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Your teams ambitions and would it affect your support


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Just now, Harry Stottle said:

Hi Keith, and if a closed shop was reinstated and Widnes were on the outside would it affect your thinking?

Define closed shop I suppose. If it was a return to franchising and you could in effect win your way back through organic growth off the field growth I'd be somewhat OK with that provided it was applied stringently and reviewed regularly. I think it would have a negative impact on the on-field product though in the lower divisions. 

If it's just, we're closing the door now and that's it forever, I wouldn't be happy. Not even because I'd be that desperate to be at the top table but because I know it would kill interest in game outside of that division. My conception of what my club should look like couldn't happen in that system because I think interest and money would drain away. 

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I was born to run a club like this. Number 1, I do not spook easily, and those who think I do, are wasting their time, with their surprise attacks.

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11 hours ago, DI Keith Fowler said:

Define closed shop I suppose. If it was a return to franchising and you could in effect win your way back through organic growth off the field growth I'd be somewhat OK with that provided it was applied stringently and reviewed regularly. I think it would have a negative impact on the on-field product though in the lower divisions. 

If it's just, we're closing the door now and that's it forever, I wouldn't be happy. Not even because I'd be that desperate to be at the top table but because I know it would kill interest in game outside of that division. My conception of what my club should look like couldn't happen in that system because I think interest and money would drain away. 

Pretty much this.

I've whinged about it enough. Licencing returns, I'm done. But this isn't yet another licencing debate. We've all done that to death.

I've seen fev at the bottom, but at the time were the best they could be....and I'm OK with that. If I followed dews or batley (and I quite like both clubs), I'd be happy if they were the best they could be.

 

Edited by Robin Evans
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For me it would depend if they had reached an absolute dead end of their ambition.

Taking the Batley example, I could easily support my team in their situation. Yes they're unlikely to be a Super League team anytime soon but with the right financial backing, signings, player development etc there isn't a ceiling to what they can achieve even if it's unlikely and there's still a feeling of trying to build something.

If it were a case of closed shop or the club stating they never intend being anything but a Super League feeder team for the next fifty years then i'm not so sure. I'd probably still attend games just for love of the sport, but I don't think i'd be able to get excited them. I certainly wouldn't be putting as much money into the sport as I do now. 

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18 minutes ago, fevtom said:

For me it would depend if they had reached an absolute dead end of their ambition.

Taking the Batley example, I could easily support my team in their situation. Yes they're unlikely to be a Super League team anytime soon but with the right financial backing, signings, player development etc there isn't a ceiling to what they can achieve even if it's unlikely and there's still a feeling of trying to build something.

If it were a case of closed shop or the club stating they never intend being anything but a Super League feeder team for the next fifty years then i'm not so sure. I'd probably still attend games just for love of the sport, but I don't think i'd be able to get excited them. I certainly wouldn't be putting as much money into the sport as I do now. 

I do sympathise with that perspective - if you're asking fans to turn up there has to be some hope.

I suppose the logical next question is "is it possible to adjust that hope?" There is also the alternative to that which suggests that you change what you're offering from being "hope based" to "enjoyment based".

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On 23/01/2021 at 20:37, Oldbear said:

I got thinking about this when I posted a reply on the Broncos ground thread, so I’m opening it up a bit.

If your club was in the Championship and you had a good set up, won the majority of games, produced local youngsters and were stable, would you be happy with that as your future, accepting that each year your best talent is picked off by SL. Or would you lose interest, maybe not attend so often, feeling let down by the apparent lack of ambition, even though you know in your own heart that to go for broke and the top level, could literally mean that. In other words a club like Batley seems to have accepted its lot, but is unlikely to run into financial issues, would that suffice for you if it meant your club would be there every week, or is it no ambition, no support?

It is a good question, as a Batley fan I can say the 'supposed' lack of ambition to get to SL doesn't really bother me too much. Personally speaking, I go as much for the craiq, meeting friends and family and other like minded fans as for the game itself. There is so few of us, you know most fans by face, if not by name. I started going with my dad 40 odd years ago, as he did with his dad in the late 50's, and I now do with my son and daughter. I live 100 miles away from Batley and we will continue to go to most games home and away, it is tradition, no, scratch that, it's a religion. 

I am extremely lucky to have quite a large group of friends that are St. Helens season ticket holders, who have let me borrow their season tickets when they cannot make it to games. I have probably gone to 70-80% of Saint's home games (pre covid) for the last 3 or 4 seasons. But, for me it is a bit like going to the cinema, I really enjoy going, Saints are entertaining to watch, but I'm not moved, or too bothered whether they win or lose. I don't feel the need to shout "encouragement" at the ref, or the players on either side for example, like I do whilst watching Batley. 😉

I cannot imagine watching Batley is too dis-similar to watching a SL team outside of Wigan, Saints or Leeds. Except, at Batley you can rock up 10 minutes beore kickoff, get a parking space and a pie and a pint prior to the game starting.😉

Realistically, whoever you choose to watch outside of those 3, there is next to no chance of watching continual success, for the same reasons as Batley are never likely to get to the top of the game.

Fundamentally, most sporting success, and this not just confined to RL, is based upon the amount to money somebody is willing to throw at a team. The more money a team has, the more success they will achieve. I hear, and understand the arguments about clubs being businesses, but most are not really, they just happen to have a guy willing to put in more money than most of the other clubs. What happens if that guy pulls his investment out, gets bored, throws his toys out of the pram? Where is the club then?

There will be the odd freak season, where a team exceeds all expectation, like Salford the other year. Although, if one of the minnows does have a good season, the majoirty of players that got them a glimpse of success, are picked off by a club with more financial clout the following season, so they are back to rebuilding again. Same happened at Batley after we won the NR Cup in 2010 and again in 2012 when we finished 3rd in the league, Karl Harrison left and took most of the better players to Halifax with him. 

I think part of the issue is most sport has become so easy to predict. Is it really entertaining knowing most weeks your opposition has next to no chance of winning the game? I would admit that it is better as a fan, going in to a game expecting to win, rather than lose, but surely it is far better not knowing the likely result before the game is played. 

As a fan of one of the majority of clubs with no chance of success, you are left hoping for the odd freak result rather than winning trophy's, where your team can defy the odds and beat much fancied opposition may be once or twice a season. Like Batley turning over the Fev, Toulouse or the Leigh's of this world, or if you support Hull KR for example, turning over one the big 3, rather than winning the league or GF.  

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For me with Sheffield i am happy to be going along trying to win the championship but I wouldnt want to get to Super League in the near future. There is a lot to work on off the field but it would be nice to, as we did with the 1895 cup, have a bit of success along the way. 

If we were never to be in a position to be in Super League that is ok too, after the club going pop not so long back and nearly doing it again even less far back i wouldnt want to lose the club just for a year in the sun of Super League that bankrupts the club in the long run. 

I understand others and perhaps 10-15 years of solid building work down the line maybe Eagles would look better but at the moment what worries me is the pressure of Promotion and Relegation (though hopefully the latter will not be too much of a worry) stops the other important work that people, with limited time and resource, need to do. 

 

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1 hour ago, Tommygilf said:

I do sympathise with that perspective - if you're asking fans to turn up there has to be some hope.

I suppose the logical next question is "is it possible to adjust that hope?" There is also the alternative to that which suggests that you change what you're offering from being "hope based" to "enjoyment based".

There might be a way to make winning the Championship more of an achievement in its own right. I'm sure some people still see it that way but let's be honest, at the moment most see it as a celebration of getting into Super League more than the value of the trophy itself, or at least that's true for the clubs that are likely to win it.

Anyway, we don't want to derail this into a structure debate when I believe the original post was more about the ambitions of individual clubs. I just don't think it's necessarily true that clubs like Batley don't have any ambition to be more than they currently are. I've found most Championship fans are realistic about their prospects and love watching their team competing at that level but also don't see a reason why a town like Castleford can support a top 12 team but Halifax or Batley can't with the right investment.

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I'd guess that Leigh have won more games ( % wise ) as a pro RL team than any other club in the world over the last 20 years , so should I be happy with that ? , Or would I be happier with us winning a much lower number over the next 20 years if that meant playing in SL ? 

Big fish in little pond ? 

Or little fish in big pond ?

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5 hours ago, DOGFATHER said:

It is a good question, as a Batley fan I can say the 'supposed' lack of ambition to get to SL doesn't really bother me too much. Personally speaking, I go as much for the craiq, meeting friends and family and other like minded fans as for the game itself. There is so few of us, you know most fans by face, if not by name. I started going with my dad 40 odd years ago, as he did with his dad in the late 50's, and I now do with my son and daughter. I live 100 miles away from Batley and we will continue to go to most games home and away, it is tradition, no, scratch that, it's a religion. 

I am extremely lucky to have quite a large group of friends that are St. Helens season ticket holders, who have let me borrow their season tickets when they cannot make it to games. I have probably gone to 70-80% of Saint's home games (pre covid) for the last 3 or 4 seasons. But, for me it is a bit like going to the cinema, I really enjoy going, Saints are entertaining to watch, but I'm not moved, or too bothered whether they win or lose. I don't feel the need to shout "encouragement" at the ref, or the players on either side for example, like I do whilst watching Batley. 😉

I cannot imagine watching Batley is too dis-similar to watching a SL team outside of Wigan, Saints or Leeds. Except, at Batley you can rock up 10 minutes beore kickoff, get a parking space and a pie and a pint prior to the game starting.😉

Realistically, whoever you choose to watch outside of those 3, there is next to no chance of watching continual success, for the same reasons as Batley are never likely to get to the top of the game.

Fundamentally, most sporting success, and this not just confined to RL, is based upon the amount to money somebody is willing to throw at a team. The more money a team has, the more success they will achieve. I hear, and understand the arguments about clubs being businesses, but most are not really, they just happen to have a guy willing to put in more money than most of the other clubs. What happens if that guy pulls his investment out, gets bored, throws his toys out of the pram? Where is the club then?

There will be the odd freak season, where a team exceeds all expectation, like Salford the other year. Although, if one of the minnows does have a good season, the majoirty of players that got them a glimpse of success, are picked off by a club with more financial clout the following season, so they are back to rebuilding again. Same happened at Batley after we won the NR Cup in 2010 and again in 2012 when we finished 3rd in the league, Karl Harrison left and took most of the better players to Halifax with him. 

I think part of the issue is most sport has become so easy to predict. Is it really entertaining knowing most weeks your opposition has next to no chance of winning the game? I would admit that it is better as a fan, going in to a game expecting to win, rather than lose, but surely it is far better not knowing the likely result before the game is played. 

As a fan of one of the majority of clubs with no chance of success, you are left hoping for the odd freak result rather than winning trophy's, where your team can defy the odds and beat much fancied opposition may be once or twice a season. Like Batley turning over the Fev, Toulouse or the Leigh's of this world, or if you support Hull KR for example, turning over one the big 3, rather than winning the league or GF.  

Totally loved your post, no surprise since going to Batley was always a highlight for me when I lived in the UK. I’m in a way glad you didn’t risk it all for a season in the sun, it could have done irreparable damage, because, as you so correctly say in your post, every time one of the minnows rears it’s head and has a special season, it then sees its best players picked off by the big boys. Batley to me is what community RL is about, the stadium is tidy, comfortable and looks good on TV, despite the slope. The fans are passionate and welcoming and the club does not lurch from one financial crisis to another. The game needs to find a way to keep well run clubs like Batley, in a vibrant competition that’s worth winning, whilst still allowing movement to the very top for those with the ambition, and most importantly the finance, backed by a committed owner, who is not going to run at the first sign of adversity.

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