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Could Leeds handle a big city rival club?


Scubby
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where would the players come from? there isn't enough real quality out there to pad out the current Leeds team at min never mind another one

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

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39 minutes ago, graveyard johnny said:

where would the players come from? there isn't enough real quality out there to pad out the current Leeds team at min never mind another one

Leeds produce more Super League players than any other club, more than enough to supply 2 Super League clubs.

A Super League team playing out of Elland Road could be a massive success, it’d give a big city derby that would completely eclipse Hull Fc v Hull Kr.

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1 hour ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

Leeds produce more Super League players than any other club, more than enough to supply 2 Super League clubs.

A Super League team playing out of Elland Road could be a massive success, it’d give a big city derby that would completely eclipse Hull Fc v Hull Kr.

It could take a long time to build up that amount of history to go into the rivalry, unless that team was Hunslet.

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11 hours ago, M j M said:

People who are Rugby League fans from Leeds are now almost all Leeds fans; people who identify as being from Hunslet probably also identify as being Loiners. You are left with a rump of legacy Hunslet fans and their families, but regrettably they are somewhat rare.

Having played my amateur days in both the north and south of the city, including in Hunslet... The entirety of Hunslet is very much a Rhino and has been for the last couple of generations at least.

As you say, there are VERY rare Hunslet only fans, but they really dont exist in any great numbers at all. If you walk through Hunslet, all you will see is Rhinos merch. Go to the amateur clubs and it is all Rhinos. If anything you see the real hardcore families might even watch both given they are no longer rivals to eachother.

Anywhere inner-city is sewn up with the core RL-base. Your best bet would be looking way north of the city into some of the more affluent towns (interesting that I have read Ottawa could relocate to Harrogate). But then again, is that stepping onto York's toes?

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1 hour ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

Leeds produce more Super League players than any other club, more than enough to supply 2 Super League clubs.

A Super League team playing out of Elland Road could be a massive success, it’d give a big city derby that would completely eclipse Hull Fc v Hull Kr.

 

10 minutes ago, Wellsy4HullFC said:

It could take a long time to build up that amount of history to go into the rivalry, unless that team was Hunslet.

But who is the core audience for this?

We have now seen generations of families that are Rhinos. It would take years(!) and a lot of money to convert the loyalty across from the Rhinos. As an investor I would see an inherent amount of risk that comes with trying to overcome those historical behavioral traits and brand association that Hunslet is a lower league team that will always play second fiddle to the Rhinos.

As an investor, I'd see a much larger opportunity in Bradford if I was going to buy-up a RL club. Your not having to battle on two fronts (change allegience & buy our RL *products/things*) in Hunslet vs. (buy our RL *products/things*) in Bradford.

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14 minutes ago, Wellsy4HullFC said:

It could take a long time to build up that amount of history to go into the rivalry, unless that team was Hunslet.

If they had the ambition and finances a Wakefield v Cas loop game at Elland Road could help grow the profile of both clubs.

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23 minutes ago, tiffers said:

 

But who is the core audience for this?

We have now seen generations of families that are Rhinos. It would take years(!) and a lot of money to convert the loyalty across from the Rhinos. As an investor I would see an inherent amount of risk that comes with trying to overcome those historical behavioral traits and brand association that Hunslet is a lower league team that will always play second fiddle to the Rhinos.

As an investor, I'd see a much larger opportunity in Bradford if I was going to buy-up a RL club. Your not having to battle on two fronts (change allegience & buy our RL *products/things*) in Hunslet vs. (buy our RL *products/things*) in Bradford.

I think the "they're all Rhinos fans" thing just isn't true, as seen by the attendances. If they are, they're very loosely Rhinos fans in name (it's not like there's anyone else so they might as well be, but they don't really go). Leeds is massive. There are still hundreds of thousands of people with little to no affiliation in that city. 

I completely agree that Bradford offer more potential at present, but they are a ready-made club with an established fanbase so that's not really a comparison!

Out of curiosity, how popular is rugby league in East Leeds? Often it's South Leeds and West Leeds (Headingley area) that gets talked about  I know North Leeds has a bit of a amateur union presence.

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3 minutes ago, Wellsy4HullFC said:

I think the "they're all Rhinos fans" thing just isn't true, as seen by the attendances. If they are, they're very loosely Rhinos fans in name (it's not like there's anyone else so they might as well be, but they don't really go). Leeds is massive. There are still hundreds of thousands of people with little to no affiliation in that city. 

I completely agree that Bradford offer more potential at present, but they are a ready-made club with an established fanbase so that's not really a comparison!

Out of curiosity, how popular is rugby league in East Leeds? Often it's South Leeds and West Leeds (Headingley area) that gets talked about  I know North Leeds has a bit of a amateur union presence.

The attendances are a misnomer - arguably where both LUFC and the Rhinos underperform relative to opportunity. I don't think that is a gap for another sports club automatically however.

East Leeds is a weird mix of people and areas. Lots of RL and football there. RL particularly is focused in the inner East and then far out on the peripheries towards Castleford and Wakefield. (I should know I've lived in 2 areas of it!).

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32 minutes ago, Wellsy4HullFC said:

I think the "they're all Rhinos fans" thing just isn't true, as seen by the attendances. If they are, they're very loosely Rhinos fans in name (it's not like there's anyone else so they might as well be, but they don't really go). Leeds is massive. There are still hundreds of thousands of people with little to no affiliation in that city. 

I completely agree that Bradford offer more potential at present, but they are a ready-made club with an established fanbase so that's not really a comparison!

Out of curiosity, how popular is rugby league in East Leeds? Often it's South Leeds and West Leeds (Headingley area) that gets talked about  I know North Leeds has a bit of a amateur union presence.

I grew up in East Leeds, albeit havent lived there for over 10 years now I still have family in the area so often visit.

But I'd echo what @Tommygilf says. Inner-city is a mix of RL and Football. Obviously East Leeds has a very strong amateur club that have produced a large number of professionals. I'd often see professionals down at the club when I was also watching one of my arch-rivals at the time (having played in Hunslet!). Heavy RL presence in the inner-city East with strong brand awareness of the Rhinos out to the Wakefield border. All the local pubs/working mens clubs are massively into their RL and with Headingley in very easy reach.

Correct re. North Leeds, you have quite a few amateur RU teams and that's a little less RL centric. Demographics tend to be more affluent and generally not your "traditional" working class RL fans. Albeit, this is where the Rhinos have been better than most at providing an offering for those fans on gameday. Helps that there isnt a top-flight professional Union club that those people would tend to drift towards. This is probably the one "gap" in the city that isnt sewn up by the Rhinos in the same density as the traditionally lower-socioeconomic Inner-East and South of Leeds.

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8 minutes ago, tiffers said:

Correct re. North Leeds, you have quite a few amateur RU teams and that's a little less RL centric. Demographics tend to be more affluent and generally not your "traditional" working class RL fans. Albeit, this is where the Rhinos have been better than most at providing an offering for those fans on gameday. Helps that there isnt a top-flight professional Union club that those people would tend to drift towards. This is probably the one "gap" in the city that isnt sewn up by the Rhinos in the same density as the traditionally lower-socioeconomic Inner-East and South of Leeds.

Absolutely correct. However, having lived in north Leeds for most of my life I can tell you with 100% certainty that league has reached as far as it can go in in this area of the city, and there would be no support for any second team in anything like the numbers required . All that would happen is current Rhinos fans may double up and watch another team but there is simply not the groundswell of support for a second team in north Leeds, or anywhere in the city for that matter.

Once again people not from Leeds are probably greatly underestimating the influence of union in the city. North Leeds is pretty much sewn up by some very established amateur union clubs and all attempts at establishing an amateur RL club have failed north of Meanwood. This should tell you that even a city with an 800,000 population, league does not have the presence to launch another top flight team. Areas of the city which are an RL hotbed support the Rhinos. Areas which are not won't suddenly convert to watching a second team. It's simply a pipe dream.

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1 hour ago, tiffers said:

Having played my amateur days in both the north and south of the city, including in Hunslet... The entirety of Hunslet is very much a Rhino and has been for the last couple of generations at least.

As you say, there are VERY rare Hunslet only fans, but they really dont exist in any great numbers at all. If you walk through Hunslet, all you will see is Rhinos merch. Go to the amateur clubs and it is all Rhinos. If anything you see the real hardcore families might even watch both given they are no longer rivals to eachother.

Anywhere inner-city is sewn up with the core RL-base. Your best bet would be looking way north of the city into some of the more affluent towns (interesting that I have read Ottawa could relocate to Harrogate). But then again, is that stepping onto York's toes?

They would genuinely be better off being based in Uzbekistan. As someone that knows the Harrogate sporting area, one ground potentially for a ground share option of Harrogate Railway FC who are struggling financially. Harrogate Town FC are very precious with their setup, so doubtful plus you would need a big stock of Rugby balls at that ground and Harrogate Rugby Union would want money and alot of it to even consider a ground share which doesn't conform to League 1 seating requirements although I would love to see a semi pro side fan base would be 100 tops on a good day 

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3 minutes ago, Lapsed Leeds Fan said:

Absolutely correct. However, having lived in north Leeds for most of my life I can tell you with 100% certainty that league has reached as far as it can go in in this area of the city, and there would be no support for any second team in anything like the numbers required . All that would happen is current Rhinos fans may double up and watch another team but there is simply not the groundswell of support for a second team in north Leeds, or anywhere in the city for that matter.

Once again people not from Leeds are probably greatly underestimating the influence of union in the city. North Leeds is pretty much sewn up by some very established amateur union clubs and all attempts at establishing an amateur RL club have failed north of Meanwood. This should tell you that even a city with an 800,000 population, league does not have the presence to launch another top flight team. Areas of the city which are an RL hotbed support the Rhinos. Areas which are not won't suddenly convert to watching a second team. It's simply a pipe dream.

I'd agree with you @Lapsed Leeds Fan. I just dont see enough people that would be interested in RL to develop a whole new SL level club. It's a real shame RL has never managed to work its way into these regions as the wealth and affluence would inevitably attract more lucrative opportunities for RL. Just looking at the ONS population data, it estimates you are looking at a total of 128k people that live in these regions of the city. So a significantly smaller number of people compared to the more densely populated inner-city.

Going just north of Leeds, albeit with strong economic connections, the likes of Otley, Ilkley, Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon and Wetherby are well and truly RU heartlands with very strong clubs in their communities. The demographics are hugely different to our core fanbase in RL. So you'd have to do some serious mileage in branding to overcome those hurdles to generate even a modest interest.

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13 minutes ago, BridBeachRL said:

They would genuinely be better off being based in Uzbekistan. As someone that knows the Harrogate sporting area, one ground potentially for a ground share option of Harrogate Railway FC who are struggling financially. Harrogate Town FC are very precious with their setup, so doubtful plus you would need a big stock of Rugby balls at that ground and Harrogate Rugby Union would want money and alot of it to even consider a ground share which doesn't conform to League 1 seating requirements although I would love to see a semi pro side fan base would be 100 tops on a good day 

Sounds like its a dead duck, not to mention the demographic issues.

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19 hours ago, Scubby said:

This is the off-season so pure hypothetical banter of course.

Could Leeds handle a big city rival if someone was ambitious enough and wanted to create a rival club?

So I'm not talking a Bramley or Hunslet here which is a pocket of the city, I'm talking a group of investors creating a rival Leeds club - let's say Leeds Rangers or Leeds City or even Leeds United. If they were put in L1 they would spend the full salary cap for a couple of seasons and get promotion before moving into Elland Road as a big spending SL rival.

What would a big city rivalry do for RL and for Leeds Rhinos? Would they be fighting for the same fans and juniors or is there enough non Rhinos following Leeds people out there to get a rival up to 10k+ crowds and thus setting up a huge big city derby. 

TBH I didn't realise that Leeds was sixth richest city in the country and, at 800k, the fourth largest city. 

I'm old enough to remember the massive rivalry  between Leeds and Hunslet. They used to get 20k for the pre season " charity Friendly " The Lazenby cup and that had to be stopped because the players bought into the rivalry and were getting injured before the season started . The late great Harry Jepson told me that . That went with the demise of Hunslet and also the traditional area many of the residents migrated to different parts of the city .,Leeds and Bradford are so close they just about touch and there was a big hot rivalry when Bradford were above Leeds for awhile   which spured Leeds on to match them that almost matched the Leeds Hunslet rivalrybof yesteryear . Hopefully Bradford will return 

 Soon we will be dancing the fandango
FROM 2004,TO DO WHAT THIS CLUB HAS DONE,IF THATS NOT GREATNESSTHEN i DONT KNOW WHAT IS.

JAMIE PEACOCK

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It’s an interesting question but I think Leeds isn’t the best example. 
 

What if. . 

Someone in Wakefield decided to spend their Euromillions win on a new club, built a 14,000 state of the art stadium with world class training facilities. Then set about forging close links with all of the amateur clubs, supporting them financially, getting pro players involved with their juniors and offering them reduced entry to their games. Finally investing in the team with quality players and a couple of real headline signings like Mitchell Pearce, Benjie Marshall or Cameron Smith 

Woukd such a club eventually eclipse Trinity?

I think that’s more possible than a second Leeds team overtaking The Rhinos

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I think some posters on this thread have rightly identified that whilst Leeds has a population of 800k+ the proportion of the city that has an interest in RL is very low, compared with football for example. People south of the river in Leeds have always had an odd relationship with the Rhinos, which historically you can attach to many being Hunslet fans, but certainly where i'm originally from (Rothwell) there's alway been a heavy Wakefield and Cas presence too. I'd presume that's because as West Yorkshire has become more and more Leeds centric for the towns to the south, more have moved into the Leeds suburbs. Overall i'd say Leeds wouldn't benefit from another inner city rival, because whilst technically it doesn't have one in the city boundary by stadium, fans wise there's already plenty that live in Leeds. 

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1 hour ago, sweaty craiq said:

Get Bradford the helping hand they need into a 2 x 10 FT structure. A competitive  Leeds v Bradford fixture is missed by the sport

I would love to see Bradford back at the top challenging, Bradford is also a large city which should be at the top . No disrespect to the great fans who are still supporting the Bulls / Northern,  but remember Bradford have been given helping hands in the past .

 Soon we will be dancing the fandango
FROM 2004,TO DO WHAT THIS CLUB HAS DONE,IF THATS NOT GREATNESSTHEN i DONT KNOW WHAT IS.

JAMIE PEACOCK

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32 minutes ago, OMEGA said:

It’s an interesting question but I think Leeds isn’t the best example. 
 

What if. . 

Someone in Wakefield decided to spend their Euromillions win on a new club, built a 14,000 state of the art stadium with world class training facilities. Then set about forging close links with all of the amateur clubs, supporting them financially, getting pro players involved with their juniors and offering them reduced entry to their games. Finally investing in the team with quality players and a couple of real headline signings like Mitchell Pearce, Benjie Marshall or Cameron Smith 

Woukd such a club eventually eclipse Trinity?

I think that’s more possible than a second Leeds team overtaking The Rhinos

I actually think that is less ridiculous. One of the sources of Leeds growth in support has been the spreading of the city's periphery into the WF postcodes. There are more RL fans that aren't Wakefield/Cas/Fev fans in WF than their equivalents in Leeds (although from experience most of them would be currently gravitating towards the Rhinos). 

Ultimately I think you'd end up seeing the current Wakefield/Cas board ousted and a merger of the new monied club with the historic team(s).

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1 hour ago, tiffers said:

I grew up in East Leeds, albeit havent lived there for over 10 years now I still have family in the area so often visit.

But I'd echo what @Tommygilf says. Inner-city is a mix of RL and Football. Obviously East Leeds has a very strong amateur club that have produced a large number of professionals. I'd often see professionals down at the club when I was also watching one of my arch-rivals at the time (having played in Hunslet!). Heavy RL presence in the inner-city East with strong brand awareness of the Rhinos out to the Wakefield border. All the local pubs/working mens clubs are massively into their RL and with Headingley in very easy reach.

Correct re. North Leeds, you have quite a few amateur RU teams and that's a little less RL centric. Demographics tend to be more affluent and generally not your "traditional" working class RL fans. Albeit, this is where the Rhinos have been better than most at providing an offering for those fans on gameday. Helps that there isnt a top-flight professional Union club that those people would tend to drift towards. This is probably the one "gap" in the city that isnt sewn up by the Rhinos in the same density as the traditionally lower-socioeconomic Inner-East and South of Leeds.

Absolutely, I moved to Wakefield about a decade ago but before then lived in Garforth and prior to that in Burmantofts. Lots of my family still live near Cross Gates and East End Park. Whilst those two areas of East Leeds I lived in were dramatically different, it was always relatively easy to play RL and football, especially when compared with say RU or Cricket - the former being basically unheard of in the inner city.

South Leeds is similar to the East in a lot of ways except that it has pockets in Morley for example retaining a strong RU culture.

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1 hour ago, Lapsed Leeds Fan said:

Absolutely correct. However, having lived in north Leeds for most of my life I can tell you with 100% certainty that league has reached as far as it can go in in this area of the city, and there would be no support for any second team in anything like the numbers required . All that would happen is current Rhinos fans may double up and watch another team but there is simply not the groundswell of support for a second team in north Leeds, or anywhere in the city for that matter.

Once again people not from Leeds are probably greatly underestimating the influence of union in the city. North Leeds is pretty much sewn up by some very established amateur union clubs and all attempts at establishing an amateur RL club have failed north of Meanwood. This should tell you that even a city with an 800,000 population, league does not have the presence to launch another top flight team. Areas of the city which are an RL hotbed support the Rhinos. Areas which are not won't suddenly convert to watching a second team. It's simply a pipe dream.

Or the off season 🙂 

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To get non rugby league fans to support another rugby league side  in leeds is pie in the sky I have two cousins from leeds  TWINS both now in their 70's one has been a lifelong united season ticket holder and the other leeds RLFC  neither have an interest in the others team and have never watched a game live involving  the other side of the coin even when their brothers teams have been in finals

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1 hour ago, Lapsed Leeds Fan said:

Once again people not from Leeds are probably greatly underestimating the influence of union in the city. North Leeds is pretty much sewn up by some very established amateur union clubs and all attempts at establishing an amateur RL club have failed north of Meanwood. This should tell you that even a city with an 800,000 population, league does not have the presence to launch another top flight team. Areas of the city which are an RL hotbed support the Rhinos. Areas which are not won't suddenly convert to watching a second team. It's simply a pipe dream.

Having grown up in north Leeds and still essentially living there I think it's fair to say that there isn't by and large any old school anti-League feeling of the type which might disrupt the sport in other areas.

The club leans heavily as has been suggested into this demographic - or the businesses they work for - to give it the financial competitive edge over all other clubs in the league. There's probably more that can be done by the club but there's certainly not a desire there for a second Leeds club.

I've no evidence but I do wonder what has happened to the club's Jewish fan base the past couple of decades. I went to a school with a large number of Jewish kids and, whilst the soccer club was more popular, there remained a good number of fans who went to Headingley on a Sunday afternoon. This is late 80s/ early 90s, pre Super League and Friday night games.

Again though there isn't a latent base of support in the wealthier part of the city looking for a new RL club so you'd be struggling from the start there. 

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Also I definitely wouldn't say north Leeds is a hot bed of rugby union. It has pockets and if you're interested you're interested but it isn't pervasive like football is or union or League are in some parts of the country.

Knowledge of League and Leeds is pretty high even if people aren't fully engaged.

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