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How much does the success (or not) of football teams affect the support of RL clubs in the same area? 
 

This season I’ve found myself wanting Wigan to get relegated, Hull to miss out on promotion and Barrow to go back down, because for no reason I’ve thought if they do well it will harm RL in those places. Is that right though, or is there little/no relationship between football and RL teams from the same places? I’ve never lived anywhere with teams in both sports other than Sheffield, where they obviously don’t compete for fans, so haven’t ever experienced competition between the two sports. 

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I went to Uni with two massive Wigan athletic fans who made a point of following rugby union to spite RL

Petty. I imagine many RL fans follow a football team and vice versa, there’s natural crossover, and there’s the summer/winter thing. There’s nothing to be gained by making local football clubs an

Technically I agree, but in Halifax where I live there is genuine animosity and very little crossover between the two sets of fans. Anecdotally I’ve heard it’s the same in Hull and Wigan 

It really has no effect on RL support in Hull. For the most part you are either a RL supported or a football supporter in this city. Sure, everyone finds themselves checking for the scores of all the city's teams but you only properly follow one sport. The fans are completely different people and you find a loyal core for both sports who aren't going to waver from that support and really aren't that interested in going to the other sport. I know football fans who couldn't care less about RL and only ever mention it when they want to mock it or put it down. Similarly, I think I have been to a grand total of 3 Hull City games in my life and that was just when I've been dragged to them when someone's got a spare season ticket going, I wouldn't choose to spend money on a game.

If you look at the average attendances for the RL clubs they are pretty consistent over the years, even when Hull City were in the Premier League and that is because the casual support for them was not drawn from RL supporters but from people who wouldn't normally find themselves that interested in live sport and just went for the event. A lot of people were drawn into premier league football from further out of the city but don't go now they are down in the 3rd division. You have to take into account a larger away support for Premier league games as well. 

So yeah, like I say, RL and football support are completely separate, not many people go to both or are even particularly interested in both. You have nothing to fear. 

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14 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

Petty.

I imagine many RL fans follow a football team and vice versa, there’s natural crossover, and there’s the summer/winter thing. There’s nothing to be gained by making local football clubs an enemy.

Technically I agree, but in Halifax where I live there is genuine animosity and very little crossover between the two sets of fans.

Anecdotally I’ve heard it’s the same in Hull and Wigan 

Edited by Phil
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I do wonder if the Knights relative success might have something to do with York City being more or less completely useless for years and years. And it's not just down to on the pitch stuff, a lot of City fans feel alienated from the club for lots of reasons that I won't bore you all with. In my case I started going because I was curious about the Knights, and I soon found that here was a team I could get excited about watching. Even when City were reasonably successful (making the League 2 playoffs in 2014) they were awful to watch. Now they're playing the likes of Guiseley and Curzon Ashton there's even less reason to be interested.

If you're a City fan it's not like you're just going to throw your hands up and support Leeds Utd instead, but taking in a live RL game could become a habit.

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7 minutes ago, Phil said:

Technically I agree, but in Halifax where I live there is genuine animosity and very little crossover between the two sets of fans.

Anecdotally I’ve heard it’s the same in Hull and Wigan 

That’s a shame as ultimately it harms both clubs. 

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I would have thought that the biggest potential for conflict is when both clubs share a stadium, if the football team is on the up, then it appears that the RL team has issues with ground availability, however if the football team is not doing well, then somehow those availability issues magically seem to be not so significant (although Rochdale fans may tell a different story).

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Here at barrow we get a certain amount of fans who drift between the two. You also have fans who hope each other fails. Me personally would love to see the day the football go bust. I do think we will end up sharing a ground on day as long as it’s a 50/50 share I can live with that. 

Edited by Butch
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I think Leeds United would halve their support in a day if they turned away all the Cas/Wakey/Fev/Bulls fans who support them.

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8 hours ago, Phil said:

Technically I agree, but in Halifax where I live there is genuine animosity and very little crossover between the two sets of fans.

It's definitely got worse since the clubs started sharing The Shay.

My family was unusual because it supported both clubs but you didn't see too many crossover faces at games.

Now, there is a number of Halifax Town FC fans (check out their forum), who used to go to Thrum Hall, who swear they'll never watch Halifax RLFC again.

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Just now, Hopping Mad said:

It's definitely got worse since the clubs started sharing The Shay.

My family was unusual because it supported (past tense, these days) both clubs but you didn't see too many crossover faces at games.

Now, there is a number of Halifax Town fans (check out that forum), who used to go to Thrum Hall, who swear they'll never watch Halifax RLFC again.

 

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Seems to me looking in from nearby that Wigan Athletic and Wigan rugby league fans are two very separate tribes in that place.

In fact some Wigan Athletic fans actually support St Helens rugby league such is the rivalry in the town between football/rugby.

Whether things are changing/have changed much in the last 15 years or so I don’t know.

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9 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

Petty.

I imagine many RL fans follow a football team and vice versa, there’s natural crossover, and there’s the summer/winter thing. There’s nothing to be gained by making local football clubs an enemy.

I agree it's petty but I do it too

I briefly scan the soccer results hoping Leeds, Hull, Wigan etc. lose

I have no regrets 

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Wow, I hadn't realised the animosity between the sports in rugby towns was so entrenched. 

I'll be honest, not coming from a rugby league town I don't really get it. 

I thought being a fan of a rugby club, or a lower division football team, was in part about having a strong connection and pride in your local community. So I find it odd that there's such friction, especially as, I assume the fans are largely from the same social class, so it's not the leagur/union thing. (Is that right?) 

I get that people just don't like one of the sports, and that leads to indifference - but to have a beef with them I just don't get. All the years I lived in London, and now down in Sussex, I've seen lots of heated rivalry within sports, but almost nothing between local clubs in different sports. 

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3 minutes ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

I agree it's petty but I do it too

I briefly scan the soccer results hoping Leeds, Hull, Wigan etc. lose

I have no regrets 

Genuine question: Why?

Is it that you dislike the sport of football in general, or you perceive a threat to rugby clubs from it? 

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As a kid I was taken to watch 'The Dale' at Spotland as they struggled through the old Division 4 seasons. I also got to go and watch Hornets at the Athletic Grounds, I can still recall the Fijians wowing the crowd and a period involving a decent run in the Floodlit Trophy.

Dale got promotion to Division 3 in the 68/69 season and this drew in me and my pals whilst going along to Hornets faded away.

Around the early 80's I returned to watching a lot of Hornets games. They weren't very good but I loved the backs to the wall spirit amongst supporters who went to the Athletic Grounds. 

When Morrisons bought the Hornets ground The Nets went to share with the football club up at Spotland. Hornets splashed the Morrisons dosh and got promoted. The brief change in fortune saw a temporary increase in Hornets crowds but for me personally watching them at the football stadium was alien and soulless. I still stuck with Rugby League but started travelling around cherry picking the best matches or games at quirky characterful stadiums. 

Still watch out for both Dale and Hornets fortunes though 🙂🏉🏐

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9 minutes ago, Ramon Rojo said:

As a kid I was taken to watch 'The Dale' at Spotland as they struggled through the old Division 4 seasons. I also got to go and watch Hornets at the Athletic Grounds, I can still recall the Fijians wowing the crowd and a period involving a decent run in the Floodlit Trophy.

Dale got promotion to Division 3 in the 68/69 season and this drew in me and my pals whilst going along to Hornets faded away.

Around the early 80's I returned to watching a lot of Hornets games. They weren't very good but I loved the backs to the wall spirit amongst supporters who went to the Athletic Grounds. 

When Morrisons bought the Hornets ground The Nets went to share with the football club up at Spotland. Hornets splashed the Morrisons dosh and got promoted. The brief change in fortune saw a temporary increase in Hornets crowds but for me personally watching them at the football stadium was alien and soulless. I still stuck with Rugby League but started travelling around cherry picking the best matches or games at quirky characterful stadiums. 

Still watch out for both Dale and Hornets fortunes though 🙂🏉🏐

It’s good you feel that way, although back in the 60’s I know from speaking to people of that generation, going to watch local rivals wasn’t unheard of although I can’t speak for Rochdale.

I know Liverpool/Everton fans who would take in games of the other team (unheard of now) and a similar situation with some fans of the Manchester clubs alternating between Old Trafford and Maine Rd depending upon who was at home.

I don’t know whether sport became more tribal though after the 1960’s.

 

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35 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

Wow, I hadn't realised the animosity between the sports in rugby towns was so entrenched. 

I'll be honest, not coming from a rugby league town I don't really get it. 

I thought being a fan of a rugby club, or a lower division football team, was in part about having a strong connection and pride in your local community. So I find it odd that there's such friction, especially as, I assume the fans are largely from the same social class, so it's not the leagur/union thing. (Is that right?) 

I get that people just don't like one of the sports, and that leads to indifference - but to have a beef with them I just don't get. All the years I lived in London, and now down in Sussex, I've seen lots of heated rivalry within sports, but almost nothing between local clubs in different sports. 

I’ll have a stab at guessing.

Since probably the late 1980’s there’s been a movement away from northern towns to cities (first London, but then later places like Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds).  This has acted like a major brain drain on these northern towns and along with other major economic events or trends many of these places have been hollowed out.  

Basically a lot of the young would be educated business class in these places have buggered off for the sunny uplands elsewhere leaving many of these places in a vicious circle of decline that their traditional councils have struggled to arrest.  There’s still some fighting the good fight but it is a difficult battle.

I reckon this has removed a fair amount of local civic pride as real decline and deprivation is left with often the wrong people blamed for its cause.  I think what’s left in terms of cultural identity is then more tied up in sports teams than the actual town you’re from.

Might be totally wrong there, but I think it’s part of the answer myself.

 

Edited by Gerrumonside ref
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10 hours ago, Man of Kent said:

Petty.

I imagine many RL fans follow a football team and vice versa, there’s natural crossover, and there’s the summer/winter thing. There’s nothing to be gained by making local football clubs an enemy.

I worked in Wigan in the 80's and 90s and the anger towards wigan RL from Latics fans was deep and bitter and not just a few but the RL fans were in different to football. So its not just a rl trend

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1 minute ago, ELBOWSEYE said:

I worked in Wigan in the 80's and 90s and the anger towards wigan RL from Latics fans was deep and bitter and not just a few but the RL fans were in different to football. So its not just a rl trend

That would be during Wigan RLs most dominant era , before the Latics recent succsses , I'd suggest that reversed to some extent during Wigan's time in the PL 

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2 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

That would be during Wigan RLs most dominant era , before the Latics recent succsses , I'd suggest that reversed to some extent during Wigan's time in the PL 

Not in the slightest. The football fans hate Wigan RL with a passion and were openly celebrating one of their own, Jack Welsby (a Wigan Athletic fan), scoring the winning try in the Grand Final. 

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10 hours ago, Phil said:

Technically I agree, but in Halifax where I live there is genuine animosity and very little crossover between the two sets of fans.

Anecdotally I’ve heard it’s the same in Hull and Wigan 

Incidentally I know of a few of Wigan FC fans who follow St Helens RLFC

Edited by Spidey
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We need as many people as possible to adopt Rugby League as their second sport no matter where they live in the U.K. 

Interestingly to me despite the long establishment of southern team in terms of London Broncos, most people I’ve met from the south who like the sport tend to like Wigan!  

There’s probably historic reasons for this surrounding old Challenge Cup finals and wanting to watch a winning team (I’m not a Wigan fan btw).

I see no point in slagging off these ‘adopters’ actual favourite sports or teams as it’s likely to be football.

 

 

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