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Politics of English Rugby League


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1 hour ago, Sports Prophet said:

another great episode by the gents on The Rugby League Digest.

This episode follows their three episode Eng SL chapter titled Chapeltown Rd. A chapter of their in depth investigation into the SL war.
 

https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/the-rugby-league-digest/id1207627414?i=1000527903687

Those are three superb podcasts and in this one Anthony Broxton confirms everything I've said about the requirement for the game to have an organization/competition completely new and different from anything it's ever had before to break through the indifference, opposition and prejudice which holds it down in Britain.

What he said about how southerners perceive outfits like Ca$h Converters being major sponsors speaks volumes about the essential impossibility of turning things around otherwise.  As he points out, such low status sponsors are all the game can get as it is , but they simply confirm all the stereotypes about the game out there and reinforce the reasons others have for not bothering with it.

His statement that, "There's got to be a model where you can have your heritage teams playing in one competition and a big, bold, national 'Super League', that has got to be the aim if the sport is to survive" is right on the money, but there's no way that can be done within the current structure in Britain and all of us here know it.  Only a whole new organization could ever set up that big, bold new league and make it work.

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7 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

Those are three superb podcasts and in this one Anthony Broxton confirms everything I've said about the requirement for the game to have an organization/competition completely new and different from anything it's ever had before to break through the indifference, opposition and prejudice which holds it down in Britain.

What he said about how southerners perceive outfits like Ca$h Converters being major sponsors speaks volumes about the essential impossibility of turning things around otherwise.  As he points out, such low status sponsors are all the game can get as it is , but they simply confirm all the stereotypes about the game out there and reinforce the reasons others have for not bothering with it.

His statement that, "There's got to be a model where you can have your heritage teams playing in one competition and a big, bold, national 'Super League', that has got to be the aim if the sport is to survive" is right on the money, but there's no way that can be done within the current structure in Britain and all of us here know it.  Only a whole new organization could ever set up that big, bold new league and make it work.

It would need 10/12 cash cows to make it happen backed by a bumper TV deal. Clubs located geographically to be truly national and international. Newcastle Hull Leeds Cheshire/ Liverpool Manchester London x 2 Bristol Cardiff/ Swansea Leicester Toulouse and Paris has a nice mix to it. Would work if Soccer clubs took ownership of it as Sporting Club Liverpool etc

we luddites would then be very happy with our own comp and governing body

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Just now, sweaty craiq said:

It would need 10/12 cash cows to make it happen backed by a bumper TV deal. Clubs located geographically to be truly national and international. Newcastle Hull Leeds Cheshire/ Liverpool Manchester London x 2 Bristol Cardiff/ Swansea Leicester Toulouse and Paris has a nice mix to it. Would work if Soccer clubs took ownership of it as Sporting Club Liverpool etc

we luddites would then be very happy with our own comp and governing body

Yes it would need a dozen or so rich investors and a bumper TV deal(s), and to get them it would need a plan which could show them how it could become profitable for them.  For that it would need a way to attract a whole new audience.

I can't see a league based in that list of places achieving that for at least a couple of reasons.  For one it's so north-centric that it likely wouldn't overcome the "regional sport" tag and that would lessen the chances of getting the needed TV deals.  For another it would depend on most of those rich investors being British, that could be very difficult to achieve in view of the negative views about the game which exist there.  It likely wouldn't be different/unique enough to attract a bumper TV deal(s) either.

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2 hours ago, Big Picture said:

His statement that, "There's got to be a model where you can have your heritage teams playing in one competition and a big, bold, national 'Super League', that has got to be the aim if the sport is to survive" is right on the money, but there's no way that can be done within the current structure in Britain and all of us here know it.  Only a whole new organization could ever set up that big, bold new league and make it work.

I wouldn't go so far as to say it's the only way that the sport can survive, but I have said something similar to the above on here before with regards to expansion. The slow and steady model of expanding into new areas hasn't produced the desired effects in terms of making RL a truly national sport. It may well have had some successes, but at the current rate it will be 1000 years before it reaches all over England/UK. That's why I've asked before if any big step could be taken, in terms of a new competition - something akin to the cricket 100 etc. The answer has always been no (normally from Gubrats), and I'm happy to accept the reasons for that. It may well not ever be possible, because there is no will or capability from existing parties involved in the sport to do it, and there is no one on the outside to have a go at it either. Sadly that might mean we'll never know if such an approach could work. My only worry for RL is that RU might one day decide to have a go at something like that, in an attempt to spread their club game. It's whether they're happy enough making money from the international game, because that's their big cash cow. They might not ever care that their top teams are in places like Bath and Exeter and that most of the country have little interest in club RU, providing that England play 15 times a year and make millions for the RFU.

 

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

One day the dreamers will realise rugby league in England is predominately a Northern sport for Northern people and has been for 126 years.

Embrace that fact. 

Is that self-perception not the reason we've been that way for 126 years though? 

Also, we are slowly dying off as the 'old stereotypical Northern working-class men' are not being replaced with a younger generation of fans. I don't think there are many of the younger generation who fit the 'stereotypical Northern working-class' since it's something that doesn't even exist anymore. We do seem to want to hang on to it though for some reason, and perhaps that's the reason why we are portrayed that way in the small coverage we get by the media (even in Northern regions). We are a modern-day Last of the Summer Wine.

Edited by Cheshire Setter
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8 minutes ago, Cheshire Setter said:

Is that self-perception not the reason we've been that way for 126 years though? 

No. It’s because the football codes haven’t really changed since they emerged out of the Victorian primordial soup.

Warrington is a rugby town. Liverpool is football.

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52 minutes ago, 17 stone giant said:

My only worry for RL is that RU might one day decide to have a go at something like that

The biggest worry for us is that one day the RFU will realise modern humans have a short attention span and need entertaining constantly. They can easily make their sport more exciting, and have the means to promote it. We, on the other hand, are making our sport dull and have little way to sell it apart from a few FTA games. We need to act now if we don't want to slowly snuff out.

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3 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

No. It’s because the football codes haven’t really changed since they emerged out of the Victorian primordial soup.

Warrington is a rugby town. Liverpool is football.

RU has a presence that they've developed well in certain regions, bettering our crowds by some margin. If RL is entertaining enough to watch and has a national presence instead of a few Northern towns (most of which no one outside the M62 corridor has heard of) then we can grow our game too. It's just got to be done in the right way by the right people. Those people are not the current club chairmen.

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14 minutes ago, Cheshire Setter said:

Also, we are slowly dying off as the 'old stereotypical Northern working-class men' are not being replaced with a younger generation of fans. I don't think there are many of the younger generation who fit the 'stereotypical Northern working-class' since it's something that doesn't even exist anymore. We do seem to want to hang on to it though for some reason, and perhaps that's the reason why we are portrayed that way in the small coverage we get by the media (even in Northern regions). We are a modern-day Last of the Summer Wine.

Well, when I’ve been to the Halliwell Jones - and the pubs in Warrington - I’ve always been struck by the number of young women (let alone men) in primose and blue. 

I think the key is to embrace the sport’s Northernness without looking back to the past and banging on about the Labour Party & dead industries like coal and steel. I’m sure it can be done. 

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1 minute ago, Man of Kent said:

I think the key is to embrace the sport’s Northernness without looking back to the past

Oh I have no problem celebrating the sport's roots, but having small clubs in small towns with jurassic-era stadia isn't going to attract new fans from other places.   It's a little hard to accept, but RL is really not cool until you've watched the gameplay for a season.   It's not the sort of thing you'd try as a family from Newcastle, because you saw Castleford versus Featherstone on the BBC in the cup.

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6 minutes ago, Cheshire Setter said:

Oh I have no problem celebrating the sport's roots, but having small clubs in small towns with jurassic-era stadia isn't going to attract new fans from other places.   It's a little hard to accept, but RL is really not cool until you've watched the gameplay for a season.   It's not the sort of thing you'd try as a family from Newcastle, because you saw Castleford versus Featherstone on the BBC in the cup.

The North is home to 15m people in one of the greatest countries on Earth. Embrace it, chief.

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25 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

No. It’s because the football codes haven’t really changed since they emerged out of the Victorian primordial soup.

Warrington is a rugby town. Liverpool is football.

Where are you from mate?

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17 hours ago, Big Picture said:

Yes it would need a dozen or so rich investors and a bumper TV deal(s), and to get them it would need a plan which could show them how it could become profitable for them.  For that it would need a way to attract a whole new audience.

I can't see a league based in that list of places achieving that for at least a couple of reasons.  For one it's so north-centric that it likely wouldn't overcome the "regional sport" tag and that would lessen the chances of getting the needed TV deals.  For another it would depend on most of those rich investors being British, that could be very difficult to achieve in view of the negative views about the game which exist there.  It likely wouldn't be different/unique enough to attract a bumper TV deal(s) either.

There are 160, 000 US born folk living in London - guess where they take the NFL game to.

There are about 70,000 Aussies/Kiwis living in London  - it has been higher.

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14 hours ago, Cheshire Setter said:

RU has a presence that they've developed well in certain regions, bettering our crowds by some margin. If RL is entertaining enough to watch and has a national presence instead of a few Northern towns (most of which no one outside the M62 corridor has heard of) then we can grow our game too. It's just got to be done in the right way by the right people. Those people are not the current club chairmen.

Union tends to follow the RFU licking Universities and Public Schools. The money available for coaches and teams at all universities I am aware of is massively RU focused, please anyone who knows any different let me know.

15M is a huge market, its bigger than NSW and Brisbane combined!!!! and would provide a great base to grow FROM once maximised

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Posted (edited)

A vibrant, competitive, regular and frequent international game. 

Without that, we'll never have a national media profile. 

Without a national media profile, we'll never be seen by the population in general as a nationwide sport of any real importance. 

Rugby to them is rugby union.

Edited by JohnM
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Four legs good - two legs bad

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9 minutes ago, sweaty craiq said:

Lets put things into perspective Premiership clubs lost a staggering £88.7million in the two years before CVC buy-in (rugbypass.com)

 

Then look at why owners are involved - when we get owners like that we drive them away.

Interesting there that Leicester Tigers were up for sale and nobody wanted to buy.

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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22 minutes ago, sweaty craiq said:

15M is a huge market, its bigger than NSW and Brisbane combined!!!! and would provide a great base to grow FROM once maximised

15m is a fantasy number. There's no rugby league of note in Liverpool - so knock off 500,000 to 1m straight away. North Yorkshire outside York? Another half a million gone. And so on, and so on ...

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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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23 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

15m is a fantasy number. There's no rugby league of note in Liverpool - so knock off 500,000 to 1m straight away. North Yorkshire outside York? Another half a million gone. And so on, and so on ...

I suppose it depends on how you want to define market - but it's not unreasonable to include numbers for population within 30/60* mins travel of a SL club as your potential market.

*set the limit as appropriate

But the 15m is still a fantasy number, it doesn't really mean anything as there is no detail demographic in the slightest.

There does need to be an element of realism about what the ultimate aim is - RL is never going to be a sport that looks like Football - for many reasons. But at the top club level it looks relatively similar to cricket and rugby union (to a casual person coming across a game on TV). Top flight RU is as irrelevant to me as RL is to somebody living in Leicester.

The huge difference these sports have is grassroots presence and internationals. I'm afraid we are messing around in the middle ground with all talk about restructures of the club game. We should be aiming for our clubs to be stronger, more fans, more sponsors etc. all the good stuff, but that doesn't need to be driven by going for huge city teams and all the other radical things we talk about. 

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Sir Lindsay Hoyle steps in....

"We're not the top game in this country, but we do have the best game in this country. So how do we get that higher level of support and higher level of commitment?

"Let's listen to different people. Let's get different people focusing, putting their mind to it, and coming out with the best ideas."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/57733743

 

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