Jump to content

Programme Watch: Which clubs are issuing them in 2020?


Recommended Posts


I just drove over to St. Helens for the Salford game. I went in the club shop and asked for a copy of tonight's programme. The lad said "We are not printing programmes any more but you can get all the information you need on line". I said "What if I haven't got a computer?" He just looked at me blank. I'm home now, having my meal then I will go and watch it in the pub.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Celtic Roosters said:

I just drove over to St. Helens for the Salford game. I went in the club shop and asked for a copy of tonight's programme. The lad said "We are not printing programmes any more but you can get all the information you need on line". I said "What if I haven't got a computer?" He just looked at me blank. I'm home now, having my meal then I will go and watch it in the pub.

Yes, looks as though Saints have switched to a digital programme this season. It's free to download.

With Dewsbury and Huddersfield also ditching traditional programmes, fewer than half the clubs in rugby league's top three tiers (most in League One, strangely) are still issuing physical match-by-match programmes.

Saints plan to issue a printed programme (A4) for the upcoming World Club Challenge but all Super League fixtures will be covered digitally.

Edited by Hopping Mad
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder whether some of these clubs who have stopped producing printed programmes have shopped around for new printing firms?

 

I recently produced a glossy, perfect bound 70 page A5 sized book on the heritage of my local village, with pictures on practically every page. When looking for printers I first tried the ones my local RL club were using shortly before they stopped producing them. I had roughly £1,000 available and was told this would purchase around 80 copies, which I said wasn't good enough. I shopped around and got some better prices until I came across Imprint Services of Northallerton. For the same £1,000 I got nearly 400 copies including art work (approx £200). If I'd done my own computer art work I would have got roughly 400 copies for £800. I know it would cost more per copy to print less but I would imagine 200-300 copies of around 20 pages would be profitable for a non-super League club when you consider advertising revenue? I can't see how a Super League club could fail to make a profit?

The printers I used say that printing costs have dropped considerably in recent years with new technology and cheaper methods, and one of the directors is a Rhinos fan who travels down from North Yorkshire for every home game. He would love the opportunity to produce a programme for a Rugby league club, and I recommended them to my local club but they have no plans to bring them back. 

In my search for printers I also found a firm called Solopress who quoted £975 inc.VAT for 1,000 copies, but they do not do any computer art work and are purely printers, but that would have been less than £1 per book!!! How much could they produce a stapled matchday programme for? The club would need someone capable of the art work however.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's very interesting.

In recent years, numerous desk top publishers have sprung up to provide inexpensive design-and-print for often very small football clubs. Many of these clubs have attendances in the low hundreds (some fewer than a hundred).

Examples include Ape Publications, Footie Print, JMA Programmes, Matchday Creative and Matchday Programmes.

Last football match I went to, in the Central Midlands League, a couple of Saturdays ago, the home club's full colour, glossy programme was produced by Footie Print, which supplies 30 copies for £50. Cover price is £1.50. All the club do is send words and pics (for editorial and adverts). Footie Print does everything else.

I imagine the comms person at most rugby league clubs is a twenty-something. That has to be significant. Not a generation that understands or values printed matter! Let's be honest, in the same way it's easier to take a dummy than make a tackle, knocking out a hundred words for Twitter,  Facebook et al, and taking low resolution, point-and-shoot pictures with a mobile phone, is much less taxing than putting together meaningful, quality editorial content or courting advertisers.

At the risk of repeating myself: how come many National Conference League clubs - and a handful of amateur clubs below them in the rugby league pyramid - can produce perfectly adequate programmes (and frequently give them away with admission!) when even Super League clubs claim they are now financially unsustainable?

Edited by Hopping Mad
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Toronto Wolfpack (versus Castleford Tigers, Super League, First Round, 02/02/20)

Leeds Rhinos (versus Hull FC, Super League, First Round, 02/02/20)

£3, 80pp (single programme, with different covers, front and back, for Super League's first double header)

Toronto Wolfpack RLFC_Match programme front cover scan_versus Castleford Tigers @ Headingley, Leeds_Super League (Toronto's first Super League game and Sonny Bill Williams's debut_10-28, 21,500_02-02-20.jpg

Leeds Rhinos RLFC_Match programme front cover scan_versus Hull FC_Super League_4-30, 21,500_02-02-20.jpg

Edited by Hopping Mad
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's what we know (or think we know!) so far...

SUPER LEAGUE

In print: Leeds (£3, 80pp), Warrington, Wigan (£3.50)

Note: St Helens will issue a printed programme (A4 format) for the February 22 World Club Challenge

Monthly printed magazine: Hull (The 18th Man, £1)

Digital: Hull Kingston Rovers (free for subscribers to download), St Helens (free to download)

Nothing: Huddersfield (exclusive former programme content will appear on the club website, no digital alternative planned)

CHAMPIONSHIP

In print: Halifax (£1, 24pp), Oldham, Swinton, Whitehaven (32pp), York

Teamsheet: Dewsbury (50p)

Nothing: Batley? (no indication, on opening day, they are continuing with last season's digital programme)

LEAGUE ONE

In print: Keighley

Monthly printed magazine: Hunslet (South of the River)

Digital: Coventry

NATIONAL CONFERENCE LEAGUE

In print: Barrow Island (£1, 16pp), Leigh Miners (£1), Milford (£3, w/a), Siddal (£3, w/a), Thornhill (£2), Underbank

Note: Pilkington Recs are issuing (a 20-pager) but it could be digital only

NON-NATIONAL CONFERENCE LEAGUE AMATEURS

In print: Sherwood Wolf Hunt (£2.50, 12pp, two 'one-offs' for Challenge Cup ties with Wests Warriors and West Bowling)

Edited by Hopping Mad
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pilkington Recs issued a 20-pager for their Challenge Cup first round tie with National Conference League rivals West Hull on 11/1. Hard to tell whether this is digital only. The wording on Pilks' Facebook account suggests it was available in physical form (price and pagination n/k).

https://issuu.com/johnrees62/docs/2020-01-11_-_west_hull_final

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's what we know (or think we know!) so far...

SUPER LEAGUE

In print: Leeds (£3, 80pp), Warrington (£3), Wigan (£3.50)

Note: St Helens will issue a printed programme (A4 format) for the February 22 World Club Challenge

Monthly printed magazine: Castleford (Roar, £1, A4), Hull (The 18th Man, £1), Wakefield (The Mighty Trin, £2, A4)

Teamsheet: Salford (free)

Digital: Hull Kingston Rovers (free for subscribers to download), St Helens (free to download)

Nothing: Huddersfield (exclusive former programme content will appear on the club website, no digital alternative planned)

To be confirmed: Catalans, Toronto

Note: Leeds issued an 80-page printed programme (£3) for the 2/2 Headingley double header featuring Toronto v Castleford

CHAMPIONSHIP

In print: Halifax (£1, 24pp), London Broncos, Oldham, Sheffield, Swinton (£3), Whitehaven (32pp), York (£3)

Teamsheet: Dewsbury (50p)

Digital: Leigh (free to download)

Nothing: Featherstone

To be confirmed: Batley, Bradford, Toulouse, Widnes

LEAGUE ONE

In print: Keighley (£2), North Wales

Monthly printed magazine: Hunslet (South of the River, £3)

Digital: Coventry

To be confirmed: Barrow, Doncaster, London Skolars, Newcastle, Rochdale, West Wales, Workington

NATIONAL CONFERENCE LEAGUE

In print: Barrow Island (£1, 16pp), Leigh Miners (£1), Milford (£3, w/a), Siddal (£3, w/a), Thornhill (£2), Underbank

Note: Pilkington are issuing (a 20-pager) but it could be digital only

To be confirmed: Askam, Batley Boys, Beverley, Clock Face, Crosfields, Dewsbury Celtic, Dewsbury Moor, Drighlington, Dudley Hill, East Leeds, Eastmoor, Egremont, Featherstone Lions, Gateshead, Hensingham, Heworth, Hull Dockers, Hunslet Club Parkside, Hunslet Warriors, Ince, Kells, Leigh East, Lock Lane, Millom, Myton, Normanton, Oldham St Annes, Oulton, Rochdale Mayfield, Saddleworth, Shaw Cross, Skirlaugh, Stanningley, Thatto Heath, Waterhead, Wath Brow, West Bowling, West Hull, Wigan St Judes, Wigan St Patricks, Woolston, York Acorn

NON-NATIONAL CONFERENCE LEAGUE AMATEURS

In print: Ellenborough (£2, 4pp, w/a), GB Police (£1, A4 brochure with teamsheet, two 'one-offs' for Challenge Cup ties with Torfaen and Rochdale Mayfield), Sherwood Wolf Hunt (£2.50, 12pp, two 'one-offs' for Challenge Cup ties with Wests Warriors and West Bowling)

Edited by Hopping Mad
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Despite relegation to the Championship, London Broncos have confirmed they're continuing with a printed programme for 2020. Available to buy at the game or, post-match, via the club website.

Looks as though League One North Wales Crusaders are also sticking with a physical programme.

Edited by Hopping Mad
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 03/02/2020 at 08:46, Hopping Mad said:

Swinton have confirmed they'll be issuing a printed programme this season.

I will be at Swinton on Sunday. Salford have confirmed that they are not producing match programmes any more. I won't be watching any Super League matches at all. It's not just about programmes its the greed of the clubs, the forward passing, the referee's favouring the favourite teams, the constant change of the laws and now the clubs interfering in who other clubs can and cannot sign. I've had enough now. I did stop watching SL before for a lot of years but I wanted to attend games with my sons who support our home City club - Salford. No more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 31/01/2020 at 21:48, Steve Slater said:

I wonder whether some of these clubs who have stopped producing printed programmes have shopped around for new printing firms?

Another example for you here:

Redcar Athletic play in the second tier of non-league football's Northern League (the ninth tier in England). Acquaintance of mine was there yesterday, one of 255 attendees, and purchased the club's full colour, glossy 40-page programme. Redcar sell it for £1, a bargain. https://www.footieprint.co.uk/ charges them 70p a copy for a full design and print service. How can you fail to make money? Yet even Super League clubs - all of whom have rather more than 255 regular spectators - claim printed programmes aren't financially viable any longer. Go figure.

Edited by Hopping Mad
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 05/02/2020 at 20:44, Celtic Roosters said:

I will be at Swinton on Sunday. Salford have confirmed that they are not producing match programmes any more. I won't be watching any Super League matches at all. It's not just about programmes its the greed of the clubs, the forward passing, the referee's favouring the favourite teams, the constant change of the laws and now the clubs interfering in who other clubs can and cannot sign. I've had enough now. I did stop watching SL before for a lot of years but I wanted to attend games with my sons who support our home City club - Salford. No more.

I notice Salford, in a statement about abandoning printed programmes, make a reference to reducing their carbon footprint. If they were serious about saving the planet, Salford wouldn't be jetting players halfway round the world to turn out for them!

Coincidentally, I'll be reducing my carbon footprint this season by declining to drive over the Pennines to watch any rugby league at the AJ Bell...

Edited by Hopping Mad
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...