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Funding cuts could mean the end for Coventry Bears


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21 minutes ago, Robthegasman said:

It is possible that West Wales Raiders might be better off becoming an amateur club as the results suggest that even League 1 is out of their reach.

 

They've improved a lot from where they were but they need to still improve the squad. Surprised they sacked their coach who did a good job under the circumstances as the improvement from the season before was obvious. They seem to be pretty cash rich to be honest and as long as the money is there they will stay in the league. 

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1 hour ago, OriginalMrC said:

They've improved a lot from where they were but they need to still improve the squad. Surprised they sacked their coach who did a good job under the circumstances as the improvement from the season before was obvious. They seem to be pretty cash rich to be honest and as long as the money is there they will stay in the league. 

I think their coach left by mutual consent - should the information be true.

He hadn't seen his family,who were in France,since prior to Covid.

I wouldn't think he would have made the signings of Chase and Henson,either.

Will League 1 be staying ,then?

     No reserves,but resilience,persistence and determination are omnipotent.                       

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On 03/10/2021 at 01:06, OriginalMrC said:

Exactly once a club is gone its gone and the pathways that come with it. Joe Batchelor got his first chance at Coventry. Jason Bass at York got his first chance at Coventry and more recently Elliot Hall at Batley who scored a cracker of a try in the playoffs was very clear that he got his chance at Coventry to progress in the game. Who knows in a few years time what other players will get an opportunity at the Bears, Skolars or WWR. These pathways need to be there. 

Hall started off at Skolars, then moved to Coventry. If Keighley had their way both would go.

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3 minutes ago, clwydianrange said:

Hopefully the same as this season, it’s a very competitive and entertaining league that’s derided by people who don’t watch it.

But will they still be competitive after a 80% cut in funding?

Ron Banks

Midlands Hurricanes and Barrow

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10 minutes ago, Bearman said:

But will they still be competitive after a 80% cut in funding?

Depends on the players. Would you do the same job for 80% wages. After all they’re paid next to bug ger as it is. They need some recompense for the effort they give to entertain us every week.

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1 minute ago, clwydianrange said:

Depends on the players. Would you do the same job for 80% wages. After all they’re paid next to bug ger as it is. They need some recompense for the effort they give to entertain us every week.

Exactly.

So I repeat, will they still be competitive. Or would they have to rely on amateurs?

Ron Banks

Midlands Hurricanes and Barrow

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Unlike 6 of this last season's League 1 teams West Wales own their own ground and have other income streams to supplement their modest gate receipts. They also played all 18 of their league games,albeit sometimes without a full complement of players - the last game away at Barrow was particularly challenging.

The main problem seems to be recruitment - the Welsh community game is nowhere near as strong as the north,there is a world famous Rugby Union club in the town and the Raiders geographical isolation must make it very difficult to get loan players in.

It would take a few seasons to turn this around but to lose a toehold in South Wales would be very sad. We don't seem to learn from history - in the late Edwardian period for a short time there were 6 teams in South Wales playing Northern Union but among other factors the parochialism and lack of support by the Northern Union and its clubs meant one by one they threw in the towel and a great opportunity to expand our game was lost.

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Or maybe what might be better where the two Welsh clubs are concerned is for both West Wales and North Wales to merge and  form a new club for Wales like NZ Warriors did in the NRL.Call it something like Wales or Welsh Warriors and base them somewhere like Cardiff or Newport.Yes I did initially say keep it in North Wales but maybe upon reflection it would be better in say Cardiff or Newport as you have a very good catchment area.

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14 hours ago, Robthegasman said:

Or maybe what might be better where the two Welsh clubs are concerned is for both West Wales and North Wales to merge and  form a new club for Wales like NZ Warriors did in the NRL.Call it something like Wales or Welsh Warriors and base them somewhere like Cardiff or Newport.Yes I did initially say keep it in North Wales but maybe upon reflection it would be better in say Cardiff or Newport as you have a very good catchment area.

I think that this is terrible idea.

On the face of it, with Cardiff being the biggest city and a rugby mind set it may make sense. But, history has shown that Cardiff does not work. That rugby mind set is unfortunately set against rl.

North Wales however seems to be starting to work. Union is not as strong in the north ( compared to the south). Access to players from the heartlands is easier and now in Colwyn there is a base that can grow.

As for WW, despite a torrid start they are still there. I am not sure it is sustainable but if the backers are prepared to fund the experiment good luck to them. I really hope they can pull it off.

The one thing that the cut in funding has done is for the club's to start thinking out off the box. Evolve and change or die....its as simple as that. Interesting times ahead.

 

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Ron Banks

Midlands Hurricanes and Barrow

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3 minutes ago, Bearman said:

I think that this is terrible idea.

On the face of it, with Cardiff being the biggest city and a rugby mind set it may make sense. But, history has shown that Cardiff does not work. That rugby mind set is unfortunately set against rl.

North Wales however seems to be starting to work. Union is not as strong in the north ( compared to the south). Access to players from the heartlands is easier and now in Colwyn there is a base that can grow.

As for WW, despite a torrid start they are still there. I am not sure it is sustainable but if the backers are prepared to fund the experiment good luck to them. I really hope they can pull it off.

The one thing that the cut in funding has done is for the club's to start thinking out off the box. Evolve and change or die....its as simple as that. Interesting times ahead.

 

Fair points.
And yes clubs will indeed have to adapt and think out of the box.

As for your club Coventry I totally disagree with what Keighley have said or purported to have said.I think clubs like Coventry have potential.

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15 hours ago, clwydianrange said:

Depends on the players. Would you do the same job for 80% wages. After all they’re paid next to bug ger as it is. They need some recompense for the effort they give to entertain us every week.

I imagine the wages (which are mainly I would guess, PPG and win bonuses) are the least of the problems of an 80% cut. Stadium hire, travel, admin costs....

"I am the avenging angel; I come with wings unfurled, I come with claws extended from halfway round the world. I am the God Almighty, I am the howling wind. I care not for your family; I care not for your kin. I come in search of terror, though terror is my own; I come in search of vengeance for crimes and crimes unknown. I care not for your children, I care not for your wives, I care not for your country, I care not for your lives." - (c) Jim Boyes - "The Avenging Angel"

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20 minutes ago, Bearman said:

On the face of it, with Cardiff being the biggest city and a rugby mind set it may make sense. But, history has shown that Cardiff does not work. That rugby mind set is unfortunately set against rl.

Has history shown this? Or has it shown that the people of Cardiff are not interested in watching a struggling lower league club?

However, I agree with you in that I can't see the plan of WWR and NWC merging and becoming a winner - it would just dissolve 2 lower league clubs and replace them with 1 lower league club, which would likely struggle and attract little interest.

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37 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

Has history shown this? Or has it shown that the people of Cardiff are not interested in watching a struggling lower league club?

There have been at least two failed attempts take pro RL to Cardiff.In the late 40's early 50's. Then again in the 80's.

Going back to the days of yore to the Northern Union they tried to get a foothold in the valleys and the area in and around Cardiff. The last attempt was South Wales Raiders in the 2010's this didn't work and they moved further West.

So I think it is fair to say that the the Cardiff and indeed S.Wales has been tried and the whole South Wales experiment has failed.......so far😎

 

 

 

 

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Ron Banks

Midlands Hurricanes and Barrow

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43 minutes ago, Bearman said:

There have been at least two failed attempts take pro RL to Cardiff.In the late 40's early 50's. Then again in the 80's.

Going back to the days of yore to the Northern Union they tried to get a foothold in the valleys and the area in and around Cardiff. The last attempt was South Wales Raiders in the 2010's this didn't work and they moved further West.

So I think it is fair to say that the the Cardiff and indeed S.Wales has been tried and the whole South Wales experiment has failed.......so far😎

Thanks for the reply. I'm not convinced that anything that was done as far back as the 40s/50s bears much relation to current consumer habits in the 2020s. Also, I think the common denominator with all of the other attempts that you have mentioned is that they involve underfunded, struggling lower league clubs. This is unfortunately the common denominator with most of the game's expansion efforts in the past 40 years. If we're calling those attempts failures because of lack of spectator interest, then that accusation could also be levelled at numerous heartlands clubs. It always annoys me when people use it as a stick to beat expansion with by saying that Southerners/Welsh/Geordies (insert as appropriate) aren't interested in Rugby League, when in reality the crowds and ticket sales for the limited number of top level fixtures played in those areas would suggest that they can attract comparable spectators to many 'heartlands' clubs.

It would be fascinating to see what would have happened in a parallel universe if the RFL had struck when the iron was hot and put a properly funded Cardiff team in to Super League in 1996 on the back of the 1995 World Cup.

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25 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

It always annoys me when people use it as a stick to beat expansion with by saying that Southerners/Welsh/Geordies (insert as appropriate) aren't interested in Rugby League, when in reality the crowds and ticket sales for the limited number of top level fixtures played in those areas would suggest that they can attract comparable spectators to many 'heartlands' clubs.

be fascinating to see what would have happened in a parallel universe if the RFL had struck when the iron was hot and put a properly funded Cardiff team in to Super League in 1996 on the back of the 1995 World Cup.

The RFL could never have funded an expansion club. Nor should they.Their role is to administer the game for ALL the club's. If they were to have their own funded club how could they be impartial?.

Of course they could have done more. The best thing that they did do to was to employ development officers in the regions. Unfortunately, as the initiative was beginning to bear fruit they ran out of money and the opportunity and momentum was lost.

On your point about attendances at top level fixtures. You are right that there have been good attendance figures at special big games in places like Cardiff. But these are one off games and a lot ( most) of the attendees were visitors from the heartlands making a day/weekend of it.

Of course, some locals went and some of them no doubt were converted. Unfortunately there were too few to make much of a difference.

 

 

 

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Ron Banks

Midlands Hurricanes and Barrow

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57 minutes ago, Bearman said:

On your point about attendances at top level fixtures. You are right that there have been good attendance figures at special big games in places like Cardiff. But these are one off games and a lot ( most) of the attendees were visitors from the heartlands making a day/weekend of it.

Of course, some locals went and some of them no doubt were converted. Unfortunately there were too few to make much of a difference.

I'm just not convinced that we can write off Cardiff by saying people aren't interested in RL there, when the area has never had a competitive team playing top clubs to watch on a regular basis. The bottom line is that until we properly fund efforts to give people a really attractive product to watch in these expansion areas then we'll never know.

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3 hours ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

I'm just not convinced that we can write off Cardiff by saying people aren't interested in RL there, when the area has never had a competitive team playing top clubs to watch on a regular basis. The bottom line is that until we properly fund efforts to give people a really attractive product to watch in these expansion areas then we'll never know.

I remember watching Skolars playing Ironmen at Cardiff Arms Park in 2014 and was impressed by the size of the crowd there. Easy to get there as an away fan.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 08/09/2021 at 19:21, DavidM said:

Let the SL clubs take the hit , it’s their product Sky want to pay less for due it being increasingly average . Give more money not less to clubs further down the pyramid in championship and league one , neglect them and super league will cut itself off at the knees in time . And give them more exposure on telly rather than the same old tedious repetitive stuff . Take the blinkers off , rugby league isn’t just super league 

Nope, Sky bought the rights to the championship and league1 and the RFL sold these to sky without enforcing minimum coverage.

The only games Sky showed were the big bash and the play offs.

Sky bought the rights to get rid of the competitor Premier who had taken the world cup and the NRL off them.

Now Sky has dropped the lower divisions hoping no one will pick them up as they didnt want these in the first place.

SL shouldnt pay because the RFL did a deal for a quick buck a few years ago..

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11 hours ago, OriginalMrC said:

👀

 

Any idea when this (whatever 'this' is) is going to be announced?

On another note, any idea what has happened with the Coventry Uni team? Looks like they're not listed in any league this year which is a shame as they've won the Midlands League a couple of times in the past decade.

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On 05/10/2021 at 18:12, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

I'm just not convinced that we can write off Cardiff by saying people aren't interested in RL there, when the area has never had a competitive team playing top clubs to watch on a regular basis. The bottom line is that until we properly fund efforts to give people a really attractive product to watch in these expansion areas then we'll never know.

Yep 80's was 40 years ago.  The new audience you want weren't even born.  Plus as someone who remembers how badly the rfl got Crusaders wrong  (look at who they allowed to own it) I would hate for NWC to get written off because 'we tried it before'.

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4 hours ago, Saint 1 said:

Any idea when this (whatever 'this' is) is going to be announced?

On another note, any idea what has happened with the Coventry Uni team? Looks like they're not listed in any league this year which is a shame as they've won the Midlands League a couple of times in the past decade.

Some news will be coming soon about next season. Can't say more than that but it will be pretty exciting. 

Cov Uni who always had a pretty strong team have unfortunately fallen foul to Covid with momentum lost, and with number of players leaving uni, the team folded. In truth they'd struggled in the season prior to that and had started to lose their way. At one point not to long ago they had two teams playing so it's a massive shame. The Bears have had close ties for a number of years providing coaching an support and there are plans to try to help generate interest again for next season. They'll be back no doubt but it's mad to think that Warwick Uni who back in the day were whipping boys have a RL team and Cov Uni dont. 

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