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44 minutes ago, Harrogate Fire Ants said:

I have said it for a while with Scarborough Pirates back on the scene in the amateur game, the North Sea coastline could easily host another team whether that be near the Tees or Wear its a big enough distance from Hull, York or Newcastle to have another club at either Sunderland or Middlesbrough 

Didn’t know that about the Scarborough pirates. That’s great news. I saw them play Whitehaven at the recre when I was a kid back in the early 90’s and although I can’t remember anything of the game or result I always remember sitting near to who I presume was the pirates chairman in the old grandstand.

A semi-professional side from either Sunderland or Middlesbrough would be fantastic for the region and the game in general and quite possibly for the thunder as well in having a local rivalry. Could also help push the expansion of the grassroots game into areas in County Durham like Darlington and Hartlepool etc.

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In this week’s Pro-Am Community RL Show podcast, a chap from the Cornish Rebels stated their ambition to get into League One. Obviously they’ve got a long way to go but it’s good to hear an interview

In my eyes, no, just because you're trying to force an equivalence between two competitions that aren't equal in practice. You see this with the BUCS (University) competition, where there's a Premier

It is interesting to hear your perspective on this as a fellow northerner now in Cornwall. I must admit that for the very reasons you state are Cornwall's weaknesses re. sports clubs, I have alwa

4 minutes ago, Cumbrian Mackem said:

Didn’t know that about the Scarborough pirates. That’s great news. I saw them play Whitehaven at the recre when I was a kid back in the early 90’s and although I can’t remember anything of the game or result I always remember sitting near to who I presume was the pirates chairman in the old grandstand.

A semi-professional side from either Sunderland or Middlesbrough would be fantastic for the region and the game in general and quite possibly for the thunder as well in having a local rivalry. Could also help push the expansion of the grassroots game into areas in County Durham like Darlington and Hartlepool etc.

Agreed would be good RL areas,  always puzzled me that such working class areas like Darlington/Hartlepool, Rugby Union has such a presence.

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2 minutes ago, WakefieldCityLoyal said:

Agreed would be good RL areas,  always puzzled me that such working class areas like Darlington/Hartlepool, Rugby Union has such a presence.

Rugby union is played all throughout England and even has a presence in strong RL areas like wigan and Leeds etc.

From memory West Hartlepool was in the top flight before union went professional but like you I too agree that County Durham would be good for grassroots/amateur RL and a semi-professional Sunderland club could be a huge boost for that area.

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1 hour ago, Cumbrian Mackem said:

Didn’t know that about the Scarborough pirates. That’s great news. I saw them play Whitehaven at the recre when I was a kid back in the early 90’s and although I can’t remember anything of the game or result I always remember sitting near to who I presume was the pirates chairman in the old grandstand.

A semi-professional side from either Sunderland or Middlesbrough would be fantastic for the region and the game in general and quite possibly for the thunder as well in having a local rivalry. Could also help push the expansion of the grassroots game into areas in County Durham like Darlington and Hartlepool etc.

Totally agreed with all those points especially with the World Cup. Scarborough are back very recently with a women's and men's side which is great for the game. 

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1 hour ago, gingerjon said:

Creeping expansion is sticking pins in a map.

Absolutely, the sport can only creep successfully from the centre outwards imo. All of our teams bar Hull, Leeds, York, London and Newcastle are in the peripheries that are not cultural or local leaders.

Its fundamental to understanding why people in Bolton or Blackburn don't take up RL as being far more closely linked to what is popular in Manchester than in towns/suburbs next door. On the hierarchies of towns and cities, things very rarely go sideways below the top tiers. To crack Bolton, you're better off cracking Manchester first.

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3 hours ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

Has a club in rugby league ever been owned and run by the RFL? It would be a tough choice on which region to “creep” into and a tough sell to clubs why the RFL should fund the new club rather than existing clubs, oh and by the way the RFL spent £0 on Toronto and were not involved in either the running of or ownership of the club.

And look how that turned out ?

Weren't Melbourne essentially an NRL initiative ?

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5 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

And look how that turned out ?

Weren't Melbourne essentially an NRL initiative ?

Pretty successful, Toronto would still be in Super League if it wasn’t for Elstone. Still the points been missed, the RFL had nothing to do with running the club, it’s funding or its ownership. There is no comparison to make between Toronto and a fictional expansion League One club the RFL could run, fund and own. 

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2 hours ago, Harrogate Fire Ants said:

I have said it for a while with Scarborough Pirates back on the scene in the amateur game, the North Sea coastline could easily host another team whether that be near the Tees or Wear its a big enough distance from Hull, York or Newcastle to have another club at either Sunderland or Middlesbrough 

Look a confident looking bunch.

https://www.thescarboroughnews.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/photo-focus-scarborough-pirates-prepare-big-return-2021-3032421

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2 hours ago, Marauder said:

Who's is asking them to fund a club except for doing school development work and Toronto is a little bit further away than North Lancashire, North Lindsey or even the East Midlands. who knows, maybe the RFL could invest into the development then sell the product at a reasonable price to some interested party.

That was exactly what I meant , five years running in L1 and trying to build a community game in the area , then looking to find investors to take the club on , you'd have a set of accurate accounts to show , rather than ' pie in the sky ' guesses 

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1 hour ago, gingerjon said:

Creeping expansion is sticking pins in a map.

Yes ,but it is planned sticking pins in maps , by the RFL , after looking at the potential in an area , and by not going too far all at once it'd be much easier to find players,coaches and administrators 

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2 hours ago, newbe said:

If there is no central funding there will not be a league1. No offence but people have got to more realistic.

I first suggested this over a decade ago , I agree completely that currently , it is essentially impossible 

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11 hours ago, gingerjon said:

Dublin is on the same longitude as Manchester, more or less, so they'd have to be in League 1 North.

No, latitude.

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"We'll sell you a seat .... but you'll only need the edge of it!"

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51 minutes ago, GUBRATS said:

Yes ,but it is planned sticking pins in maps , by the RFL , after looking at the potential in an area , and by not going too far all at once it'd be much easier to find players,coaches and administrators 

Pie. Sky.

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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43 minutes ago, Griff said:

No, latitude.

That explains why my ships keep crashing into rocks that shouldn’t be there.

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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I cannot see League One adding any teams any time soon.  I think these post covid years will be a time to consolidate and ensure some of the weaker clubs (West Wales, Coventry, Skolars, North Wales) get through it unscathed.  I think the World Cup, whenever it happens will be a nice shot in the arm that will be felt at all levels of the game.  For some community clubs, it already has had an impact as their were recipients of WC grants.

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I wish Scarborough RL well and they should be able to tap into contacts in the Hull area. However,for those who dont know,Scarborough RUFC are extremely successful at their level. They sold their old ground and built very impressive facilities to the north of the town,including pitches,gym and a clubhouse that most RL Championship clubs would be pleased with - similar to West Park Leeds for those who know Bramhope.

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18 hours ago, zylya said:

Whether you do creeping expansion or not, think it's outside the remit of the RFL to build professional clubs.

Instead, they should be laying the groundwork for RL in a particular area, so tasks such as:

  • Market Research into the local area to identify RL demand & opportunities
  • Coaches into local schools + festivals for those schools to compete against each other, plus teacher training
  • Some sort of "Club Starter Kit" with some equipment (balls, cones, bibs etc) + targeted support (volunteer training, best practice guides, mentoring by RFL staff) to enable people to start setting up their own clubs, especially at junior level
  • Plans should be made on a 5-10 year cycle per region. Part of the initial market research should be assessing population levels etc with the aim of creating 4-6 team leagues so that clubs can grow at the same time without much travel. Any club that starts up and has to travel more than an hour or so for all of its fixtures is eventually going to struggle. By the time the programme comes to an end, RL in that region should be (mostly) self-sustainable.

If people then wanted to invest resources (whether time or money) into creating a club that could go for League 1, then you've got a local area that has a number of people involved in RL, therefore a potential fanbase, but also a potential feed of players. However, even if no club wanted to make the move up to the professional game, you'd still have introduced the sport to a new area in a sustainable fashion.

The current expansion plan seems to be "plonk a professional team down somewhere (wherever the money man wants it) and hope for the best."

I listened to the podcast with Cornish Rebels though and they seem to have some of the right ideas. I think Community Clubs outside the heartlands with an aspiration of playing in League 1 need to see it as a 10-15 year project to get to the level required. Not so much because of players - after all, anyone with some money could assemble a decent-enough squad, but in terms of infrastructure to ensure that club survives for the long-term.

 👏 💯% spot on. 

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18 hours ago, Harrogate Fire Ants said:

I have said it for a while with Scarborough Pirates back on the scene in the amateur game, the North Sea coastline could easily host another team whether that be near the Tees or Wear its a big enough distance from Hull, York or Newcastle to have another club at either Sunderland or Middlesbrough 

Or Darlington 

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3 hours ago, cookey said:

I wish Scarborough RL well and they should be able to tap into contacts in the Hull area. However,for those who dont know,Scarborough RUFC are extremely successful at their level. They sold their old ground and built very impressive facilities to the north of the town,including pitches,gym and a clubhouse that most RL Championship clubs would be pleased with - similar to West Park Leeds for those who know Bramhope.

Scarborough Pirates play at Cayton to the South of the town so hopefully will avoid the cross over plus the history of Scarborough Pirates should help. 

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22 hours ago, langpark said:

I cannot see League One adding any teams any time soon.  I think these post covid years will be a time to consolidate and ensure some of the weaker clubs (West Wales, Coventry, Skolars, North Wales) get through it unscathed.  I think the World Cup, whenever it happens will be a nice shot in the arm that will be felt at all levels of the game.  For some community clubs, it already has had an impact as their were recipients of WC grants.

Think you might be doing a couple of those clubs a disservice calling them weaker. On the field yes, but I wouldn’t mind betting that the likes of Coventry are stable enough to come through this unscathed. I do agree that I can’t see L1 adding any new teams for a while though, until the argument on how the game is funded below SL I just can’t see how.

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49 minutes ago, Oldbear said:

Think you might be doing a couple of those clubs a disservice calling them weaker. On the field yes, but I wouldn’t mind betting that the likes of Coventry are stable enough to come through this unscathed. I do agree that I can’t see L1 adding any new teams for a while though, until the argument on how the game is funded below SL I just can’t see how.

Yes I meant mostly on field. But at the end of the day, those clubs are still babies compared to some clubs that have been around since the birth of rugby league. So it is only natural that they are still a bit more 'fragile' than others. Was not a shot at them, just being realistic. For the record, I have great confidence in those clubs and their ability to survive. 

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Just to reiterate that the survey many posters here responded to regarding a Cornwall-based team in L1 was extremely positive.

Be in no doubt, despite distance from the heartlands, 'away' games in Cornwall will be popular. This is not supposition, this is what the study says.

Those of us involved with trying to get a Cornish team into L1 are not oblivious to the challenges ahead. Quite the opposite. We are also confident of our strengths.

If, in the fullness of time, a Cornwall team takes to the pitch against established clubs, you can be assured that it won't be on a whim, but the result of careful consideration and hard work.

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Repeating myself, dont think there will be a league1. The new Southern Conference league will be split into East n West. Then play offs between these to find Champions.  You heard it here 1st folks.

Footnote there could be a new Northern Conference league, winners play Southern champs

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On 12/02/2021 at 13:42, owls said:

Would like to have had Nottingham in league 1 giving Coventry a Midland derby, do they have league 1 ambitions, or are they happy with where they are, Valencia and Belgrade should join the French pyramid system first,

In terms of Outlaws, our position remains that if stepping up to League 1 just means that we 1) just have to pay a bunch of Northerners to travel down to play for us 2) are no longer able to concentrate on the things we currently do well, then it isn't worth it.  Our juniors are concentrated primarily at the younger age groups, even if they were playing a full season in an organised league (they're not). While we are taking steps to develop our club and the game in the Midlands, any League 1 presence for us at the minute would be fundamentally built on sand. 

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