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4 hours ago, Exiled Wiganer said:

, and to look back to, say ‘92, as relative glory days (though oddly enough if you judge our game by size of crowds we are getting far more domestically that in those days...). 

I always call BS on this so called glory period of Wigan dominance 

The game is far bigger and better now in every way

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Rugby League is the 5th most popular sport in the country.  https://www.statista.com/statistics/686971/highest-attended-types-of-sport-in-the-uk/ Of course we can all just use whatever stats

I wouldn’t put a penny on the validly of RFL participation figures being correct Ive worked within multiple youth set ups, schools and the amateur game for decades and will trust the veracity of

I mentioned it elsewhere, but I feel it deserves its own thread.  Seeing as we always hear people saying the game is declining in the UK or some even go as far as to say things like "dying a slow deat

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7 minutes ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

I get it includes participation of 'sports' like Kickboxing, yoga, keep fit classes etc 

In terms of proper sports then for interest/people who follow it / love it then I guess it's behind soccer, union and cricket but what else? 

I posted the full list of activities/sports which were ahead of RL in participation a little later in the thread.

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On 24/01/2021 at 17:14, OMEGA said:

I wouldn’t put a penny on the validly of RFL participation figures being correct

Ive worked within multiple youth set ups, schools and the amateur game for decades and will trust the veracity of my own eyes and experiences over massaged figures designed to impress Sport England Fund underwriters.

Ill give you one absolutely true example of how these numbers are counted.

One 14 year old player: plays for his school team, local amateur team, in a Pro Scholarship and sometimes plays in a touch n pass League with his dad.

He counted 4X on the participation numbers.

Repeat that to one extent or another for hundreds if not the low thousands of lads doing similar. The same for girls and masters who also play T&P.

Sometimes trying to see the positives in everything and denying the evidence in front of your eyes can be the absolute worst thing to do. We need to recognise the issues we have as a game and take some pretty immediate and meaningful actions to arrest the slide.

At a guess all sports do the same. participants make ££££'s from sports England/Government, wasn't it around 2012 that Sports England/Government caught up will a lot of sports and cut their funding just in time to finance the Olympics.

Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.

http://www.pitchero....hornemarauders/

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14 minutes ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

I always call BS on this so called glory period of Wigan dominance 

The game is far bigger and better now in every way

I think you'll find across the board there isn't any difference  once you factor in the average crowds for a season then and now. I did find a website that had all clubs average attendances going back to way before the 60's, The one thing that the crowds didn't show was how the clubs would always record a smaller crowd for tax reasons (Yes it did happen)

Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.

http://www.pitchero....hornemarauders/

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41 minutes ago, Marauder said:

I think you'll find across the board there isn't any difference  once you factor in the average crowds for a season then and now. I did find a website that had all clubs average attendances going back to way before the 60's, The one thing that the crowds didn't show was how the clubs would always record a smaller crowd for tax reasons (Yes it did happen)

Used to happen in football too. I remember being at a Merseyside Derby at Goodison once, around 1991, not an empty seat in the place and the terraces were rammed, but the official attendance was 39k. Must have been more like 45k. 

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2 hours ago, Dunbar said:

I posted the full list of activities/sports which were ahead of RL in participation a little later in the thread.

Fair enough but I always compare this sort of thing with yoga/swimming/cross fit whatever.. 

Rugby league is a fully professional team sport with big attendances, it's own grounds, a big TV deal, people wear the shirts around town, transfer/player gossip/ plenty of terrestrial telly coverage of games

Apart from soccer, cricket and the kick and clap what other sport has all that in England? 

 

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Just now, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

Fair enough but I always compare this sort of thing with yoga/swimming/cross fit  whatever.. where there are more people who 'play it' each week 

Rugby league is a fully professional team sport with big attendances, it's own grounds, a big TV deal, people wear the shirts around town, transfer/player gossip/ plenty of terrestrial telly coverage of games

Apart from soccer, cricket and the kick and clap what other sport has all that in England? 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Marauder said:

I think you'll find across the board there isn't any difference  once you factor in the average crowds for a season then and now. I did find a website that had all clubs average attendances going back to way before the 60's, The one thing that the crowds didn't show was how the clubs would always record a smaller crowd for tax reasons (Yes it did happen)

I don't doubt the crowds were under reported 

However, in the 'heyday' of 90s Wigan they were mostly the only profesional team and funnily enough smashed everyone else

It was boring and preduluctable when they won everything 

Not that they weren't good to watch of course 

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3 minutes ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

I don't doubt the crowds were under reported 

However, in the 'heyday' of 90s Wigan they were mostly the only profesional team and funnily enough smashed everyone else

It was boring and preduluctable when they won everything 

Not that they weren't good to watch of course 

This just isn't true no matter how often people repeat it.

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15 minutes ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

Fair enough but I always compare this sort of thing with yoga/swimming/cross fit whatever.. 

Rugby league is a fully professional team sport with big attendances, it's own grounds, a big TV deal, people wear the shirts around town, transfer/player gossip/ plenty of terrestrial telly coverage of games

Apart from soccer, cricket and the kick and clap what other sport has all that in England? 

 

I agree. If you look at paying spectators, tv audiences and participation then there is the list you name and then perhaps netball and then some of the more niche ones.

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4 hours ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

I always call BS on this so called glory period of Wigan dominance 

The game is far bigger and better now in every way

I wasn’t referring to the period because Wigan were dominating (to an unhealthy degree by that point), but it was around that time that our top players were household names and we were playing great games against the Aussies in front of very big crowds. We had RL on Grandstand on over a dozen weeks a year, with very good viewing figures. 

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1 hour ago, GUBRATS said:

Let's be clear here , many of the ' sports ' in the list aren't sports , but pastimes , keep fit isn't a sport , going to a gym isn't sport , jogging isn't a sport , horse racing exists to enable gambling 

And its not to denegrate those pastimes either because they have thier merit but..... 

Her indoors enjoys a jog and a bit of yoga..... However, she does not enjoy the anticipation of match day, the thrill of watching a great spectacle, the heartache of a beloved player being transferred (we'll miss you Eddie!), the excitement of winning, the heartache of loss, buying the new away shirt, dreaming about a final, worrying about our sport's future, expanding the game, the feeling we love something special, historic and meaningful... 

In my opinion RL has something that only 3 other sports in England share

 

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12 hours ago, Eddie said:

Used to happen in football too. I remember being at a Merseyside Derby at Goodison once, around 1991, not an empty seat in the place and the terraces were rammed, but the official attendance was 39k. Must have been more like 45k. 

Similar at Old Trafford. Officially I was only ever in one 50k+ crowd. Unofficially ...

But, even allowing for that, clubs in general are a lot better supported more consistently than 'back in the day'. For a lot of teams then it really was only the visit of Wigan (and one or two others depending on the home side's support's interests) and exceptional Cup games that would boost the average.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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10 hours ago, Damien said:

This just isn't true no matter how often people repeat it.

It’s not far off. They had more full time professionals than any other team during that era and from an earlier start point

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11 hours ago, Exiled Wiganer said:

I wasn’t referring to the period because Wigan were dominating (to an unhealthy degree by that point), but it was around that time that our top players were household names and we were playing great games against the Aussies in front of very big crowds. We had RL on Grandstand on over a dozen weeks a year, with very good viewing figures. 

With respect, in my opinion we never really had household names, and the most popular players had made their name in Union like Davies. 

I do wonder whether that late 80s/ early 90s period hits some psychological trigger about distance from now and rose tinted specs, but people weren't really talking about our test players like Hunte, Powell, Connolly, Newlove etc any more than they do now IMHO. 

An dit does pose the question that if we had household name snack then, maybe that ain't too important as we always struggled with sponsors and I come, and crowds were poor. 

We do have comparable test match crowds this decade and we have a lot of BBC presence. 

Edited by Dave T
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1 hour ago, Spidey said:

It’s not far off. They had more full time professionals than any other team during that era and from an earlier start point

They had no more than Leeds for starters and had several part time players with jobs into the 90s. This has been to death on here plenty of times.

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

With respect, in my opinion we never really had household names, and the most popular players had made their name in Union like Davies. 

I do wonder whether that late 80s/ early 90s period hits some psychological trigger about distance from now and rose tinted specs, but people weren't really talking about our test players like Hunte, Powell, Connolly, Newlove etc any more than they do now IMHO. 

An dit does pose the question that if we had household name snack then, maybe that ain't too important as we always struggled with sponsors and I come, and crowds were poor. 

We do have comparable test match crowds this decade and we have a lot of BBC presence. 

I've given you a like there as I tend to agree with you on this.

However, I wasn't into RL whatsoever in the late 80's/ early 90's but I had still heard of Martin Offiah and Ellery Hanley and one or two others. So I'd say they were definitely more famous, if not exactly household names. 

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14 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

I've given you a like there as I tend to agree with you on this.

However, I wasn't into RL whatsoever in the late 80's/ early 90's but I had still heard of Martin Offiah and Ellery Hanley and one or two others. So I'd say they were definitely more famous, if not exactly household names. 

As I mentioned in a previous thread.  

In 2004, Ellery Hanley came it at number 11 in a greatest black Briton survey.  The highest placed  sportsperson and ahead of Daley Thompson (17), Linford Christie (53) and footballers John Barnes (43) who were definitely household names.  Offiah was in the list as well.

They were definitely pretty famous in their day and (sadly) probably the players that most of the public would name today if asked to name a famous Rugby League player.

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22 hours ago, Dunbar said:

 

  • An increase in junior and community playing numbers (all ages and sexes)
     
  • An increases in attendances in the pro game - particularly elite levels Super League and Championship
     
  • An increase in TV audiences
     
  • An increase in the number of pro clubs and into new geographies

As I say, these can be described as interdependent on each other but they would each have very specific plans and investments needed to get to their respective goals and so where do we think the priorities should lie?

Definitely playing numbers. The RFL and the clubs have to face the fact though that substantial increases in Tackle are never going to happen. It has to be through a non-contact form that`s as close as possible to Tackle RL, to ensure all those playing it are officially counted in our statistics, and socially embedded in our game. This means favouring Oztag/League Tag over Touch, which in the UK is entangled with another code. Your stipulation in brackets is critical.

The potential for growth in UK RL attendances is limited by how many of our clubs represent towns rather than cities. 

Also definitely TV audiences. The dire nature of the coverage, and the paucity of internationals, continue to militate against growth.

The one criterion we should not judge ourselves by is the number of semi-pro clubs outside SL. It must be part of the 1895 legacy that maximising the number of players paid to play the game has been seen as a worthwhile end in itself.

This latter point was egregiously evident in the old debate between 1 or 2 divisions where smaller clubs wanted 1 division since the income they got from bigger clubs` away support was their only means of survival. Such pro clubs existed merely to fulfil fixtures. They did nothing to grow the game. Every penny spent on paying their players would have been better invested in development officers and the facilities of a local amateur club.

Putting these criteria together in relation to "new geographies". If a town beyond the heartlands builds a couple of community RL clubs, with good playing numbers and facilities, principally playing Tag, where everyone involved sees themselves as a RL player and/or fan, that is a better indication of success than if a pro club were established with hardly any fans, precariously living hand-to-mouth, draining resources in player payments.

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49 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

As I mentioned in a previous thread.  

In 2004, Ellery Hanley came it at number 11 in a greatest black Briton survey.  The highest placed  sportsperson and ahead of Daley Thompson (17), Linford Christie (53) and footballers John Barnes (43) who were definitely household names.  Offiah was in the list as well.

They were definitely pretty famous in their day and (sadly) probably the players that most of the public would name today if asked to name a famous Rugby League player.

Anyone over 50 might 

Sinfield/Farrell/Burrow would be more likely for younger people 

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Just now, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

Anyone over 50 might 

Sinfield/Farrell/Burrow would be more likely for younger people 

In the general public?

Burrow is the only one that stands a chance and that's not because he was good at playing rugby league.

The answer you're most likely to get from anyone born after the Grandstand age is silence.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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