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South Wales for Super League


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This is an extract from the programme, Chorley Magpies v South Wales, July 1996. Div 2.

It looks like the application for SL was successful. Passed by the RFL and endorsed by Maurice Lindsay.

What went wrong? Another missed opportunity??

 

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Edited by burnleywelsh
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I'll quote the book 'Tries in the Valleys - A History of RL in Wales' for this. It appears that the RL Council accepted the clubs application for membership of SL, but at the beginning of September, the RFL Board of Directors refused a final endorsement of the teams place in SL. A £1million guarantee of support was deemed 'insufficient'.  A couple of days later, a meeting of the clubs decided to place the South Wales team in the First Division for 1997 (2nd tier), but the club decided that it would not be financially viable and the 3 weeks later the club was closed altogether. Maurice Lindsay and Rodney Walker were apparently 'desperate' to get the team in SL, but the clubs weren't happy about having another team in SL and having to share the money out....

In the same book, Mike Nicholas states that they had financial backing for SL from Paul Thompson of Sanderson electronics, but when the decision to not give them a place in SL came, Thompson became involved with Sheffield Eagles. That meant that Gary Hetherington was able to leave Sheffield and go and be part of the team that 'saved' Leeds. On that, Mike Nicholas says in the book "Talk about politics and the kiss of death!"

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5 minutes ago, thirteenthman said:

Only the names are different. There are a multitude of issues behind RL's problems with expansion, but the self interest of the existing clubs is always a consistent theme. 

Everybody wants the game to expand , as long as they are part of it 

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2 hours ago, thirteenthman said:

but the clubs weren't happy about having another team in SL and having to share the money out....

A £1million bond, not sharing TV funds - deja vu for Gateshead and Toronto. Classic SL extortion technique.

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6 hours ago, eal said:

Rugby League will long regret the lack of a viable Welsh club in the top tier. Wales offers real potential for creating local interest and talent in the game.

This is the sad truth, South Wales could produce so much talent, it would have been a real shot in the arm for the national side too. A League 1 team is never going to do anything except give RL a presence, since the Welsh are a smart bunch, they love top level sport, but you don’t buy them off with the bottom level version, and there’s no monetary incentive for young kids to go to a lower league side.

As someone said earlier, everyone is in favour of expansion until it’s their teams place that’s threatened by it.

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30 minutes ago, Oldbear said:

This is the sad truth, South Wales could produce so much talent, it would have been a real shot in the arm for the national side too. A League 1 team is never going to do anything except give RL a presence, since the Welsh are a smart bunch, they love top level sport, but you don’t buy them off with the bottom level version, and there’s no monetary incentive for young kids to go to a lower league side.

As someone said earlier, everyone is in favour of expansion until it’s their teams place that’s threatened by it.

But doesn't the second sentence of your post highlight exactly the same problem " they love top level sport , but you don't buy them off with the bottom level sport " , this applies to everybody be that a Toronto , a South Wales , a Wigan or a Leigh 

Edited by GUBRATS
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6 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

But doesn't the second sentence of your post highlight exactly the same problem " they love top level sport , but you don't buy them off with the bottom level sport " , this applies to everybody be that a Toronto , a South Wales , a Wigan or a Leigh 

So the question is,  'Fastrack or Earn the Right', 'Invitation or Licence' for SL membership.

Some consider it should be a given right for certain clubs old or new - remember a couple of season's back the ghast and horror and 'it can't be allowed to happen' if Leeds were to get relegated, the same with Catalan in the MPG, now we have Toulouse, Toronto and London with calls that they should be playing in SL - and those who say such have scant regard for the hard work, ambition and investment other clubs make to be part of the elite and reap the rewards for making it a reality.

Fans of clubs like Wigan, Saints, Leeds etc have it easy and their claim to fame in the main is nothing more than a geographical accident of birth that they are born in those places, do they individually put more into the sport than a fervant fan of a less successful heartland club in fact I would say it is far far easier to support a continually successful team than a perpetual struggling one. 

As you say Gubby, everyone wants expansion as long as they are part of it, for some it will never happen and they get that, for others it is the 'holy grail' and for clubs like a resurgent York or a northeast Newcastle it is nessacary to keep the momentum going.

As long as a pathway is leading to a SL entrance gate accessed by on-field acheivement the game will be in a much better condition than if the gate is shut, fans will turn their backs and walk away, investors will keep their purse strings tied up and it will not only be the 'pro' clubs affected it will in time (shorter I believe than some consider) have an adverse effect on the communities and amatuer game in those places and when that happens the 'elite' will suffer also.

So both you and Oldbear in my opinion are very correct in that if the SL insist on and the RFL let it happen to 'buy them off with bottom level sport' consequences will follow.

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10 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

South Wales is an area with a lot of Rugby League potential 

Off course it is, always was always will be, the international team that has represented these shores over the years are testament to that, look at our representative team now without the Welsh influence and compare it to our most successful periods furnished with lots of Welshmen.

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RL doesn’t have give you a hope it’s looking to the future; seeking to diversify and strength the sport through growing commercially (an absolute requirement!). To then destroy those hopes... South Wales is sadly just another sorry tail in this vicious circle of institutional failure within the sport in the UK... 

... and why? We all know the reason...

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How many amateur teams/clubs are there in Newcastle/North East? How many are there in Wales?

This statistic is the key to whether a Pro team can survive and prosper in these and any new areas.

The raw talent exists, no doubt, but is the game sufficiently embedded, to provide the players, the fans, the sponsors, the money, the newspaper coverage, the local radio support, the enormous social media activity, the television programming which a self-sustaining professional sports club needs to continue to operate successfully.

Whatever else we do, in our attempts to spread the game, (David Argyle made a pretty good fist of it) we must continually increase the stats, mentioned in the first line. Newcastle  are  ably showing the way. I just don't understand why its not openly acknowledged and replicated by the RFL's/BARLA members in every part of the country.

If we don't do this work, we are just kidding ourselves and using and abusing naive (sometimes foolishly egotistical) backers funds, until they run dry and we go back to square one.

When we talk about ''marketing'' our game, efficient development work gives by far, the biggest bang for our buck.

Three cheers, for Bob Brown, Mick Hogan, the Cornish Rebels and all the other amateur club entrepreneurs.

We should get on our knees and say a silent prayer of thanks for their efforts. They represent the best hope for the future of our game. 

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7 minutes ago, fighting irish said:

How many amateur teams/clubs are there in Newcastle/North East? How many are there in Wales?

This statistic is the key to whether a Pro team can survive and prosper in these and any new areas.

Is that all new area's Irish?

More to the point, am I to assume you believe having a group of player's who are flown in to represent any particular City or area will not survive long term after the novelty wears thin without having a grass roots infrastructure to fall back on? 

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32 minutes ago, Harry Stottle said:

Please share!

The incessant negativity from people on here of course... 

(Clearly not being serious - but lack of clear strategic direction from the governing body; no investment centrally to ensure success; lack of oversight centrally to ensure success; lack of central control to ensure success; absolute self-interest from other clubs/parties hindering the ability of a new club to achieve success; targeting the wrong locations to improve chances of success; the fixation on history, nostalgia and the past to the detriment of future success... etc etc...)

Edited by GeordieSaint
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1 hour ago, Harry Stottle said:

Is that all new area's Irish?

More to the point, am I to assume you believe having a group of player's who are flown in to represent any particular City or area will not survive long term after the novelty wears thin without having a grass roots infrastructure to fall back on? 

If we are happy, with a business model which runs at a deficit (forever) and we have a benefactor who is willing to make up the deficit for the whole of his life and his families for generations to come. Then you can possibly survive without the local embedment I spoke of.

You might argue that with sufficient funds from television (Sky) you don't need a crowd, but I say unless we can pack the stadium with sufficient paying customers, to pay the bills what's the point?

If, like Manchester United the club had a global following it might be made to work but, I'm sure, if a massive global fanbase existed, we'd have no trouble filling the stadium with local fans.

Apart from most enthusiasts desire to see the game grow over time, as existing fans age and die, we need to have a mechanism to replace them (like McDonalds staff) with new young ones just to maintain the status quo, never mind grow.

The game (over time) consumes fans, players, and money, we need to make sure the feeder streams don't dry up.

It is my opinion that without a mechanism to bring new young people into the game in increasing numbers each year, stability and growth is a forlorn hope. Mick Hogan, would say (I heard him) that you have to have bottom up and top down methods, to make it work, he's entitled to know.

What I'm saying is that whatever else you do in your attempts to build sustainability and promote growth you must at least, have a means of introducing new young people each year to the game in a way which makes them lifelong lovers of the game.

I believe the best way to do that is by getting a ball into their hands and making it possible for them to score a try. 

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54 minutes ago, fighting irish said:

have a means of introducing new young people each year to the game in a way which makes them lifelong lovers of the game.

 

Irish I don`t want to sound flippant on this topic but I saw  someone mention the aging demographic of RL fans  and it got me thinking about all those crowd scenes of middle age  and over men that you so often see in the terraces at League matches. Surely all these blokes are Grandfathers and uncles and fathers and why aren`t they bringing the next generation of supporters along, boys and girls. If I am fortunate enough to ever  have Grandkids I` d like to think that I`ll be taking them along to the things I enjoy like I did with my Grandfather. No match is ever packed out enough that surely one or two kids per adult can`t get be allowed to get in for free or at least some other promo to encourage adults to bring kids with them.

When we are young we are very impressionable and an afternoon on the terraces in a cheering and singing crowd could create that lifelong connection. Crikey , they may even sign up for a season if Grandad takes them down on registration day.

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