The never-ending League Restructure debate (Many merged threads)

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I get your point Chris, but I believe that until the competition does grow and become stronger we need to hold what we have. Bradford will be back, and the experience of the Championship will do them good, and London will be back if people want it, but the Championship needs to be stronger, with a higher profile and TV exposure to ensure that kids keep playing the game in these areas. The game outside Super League will keep on going backwards without hope of promotion. With regards to Salford, it remains to be seen whether success on the field, which Dr.Koukash promises, results in big gates, or whether he would have got more through the turnstiles at Halifax?

how is the game outside SL going backwards?

CC1 has teams from wales, gloucester, london, hertfordshire, and tyneside

we are told that attendances are increasing in the championship and the competition looks very strong to me, clubs have become more professional, although one or two have lost ground in that department.

I really don't understand that what you describe will ever make the comp grow and become stronger: just the opposite in fact.


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Based on the cup attendance losses which I highlighted per club, that figure already amounted to over 300K. Clubs outside Division One in 1991/92 also produced cup attendances which would be unheard of today. For example, Workington recorded home attendances of 5,298 in the Challenge Cup and 3,499 in the Lancashire Cup, Oldham 5,814 in the Regal Trophy, Batley 3,089 in the Yorkshire Cup, Hunslet 3,182 in the Challenge Cup, Sheffield 3,227 in the Challenge Cup, Dewsbury 3,460 in the Challenge Cup, Hudds 4,799 in the Yorkshire Cup and 4,239 in the Regal Trophy, Bramley 3,484 in the Challenge Cup, Barrow 3,414 in the Challenge Cup. Swinton who were Division 1 but finished bottom and relegated in 1991/92 still recorded home cup attendances of 4,676 in the Challenge Cup and 3,285 in the Lancashire Cup. Estimating an aggregate attendance loss from cup games in the region of between 300K and 400K is therefore a not unreasonable estimation.

 

How can the decline in cup competitions and subsequent loss of associated cup attendances be down to anything else other than Super League?

 

I am not saying your are right or wrong. I just don't see how anyone can be so certain that it is purely down to introduction of Super League, as if fans suddenly decided that now we have Super League I'll not attend cup games..

 

I can certainly, if figures are correct, go along with the view that decline in cup competitions coincided with the introduction of Super League.  But that is different that saying absolute cause and effect.   Maybe the drop off would have happened whether Super League or not as there are other factors (e.g. season ticket culture took hold or it is always the same teams that get or win the cups, or that Wembley decrepit nature cause loss of glamour, etc).  You have yet put forward the proof that it was purely the introduction of Super league that is the cause of the effect.

 

It may be a pedantic point but my logical brain prevents me jumping to certainty's without being sure other factors are not at play.

 

It may be that the advent of Super League resulted in certain outcomes that impacted in cup competitions.  However I'm not convinced.it wouldn't have happened anyway because certain impacting decisions would have been taken anyway.

Edited by redjonn

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In reality, I think that over many years, the governing bodies, the club owners, the fans etc have been doing their best to make the game, the teams etc, the best they can. It may not always seem like that, of course. No one sets out to make things worse. However, as I have said again and again and agin, they are up against changes in demographics, transportation, lifestyles, competing activities ad more and these are things that they cannot change. I feel pretty strongly that in the SL/championship m62 catchment zone there is limited scope for real growth.one clubs gain turns out to be another clubs loss. Happy to be proven wrong after say 5 years of the new scheme if the total support increases by say 10 or 15 percent, but even that is chicken feed compared with what is needed. Thus representation in other areas is so so important and should be at the centre of our thinking. That London has turned out the way it has is so disappointing, but both Doncaster and Sheffield ..in what you might call ideal leagues territory have been even more disappointing.


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Bradford will be back, and the experience of the Championship will do them good, and London will be back if people want it, but the Championship needs to be stronger, with a higher profile and TV exposure to ensure that kids keep playing the game in these areas. The game outside Super League will keep on going backwards without hope of promotion. With regards to Salford, it remains to be seen whether success on the field, which Dr.Koukash promises, results in big gates, or whether he would have got more through the turnstiles at Halifax?

 

Really not sure about this myth that being relegated does a club good. Ask Halifax, Oldham and Workington. The game outside Superleague went backwards with promotion during 1996 to 2009. Many people had found out there was no hope of promotion like Dewsbury or hope of staying up without a rich man. Resurrecting Halifax as an SL club will only help to keep Bradford down as fans and juniors would head there and it would push Fartown downwards too,

 

At least in Salford/Manchester there is relatively new territory to conquer and Salford gives a top class product for RL fans in areas like Swinton, Oldham and Rochdale who stay at home to easily get to.

 

Championship clubs never inspired the kids to play in any number just as perennial second division clubs didn't either. The old Players annuals from the 1970's show that even in those days the second division clubs used to make their teams up out of first division cast offs.

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 I feel pretty strongly that in the SL/championship m62 catchment zone there is limited scope for real growth.

 

What struck me about looking back at clubs attendance figures is that Wigan have failed to grow their crowds this last 25 years they are no greater than they were in 1989.

 

Wigan give the game strength though and other potential big clubs need to hit their potential ceilings though.

 

What also struck me is Leeds have lost support.

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Really not sure about this myth that being relegated does a club good. Ask Halifax, Oldham and Workington. The game outside Superleague went backwards with promotion during 1996 to 2009. Many people had found out there was no hope of promotion like Dewsbury or hope of staying up without a rich man. Resurrecting Halifax as an SL club will only help to keep Bradford down as fans and juniors would head there and it would push Fartown downwards too,

 

At least in Salford/Manchester there is relatively new territory to conquer and Salford gives a top class product for RL fans in areas like Swinton, Oldham and Rochdale who stay at home to easily get to.

 

Championship clubs never inspired the kids to play in any number just as perennial second division clubs didn't either. The old Players annuals from the 1970's show that even in those days the second division clubs used to make their teams up out of first division cast offs.

The great Hull FC side of the eighties got their boost from an unbeaten season in the old 2nd division, as did Wigan around the same time.  A perpetually struggling club like Bradford have been recently does nothing to boost support or for the confidence of players.  They need to get into a winning frame of mind.  A spell in the championship should do this. If it doesn't then what's lost?  As for your examples, Workington should never have been in SL from the start, Oldham were sharing a ground, Halifax effectively voluntarily withdrew, and the opportunity to return hasn't been there since 2007.  As I said in my "another one bites the dust" thread, people pick out the statistics that suit their argument and rubbish any other evidence.


“Few thought him even a starter.There were many who thought themselves smarter. But he ended PM, CH and OM. An Earl and a Knight of the Garter.”

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RL attendances have been on the decline since the 1950's. In fact they mirrored pretty much exactly what has happened in football. People don't watch live sport in anything like the numbers.

 

These days only sponsorship can fill the void and exposure is what sells. In some respects individual clubs become irrelevant because it is the "competition" which sells unlike in the 1950's when it was the game on the day. It is in fact a lazy way of making your money which tells us much more about our society and where RL fits into the big picture.

 

Super League is designed to sell RL in this country. It doesn't matter who the clubs are, or what stadiums they play in, so long as it looks good on TV and can attract sponsors. Who gets relegated is for the few of us left who care.

 

I would also argue that clubs going bust in your showcase competition puts sponsors off even more, so the easiest way of shuffling these blunders under the carpet is to have "relegation", rather than some sham licence that passes from one unknown entity to another. "So what". Only a couple of thou in Wakefield or Leigh care. Th other 250 thou watching on TV don't.

 

A lot of the arguments made about retraction to the heartlands is also misinterpreting the reality. The game never got beyond them because it has to be underpinned by participation and the cart was put before the horse with that one. I think the root taken now has far more participation in expansion areas than ever before.

 

It is a fact that to showcase RL in this country it has to look good, with passionate fans and players of a standard. If that means you have to rely on your heartlands to create that competition then what do people expect? Dr Koukash could have bought London, or Coventry, or Bath but he didn't, he bought Salford. What does that tell you about the games strengths? 

 

P&R is for those of us left who care. The RFL have at least offered something back for the fans. That's how I see it anyway. There's no other logical reason to do it except for moving your deadwood out of the eyeline of sponsors.

Edited by Ackroman

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The great Hull FC side of the eighties got their boost from an unbeaten season in the old 2nd division, as did Wigan around the same time.  A perpetually struggling club like Bradford have been recently does nothing to boost support or for the confidence of players.  They need to get into a winning frame of mind.  A spell in the championship should do this. If it doesn't then what's lost?  As for your examples, Workington should never have been in SL from the start, Oldham were sharing a ground, Halifax effectively voluntarily withdrew, and the opportunity to return hasn't been there since 2007.  As I said in my "another one bites the dust" thread, people pick out the statistics that suit their argument and rubbish any other evidence.

a 'perpetually struggling club like Bradford'? Really? Is that not an example of picking and choosing'. The Bulls are one of the most significant and successful clubs of the SL era, there records before that time is hugely impressive, despite a catastrophic decline in the early sixties.

 

You have alleged that people pick out the statistics that suit their argument. That's a big call. can you back it up?

What sort of information do you consider credible? The sight of an old woman on a station platform in Wales? 

Edited by l'angelo mysterioso

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a 'perpetually struggling club like Bradford'? Really?

 

RL attendances have been on the decline since the 1950's. In fact they mirrored pretty much exactly what has happened in football. People don't watch live sport in anything like the numbers.

 

These days only sponsorship can fill the void and exposure is what sells. In some respects individual clubs become irrelevant because it is the "competition" which sells unlike in the 1950's when it was the game on the day. It is in fact a lazy way of making your money which tells us much more about our society and where RL fits into the big picture.

 

Super League is designed to sell RL in this country. It doesn't matter who the clubs are, or what stadiums they play in, so long as it looks good on TV and can attract sponsors. Who gets relegated is for the few of us left who care.

 

I would also argue that clubs going bust in your showcase competition puts sponsors off even more, so the easiest way of shuffling these blunders under the carpet is to have "relegation", rather than some sham licence that passes from one unknown entity to another. "So what". Only a couple of thou in Wakefield or Leigh care. Th other 250 thou watching on TV don't.

 

A lot of the arguments made about retraction to the heartlands is also misinterpreting the reality. The game never got beyond them because it has to be underpinned by participation and the cart was put before the horse with that one. I think the root taken now has far more participation in expansion areas than ever before.

 

It is a fact that to showcase RL in this country it has to look good, with passionate fans and players of a standard. If that means you have to rely on your heartlands to create that competition then what do people expect? Dr Koukash could have bought London, or Coventry, or Bath but he didn't, he bought Salford. What does that tell you about the games strengths? 

 

P&R is for those of us left who care. The RFL have at least offered something back for the fans. That's how I see it anyway. There's no other logical reason to do it except for moving your deadwood out of the eyeline of sponsors.

so people who don't think auto P and R is good for the game don't care? Thanks for that.


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RL attendances have been on the decline since the 1950's. In fact they mirrored pretty much exactly what has happened in football. People don't watch live sport in anything like the numbers.

 

Too simplistic an interpretation. Football average attendances across the 4 divisions reached a high point in 1949 (22,318), and reached a nadir in 1986 (8,130). Since 1986, it has increased steadily to 14,544 today across the 4 divisions. With Manchester City, Liverpool, and Tottenham all about to increase capacities significantly, the Premier League could hit 40,000 average soon, even without the help of bigger clubs struggling in lower divisions. 

 

League has also seen an increase since the 80s. As has Union. Attendances across sport may have been on decline, but that decline halted during the 90s, and began to reverse. I believe the impact of television has been positive for attendance, not negative as some would have you believe. 

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If we get 1 new club into SL from the middle group of 8 every year, or at least every couple of years, and we get close games with decent crowds it promises to be a cracking competition.   

 

Pretty much the same as under licensing then.  Rovers or Leigh or maybe Fax could now be planning for entry to $uperleague had they not made such a fuss about "winning promotion on the field".


"We'll sell you a seat .... but you'll only need the edge of it!"

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The County Cups were abolished before the advent of Super League. However, the Regal Trophy and Premiership Trophy were not and both were direct casualties of Super League. If you are making a general point about cup competitions not being affected by the advent of Super League, which you appear to be doing, then the information you provide ought to include all cup competitions. I'll assume your omissions were an oversight rather than deliberate.

 

The Premiership was a casualty of the play-offs.  We had the Premiership until 1997 and a Grand Final from 1998.


"We'll sell you a seat .... but you'll only need the edge of it!"

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In reply to post # 4736 , yes..

 

Though Fev announced their intention to go for SuperLeague licence in January 2012, if I recall correctly, thus accepting licencing and what they had to do to get the SL place promised to a Championship club.

 

Re the Premiership comp prior to SL:  can't recall crowds anywhere near as big as we get now in the Super League playoffs and Grand Final

 

re post #4732  Though Sky money and sponsorship is vital, attendances still provide a significant income. I'm sure someone can provide accurate figures but I reckon that gate money incl season tickets at Leeds and at Wigan comes to maybe £2 million to £2.5 to million a season ( based on Wigan's current season average of 14,146.)

 

"P&R is for those of us left who care"   Offensive nonsense.

Edited by JohnM

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Re the Premiership comp prior to SL:  can't recall crowds anywhere near as big as we get now in the Super League playoffs and Grand Final

 

Absolutely not.  People have voted for the Grand Final in particular with their feet.


"We'll sell you a seat .... but you'll only need the edge of it!"

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I really can't see how DR can be used amicably in the new system. Would Hull want Jacob Miller and Ben Crookes aiding Doncaster's promotion push if they are lingering in spots 9-12. And if a team has DR for key games during the pre-split will they then have to scratch around for players in the second phase?

I think you are right that Hull would be reluctant to allow those players to threaten their club by their performances for Doncaster. This leaves the ball in Doncaster's court. They must try and raise the cash to sign these players on a permanent basis so that Hull cannot derail their challenge in that way. This is what must happen at he championship clubs. They must up their game if they want to compete.

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The great Hull FC side of the eighties got their boost from an unbeaten season in the old 2nd division, As I said in my "another one bites the dust" thread, people pick out the statistics that suit their argument and rubbish any other evidence.

 

What evidence do you have that their division 2 campaign gave them the boost?

 

The M62 led to West Yorkshire by then and Hull used good old money to buy........

 

From Fev....Dave Busfield, Charlie Stone, Keith Bridges, Steve Evans, John Newlove. Vince Farrar

 

From Cas....Knocker Norton, Sammy Lloyd,Charlie Birdsall 

 

From Wakey....Trevor Skerrett, David Topliss

 

That's how they made it to the top in reality, and this is the problem with RL in your area, it's a nursery for big clubs because none of you have the ambition to be one you can ever realise. and as for your dismissal of statistics then I know that even official stats you dismiss as made up. I disagree with you entirely and always have done (at the same time as keeping respect for you as a fine fellow of an  RL fan), and this may help people understand why I've made over 16,000 posts on this subject, 10,000 may have been me disagreeing with 10,000 of yours.........

Edited by The Parksider

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So what crime has been committed/rule broken then? Pray tell?

 

As for the comparisons of the top 4 CC clubs and the bottom 4 SL clubs there's a year to go yet and I note your prediction that nobody may ever go up, but pressure is again on the SL clubs not to be cut adrift, and the top eight will be happy to raid the bottom four for players. Remove the whipping boys and someone ends up in their place. Is your prediction based on salary cap differentials??

No rule is broken when a drip of water for a thousand years wears away the hardest granite.

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Just with regard to the play-offs Grand Final and factors impacting CC attendances and in particular the finals.

 

I would have thought that having a second showcase event as in the Grand Final had an impact upon the CC.  Previously it was the one showcase that traditionally a "whole" town or lots and lots of non regular attending fans would go along.   But the given tendency for the same clubs to be in finals or final rounds of play offs or cup competitions over a few year cycle then the whole town up rooting to both events when its a regular occurrence within a time cycle is less likely.

 

The play-offs are in a sense an alternative cup like competition to non regular attending fans and now choice of choosing between Cup and play-offs and ultimately the grand showcase means that the general public choose only one.  

 

In addition the big push about the ultimate prize is around the Grand Final.  Surely that leads to general public event attending fans or those neutral teams choosing one event over another.

 

One benefit or disadvantage depending how you look upon it is that the NRL has one big club showcase event and hence whole focus is upon those play-offs and grand-final.

 

Not saying I think we should end the CC but just suggesting that surely the play-offs and grand final impact attendances of the rival CC showcase.

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I think 'being as good as the clubs outside the top six' is in itself wishful thinking, and- please don't take this the wrong way completely unacceptable as an ambition .

The competition needs to grow and become stronger, not have more foot soldiers . Look at it another way. Two clubs with huge potential one way or another have been ejected . Is there a club outside SL with more potential than either if them. Look at the clubs outside the top six. I would suggest they all have huge potential for growth. Is there a club or clubs outside SL with more than for instance Salford?

Swinton, Sheffield, Doncaster, York, Oldham Gateshead, Gloucester, Skolars, Crusaders all have huge potential. Whether any of it can be realised is another matter entirely.

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RL attendances have been on the decline since the 1950's. In fact they mirrored pretty much exactly what has happened in football. People don't watch live sport in anything like the numbers.

 

These days only sponsorship can fill the void and exposure is what sells. In some respects individual clubs become irrelevant because it is the "competition" which sells unlike in the 1950's when it was the game on the day. It is in fact a lazy way of making your money which tells us much more about our society and where RL fits into the big picture.

 

Super League is designed to sell RL in this country. 

 

P&R is for those of us left who care. The RFL have at least offered something back for the fans. That's how I see it anyway. There's no other logical reason to do it except for moving your deadwood out of the eyeline of sponsors.

 

I enjoyed your opening analysis although it put me off when you said it didn't matter who was in the sponsorship vehicle.

 

I think a rip roaring Leeds.v.Bradford rather than a struggling Salford.v.Widnes essentially does make a difference, we are in the business of selling the best product we can. If we were not then why bother going professional? Just take the extra money as profit.

 

As for dead wood, you and I know that Bradford still have up to 25,000 fans out there, still have a Superleague set up and now have a rich owner. Far from getting rid of "dead wood" it was as Martyn Sadler says the SL clubs who made them operate on half SKY money and effectively killed one of our golden geese.

 

Again thats another post clocked up countering these unfounded justifications for P & R (in my opinion anyway)

 

Now I know you vehemently disagree, but that aside, and inspired by a fine opening to your post I took a little look in my Rothmans for 1981/2 which shows that a total of 2,203,457 spectators attended domestic RL in this country that season.

 

I did a rough add up for last season and it's around the same figure (no point doing it accurately it only gets dismissed as "selectively suiting an argument). But thanks to Superleague we now have a massive TV audience in addition to just as many fans attending games?

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Swinton, Sheffield, Doncaster, York, Oldham Gateshead, Gloucester, Skolars, Crusaders all have huge potential. Whether any of it can be realised is another matter entirely.

they have indeed, 

only Doncaster and York have the infrastructure to accommodate the attendances that a club with the potential to become a force in Super League should command.

 

Crusaders  ad well as gateshead and Oldham and Sheffield as well as not having the infrastructure have a poor history in SL, which cost them dearly

 

Gloucester and the Skolars are decades down the line  from being contenders.

 

only Doncaster and Sheffield are contenders from the list you give

 

And that's what I'm getting at: the clubs in contention for a SL place including these two would bring nothing to the SL table in terms of competitiveness, attendances, the footprint of the competition(well Doncaster and Sheff to an extent). and they do not have the genuine potential to do so in the near, middle, or distant future. Not only will these clubs add nothing to Super League, they will press the self destruct button by being a very brief part of it.


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Swinton, Sheffield, Doncaster, York, Oldham Gateshead, Gloucester, Skolars, Crusaders all have huge potential. Whether any of it can be realised is another matter entirely.

 

That's a very big statement not backed up by the facts over the years.

 

Gateshead ?  Sheffield ?  Not long since they had a go.........


"We'll sell you a seat .... but you'll only need the edge of it!"

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they have indeed, 

 

What?

 

Potential to be big RL places? If they do then London, Paris, Barcelona and Rome have even bigger potential...... by gum lad Paris 17,000 crowd at the start, London 10,000 crowds at the start, 18,000 in Barcelona for Les Cats and Warrington, and Rome not a Rugby City? Check out the six nations.

 

I find it weird that so many people scoffed at the idea these faraway big city places could be big in RL, now propose a suburb in Manchester could be huge. That's cost me and you another post on our huge posts count. The writer should buy us a pint each for that.

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What?

 

Potential to be big RL places? If they do then London, Paris, Barcelona and Rome have even bigger potential...... by gum lad Paris 17,000 crowd at the start, London 10,000 crowds at the start, 18,000 in Barcelona for Les Cats and Warrington, and Rome not a Rugby City? Check out the six nations.

 

I find it weird that so many people scoffed at the idea these faraway big city places could be big in RL, now propose a suburb in Manchester could be huge. That's cost me and you another post on our huge posts count. The writer should buy us a pint each for that.

 

Well at the risk of being into my own fantasy land a NRL Capital-City Europa league then running along side our SL... mind you needs big investment and hence NRL involvement.

 

Not really being serious but just taking forward your initial thoughts to warm my heart - a serious project for Dr K maybe...

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That's a very big statement not backed up by the facts over the years.

 

Gateshead ?  Sheffield ?  Not long since they had a go.........

Potential to me means what is possible, not what is or what was. All of he clubs in the list have, in my opinion potential. They are all in big population centres, vital as alleged by some for a SL team9 Swinton being a part of Salford/Manchester).

Most all of them have some culture of RL already in place with varying degrees of success.

Some have ready made stadia ( Doncaster, Gateshead, )

Some have stadia supposedly to be built, (York)

Some have had decent successs in the past Sheffield and Gateshead ( they finished in the top eight, pulled in 3,000 plus crowds and thet did it without Sky money)

Gloucester is a Rugby area, albeit union and have a unique new concept in the University link uo and a serious entrepreneur in Lionel Hirst.

Ti me they all have potential to make it. However, as I did say, realising that potential is another thing entirely.

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