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11 minutes ago, Chrispmartha said:

So to turn the thread around, what do those that are disillusioned want to see happen?

I want a clear plan about how the game will survive and thrive and for it to be led by people who can deliver it. 

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6 minutes ago, iffleyox said:

An English structure set in stone for at least 10 years without messing about with it every 10 minutes, regular internationals and the NRL brought to heel?

Ive actually thought for quite a while that a SL 1 and SL2 might be a good idea I’d like to see us go with that and stick with it.

there should be at least 2 weekend breaks during the season for internationals.

We need to get more exposure on TV both traditional and modern media (streaming, YouTube etc)

We have got to get the players more widely known in the sporting landscape they are our biggest asset

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8 minutes ago, Chrispmartha said:

So to turn the thread around, what do those that are disillusioned want to see happen?

As Stated above by iffleyox, give us a structure and stick to it, from P&R to playoffs to rules in games, lets just settle down and stop making knee jerk reactions and decisions every season. I know people who have watched the game for 40 years who struggle to keep up with the rule changes. Have a Whole game review, from grass roots to pro that is independent, and act on its findings.

Stop concentrating on a faster game, and start concentrating on a more skilful and exciting game. All i see at matches now is Complete Sets, attack the ruck, get to the kick, compete for kick. Its Boring, Its tedious and its far from exciting. 

 

 

 

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I've followed the game since 1962 and I feel less interested in it now than at anytime during those years. The 1970s were reckoned to be the nadir of the sport, low crowds, little interest but compared to now they were nirvana. The game on the pitch was a tough, physical genuine contest between any clubs top or bottom, International games were a yearly happening including tours. The game had press coverage in almost all daily newspapers who had a RL correspondent and appeared once or twice (Floodlight Trophy) on National TV. Most players were part-time who you might work with or go to the same pub as or live near.

Things change, I appreciate that but RL is in a far worse place than it has been nationally and locally over those 50+ years. The game on the pitch is predictable, who takes the ball up, who will kick on the last tackle, the brute strength that teams used to battle over to gain the upper hand has gone, we now have Rugby League Lite and it's a shameful substitute for the game I used to love. Player's knew that they risked physical punishment everytime they went on the pitch but that was what they were paid for, to overcome their opponent by any means necessary. Now it's game plans, completed sets, victory by defence, no off the cuff stuff whatsoever.

Was it Mike Tyson, that great philosopher who said "Everybody has a plan, untill they get a smack in the mouth"

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It's the hope that kills you. The hope that people with influence will put the good of the sport before their own personal interest. When it doesn't happen, it is so demoralising. 

Unlike a few on here though, I actually like the modern day Rugby League product, in particular the NRL.

My family are away this week and under normal circumstances I would be itching to see the Eels vs. Rabbitohs, Roosters vs. Panthers and Storm vs. Sea Eagles this weekend.  But what the NRL has done to the World Cup is gutting.

Part of me says that I should just forget the politics, forget the ambition of wanting the sport to be more than it is (as that leads to disappointment) and just simply enjoy any Rugby League I come across.  Chat on here about the players and the games and throw the rest of the politics away.  But is that possible?

"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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14 minutes ago, Clogiron said:

I've followed the game since 1962 and I feel less interested in it now than at anytime during those years. The 1970s were reckoned to be the nadir of the sport, low crowds, little interest but compared to now they were nirvana. The game on the pitch was a tough, physical genuine contest between any clubs top or bottom, International games were a yearly happening including tours. The game had press coverage in almost all daily newspapers who had a RL correspondent and appeared once or twice (Floodlight Trophy) on National TV. Most players were part-time who you might work with or go to the same pub as or live near.

Things change, I appreciate that but RL is in a far worse place than it has been nationally and locally over those 50+ years. The game on the pitch is predictable, who takes the ball up, who will kick on the last tackle, the brute strength that teams used to battle over to gain the upper hand has gone, we now have Rugby League Lite and it's a shameful substitute for the game I used to love. Player's knew that they risked physical punishment everytime they went on the pitch but that was what they were paid for, to overcome their opponent by any means necessary. Now it's game plans, completed sets, victory by defence, no off the cuff stuff whatsoever.

Was it Mike Tyson, that great philosopher who said "Everybody has a plan, untill they get a smack in the mouth"

Personally on the pitch wise I think the early noughties was where the action on the pitch was at it’s best

 

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47 minutes ago, Chrispmartha said:

I was more thinking of detail, to try and get to the bottom of what people think is wrong

…but for me the endless reactionary changes, and now not even knowing whether we will be playing next year is key. The absence of a strategy over the years has landed us here. You really feel the people running the sport are making up as they go along. The problems are spelt out in detail day after day on this board. Consider L1 - we’ve had talk of New York, Ottawa, a Bristol based team, an Irish based club, Belgrade; we’ve had Hemel, All Golds and Oxford come and go; the size and structure of the league changing every year, big gaps in between games, we’ve had Bradford, Toronto and Toulouse tear through it, meaningless cup competitions ….and that’s just off the top of my head. All the churn and change ends with us having no idea what will happen next season, whether they’ll even be a next season. It’s hard to have confidence in the game when the people who run it do not have a vision. 
 

Similar stories could be written for SL, Championship, the international game, the way the sport is promoted in this country. 

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everything was better in for eg  the early 90s- be careful what you wish for - eg my wife was much better then  before expansion and spreading south for starters and i was much more interested as many rounds as possible, the game may not have gone the way you would have imagined similar to the mrs but i still love it and always will no matter what happens - we are a special breed us rugby league lot- the only way from here is up 

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did the bloke who invented the phrase "one hit wonder" invent anything else?

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13 minutes ago, graveyard johnny said:

everything was better in for eg  the early 90s- be careful what you wish for - eg my wife was much better then  before expansion and spreading south for starters

Are you trying to tell us your wife was better in the era before the wrestle and when balls were played properly?

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"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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8 hours ago, Johnoco said:

I think it’s worth noting that people making these comments aren’t just posters who registered a couple of days ago. They are serious concerns that maybe in the past we wouldn’t have said out loud. 

Not sure I even had the concerns in the past. I was always hopeful, hopeful the game would develop, expansion would work, crowds would build, exposure and interest would rise, I’d be able to regularly watch internationals, that the L1 structure would not change every year, that big name investors would enter the game, and that the next Broncos ground move would be the last (!)* I might have had nagging worries at the back of my mind but I was still hopeful. I don’t though now see much cause for hope about the future. Hopefully (lol) the powers that be will prove me wrong.

*Actually the next move could well be their last but not in a good way. 

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16 minutes ago, EssexRL said:

Not sure I even had the concerns in the past. I was always hopeful, hopeful the game would develop, expansion would work, crowds would build, exposure and interest would rise, I’d be able to regularly watch internationals, that the L1 structure would not change every year, that big name investors would enter the game, and that the next Broncos ground move would be the last (!)* I might have had nagging worries at the back of my mind but I was still hopeful. I don’t though now see much cause for hope about the future. Hopefully (lol) the powers that be will prove me wrong.

*Actually the next move could well be their last but not in a good way. 

Yeah I know exactly what you mean. Whenever people used to say RL was doomed, I used to counter ‘ah but *this* time it’s different’ - and believe it. 

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I'm going to wait and see what the RFL/SL comes up with under its latest restructure for the game as a whole and them make a call on my level of future support for RL.

Year after year of self-centered decisions by the clubs just has to stop, so I think whether an independent body with the right people and decision making power is appointed may also be key in what I do. 

I will likely retain my tickets for the 2021 WC whatever I decide as I can't blame the UK game for what's happened there and international RL is the main thing that's keeping me supporting the game at present.

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22 hours 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? 

This summer, I've watched 30+ cricket matches, three rugby league (amateur). Says it all.

Haven't even bothered seeing a game at the new York stadium, which is three miles away. Put off by talk of God awful one-man rugby, having to book ahead then, when that changed, problems paying on the day. First time I go there is likely to be a York City FC match. [casual attender; don't support either club]

Didn't look into booking any World Cup tickets because I was certain the tournament wouldn't go ahead. Meh.

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12 hours ago, Chrispmartha said:

I was more thinking of detail, to try and get to the bottom of what people think is wrong

It really is disturbing seeing so many life-long RL people have similar views... From statements on this forum, we aren't keeping our core happy, nor are we creating enough waves to bring in the new blood. Are we perhaps at a bigger precipice than we actually are yet to fully appreciate...

My view is we need to have a independent review, to determine how we move forward. Off the back of that review, we need an independent governing body (i.e. non-SL club controlled) to determine a strategy for development across all levels, in partnership with stakeholders, but not dominated by a handful of stakeholders for their own benefits. This strategy needs to be backed for the long-term. It will bring focus and energy to a common set of goals and provide a roadmap, a vision of what RL in 2030 will look like.

Without repeating what a lot of other posters have stated, the status quo of knee-jerk and short-terminism is what is killing us and our hope. Not knowing how many teams are in L1 next year (or most years) is a horrific way to plan a business! No wonder we dont attract any investment from sponsors/corporates/new owners... the risks and likelihood it will change again, providing huge uncertainty, is very high!

Providing certainty and a roadmap for RL with a strong clear (independent) voice allows us all to buy into a longer-term with a legitimacy that it serves the whole. It provides positivity and a reason to back RL. At the moment there is little positivity because no one knows what is next... we are all on totally different pages and there is an awful lot of self-serving from a smaller and smaller pie.

The bit that kills me most of all is that I just do not see any of this happening. Not even a glimmer.

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18 minutes ago, tiffers said:

It really is disturbing seeing so many life-long RL people have similar views... From statements on this forum, we aren't keeping our core happy, nor are we creating enough waves to bring in the new blood. Are we perhaps at a bigger precipice than we actually are yet to fully appreciate...

My view is we need to have a independent review, to determine how we move forward. Off the back of that review, we need an independent governing body (i.e. non-SL club controlled) to determine a strategy for development across all levels, in partnership with stakeholders, but not dominated by a handful of stakeholders for their own benefits. This strategy needs to be backed for the long-term. It will bring focus and energy to a common set of goals and provide a roadmap, a vision of what RL in 2030 will look like.

Without repeating what a lot of other posters have stated, the status quo of knee-jerk and short-terminism is what is killing us and our hope. Not knowing how many teams are in L1 next year (or most years) is a horrific way to plan a business! No wonder we dont attract any investment from sponsors/corporates/new owners... the risks and likelihood it will change again, providing huge uncertainty, is very high!

Providing certainty and a roadmap for RL with a strong clear (independent) voice allows us all to buy into a longer-term with a legitimacy that it serves the whole. It provides positivity and a reason to back RL. At the moment there is little positivity because no one knows what is next... we are all on totally different pages and there is an awful lot of self-serving from a smaller and smaller pie.

The bit that kills me most of all is that I just do not see any of this happening. Not even a glimmer.

Brilliantly said. Couldn’t agree more. 👏👏👏👏

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13 hours ago, Chrispmartha said:

I was more thinking of detail, to try and get to the bottom of what people think is wrong

I would like to see the RFL actually have some vision and strategy and some kind of plan to achieve that. It needs to be far broader than constant minor tinkering with rules and which clubs are in SL and should encompass

- Community Game - Goals like Increasing the number of participants, number of clubs introducing modified forms of the game to broaden participation (kids, women, wheelchair, disability, masters, short-sided/indoor/beach, working with tag/touch organisations). Increasing access in schools, universities, all regions of the country.

- Officials - referees, coaches, administrators, medical staff

- Rules - 

- Safety - lots of concern about frequent player injuries, mental health impact, head contact - what's the plan here?

- England team, internationals - committed plan in terms of coaching/performance (like Olympic sports have), regular schedule of fixtures

- Infrastructure - (stadia, amateur club facilities)

- Finance - what are the plans to get more money from sponsors, from Sport England, from tv rights?

- TV/streaming/social media - what's the plan to increase our tv audience? what the's plan for ourleague, what's the plan for presence on youtube, instagram, twitch etc? What's the plan for dealing with newspapers and other media to increase our presence?

- Customer satisfaction - ticketing etc.

-  Events - we know events can work really well to deliver money, publicity, new customers - e.g. Catalans playing at Barcelona, Magic weekend and so on (and e.g. look at the one-off NFL games, or the one-off RU games at Wembley etc). What's the plan here?

- Professional player retention - what's the strategy vis-a-vis losing top players to RU?

That's all before you even start looking at the structure of the professional club game.

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Just now, Johnoco said:

Not sure there is one, I think it's a case of 'there'll be another player along soon, who cares?'

Which may well be the correct thing to do, but in a well-run business, I'd expect there to be some monitoring of numbers of key employees joining a rival, and some kind of plan to address concerns. If people leave to get better pay, or career opportunities, so be it, but if there are fixable problems that might have kept them?

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That's obviously an incomplete list, BTW - things like drugs testing, diversity, safeguarding, employee development, merchandising sales etc. are going to be important for any sports governing body to plan/ think about/ set goals for.

Once you get on to professional clubs, there again needs to be a strategy and some kind of plan for all aspects of their operation. Plenty of this stuff is owned by individual clubs, but there has to be some kind of central oversight and help:

- increase the number and geographical spread of professional clubs

- improve the financial stability of professional clubs - e.g. by controlling costs, better admin/governance, increasing tv revenues, merchandising, tv/ streaming revenue, sponsorship, hospitality, public sector funding, outside investment etc., revenues from customers

- Growing attendances/ matchday revenue

- Growing customer base/passive supporters - potential tv audience, merchandise buyers

- Improving facilities/ infrastructure

- Elite player development - academies etc.

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Clearly, the RFL is skint, and probably the two biggest immediate priorities are doing the best possible job of getting money out of the government and doing a fantastic job of the RLWC and making a big profit from that.

So I can accept that some of the goals might need to be unambitious because there's no money to do anything. But let's have at least some kind of agreed plan for the sport that most people can get behind and some positive mood music rather than the constant squabbling, politics and deckchair re-arrangement.

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Been a fan since the early 60’s, my first game Workington v St Helens, both sides full of big names, a big crowd and a win for the town. A young boy was hooked. My first real big game, Cumberland v Australia 1967 at Derwent Park, an unbelievable experience for a young boy with Cumberland winning. Fast forward through the years my club has had good times and bad times but the one thing that was always a constant was if the club got things right on and off the field you knew you had the opportunity to reach the top of the game, as we did in the early to mid 90’s with promotion from the 3rd division to the 2nd to the big league and finally super league in consecutive seasons. Every single coach was booked up for miles around for our trips to old Trafford. Unfortunately trying to retain super league status was almost the death knell for the club as it was for others.
Are those times ever likely to return for a club like Workington, probably not but I still attend Derwent park and make an odd away trip with the same excitement I did as a young boy. But will the current situation encourage youngsters to start supporting their local teams when there is little or no chance of that team ever getting the chance to compete at the top? I fear not. 
What I don’t do much anymore is watch super league, it is just the same methodical approach week after week and to me not enjoyable. I watched some old town videos from the lancs cup from the 70’s, the rugby on display was brilliant, not from full time pros but guys who worked down the pit or at the local steelworks, guys who probably had a pint or 2 on a Saturday night when they shouldn’t have, but guys you could relate to and wanted to do well knowing full well that we could reach the top if everything went right. That’s how I feel with the current crop of young Cumbrians plying their trade at Derwent Park but unfortunately the difference is we have no pathway to the top. 
I have no idea how many more years rugby will be played at Derwent Park but if teams like mine are cut adrift in a restructure I fear it will finish sooner rather than later. Ironically as a club we are probably in as good a position as we’ve been for quite sometime, a good young coach who is determined to tap into the quality in the local amateur game and produce a locally based squad, unfortunately that won’t happen overnight but the green shoots are certainly showing. 
 I don’t have the answers to what needs to be done but certainly from my perspective I don’t have any enthusiasm for watching the same teams week after week on sky. 
 

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