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Time to go back to the original Super League idea?


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Alan remember Toulouse where there alongside Paris back then - 25 years ago.

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Mergers will not work like in the original idea and in many cases are a pooling of nothing anyhow. We need teams representing all our towns, not just do away with them.

Humberside is just daft. Hull FC and Hull KR are 2 of our biggest clubs with attendances around 20k combined. Merging these will not result in a club getting 20k attendances. Depending on location you'll probably end up with something like Hull FC's or Hull KR's attendances and a raft of people lost to the game. The parts are much stronger than the sum.

Cumbria is too big for mergers to work, you will just end up with a Cumbria team representing a town as now. The only way I could it working is having a Cumbria club owned by the current clubs equally and playing in every town and moving games between them. The existing clubs would feed into that and retain their identities in the lower leagues. No loss of identity and no perception of a Cumbria club not being their club. The facilities are lacking though for that.

Manchester should just be a new standalone club. Oldham, Swinton and Rochdale offer nothing to any merger and, no matter how some try to say they are, are not Mancheater. The game should be looking to see how it can build the likes of Oldham, Swinton and Rochdale back up and making them, and RL, more relevant again in the areas they represent. A separate Manchester team could help this, a merger and calling it Manchester will destroy what's left.

The lower leagues can be vibrant in their own rights and having strong Barrows as individual entities benefits the game. The key is getting more clubs in the lower league back up like that. There is absolutely nothing wrong in a club playing at a more sustainable lower level, we don't have to try and make everyone a super club.

Calder is just like what I said about Hull. You'd be destroying 3 clubs to end up with one no bigger than Cas.

Merging Toulouse and Catalans is just nonsensical, they are over 200kms apart and should be growing the game in completely different areas and completely different markets.

Edited by Damien
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20 minutes ago, Damien said:

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Cumbria is too big for mergers to work, you will just end up with a Cumbria team representing a town as now. The only way I could it working is having a Cumbria club owned by the current clubs equally and playing in every town and moving games between them. The existing clubs would feed into that and retain their identities in the lower leagues. 

 

 

That really wouldn't work, any Cumbria club would need to be entirely separate to the existing clubs as there's far too many inwards looking people involved for it to work unfortunately.  Though I do agree with the bit about feeding into it because as much as I hate to admit it I can't see either of the current clubs managing to be a SL club in their own right.

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5 minutes ago, dkw said:

That really wouldn't work, any Cumbria club would need to be entirely separate to the existing clubs as there's far too many inwards looking people involved for it to work unfortunately.  Though I do agree with the bit about feeding into it because as much as I hate to admit it I can't see either of the current clubs managing to be a SL club in their own right.

My thinking was more how to get buy in from all fans and clubs so that everyone saw it as their club and there was no dominant entity. I do agree that these things often aren't so idealistic in practice. Maybe each club could own 15% or something with another entity a controlling 55% stake so that the clubs couldn't stop things they disagreed with? I'm not sure just spitballing.

Maybe somehow a club could be entirely separate but still the same general idea of games being shared and moved and everyone feeding into it. Make that some sort of condition of a SL place as a special strategic decision. As I said just some ideas of how something could be done.

My fear with a wholly owned separate entity would that it would just quickly become a Cumbria club in name only and just based in one location.

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The new owners of Sky dont have the same interest in League as the Murdochs . may be they dont see a regional sport as good value for money,

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Those ideas are long past. What is probably somewhat the same is how an investor (broadcaster) looked at a game that was then dying on its ass financially and wanted to invest to give it a shake up. The decision was to take its strongest elements and build around that. It had zero interest in a whole game solution and valued new markets like France, London etc.

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6 minutes ago, Damien said:

My thinking was more how to get buy in from all fans and clubs so that everyone saw it as their club and there was no dominant entity. I do agree that these things often aren't so idealistic in practice. Maybe each club could own 15% or something with another entity a controlling 55% stake so that the clubs couldn't stop things they disagreed with? I'm not sure just spitballing.

Maybe somehow a club could be entirely separate but still the same general idea of games being shared and moved and everyone feeding into it. Make that some sort of condition of a SL place as a special strategic decision. As I said just some ideas of how something could be done.

My fear with a wholly owned separate entity would that it would just quickly become a Cumbria club in name only and just based in one location.

That would be good on an ideal world, but there's far too much self interest involved. The hard core fans would possibly shun it, but there's not many of them left really so it would probably be better to just cater for the RL fans in the area who have little or no club loyalty. Involving the current people would only muddy the waters.

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13 minutes ago, owls said:

The new owners of Sky dont have the same interest in League as the Murdochs . may be they dont see a regional sport as good value for money,

They also weren't fighting a battle across a second market (Australia) which had a huge impact on the proposal and money available.

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Imagine you are sitting down to write a strategy and business plan for your business, thats been around for over 125 years.

You begin your S.W.O.T analysis -you realise 90% of your direct customers are based in the North which accounts for 15% of the population, yet within that 15% huge pockets contain virtually zero clients. You have an existing distribution centre in London but its reach is to a miniscule % of population despite many exiled RL folk being located here and traditionally a huge swell of descendants of Convicts sent from these shores in centuries past.

As you are absorbing this, Jonny Newbuoy bursts through the door - fresh from his business/marketing degree at a former Poly now Uni - I have the solution he shouts loudly ''let's luvv off all our existing customers by closing their local branch, and open up a new one where richer people live, they'll still travel to the nearest branch because the have loved us for 125 years and know nothing else. We have a great product that all these Rich new customers dont use yet but I am sure they will buy into if we throw all the money we have saved from isolating our loyal clients into the hope of finding new ones''

Company A  - they sack Mr Newbuoy, questioning the validity of his degree and notifying the local asylum of his last abode. Engage in a controlled expansion based upon a strategy of engaging and maximising their low hanging fruit whilst supporting the seed that has fallen further from the tree to create the opportunity for growth

Company B - they promote Mr Newbuoy to CEO with a £300k basic and 2 year notice period, but the gain of new customers is dwarfed by the loss of existing who find alternate products to spend their hard earned on. Mr N decides that a more radical policy is needed and closes even more local branches to create the cash to fund the expansion into the new Gold laden areas which have so far not engaged in the dream - all of a sudden the company runs out of cash because it has no more loyal customers and Mr N takes his 2 year pay off whilst he can.

 

WRU gets significantly more income than RL despite being a fraction of its size.

 

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13 minutes ago, dkw said:

That would be good on an ideal world, but there's far too much self interest involved. The hard core fans would possibly shun it, but there's not many of them left really so it would probably be better to just cater for the RL fans in the area who have little or no club loyalty. Involving the current people would only muddy the waters.

Fair enough, you'd know the situation better than me. I was just trying to think of how it could work because as I said in my original post I don't think the traditional Cumbria merger that gets spouted could work in the slightest, for all the reasons you suggest and then some. 

I can only really see Barrow ever having the size and population, being double the size of Workington or Whitehaven, to make a fist of Super League. Even at that they'd need a backer to get there. It would be far from a team representing the whole of Cumbria but there are surrounding places like Askam, Millom, Dalton in Furness and Ulverston who they could appeal to. Such an entity isn't going to appeal to people in Workington and Whitehaven who have their own allegiances. Carlisle isn't really RL territory.

Edited by Damien
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59 minutes ago, Damien said:

Mergers will not work like in the original idea and in many cases are a pooling of nothing anyhow. We need teams representing all our towns, not just do away with them.

Humberside is just daft. Hull FC and Hull KR are 2 of our biggest clubs with attendances around 20k combined. Merging these will not result in a club getting 20k attendances. Depending on location you'll probably end up with something like Hull FC's or Hull KR's attendances and a raft of people lost to the game. The parts are much stronger than the sum.

Cumbria is too big for mergers to work, you will just end up with a Cumbria team representing a town as now. The only way I could it working is having a Cumbria club owned by the current clubs equally and playing in every town and moving games between them. The existing clubs would feed into that and retain their identities in the lower leagues. No loss of identity and no perception of a Cumbria club not being their club. The facilities are lacking though for that.

Manchester should just be a new standalone club. Oldham, Swinton and Rochdale offer nothing to any merger and, no matter how some try to say they are, are not Mancheater. The game should be looking to see how it can build the likes of Oldham, Swinton and Rochdale back up and making them, and RL, more relevant again in the areas they represent. A separate Manchester team could help this, a merger and calling it Manchester will destroy what's left.

The lower leagues can be vibrant in their own rights and having strong Barrows as individual entities benefits the game. The key is getting more clubs in the lower league back up like that. There is absolutely nothing wrong in a club playing at a more sustainable lower level, we don't have to try and make everyone a super club.

Calder is just like what I said about Hull. You'd be destroying 3 clubs to end up with one no bigger than Cas.

Merging Toulouse and Catalans is just nonsensical, they are over 200kms apart and should be growing the game in completely different areas and completely different markets.

Yep a serperate Manchester could do far more to turn the sport around in Greater Manc than a merging of corpses. 

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14 minutes ago, Scubby said:

Those ideas are long past. What is probably somewhat the same is how an investor (broadcaster) looked at a game that was then dying on its ass financially and wanted to invest to give it a shake up. The decision was to take its strongest elements and build around that. It had zero interest in a whole game solution and valued new markets like France, London etc.

Yep any new investor would go NRL model and add teams if they could own a share of  rights to an international tournament and big market teams (Manchester Leeds London etc)

It is why I think clubs like Wakefield and Salford are short sighted about not expanding to 14 sl teams because the alternative is they get 0 anyway. 

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17 minutes ago, barnyia said:

Catalan super League team came from three teams , xiii Catalan, St Estève and st Cyprien, the first two still have full junior set ups and a first team. 

Your talking about a level of pragmatism, common sense and long term strategic thinking that is not prevalent in the game in England, especially in Yorkshire.

Edited by GeordieSaint
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10 minutes ago, GeordieSaint said:

Your talking about a level of pragmatism, common sense and long term strategic thinking that is not prevalent in the game in England, especially in Yorkshire.

What on earth does it have to do with Yorkshire, Saints fans seemed obsessed by this sort of stuff. Why don't the small towns of Wigan and St Helens merge?

The fact is that mergers are a market solution to an industry which simply isn't a conventional business. The customers of Rugby League aren't there to be marshalled around into a new supermarket branch if another one down the road closes. It would fail, badly. The difference between the UK and France is that the clubs which made up Catalan were merged specifically to enter a higher level, Super League. The clubs in the UK exist at that higher level already, and have done for decades, it is a totally different proposition. This might be something as discussed which could work for Cumbria where there is no current SL club, or prospect of one, but even that is challenging.

The sport's close-knit local identity and its geographical isolation are both its strengths and its weaknesses. You simply can't try and expand by destroying what already exists, that is suicidal and stupid, and generally put forward by fans whose clubs coincidentally probably wouldn't be affected.

 

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21 minutes ago, GeordieSaint said:

Your talking about a level of pragmatism, common sense and long term strategic thinking that is not prevalent in the game in England, especially in Yorkshire.

I get it now, you keep all the existing teams and put them in their own comp that plays in Winter, you then have a number of regional teams that play in Summer. 

I am all for that, have loads to do in Summer and less so in Winter.

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1 hour ago, barnyia said:

Catalan and Toulouse as stand alone clubs. That's the same theory that people said when it was proposed so I guess it's not a good time still! 

I believe Catalans was formed as a merger of existing clubs so is in many ways an example of how a stronger bigger identity can be forged.

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What we will never know is whether the original idea would have worked.

The concept would have had 25 years to grow and to bring in a whole new raft supporters who were too young to remember the baggage of some older supporters. I would have supported a Calder team because I love watching live RL and Calder - I didn’t like the name - still represented my area.

But here we are in 2021 with a 70 odd page topic on RL Restructure that Lindsays idea might have made redundant.

As I said earlier we just don’t know if it would have worked.

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27 minutes ago, M j M said:

 

You simply can't try and expand by destroying what already exists, that is suicidal and stupid, and generally put forward by fans whose clubs coincidentally probably wouldn't be affected.

 

Exactly ....

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9 minutes ago, arcticchris said:

I believe Catalans was formed as a merger of existing clubs so is in many ways an example of how a stronger bigger identity can be forged.

Indeed , it would be like 3 small gridiron clubs in the UK combining their resources and putting together a team to play in the NFL 

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9 minutes ago, Adelaide Tiger said:

What we will never know is whether the original idea would have worked.

The concept would have had 25 years to grow and to bring in a whole new raft supporters who were too young to remember the baggage of some older supporters. I would have supported a Calder team because I love watching live RL and Calder - I didn’t like the name - still represented my area.

But here we are in 2021 with a 70 odd page topic on RL Restructure that Lindsays idea might have made redundant.

As I said earlier we just don’t know if it would have worked.

Do you live in Australia ? 

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Wests. They are the perfect example of a merger that was as good as you could get - where fans were up in arms, left, and then came back to see them win a GF When you listen to Michael Carbone's route through this himself you can see it can work in spite of all the history. Catalans are a good example too - two clubs with huge history, albeit they merged with a common purpose to move out of their league and into another, bigger league

Bad examples are Hull-Gateshead and Huddersfield-Sheffield. Maybe we just do them really badly in England. We shouldn't rush to merge if our standard is these.

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