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London Broncos Moving Update


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1 hour ago, crashmon said:

Its not Wimbledon or the dons fans that any Broncos fan blames for the mess London are in right now. We know exactly who has put us where we are, Part time and fighing to avoid relegation with the weakest squad in the 30 years of London history.  So I would not expect any bad blood between London and Wimbledon when it comes to supporters or to the respective clubs.

I still think 200k rent is far too much for a struggling part time team, but again thats not the fault of the dons, but the leadership of London agreeing to that in the first place.

We don’t know for certain how much the rent is, to be fair, and it will have been negotiated post the PT decision. 

I believe stuff like this shows Wimbledon aren’t in it for a quick buck. Yes, ultimately they want to make money from the groundshare but they are in for the long term & they will be active to help make it a success.

It’s not going to be a ‘pull in a big crowd for the first game then forget about it’ thing. I fully expect Broncos games to be marketed by Wimbledon almost as if it was a Dons football team playing. 

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5 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

It’s not going to be a ‘pull in a big crowd for the first game then forget about it’ thing. I fully expect Broncos games to be marketed by Wimbledon almost as if it was a Dons football team playing. 

I was hoping that was the case, but after the part-time decision, I just can't see it. They seem completely directionless. The move to Plough Lane suggested ambition; then moving to part-time suggested consolidation. They would have been better staying at Trailfinders if they were doing the latter.

It is a really strange situation that feels like another completely wasted opportunity. The move feels tainted by this downgrading.

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1 hour ago, Wellsy4HullFC said:

I was hoping that was the case, but after the part-time decision, I just can't see it. They seem completely directionless. The move to Plough Lane suggested ambition; then moving to part-time suggested consolidation. They would have been better staying at Trailfinders if they were doing the latter.

It is a really strange situation that feels like another completely wasted opportunity. The move feels tainted by this downgrading.

The plan seems to be part-time, Plough Lane and potential growth instead of full-time, Trailfinders and possible death. 

Give it time, chief. Rome wasn’t built in a day. 

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1 hour ago, Man of Kent said:

The plan seems to be part-time, Plough Lane and potential growth instead of full-time, Trailfinders and possible death. 

Give it time, chief. Rome wasn’t built in a day. 

I just don't see how dropping to part time and potential growth go together.

I can't see this ending well in that situation. They're going to be less competitive than previously, which isn't going to bring the fans in.

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6 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

The plan seems to be part-time, Plough Lane and potential growth instead of full-time, Trailfinders and possible death. 

Give it time, chief. Rome wasn’t built in a day. 

I don’t know what the rent was at Trailfinders but I don’t see why that would’ve meant possible death anymore then if we move to Plough Lane?

Rome wasn’t built in a day but it wasn’t moved every few years either!

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8 minutes ago, westlondonfan said:

I don’t know what the rent was at Trailfinders but I don’t see why that would’ve meant possible death anymore then if we move to Plough Lane?

Rome wasn’t built in a day but it wasn’t moved every few years either!

I get that the facilities weren't exactly great, but for a part time team, which they're becoming, it would have been ideal.

Moving to Plough Lane and staying full time would have been good if they had intentions of getting back to SL, but it just seems an expensive home. A bit like Salford.

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I believe Trailfinders was effectively rented by the hour. To rent that sort of level facility non-league football stadium in London for a matchday you are looking at a few grand.

Throw in extra rental for academy games, training for all sides, women's games etc and my bet is it totalled well shy of £200k p.a  (The minimum rental figure p.a. according to information from Dons Trust from memory.)

I'd also be surprised if Dons have negotiated this down. The part time decision was made a while back and Dons probably knew. We are also told they had other sides wanting to share, why should they reduce the figure. £200k for a ground of that standard in London, and a cut of some facility takings, is not outrageous.

For next year you also need to add on the rent at Richmond, Rosslyn Park and - if Broncos announce northern day tripppers - a northern training base to make a fair comparison.

It seems likely the outgoings on rent are up considerably at a time central funding has been slashed and the support base devastated. If Broncos generate a new support base it will be a good move. If they don't...

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7 hours ago, Henson Park Old Firm said:

I sense a name change, Wimbledon Broncos

London Wombles

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8 hours ago, Wellsy4HullFC said:

I just don't see how dropping to part time and potential growth go together.

I can't see this ending well in that situation. They're going to be less competitive than previously, which isn't going to bring the fans in.

I thinl they have accepted they are not going to get promoted in 2022

Therefore the decision is to go part time 

 

Only problem with this being, that with the current squad and coach they are likeky to be relegated 

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1 minute ago, The storm said:

I thinl they have accepted they are not going to get promoted in 2022

Therefore the decision is to go part time 

 

Only problem with this being, that with the current squad and coach they are likeky to be relegated 

Which I get if that's their position, but then why move in to an expensive new home if that's the case?

It's like agreeing to move into a massive new house, but then quitting your job to become a student.

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The other issue is that they need to rebuild the fan base, and the only way you do that is by a winning team playing good rugby. You dont by having a weak squad getting hammered most games

Widnes will be interesting yardstick for London.  Not one of the top 4 teams, but in the 2nd group challenging for the playoffs. If London can get close to them, season might not be as big a disaster as we forsee, but if they ship a score like 40-16 or something, then I don't see many Dons fans converting

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  • 2 weeks later...

David Hughes speaks:

Club Owner and Chairman David Hughes has released a statement to London Broncos Supporters
As our Club enters an exciting new period in its history, making the move to the Cherry Red Records stadium in Wimbledon, I feel that now is the right time to give the supporters of the London Broncos an update on our plans and vision for the next chapter of Rugby League in London.
 
During my many years at the helm of this great Club, 25 years in fact, we have seen a number of wonderful players wear the shirt and we all have some terrific memories of moments we’ve witnessed that will always be a part of the Clubs folklore.
 
However, with the recent global pandemic taking it’s toll on many industries as well as the game of Rugby League we have had a very difficult, and at times miserable, period to contend with that none of us could predict 2 years ago when we were relegated from Super League with a points tally that in most seasons would have kept us comfortably in the top flight.

I have always supported this Club financially and will continue to do so. My son Jack is a huge supporter of the Club and our family care enormously about the future of Rugby League in London, but with the cut in central funding for 2022 at around 80% and a previous 12 months where we saw attendances and fixtures decimated by Covid I felt that now was the sensible time to action a plan that will protect the long term future of the London Broncos.
 
There have been wholesale changes around the Club in terms of Staff and Players, we are making the move to Wimbledon to play in the wonderful Cherry Red Records Stadium, and we have started the process of restructuring our youth set up and Community Club links.
 
For our Club to get back to the Super League, and to rekindle some of those memories we all have, there will need to be a period of re-building, laying strong foundations, and that period is starting now but we will need all of you to help us make this work.
 
I’ve appointed a young, highly spoken of, Head Coach who is impressing me with his enthusiasm during the transition to part-time and I am genuinely delighted with the squad we have assembled on the budget we have allocated him. There are some very talented players in there alongside the experienced older heads that every team needs to bring on the younger players. We’ve also got a number of hungry ‘project’ players that could prove to be astute signings from the league below us. There is no doubt that at times we will face sides much stronger than us and we will have to strap in and give our players the backing they need in every game this coming season.

Once again we have promoted a handful of players from our Academy and this pathway has to be preserved for the long term future of Professional Rugby League in London.
There will be occasions, as with Ramon Silva only last week, when a Super League Club see one of our Academy kids in a competitive fixture and make a move for them before they even make our first team. Unfortunately that is the game of Rugby League and it is difficult to stand in the way of a young man who has a leading Club offering him a contract. We do all we can to make early offers to our young players and will use the Reserves competition this year to try and secure the most talented players in our Academy much earlier.
 
Away from the field we are continuing to secure good sponsorships and partnerships with companies and that this years shirt sponsorship total is the highest financial package since 2014 shows that there are businesses willing to get behind the Broncos, even after such tough times for so many. The corporate facilities at the stadium are going to give us further opportunities in this area and will be a significant improvement on what we can offer corporate clients and our Business Club members. Our Commercial team are being pushed and challenged to increase this continuously as it is an integral part of a long term future.
 
Our Ladies team is getting ready to play its second season and this addition to the London Broncos family was a rare positive in what turned out to be ultimately a disappointing 2021 season for the Club. I’m sure Colin and his squad will go from strength to strength this coming year and I am looking forward to seeing more of them, hopefully getting to a game in 2022.
 
And then probably the most positive move of all for me, the relocation of the match days to Wimbledon and the new stadium built by AFC Wimbledon. I’m fully aware that some have questioned this move. I’m also fully aware that our Club has moved around far too much in the past, sometimes not within our own control of course. But I want to be clear that this move is the best opportunity the London Broncos has for long term survival. There is no other option available to us like this one.

Yes, we could play at a second or third tier Rugby Union venue but what is the long term option for that? We could have played at a non-league football club in recent years with the low numbers coming through the gates due to a mixture of Covid and poor displays on the field. But once again, where do we go from there in 5 years time?

Plough Lane, or to give it the correct name of the Cherry Red Records stadium, is going to give us the opportunity to develop a crowd over a period of time that eventually will see the Club become self sufficient, or very close to being so.
5000 fans in 3 years has to be the target. That is where we need to be and we have got the best chance of achieving that in the Wimbledon area and with AFC Wimbledon Football Club as partners in my opinion.
 
This will not be easy. It will not happen overnight. There will be occasions when it may appear to not be working but we need every supporter of our Club, every fan of the great sport of Rugby League in the South East of England, to get behind this move and help to make the most of this opportunity we are presented with. If you are a former pass holder or spectator please take this chance to come back and engage with the Club. If you’re a pass holder or current attendee then bring a friend, introduce a colleague to our sport and most of all spread the word of the Broncos when you can.
 
There are so many other ways you can assist the Club. We have reduced the cost of Player Sponsorships and introduced a new training kit option for entry level sponsors. There is the Squad Builder fund which will give away a Corporate Hospitality Box for every game, not something many Squad Builder funds offer elsewhere. By supporting these two things alone can cover the costs of 3 or 4 players for 2023.
You can support the Clubs Academy system by playing the Community Rugby League Lotto, even just a pound each week. The Supporters Groups LBSA and BOSG offer you ways to generate revenue for the Club, reach out to them and offer yourself up as a volunteer.
 
I will end by reiterating my earlier statement. I am as committed to the London Broncos as ever and will give my backing to the necessary restructuring and evolution at the Club but we need your support too.
 
This is not a project for today it is a project for tomorrow.

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7 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

I am genuinely delighted with the squad we have assembled on the budget we have allocated him

 

8 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

5000 fans in 3 years has to be the target. That is where we need to be and we have got the best chance of achieving that in the Wimbledon area and with AFC Wimbledon Football Club as partners in my opinion.

The problem is that you need a winning team to generate fans, that is more key than a shiny stadium. I don't see 5K in three years, but lets wait an see how many fans we have first 5-6 home games in the new season.

Also this

 

12 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

We could have played at a non-league football club in recent years with the low numbers coming through the gates due to a mixture of Covid and poor displays on the field.

The reason for the poor gates was not covid, it was

  • Stupid season ticket hike of over 200% for some people
  • Worst squad we had in my memory which caused the poor performances on the field (and last year we had Danny Ward and Jaimie Langley)

So with our 2022 squad being pretty much 75% ex Skolars \ WWR players, plus a few other potentials from Aus coming in, I don't see this years squad doing any better than last year (and considering most of the other champ squads are stronger). If we get early injuries then we will really struggle.

Also why are we playing 5 games away in a row in the football off season, when there is little other live sport on, when this would be the ideal time to have special offers to draw in fans.  This does not work, and its been proved to not work at other stadiums we have rented, having 5 games on the road breaks up any runs we might have going.

I'll probably attend one or two games, but sorry David, I'm not coming to watch us lose to 60 points to Fax,when the squad budget is so low, even if we was playing at Arsenal or Spurs swanky new stadiums.  Your not going to get 5K fans as a bottom half champ side

When you tell us your plans on how you you will get a squad competing for promotion to SL, then let us know.

 

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3 minutes ago, crashmon said:

why are we playing 5 games away in a row in the football off season,

If the arrangement is the same as the last time we shared a football ground then it will be to allow the club whose ground it really is time to reseed the pitch and make any other ground alterations.

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