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Sheffield Eagles.....an analysis


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46 minutes ago, Eddie said:

That’s good to hear. Are they actually people from Bolton or people from Wigan/Leigh who are in Bolton though? Shame there isn’t a Bolton club if there’s interest there. 

Both I would say (you’re right about the ex-pats) and there is an amateur club called the Bolton Mets.

Quite a lot of people in north Bolton will have been to watch Wigan at some point, particularly in the hey day.

Obviously Bolton Wanderers is the main sporting priority in the town, but rugby league (Wigan and Leigh mainly) has always had a following in the town too.

I would say though a well planned event in Sheffield coupled with a promotion of the Eagles would be worth it and I’m not arguing that Bolton forever be a Challenge Cup semi option, but it isn’t a bad one either.

 

Edited by Gerrumonside ref
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17 minutes ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

Yes, I know that bit, I’m talking about before then.

I lived there in the mid 90s and the Eagles were quite visible, plenty of publicity and articles in the local press etc. They used to get about 4k iirc. 

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11 minutes ago, Eddie said:

I lived there in the mid 90s and the Eagles were quite visible, plenty of publicity and articles in the local press etc. They used to get about 4k iirc. 

That’s good then - some dormant fans to build upon then as I know their attendances have dropped quite some way.

I have lived there too and my main impression speaking to local people in Sheffield was that they were too emotionally invested in Wednesday and the Blades to make any kind of big commitment to another sport.

That said the city had two very large universities and student populations to aim at, and starved of RL there could be a market to exploit amongst people already familiar with the sport.

It really is a great city so I hope Sheffield Eagles can come restore themselves to former glories with their new stadium.

 

 

Edited by Gerrumonside ref
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9 hours ago, Eddie said:

Yes, SL made them ‘merge’ with Huddersfield and effectively erased the club. 

They were not 'made' to merge, they and Huddersfield (as did Gateshead and Hull) chose to do so to gain access to a bung of £1. 25m. Sheffield were skint and would likely have gone bust if they hadn't 

Edited by Les Tonks Sidestep
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3 minutes ago, Les Tonks Sidestep said:

They were not 'made' to merge, they and Huddersfield (as did Gateshead and Hull) chose to do so to gain access to a bung of £1. 25m. Sheffield were skint.  

So if they’d chosen not to they would have been allowed in SL as two separate teams? 

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9 minutes ago, Eddie said:

So if they’d chosen not to they would have been allowed in SL as two separate teams? 

There was an offer of £1.25m for any teams choosing to merge. Huddersfield had finished bottom 2 years in a row so would have been more likely to miss out than Sheffield, although as I've stated Sheffield would quite possibly have gone belly up, as would Hull if they had not merged with Gateshead. Again no one made them merge. 

Games were supposed to be split between Hudds and Sheff but that didn't last long so it was actually the club owners who killed off the original Sheffield

Edited by Les Tonks Sidestep
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If memory serves me correct, at one time, there was both the Huddersfield/Sheffield Giants, and the newly formed ( or re-formed) Sheffield Eagles. So technically there was one and a half professional teams in the city.

It seemed to be perceived (in Sheffield) that the merged club had a much greater Huddersfield bias, and most Sheffield fans supported the new "Mark Aston's" Eagles, and Huddersfield were the team they loved to hate. Eventually the new club dropped all references to Sheffield. 

Not so much of a merger, more an asset stripping exercise.

 

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41 minutes ago, RS50 said:

If memory serves me correct, at one time, there was both the Huddersfield/Sheffield Giants, and the newly formed ( or re-formed) Sheffield Eagles. So technically there was one and a half professional teams in the city.

It seemed to be perceived (in Sheffield) that the merged club had a much greater Huddersfield bias, and most Sheffield fans supported the new "Mark Aston's" Eagles, and Huddersfield were the team they loved to hate. Eventually the new club dropped all references to Sheffield. 

Not so much of a merger, more an asset stripping exercise.

 

Another merger that was a total con. Shuddersfield were supposed to play alternate home games in both places, they only played one game in Sheffield.

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2 hours ago, Eddie said:

So if they’d chosen not to they would have been allowed in SL as two separate teams? 

If I remember correctly (apologies if I'm wrong) I think the answer would be no, as Huddersfield had finished the previous season in a relegation position.

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9 hours ago, Gooleboy said:

Another merger that was a total con. Shuddersfield were supposed to play alternate home games in both places, they only played one game in Sheffield.

They played more than one game there but it was certainly not a real coming together and the Sheffield fans could see that very clearly.

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21 hours ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

Does anyone involved with Sheffield Eagles know why they failed to gain traction in the city after winning the Challenge Cup and also playing in the top flight?

How big did the crowds get and where did they go?

Are there any lessons to be learned before we spend resource trying a big push there as some are proposing?

First game after winning CC was home to Wigan. Thought at the time, a win and a good crowd would help Eagles "kick on". Sadly, they got neither. As to why things did not get better, I have no idea. 

Do seem to remember that Sheffield got over 8000, for the match, when they thrashed the newly crowned World club champions Widnes (around 1989). This match was at Sheffield United's football ground. The Eagles were unable to stage a lot of their home matches in Sheffield for a lot of the time. Don't suppose this helped.

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On 07/09/2021 at 12:08, Eddie said:

That’s good to hear. Are they actually people from Bolton or people from Wigan/Leigh who are in Bolton though? Shame there isn’t a Bolton club if there’s interest there. 

Dad was a Boltonian and Wigan fan (before he used the refugee escape road M62 to move to the sunny side and started going to Post Office Road).

He reckoned about 1/4 of Wigan's fanbase in the 60&70s was from Bolton.

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16 hours ago, Les Tonks Sidestep said:

They were not 'made' to merge, they and Huddersfield (as did Gateshead and Hull) chose to do so to gain access to a bung of £1. 25m. Sheffield were skint and would likely have gone bust if they hadn't 

Au contraire.

It was the Huddersfield club which was liquidated.

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

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14 hours ago, Gooleboy said:

Another merger that was a total con. Shuddersfield were supposed to play alternate home games in both places, they only played one game in Sheffield.

I thought it was three - all after Sheffield Eagles had finished their season.  I may be wrong.

Originally, it was to be half of their home fixtures.

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

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