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10 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

I’m pretty sure the average crowd size is down on even a few years ago, so it appears that fans that were there no longer go. 

How much of that loss is down to the sport annoying "Dave who had his season ticket for 40 years" to the point where he sacks it in?

It could easily be down to a declining number of casual supporters - because the sport isn't appealing to or retaining them. It could as easily be down to people moving away from an area. It could as easily be down to localised economy factors. Given the typical age of our fan base, it could be that some have just fallen off their mortal coil and we haven't replaced them. 

See my earlier point about the perils of looking at averages and numbers. They don't tell the full story. 

Edited by whatmichaelsays
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7 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

I’m pretty sure the average crowd size is down on even a few years ago, so it appears that fans that were there no longer go. 

A lot of that is due to losses at the top and losing a few well supported clubs to relegation. Leeds and Wigan have had the odd sub 13k and sub 10k attendances which signifies a huge drop from just a few years ago (equivalent to a Salford or Wakefield in total).

 

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1 minute ago, whatmichaelsays said:

How much of that loss is down to the sport annoying "Dave who had his season ticket for 40 years" to the point where he sacks it in?

It could easily be down to a declining number of casual supporters - because the sport isn't appealing or retaining them. It could as easily be down to people moving away from an area. It could as easily be down to localised economy factors. Given the typical age of our fan base, it could be that some have just fallen off their mortal coil and we haven't replaced them. 

See my earlier point about the perils of looking at averages and numbers. They don't tell the full story. 

There’s likely a myriad of reasons but you cannot just assume that long-term fans will just put up with anything. 

Just now, Tommygilf said:

A lot of that is due to losses at the top and losing a few well supported clubs to relegation. Leeds and Wigan have had the odd sub 13k and sub 10k attendances which signifies a huge drop from just a few years ago (equivalent to a Salford or Wakefield in total).

 

There’s definitely more reasons for it than losing one club who used to give away loads of tickets for nowt. 

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3 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

There’s likely a myriad of reasons but you cannot just assume that long-term fans will just put up with anything. 

Which is where cricket has finally lost the plot - for the 100, which is taking all the best players and the best weather (well it was before the obvious current situation happened) and dumping them into new teams no one cares about) you don't even have to read between the lines - the ECB has explicitly said "if you're out there in England and like watching cricket this isn't for you. it's for all the people that don't" - which is what you might call brave...

Nothing in this thread, with the possible exception of the "international flat pack big city league" is even remotely as far down that road.

Overall, long term fans will put up with a lot. And a lot more than anyone who isn't a long term fan. 

So, to grow the number of fans, long term fans will *always* to a degree, just have to take it. The trick is to not push them so far that they walk away, which (from the noises from some of the counties concerning a slump in memberships on last year (and pre covid outbreak) I think is what cricket is risking.

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1 hour ago, Hela Wigmen said:

There’s likely a myriad of reasons but you cannot just assume that long-term fans will just put up with anything. 

I'm not saying that they will "put up with anything". What I'm saying is that on a risk-reward basis, we can afford to create something that might not appeal to the loyal fan without annoying them to the point where they no longer want anything to do with the sport. We can still offer the thing that they like, whilst also offering something that someone else might like.

I referenced Greggs earlier - to the people who still like steak bakes and sausage rolls, Greggs still sells steak bakes and sausage rolls. Nobody who likes Greggs steak bakes and sausage rolls has stopped buying them because they now have a vegan version, but lots of people who never would have bought Greggs before now do because they have something that they like.  

Edited by whatmichaelsays
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2 minutes ago, iffleyox said:

Which is where cricket has finally lost the plot - for the 100, which is taking all the best players and the best weather (well it was before the obvious current situation happened) and dumping them into new teams no one cares about) you don't even have to read between the lines - the ECB has explicitly said "if you're out there in England and like watching cricket this isn't for you. it's for all the people that don't" - which is what you might call brave...

Nothing in this thread, with the possible exception of the "international flat pack big city league" is even remotely as far down that road.

Overall, long term fans will put up with a lot. And a lot more than anyone who isn't a long term fan. 

So, to grow the number of fans, long term fans will *always* to a degree, just have to take it. The trick is to not push them so far that they walk away, which (from the noises from some of the counties concerning a slump in memberships on last year (and pre covid outbreak) I think is what cricket is risking.

I don't think treating long term fans as one homogenous blob helps either, some will be more amenable to some things and not to others.

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Just now, Tommygilf said:

I don't think treating long term fans as one homogenous blob helps either, some will be more amenable to some things and not to others.

well exactly - leaving aside the fact that my own side in cricket is being shafted by the 100, I might have been more on board with it if the ECB hadn't gone out of their way to tell me it wasn't for me...

Edited by iffleyox

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10 minutes ago, iffleyox said:

well exactly - leaving aside the fact that my own side in cricket is being shafted by the 100, I might have been more on board with it if the ECB hadn't gone out of their way to tell me it wasn't for me...

I agree some of the selling of the Hundred has been daft. It remeniscient to me of how Battlefield 5 had a torrid marketing pitch that resulted in the CEO of the developer saying "if you don't understand the direction you're uneducated and if you don't like it don't buy it"

Safe to say a lot of people listened to that, took it to heart and didn't buy it.

I still think the ECB should have just been honest and said we want a limited elite t20 competition based in strategic locations. Bristol, Durham and Worcester are the major losers in this current 8 team scenario. 

I don't think its been totally terrible thus far and think it would have done well. 

It is recognising that ultimately county Championship cricket has an average age attendance of 65 plus and that the current t20 set up doesn't compete in quality with the BBL, IPL or even the CPL. Its not perfect but it is a response.

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13 minutes ago, Tommygilf said:

 

I still think the ECB should have just been honest and said we want a limited elite t20 competition based in strategic locations. Bristol, Durham and Worcester are the major losers in this current 8 team scenario. 

 

Even as a Worcestershire fan, I think the real losers are the whole of SW England - they've taken out Gloucestershire and Somerset entirely but that's ok because if you live in Gloucs, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall or Dorset you can support Welsh Fire in Cardiff...

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6 minutes ago, iffleyox said:

Even as a Worcestershire fan, I think the real losers are the whole of SW England - they've taken out Gloucestershire and Somerset entirely but that's ok because if you live in Gloucs, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall or Dorset you can support Welsh Fire in Cardiff...

Yeah I guess Bristol would be the ones who've lost out most. Probably because Trent Bridge and the Rose Bowl are strong venues whereas Bristol doesn't have that real top class facility.

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6 minutes ago, iffleyox said:

Even as a Worcestershire fan, I think the real losers are the whole of SW England - they've taken out Gloucestershire and Somerset entirely but that's ok because if you live in Gloucs, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall or Dorset you can support Welsh Fire in Cardiff...

I completely agree that this needs looking at. Perhaps calling the team Western Fire might be a solution?

However, and I mean no disrespect here, but even if the SW of England is not properly represented initially, it's not going to be the determining factor in whether The Hundred is a success or not.

Places like Cornwall, Devon and Dorset (less so Gloucs and Somerset) aren't exactly cricket powerhouses.

Plus, any disenfranchised people from the South West are welcome to unite behind the Southern banner and support the Brave. ? 

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1 minute ago, Tommygilf said:

Yeah I guess Bristol would be the ones who've lost out most. Probably because Trent Bridge and the Rose Bowl are strong venues whereas Bristol doesn't have that real top class facility.

Indeed, but then there have been some revealing figures bandied about in various places on how large the current travelling Devon contingent is to Taunton, for example. So there is a constituency of current cricket fans who are now over three hours from their nearest live cricket (and being told to support the Welsh)  instead of just over 30 mins. That's before you try the same trick with the Bristol based fans, for whom it's *only* a trip over the Severn Bridge, at the height of summer...

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Just now, 17 stone giant said:

I completely agree that this needs looking at. Perhaps calling the team Western Fire might be a solution?

However, and I mean no disrespect here, but even if the SW of England is not properly represented initially, it's not going to be the determining factor in whether The Hundred is a success or not.

Places like Cornwall, Devon and Dorset (less so Gloucs and Somerset) aren't exactly cricket powerhouses.

Plus, any disenfranchised people from the South West are welcome to unite behind the Southern banner and support the Brave. ? 

Somerset's ex CEO, who resigned over ECB handling of various things, is on record on the damage he thinks will be done to Somerset by antagonising their current Devon based supporters. It's not about whether there was first class cricket or not in Devon, it's about how many from Devon travel to Taunton currently. Which apparently is quite a few (and would make sense as it's half an hour from Exeter...)

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28 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

Youre lost in a sepia toned paradise that never existed.

It's just sheer numbers. SL reaches about 200k viewers two or three times a week. 

The lower leagues about 20K in total.

Its not a matter of your emotive underdog nonsense

 The fact is a kid who hasnt seen thr sport is many many many times more likely see an elite pro game than a second tier one.

It all depends on how people want to enjoy their sport. If Super League contained Toronto, London, New York, Ottawa, Catalan, Toulouse, etc, then yes they might be seen by thousands on tv, but would the numbers who actually go and watch the matches on the terraces be far better than those of played by teams from traditional RL areas where the game has been part of the community for years ? I think not - and I would prefer RL to be provided for true supporters of the game who go out and watch their team rather than for those who just sit in their armchair.

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38 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

Youre lost in a sepia toned paradise that never existed.

It's just sheer numbers. SL reaches about 200k viewers two or three times a week. 

The lower leagues about 20K in total.

Its not a matter of your emotive underdog nonsense

 The fact is a kid who hasnt seen thr sport is many many many times more likely see an elite pro game than a second tier one.

To be honest I think you're both right - if, in Harry's example, you're a six year old in  eg Dewsbury who's dragged to Dewsbury by your family every week until the age of 14 then those players are going to be your heroes and you will go by yourself later on as you get older. If you're a child in Dewsbury who doesn't go to Dewsbury games then you will be watching SL. And you're right in that many many more are in the latter camp than the former along the M62.

So every child in every small town is not worshipping their local players, but the small number that go are.

Which again, comes back to my take on expansion being as important for the current clubs as it for people wanting to set up new clubs in new areas. We need clubs to pick up as many in their communities as they can for the health of the game. The Dewsburys, Swintons, Batleys, Doncasters, need to get more through the gate (although, as has been pointed out by others, Batley do a lot already), so do the Leeds, Wakeys, Salfords, etc. *And* then it would be ideal if it grew outside the heartlands too.

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40 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

Youre lost in a sepia toned paradise that never existed.

It's just sheer numbers. SL reaches about 200k viewers two or three times a week. 

The lower leagues about 20K in total.

Its not a matter of your emotive underdog nonsense

 The fact is a kid who hasnt seen thr sport is many many many times more likely see an elite pro game than a second tier one.

Have you ever been a kid?

I honestly don't think for all your protestations you have at all ever been near a community ground never mind in any kind of official capacity, in fact I would say you are just an assuming text book expert with no practical expierence whatsoever, if you had you would be aware that the local clubs even with no umbilical connection have an affinity with the Iocal pro club, and the kids do have their hero's in those teams. 

Now even with the exposure you claim it may also surprise you that for all the hundreds of Leeds Rhino's games on TV I have ever to see a Rhino's shirt being worn, and locally very locally in fact Saints, Wigan, and Warrington shirts are as rare as rocking horse droppings, but guess what nobhead there are scores and scores of Centurions shirts.

Even your opening sentance portrays what you are, how can you claim with no expierence what did and did not exist?

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16 hours ago, scotchy1 said:

Junior development and the elite competition work in tandem. One doesnt support the other. They support each other.

Junior development absolutely is a top priority, but the easy way to get kids to play is giving them heroes and that means a strong, visible pro game.

 

Junior Development is not a top priority, Juniors just coming along, enjoying training and the game is a top priority. 

It's not at all easy to get kids playing Rugby League by giving them heroes, it's hard to make a hero, especially a RL hero. It's much easier to just give them coaches and Referees and training times and fixture lists. 

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18 minutes ago, iffleyox said:

To be honest I think you're both right - if, in Harry's example, you're a six year old in  eg Dewsbury who's dragged to Dewsbury by your family every week until the age of 14 then those players are going to be your heroes and you will go by yourself later on as you get older. If you're a child in Dewsbury who doesn't go to Dewsbury games then you will be watching SL. And you're right in that many many more are in the latter camp than the former along the M62.

So every child in every small town is not worshipping their local players, but the small number that go are.

Which again, comes back to my take on expansion being as important for the current clubs as it for people wanting to set up new clubs in new areas. We need clubs to pick up as many in their communities as they can for the health of the game. The Dewsburys, Swintons, Batleys, Doncasters, need to get more through the gate (although, as has been pointed out by others, Batley do a lot already), so do the Leeds, Wakeys, Salfords, etc. *And* then it would be ideal if it grew outside the heartlands too.

I'd agree. I find it hard to believe that there are many kids in Dewsbury who would consider <looks down the Dewsbury Rams squad list> Paul Sykes as their hero.

I'm going to take junior to the park later and even with Leeds United doing pretty well at the moment, I'm much more likely to see a Messi or Ronaldo shirt when I'm there before I see a Kalvin Phillips one. 

21 minutes ago, RL does what Sky says said:

I would prefer RL to be provided for true supporters of the game who go out and watch their team rather than for those who just sit in their armchair.

Why can't we cater to both? Why is it an issue of "either/or" or "rather one than the other"?

There are so many barriers to people getting involved with the community game that make it a pretty slow horse to back. For one, it's a big commitment for people to make and for another, you've got to tackle the many issues that prevent kids from getting involved - PlayStations and parents probably being the two biggest barriers. 

Why the the bloke watching every week on TV not a "true" supporter? It really does strike me as a form of snobbery to look down on those people? 

Edited by whatmichaelsays
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26 minutes ago, RL does what Sky says said:

It all depends on how people want to enjoy their sport. If Super League contained Toronto, London, New York, Ottawa, Catalan, Toulouse, etc, then yes they might be seen by thousands on tv, but would the numbers who actually go and watch the matches on the terraces be far better than those of played by teams from traditional RL areas where the game has been part of the community for years ? I think not - and I would prefer RL to be provided for true supporters of the game who go out and watch their team rather than for those who just sit in their armchair.

Yeah me to, I get (or used to get) to see enough 'live' RL not to bother if it is on TV or not.

Edited by Harry Stottle
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9 minutes ago, whatmichaelsays said:

Why can't we cater to both? Why is it an issue of "either/or" or "rather one than the other"?

There are so many barriers to people getting involved with the community game that make it a pretty slow horse to back. For one, it's a big commitment for people to make and for another, you've got to tackle the many issues that prevent kids from getting involved - PlayStations and parents probably being the two biggest barriers. 

Why the the bloke watching every week on TV not a "true" supporter? It really does strike me as a form of snobbery to look down on those people? 

We can have both.  I didn't say it was a choice; I said "I prefer"

I am not really into athletics but I don't mind watching it ocasionally, for example, when the Olympics are on. Therefore I might enjoy it when I do so but I wouldn't consider myself as much as a true supporter of it as those who go out and watch it live week in, week out.

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35 minutes ago, RL does what Sky says said:

I am not really into athletics but I don't mind watching it ocasionally, for example, when the Olympics are on. Therefore I might enjoy it when I do so but I wouldn't consider myself as much as a true supporter of it as those who go out and watch it live week in, week out.

I think I've met him.

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13 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

It is self evident that we will introduce more people to the game by spreading ot wider than narrowing it

And also self-evident that we will lose people by not giving backing to clubs already in existance.

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19 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

We arent backing anything.

There is no money going to expansion that isnt going to Oldham

The fact is that there is no money to give to Oldham. To.get that money we need to bring more in.

To bring more in we need more people engaging and we literally cant get more people engaging by appealing to exactly the same people with exactly the same product.

I didn't say the backing had to be financial.  Bring in more people... yet many are being lost while existing clubs decline.

Edited by RL does what Sky says

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19 minutes ago, scotchy1 said:

You were telling me a week or so ago that places needed clubs to give kids heros, that clubs went in to schools and to amateur clubs to get kids playing and of towns didnt have semi pro clubs, never mind pro clubs amatuer numbers would collapse.

When I said Leigh did community engagement and not youth development you were outraged 

Now clubs do nothing and kids just turn up?

And you give kids coaches, referees, training times and fixture list they are not going to know what you are talking about, then go outside and pretend to get raheem sterling or Leo messi

We were talking about expansion areas here. Not Leigh.

Established RL areas are a different kettle of fish so of course Clubs in those areas do something. 

I didn't say hero's don't exist, you said it's easy to give kids hero's, I said it's hard to do that, especially so in Rugby League and even more so in expansion areas. 

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