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Eddie

Heartlands Expansion

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We generally focus on teams from outside the Heartlands when thinking about who might enter League One. However are there any teams from within the Heartlands, in the NCL or below, that might want and be able to give semi-pro RL a go in the next five years or so?

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If there was an appetite for more clubs in the heartlands it would have happened years ago. Many tried many failed

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sometimes you have to take a step backwards to move forward

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5 minutes ago, DEANO said:

If there was an appetite for more clubs in the heartlands it would have happened years ago. Many tried many failed

That could be said for all expansion though.   As much as I'm looking forward to Ottawa coming in, I think the rfl should have given the license to Manchester Rangers.  

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Huyton, Prescot, Runcorn, Chorley , Carlisle, Trafford Borough, Springfield Borough (an all the many/complex reincarnations of those clubs) all sadly gone

Been a while but not sure there is much demand for another lower league club in the heartlands.

 

 

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Heartlands Expansion is that like

a deafening silence, harmonious discord, an open secret, and the living dead?


"It is, by a million miles, a better sport than union. League is 80 minutes of physicality, speed, good handling, good kicking. It’s continuous."

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8 minutes ago, headtackle said:

Huyton, Prescot, Runcorn, Chorley , Carlisle, Trafford Borough, Springfield Borough (an all the many/complex reincarnations of those clubs) all sadly gone

Been a while but not sure there is much demand for another lower league club in the heartlands.

 

 

And all run on a shoestring. There are far stronger amateur clubs than what most of them ever were

 

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16 minutes ago, Damien said:

And all run on a shoestring. There are far stronger amateur clubs than what most of them ever were

 

Yep. Most amateur clubs are better off than most semi pro and even some full time clubs. They own their own grounds and keep 100 per cent of bar takings. 

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sometimes you have to take a step backwards to move forward

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I tend to feel it it shouldn't have to even be a question: why do we still have the distinction between pro and amateur? The game should be "open", no? 

Sure, different divisions and leagues could have different salary caps and other criteria for membership. But what is gained from a strict separation of pro and amateur?

We should open up a gangway between the pro game and amateur game and leave it up to the clubs to decide if they want to pay their players anything. 

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I reckon amateur clubs are amateur because they want to be

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sometimes you have to take a step backwards to move forward

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We don't need more league one clubs, created in areas where there's hardly any community presence, that's for sure.

Run on a shoestring and central funding. Surely by now, we realise its a folly.

What we need is more amateur clubs (like Hemel Hempstead), many more. Thereby strengthening the amateur competitions, producing more (super league) quality players, more fans, more money, more business backers.

It breaks my heart when people speak of Hemel's recent history as a failure.

The amateur game is simply not strong enough in their area to provide all that a pro' club needs to prosper.

But we do need more Hemels, all over the country.

Double the number of participants and we'll double the number of Super League quality players, raising the overall standard as we go and double the number of coaches, the number of Sky subscribers etc. etc. etc.

 

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41 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

I tend to feel it it shouldn't have to even be a question: why do we still have the distinction between pro and amateur? The game should be "open", no? 

Sure, different divisions and leagues could have different salary caps and other criteria for membership. But what is gained from a strict separation of pro and amateur?

We should open up a gangway between the pro game and amateur game and leave it up to the clubs to decide if they want to pay their players anything. 

Ok I should have said league one, not semi pro.

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1 hour ago, DEANO said:

If there was an appetite for more clubs in the heartlands it would have happened years ago. Many tried many failed

That’s like saying if there was an appetite for a club in Valencia it would have happened years ago. It all depends on the club and the people running it now. 

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22 minutes ago, Eddie said:

That’s like saying if there was an appetite for a club in Valencia it would have happened years ago. It all depends on the club and the people running it now. 

Yep it would have happened years ago

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sometimes you have to take a step backwards to move forward

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5 hours ago, Eddie said:

We generally focus on teams from outside the Heartlands when thinking about who might enter League One. However are there any teams from within the Heartlands, in the NCL or below, that might want and be able to give semi-pro RL a go in the next five years or so?

bring back wigan highfield.  they got better crowds than leigh

and pilkington / st helens recs, we need that st helens derby again

Edited by aj1908

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Well we know that Manchester Rangers and Hull Academy have previously applied, and Liverpool has inquired, so its not like there aren't 'heartlands' clubs which are trying to join the pyramid, simply the RFL has put up a crazy barrier by charging the same 'bond' for a club applying from New York, as one around the corner from their head office.

In my opinion, Rugby League should be trying to have as many amateur and professional clubs as possible around the country.  Unless a team exists where another wants to, provided they satisfy all the respective criteria, and can fund themselves (no central funding), then welcome aboard.

Sure some will come and go, but in reality very few clubs that die, actually completely die... Most either go back to amateur levels or are respawned at a lower level (Hemel, Thunder, Crusaders, Eagles) which is still a better position than when we were before they applied. 

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Apart from obscure Yorkshire dales towns like Leyburn and Settle and the North Yorkshire coast of Whitby and Scarborough. Yorkshire is as about covered as it can be, general sport fans will go to Leeds Rhinos we have been trying to get them to York Knights from Harrogate, slowly working. Not sure on the other pennines but other than the  already mentioned there i think its in a similar position 

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6 hours ago, Yakstorm said:

Well we know that Manchester Rangers and Hull Academy have previously applied, and Liverpool has inquired, so its not like there aren't 'heartlands' clubs which are trying to join the pyramid, simply the RFL has put up a crazy barrier by charging the same 'bond' for a club applying from New York, as one around the corner from their head office.

In my opinion, Rugby League should be trying to have as many amateur and professional clubs as possible around the country.  Unless a team exists where another wants to, provided they satisfy all the respective criteria, and can fund themselves (no central funding), then welcome aboard.

Sure some will come and go, but in reality very few clubs that die, actually completely die... Most either go back to amateur levels or are respawned at a lower level (Hemel, Thunder, Crusaders, Eagles) which is still a better position than when we were before they applied. 

Totally agree. The whole Manchester Rangers fiasco was a disgrace imo. We could have had a team with the scope to be like Newcastle Thunder very quickly, but for central funding and a non-existent Swinton rebrand.

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The trouble is most amateur clubs, and certainly the strongest, are simply clubs in towns that already have a professional RL club, the likes of Wigan St Pats, Featherstone Lions, Pilkington Recs etc. They have no intention of going professional and nor should they. It is not like we have strong amateur clubs representing Liverpool, Bolton, Preston, Blackpool, Blackburn and all of the other towns and cities in the North, with no professional RL representation, that are just waiting for the call to join the professional ranks.

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11 hours ago, fighting irish said:

But we do need more Hemels, all over the country.

This - it's the biggest challenge RL faces in the UK. 

We need a lot more RL clubs that have a ground and a clubhouse and  ideally mens and womens teams and teams at all the age groups and maybe  small-sided non-contact variants too. They need to be stable clubs that last for decades. We have maybe 50 of those (being generous)? If you compare us with pretty minor sports like hockey or korfball, our amateur game really does not look very strong at all. A dozen more clubs like Hemel would have a fairly significant impact on RL in Britain.

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