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4 hours ago, gingerjon said:

The reality is there is no opportunity. The claim from the chancers is that they will have a team up and running for the 2022 season.

The season that starts in about three months.

They don't exist. There is virtually no chance they will ever exist.

But I'm sure they can go on Chasing Roos and sell some shirts.

I was called daft for suggesting they won't have a new team up and running in a new area in 3 months. If they do have a team up and running for 2022, and it is doubtful, they'll base themselves in an existing RL city for the year. 

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On 23/10/2021 at 11:41, Tubby said:

Delusional…abstract nonsense. I know it’s a forum and discussion is the point, but the absolute abject fantasy spouted by some is laughable. 
 

Geographical expansion is something we should all aspire to, but the idea that we can just plant a team in a non-rl area and expect it to flourish is embarrassingly naive. RL is, unfortunately a very minor sport in Europe in northern England and to a much lesser extent, south-western France. To read some of the fantastical ideas of where we should conquer next, you’d think vastly wealthy sport-lovers were begging us to let them in. It’s a sad fact, they’re not. I have no answers because, unfortunately, I don’t believe there are any. 
 

Aspiration is a fine thing, but that’s all it is. We’ll be having the same delusional discussions in 20 years time (if league as we know it still exists) and my opinion is that we’ll be no further on. 
 

yes, I’m a bit pessimistic. 

I agree parts can seem delusional however one word - 'Storm'

There was no League at all in Melbourne and it is now a dominant team giving a presence where there was one 

It took massive investment sure but it wouldn't take anywhere near the same amount to get a decent Championship club up and running and winning in say Birmingham. 

To say it's fantastical is more than pessimistic it is just wrong 

Just need some substantial investment 

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On 23/10/2021 at 12:56, Rowan said:

Just as a bit of light relief I dug out a match day programme of Manchester Knights from July 20, 2000. It was for an RL Conference Match (eventually to become National League Three) against Rotherham Giants.  At the time Birmingham Bulldogs with 10 wins from 11 games were top of the Western Division and the Composite Table.  The Competition also included Hemel, St. Albans, Ipswich, Coventry, Leicester, Wolverhampton, Chester, Nottingham, Derby, North, South and West London, St. Albans - a total of 24 clubs in all.  Don't know how many (if any other than Hemel and Coventry still exist but it was backed by the RFL at the time.

Northern Division:

Manchester Knights- no longer exist

Crewe Wolves- no longer exist

Chester Wolves- no longer exist

Rotherham Giants- no longer exist

Derby City- still exist

Nottingham Outlaws- still exist

Western Division:

Birmingham Bulldogs- still exist

Coventry Bears- still exist

Gloucestershire Warriors- no longer exist

Leicester Phoenix- no longer exist

Worcestershire Saints- no longer exist

Wolverhampton Wizards- no longer exist

Eastern Division:

Bedford Swifts- no longer exist

Cambridge Eagles- no longer exist

Hemel Stags- still exist

Ipswich Rhinos- still exist but are now called Eastern Rhinos

South Norfolk Saints- no longer exist

St Albans Centurions- still exist

Southern Division:

Crawley Jets- no longer exist

Kingston Warriors- still exist but are now called Elmbridge Eagles

North London Skolars- still exist but are now called London Skolars

Oxford Cavaliers- still exist 

South London Storm- merged with West London Sharks to form London Chargers

West London Sharks- merged with South London Storm to form London Chargers

 

10 out of the 24 still exist and 2 of the others have merged to form a still existing club. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

I seem to remember the Crawley Jets being quite dominant in the early days? 

Shame to see so many of those fall by the wayside.

They were but was essentially a team playing out of a ra ra club which had no interests in RL long term. IIRC personnel changes on both sides saw a parting of the ways.

My wife complains I selfishly stop her fulfilling her true ambition -

she really wants to be a rich widow

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8 minutes ago, BJW said:

They were but was essentially a team playing out of a ra ra club which had no interests in RL long term. IIRC personnel changes on both sides saw a parting of the ways.

Thanks, I knew it was from a RU club but I seem to remember the guy behind them was from Dewsbury? Or was it Widnes?  Steve something....Riley? 

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50 minutes ago, bowes said:

Northern Division:

Manchester Knights- no longer exist

Crewe Wolves- no longer exist

Chester Wolves- no longer exist

Rotherham Giants- no longer exist

Derby City- still exist

Nottingham Outlaws- still exist

Western Division:

Birmingham Bulldogs- still exist

Coventry Bears- still exist

Gloucestershire Warriors- no longer exist

Leicester Phoenix- no longer exist

Worcestershire Saints- no longer exist

Wolverhampton Wizards- no longer exist

Eastern Division:

Bedford Swifts- no longer exist

Cambridge Eagles- no longer exist

Hemel Stags- still exist

Ipswich Rhinos- still exist but are now called Eastern Rhinos

South Norfolk Saints- no longer exist

St Albans Centurions- still exist

Southern Division:

Crawley Jets- no longer exist

Kingston Warriors- still exist but are now called Elmbridge Eagles

North London Skolars- still exist but are now called London Skolars

Oxford Cavaliers- still exist 

South London Storm- merged with West London Sharks to form London Chargers

West London Sharks- merged with South London Storm to form London Chargers

 

10 out of the 24 still exist and 2 of the others have merged to form a still existing club. 

 

Still a few of those locations have teams if not the original clubs on the list

Bedford Tigers .Worcester Jaguars  Chester Gladiators And the All Golds

If you add those to the list its probably well over 2/3rds that are still playing rugby league in some form which I dont think is bad at all

Edited by Rach
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39 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

Thanks, I knew it was from a RU club but I seem to remember the guy behind them was from Dewsbury? Or was it Widnes?  Steve something....Riley? 

Mark Richardson, their chairman, was from Dewsbury. Steve O'Reilly was their scrum half, ex of Widnes.

Edited by JonM
adding a comma
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1 minute ago, OriginalMrC said:

Apart from being a figment of someone's imagination, no. 

How dare you! They are part of the prestigious euro 13 competition! An organisation that in no way resembles the description you just gave the Jaguars. ☺️

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1 hour ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

I agree parts can seem delusional however one word - 'Storm'

There was no League at all in Melbourne and it is now a dominant team giving a presence where there was one 

It took massive investment sure but it wouldn't take anywhere near the same amount to get a decent Championship club up and running and winning in say Birmingham. 

To say it's fantastical is more than pessimistic it is just wrong 

Just need some substantial investment 

Nothing is impossible, however, Melbourne Storm have been instroduced into pretty much the most important sport in Australia, in an entirely different system with different values.  RL in Aus is financially incomparable with RL in the UK.  you will never get anything like the same kind of investent in RL here, purely because of the difference in the standing of the sport nationally.

Getting a championship team up and running in what is (sorry to keep pointing this out) a minority, regional sport in the UK is no the same thing by any stretch of the imagination.

Please let me stress, I am in no way anti-expansion, I wish Newcastle all the luck in the world and if they earn their place in the top tier of the RL pyramid, I hop they go on to succeed and become a top four club, it would be great for the sport.

I think we punch well above our weight with the media as it is.

But, look at the list of abject failures over the past forty years or so, it's quite long.  I've yet to hear what the magic formula for success is which that huge list of failures never had.

I appreciate that it costs nothing to dream, but it costs an awful lot to establish and run a professional sports team.

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1 hour ago, bowes said:

Northern Division:

Manchester Knights- no longer exist

Crewe Wolves- no longer exist

Chester Wolves- no longer exist

Rotherham Giants- no longer exist

Derby City- still exist

Nottingham Outlaws- still exist

Western Division:

Birmingham Bulldogs- still exist

Coventry Bears- still exist

Gloucestershire Warriors- no longer exist

Leicester Phoenix- no longer exist

Worcestershire Saints- no longer exist

Wolverhampton Wizards- no longer exist

Eastern Division:

Bedford Swifts- no longer exist

Cambridge Eagles- no longer exist

Hemel Stags- still exist

Ipswich Rhinos- still exist but are now called Eastern Rhinos

South Norfolk Saints- no longer exist

St Albans Centurions- still exist

Southern Division:

Crawley Jets- no longer exist

Kingston Warriors- still exist but are now called Elmbridge Eagles

North London Skolars- still exist but are now called London Skolars

Oxford Cavaliers- still exist 

South London Storm- merged with West London Sharks to form London Chargers

West London Sharks- merged with South London Storm to form London Chargers

 

10 out of the 24 still exist and 2 of the others have merged to form a still existing club. 

 

It's a real shame to see a lot of these clubs gone. Some really strong clubs in that list, on the field at least. I played a lot of these teams while playing for the Bears. Shame to see Leicester Phoenix gone. We had a big rivalry with them in the early days and some proper ding dong battles. 

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2 minutes ago, Tubby said:

 I've yet to hear what the magic formula for success is which that huge list of failures never had.

Finding a reasonably sized sports market in the UK that isn't already saturated, which also has a suitable stadium. Then add a Peter Deakin-like person running marketing the club. That plus a committed owner with tens of millions to spend over the course of a decade or more. We've certainly had the latter two, just not in the same place.

It can be done though - several rugby union clubs have managed to build a fanbase completely from scratch, although none of them seem to be viable without large inputs of money from outside, even now.

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51 minutes ago, JonM said:

Finding a reasonably sized sports market in the UK that isn't already saturated, which also has a suitable stadium. Then add a Peter Deakin-like person running marketing the club. That plus a committed owner with tens of millions to spend over the course of a decade or more. We've certainly had the latter two, just not in the same place.

It can be done though - several rugby union clubs have managed to build a fanbase completely from scratch, although none of them seem to be viable without large inputs of money from outside, even now.

I think with those factors in place, it’s not entirely unfeasible, with the addition of a great deal of luck. 
 

Union clubs have an advantage in that almost anywhere in England, there will be relatively local community clubs. Again, not quite the same market. Union is known by most of the population, RL isn’t. 
 

I can see I probably come across as wishing for failure, but a lifetime of playing, volunteering and supporting RL makes one a realist. 

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44 minutes ago, Tubby said:

Union clubs have an advantage in that almost anywhere in England, there will be relatively local community clubs. Again, not quite the same market. Union is known by most of the population, RL isn’t. 

I would say that most of the population neither knows, nor cares, about the difference. Club RU is still tiny relative to football. I know plenty of people who travel from Cambridge to watch London (or other) football teams or to watch Cambridge United. I know only two people who have watched a club rugby union match in the last decade - both mums of kids who play for their local union club, going to one-off big events on coaches organised by their kids club.

The question that should be asked re expansion is not - "how can we start a successful pro RL club in random city X?", because that seems to be too difficult from where we are today, although I think the opportunity was there a decade or two back

It should be "How can we put on a successful, well attended, looks good on TV, sells merch, makes a profit,  RL event in city X?" An event could be a world cup game, an England international, a magic type event, a on-the-road type game, a 9-s tournament, a rep fixture, a beach league tournament or whatever. And if you can do that, how can you follow it up so that people who liked it have the opportunity to spend some more money in the future, or to actually play? 

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10 minutes ago, JonM said:

I would say that most of the population neither knows, nor cares, about the difference. Club RU is still tiny relative to football. I know plenty of people who travel from Cambridge to watch London (or other) football teams or to watch Cambridge United. I know only two people who have watched a club rugby union match in the last decade - both mums of kids who play for their local union club, going to one-off big events on coaches organised by their kids club.

The question that should be asked re expansion is not - "how can we start a successful pro RL club in random city X?", because that seems to be too difficult from where we are today, although I think the opportunity was there a decade or two back

It should be "How can we put on a successful, well attended, looks good on TV, sells merch, makes a profit,  RL event in city X?" An event could be a world cup game, an England international, a magic type event, a on-the-road type game, a 9-s tournament, a rep fixture, a beach league tournament or whatever. And if you can do that, how can you follow it up so that people who liked it have the opportunity to spend some more money in the future, or to actually play? 

I take your point on people not knowing the difference, you’re probably right outside the M62 corridor. 
 

With regards to the event point, that is done with Magic every year and indeed the original plan seemed to be a ‘RL on the road’ idea, moving around every year, which I believe to be our best shot at spreading the word. I have never seen any figures published for the number of tickets sold local to the ground for Magic, but anecdotally it seems to attract a fair few interested ‘outsiders’. 
 

Perhaps this has helped the Newcastle club, it certainly can’t hinder. 
 

However, I wasn’t arguing about the positivity of an event. I was questioning the idea of starting a new club (from the Hemel RFL membership) in some some random city, purely because lots of people live within its specific metropolitan boundary, as if how the population is geographically divided and identified has some bearing on potential attendances. 

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1 minute ago, Tubby said:

I was questioning the idea of starting a new club (from the Hemel RFL membership) in some some random city, purely because lots of people live within its specific metropolitan boundary, as if how the population is geographically divided and identified has some bearing on potential attendances. 

Yep. I'm going to give Mr. Perez a tick for the "Steve Deakin like figure" aspect as he was able to get pretty impressive crowds in Toronto. So then the question is perhaps - is there still an untapped sports market in the UK? The obvious places a couple of decades ago - large towns without much top level sport - Milton Keynes, Worcester, Stevenage/ North Herts (and dare I say it, Salford) now have football or rugby teams.  There are some decent size places like Bedford or Basingstoke without much, but they wouldn't be obvious choices for RL.

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2 minutes ago, JonM said:

Yep. I'm going to give Mr. Perez a tick for the "Steve Deakin like figure" aspect as he was able to get pretty impressive crowds in Toronto. So then the question is perhaps - is there still an untapped sports market in the UK? The obvious places a couple of decades ago - large towns without much top level sport - Milton Keynes, Worcester, Stevenage/ North Herts (and dare I say it, Salford) now have football or rugby teams.  There are some decent size places like Bedford or Basingstoke without much, but they wouldn't be obvious choices for RL.

But I think this is pertinent as well, Toronto is a very different place to any of those, and Torontonians culturally different to the English.  Just because it seemed to be working (never had time to see if it really had legs) in Toronto is no guarantee, or even indication, that the same would work over here. That’s not to say it can’t, but it’s not something that can be assumed. 

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3 hours ago, JonM said:

Finding a reasonably sized sports market in the UK that isn't already saturated, which also has a suitable stadium. Then add a Peter Deakin-like person running marketing the club. That plus a committed owner with tens of millions to spend over the course of a decade or more. We've certainly had the latter two, just not in the same place.

It can be done though - several rugby union clubs have managed to build a fanbase completely from scratch, although none of them seem to be viable without large inputs of money from outside, even now.

Exactly 

Wasps are now in Coventry as opposed to south Bucks - a long way and an area that already has a union team

Their attendances are good

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4 hours ago, Rach said:

Still a few of those locations have teams if not the original clubs on the list

Bedford Tigers .Worcester Jaguars  Chester Gladiators And the All Golds

If you add those to the list its probably well over 2/3rds that are still playing rugby league in some form which I dont think is bad at all

Bedford Tigers and NEW Ravens were set up not long after Bedford Swifts and Worcestershire Saints respectively folded so I expect there was some continuity of players and volunteers. Chester Gladiators have nothing to do with Chester Wolves but they are a much better club. The problem with clubs like Chester Wolves or Crewe Wolves was that they'd often bring in winter players from the heartlands rather than develop local players.

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On 23/10/2021 at 08:09, Johnoco said:

We could get Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne to put aside their differences and do a few numbers at their opening match.

That could really Move things forward and turn it from a pipe dream into a Livin Thing.

Bostin!

So long as the chairman isn’t Horace Wimp.

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On 23/10/2021 at 08:09, Johnoco said:

We could get Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne to put aside their differences and do a few numbers at their opening match.

That could really Move things forward and turn it from a pipe dream into a Livin Thing.

Bostin!

And take it All over the world including Shard End.

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On Brum as someone from Shropshire Coventry felt like a different planet,  Brum merely another country. 

The other code get 750 despite being the third tier of kick and clap.  Feel most expansion areas bar Manc at MRA are really only feasible as dual code clubs sweating the asset.  

Think Newcastle are the model.  Have to have the ground in constant use.  Brum has the highest unemployment rate of any city outside Blackpool.  It tried to become a cheap London and remote working is going to bury It. 

I also never buy this 'X city wont like League'. People dont like experiences.  Make a gd experience in the summer you get a crowd. 

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