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27 minutes ago, Scubby said:

What about the flashing Christmas lights on the popular stand at Knowsley Road? Inspired.

I hint a trace of sarcasm in that post and I am not sure why’ve done so…

… Christmas lights on a building is the height of modernity in St Helens in 2021; never mind in the 90s/00s… 

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55 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I think this is a flawed reading of history. I don't think Wigan or Saints embraced the SL concept at all. 

In all seriousness what was concept? The original concept didn't really happen which was big city teams and mergers between small teams. There was also meant to be 2 French teams. We got PSG for a while, Sheffield faded, as did London in time. The only mergers were in name only to save Hull and Huddersfield. 

The concept then seemed to revolve around summer rugby and giving monikers to existing clubs. Almost none really embraced this or particularly change. Certainly for almost all the existing big clubs I think little changed bar Bradford and maybe Leeds. Wigan certainly didn't embrace the moniker and this period coincided with the sale of Central Park. Warrington only came to life with the new stadium and Simon Moran some years later. Saints were pretty much the same but had success on the field. Hull Sharks was that disastrous they ended up merging with Gateshead. Practically everyone else thought let's add a moniker and maybe a new mascot and job done.

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6 minutes ago, Damien said:

In all seriousness what was concept? The original concept didn't really happen which was big city teams and mergers between small teams. We got PSG for a while, Sheffield faded, as did London in time. The only mergers were in name only to save Hull and Huddersfield. 

The concept then seemed to revolve around summer rugby and giving monikers to existing clubs. Almost none really embraced this or particularly change. Certainly for almost all the existing big clubs I think little changed bar Bradford and maybe Leeds. Wigan certainly didn't embrace the moniker and this period coincided with the sale of Central Park. Warrington only came to life with the new stadium and Simon Moran some years later. Saints were pretty much the same but had success on the field. Hull Sharks was that disastrous they ended up merging with Gateshead. Practically everyone else thought let's add a moniker and maybe a new mascot and job done.

It was ultimately a modernisation and move to a full time professional game. 

We:

Moved to summer

Embraced technology

Created an 'event' over a standard game. Let's remember back in the early 90s we didn't really embrace music, entertainment, food and drink etc. Its now a whole new world compared to when I started. 

Went full-time and modernised the on-field stuff

Rebranded through the club names, mascots etc. - this is often mocked but again we were at the forefront of this on British sport. 

Improved facilities at many clubs. 

Whilst I share some frustrations that we have never really moved to the next phase of this growth, we shouldn't forget what it was like pre-SL. 

But imho it is wrong to suggest the likes of Wigan, Leeds and Saints led the way in modernising the game. I think in many cases they did more of the same, and as that was enough as many other clubs struggled to progress they stayed as they were. As a Wire fan I am happy with our growth, but as a Wigan fan can you say you are a bigger club than you were in the 80s/90s? I accept some of the reasons - the salary cap levelling down, whilst I don't 100% agree, I will concede it plays a part in the discussion

But really, the reason SL has better average crowds than pre-SL 1st Division is because of the growth of the likes of Hull, Wire, Catalans being in, and cutting some of the weak links. Saints saw good growth following the stadium, and I think it was around that time they did embrace it somewhat. 

Clearly Leeds, Wigan and Saints are the leading clubs, but I think two of those should have really dragged the game forward more. 

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One of my annoyances about this thread is the constant talking about hypotheticals and bickering! 

The reality is that today a SL game was cancelled so late that sky don't even have a game to show tonight. Probably says all you need to know about leadership among the elite clubs who rule our sport. 

Clubs also met at Odsal and despite weeks of talks were pretty much shown the same stuff as before. Champ and L1 clubs will bear the brunt of the reduction in the Sky deal. Some may agree with that, particularly fans of SL clubs. However, I am amazed that hardly anyone is reporting this and not many talking about it. Is it just that no one is interested? Why are so many journalists quiet about it? 

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28 minutes ago, OriginalMrC said:

One of my annoyances about this thread is the constant talking about hypotheticals and bickering! 

The reality is that today a SL game was cancelled so late that sky don't even have a game to show tonight. Probably says all you need to know about leadership among the elite clubs who rule our sport. 

Clubs also met at Odsal and despite weeks of talks were pretty much shown the same stuff as before. Champ and L1 clubs will bear the brunt of the reduction in the Sky deal. Some may agree with that, particularly fans of SL clubs. However, I am amazed that hardly anyone is reporting this and not many talking about it. Is it just that no one is interested? Why are so many journalists quiet about it? 

I don't get this, Catalan report they can't play 7 hours before kick off and somehow the fault lies with other clubs that Sky can't up all their kit at a moments notice and dash over the Pennines to set up for the Leeds v Hudds game.

There is some bizarre anger going on there.

 

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Radio 5 Live: Saturday 14 April 2007

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This country's wealth was created by men in overalls, it was destroyed by men in suits.

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There doesn't seem to be any agreement on what the best structure is, both on here and from the professional clubs. 

There's 14 team SL, 12 team SL, 2 x 10, conferences, Super 8s, French clubs being protected from relegation, franchising, aligning with Elite 1, including NA teams, international breaks, 9s circuits, sharing funding more equally, no funding outside SL etc, etc

Whatever is decided it needs to be stuck with and a plan to increase the profile, improve standards, retain and recruit top players, increase revenue, increase viewers and fans and most importantly increase the amount of juniors playing the game needs to be implemented 

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

It was ultimately a modernisation and move to a full time professional game. 

We:

Moved to summer

Embraced technology

Created an 'event' over a standard game. Let's remember back in the early 90s we didn't really embrace music, entertainment, food and drink etc. Its now a whole new world compared to when I started. 

Went full-time and modernised the on-field stuff

Rebranded through the club names, mascots etc. - this is often mocked but again we were at the forefront of this on British sport. 

Improved facilities at many clubs. 

Whilst I share some frustrations that we have never really moved to the next phase of this growth, we shouldn't forget what it was like pre-SL. 

But imho it is wrong to suggest the likes of Wigan, Leeds and Saints led the way in modernising the game. I think in many cases they did more of the same, and as that was enough as many other clubs struggled to progress they stayed as they were. As a Wire fan I am happy with our growth, but as a Wigan fan can you say you are a bigger club than you were in the 80s/90s? I accept some of the reasons - the salary cap levelling down, whilst I don't 100% agree, I will concede it plays a part in the discussion

But really, the reason SL has better average crowds than pre-SL 1st Division is because of the growth of the likes of Hull, Wire, Catalans being in, and cutting some of the weak links. Saints saw good growth following the stadium, and I think it was around that time they did embrace it somewhat. 

Clearly Leeds, Wigan and Saints are the leading clubs, but I think two of those should have really dragged the game forward more. 

Pretty much agree with most of that, Wigan, Leeds and Saints saw it as its up to the others to grab this and catch us up.

By 1998 Wigan was in turmoil with the Robinson v Whelan battle for Central Park and a salary cap forcing Wigan to down scale. Leeds and Saints around this time were content though the salary cap probably did cause them to change their recruitment thinking.

As clubs around Saints developed and embraced new stadia their home was looking more and more out of time, luckily with a shrewd guy in charge they worked their way out of what was now the worst stadium of an elite club.

Leeds slowly realised they had to move on the stadium front, but not from the fact that the local competition was showing them the way.

There is a stark difference between how the Lancashire clubs have moved forward and how the Yorkshire clubs have dragged their heals. In Lancs there has been an embracing of new stadia, in Yorks there is a stubborn determination amongst too many to do nothing except draw things.

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Radio 5 Live: Saturday 14 April 2007

Dave Whelan "In Wigan rugby will always be king"

 

This country's wealth was created by men in overalls, it was destroyed by men in suits.

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

It was ultimately a modernisation and move to a full time professional game. 

We:

Moved to summer

Embraced technology

Created an 'event' over a standard game. Let's remember back in the early 90s we didn't really embrace music, entertainment, food and drink etc. Its now a whole new world compared to when I started. 

Went full-time and modernised the on-field stuff

Rebranded through the club names, mascots etc. - this is often mocked but again we were at the forefront of this on British sport. 

Improved facilities at many clubs. 

Whilst I share some frustrations that we have never really moved to the next phase of this growth, we shouldn't forget what it was like pre-SL. 

But imho it is wrong to suggest the likes of Wigan, Leeds and Saints led the way in modernising the game. I think in many cases they did more of the same, and as that was enough as many other clubs struggled to progress they stayed as they were. As a Wire fan I am happy with our growth, but as a Wigan fan can you say you are a bigger club than you were in the 80s/90s? I accept some of the reasons - the salary cap levelling down, whilst I don't 100% agree, I will concede it plays a part in the discussion

But really, the reason SL has better average crowds than pre-SL 1st Division is because of the growth of the likes of Hull, Wire, Catalans being in, and cutting some of the weak links. Saints saw good growth following the stadium, and I think it was around that time they did embrace it somewhat. 

Clearly Leeds, Wigan and Saints are the leading clubs, but I think two of those should have really dragged the game forward more. 

To be honest I think we are singing pretty much off the same hymn sheet when it comes to what clubs did. Of the clubs that are still in Super League Warrington are obviously the standout and have become one of the big clubs but this only really kicked in with the new ground and Moran. They are certainly a world away from the Wilderspool days and their regular financial issues. Catalans are now one of the big clubs too.

When it comes to growth I'd also add Hull KR, albeit they didn't join Super League until sometime later, but they have certainly progressed from where they were. Huddersfield have progressed from where they were too but their attendances have now declined for a number of years. Castleford's crowds have grown a lot from pre-Super League but they still have their ground issues. All of these are still way off the traditional big clubs though.

As for your question about Wigan no I'm not happy. In the first 7 or 8 years of Super League attendances dipped alarmingly and despite winning the first Grand Final I don't particularly look fondly on this period. Wigan then grew a lot again from about 2004 and had attendances back to the late 80's and early 90s levels, and actually exceeded the average attendances for a couple of years around the 2011 Grand Final win. They have now dipped alarmingly again. I think it is worrying that some of the other traditional big clubs seem to be affected by the same sort of decline in recent years, notably Leeds and Hull FC. That is partly a Super League issue I feel.

I'm probably a bit less excited about some of your modernisation aspects and the success of some of them, certainly the likes of the rebrands as I alluded to previously. I do accept them and understand them but just wouldn't say they had the same affect. I certainly see some of them as missed opportunities. Things like the Video Referee are a prime example of how the sport hasn't moved on, 25 years later still only being used in televised games. This should hopefully be rectified next year as announced. RU started the same then took the concept on fairly quickly to extend to all televised games. In some areas we have been innovative but never really finished it or done the job properly I feel and as you say the trouble is we haven't really kicked on to the next phase over two decades later.

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4 hours ago, Padge said:

In 1954, when to balance up the Lancashire and Yorkshire League numbers to 15 each side of the Pennines a Yorkshire team would play in the Lancashire league, Bramley were given the option to pick their own opponents for two 'cross' Pennine fixtures.

In 1969 the clubs had voted for two divisions but subsequently got cold feet, they had to quickly come up with a fixture structure, initially the RFL wanted to just revert to the previous structure but the clubs were against that as they considered it a failed structure. They decided to go with a proposal that York had put forward two years earlier.

The idea from York was for the top 15 clubs from the previous season to play each other home and away and likewise for the bottom 15. The fixture formula allowed for clubs to arrange a further 6 matches against teams from the other section of the table to maintain some of the local rivalry, this resulted in 34 matches per season. 

The York proposal was eventually given the go ahead.

That's very interesting, and it wasn't something I had remembered. At the time I had taken a short break from Rugby League.

But how did the clubs arrange their own matches from the teams at the other side of the Pennines, given that they had to presumably select three opponents? They could hardly all select the same ones.

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13 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

That's very interesting, and it wasn't something I had remembered. At the time I had taken a short break from Rugby League.

But how did the clubs arrange their own matches from the teams at the other side of the Pennines, given that they had to presumably select three opponents? They could hardly all select the same ones.

I think, and I am still researching this, it all unravelled rather quickly as the complexities outweighed the benefits, it is also perhaps what pushed the clubs to finally cave in a couple of years later to having two divisions, realising keeping the local 'derby' games was not compatible with divisional football.

It is an interesting period and different clubs were coming up with different schemes all the time. The two division one that they back tracked on was a Castleford one. It seems Bill Fallowfield who had been pushing for divisions was anti the Cas proposals, his own proposals had been rejected previously, so he set out to undermine it and the York proposal was almost two divisions but not quite so the clubs went with it.

Quick edit to add, they didn't have to pick a teams from one side of the Pennines or the other it was from the other half-of the table. I presume clubs would have been expected to approach each other and agree a fixture as opposed to clubs demanding to play certain clubs.

Edited by Padge

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Radio 5 Live: Saturday 14 April 2007

Dave Whelan "In Wigan rugby will always be king"

 

This country's wealth was created by men in overalls, it was destroyed by men in suits.

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22 hours ago, David Shepherd said:

When I first saw @Martyn Sadler 's idea, I thought it was nuts.  But having thought about it some more, there are some aspects of conferencing that could work.

I don't see the inclusion of teams that are many orders of magnitude weaker than the top clubs as a way forward, but for what it's worth, here's my idea:

Two conferences of 10, made up of the top 20 clubs at the end of whichever season.

This gives 18 games in each conference, if you then had 9 cross conference games you'd have the 27 games that clubs seem to want. (Magic would be included in the 27, which I'd have as the launch of the cross conference section of the season).

Play-offs would be top 3 in each conference (2nd & 3rd play eliminator for the right to play league leaders), then both conference champions play the grand final to be champions of European Rugby League, or ERL (copyright me 😀).

To keep the hope alive for the smaller clubs and to allow natural progression of new and/or ambitious clubs, the bottom team in each conference play off for survival with the loser being relegated and the champions of whatever we call the league below being promoted to the vacant conference slot.

It would give the broadcaster(s) top draw games in each conference and there's potential for some of the cross conference games to be belters, instead of the rinse and repeat tedium of loop fixtures.

Fans get a wider variety of opposition to enjoy and new places to visit, which I believe would encourage better attendances.

There's high drama a both ends of the competition at season end and a blockbuster grand final.

Two crucial things need to happen too:

1. Salary cap to be a percentage of club revenue. We've got to stop this race to the bottom and enforced mediocrity.

2. Club owners to have absolutely no influence on the governance of the sport.

 

Just checking that this is the same person that I worked with at Wakey Met.  If it is it speaks volumes of the Council’s Recruitment and Selection process to have had two gifted and visionary people work for them 😄😄

Your proposal is very similar to what I posted about 30 or 40 pages previously.  What I added was that the Salary Cap should be binned and clubs spend to an agreed percentage of turnover that might encourage investors into the game.

One addition to your proposal would be to let the teams finishing in play off positions to play their conference rivals that finished in a similar position therefore two teams from the same Conference could meet in the Final.

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On 19/08/2021 at 04:01, GUBRATS said:

I assume you are or have been a businessman in the past ? , Both Harry and myself share that distinction , myself setting up from scratch with  a couple of grand a business that turned over 20 odd million , and sporned others 

One thing about business is it's a good way of making money , but also of losing money even faster , sports businesses generally are much better at the latter , than the former 

Best of luck in finding the billionaires 

Gubrats just because you have owned a business does not make you an expert.

Over the years that I have been in this forum you and Harry have made reference on many occasions that both of you have created very successful businesses and I take my hat off to you as it takes guts, sacrifice and determination to take such a risk.  For my part I worked for 25 years with Local Councils in the UK and Australia before I started working for myself around eight years ago.

I doubt that you looked at your competitors and thought ‘If what they do is good enough for them, then I will just copy what they do’.  You must have taken risks with no guarantee of a successful outcome and offered something different to your customers to win contracts and build sustainable and growing businesses.

But my perception of you over the years is you are sometimes adverse to suggestions that offer an alternative path for the game - where there is no guarantee of a successful outcome - which to me is at odds as to how you would have approached your business.  There are people out there that are looking for opportunities to invest in something that excites them, but RL at the moment just does not offer any attraction through ‘the level playing field’ approach.

If you feel that my perception is wrong, then I apologise in advance.

So how would you move the game forward?

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16 hours ago, Moove said:

Not sure why you're being so childish about it with comments like this but the vast majority have challenged the desire to level funding by removing it from the top clubs rather than identifying ways to grow the pot for all clubs. Many (myself included) have questioned how that approach could ever make good business and commercial sense and literally all you've got is childish bitterness like this trying to twist it into 'typical SL fans wanting to screw everyone else'.

I mean you yourself keep telling everyone how great the existing product is below SL so why is there no interest in growing that further and building upwards? Why are there no thoughts or ideas about how to leverage the entertainment you and others say is offered below SL to provide something of commercial value to more broadcasters and sponsors? Achieving that lifts more clubs upwards and puts SL under pressure to do likewise, not to mention further increasing competitiveness.

Why is there only ever a desire to grow by taking from those who currently have more?

And I use the word 'grow' very loosely in that last sentence because that isn't growth, it's just shuffling the same money around into different pots.

OK yes agreed my post was of a flippant nature, but it was in response to a poster who clearly sees that assisting all the clubs will be far better in the long term, that is his opinion, which seems from the comments on these pages to be the polar opposite of how the fan's of those from the top division view matters.

I believe if SL have the opportunity to keep all the TV contract money to themselves they will grab that with both hands, and to hell with the consequences of what damage it will do for the game in general, be that on their head - I would say conscience but if it does happen that would not have been a consideration - as the saying goes "without the foundations, the top will come tumbling down"

Your right though there will be no growth, it would be a culling excersize.

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16 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

Apologies Harry I thought I had replied to your earlier question on attendances.

I think they will recover, but not to the extent we would like. The loss of the world cup feel good boost will not help. For example I expect my own club to be at 12k average early on next season. So a recovery from the c. 10k crowds we've seen this year, but not the recovery to 15k the club will be hoping for.

On the cap increase needing to be doubled to change the talent, I 100% agree that is the sort of radical change that is needed there. If only to make up for 15+ years of not keeping up with inflation and our rivals.

That said the on field product is much for a muchness in terms of the problems we face getting crowds in IMO. Far more influential are the consistent knocks in outlook of the sport.

If we see the pandemic in equivalent to a wartime period, and if you'll allow me to use a historian's term of the "audit of war", then I think that audit has been particularly brutal to RL. It has critically shown how we have failed to fix the roof whilst the sun was shining. 

The attitude of the sport is inward looking, self-serving and utterly rudderless. The debacles over Toronto (and their funding), Elstone, Private Equity, bringing Leigh up as a sacrificial lamb, the reduced Sky deal, the cut to 10, are all symptomatic of a sport that has no strategy and no will to get bigger; whilst forgetting that standing still is going backwards. And those are just in the past 12 months!

These impact current fans as it is demoralising to varying extents. They impact gaining potential new fans as they're now trying to do so from a weaker position. Arguably decline was already in place and the pandemic has been the (large) straw that broke the camel's back. What inherent to RL is keeping you engaged? For me currently there is little beyond my club loyalty.

I would want to expand on this but I'm currently on my way to Headingley from work!

Thanks for the reply Tommy, apart from you considering we will expierience a recovery in attendances and I am more dubious of that happening you do not state at what particular time you envisage that recovery will return to, the pre Covid season would be an improvement albeit as you indicate that was already in recession from previous seasons, apart from that I consider we have the same prayer book we are reading from.

What is keeping me engaged with RL? After more than 50 years many of those in active involvement the pull of the magnet has not yet decreased enough in it's strength for me to snap free, unlike a good lot of my mates, family and contemporaries who have been drifting away steadily as the years go by, I keep threatening to stop going to the pro game but that has not yet transpired, saying that as I pointed out in my previous post to you there are things happening on and off the field that is testing my patience, albeit If that does happen I should imagine I won't forsake the community game as long as I am able to get along.

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11 hours ago, Padge said:

I think, and I am still researching this, it all unravelled rather quickly as the complexities outweighed the benefits, it is also perhaps what pushed the clubs to finally cave in a couple of years later to having two divisions, realising keeping the local 'derby' games was not compatible with divisional football.

It is an interesting period and different clubs were coming up with different schemes all the time. The two division one that they back tracked on was a Castleford one. It seems Bill Fallowfield who had been pushing for divisions was anti the Cas proposals, his own proposals had been rejected previously, so he set out to undermine it and the York proposal was almost two divisions but not quite so the clubs went with it.

Quick edit to add, they didn't have to pick a teams from one side of the Pennines or the other it was from the other half-of the table. I presume clubs would have been expected to approach each other and agree a fixture as opposed to clubs demanding to play certain clubs.

Thanks for that explanation.

If you find out a bit more I'd be interested to read it.

It seems we've been searching for the holy grail of the best competition structure almost forever.

The game was starting to struggle at that time, probably because of the upsurge of interest in football following England's success in 1966.

I know that I had a short spell watching football myself in those days, until I came to my senses again.

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14 hours ago, Damien said:

To be honest I think we are singing pretty much off the same hymn sheet when it comes to what clubs did. Of the clubs that are still in Super League Warrington are obviously the standout and have become one of the big clubs but this only really kicked in with the new ground and Moran. They are certainly a world away from the Wilderspool days and their regular financial issues. Catalans are now one of the big clubs too.

When it comes to growth I'd also add Hull KR, albeit they didn't join Super League until sometime later, but they have certainly progressed from where they were. Huddersfield have progressed from where they were too but their attendances have now declined for a number of years. Castleford's crowds have grown a lot from pre-Super League but they still have their ground issues. All of these are still way off the traditional big clubs though.

As for your question about Wigan no I'm not happy. In the first 7 or 8 years of Super League attendances dipped alarmingly and despite winning the first Grand Final I don't particularly look fondly on this period. Wigan then grew a lot again from about 2004 and had attendances back to the late 80's and early 90s levels, and actually exceeded the average attendances for a couple of years around the 2011 Grand Final win. They have now dipped alarmingly again. I think it is worrying that some of the other traditional big clubs seem to be affected by the same sort of decline in recent years, notably Leeds and Hull FC. That is partly a Super League issue I feel.

I'm probably a bit less excited about some of your modernisation aspects and the success of some of them, certainly the likes of the rebrands as I alluded to previously. I do accept them and understand them but just wouldn't say they had the same affect. I certainly see some of them as missed opportunities. Things like the Video Referee are a prime example of how the sport hasn't moved on, 25 years later still only being used in televised games. This should hopefully be rectified next year as announced. RU started the same then took the concept on fairly quickly to extend to all televised games. In some areas we have been innovative but never really finished it or done the job properly I feel and as you say the trouble is we haven't really kicked on to the next phase over two decades later.

I think the branding has in general been a big success in RL. The game is far more modern than it was prior to it, and it is no coincidence that other sports followed. If they could be embraced within RL communities they could probably be embraced anywhere! 

We absolutely trade using the Wolves, Saints, Tigers, Dragons, Rhinos etc. as brands and in general they are modern, vibrant and received well. This is one of the areas where I think Wigan have been really poor. It's like they did it half hearted in the first instance and then have been a bit hokey coley with it. It's never felt embedded though in the Wigan club like it has in most other places. 

Of course, as with most things RL we haven't moved on and have been a bit shoddy in modernising again, and again - it's a shame as I think that was something Elstone did get and championed, but as it doesn't return your investment in 12m I suspect it was all part of him failing. 

But overall the game did embrace the rebrand and modernisation and I think it is a bright spot in how the game is presented. 

Most SL games are now played in modern grounds, with great sound systems, colour and vibrant branding. Could it be better? Absolutely. Is it better than pre-SL? Miles, imho. 

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17 hours ago, GeordieSaint said:

I hint a trace of sarcasm in that post and I am not sure why’ve done so…

… Christmas lights on a building is the height of modernity in St Helens in 2021; never mind in the 90s/00s… 

Stops planes flying into it, I suppose.

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

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18 hours ago, Dave T said:

I think this is a flawed reading of history. I don't think Wigan or Saints embraced the SL concept at all. 

Nor did Leeds, really.

1996 was a disaster, but nothing much changed in terms of game-day presentation etc even after the arrival of Hetherington. They changed the name and introduced a mascot and that was pretty much it.

Sure, they smartened up the media department and fixed up some truly awful things from the nadir of 1996. There were occasional Caribbean bands around the stadium and every now and then a bit of a buzz would be made about a game (e.g. below) but they were never and have never been in the Bulls league with the off-field stuff and finding new supporters.

The key planks in turning Leeds around in the late 1990s, apart from the nous of someone who knew how to run a Rugby League club properly, was success on the field and the quite quick acceptance of the new brand amongst the existing fan base. And the latter was pretty much only because they found an entertaining guy with good dance moves to stick in the rhino costume.

rhino-bull-97.jpg

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20 minutes ago, M j M said:

rhino-bull-97.jpg

Those were the days...

19,132 inside Headingley for Sunday night game - and the Bulls didn't get bulldozed, easing to a 32-16 victory

How far we have fallen.....😟

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2 minutes ago, paulwalker71 said:

Those were the days...

19,132 inside Headingley for Sunday night game - and the Bulls didn't get bulldozed, easing to a 32-16 victory

How far we have fallen.....😟

  Too far.As the waiter said to George Best where did it all go wrong.

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29 minutes ago, M j M said:

Nor did Leeds, really.

1996 was a disaster, but nothing much changed in terms of game-day presentation etc even after the arrival of Hetherington. They changed the name and introduced a mascot and that was pretty much it.

Sure, they smartened up the media department and fixed up some truly awful things from the nadir of 1996. There were occasional Caribbean bands around the stadium and every now and then a bit of a buzz would be made about a game (e.g. below) but they were never and have never been in the Bulls league with the off-field stuff and finding new supporters.

The key planks in turning Leeds around in the late 1990s, apart from the nous of someone who knew how to run a Rugby League club properly, was success on the field and the quite quick acceptance of the new brand amongst the existing fan base. And the latter was pretty much only because they found an entertaining guy with good dance moves to stick in the rhino costume.

rhino-bull-97.jpg

Having a growing noisy neighbour for Leeds was the key to it pretty much. 

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20 minutes ago, Scubby said:

Having a growing noisy neighbour for Leeds was the key to it pretty much. 

That's a good point. The rivalry, which got rather heated for a while and usually ended in crippling defeat for Leeds, was very beneficial for both clubs. It even surpassed the Cas derby as no. 1 for a while there.

 

26 minutes ago, paulwalker71 said:

19,132 inside Headingley for Sunday night game - and the Bulls didn't get bulldozed, easing to a 32-16 victory

How far we have fallen.....😟

Don't despair.

As they say in 'Unslet, "we've swept the seas before boys, and so we shall again" (although there's not been that much ocean sweeping in south Leeds since that damned day in April 1938 so you may have to wait a while, or relocate to Scarborough).

Edited by M j M
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8 hours ago, Adelaide Tiger said:

Just checking that this is the same person that I worked with at Wakey Met.  If it is it speaks volumes of the Council’s Recruitment and Selection process to have had two gifted and visionary people work for them 😄😄

Your proposal is very similar to what I posted about 30 or 40 pages previously.  What I added was that the Salary Cap should be binned and clubs spend to an agreed percentage of turnover that might encourage investors into the game.

One addition to your proposal would be to let the teams finishing in play off positions to play their conference rivals that finished in a similar position therefore two teams from the same Conference could meet in the Final.

Aye Ian, it’s me😀

 

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23 hours ago, Damien said:

In all seriousness what was concept? The original concept didn't really happen which was big city teams and mergers between small teams. There was also meant to be 2 French teams. We got PSG for a while, Sheffield faded, as did London in time. The only mergers were in name only to save Hull and Huddersfield. 

The concept then seemed to revolve around summer rugby and giving monikers to existing clubs. Almost none really embraced this or particularly change. Certainly for almost all the existing big clubs I think little changed bar Bradford and maybe Leeds. Wigan certainly didn't embrace the moniker and this period coincided with the sale of Central Park. Warrington only came to life with the new stadium and Simon Moran some years later. Saints were pretty much the same but had success on the field. Hull Sharks was that disastrous they ended up merging with Gateshead. Practically everyone else thought let's add a moniker and maybe a new mascot and job done.

Looking at the new sky proposals of ten team leagues I think they are a fraction off disastrous for our game. 

I'm at the point of suggesting we walk away from the sky contract and create our own platforms if fans want to watch the games. 

For me the clubs need to win back the hearts of the community where we are based and the partnership with sky TV has been failing for several years now. 

The stagnation of the salary cap has not helped, but at the same time we have seen the emergence of potentially great clubs in York, Newcastle and Toulouse.. 

The unsung hero award for 2021 so far goes to North Wales Crusaders with nearly 800 attending their game with Barrow, 6 North Wales community clubs in place and not a sky camera within a hundred miles. 

Right there is the solution, and with the same community based approach we need to recapture our lost souls. 

During the sky years the international name and our GB brand had vanished along with the immense value of international competition. So much so that I believe that the partnership with sky is now damaging and not worth the money of lost spectators and revenue streams 

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35 minutes ago, The storm said:

Looking at the new sky proposals of ten team leagues I think they are a fraction off disastrous for our game. 

SKY proposals, is that correct?

Or is it coming out of the RFL and in particular Ralph Rimmer?

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  • John Drake changed the title to League Restructure Thread (Merged Threads)

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