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How far can Featherstone go this year?

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2 hours ago, scotchy1 said:

They are almost certainly losing money hand over fist to do so though. 
 

Scale matters. 

London’s team is very similar to the team they had in the Championship, I think I read 10 of the players that beat Saints were in the Championship last year.

While London may well run at a loss this year, covered by David Hughes. I expect their losses to be greater in the Championship than in Super League, I just can’t see where they have spent an extra £2 million.

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9 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

London’s team is very similar to the team they had in the Championship, I think I read 10 of the players that beat Saints were in the Championship last year.

While London may well run at a loss this year, covered by David Hughes. I expect their losses to be greater in the Championship than in Super League, I just can’t see where they have spent an extra £2 million.

They lost money hand of fist in the championship as well. 

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I think a lot of people are still suffering from the delusion that there's still a massive gap between SL and The Championship.

There really isn't.  The championship has grown in quality in recent years.  The gap between the bottom of SL and the top of The championship is quite manageable these days.

11 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

London’s team is very similar to the team they had in the Championship, I think I read 10 of the players that beat Saints were in the Championship last year.

While London may well run at a loss this year, covered by David Hughes. I expect their losses to be greater in the Championship than in Super League, I just can’t see where they have spent an extra £2 million.

 

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20 minutes ago, David Shepherd said:

I think a lot of people are still suffering from the delusion that there's still a massive gap between SL and The Championship.

There really isn't.  The championship has grown in quality in recent years.  The gap between the bottom of SL and the top of The championship is quite manageable these days.

 

2 championship clubs knocking out 2 super league clubs in the cup, and not to be disrespectful to the championship clubs, they aren't even in the top 5 so not the strongest.

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8 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

Didn't seem that manageable to Leigh,

Or Widnes, 

Or Bradford. 

Leigh didn't finish bottom and were only relegated through the system you despised.

Widnes spent 7 or 8 seasons in the top flight.

Bradford..... enough said. 

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6 hours ago, hrtbps said:

The point about attendances is interesting. For me, we punch above our weight. We average about 2200 per game which, as a percentage of the town's population (15000) is about 15%. The same stat for Leeds would be about 2.5%, and 5% for Wakefield.

That keeps getting trotted out. Why is is relevant? All you are doing is confirming that you 

a) have a very small fanbase

b) have extremely limited potential to grow that fanbase

It's more of an argument that you shouldn't be in Super League!

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7 minutes ago, paulwalker71 said:

That keeps getting trotted out. Why is is relevant? All you are doing is confirming that you 

a) have a very small fanbase

b) have extremely limited potential to grow that fanbase

It's more of an argument that you shouldn't be in Super League!

When it boils down to it, the only argument against Fev joining Super League is us not winning the Championship. Any other reason for barring us, or anyone else, entry would expose SL as a Mickey mouse competition. 

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52 minutes ago, David Shepherd said:

The gap between the bottom of SL and the top of The championship is quite manageable these days.

But is that the limit of ambition? To be at the bottom of SL?

That's why I don't want to see Bradford promoted at the moment. We'd somehow squeeze up through the play offs, and then just be at the bottom of SL next season getting battered every week because we don't have anyone to put in the kind of money to build the club infrastructure and make the signings that we would need to be truly competitive.

And I suspect it would be same for Featherstone (or Halifax or Sheffield or York). You'd be the whipping boys, quite likely overspend what you haven't got to try and compete. Then, when you fall back down to the Championship you'd have a whole load of people on two-year contracts that you you cannot afford. Again I refer to you to what happened to Leigh. We (Bulls) had the same in 2016 - a whole load of players who were getting overpaid, weren't actually performing anyway, and the whole thing ended up with Administration (or Liquidation was it, it's happened so much that I forget... lol)

The idea that Featherstone (or Bradford or Halifax or yada yada) are ready to jump straight into SL this year and compete long term with the likes of Wigan, Saints, Hull etc is a dangerous fallacy that I would hope the management at the club will be more realistic about than the fans inevitably will be.

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4 minutes ago, hrtbps said:

When it boils down to it, the only argument against Fev joining Super League is us not winning the Championship. Any other reason for barring us, or anyone else, entry would expose SL as a Mickey mouse competition. 

But it IS a Mickey Mouse competition. 

It's a competition that's on its knees - sustained by Sky TV, a few rich owners and some (barely serviceable) debt.

Anyone with eyes to see can surely see that?

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2 minutes ago, Chris Taylor said:

You really don't like Featherstone, or Halifax do you! 😀😀

Me?

I don't know what would make you say that. Almost all the points I've made about Featherstone, I've been careful to make the same points about my own club, Bradford Bulls. 

Are you saying I don't like my own club either?

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4 minutes ago, Chris Taylor said:

Good point - It just reads really bleak, like there generally is no point for sport existing in this competition. 

 

I've probably been beaten down by everything that's happened at the Bulls over the past few years, to be fair...

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57 minutes ago, Private Baldrick said:

Leigh didn't finish bottom and were only relegated through the system you despised.

Widnes spent 7 or 8 seasons in the top flight.

Bradford..... enough said. 

And what happened when Leigh got relegated? and Widnes? and Bradford? 

The idea the gap between them isn't massive just isn't borne out by the reality of it. 

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1 minute ago, scotchy1 said:

And what happened when Leigh got relegated? and Widnes? and Bradford? 

The idea the gap between them isn't massive just isn't borne out by the reality of it. 

They were all mismanaged financially over a period of time, the majority of which was when they were in super league. If clubs cannot be run properly then that is down to the clubs.

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5 minutes ago, Chris Taylor said:

Good point - It just reads really bleak, like there generally is no point for sport existing in this competition. 

 

I don't get this, there is a really wild swing in the lower league fan base that is excruciatingly vocal that "Super League isn't everything" but also without the prospect of promotion there is no point existing. That seems very much like Super League is everything. 

I honestly don't know what is wrong with clubs like Fev, or like Dewsbury or Batley et al being strong championship clubs. Smaller, semi-pro clubs, existing for their towns and villages, with strong local links to their communities, existing at a level they are sustainable at. 

Scale matters and there is nothing wrong with Fev operating at a different scale to Leeds. 

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Just now, Private Baldrick said:

They were all mismanaged financially over a period of time, the majority of which was when they were in super league. If clubs cannot be run properly then that is down to the clubs.

Or Clubs of a certain scale simply can't be run at SL level. It might not work. 

Or the difference between the scale of the championship and the scale of the lower leagues is so big as to be impossible to bridge without a large, long-term cash injection. 

Perhaps clubs aren't always financially mismanaged, perhaps the swapping between a semi-pro league and a pro league is a huge adjustment that without million in outside investment clubs can't sustain. 

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2 hours ago, Private Baldrick said:

Leigh didn't finish bottom and were only relegated through the system you despised.

Widnes spent 7 or 8 seasons in the top flight.

Bradford..... enough said. 

What will be ironic in Scotchy's statement will be if Leeds finish in 11th position as Leigh did, I can only imagine what words of wisdom he will spout about Leigh deserved to go down but Leeds didn't!

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2 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

What will be ironic in Scotchy's statement will be if Leeds finish in 11th position as Leigh did, I can only imagine what words of wisdom he will spout about Leigh deserved to go down but Leeds didn't!

I think this is the oddest argument I have ever read on these boards. There has been some pearlers but this, this is a good one.

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1 hour ago, scotchy1 said:

I don't get this, there is a really wild swing in the lower league fan base that is excruciatingly vocal that "Super League isn't everything" but also without the prospect of promotion there is no point existing. That seems very much like Super League is everything. 

I honestly don't know what is wrong with clubs like Fev, or like Dewsbury or Batley et al being strong championship clubs. Smaller, semi-pro clubs, existing for their towns and villages, with strong local links to their communities, existing at a level they are sustainable at. 

Scale matters and there is nothing wrong with Fev operating at a different scale to Leeds. 

Sport is a competition is it not? It flies in the face of the very nature of the thing if a club exists just to be in a division/structure with no ambition or hope of being successful in it. To me that is the definition of madness. Success is relative of course but isn't any team's ultimate ambition to be the best in the competition.

Yes, teams should be realistic and operate within their means but to say any team shouldn't aim to be successful just undermines the whole sport. If Dewsbury were able to pull together a strong team through shrewd recruitment, start attracting bigger crowds and then maybe investment to the point they earned promotion to SL then why shouldn't they go for it?  Because they're not as scalable as Leeds?

There is nothing wrong with trying your hand in SL whilst living within your means as well. London are proving that right now and it's making for an exciting story. If they go down so be it, I bet their fans wouldn't swap the experience. Leigh gave it a good shake too and were unlucky to go down. 

The playing gap has narrowed recently and is bridgeable with the extra funding SL gives. If a club can survive they can then build on that. If Fev get promoted they will have earned it and will have the tools available to have a crack at staying up in year 1 of SL without going bust. It'd be tough but why shouldn't it be. I suspect Fev would have more resources available than Salford and London and wouldn't be far off teams like Wakey and Hudds given they own the stadium and training facilities and would see a surge in attendances.

Given your famous levels of pragmatism, I don't expect to change your mind but hopefully you can see this through the eyes of sports fan and not a business administrator.

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1 hour ago, paulwalker71 said:

But is that the limit of ambition? To be at the bottom of SL?

That's why I don't want to see Bradford promoted at the moment. We'd somehow squeeze up through the play offs, and then just be at the bottom of SL next season getting battered every week because we don't have anyone to put in the kind of money to build the club infrastructure and make the signings that we would need to be truly competitive.

And I suspect it would be same for Featherstone (or Halifax or Sheffield or York). You'd be the whipping boys, quite likely overspend what you haven't got to try and compete. Then, when you fall back down to the Championship you'd have a whole load of people on two-year contracts that you you cannot afford. Again I refer to you to what happened to Leigh. We (Bulls) had the same in 2016 - a whole load of players who were getting overpaid, weren't actually performing anyway, and the whole thing ended up with Administration (or Liquidation was it, it's happened so much that I forget... lol)

The idea that Featherstone (or Bradford or Halifax or yada yada) are ready to jump straight into SL this year and compete long term with the likes of Wigan, Saints, Hull etc is a dangerous fallacy that I would hope the management at the club will be more realistic about than the fans inevitably will be.

Isn't being competitive at the bottom of SL just the next development step? Any team going up would surely have the year 1 ambition of avoiding relegation and becoming an established top flight club before attempting to grow from there. 

You are making assumptions that the promoted team would overspend, be whipping boys and have poorly written contracts. None of those assumptions are anywhere near guaranteed and you have an example right in front of you in London that is proving all of them wrong (in fairness I dont know the details of London players contracts but you would expect relegation clauses as standard). 

Cas would likely have been relegated a few years ago and all it took was the appointment of Daryl Powell and now they are considered a regular top 4 SL team. All this purely based on a good appointment. Crowds increased, performances improved and no one even questions their viability any more even with their stadium issues. 

I wouldn't be so pessimistic about teams chances, particularly your own club, if they get promoted. Not all promoted teams will do well but that's sport. I just can't get on board with the idea that teams should be precluded from trying based on assumptions they wouldn't do well. Not when Salford still exist as they do.

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10 minutes ago, Tex Evans Thigh said:

Sport is a competition is it not? It flies in the face of the very nature of the thing if a club exists just to be in a division/structure with no ambition or hope of being successful in it. To me that is the definition of madness. Success is relative of course but isn't any team's ultimate ambition to be the best in the competition.

Yes, teams should be realistic and operate within their means but to say any team shouldn't aim to be successful just undermines the whole sport. If Dewsbury were able to pull together a strong team through shrewd recruitment, start attracting bigger crowds and then maybe investment to the point they earned promotion to SL then why shouldn't they go for it?  Because they're not as scalable as Leeds?

There is nothing wrong with trying your hand in SL whilst living within your means as well. London are proving that right now and it's making for an exciting story. If they go down so be it, I bet their fans wouldn't swap the experience. Leigh gave it a good shake too and were unlucky to go down. 

The playing gap has narrowed recently and is bridgeable with the extra funding SL gives. If a club can survive they can then build on that. If Fev get promoted they will have earned it and will have the tools available to have a crack at staying up in year 1 of SL without going bust. It'd be tough but why shouldn't it be. I suspect Fev would have more resources available than Salford and London and wouldn't be far off teams like Wakey and Hudds given they own the stadium and training facilities and would see a surge in attendances.

Given your famous levels of pragmatism, I don't expect to change your mind but hopefully you can see this through the eyes of sports fan and not a business administrator.

Sport is a competition, but it isn't a competition at the top end for everyone. Are sunday league players pointless because they aren't in the champions league? of course not. They play to win their competition, the fact there are other competitions they can't hope to compete at doesn't make them worthless. 

And yes, Dewsbury shouldn't do it because they aren't scalable. The lack of scalability means they wont be able to sustain themselves. Without the millions of pounds necessary to fund that scaling they will need to spend themselves in to oblivion just to avoid being embarrassed. 

London aren't living within their means, they rely on David Hughes, if he stops putting millions in it all stops tomorrow. You are asking Dewsbury to do what London are doing but without the millions that sustain London.

Salford survived on Koukash's millions, London Hughes, Hudds Davy, none of them would survive without their owners even after the years of investment to scale the business. You think fev can do it without that money? Be realistic. 

Its all very well looking at it through the eyes of a sports fan but unfortunately your bank manager wont. 

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10 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

Sport is a competition, but it isn't a competition at the top end for everyone. Are sunday league players pointless because they aren't in the champions league? of course not. They play to win their competition, the fact there are other competitions they can't hope to compete at doesn't make them worthless. 

And yes, Dewsbury shouldn't do it because they aren't scalable. The lack of scalability means they wont be able to sustain themselves. Without the millions of pounds necessary to fund that scaling they will need to spend themselves in to oblivion just to avoid being embarrassed. 

London aren't living within their means, they rely on David Hughes, if he stops putting millions in it all stops tomorrow. You are asking Dewsbury to do what London are doing but without the millions that sustain London.

Salford survived on Koukash's millions, London Hughes, Hudds Davy, none of them would survive without their owners even after the years of investment to scale the business. You think fev can do it without that money? Be realistic. 

Its all very well looking at it through the eyes of a sports fan but unfortunately your bank manager wont. 

That's all well and good but how much is Hughes actually putting in this year? Koukash isn't at Salford and they are pushing for a top 5 spot and seem to survive year on year now they are being managed better. Why aren't Dewsbury scalable? Because you say so? I agree there are growth limits to every club but we don't know what they are. If Dewsbury were to have sustained on-field success and some major investment who knows where they could end up. Neither you nor me know the answer. How scalable would you assume Leeds to be if they had been a second/third tier club for 40 years?

Sunday league players aren't in the same competition structure as teams that are able to qualify for the Champions league. If you would have asked soccer fans ten years ago whether Bournemouth would be a EPL club they would have laughed. If you would have asked Bournemouth fans specifically, they would have likely thought it improbable but it would have been a high level, if distant target. I'm sure if you asked Bournemouth today, they would have a silent and distant target of being in the Champions league one day because they are in a structure that allows for that and without those ultimate aims, what's the point. Sunday league teams would conversely want to win the Sunday League eventually even if they are in the 3rd Sunday League division at that time. 

If you are in a competition you surely have ambitions to go all the way in it, even if it might not be an immediately reachable goal.

You also assume that none of these teams can grow and be sustainable by getting extra investment. If Fev get promoted it would no doubt be tough in the first year but no one knows with any certainty what would happen and for that reason you cant artificially preclude teams from trying to do well based on assumptions.

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4 hours ago, Private Baldrick said:

Leigh didn't finish bottom and were only relegated through the system you despised.

Widnes spent 7 or 8 seasons in the top flight.

Bradford..... enough said. 

Not forgetting beating Wigan,Wire,Saints and Hull along the way 

And our million pound opponents took a couple of our players and won the Challenge cup the following year , we were hardly cannon fodder 

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