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scotchy1

Mergers are a failure.

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2 hours ago, scotchy1 said:

The issue in the WMDC is that there aren't really a lot of assets to merge, all three are stuck in the same position of their facility not being big/good enough. 

Without someone coming in an building a 15k stadium with easy access, there is much point merging them. 

If any of them do ever finally achieve that, you will see a de-facto merger anyway

If you haven't already visited Featherstone, you should, and you would see the excellent facility the Club has built, Wakefield even pay to train there, or at least they have been doing. It is a credit to the Club what they have achieved, while some Super League Clubs wait for someone to come along with a new Stadium for them. 

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43 minutes ago, Damien said:

There's only one person contradicting themselves on this thread and completely ignoring facts to generate a lame argument and it's certainly not Deluded Pom.

It is absolutely Deluded Pom. 

I get people don't like mergers, and that is absolutely fine. The levels of obfuscation to pretend things aren't what they are simply to denigrate them is laughable. 

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59 minutes ago, Rupert Prince said:

Isn't this the point?  The Wakefield Council is only going to fund (from somewhere?) one stadium.  But there are 3 clubs.  

If the "Wakefield" council had called itself something different, then these 3 clubs might have agreed to share 1 stadium or indeed 1 merged club.

But it looks like Wakefield have chosen to allow Trinity to survive and the other 2 are going to wither away.

Of course a millionaire built a stadium in Wigan, so Wigan Council chose to build a stadium in (for) Leigh. 

Im not sure the WMDC would necessarily define the name of the team but I understand what you are saying. 

The issue with Wakefield is that there has always been viewed from those involved of simply holding on to what they have, and frankly the people who have been so vociferous against a merger are getting less and less important. 

The growth that has come within the WMDC hasn't come from people moving to jobs and industry there but as a commuter town to jobs in Leeds. They largely don't have an affiliation with Leeds, or Wakefield or Fev or Cas or anyone else. There is a whole stack of people who are available in the WMDC who are missed because they aren't really offering anything for them. 

There was a big opportunity for the district to club together and put a big stadium at Glasshoughton and try to appeal to new people as the demographics changed, unfortunately internecine conflict put a stop to that and all three are facing an uphill battle to really make that jump which the game needs. 

If you aren't already a fan of these teams, Agbrigg, Post Office Road and Wheldon Road are not really places you would want to visit. 

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45 minutes ago, Gooleboy said:

If you haven't already visited Featherstone, you should, and you would see the excellent facility the Club has built, Wakefield even pay to train there, or at least they have been doing. It is a credit to the Club what they have achieved, while some Super League Clubs wait for someone to come along with a new Stadium for them. 

I have, and don't want to denigrate what the club have done, they are good well run championship club. 

But its a ground which is "good for a championship club" with a capacity which is "ok for a small club". Its not really bringing anything to the table in terms of a merger giving the clubs an opportunity to consolidate their assets and grow. 

If Wakefield, Cas and Fev merged tomorrow the merged club would face the same problems they face today. 

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11 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

I have, and don't want to denigrate what the club have done, they are good well run championship club. 

But its a ground which is "good for a championship club" with a capacity which is "ok for a small club". Its not really bringing anything to the table in terms of a merger giving the clubs an opportunity to consolidate their assets and grow. 

If Wakefield, Cas and Fev merged tomorrow the merged club would face the same problems they face today. 

Don't worry there won't be a merged Club.

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Just now, Gooleboy said:

Don't worry there won't be a merged Club.

Going on past history there will probably be an administration pretty soon. 

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Sheffield and Gateshead were probably the most successful expansion teams and were then shafted

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sometimes you have to take a step backwards to move forward

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1 minute ago, scotchy1 said:

Going on past history there will probably be an administration pretty soon. 

You seem to be in the know with that comment, but hopefully you will be wrong.

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6 minutes ago, Gooleboy said:

You seem to be in the know with that comment, but hopefully you will be wrong.

Hopefully I will 

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7 hours ago, scotchy1 said:

As the game evolves in the next few years there is likely to be less space for smaller heartland clubs to carry on as they have been. Not generally through deliberate acts but the game has left a lot of them behind. 

Its a common wisdom in this country that mergers are a failure and shouldn't be considered. 

We have seen three mergers in the SL era, Sheffield-Huddersfield, Hull-Gateshead, and X111 Catalan and St Esteve

None of these seem really to be failures. Les Catalans have gone from 2 small French elite sides to one of the biggest clubs in SL and a Challenge Cup winner, Hull FC were a struggling side playing in a decrepit boulevard pre-merger, within 5 years of the merger they were a top end SL club, finishing 3rd twice and winning a cc final playing infront of 5 figure crowds. To describe Huddersfield as a yo-yo side pre-merger would have been an insult to yo-yo sides, they were so bad they struggled to get relegated. By 2002 they were breaking records in the NFP to get promoted and have been in SL ever since, growing crowds and winning the LLS, appearing in 2 CC finals.

It is unarguable imo to say that all three clubs we have seen merge, aren't in a hugely better position post merger than pre-merger. 

Is the best kept secret in Rugby League that mergers worked?

Which clubs do you see being successful mergers and likely unsuccessful mergers in the near future?

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Wigan and saints. The 2 hulls. Wakey and cas. London and Salford wire and Leeds and Huddersfield and Catalan. Then they cAn all play each other a million times a year


sometimes you have to take a step backwards to move forward

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12 minutes ago, Blackpool rl said:

Which clubs do you see being successful mergers and likely unsuccessful mergers in the near future?

Haha, I think I would be on a hiding to nothing answering that question, every fan of each side will argue they are a bit of luck away from being a Leeds or Wigan. 

Personally on the basis of a big new stadium Wakefield and Cas would, imo, be a roaring success. If I had £30m to invest in RL trying to make a profit that's where I would go. 

I think the idea of a merged cumbrian youth side is a good one. 

However I think slightly different method of merger, closer to what Les Catalans did is definitely something we should be looking at. So merging clubs underneath a larger side to create a mini pyramid feeding up to a larger regional side. 

So as an example, for Leeds, we could merge Leeds, Hunslet and York. As three clubs sharing infrastructure, facilities, players, marketing, etc with players and money and experience feeding up and down. Somewhere close to how the kiwis run their Super Rugby sides with the Blues playing Super Rugby, Auckland, North Harbour and Northland below them in the Mitre 10 and teams below them.

I think that is definitely something we should investigate for places like Wales and Ireland, maybe even places like Serbia. With the SL side as a merged pinnacle of the clubs below. 

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I can't really speak about the mergers in England, but the goal of the mergers in Australia was to merge clubs to create new clubs that would be an equal union between the two clubs that would appeal equally to each of the members of the mergers old fan-bases, and keeping that goal in mind each and every one of them has been a total and utter failure.

Almost instantly all of the merged clubs turned into power struggles between the member clubs to become the dominant entity in the merger, which very quickly lead to the North Sydney/Manly merger falling apart at the seams, and the St. George/Illawarra and Wests/Balmain mergers turning into hostile takeovers where Saints and Balmain effectively strangled the other two out of their respective mergers and in the process effectively purged all references to the old Wests and Illawarra clubs out of their respective clubs unless it was convenient for them to maintain them or it was the most minor of things. That continued to the point that said mergers were mergers in name only and realistically the clubs had just become a continuation of the old St. George and Balmain clubs.

Since those times Balmain has gone bankrupt (totally unrelated to the NRL club or the merger with Wests) and as a result Wests has managed to wrestle control of the merger away from them, but that has only resulted in the merger very quickly becoming a hostile takeover by the Magpies. You can literally watch as year by year Wests took more and more control by looking at their jerseys. The jerseys start off as equal parts Tigers and Magpies in the beginning of the merger, then they quickly become tigers themed abominations that are majority orange, then very recently over the past 5 years or so they suddenly start to look more and more like the classic Wests Magpies design with a splash of orange in it, and that splash of orange gets less and less with each new jersey, it's actually pretty fascinating now that I think about it.

The Illawarra Steelers on the other hand lost so much control over the merged NRL club that they couldn't even enforce any of the founding agreements that they had with the Dragons when they first merged the clubs (e.g. the club was meant to wear the Steelers jersey as their away jersey and they haven't for years, and an increasing amount of games were meant to be played in Woolongong year on year). Their total loss of control lead to them being unable to maintain their clubs and eventually they went broke and sold their share in the merger to the Dragons.

So really, in my opinion, I think that "mergers" is a misnomer, generally speaking they are hostile takeovers where the club with more power cannibalises the other to survive.

Edited by The Great Dane
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8 hours ago, scotchy1 said:

As the game evolves in the next few years there is likely to be less space for smaller heartland clubs to carry on as they have been. Not generally through deliberate acts but the game has left a lot of them behind. 

 

 

Which aspects of the game are leaving these smaller teams behind? Where are the signs of the evolution in the next few years? The quality of Super League? Its national profile? Exposure? Attendances? Income? The sustained success of expansion clubs?

 

For those who believe -  and there are some - that the success of the sport depends on providing Leeds with the best possible fixture list, some argument can be made for mergers. For those with a less restricted perspective, each and every club, at any level, which is lost to the game, diminishes a sport which has shrunk seriously - perhaps dangerously - at grass-roots level and above.

And perhaps  it would be prudent to value the clubs which have fought to maintain an existence, and to work hard to find a format for the sport which doesn't lose a single one of them.

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4 minutes ago, Cerulean said:

 

Which aspects of the game are leaving these smaller teams behind? Where are the signs of the evolution in the next few years? The quality of Super League? Its national profile? Exposure? Attendances? Income? The sustained success of expansion clubs?

 

For those who believe -  and there are some - that the success of the sport depends on providing Leeds with the best possible fixture list, some argument can be made for mergers. For those with a less restricted perspective, each and every club, at any level, which is lost to the game, diminishes a sport which has shrunk seriously - perhaps dangerously - at grass-roots level and above.

And perhaps  it would be prudent to value the clubs which have fought to maintain an existence, and to work hard to find a format for the sport which doesn't lose a single one of them.

Yes, all of those. 

There isn't a format that exists where we don't lose those clubs. Its a romantic ideal but impossible. It doesn't exist. It never existed. When professionalism meant broken time payments we lost clubs, when the whole game was semi-pro we lost clubs, when we had 1 division we lost clubs, when we had 2 and 3 we lost clubs. 

Its a game of whack-a-mole. Solve one issue another pops up. Create a system where Hunslet aren't left behind Leeds die. They can't operate at that low level. Create a system where Leeds thrive Hunslet are left behind. They can't hope to compete. 

Also lower league clubs can't lay claim to the grass-roots. Hunslet aren't grass roots. Hunslet Warriors are, East Leeds are, Oulton are. 

I sincerely hope that all clubs stay alive and thrive, I also hope that Margot Robbie wants to pay me a million a year to be her personal love slave. Unfortunately reality means I need to look at less attractive alternatives. 

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On other matters... thank you Great Dane.

Aussie politics is dirty enough... Aussie sports politics must be full up to it to their necks in poo.

But it strikes me that a sensible merger would keep the original entities at some appropriate tier or age group or purpose and also have legal shares of appropriate size.  They all (the component parts) then contribute to the compete new whole.

Relocation is another conundrum... to some extent an original place changes character so perhaps an original club might have to move... (???).  Canute could not turn the tide.  Demographics may be also irresistible. 

Too stress to Goole boy and others, I personally (and surely others would agree) do not want any one or thing to be destroyed. The hope is to keep alive as much as possible. 

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12 hours ago, Damien said:

I don't think any of them were really mergers. They were more like takeovers with the stronger entity asset stripping the weaker one and carrying on as before.

Agreed...even in the NRL St.George took over Illawarra, Manly killed off North Sydney and Wests have taken over Balmain after years of fighting.

Even in the Auckland premiership in the early 60's they tried merging clubs to form a district competition it lasted a handful of years before the clubs went back to their original status as it didn't work and that's the way it's been for nearly 60 years.

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4 hours ago, The Great Dane said:

I can't really speak about the mergers in England, but the goal of the mergers in Australia was to merge clubs to create new clubs that would be an equal union between the two clubs that would appeal equally to each of the members of the mergers old fan-bases, and keeping that goal in mind each and every one of them has been a total and utter failure.

Almost instantly all of the merged clubs turned into power struggles between the member clubs to become the dominant entity in the merger, which very quickly lead to the North Sydney/Manly merger falling apart at the seams, and the St. George/Illawarra and Wests/Balmain mergers turning into hostile takeovers where Saints and Balmain effectively strangled the other two out of their respective mergers and in the process effectively purged all references to the old Wests and Illawarra clubs out of their respective clubs unless it was convenient for them to maintain them or it was the most minor of things. That continued to the point that said mergers were mergers in name only and realistically the clubs had just become a continuation of the old St. George and Balmain clubs.

Since those times Balmain has gone bankrupt (totally unrelated to the NRL club or the merger with Wests) and as a result Wests has managed to wrestle control of the merger away from them, but that has only resulted in the merger very quickly becoming a hostile takeover by the Magpies. You can literally watch as year by year Wests took more and more control by looking at their jerseys. The jerseys start off as equal parts Tigers and Magpies in the beginning of the merger, then they quickly become tigers themed abominations that are majority orange, then very recently over the past 5 years or so they suddenly start to look more and more like the classic Wests Magpies design with a splash of orange in it, and that splash of orange gets less and less with each new jersey, it's actually pretty fascinating now that I think about it.

The Illawarra Steelers on the other hand lost so much control over the merged NRL club that they couldn't even enforce any of the founding agreements that they had with the Dragons when they first merged the clubs (e.g. the club was meant to wear the Steelers jersey as their away jersey and they haven't for years, and an increasing amount of games were meant to be played in Woolongong year on year). Their total loss of control lead to them being unable to maintain their clubs and eventually they went broke and sold their share in the merger to the Dragons.

So really, in my opinion, I think that "mergers" is a misnomer, generally speaking they are hostile takeovers where the club with more power cannibalises the other to survive.

Just read this.

To add to your comments.

When the Tigers won the comp in 2005 it is listed as their first.

Whilst when the Dragons won in 2010 it was argued as their 16th continuing on from the St.George Dragons just proving the takeover whilst not official is definately the perception.

Infact I think they should just be called St.George and drop the Illawarra and just keep it on the emblem as Cronulla, Manly and Canterbury have done with Sutherland, Warringah and Bankstown.

 

Edited by rlno1

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