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


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None of whom went belly up in SL and all pre millennium

Why is the millennium a bench mark?

Gateshead and Keighley were prevented from belly up by merging with hull and not being allowed into super league respectively

Oldham were in super league: that went well didn't it? 

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The point is to get out of theirr current state and exploit that potential

But the game itself can't get them out of their state. It doesn't have the finances. It's like saying Paris has potential. It does if we have the capital to invest in it. Anywhere does. But we don't, which is why they aren't here.

What potential do their possible replacements have for growth on and off the field apart from shirt term gigs as spear carriers?

If they can stay alive, they have more potential than a dead or financially drained Bradford or London. It's these reasons why clubs with "less potential" like Castleford and Widnes are in Super League and not clubs with "more potential" like Dublin and Cardiff.

If the game can't support them, and they can't get individual support, I don't see how they have more potential.

Bradford have a huge amount of issues that apparently the game cannot sort out. And they've done everything they bloody can to try!

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It has to be admitted that every attempt to spread the game into a new area, even one as near to the "heartlands" as Liverpool has been a total failure.  Support for rugby of either code in these islands is patchy.

You seem to equate heartlands with success, anything outside that a failure.

There's a long long list of heartland clubs that have failed, shadows of their former selves. You and i have watched as their fanbases have turned fron thousands to hundreds, watched to the point where local businessmen won't touch them so supporters have to run the clubs instead on shoestring budgets. Hunslet, York, Swinton, Bramley, Rochdale, Oldham etc etc.How many have turned to DR to become "A" teams???.

Yet somehow the re-introduction of P & R is supposed to arrest that decline. What a dreadfully simplistic panacea?? I wouldn't mind giving it a go if we hadn't tried it before.

So what is the reason for the heartlands decline that has badly affected the clubs who ended up with long spells in CC1? then the decline of Championship clubs running around on crowds in the hundreds acting as SL "A" teams. Now we have SL teams collapsing financially. The cancer has spread from the bottom up and is eating away at the game. The roots are rotting.

We hold on to our vibrancy in places like leeds, Wigan, Hull, where clubs have the resources to get a crowd, and to develop great local players. IMVHO Logically that is the answer more big clubs who can resist the decline of the game.

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But the game itself can't get them out of their state. It doesn't have the finances. It's like saying Paris has potential. It does if we have the capital to invest in it. Anywhere does. But we don't, which is why they aren't here.

If they can stay alive, they have more potential than a dead or financially drained Bradford or London. It's these reasons why clubs with "less potential" like Castleford and Widnes are in Super League and not clubs with "more potential" like Dublin and Cardiff.

If the game can't support them, and they can't get individual support, I don't see how they have more potential.

Bradford have a huge amount of issues that apparently the game cannot sort out. And they've done everything they bloody can to try!

 

But the game itself can't get them out of their state. It doesn't have the finances. It's like saying Paris has potential. It does if we have the capital to invest in it. Anywhere does. But we don't, which is why they aren't here.

If they can stay alive, they have more potential than a dead or financially drained Bradford or London. It's these reasons why clubs with "less potential" like Castleford and Widnes are in Super League and not clubs with "more potential" like Dublin and Cardiff.

If the game can't support them, and they can't get individual support, I don't see how they have more potential.

Bradford have a huge amount of issues that apparently the game cannot sort out. And they've done everything they bloody can to try!

Ok then

 

So let the retreat begin

 

Let's go back to where we were and see where we are in the years time or so

WELCOME TO THE ROYSTON VASEY SUPER LEAGUE 2015

Keeping it local

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Ok then

 

So let the retreat begin

 

Let's go back to where we were and see where we are in the years time or so

 

Most successful business expand from position of strength in their core market. RL often wants to expand without the core being solid and hence finds it ain't the resources or capability to sustain its effort to expand.

 

I want expansion but sometimes the focus has to be on its core market until its healthy and then target expansion. Growing at the grass roots is all expansion should be at the moment.  The core and that includes international game should be its major focus.

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We hold on to our vibrancy in places like leeds, Wigan, Hull, where clubs have the resources to get a crowd, and to develop great local players. IMVHO Logically that is the answer more big clubs who can resist the decline of the game.

IMO what we should be doing is following the natural interest.  Who would have thought, say 20 years ago, that the Medway Dragons would be such a vibrant and growing amateur club?  And who would have thought we would ever have seen 7,500 people attend a rugby league international in awful weather in Bristol?  Would anyone have believed that the Crusaders could have reformed their own club, locally, and secured promotion in their second season when they went bust?

 

Times change and times have changed in the towns where rugby league used to be prominent.  People are socially mobile, there is far more competition for the leisure hours of people than when RL ruled in certain northern towns, 24 hour sports television didn't exist and RL clubs were the hobbies of local businesses rather than local businesses in their own right. 

 

Times change.  The only way rugby league will thrive as a sport is for the sport to change with the times.  That doesn't mean changing the sport, but rather changing the way we promote, develop and support it. Australia was once a development area and now look where it is.  The NRL is massive and has left the mother country behind.  It could be that in years to come a club like Medway Dragons becomes as big a club as, say, Leeds is now.  We shouldn't hold it back just because it's not in the north.  We should be encouraging it to grow because clearly the interest in the sport is there, whereas in Oldham, say, there appears to be hardly any interest in the sport at all. 

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Ok then

So let the retreat begin

Let's go back to where we were and see where we are in the years time or so

C'mon L'ang, you know that's not what I'm saying at all.

I could equally argue the opposite for you, "let's kick out all the clubs with no potential and have a league of pins-on-map clubs." But I know that's not what you're saying either.

The game can find, and is finding, individual benefactors for clubs. The clubs themselves are as well. But we shouldn't ring fence a club because they have/had potential "when they've got money". Is it retracting by not throwing money into a pit for a club that may eventually go bust anyway?

When the game only has so much money, it can't just burn it. You and I will differ on the definitions of what burning money is, which is fine. I think we've both got our points across in this department.

In the absence of suitable investment to keep a club afloat, I think pretty much any club is a better alternative; so long as they have the finances to stay afloat. Potential is meaningless if you can't back it.

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All I hope to see is a system from top to bottom that sees the whole game benefit in some way from Professional to amateur to juniors. How many clubs and who should be in SL is not really that important for me. Having a system that brings the game forward is more important and sees the standards on and off the field improve is more important than people making up a set of rules that are a joke, like the licences for example. We have amateur and pro clubs literally fighting over academy players with no proper system that benefits anybody in place. We see clubs pretending (Both SL and others) that things are fine when in reality things are not. ALL SL teams should be forced to run reserves and academy teams. If they cant afford/wont then for me they shouldnt be in SL. The RFL, The Pro and Amateur Clubs need to find a proper system for players. The game has to find a way where all agree to a framework of where the whole game needs to go. Sadly too many Egos and people with agendas across the board are tearing the game apart. Sadly few are willing to give up and do whats best for the game.

 

Having Clubs in SL with issues they and the game cant sort out is for me not on. Whats the point of Bradford in Sl in the current state? Same with London, Castleford? Personally, if a club is in a mess like Bradford or London, no matter what potential they have, they shouldnt be in SL. SL or top league should be for teams that are being run properly and can properly put a team on the field without issues. Ignoring issues of poor management and debt is simply not on as sooner or later it will bring a club down so that it cant function properly. What good is that to the club and the game? Whether Fev, Fax, Sheffield are ready to face that challenge is questionable. But if they are being run properly and have won the passage to play in SL in someway, why stop them? SL is never going to have the Utopia of all its teams being strong and challenging for trophies. Even the English Football Premiership cant do it and the clubs carry far more debt than our game as a whole. Is P & R the right way? Maybe maybe not. There is no right answer, just a load of opinions. The people running the clubs and game need to look at what they want and what the gane needs and find a solution and fast. But sadly I cant see that happening

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C'mon L'ang, you know that's not what I'm saying at all.

I could equally argue the opposite for you, "let's kick out all the clubs with no potential and have a league of pins-on-map clubs." But I know that's not what you're saying either.

The game can find, and is finding, individual benefactors for clubs. The clubs themselves are as well. But we shouldn't ring fence a club because they have/had potential "when they've got money". Is it retracting by not throwing money into a pit for a club that may eventually go bust anyway?

When the game only has so much money, it can't just burn it. You and I will differ on the definitions of what burning money is, which is fine. I think we've both got our points across in this department.

In the absence of suitable investment to keep a club afloat, I think pretty much any club is a better alternative; so long as they have the finances to stay afloat. Potential is meaningless if you can't back it.

I don't want to kick anybody anywhere

I just think it's vital for the future of the game in this country that we push out the boundaries rather than retreat behind them

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I think this is an excellent point. RL has found it's niche within a niche. What I want to know is why this is a problem?

 

It's an excellent post, and there have been some more to go with it especially from Wellsy and Keighley, They both put up very good arguments, and make points that are hard to argue with, I find myself on the oposite side to their arguments ,but i still see their point of view.

 

Here are a couple of questions i would like answers to.

 

Before the saviours came on the scene at Huddersfield, they were at rock bottom, Can anyone please tell me what they were contributing to the game, Other than as cannon fodder, And also without the injection of some heavy money would they realistically have ever survived.  The comment i used to hear more than any other walking away from the ground was " they would be better off jacking it in " My own answer to this is they would almost certainly have disapeared, IT was not the first time they had been brought back from the brink.

 

We are talking here about a club whose records in Rugby league will stand comparrison with all but the best.

Yet had fallen to the point where crowds were in the low hundreds at one time.

 

There was nothing to stop them being as big as Wigan ( other than the competition from Town ) the point being it was their own failings , no other club was holding them back.

 

There is a lot of Posts reffering to Ring fencing and lack of P&R , There has been P&R in SL and as far as i know it is still in operation. That said P&R is not traditional to RL.

 

The System Wellsy has put forward looks Great, It would be were it ever to work, But with all clubs being equell and competition  making them Vibrant with crowds gradually rising, and clubs improving at a steady rate, My question is. Why had RL fallen to the state it had , when all these same conditions  already existed, Why had Fartown ,and a lot more besides got to the point of collapse ?  And what is going to be different this time round.

 

I suspect this new system ( or Wellsey's ) will all be founded on the strength of the SKY deal, IN other words the earnings of the powerful will be used to fund the clubs who struggle to exist , never mind make money.

It's brutal, It's unpalatable, But it's what it's all based on.

 

There may be a couple of Super league clubs who can turn a profit, There are a lot more who are Bankrolled to one degree or another, Now it's very easy for us to come on here and say this should be done or that, ( it's Fair enough It's a forum )  But if it were any of us putting in large amounts of money would we still be spouting about what's  best for RL.

 

We have to be realistic about what is achievable rather than what is desirable, Giants finished Bottom year after year ( with money being pumped in ) Some have done better i agree, but It still takes years to just even become competitive, So any team who get promoted unless they are given say 3 years , stand a very good chance of going straight back down, if you give them the 3 years , Is that not ring fencing ?

 

When i said RL could do with going down to twenty clubs and increasing the Sky contract, I didn't put it very well, I meant that ,If the Sky money could be increased substancially  we could afford a SL1 and SL2 , which would bring in more clubs with a realistic chance of becoming something once again, Something along the Lines of OZ but with 2 teirs.

 

My refference to Sky was about keeping ,or getting it to be as competitive as possible, There is nothing guarranteed about Sky money, To make the comp unattractive with clubs being heavily beaton does not help. It was the best yet last year yet, ( and not just because of the Giants ) Looking at the squad thread, Next season looks like being a cracker.

 

Overall IMO  in it's niche, Below SL level League has  gone backwards, I appeciate that some people will be happy with that , Not me I had 50 years of that  and It's enough for anyone, I want to watch the best , for the rest of my time , And i will take some convincing that 2/3rds of clubs below SL can ever again get up there, "no disrespect to any club " There is just not the money in the game to bring it about , I wish there were.

Dont expect anything from a pig but a grunt

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Overall IMO  in it's niche, Below SL level League has  gone backwards, I appeciate that some people will be happy with that , Not me I had 50 years of that  and It's enough for anyone, I want to watch the best , for the rest of my time , And i will take some convincing that 2/3rds of clubs below SL can ever again get up there, "no disrespect to any club " There is just not the money in the game to bring it about , I wish there were.

As long as there is no P&R then the likes of Oldham, Swinton, Fev, York, Halifax will never get up there.  As long there is no P&R the teams at the bottom end of SL have no incentive to improve what they offer on the pitch.  I know what you're saying about Huddersfield, I was there when they last won the RL Championship.  Forty years in the doldrums, but thanks to P&R they got into SL and got a backer and certainly on the field they are going places.  But not on the terraces, forty years of failure means that the fan base is attenuated and repopulating it will take time.  The same could be said for Oldham, and look at the players the Oldham area have produced: the Sulthorpes, Iestyn, Mike Ford, Barrie Mac, Kevin Sinfield, and all these at a time when the pro club has been struggling.  We cannot give up on the Championship clubs. If we do it'll be the thin end of the wedge.

“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.”

Clement Attlee.

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Point one there are not 20,000 Bradford fans. Those big attendances would have had at least 5,000 from Leeds if not more.

Secondly, the 20,000 resurrection attendance, in my opinion, had many fans from Batley, Fax, Keighley etc as well as from Leeds, Radford and other SL teams who rallied to the cause. When Nottingham played their last game I believe 600 attended about three times the normal attendance because fans rallied to their cause ( lost as it

Bradford may regain their lost fans, only success on their point will demonstrate that. Time will tell.

Exactly fans rallied and they couldn't muster 1k!

Shock horror that not all Bradford fans live in Bradford! Next you will be telling me not all man u fans live in Manchester! (Or Salford for pedantic folk!)

Also Bradford haven't 'lost' any fans they have just stopped being regular! If Bradford made a final it would sell out again!

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So what is the reason for the heartlands decline that has badly affected the clubs who ended up with long spells in CC1? then the decline of Championship clubs running around on crowds in the hundreds acting as SL "A" teams. Now we have SL teams collapsing financially. The cancer has spread from the bottom up and is eating away at the game. The roots are rotting.

 

 

Using your analogy it seems that we need to get a new gardener for he seems to have spent his time trying to kill off the greenfly to make the flowers bloom and forgot about feeding the roots!!!!

I remember when .............................

"It is impossible not to feel a twinge of sympathy for Workington Town, the fall guys this season for the Super League's determination to retain it's European dimension, in the shape of Paris. While the French have had every assistance to survive, the importance of having a flagship in a heartland area like West Cumbria has been conveniently forgotten." - Dave Hadfield - Independent 25th August 1996.

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As long as there is no P&R then the likes of Oldham, Swinton, Fev, York, Halifax will never get up there.  As long there is no P&R the teams at the bottom end of SL have no incentive to improve what they offer on the pitch.  I know what you're saying about Huddersfield, I was there when they last won the RL Championship.  Forty years in the doldrums, but thanks to P&R they got into SL and got a backer and certainly on the field they are going places.  But not on the terraces, forty years of failure means that the fan base is attenuated and repopulating it will take time.  The same could be said for Oldham, and look at the players the Oldham area have produced: the Sulthorpes, Iestyn, Mike Ford, Barrie Mac, Kevin Sinfield, and all these at a time when the pro club has been struggling.  We cannot give up on the Championship clubs. If we do it'll be the thin end of the wedge.

 

With due respect i would say the Money came first at Huddersfield.

 

I take all your points on board, and as much as i would love to see League thriving and Vibrant, I just don't see it happening for many clubs, IMO many have worked miracles just to still be here. I truly don't know the answers, As far as i can see there is only one , and It's the route of all evil so the song goes . 

Dont expect anything from a pig but a grunt

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No point. But my point was more about running a Superleague that doesn't run up debts in conjunction with clubs collapsing due to those debts. In the case of Salford I dread to think how much John Wilkinson was owed but IIRC he wrote it off. Whilst you may say there were no assets, people were asking about where the money for the sale of the Willows went.

That's of no matter in terms of the debate to hand, but what was a problem at the time was without Koukash Salford had nothing. Relegation for them meant turning into a Swinton and having to literally start from scratch.

In the case of London it may be mr. Hughes will give up rather than run a championship side. In the case of Bradford yes they are assetless apart from all the players they put up for sale. However I am sure people will be happy for them to start again in CC1 should they fold from the debt.

This is what financial difficulties can do to SL clubs who are relegated. Turn now to those who are promoted without money. They have one season to survive, they have to spend as much as they can on a team and if it comes bottom then that's all wasted.

This isn't me saying something controversial to get a reaction, It's a very common viewpoint on here that being relegated from SL can cause devastation to clubs and being promoted can also be a bridge too far for other clubs and leave them in a mess.

Yet were pushing pins around a board saying that P & R is a great way to choose the strongest clubs for Superleague when in fact it seems to be something that does a good job at weakening clubs wether going up or down. I know people feel strongly about fairness and clubs being given a chance, but it seems to me that could come at a great cost in reality.

oh I agree....

my point is that saying SL is in debt by 68mill is irrelevant if most chairman will 'do a wilkinson' and write off huge chunks of it, isnt around 12 mill owed to Hughes, he must know he will never see that again he wont be calling this in!

As this model isn't sustainable it's not good for long term, but for me if someone wants to bankroll a club I.e put the money in to replace ST sales.....its a good way to make up the numbers until other big club's come along....or do a man city.....their pla is to spend big and then become sustainable!

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But the game itself can't get them out of their state. It doesn't have the finances. It's like saying Paris has potential. It does if we have the capital to invest in it. Anywhere does. But we don't, which is why they aren't here.

If they can stay alive, they have more potential than a dead or financially drained Bradford or London. It's these reasons why clubs with "less potential" like Castleford and Widnes are in Super League and not clubs with "more potential" like Dublin and Cardiff.

If the game can't support them, and they can't get individual support, I don't see how they have more potential.

Bradford have a huge amount of issues that apparently the game cannot sort out. And they've done everything they bloody can to try!

well maybe a last through of the dice, give them their fair share of revenue!

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Most successful business expand from position of strength in their core market. RL often wants to expand without the core being solid and hence finds it ain't the resources or capability to sustain its effort to expand.

I want expansion but sometimes the focus has to be on its core market until its healthy and then target expansion. Growing at the grass roots is all expansion should be at the moment. The core and that includes international game should be its major focus.

it is though there has been great inroads into community game and tier2!

There is also great caution around toulouse. ..

all a good thing, the current tier 1 needs to hold the fort until tier2 and 3 become expanded and stable

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oh I agree....

my point is that saying SL is in debt by 68mill is irrelevant if most chairman will 'do a wilkinson' and write off huge chunks of it, isnt around 12 mill owed to Hughes, he must know he will never see that again he wont be calling this in!

As this model isn't sustainable it's not good for long term, but for me if someone wants to bankroll a club I.e put the money in to replace ST sales.....its a good way to make up the numbers until other big club's come along....or do a man city.....their pla is to spend big and then become sustainable!

 

I would think this is the plan of Mr Davy, whether it will succeed remains to be seen. I hope it does because he deserves it ,If nothing else. Meanwhile they are filling a need "so to speak"

 

My own opinion is I don't care who is in SL or where they get the Money to be there, If they are competitive and add to the comp , That will do me.

I would be very happy to see Fev for eg play like they did against Cas and Wigan ,

Dont expect anything from a pig but a grunt

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But the game itself can't get them out of their state. It doesn't have the finances. It's like saying Paris has potential. It does if we have the capital to invest in it. Anywhere does. But we don't, which is why they aren't here.

If they can stay alive, they have more potential than a dead or financially drained Bradford or London. It's these reasons why clubs with "less potential" like Castleford and Widnes are in Super League and not clubs with "more potential" like Dublin and Cardiff.

If the game can't support them, and they can't get individual support, I don't see how they have more potential.

Bradford have a huge amount of issues that apparently the game cannot sort out. And they've done everything they bloody can to try!

 

But does this fairness thing come into play here. The Bulls fans are not responsible for the mess the club are in, No more than the Hull fans would be were it to happen to them ( god forbid )

 

So what would be fair ," Or sensible " to lose a large section of the Bradford crowd by relegating them, just to punish them for the wrong doings of others.

 

I don't know if they can survive or not, but untill they actually fail they are still one of the better supported SL clubs. Things didnt look great for Wakey 2 months ago.

 

The lesson for me here is, That if the SL were prepared to take half of Bradfords Money for themselves for two seasons, ( another SL club ) at the very time they needed it most, I just don't see them looking particularly kindley to funding a Hairy Fairy scheeme dreamed up by the RFL,  I could be well wrong of course. It could also mean that the SL clubs don't see Bradford as worth backing. Who knows?

 

It says to me that SL It's self needs more money, or some Money men could start to walk, That may make things Fairer for some but it would also make it poorer for all.

Dont expect anything from a pig but a grunt

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hull gateshead,

Sheffield, Huddersfield!

Get with the 21st century man!

The RL supporters in Gateshead and Sheffield are ecstatic about the success of those mergers from their perspective and flock in their tens of thousands to the SL home games of the merged clubs which are held in their cities every season. Also these were not mergers in the sense of consolidating an area with two closely situated teams to create a mega team. How far is Gateshead from Hull and Sheffield from Huddersfield ?

Also there was a one million pound bribe available to teams who merged. I don't think this is still being held as a carrot to tempt clubs to merge any longer.

I repeat my statement that there will not be any more merger in the foreseeable future.

The 21st century looks like introducing p and r soon. I'm certainly looking forward to this new age development.

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The symbolism lies in the fact that a club like Catalan can be ejected from the competition on the back if one bad season. Toulouse are marginalised and London get chucked out in exchange for this we have a competition increasingly populated by clubs within a few miles of each other with little or no prospect or potential for growth...Bradford is in the so called heartlands but to compare them with the club's that could replace them is risible.

Well, hopefully p and r is returning and London and Bradford could indeed be relegated so get ready to laugh or in your case grimace.

The position of the French clubs with regards to p and r is a difficult one. I think they should indeed be relegated if they fall into a relegation spot and take their chances like everyone else but I understand the problems of travel involved in being in the lower tier.

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The RL supporters in Gateshead and Sheffield are ecstatic about the success of those mergers from their perspective and flock in their tens of thousands to the SL home games of the merged clubs which are held in their cities every season. Also these were not mergers in the sense of consolidating an area with two closely situated teams to create a mega team. How far is Gateshead from Hull and Sheffield from Huddersfield ?

Also there was a one million pound bribe available to teams who merged. I don't think this is still being held as a carrot to tempt clubs to merge any longer.

I repeat my statement that there will not be any more merger in the foreseeable future.

The 21st century looks like introducing p and r soon. I'm certainly looking forward to this new age development.

 

But there will almost certainly be no shotage of collapses, or clubs going through the motions at best, still they are their clubs.

Dont expect anything from a pig but a grunt

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1. Having Clubs in SL with issues they and the game cant sort out is for me not on. Whats the point of Bradford in Sl in the current state? Same with London, Castleford? Personally, if a club is in a mess like Bradford or London, no matter what potential they have, they shouldnt be in SL. SL or top league should be for teams that are being run properly......

 

2. Whether Fev, Fax, Sheffield are ready to face that challenge is questionable. But if they are being run properly and have won the passage to play in SL in someway, why stop them?

 

1. OK so Bradford managed to mismanage a club with a turnover of what £5,000,000 and a staff of what? 70 people??

 

2. How easy in comparison is it for CC clubs to run "properly" when they only have a turnover of what? £500,000 and a staff of what? Seven??

 

This happens again and again where clubs under tremendous financial pressure competing in the big time, are compared to CC clubs ambling along with no pressures and the latter are acclaimed as "good management" whilst the former are just a bunch of incapables.

 

You yourself now start to be "questionable" whether the CC clubs are really that superior in management to the SL clubs?? Why when Sheffield won 22 games last year and Bradford only 10??

 

Sorry to have to make this point so strongly, but again we have a post where it is suggested Sheffield may face the challenge that Bradford have failed to succeed in.

 

Is this the Sheffield with 900 fans who have never produced a Sheffield born SL player against the Bradford Bulls who are good for 9,000 fans who have produced many Bradford born stars over many years and continue to do so??

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Well, hopefully p and r is returning and London and Bradford could indeed be relegated so get ready to laugh or in your case grimace.

The position of the French clubs with regards to p and r is a difficult one. I think they should indeed be relegated if they fall into a relegation spot and take their chances like everyone else but I understand the problems of travel involved in being in the lower tier.

 

Regards the French clubs Wellsey has the right idea.

 

Bradford and London ! we have plenty of clubs now that are a joke, Or a deseving case deoending on your point of view.

Dont expect anything from a pig but a grunt

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Why is the millennium a bench mark?

Gateshead and Keighley were prevented from belly up by merging with hull and not being allowed into super league respectively

Oldham were in super league: that went well didn't it?

It might well be said that Hull were prevented from going belly up by merging with Gateshead. As I recall, the refusal to allow Keighley into SL actually resulted in their going bankrupt.

Was it Oldham being in SL that was the problem or a culmination of years of struggle with debt in a deteriorating ground. I think it was more likely the latter. Ultimately though it went no worse than Wakefield, Bradford or Salford. It was only the lack of an investor to save them which differentiated them from those other failing SL clubs.

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