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All Golds-Oxford Merger, is it still on?

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24 minutes ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

But how much interest is there in those cities, who’s stumping up the bill and where will 25 players come from?

Probably very little at present, though we can't know with any certainty. The question isn't necessarily what reach the sport has now but what foothold it might plausibly be capable of gaining. How much interest in rugby league was there perceived to be in Toronto, or for that matter Melbourne, until recently?

As to the question of who's going to stump up the bill, the answer to that is most likely no-one as it stands. But then they have nothing to be commercially attracted to. Manchester Rangers are a case in point. They might be embryonic now but they potentially offer an absolutely golden opportunity if managed properly. They currently have the use of excellent facilities that are easy to get to, and are well-positioned to make the most of partnerships with a range of local schools and colleges. Most crucially though, cities attract people. Purely by dint of their location, they'd be primed, in time, to bring in the kind of blue chip sponsorship and investment that we're crying out in a way that towns like Wigan, St Helens, Castleford, Widnes, and before you say it, Leigh, never can. Any forward thinking ruling body (yes, I know) should recognise that this could be very fertile ground and do all they can to help them progress. For a start, it would be much easier to generate interest from a financial backer if they had promise of a place in the professional/semi-professional league structure.

I'd posit that in the short to medium term, Manchester Rangers would be a very appealing proposition for players at the lower level, and in the long-term the club would hopefully be in a position to develop their own. Should they suddenly be in need of quality players quickly, there are plenty in Australia.

 

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The reason Toronto are getting such good crowds is that they are winning. I severely doubt you’d get 7000 people turning up to see their team get battered every week. 

Expansion goes one of a few ways. 

1) A rich owner comes in and invests not just in the playing squad but appoints a great team of administrative and marketing staff. Eg Toronto. 

2) A team is created in a part of the country that doesn’t have a lot of interest in rugby league. There’s a tiny playing budget, an even tinier team of staff who unfortunately can’t work miracles. The team is battered most weeks, crowds are low, they announce some half-baked idea to dual-reg with a Super League side and finish the season with having lost 90% of their games.

There needs to be a long term plan put in place if an expansion team is to succeed. 

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37 minutes ago, Moscow01 said:

Expansion goes one of a few ways. 

1) A rich owner comes in and invests not just in the playing squad but appoints a great team of administrative and marketing staff. Eg Toronto. 

2) A team is created in a part of the country that doesn’t have a lot of interest in rugby league. There’s a tiny playing budget, an even tinier team of staff who unfortunately can’t work miracles. The team is battered most weeks, crowds are low, they announce some half-baked idea to dual-reg with a Super League side and finish the season with having lost 90% of their games.

But it doesn't have to always be that way.

39 minutes ago, Moscow01 said:

There needs to be a long term plan put in place if an expansion team is to succeed. 

See: Newcastle Thunder. They roughly fit into your second category, yet now they're winning matches, have a proper youth set-up, are generating close to four-figure attendances, and have a professional-looking social media presence. They might only be baby steps but they're gaining some traction, and they're approaching a stage where they have the foundations to develop into something bigger.

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3 hours ago, Bolton Leyther said:

Probably very little at present, though we can't know with any certainty. The question isn't necessarily what reach the sport has now but what foothold it might plausibly be capable of gaining. How much interest in rugby league was there perceived to be in Toronto, or for that matter Melbourne, until recently?

As to the question of who's going to stump up the bill, the answer to that is most likely no-one as it stands. But then they have nothing to be commercially attracted to. Manchester Rangers are a case in point. They might be embryonic now but they potentially offer an absolutely golden opportunity if managed properly. They currently have the use of excellent facilities that are easy to get to, and are well-positioned to make the most of partnerships with a range of local schools and colleges. Most crucially though, cities attract people. Purely by dint of their location, they'd be primed, in time, to bring in the kind of blue chip sponsorship and investment that we're crying out in a way that towns like Wigan, St Helens, Castleford, Widnes, and before you say it, Leigh, never can. Any forward thinking ruling body (yes, I know) should recognise that this could be very fertile ground and do all they can to help them progress. For a start, it would be much easier to generate interest from a financial backer if they had promise of a place in the professional/semi-professional league structure.

I'd posit that in the short to medium term, Manchester Rangers would be a very appealing proposition for players at the lower level, and in the long-term the club would hopefully be in a position to develop their own. Should they suddenly be in need of quality players quickly, there are plenty in Australia.

 

Aren’t Manchester Rangers financed by someone with a bit of money, though? 

I’m sure I read somewhere that they were. 

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12 hours ago, Mumby Magic said:

Am I right in thinking the Sonics are no more?

Yes. Sounds like the new All Golds amateur club raided their players, and they were struggling ever before that.

The Midlands has lost two of the best three sides in the community game as well this year 

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On 6/23/2018 at 11:39 PM, Odsal Outlaw said:

Bristol was never seriously going to happen .... surely no one believed Oxford/GAG would really end up as Bristol!

I'm no longer in touch with anyone involved and don't know the current status but can confirm it was a very serious proposition and that they weren't a million miles off playing this season. I believe a coach was chosen and players were being approached before it was decided they needed a longer lead time to increase the chances of making it work.

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10 hours ago, Moscow01 said:

The reason Toronto are getting such good crowds is that they are winning. I severely doubt you’d get 7000 people turning up to see their team get battered every week. 

Expansion goes one of a few ways. 

1) A rich owner comes in and invests not just in the playing squad but appoints a great team of administrative and marketing staff. Eg Toronto. 

2) A team is created in a part of the country that doesn’t have a lot of interest in rugby league. There’s a tiny playing budget, an even tinier team of staff who unfortunately can’t work miracles. The team is battered most weeks, crowds are low, they announce some half-baked idea to dual-reg with a Super League side and finish the season with having lost 90% of their games.

There needs to be a long term plan put in place if an expansion team is to succeed. 

Version 2 looks like the model that’s been in favour for a good few years. League 1 pays testament, the current bottom 4 near perfect text book examples.


- Adepto Successu Per Tributum Fuga -

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22 hours ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

Aren’t Manchester Rangers financed by someone with a bit of money, though? 

I’m sure I read somewhere that they were. 

The board is made of local business professionals but they are well connected to bring in investors.

So yes they have money, but not in fantasy land terms.

On 6/25/2018 at 10:07 PM, Bolton Leyther said:

 

As to the question of who's going to stump up the bill, the answer to that is most likely no-one as it stands. But then they have nothing to be commercially attracted to. Manchester Rangers are a case in point. They might be embryonic now but they potentially offer an absolutely golden opportunity if managed properly. They currently have the use of excellent facilities that are easy to get to, and are well-positioned to make the most of partnerships with a range of local schools and colleges. Most crucially though, cities attract people. Purely by dint of their location, they'd be primed, in time, to bring in the kind of blue chip sponsorship and investment that we're crying out in a way that towns like Wigan, St Helens, Castleford, Widnes, and before you say it, Leigh, never can. Any forward thinking ruling body (yes, I know) should recognise that this could be very fertile ground and do all they can to help them progress. For a start, it would be much easier to generate interest from a financial backer if they had promise of a place in the professional/semi-professional league structure.

I'd posit that in the short to medium term, Manchester Rangers would be a very appealing proposition for players at the lower level, and in the long-term the club would hopefully be in a position to develop their own. Should they suddenly be in need of quality players quickly, there are plenty in Australia.

 

Pretty much spot on they have a board made up with people who have local businesses.

But they are geared up to leverage connections to bring an investor  in if the opportunity presented itself.

Having stated they could self finance if given the opportunity, but it would need a professional spot to bring an investor into the fold.

I think they already said on BBC Radio last year they are operating on a budget of 70k to do the local development work paid for by sponsorship and the board.

But I cant see any new teams joining league one from the UK for a while.  If league one will still exist.

 

 

Edited by TheLegendOfTexEvans
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On 6/25/2018 at 11:35 PM, Bolton Leyther said:

But it doesn't have to always be that way.

See: Newcastle Thunder. They roughly fit into your second category, yet now they're winning matches, have a proper youth set-up, are generating close to four-figure attendances, and have a professional-looking social media presence. They might only be baby steps but they're gaining some traction, and they're approaching a stage where they have the foundations to develop into something bigger.

Newcastle have a multi-Millionaire owner in Semore Kurdi so it would be the case that in reality they fit in the first category of a club that "grows" through one mans personal gifts. London Broncos have a proper youth set up, are winning matches, and attendances were 900 last season and so there is a direct comparison. That only differs in that Kurdi does not shell out for players from along the M62 to win enough games to get Newcastle into the Championship.

His ambitions in terms of his actions are very limited. It would not take much for him to buy Newcastle out of league one and into the Championship which Gateshead stormed in 2008. Gateshead also played Superleague in 1999 so RL hasn't got  that far in 20 years there (Notwithstanding Newcastles 1936 pro RL team). The 1999 team came sixth in SL so that was a very good season, but it pulled in only 3.900 crowds. Newcastle's ambitions are simply limited by Kurdi's limited investment.

I've followed "expansion" ever since I first watched the game in 1966 when expansion was Doncaster and Blackpool. That's half a century ago, and it's been half a century of wishful thinking. Donny were already 15 years into "expanding the game" to south Yorkshire then. 

"Expansion" of course has to be a talking point when the game continues to accommodate clubs like TWP, Coventry, Hemel, West Wales etc into the pro ranks, to follow the last crop of Paris, Gateshead, London etc, and before that Mansfield, Kent, Cardiff etc. but after all this time the clubs that rule the roost and develop the players all have one common denominator, they have roots going back to the 1860's and 1870's.

At a time when Widnes (1873) and Salford (1873) are on their backsides I find it very hard to take "expansion" seriously whether it's clubs from places they do not play RL, or clubs from places they did, like Manchester, but has now failed against the onslaught of Union and soccer. The name of the game has to be "survival" because it would in theory only be decades before any of these expansion clubs ever break even or develop an SL quality player. Again check out Doncaster seven decades on.

I say "in theory" because even through the last century Rugby League was mainly about the big old clubs of Hull, West Yorkshire and central Lancashire. The tide of soccer in Manchester has washed over Broughton Rangers and Swinton and is currently seeing off Salford. No surprise the RFL are cool on Manchester Rangers despite their junior set up. At their height Broughton Rangers had the biggest number of schoolkids playing the game there. Manchester Rangers are revivalists, not expansionists.

Anyway far from Lenegan's 10 club SL being about "Supergreed" it was actually all about survival. But talking about that ain't as much fun.

Edited by The Parksider
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12 hours ago, The Parksider said:

Newcastle have a multi-Millionaire owner in Semore Kurdi so it would be the case that in reality they fit in the first category of a club that "grows" through one mans personal gifts. London Broncos have a proper youth set up, are winning matches, and attendances were 900 last season and so there is a direct comparison. That only differs in that Kurdi does not shell out for players from along the M62 to win enough games to get Newcastle into the Championship.

His ambitions in terms of his actions are very limited. It would not take much for him to buy Newcastle out of league one and into the Championship which Gateshead stormed in 2008. Gateshead also played Superleague in 1999 so RL hasn't got  that far in 20 years there (Notwithstanding Newcastles 1936 pro RL team). The 1999 team came sixth in SL so that was a very good season, but it pulled in only 3.900 crowds. Newcastle's ambitions are simply limited by Kurdi's limited investment.

I've followed "expansion" ever since I first watched the game in 1966 when expansion was Doncaster and Blackpool. That's half a century ago, and it's been half a century of wishful thinking. Donny were already 15 years into "expanding the game" to south Yorkshire then. 

"Expansion" of course has to be a talking point when the game continues to accommodate clubs like TWP, Coventry, Hemel, West Wales etc into the pro ranks, to follow the last crop of Paris, Gateshead, London etc, and before that Mansfield, Kent, Cardiff etc. but after all this time the clubs that rule the roost and develop the players all have one common denominator, they have roots going back to the 1860's and 1870's.

At a time when Widnes (1873) and Salford (1873) are on their backsides I find it very hard to take "expansion" seriously whether it's clubs from places they do not play RL, or clubs from places they did, like Manchester, but has now failed against the onslaught of Union and soccer. The name of the game has to be "survival" because it would in theory only be decades before any of these expansion clubs ever break even or develop an SL quality player. Again check out Doncaster seven decades on.

I say "in theory" because even through the last century Rugby League was mainly about the big old clubs of Hull, West Yorkshire and central Lancashire. The tide of soccer in Manchester has washed over Broughton Rangers and Swinton and is currently seeing off Salford. No surprise the RFL are cool on Manchester Rangers despite their junior set up. At their height Broughton Rangers had the biggest number of schoolkids playing the game there. Manchester Rangers are revivalists, not expansionists.

Anyway far from Lenegan's 10 club SL being about "Supergreed" it was actually all about survival. But talking about that ain't as much fun.

Thanks Parksider for presenting your views in such a reasonable fashion.

Edited by Manxmanc

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Rugby union has lost lots of players and teams. Maybe not many clubs but quite a few teams being run by clubs. There is a problem there as well. Professionalism has cut the feet away from some RU clubs.

In some ways RU is a bit of a dead end to many who either have no opportunity  or come up against a glass ceiling. Players are there. The opportunity needs to be created.

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11 hours ago, The Parksider said:

Newcastle have a multi-Millionaire owner in Semore Kurdi so it would be the case that in reality they fit in the first category of a club that "grows" through one mans personal gifts. London Broncos have a proper youth set up, are winning matches, and attendances were 900 last season and so there is a direct comparison. That only differs in that Kurdi does not shell out for players from along the M62 to win enough games to get Newcastle into the Championship.

His ambitions in terms of his actions are very limited. It would not take much for him to buy Newcastle out of league one and into the Championship which Gateshead stormed in 2008. Gateshead also played Superleague in 1999 so RL hasn't got  that far in 20 years there (Notwithstanding Newcastles 1936 pro RL team). The 1999 team came sixth in SL so that was a very good season, but it pulled in only 3.900 crowds. Newcastle's ambitions are simply limited by Kurdi's limited investment.

I've followed "expansion" ever since I first watched the game in 1966 when expansion was Doncaster and Blackpool. That's half a century ago, and it's been half a century of wishful thinking. Donny were already 15 years into "expanding the game" to south Yorkshire then. 

"Expansion" of course has to be a talking point when the game continues to accommodate clubs like TWP, Coventry, Hemel, West Wales etc into the pro ranks, to follow the last crop of Paris, Gateshead, London etc, and before that Mansfield, Kent, Cardiff etc. but after all this time the clubs that rule the roost and develop the players all have one common denominator, they have roots going back to the 1860's and 1870's.

At a time when Widnes (1873) and Salford (1873) are on their backsides I find it very hard to take "expansion" seriously whether it's clubs from places they do not play RL, or clubs from places they did, like Manchester, but has now failed against the onslaught of Union and soccer. The name of the game has to be "survival" because it would in theory only be decades before any of these expansion clubs ever break even or develop an SL quality player. Again check out Doncaster seven decades on.

I say "in theory" because even through the last century Rugby League was mainly about the big old clubs of Hull, West Yorkshire and central Lancashire. The tide of soccer in Manchester has washed over Broughton Rangers and Swinton and is currently seeing off Salford. No surprise the RFL are cool on Manchester Rangers despite their junior set up. At their height Broughton Rangers had the biggest number of schoolkids playing the game there. Manchester Rangers are revivalists, not expansionists.

Anyway far from Lenegan's 10 club SL being about "Supergreed" it was actually all about survival. But talking about that ain't as much fun.

     With regard to Thunder,the rich guy bought the union club,and perhaps with a little persuasion from Mick Hogan,also took over Thunder.I would suspect that the millions,if it goes anywhere,goes to the union club.

     If Widnes and Salford are on their backsides then it may be a continuation of fate that has attended clubs since sport began.

    Both clubs have received the monies for Super League clubs since the last tv deal.

     Widnes were more fortunate with their stadium,and council,than Salford were.

     Some clubs,heartland and expansion,have gone wrong because of the ownership of those clubs - throughout history.

     The club struggling,as I type this out now, is in a heartland area where the previous owner of Salford,when they weren't on their backside,has mentioned a new club in super League and a new stadium.

    The times,and circumstances,change and move on.

      Nearly all clubs are dealing with survival...which clubs are not?

 


     No reserves,but resilience,persistence and determination are omnipotent.                       

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On 6/27/2018 at 8:59 AM, The Parksider said:

Newcastle have a multi-Millionaire owner in Semore Kurdi so it would be the case that in reality they fit in the first category of a club that "grows" through one mans personal gifts. London Broncos have a proper youth set up, are winning matches, and attendances were 900 last season and so there is a direct comparison. That only differs in that Kurdi does not shell out for players from along the M62 to win enough games to get Newcastle into the Championship.

His ambitions in terms of his actions are very limited. It would not take much for him to buy Newcastle out of league one and into the Championship which Gateshead stormed in 2008. Gateshead also played Superleague in 1999 so RL hasn't got  that far in 20 years there (Notwithstanding Newcastles 1936 pro RL team). The 1999 team came sixth in SL so that was a very good season, but it pulled in only 3.900 crowds. Newcastle's ambitions are simply limited by Kurdi's limited investment.

I've followed "expansion" ever since I first watched the game in 1966 when expansion was Doncaster and Blackpool. That's half a century ago, and it's been half a century of wishful thinking. Donny were already 15 years into "expanding the game" to south Yorkshire then. 

"Expansion" of course has to be a talking point when the game continues to accommodate clubs like TWP, Coventry, Hemel, West Wales etc into the pro ranks, to follow the last crop of Paris, Gateshead, London etc, and before that Mansfield, Kent, Cardiff etc. but after all this time the clubs that rule the roost and develop the players all have one common denominator, they have roots going back to the 1860's and 1870's.

At a time when Widnes (1873) and Salford (1873) are on their backsides I find it very hard to take "expansion" seriously whether it's clubs from places they do not play RL, or clubs from places they did, like Manchester, but has now failed against the onslaught of Union and soccer. The name of the game has to be "survival" because it would in theory only be decades before any of these expansion clubs ever break even or develop an SL quality player. Again check out Doncaster seven decades on.

I say "in theory" because even through the last century Rugby League was mainly about the big old clubs of Hull, West Yorkshire and central Lancashire. The tide of soccer in Manchester has washed over Broughton Rangers and Swinton and is currently seeing off Salford. No surprise the RFL are cool on Manchester Rangers despite their junior set up. At their height Broughton Rangers had the biggest number of schoolkids playing the game there. Manchester Rangers are revivalists, not expansionists.

Anyway far from Lenegan's 10 club SL being about "Supergreed" it was actually all about survival. But talking about that ain't as much fun.

My posts were specifically in reference to rugby league establishing a presence in big cities, not expansion per se. Gateshead Thunder played in Super League but as and in Gateshead the town, not Newcastle the city. That might not appear to be particularly important as they're so close to each other but commercially at least it is, or potentially can be, significant.

I'm not advocating that we should be expending all our energies on Blackpool and Mansfield or that we should continue with the expansion strategy that's been tried previously. Obviously, just importing an artificial “professional” club from the top down is unlikely to ever work and that's not what I'm suggesting we try. What's important is that we grow clubs organically from the youth and community teams upwards before necessarily worrying about professional success. But equally it's vital that clubs based in areas with big population hubs are helped and encouraged to grow into professional/semi-professional outfits as and when they've built the necessary foundations from which they can develop beyond their current profile. Newcastle could soon be in a place to do that and Manchester might well be able to follow them if they can continue what they're trying to do.

As for your final point regarding Lenagan, I'm probably in favour of licencing and the idea, eventually, of setting up a two-tier Super League system. But my overriding point is that we must have more big city involvement somewhere in the future no matter the structure. It'll be just as beneficial to the health of Widnes and Salford as closing the shop is.


 

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Sad to see the trolls posts quoted in other peoples posts but apparently, soccer is now the reason Salford are being washed away. I could have sworn there was a few quite successful soccer teams within close distance of Salford since they began.

:D :D 

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On 6/27/2018 at 9:01 PM, Angelic Cynic said:

If Widnes and Salford are on their backsides then it may be a continuation of fate that has attended clubs since sport began. Both clubs have received the monies for Super League clubs since the last tv deal. Some clubs,heartland and expansion,have gone wrong because of the ownership of those clubs - throughout history. Nearly all clubs are dealing with survival...which clubs are not?

Any club that has not yet had to face reality yet like Bristol, New York, Manchester Rangers and TWP. Have you not noticed over the years that people think Rugby league is growing strongly in places where they don't really play Rugby league or where there are no rich investors interested in it? yet where they DO play rugby league only "bad ownership" is holding the game back?

There was nothing wrong with Steve O'Connors ownership. He made it clear his investment was limited but he would get Widnes in SL, after which it was up to the fans to get behind the club. That they haven't means the club has to cut it's cloth and rely on home grown players they actually produce. Hardly bad ownership. As for Salford, Koukash pumped the money in big style (what exactly was bad about that?) whilst the fan base responded by dropping and dropping.

The two clubs continue to act responsibly by budgeting for only what they can afford.

8 hours ago, Bolton Leyther said:

My posts were specifically in reference to rugby league establishing a presence in big cities, not expansion per se. 

 Obviously, just importing an artificial “professional” club from the top down is unlikely to ever work and that's not what I'm suggesting we try. What's important is that we grow clubs organically from the youth and community teams upwards before necessarily worrying about professional success. But equally it's vital that clubs based in areas with big population hubs are helped and encouraged to grow into professional/semi-professional outfits as and when they've built the necessary foundations from which they can develop beyond their current profile. Newcastle could soon be in a place to do that and Manchester might well be able to follow them if they can continue what they're trying to do.

As for your final point regarding Lenagan, I'm probably in favour of licencing and the idea, eventually, of setting up a two-tier Super League system. 

With respect Lenegan never stated the 20 clubs he was happy to run under the banner of "Superleague" were to be all professional clubs. This was pure wishful thinking from those who fantasise about the game one day becoming big when it's getting smaller and smaller, and when the TV money is set to drop.

SL1 was to be 10 clubs and it's quite clear which two clubs would have been stood down to a semi pro SL2.

As for the idea of Big population hubs Sheffield and Rotherham gave us 750,000 on our doorstep and Sheffield Eagles have spent 34 years trying to grow some Superleague players and some sort of a crowd. Even beating Wigan to the challenge cup did not see a surge in interest in playing, and the fan base actually dropped the year after. I can't buy your idea Gateshead have now moved from a town to a big city, it's all pretty much the same place.

The grow from the grass roots up idea is totally at odds with the reality the grass roots game has declined alarmingly in the heartland areas, and of course the efforts in Manchester are to be applauded (the lack of effort in Toronto is not). It may be a few years before a quality player like Callum Watkins comes out of that system, and when he does he'll be straight off to an existing Superleague club desperate for such talent, as will the next Kevin Neighbour to come out of Newcastle academy.

This is the reality, which isn't exciting to talk about.......

Edited by The Parksider
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4 hours ago, The Parksider said:

 

The grow from the grass roots up idea is totally at odds with the reality the grass roots game has declined alarmingly in the heartland areas, and of course the efforts in Manchester are to be applauded (the lack of effort in Toronto is not). It may be a few years before a quality player like Callum Watkins comes out of that system, and when he does he'll be straight off to an existing Superleague club desperate for such talent, as will the next Kevin Neighbour to come out of Newcastle academy.

This is the reality, which isn't exciting to talk about.......

Be good to see Callum get involved at Rangers being a Manchester lad.  His brother Kash is currently playing for the club.

If just to get his insight on how to develop local talent.

 

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