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What’s the point?


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As any one who reads my posts know I love RL and always try to be positive about it; however the state of the sport, the poor way it’s run, the uncertainty around restructuring, and of course the cancellation of the WC (I really don’t think it’ll happen next year) is depressing and collectively is ebbing away my enthusiasm for the game. I have other things I could do with my time and money. For the first time in years I’ve missed Skolars home games this season. This is no reflection on the club who do a fantastic job under difficult circumstances but more my general feelings about the sport. 

How do other people feel? 

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I do get where you're coming from. It seems the sport is happy to eat itself. Some of the self interest in recent weeks has genuinely annoyed me and made me question if this is the sport for me.

I've been following the sport for a number of years from outside the heartlands and things are genuinely getting worse. 

This year the world cup has been postponed by NRL self interest. Next year we could lose several clubs from the game when funding is slashed. Many within the sport see it as a northern sport and want their interests protected. Its been the best season in my clubs short history but things look bleak going forward. I fear we could be set to lose a number of great fans, volunteers, administrators and other people from the sport who may never return. 

I hope I'm wrong but all the rumours I'm hearing about restructure points to a shrinking of the sport with those at the top desperately trying to hold onto what they've got 

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I must admit I very much feel the same @EssexRL.

As someone that doesnt live in the heartlands, having grown up with the sport, been in youth systems etc. I have progressively been spending less and less time and money on RL. Although, I had tickets to the Southern RLWC games and the final.

The game just feels like its becoming more and more and more insular. The progressive nature and positivity around RL being capable of growing significantly domestically and internationally was one of the big things that has kept me interested, it was exciting. The prospect of seeing new teams and new people involved. That has totally diminished. I watch less RL both on TV and I just struggle to justify spending a whole wad of cash (& time) on going to the 5th derby game of the year. The last time I bought any clothing merch was in Melbourne for the WCC match vs. Leeds! That itself says a lot as previously I would have been buying merch every year without fail.

 Without wishing to sound dramatic... I'm just not into RL as much as I was. I've gone from being obsessed and scanning everything RL, to more of a casual fan. Most disturbingly for RL, I dont spend any where near the cash I used to, despite the fact my income levels have somewhat changed from being a student/young adult.

From what I have been reading on other threads and conversations Ive had with other RL people, I feel like a lot of people outside the heartlands are feeling very similar...

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I'm hanging on by my fingernails. As I said last week - I'm non-heartlands and I chose RL. I can very easily choose not-RL if it goes on like this.

The NRL have got too much power, the RFL has got too little money, the Super League clubs have got too much power, both the Northern and Southern hemisphere set ups are (in different ways) prisoners of geography, self interest rules at every turn, clubs below SuperLeague are staring down the barrel of an uncertain future, it's too focused on the M62.

If we're not careful it's going to end up being a regional curiosity like Aunt Sally is in Oxfordshire or Northamptonshire Skittles - very important to those on the spot, pages of coverage in the local paper, passed by by the rest of the world

Everything since the early 1990s has been a litany of passed bucks, missed chances, squandered opportunities, and failed initiatives. At an admin level in the UK, the sport has got the attention span of a mayfly with ADHD - tearing up the structure every couple of years on the basis of 'if we don't change things all the time, how will we know if anything works?' No confidence in the product, the heritage or the future.

Meanwhile down in the southern hemisphere the only people on earth who are so parochial that they make Red Hall look dangerously progressive are seemingly happy to milk their local sport for local people (though played by people they've hoovered up from the islands), and as long as they can dress up their glorified county cup as the pinnacle they're really happy thanks and sod the rest of the world. Small-minded men with small-time ideas and wallets big enough to back them.

What an absolute joke. It would be funnier on the outside looking in than it feels on the inside. I'm sitting here typing this in an Oxford RL polo shirt - there's a whole other story.

I'm going to go and watch Trin demolish Wigan in 2016 on YouTube.

Edited by iffleyox
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I must admit that I have fallen out of love with the game a bit. The challenge cup final sort of crept up on me, it's hard to know when the SL will be on sky. The powers that be seem to be trying to make it hard work to follow the game!

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I feel pretty much the same Essex.

This is the first season since I was a kid that I haven't had a season ticket and haven't been to a game now since about March last year and tbh I don't really miss it. I find these days that I'm not even bothered to be religiously checking the latest club news and when I get newsletters emailed and what have you I just delete them without even reading them. 

The world cup was going to be the thing to really reinvigorate my enthusiasm for the game, I was looking forward to it so much and knew that I'd fall back in love with the game as soon as I saw those players walking out at St James Park. Unfortunately that tiny little scrap of enthusiasm and hope that I was hanging on to has been stolen away from me now and the worrying thing is, I don't really care. 

I said to my family yesterday, I will probably get a season ticket again next year when hopefully everything will be basically back to normal and I can only hope that once I've been to a few games I'll realise how much I love the game again. I can only hope that will be the case, cos like you, I don't think there'll be a world cup next year to look forward to. 

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18 minutes ago, tiffers said:

I must admit I very much feel the same @EssexRL.

As someone that doesnt live in the heartlands, having grown up with the sport, been in youth systems etc. I have progressively been spending less and less time and money on RL. Although, I had tickets to the Southern RLWC games and the final.

The game just feels like its becoming more and more and more insular. The progressive nature and positivity around RL being capable of growing significantly domestically and internationally was one of the big things that has kept me interested, it was exciting. The prospect of seeing new teams and new people involved. That has totally diminished. I watch less RL both on TV and I just struggle to justify spending a whole wad of cash (& time) on going to the 5th derby game of the year. The last time I bought any clothing merch was in Melbourne for the WCC match vs. Leeds! That itself says a lot as previously I would have been buying merch every year without fail.

 Without wishing to sound dramatic... I'm just not into RL as much as I was. I've gone from being obsessed and scanning everything RL, to more of a casual fan. Most disturbingly for RL, I dont spend any where near the cash I used to, despite the fact my income levels have somewhat changed from being a student/young adult.

From what I have been reading on other threads and conversations Ive had with other RL people, I feel like a lot of people outside the heartlands are feeling very similar...

Absolutely not just people outside the heartlands mate. Ok my club has gone down the pan somewhat but for me, it was always about the wider game. I remember being at a Bradford v London game with Paley, Zoe & Phil C (formerly of this board) and saying to them that I hope Bradford lose because they'd just voted against them in some vote about something or other, which I forget about now. Point being, I didn't just want Bradford to do well, I wanted every club to succeed and be as big as they could. I like to think my history of posting on here shows that.

But nowadays.... I'm afraid I'm at the point of not caring. People are happy to paint you as a doom monger or whatever but it's not that, I actually find it quite sad that something I spent so much time, money and passion on doesn't actually want what I wanted for it. C'est la vie.

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I've already explained on other threads how I feel, which many have echoed on here anyhow, so won't repeat myself.

What is clear is that many fans are becoming more and more exasperated by the game and how its run. This is not the fans fault. They are the consumer and if the product is not up to scratch or is no longer appealing then that product needs to change. This is a business and RL and the people running the game need to realise that. People's blind loyalty is rapidly fading. Some may make snide comments like go then, you'll not be missed or will be replaced by others. The trouble is these fans are not being replaced and the game cannot afford to continually alienate fans. It needs real change across the board.

What I have heard this week ranging from 2 x 10s to 8 a side instead of reserves is thoroughly depressing and shows that the people running the game don't even know what the problems are. Gimmicks and more of the same rehashed to protect the status quo aren't solutions.

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I'm in the same boat as a few of you. Take a look at the teams I follow in this sport...

Hemel Stags - couple of good years in League One, a few years of getting hammered when the division got re-organised, now I don't even know what comp they are playing in.

London Broncos - absolute bin fire, as discussed ad infinitum on here

England - they just don't play

Brisbane Broncos - well, I'm not feeling very kindly towards the NRL currently

All just making it too easy to drift away (you'll have gathered I'm not a 'heartlands' fan). I anticipated the World Cup would re-engage me but I'm feeling further away from the sport than ever right now.

Will I hold over my RLWC tickets to 2022? Or will I try to get my money back and spend time and money on serious sports? The latter is feeling likely to be honest.

Edited by Dr Tim Whatley
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4 minutes ago, Damien said:

I've already explained on other threads how I feel, which many have echoed on here anyhow, so won't repeat myself.

What is clear is that many fans are becoming more and more exasperated by the game and how its run. This is not the fans fault. They are the consumer and if the product is not up to scratch or is no longer appealing then that product needs to change. This is a business and RL and the people running the game need to realise that. People's blind loyalty is rapidly fading. Some may make snide comments like go then, you'll not be missed or will be replaced by others. The trouble is these fans are not being replaced and the game cannot afford to continually alienate fans. It needs real change across the board.

What I have heard this week ranging from 2 x 10s to 8 a side instead of reserves is thoroughly depressing and shows that the people running the game don't even know what the problems are. Gimmicks and more of the same rehashed to protect the status quo aren't solutions.

Yep, telling genuine RL fans who used to feel passionately about the game to 'do one' if they don't like it is not nice. But it wouldn't matter as much if there *were* others coming through, but there isn't. 

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Similar @EssexRL, I don’t go to many games as I live in East Anglia and have work/family commitments, but while I love the sport and put a lot of emotional energy into it (willing it to do well mainly) everything that seems to happen these days is an embarrassment and I can’t see the overhaul that’s desperately needed for the professional game to survive in the NH happening any time. The World Cup was going to be such a highlight for me, I was going to at least four of the matches, but now it’s not happening I am thinking what’s the point. 

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10 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

I actually find it quite sad that something I spent so much time, money and passion on doesn't actually want what I wanted for it. C'est la vie.

^^ This bit struck a cord. A misalignment of ambitions between what I want from a sport and what it is actually doing on the ground from top to bottom of the structures.

We're in the very fortunate position of having young children. Will I be watching enough RL make them interested? I dont know. Will I be taking them along and introducing them to the game? No there is no youth set-up near me. Will I spend cash on RL or on other things?

I'm right at that point now and I think it's probably going to be mostly a no, reflecting on my "casual fan" description above. A lost generation and a lost family of fans/future players...

How do I justify this to my other half when there are concerns about head injuries (a whole other thread that I wont open up here), the cost of attending games, the time it takes to attend, coupled with the fact I'm not getting the satisfaction I once got from the game...

Or I could go and spend my cash and time doing something we enjoy as a family. As many of you describe above, the "go on then" is not helpful. There isnt enough customer churn to allow people to walk away in the manner they actively are...
 

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6 minutes ago, Dr Tim Whatley said:

Or will I try to get my money back and spend time and money on serious sports? 

At the moment the list of serious sports is long - pretty well everyone's bending over backwards to keep the show on the road from archery to yachting (can't think of a z).

If Broncos are a bin fire, then RL as a sport at the moment is a whole smouldering landfill site.

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The international game has been a joke for years, non-World Cup years are typically dire and we’re expected to be enthused by Groundhog Day style series’ with New Zealand, while we ignore the rest of the northern hemisphere nations. World Cups are the exception and not the rule, 2013 was refreshing for the sport here, crowds were good, games were (on the whole) pretty decent and some of the sights we saw from the likes of Fiji, Tonga, Samoa etc were great to see. My interest is pretty non-existent in the international game when it comes to England overall. They’re shambolically organised and self-interest and arrogance is the name of the game here, too, and I’ve long become bored of series against New Zealand. I was looking forward to the Ashes last year, mind, but more to see Australia in the flesh again and to visit a new stadium. I only had tickets for one game that possibly involved England in the World Cup, the semi at Arsenal, so I wouldn’t consider myself an England fan. 

Club wise, this year has been disappointing. Not Saints but the game overall. There was a fair few Saints fans who were pretty negative about last year and how it didn’t mean as much winning Super League but I was of the opinion that it probably meant more than the 2019 title. This year though, has been terrible. We’re on something like 15/16 games called off because of Covid and there’s been (as yet unfounded) accusations of teams swerving fixtures and tactically picking when they can and can’t raise teams and it’s been a bit embarrassing really. I don’t really want the season extended any later, I just want it over with, in all honesty. We’re bumbling around a bit aimlessly as a competition and I just want the play-offs and Grand Final to go without a hitch. 

That said, it’s nice to see Catalans challenging, Leeds play some nice rugby, Saints are playing well and look in good shape, Warrington have put some big scores on and played some rugby at times, Hull KR are a tough proposition and Hull FC look improved under Hodgson. It’s a shame there’s not some more interest at the bottom but you can’t have everything. 

I love Rugby League though. I always have. That won’t change here. To take a quote from my late grandad “Rugby League is a great sport, run by idiots.”

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I still enjoy going to attend games. No difference than yesteryear...

Through this blog you probably get to know more about wider issues that I would not do otherwise. 

Then again when people say the sport isn't being run well it often means not as per what I think they should be doing. Whether their idea's are sound or not and often worst than what may be happening.

I divorce myself from what I think is best, recognising I don't have any detail, and accept the administration of the sport try to do their best.  Often not as good as could be but then pay a decent wedge and you would only have people on here moaning about paying too much.

As I say I try to divorce what's happening administration wise with my enjoyment with whats happening on the park.

If I only went by what I read in this forum or by RL media I think I would have stop going years ago,

I enjoy the socialising at the game and watching the game...

Edited by redjonn
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1 hour ago, EssexRL said:

As any one who reads my posts know I love RL and always try to be positive about it; however the state of the sport, the poor way it’s run, the uncertainty around restructuring, and of course the cancellation of the WC (I really don’t think it’ll happen next year) is depressing and collectively is ebbing away my enthusiasm for the game. I have other things I could do with my time and money. For the first time in years I’ve missed Skolars home games this season. This is no reflection on the club who do a fantastic job under difficult circumstances but more my general feelings about the sport. 

How do other people feel? 

I completely understand your thinking. Considering everything, the World Cup simply 'had to happen' this year. It just had to ☹

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I’m struggling.

I missed most Canberra Raiders games last year as they played most away in Covid safe hubs.

Now they’ve moved all Canberra home games to Queensland over 1000km away.

Canberra hasn’t had a single case of community transmission of Covid in over a year.

Canberra is one of the most Covid free places on earth, and has the current highest vaccination rate in Australia, yet they move the Raiders to SE Queensland where they have lockdowns and Covid kicking off.

I do know, deep down, that I just need a few great home games next season, and after feeling part of the RL community again, I’ll be back.

RL is what I enjoy, it’s a big part of my enjoyment in life and it’s been in turmoil.

Communities are better if they have things like sport or other things. I won’t go away, I’ll do what I can to help it build and grow…. It just feels hard to do right now.

Edited by Copa
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I've read all the posts  on here and can understand the frustrations that make you post them. Most probably things will get worse before they improve. We need to stand firm  and support the RFL. This World Cup was well planned  so you can't fault them on that.

Having said that ,I haven't watched the NRL for a couple of months now and  have no intentions of doing so.

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1 minute ago, Copa said:

I’m struggling.

I missed most Canberra Raiders games last year as they played most away in Covid safe hubs.

Now they’ve moved all Canberra home games to Queensland over 1000km away.

Canberra hasn’t had a single case of community transmission of Covid in over a year.

Canberra is one of the most Covid free places on earth, and the current highest vaccination rate in Australia, yet they move the Raiders to SE Queensland where they have lockdowns and Covid kicking off.

Yeah, Canberra would have been perfect as far as I'm concerned. The NRL probably suspected that the players would have whinged at being based there during winter.

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Crowds , quality of games , the sport ( again ) has got a lot on its plate to sort out . The WC has magnified things , it’s pretty depressing . Add to that my team hasn’t even played for 5 weeks ☹️

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I haven't got my season ticket this year but will be returning. My fear is those who went to the match out of habit may not go back now that habit has been broken.

The RLWC news has really deflated me. My natural instinct is to get a refund for the several games I have tickets for. My enthusiasm has simply drained. If the tournament is nothing more than a plaything for Australia to pick up and put down as they choose, then I'm not sure it's worth bothering with. But then I think I don't want to punish the organisers for matters beyond their control.

Then I look at our own attitude. England ignore the weaker nations on our doorstep so are we hypocritical to criticise the Australians?

I'm not one of these who declare the game as dying at even the most minor inconvenience but I certainly can't see a path to growth when the entire sport is subservient to the NRL.

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43 minutes ago, Dr Tim Whatley said:

I'm in the same boat as a few of you. Take a look at the teams I follow in this sport...

Hemel Stags - couple of good years in League One, a few years of getting hammered when the division got re-organised, now I don't even know what comp they are playing in.

London Broncos - absolute bin fire, as discussed ad infinitum on here

England - they just don't play

Bloody hell, mate. You are the kiss of death! 

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2 minutes ago, Archie Gordon said:

Bloody hell, mate. You are the kiss of death! 

I'm buying him a Wigan season ticket.

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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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33 minutes ago, redjonn said:

If I only went by what I read in this forum or by RL media I think I would have stop going years ago,

I enjoy the socialising at the game and watching the game...

There are certainly positives - other fans being one, but at L1 level there aren't many of us and I can't pretend that Skolars may not have a league to play in next year. I love the sport and invest in it emotionally and financially but I can't bury my head in the sand and ignore all that's going on (wrong). I may feel different if I lived in Hull or Leeds but I live in east London.

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7 minutes ago, Chris22 said:

 

Then I look at our own attitude. England ignore the weaker nations on our doorstep so are we hypocritical to criticise the Australians?

 

Absolutely and my feelings on England, this. The attitude here to international rugby is nothing short of terrible and I find it hypocritical, so I find it hard to support England when this is their attitude and to slag any other nation of for similar behaviour. 

If this is the kick in the backside needed to wake England up and to take the northern hemisphere more seriously, great. I won’t hold my breath though. 

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