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Manfred Mann

After Toronto and Toulouse, which expansion clubs would you like to see in Super League?

After Toronto and Toulouse, which expansion clubs would you like to see in Super League?  

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  1. 1. After Toronto and Toulouse, which expansion clubs would you like to see in Super League


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  • Poll closes on 12/08/20 at 23:34

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I don't know for certain but it does seem that you might have had some sort of problem in understanding my previous post, so I will repeat the relevant part of it and put it in bold and large print for you.

23 minutes ago, RL does what Sky says said:

You might expect it but it won't happen.

 

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35 minutes ago, RL does what Sky says said:

I don't know for certain but it does seem that you might have had some sort of problem in understanding my previous post, so I will repeat the relevant part of it and put it in bold and large print for you.

 

Well, you clearly have no desire to have a conversation like an adult and have decided to sulk off, so I'll leave you to it so the adults can talk.


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I've always been split down the middle with expansion.

We obviously need to expand the game in the northern hemisphere however, in my opinion there is still significant room for growth within our heartland areas. No one can say that the game in northern England is at its peak and we have exhausted all untapped potential. I would argue it is no where near where it could potentially be.

If we look down under, over the past 10 - 15 years the NRL has substantially grown in ratings, popularity, TV money, media profile, new fans etc but none of this has come from geographic expansion. The NRL literally hasn't moved to a new territory since the Gold Coast in 2007 yet it has almost to quadrupled its income since that time. The TV deal in the NRL signed with Channel 9 and Fox Sports from 2007 was for $500m over 6 years. The most recent deal signed was for $1.8 billion over 5 years.

This has been achieved through the mindset getting the game as big as possible within the heartlands (NSW & Queensland) and once that has been achieved only then should expansion occur (hopefully in 2022). The old motto of 'Fish where the fish are'.

Now circumstances are vastly different in England and we need to keep pushing ahead with Toronto, Catalans etc. But I've seen some people here looking to have something like 8 north American teams with Berlin, Paris, Madrid, Toulouse all within the next 10 years. Lets get Toronto, Catalans, Toulouse along with the English heartlands in order first before jumping the gun with future expansion.

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3 hours ago, AB90 said:

I've always been split down the middle with expansion.

We obviously need to expand the game in the northern hemisphere however, in my opinion there is still significant room for growth within our heartland areas. No one can say that the game in northern England is at its peak and we have exhausted all untapped potential. I would argue it is no where near where it could potentially be.

If we look down under, over the past 10 - 15 years the NRL has substantially grown in ratings, popularity, TV money, media profile, new fans etc but none of this has come from geographic expansion. The NRL literally hasn't moved to a new territory since the Gold Coast in 2007 yet it has almost to quadrupled its income since that time. The TV deal in the NRL signed with Channel 9 and Fox Sports from 2007 was for $500m over 6 years. The most recent deal signed was for $1.8 billion over 5 years.

This has been achieved through the mindset getting the game as big as possible within the heartlands (NSW & Queensland) and once that has been achieved only then should expansion occur (hopefully in 2022). The old motto of 'Fish where the fish are'.

Now circumstances are vastly different in England and we need to keep pushing ahead with Toronto, Catalans etc. But I've seen some people here looking to have something like 8 north American teams with Berlin, Paris, Madrid, Toulouse all within the next 10 years. Lets get Toronto, Catalans, Toulouse along with the English heartlands in order first before jumping the gun with future expansion.

You say that the NRL has not expanded its heartlands since the advent of Gold Coast, while since that time the value of the NRL TV contract has ballooned massively.. But that improvement in rugby league's financial well being has had nothing to do with developing the heartlands and everything to do with reducing Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation's previous powerful influence over the NRL governing structure, via the National Rugby League Partnership -- a power-sharing arrangement between News Corporation and the Australian Rugby League (ARL) which ran the National Rugby League competition from 1998 until 2012, as a consequence of peace negotiations that ended the Super League-ARL war. The National Rugby League Partnership had crippled the bargaining power of the NRL in TV contract negotiations.

By forming the independent ARL Commission in 2012, devoid of Murdoch representatives, as the NRL's governing-oversight body, and subsequently pursuing more astute independent negotiating over the TV contract with both Channel 9 and Murdoch's Fox network, the NRL achieved the current more equitable and lucrative TV contracts.. 

All the current talk in the NRL about possible future enlargement of the competition involves Perth, and a second team in Brisbane/south Queensland (which is underrepresented), followed by Wellington New Zealand. There has even been talk of relocating a heartlands Sydney team to Perth, should it fail financially in Sydney.

Where exactly in the English heartlands do you think we should be focusing on? The big English heartlands clubs -- Wigan, Warrington, St Helens, Leeds and Hull FC are the only locations that exist containing large existing fan bases and financial strength for the game. The main large cities adjacent to the "heartland area,"  Manchester and Liverpool, are totally wedded to football. Places like Swinton, Rochdale, Oldham, Dewsbury,  Halifax, etc are obvious dead ends, both financially and from a fan base point of view. You ignore the fact that the fans in the heartlands are generally less well off financially than the fans in north America, who have more disposable income to spend on attending sporting events than the English.

The largest number of people in this forum who have voted have chosen Newcastle as the next preferred location for Super League expansion, followed clearly by Avignon, and then Ottawa and New York. Most rugby league fans would rather see a strong Super League club in Newcastle, and others in France and north America, than another in the English M62 corridor. That is because if any of those cities in far northern England, France or north America were to succeed. their impact on the popularity and financial well being of rugby league would dwarf any benefits that could come from an insignificant new England heartlands team.

Edited by Manfred Mann
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33 minutes ago, Manfred Mann said:

You ignore the fact that the fans in the heartlands are generally less well off financially than the fans in north America, who have more disposable income to spend on attending sporting events than the English.

.... maybe apart from those in Knightsbridge !!!

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1 hour ago, Smudger06 said:

How exactly do you classify Halifax as an obvious dead end yet Avignon as an exciting expansion target area? 

Halifax has a small fan base despite having being in existence since 1873. It has strong rival club competition impeding attracting any more rugby league fans from towns in the rest of the Calderdale or broader west Yorkshire region. 

Avignon, though a town of similar size to Halifax, has an entire region (Vaucluse) to attract fans from. Also its existing rugby league team, which plays in the French Elite One competition, has no competition from nearby rugby league teams, nor from a different rival major professional team sport in the town, It also has a bigger stadium than Halifax, and has attracted 17,500 spectators for international rugby league games (though obviously many of those were from outside the region). So it is ripe for development.

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Sporting Olympique Avignon XIII has a fan Base many times smaller than Halifax despite existing since 1916. 

There are no other Clubs in Calderdale, Whereas Vaucluse has RC Carpentras XIII neighbouring Avignon. 

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53 minutes ago, Smudger06 said:

Sporting Olympique Avignon XIII has a fan Base many times smaller than Halifax despite existing since 1916. 

There are no other Clubs in Calderdale, Whereas Vaucluse has RC Carpentras XIII neighbouring Avignon. 

I understand Manfred Mann's point. However, the matter of a "fan base" is obviously linked to the success of a local team. For example, where have all those Halifax supporters gone who followed them to Wembley and watched then win the RL Championship in the 1980s ? As with most clubs there is a group of die-hard followers who will always be there rain or shine, however, a vast number will soon disappear when the good times turn bad. Similarly in Oldham, attendances are now counted in hundreds yet should the team ever get to the Challenge Cup final then the stadium wouldn't be big enough to accommodate all those in the town who still say "I'd love to watch Oldham at Wembley".

Look at when Fulham joined the RL and gained promotion in their first season; their average attendance - even though in the second division - was 7,345 ... where are those supporters now ?

And that's not only in RL .... When Oldham Athleic were in the FA premier Division and got to the League Cup final at Wembley, their average home gate was just short of the 20,000 mark, yet now they are near the bottom of Division 2 it's gone down to less than 4,000.

So, whether it's Halifax or Avignon. -or any team to enter Super League - the "fan base" will usually fluctuate depending upon success on the field.

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On 16/08/2019 at 19:48, Harry Stottle said:

Tommy you are the last person I would have thought I would accuse of being culpably ignorant, you really surprise me and that is said not in a discreditory way whatsoever, how you cannot envisage that if we do take the game to  multiple teams/areas/countries where Rugby League is a foreign entity, that it will not impact in the first case to player availability and secondly impact on area's and club's over here.

Hi Harry, sorry for the late response I've been busy all weekend and thought this topic deserved more than just a quick glance at my phone!

I clearly can see that taking the game to new areas is going to require an initial investment of players. My view is that that is worth it because in my view we have to grow that player pool as ultimately our current (shrinking) pool won't be sustainable in my opinion - for the current clubs never mind any new teams. That in my opinion is linked to the general popularity of the sport not being high enough to attract enough people to play and engage with the game both in heartland and non-heartland areas. New teams bringing new (and more cumulative) interest is going to be massively more important as we move into an interconnected internet world imo. More people are wanting to be involved in and watch big events that other people are interested in and there is a real risk that RL gets left behind. My point is that more people involved in the game more generally, rather than the huge densities we currently have, strengthens the game and makes it much more resilient in the modern world. With the RFL withdrawing from the development officer route then that is going to be reliant upon clubs, such as London Broncos, who go out their and do the work in schools etc themselves. 

Now I'm not a fan of bringing in a raft of new teams at once with no consideration for issues such as player pool or current clubs and wouldn't want to be mistaken as such. FWIW I don't think bringing in swathes of new teams in one go is either likely or beneficial (certainly not at SL level), but strategic growth in new markets that are both UK based and internationally are going to be a major part of the future of the game. That said lets be realistic here the demise of a team like Oldham from one of the largest to a team barely existing in a professional sense isn't the fault of expansion. 

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9 hours ago, Smudger06 said:

Sporting Olympique Avignon XIII has a fan Base many times smaller than Halifax despite existing since 1916. 

There are no other Clubs in Calderdale, Whereas Vaucluse has RC Carpentras XIII neighbouring Avignon. 

R. C. Carpentras is not in the same competitive division as S.A. Avignon, and will never become a professional club, so it is no competition for Avignon gaining fans in the Vaucluse region if and when Avignon joins Super League. By contrast, Halifax has a lot of competing rugby league clubs in West Yorkshire, many of them in Super League already. It has little demographic basis for fan growth.

Edited by Manfred Mann

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1 hour ago, Manfred Mann said:

R. C. Carpentras is not in the same competitive division as S.A. Avignon, and will never become a professional club, so it is no competition for Avignon gaining fans in the Vaucluse region if and when Avignon joins Super League. By contrast, Halifax has a lot of competing rugby league clubs in West Yorkshire, many of them in Super League already. It has little demographic basis for fan growth.

S.O.....Avignon. The day they have more fans AND are a superior Club to Halifax on the field will be a very long time coming. 

My issue is you've pinned places like Philadelphia & Paris on a map, why not Lyon (Villeurbanne XIII) ? Surely that's more in line with the other options you've listed?.....

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4 minutes ago, Oliver Clothesoff said:

I’m changing my vote to the Valencia Vampires because it’s an hour from Benidorm. 

Also, can I have the Rome Raiders in as well please, because Rome is nice? 

What about them being the Rome Tomb Raiders ?

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On 11/08/2019 at 21:32, Manfred Mann said:

Ottawa is very close to joining the UK system (in either League 1 or the Championship) and, according to some media reports, New York may be not far behind.

Avignon already has a team in the French Elite 1.

if ottawa were to join the uk leagues it could only be into league 1 to start off with. 

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1 hour ago, Manfred Mann said:

By contrast, Halifax has a lot of competing rugby league clubs in West Yorkshire, many of them in Super League already. It has little demographic basis for fan growth.

Remember though that Huddersfield (only a few miles from Halifax) came from nowhere and were actually on the brink of collapse in the 1980s with attendances counted in hundreds and finished in the bottom 3 of the whole RL in both 1988 and 1989.  Yet the crowds have returned now that their fortunes have improved, which does show that, despite a glut of other clubs in the area, spectators are there but are more likely to only appear once a team shows signs of success.

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On 19/08/2019 at 20:22, ihaveatry said:

if ottawa were to join the uk leagues it could only be into league 1 to start off with. 

With a full salary cap to play with. Thats the problem now.. The 8's have gone. No reason for full SC in either L1 or Champ.

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On 19/08/2019 at 20:05, Smudger06 said:

Avignon. The day they have more fans AND are a superior Club to Halifax on the field will be a very long time coming. 

Wouldn't be surprised if that was in the next 10-15 years. It's the natural next step after Toulouse.

 

On 19/08/2019 at 09:29, Smudger06 said:

Sporting Olympique Avignon XIII has a fan Base many times smaller than Halifax despite existing since 1916. 

There are no other Clubs in Calderdale, Whereas Vaucluse has RC Carpentras XIII neighbouring Avignon. 

If rugby league in Britain suffered the same fate as is it during the war in France, I'd be surprised if some of the clubs made it into the 21st century.

Comparing Carpentras to Avignon is like comparing Siddal, Ovenden, etc to Halifax.

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On 11/08/2019 at 20:58, EssexRL said:

You appear to have accidentally missed London Skolars off your list?!

And Coventry and the Welsh Clubs x 

Personally love to see the Bears pick up some big money backing (a la Newcastle )  to allow them move up the League Ladder .

A cracking club that has grown organically from the Amateurs up with some dedicated RL people at the helm , working to establish the game in the Midlands .

Butts Park is set for some big plans and could quite happily host SL Rugby , with maybe bigger games being switched to the Ricoh .

Heres hoping the World Cup Game in Cov  will give them the exposure they deserve and promote some investment .

Don't tell the RFL though , their decision to cut funding last year  to the Bears Sky Try Schools Programme and the Midland Hurricanes Academy was nothing short of criminal ....

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1 hour ago, Rach said:

Butts Park is set for some big plans and could quite happily host SL Rugby , with maybe bigger games being switched to the Ricoh .

I think this sort of idea is a point we should be getting a lot of expansion clubs to if they play in relatively small grounds like Cov and even London Broncos. Target 3 big home games a year and make them events at a larger, but not huge local ground. 

Tbf I think Leeds Rhinos should do it with Elland road too so its not limited to expansion tbh.

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