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Just now, Robin Evans said:

Just like the heavy woollen Derby has grown the game in Dewsbury.

I'm yet to see the evidence that 2 x Derby games a year is certain or near certain to grow the game.

This may be your opinion, but not one I share

In one way it works on the same principle many traditionalists on here advocate, i.e. that local derbies (or at least domestic games) provide more interest than playing teams all from a different place. 

The other arguments are that not only would 2 professional clubs entail at least doubled Rugby League exposure in the country (especially if they were in 2 separate cities/regions), but that it would increase the value of a TV deal. For example, 2 French teams provides 2 games per week plus at least 2 derbies and crucially 1 Super League game in France each week for a French broadcaster.

I personally think most expansion clubs should be brought in in pairs. It creates both a natural on field rival that can be attractive when advertising to local newbies and a mutual helper off field when facing the inevitable difficulties of establishing professional Rugby League. Thats true of domestic expansion but has major other benefits when it comes to international clubs too.

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I am devastated by todays decision.Obviously I think its wrong but I think it shows the narrow minded thinking of most super league clubs.I very much doubt the Wolfpack will ever be back as I don't se

Rugby League as a sport - fans, owners, administrators, the lot - gets what it deserves. There was an opportunity here, an owner who's spent £10m, a growing fanbase and a very attractive market,

To avoid the forum being swamped with dozens of individual threads about Toronto which generally all end up heading down the same rabbit hole eventually anyway, we're opening this general discussion t

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22 minutes ago, Dave T said:

 

This.

By not factoring in the potential for Ottawa and Toulouse in SL we will make exactly the same mistakes as what we are trying to clean up now.

One thing every expansion effort always highlights is our inability to learn from what went wrong and what went right the last time and to act accordingly. 

I am for Toronto and hope it works out, but I would want to see a "cast iron" (as much as anything could be) plan.. which I am trusting is what they are being asked for.. i would also ask for the salary cap/years salary money to be paid over to SLE to be paid back each month to pay the salaries etc so that if they go bust that money is still with SLE to pay the wages.. don't let history repeat itself on this.. However, i would also ask that now of anyone new. I'd also like the governing body to start to look at building up a player fund that can help when this sort of thing happens in the future, as its not just expansion clubs where this has/can happen (its a long process to build up but they should have started to do this after Bradford IMHO). 

But they MUST look at everything that has happened here and at Les Cats so that Toulouse and Ottawa etc have an easier path, every new club should be making it easier for the next one because lessons should be learnt and ironed out.. however, history tells us that is not the case and for me this HAS to be where the RFL and SLE learn their lessons.

IF Toronto cannot satisfactorily do these things and show where they have improved/will be improving on the fundamental issues of the past then I'm sorry but it has to be a no. But, and its a huge but, at the same time I hope that the RFL and SLE are looking at themselves very very hard so that they also dont make these mistakes again.

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1 hour ago, RP London said:

One thing every expansion effort always highlights is our inability to learn from what went wrong and what went right the last time and to act accordingly. 

I am for Toronto and hope it works out, but I would want to see a "cast iron" (as much as anything could be) plan.. which I am trusting is what they are being asked for.. i would also ask for the salary cap/years salary money to be paid over to SLE to be paid back each month to pay the salaries etc so that if they go bust that money is still with SLE to pay the wages.. don't let history repeat itself on this.. However, i would also ask that now of anyone new. I'd also like the governing body to start to look at building up a player fund that can help when this sort of thing happens in the future, as its not just expansion clubs where this has/can happen (its a long process to build up but they should have started to do this after Bradford IMHO). 

But they MUST look at everything that has happened here and at Les Cats so that Toulouse and Ottawa etc have an easier path, every new club should be making it easier for the next one because lessons should be learnt and ironed out.. however, history tells us that is not the case and for me this HAS to be where the RFL and SLE learn their lessons.

IF Toronto cannot satisfactorily do these things and show where they have improved/will be improving on the fundamental issues of the past then I'm sorry but it has to be a no. But, and its a huge but, at the same time I hope that the RFL and SLE are looking at themselves very very hard so that they also dont make these mistakes again.

I agree with much of this, but I do have some sympathy with the governing bodies here in that they probably shouldn't be getting involved in some of the stuff that is being talked about here. I think ultimately clubs will come and go, rise and fall, and I'm not sure the governing body should be spending their time and effort on this, as these clubs are private businesses ultimately.

On your last 2 paragraphs, the problem when it comes down to it is that the RFL should not have admitted TWP like they did, and I would also say they have made a mistake in admitting Toulouse and Ottawa like they have. Without a plan on how new clubs integrate properly at every level of the structure, it just can't work. 

TWP are very unique. For something like this to work, it needs to be fully supported, lets be honest, some of the concessions that people have asked for are pretty major and need a shift from what we are doing - that can't just be shoe-horned in, or take a 'we'll worry about it later' approach - which appears to be exactly what the RFL have done and continue to do. 

Ottawa should have a very clear agreement on what the next 10 years looks like for them if they make SL within 3 years (and other scenarios). 

SLE are being treated as the bad guys here, but SLE never had a strategy to expand into Canada, it is being forced upon them, that can't be allowed to happen. 

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1 minute ago, Dave T said:

I agree with much of this, but I do have some sympathy with the governing bodies here in that they probably shouldn't be getting involved in some of the stuff that is being talked about here. I think ultimately clubs will come and go, rise and fall, and I'm not sure the governing body should be spending their time and effort on this, as these clubs are private businesses ultimately.

On your last 2 paragraphs, the problem when it comes down to it is that the RFL should not have admitted TWP like they did, and I would also say they have made a mistake in admitting Toulouse and Ottawa like they have. Without a plan on how new clubs integrate properly at every level of the structure, it just can't work. 

TWP are very unique. For something like this to work, it needs to be fully supported, lets be honest, some of the concessions that people have asked for are pretty major and need a shift from what we are doing - that can't just be shoe-horned in, or take a 'we'll worry about it later' approach - which appears to be exactly what the RFL have done and continue to do. 

Ottawa should have a very clear agreement on what the next 10 years looks like for them if they make SL within 3 years (and other scenarios). 

SLE are being treated as the bad guys here, but SLE never had a strategy to expand into Canada, it is being forced upon them, that can't be allowed to happen. 

Not sure SLE had anything forced on them. They asked for information from both last year's MPG participants (as they had the previous year when TWP were also involved) and agreed to their admittance based on that.

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22 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

How did Bradford go so well under Mr Deakin, why is Cas the best supported team in respect of population numbers, why is Wigan losing support year on year are we our own worst enemies and we don't try to improve our offer AT. 

There are those who say improve the matchday expierence even making what is on offer on the field secondary to a long afternoon/evening of entertainment.

Is this your response to my question as to how ‘SL can improve the attractiveness and income by offering the same old thing’?

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4 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I agree with much of this, but I do have some sympathy with the governing bodies here in that they probably shouldn't be getting involved in some of the stuff that is being talked about here. I think ultimately clubs will come and go, rise and fall, and I'm not sure the governing body should be spending their time and effort on this, as these clubs are private businesses ultimately.

On your last 2 paragraphs, the problem when it comes down to it is that the RFL should not have admitted TWP like they did, and I would also say they have made a mistake in admitting Toulouse and Ottawa like they have. Without a plan on how new clubs integrate properly at every level of the structure, it just can't work. 

TWP are very unique. For something like this to work, it needs to be fully supported, lets be honest, some of the concessions that people have asked for are pretty major and need a shift from what we are doing - that can't just be shoe-horned in, or take a 'we'll worry about it later' approach - which appears to be exactly what the RFL have done and continue to do. 

Ottawa should have a very clear agreement on what the next 10 years looks like for them if they make SL within 3 years (and other scenarios). 

SLE are being treated as the bad guys here, but SLE never had a strategy to expand into Canada, it is being forced upon them, that can't be allowed to happen. 

The thing is when you look back at history they have never had a plan.. never. It has never been an RFL drive its always been someone else that has said "i'd like to do this".. The closest we have had to an RFL/SL drive were PSG and Catalans and I really thought "they've learnt something here" when Catalans came in and i was really positive for the future thinking they this was how it was going to be done in the future.. how wrong was I?

"domestic" expansion should have a plan and a person employed solely to look after it (there is so much work they can do around talking to councils, LEAs (or whatever they are now), helping set up junior/amateur pathways etc and best practice etc etc) but thats a whole other thread.

I agree SLE may be carrying more than maybe they should but lets not absolve them of blame either.. we all saw the march to super league coming the minute Toronto started signing players in League one.. it was not a surprise and yet they still seemed caught off guard with "should we let them in"... that is where i blame them.. its typical though of not seeing the blindingly obvious hurtling towards you.. 

Its hard to turn down money, and i dont think they should, but they have to learn from Toronto that there needs to be safeguards in place. 

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14 minutes ago, Les Tonks Sidestep said:

Not sure SLE had anything forced on them. They asked for information from both last year's MPG participants (as they had the previous year when TWP were also involved) and agreed to their admittance based on that.

Sorry, maybe wasn't clear - by TWP being there in the first instance. They had been admitted into the structure and it then becomes very difficult for SLE to deny entry after 3 years of doing what was asked of them.

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7 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

It's about as much as I can be bothered with AT.

What an absolute cop out or as dear old Bruce Forsyth would say ‘All mouth and no trousers’.

Since this thread started you, amongst others, have consistently been asking what are the benefits of expansion into Canada for SL.  And over the 372 pages those of us that have support the inclusion of TWP in the RL structure have provided hundreds of responses.  OK, you obviously don’t agree with the arguments that we pose, and that is your prerogative, but at least we had the courtesy to provide a robust reply to support our position.

 

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11 minutes ago, RP London said:

1. The thing is when you look back at history they have never had a plan.. never. It has never been an RFL drive its always been someone else that has said "i'd like to do this".. The closest we have had to an RFL/SL drive were PSG and Catalans and I really thought "they've learnt something here" when Catalans came in and i was really positive for the future thinking they this was how it was going to be done in the future.. how wrong was I?

2. "domestic" expansion should have a plan and a person employed solely to look after it (there is so much work they can do around talking to councils, LEAs (or whatever they are now), helping set up junior/amateur pathways etc and best practice etc etc) but thats a whole other thread.

3. I agree SLE may be carrying more than maybe they should but lets not absolve them of blame either.. we all saw the march to super league coming the minute Toronto started signing players in League one.. it was not a surprise and yet they still seemed caught off guard with "should we let them in"... that is where i blame them.. its typical though of not seeing the blindingly obvious hurtling towards you.. 

Its hard to turn down money, and i dont think they should, but they have to learn from Toronto that there needs to be safeguards in place. 

1. Yep, at least in the past we were chasing something - we handpicked PSG, promoted London, invited applicants for when Gateshead came in and same again with Catalans. TWP was just a rich bloke coming along trying to sell us something.

2. Completely agree, we should have an expansion board with a Director leading this. 

3. I'm certainly not absolving them of blame, however I firmly think they were put into an impossible situation. If we were going to be 100% blunt here, Canada was never an expansion area, for the RFL to put them in the pyramid without full buy-in was irresponsible, however I do accept that the governance changes came at an awkward time there. If you listen to SLE though, they weren't caught off guard, they were met with resistance and awkwardness from Argyle.

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2 minutes ago, Adelaide Tiger said:

What an absolute cop out or as dear old Bruce Forsyth would say ‘All mouth and no trousers’.

Since this thread started you, amongst others, have consistently been asking what are the benefits of expansion into Canada for SL.  And over the 372 pages those of us that have support the inclusion of TWP in the RL structure have provided hundreds of responses.  OK, you obviously don’t agree with the arguments that we pose, and that is your prerogative, but at least we had the courtesy to provide a robust reply to support our position.

 

Good, has I say I really have not got the inclination to be bothered.

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15 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Sorry, maybe wasn't clear - by TWP being there in the first instance. They had been admitted into the structure and it then becomes very difficult for SLE to deny entry after 3 years of doing what was asked of them.

Did SLE raise any issues they had or could foresee at the time of talk of TWP being admitted? I don't remember seeing anything from SLE or any of the clubs' chairmen at the time.

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3 minutes ago, Les Tonks Sidestep said:

Did SLE raise any issues they had or could foresee at the time of talk of TWP being admitted? I don't remember seeing anything from SLE or any of the clubs' chairmen at the time.

I have no clue how the votes went, as there is no transparency on things like this.

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2 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

In one way it works on the same principle many traditionalists on here advocate, i.e. that local derbies (or at least domestic games) provide more interest than playing teams all from a different place. 

Kind of refuted by fans at fev, anecdotally at least.

When the fixtures are released I guarantee the one most of us (and this flat capped entrenched fev fan perhaps more than most) look for is the Toulouse game.

Edit. I reckon last time we were up in Whitehaven fev had more fans there than were at Dews that season

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55 minutes ago, Dave T said:

 I'm certainly not absolving them of blame, however I firmly think they were put into an impossible situation. If we were going to be 100% blunt here, Canada was never an expansion area, for the RFL to put them in the pyramid without full buy-in was irresponsible, however I do accept that the governance changes came at an awkward time there. If you listen to SLE though, they weren't caught off guard, they were met with resistance and awkwardness from Argyle.

I have sympathy for SLE but this should have been sorted as soon as they were there and that is with the RFL, once it became apparent what was happening SLE should have sorted their part out before it gets to the MPG and there are news articles wondering if they would be allowed in. governance changes were awkward but no excuse IMHO as the same people, mostly, were still involved and it was still a juggernaut coming at them. For all the "Argyle was being awkward" there was also "SLE are changing the goalposts" etc and the truth, as always, probably lies somewhere in-between but again this should have been done well before the MPG.

Mistakes happen though and, as in business, its how you fix them that is how you should really be judged.. and I hope that they do but history tells us they dont.. I hope this plan they want is good and has a lot of contingency built in, i hope they do the same when admitting new teams down the line etc.. but from what we have seen I am not sure they are doing this and that concerns me.

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3 minutes ago, Robin Evans said:

Kind of refuted by fans at fev, anecdotally at least.

When the fixtures are released I guarantee the one most of us (and this flat capped entrenched fev fan perhaps more than most) look for is the Toulouse game.

Edit. I reckon last time we were up in Whitehaven fev had more fans there than were at Dews that season

I suppose its from the other way around, as in Toulouse fans, too. Catalans now, and I'm sure Toronto too, is a marquee away fixture for many. 

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23 minutes ago, Dave T said:

2. Completely agree, we should have an expansion board with a Director leading this. 

There is no money for expansion, so it wouldn't be much of a job. The only way it happens is through rich investors, who need to be attracted to the game.

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16 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I have no clue how the votes went, as there is no transparency on things like this.

I'm not just talking about votes given how outspoken some of those chairmen are I'd have expected statements reported as to their 'concerns'.  I've found this from Lenegan from just over 2 years ago. He doesn't seem to be concerned that TWP, or any other overseas club, will make it to SL

“Super League will be an international competition in five years’ time,” Lenagan said.

“I believe at that time, as well as the English clubs, we’ll have Toulouse, we’ll have Perpignan, we’ll have Toronto, we’ll probably have New York within that time scale.

“The Super League is doing a lot of innovative things to take the game forward. The 12 clubs are working tremendously well together, that’s how we got permission to do this [Wollongong game].

“Who knows, if the NRL don’t do something about [expansion with] Perth, with a single flight back to England it wouldn’t at all surprise me if they became interested in playing in a competition of that scale.”

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

I suppose its from the other way around, as in Toulouse fans, too. Catalans now, and I'm sure Toronto too, is a marquee away fixture for many. 

I just love Toulouse.... but I'm a huge francophile. Its my fav fixture. I can just imagine les Toulousiennes feeling pretty much the same about coming to fev🤣🤣🤣

Toronto cost me a small fortune which went down just fabulous with the memsahib,  but it really was a cracking experience. I loved the city.... not quite as much as Vancouver like but all t'same, it was a fabulous long weekend

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Other news doing the rounds is that the Sky deal proposed by them for 2022 is so horrendous that Toronto won't even get a look in when the SL clubs start scrambling to protect themselves.

 

Sport, amongst other things, is a dream-world offering escape from harsh reality and the disturbing prospect of change.

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19 minutes ago, ojx said:

There is no money for expansion, so it wouldn't be much of a job. The only way it happens is through rich investors, who need to be attracted to the game.

Its not about giving someone money to throw at things.. so much, so so much can be gained by talking to the relevant people in the cities you are expanding too or looking at.. good deals from the city, exposure, getting the right schools involved etc etc etc none of it takes a huge wedge of cash but it is all of these things that need to be done and someone at the RFL can do this/steer this in terms of experience talking to these sorts of bodies which can also release money to help. It is a way of getting a lot from very little and that is the job. 

Even the "established" expansion teams could do with this help now as they are all run with low numbers of staffing levels and perhaps not able to see the wood for the trees in this type of matter.. 

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27 minutes ago, ojx said:

There is no money for expansion, so it wouldn't be much of a job. The only way it happens is through rich investors, who need to be attracted to the game.

Money can be routed where we want, based on what we prioritise. 

As has been pointed out, previous attempts were at least pro-active, even if poorly executed. And its not an issue if this will be privately funded, that would be part of the remit. 

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30 minutes ago, Les Tonks Sidestep said:

I'm not just talking about votes given how outspoken some of those chairmen are I'd have expected statements reported as to their 'concerns'.  I've found this from Lenegan from just over 2 years ago. He doesn't seem to be concerned that TWP, or any other overseas club, will make it to SL

“Super League will be an international competition in five years’ time,” Lenagan said.

“I believe at that time, as well as the English clubs, we’ll have Toulouse, we’ll have Perpignan, we’ll have Toronto, we’ll probably have New York within that time scale.

“The Super League is doing a lot of innovative things to take the game forward. The 12 clubs are working tremendously well together, that’s how we got permission to do this [Wollongong game].

“Who knows, if the NRL don’t do something about [expansion with] Perth, with a single flight back to England it wouldn’t at all surprise me if they became interested in playing in a competition of that scale.”

 

 

Yes, we know that some in SLE are in favour, some less so. 

But either way, it doesn't change the fact there appears to be no detailed plan for integration into the structure and different divisions. Just reading back some stuff from 4 years ago, one of Wood's big selling points was that this is risk free and costs the UK game zero. 

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1 minute ago, Dave T said:

Money can be routed where we want, based on what we prioritise. 

As has been pointed out, previous attempts were at least pro-active, even if poorly executed. And its not an issue if this will be privately funded, that would be part of the remit. 

yes exactly... and the "director of expansion" is the person who brings the plan together around where we want to expand etc, then gets in there and starts to find people to invest.. the city, a consortium etc etc.. its the remit of his/her job to find this all out.. otherwise we will just end up in the same place we are now over and over again.. either expansion done on the cheap and not supported or with a major investor just throwing money at it but with no back up and no foundations.. and we prove every single ruddy time that the best plan is between those two extremes.. so put someone in place to design that position.

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33 minutes ago, Les Tonks Sidestep said:

I'm not just talking about votes given how outspoken some of those chairmen are I'd have expected statements reported as to their 'concerns'.  I've found this from Lenegan from just over 2 years ago. He doesn't seem to be concerned that TWP, or any other overseas club, will make it to SL

“Super League will be an international competition in five years’ time,” Lenagan said.

“I believe at that time, as well as the English clubs, we’ll have Toulouse, we’ll have Perpignan, we’ll have Toronto, we’ll probably have New York within that time scale.

“The Super League is doing a lot of innovative things to take the game forward. The 12 clubs are working tremendously well together, that’s how we got permission to do this [Wollongong game].

“Who knows, if the NRL don’t do something about [expansion with] Perth, with a single flight back to England it wouldn’t at all surprise me if they became interested in playing in a competition of that scale.”

 

 

I think owners are broadly similar to fans on this and fall into two extreme camps with the same rationale. Lets call them expansionists and traditionalists. Then you have those that tread the middle ground somewhat.

There are those expansionists like Lenegan above who realise that the game needs to grow and increase the pie. They believe this will bring fresh money into the game and make the game more attractive and appealing. They realise that sometimes you need to speculate to accumulate to achieve this, and in the absence of any other funding funded by the game itself, and that it involves an element of risk. They see the status quo is at best standing still and at worst is seeing a managed decline. I would firmly put myself in this bracket.

On the other side there are those traditionists that are fearful of what that means for their club. They are quite happy being a big fish in a small pond or clinging on in Super League by their fingertips. Sometimes this may be for no other reason than their club being in the top flight at the right time or them being slightly bigger than the other RL clubs in the leagues below. Growth is something to be feared because true growth will harm their club and ensure it will never be able to compete in the top flight or even get to it.

Then you have the centrists.  They agree that the game needs to grow and that it can't stand still. However this is only as long as it costs nothing and/or doesn't adversely affect their club. They certainly don't want to pay for it and/or don't want clubs to be left behind. The problem with this is that it requires a magic money tree to pay for any growth so in the absence of this nothing happens. Risk tolerance is also low so unless any growth has cast iron guarantees, which in the real world RL isn't big enough as a sport to ever get, it is resisted.

Practically every debate on Toronto, France, expansion etc has the same debates from the same people falling roughly in one of these 3 camps.

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