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The Cornwall RLFC Thread


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48 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

I was led to believe that the RFL central funding was approx £70k per club. Multiply that by the number of seasons they were in League 1 and you're talking over a million quid that went to those clubs, with nothing to show for it.

The RFL's strategy for developing the game doesn't have to be solely based on chucking money at League 1 clubs in new areas. They could have developed a strategy for grass roots development that would have seen that million quid go much further in my opinion.

This is the crux of the problem for me - at the time of the Championship 1 (as was) expansion, the RFL basically said "who wants to be in?" and then accepted clubs with very little underpinning them, other than some enthusiastic people who replied with a "yes" (Northampton Rebels as Exhibit A). There was no joined up thinking, and no long term plan for how to actually develop the game in those areas. And there still isn't. I'm seeing the same pattern with Cornwall now.

Fair enough, I didn’t know about the last part, though once the teams were in of course they deserved the same central funding as anyone else. 
Cornwall however is different imho, Perez has the experience from Toronto and Ottawa, and while it remains to be seen I like the sound of what they’re saying, and the two appointments this week. They must have some money behind them. 

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On 10/12/2021 at 12:13, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

I was led to believe that the RFL central funding was approx £70k per club. Multiply that by the number of seasons they were in League 1 and you're talking over a million quid that went to those clubs, with nothing to show for it.

The RFL's strategy for developing the game doesn't have to be solely based on chucking money at League 1 clubs in new areas. They could have developed a strategy for grass roots development that would have seen that million quid go much further in my opinion.

This is the crux of the problem for me - at the time of the Championship 1 (as was) expansion, the RFL basically said "who wants to be in?" and then accepted clubs with very little underpinning them, other than some enthusiastic people who replied with a "yes" (Northampton Rebels as Exhibit A). There was no joined up thinking, and no long term plan for how to actually develop the game in those areas. And there still isn't. I'm seeing the same pattern with Cornwall now.

Worth noting that all the other established clubs had the same money(central funding), we can ask the question what do they have to show for it, have they developed from before that funding? 

Lots of people mention wanting a strategy, what is that strategy though? £100,000 on grass roots wouldn't go that far and with no professional club how would it be sustainable?

The harsh reality is, to create a new club in an area requires lots of money over a sustained period of time with little to no chance of return for many years. This is also probably the case for many established clubs in L1 also. A solid strategy would be time consuming and costly to create and identify many things needed that we simply don't have or cannot create quickly and easily. The model I Iike is Newcastle and probably the best approach to expansion. 

We are highly unlikely to get anyone or enough money for this sustained investment so have to take the opportunities we get and try to make them work. More checks are made than people realise from the RFL but again you can have as many strategies as you like but without someone pumping in cash for decades we won't magically get any new club in SL and sustainable with a youth pathway anytime soon, regardless of the efforts from the RFL.

If the central funding hadn't gone to those clubs then which? Other new clubs somewhere else, or double money to the same clubs in the heartlands halving your expansion efforts? 

There is no perfect solution.

So Toronto, Cornwall, Wales Midlands etc. Do represent expansion and get my full support even if I accept they may not be around forever.

Edited by David Dockhouse Host
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2 hours ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

Worth noting that all the other established clubs had the same money(central funding), we can ask the question what do they have to show for it, have they developed from before that funding? 

That is a fair question. But those other clubs are still going, whereas Hemel, All Golds and Oxford aren't. So there is zero tangible legacy from the financial outlay to those clubs.

2 hours ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

Lots of people mention wanting a strategy, what is that strategy though? £100,000 on grass roots wouldn't go that far and with no professional club how would it be sustainable?

There's loads of different things they could have done with the million quid that they spent on those 3 clubs. Even if they just focused on one of those areas and funded a development officer for 30 years with that money, it would have been far more effective for developing the game than what they actually did.

2 hours ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

More checks are made than people realise from the RFL

In the case of Northampton Rebels, those checks obviously were nowhere near enough.

2 hours ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

you can have as many strategies as you like but without someone pumping in cash for decades we won't magically get any new club in SL and sustainable with a youth pathway anytime soon, regardless of the efforts from the RFL.

And yet the money wasted on Hemel, All Golds and Oxford could have been used to fund a development officer for literally decades.

2 hours ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

If the central funding hadn't gone to those clubs then which? Other new clubs somewhere else, or double money to the same clubs in the heartlands halving your expansion efforts? 

Spend it on grass roots development instead. There was no requirement from Sky to spend that money on League 1 clubs - that was a strategic decision from the RFL. And in the cases of those clubs that have folded, it hasn't paid any dividends whatsoever.

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19 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

That is a fair question. But those other clubs are still going, whereas Hemel, All Golds and Oxford aren't. So there is zero tangible legacy from the financial outlay to those clubs.

There's loads of different things they could have done with the million quid that they spent on those 3 clubs. Even if they just focused on one of those areas and funded a development officer for 30 years with that money, it would have been far more effective for developing the game than what they actually did.

In the case of Northampton Rebels, those checks obviously were nowhere near enough.

And yet the money wasted on Hemel, All Golds and Oxford could have been used to fund a development officer for literally decades.

Spend it on grass roots development instead. There was no requirement from Sky to spend that money on League 1 clubs - that was a strategic decision from the RFL. And in the cases of those clubs that have folded, it hasn't paid any dividends whatsoever.

1 development officer could do what without other funds?

Only so much one employed person can do. I fear people would ask the same question after 30 years, what do we have to show for that, throwing a development officer in without a clear strategy, youth set up or professional club was never going to work... Etc....etc....

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It's worth remembering Oxford etc joined a development league. Their financial and development plans were based around that. 

Then the RFL re-organised and the league ceased to be a development league. The money that had been intended to go on development was diverted to try and keep the first team afloat in a stronger league.

Suddenly the links with Oxford Cavaliers were useless - too big a step up. The short lived U21's went, too big a step up, there was less money to work with schools etc.

Yes the central grants at Oxford did leave depressingly little legacy but this was not just the club's fault. Why did the RFL promise Oxford RL a development officer would be employed for the area and fail to deliver? This offer was withdrawn literally days after Oxford RL went public as new entrants to the third tier.

The game totally failed to see the bigger picture.

I was an Oxford season ticket holder. When they folded a key man told me that if they'd known of the re-organisation of League One they would not have founded the club. They wanted to grow the sport at low professional levels, and below. That was impossible post the re-organisation.

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2 hours ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

1 development officer could do what without other funds?

Probably quite a bit. Besides, my suggestion wasn't a comprehensive strategic plan. It was just highlighting that they could have invested that money in plenty of other ways and there would be more to show for it.

2 hours ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

Only so much one employed person can do. I fear people would ask the same question after 30 years,

Well for starters, you would have had an additional 25 years' rugby league activity to show for your investment. You only need to see what one person did on the ground in each of the Midlands regions for participation in schools and community clubs before the development funding was cut. Moreover, this long-term involvement would cross 2 generations of player, so you would start to see children of former players taking up the sport, and would therefore be more able to recruit volunteers who have a background in the game. 

2 hours ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

what do we have to show for that, throwing a development officer in without a clear strategy, youth set up or professional club was never going to work... Etc....etc....

Exactly - there needs to be a clear strategy, with different elements of the strategy complementing one another. There was no strategy from the RFL whatsoever when admitting the expansion clubs to Championship 1 - instead it was a sticking plaster to cover up the lack of a national development strategy, as they capitalised on a few enthusiastic clubs who stuck their hands up to volunteer to put some pins in maps for them. As evidenced by this:

1 hour ago, Ivarr the Boneless said:

It's worth remembering Oxford etc joined a development league. Their financial and development plans were based around that. 

Then the RFL re-organised and the league ceased to be a development league. The money that had been intended to go on development was diverted to try and keep the first team afloat in a stronger league.

Suddenly the links with Oxford Cavaliers were useless - too big a step up. The short lived U21's went, too big a step up, there was less money to work with schools etc.

Yes the central grants at Oxford did leave depressingly little legacy but this was not just the club's fault. Why did the RFL promise Oxford RL a development officer would be employed for the area and fail to deliver? This offer was withdrawn literally days after Oxford RL went public as new entrants to the third tier.

The game totally failed to see the bigger picture.

I was an Oxford season ticket holder. When they folded a key man told me that if they'd known of the re-organisation of League One they would not have founded the club. They wanted to grow the sport at low professional levels, and below. That was impossible post the re-organisation.

No joined up thinking whatsoever from the RFL. Instead of 3 expansion clubs, why not focus on one area for the long term, and put additional investment in to develop the surrounding infrastructure - schools, community clubs, colleges/universities etc? All the RFL did was give clubs the opportunity to sink or swim. A few have sunk, and the other expansion clubs are frantically doggy-paddling to keep themselves afloat. I think there should have been more of a longer-term strategic plan to help new areas, rather than just chucking money at a new League 1 club which all went towards paying players to help maintain some semblance of competitiveness.

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36 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

Probably quite a bit. Besides, my suggestion wasn't a comprehensive strategic plan. It was just highlighting that they could have invested that money in plenty of other ways and there would be more to show for it.

Well for starters, you would have had an additional 25 years' rugby league activity to show for your investment. You only need to see what one person did on the ground in each of the Midlands regions for participation in schools and community clubs before the development funding was cut. Moreover, this long-term involvement would cross 2 generations of player, so you would start to see children of former players taking up the sport, and would therefore be more able to recruit volunteers who have a background in the game. 

Exactly - there needs to be a clear strategy, with different elements of the strategy complementing one another. There was no strategy from the RFL whatsoever when admitting the expansion clubs to Championship 1 - instead it was a sticking plaster to cover up the lack of a national development strategy, as they capitalised on a few enthusiastic clubs who stuck their hands up to volunteer to put some pins in maps for them. As evidenced by this:

No joined up thinking whatsoever from the RFL. Instead of 3 expansion clubs, why not focus on one area for the long term, and put additional investment in to develop the surrounding infrastructure - schools, community clubs, colleges/universities etc? All the RFL did was give clubs the opportunity to sink or swim. A few have sunk, and the other expansion clubs are frantically doggy-paddling to keep themselves afloat. I think there should have been more of a longer-term strategic plan to help new areas, rather than just chucking money at a new League 1 club which all went towards paying players to help maintain some semblance of competitiveness.

What does this strategic plan look like? It's mentioned a lot but up until now all I've seen is employer a development officer for 30 years.

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1 hour ago, Ivarr the Boneless said:

It's worth remembering Oxford etc joined a development league. Their financial and development plans were based around that. 

Then the RFL re-organised and the league ceased to be a development league. The money that had been intended to go on development was diverted to try and keep the first team afloat in a stronger league.

Suddenly the links with Oxford Cavaliers were useless - too big a step up. The short lived U21's went, too big a step up, there was less money to work with schools etc.

Yes the central grants at Oxford did leave depressingly little legacy but this was not just the club's fault. Why did the RFL promise Oxford RL a development officer would be employed for the area and fail to deliver? This offer was withdrawn literally days after Oxford RL went public as new entrants to the third tier.

The game totally failed to see the bigger picture.

I was an Oxford season ticket holder. When they folded a key man told me that if they'd known of the re-organisation of League One they would not have founded the club. They wanted to grow the sport at low professional levels, and below. That was impossible post the re-organisation.

I think the Oxford ‘project’ would have been part of this as I believe all you say was around 2012 onwards, joining L1 the next year.  They would have been part of this strategy.

https://www.rugby-league.com/uploads/docs/RFL-Rugby League Strategic Plan 2014-2021.pdf

Then should have been part of this, below, after the merger, which was issued after the 2018 RFL ‘ mid term ‘review’.

https://www.rugby-league.com/uploads/docs/RFL STRATEGY EXTERNAL.pdf

These ‘Strategic plans’ have never given enough information, of refer to, on how goals are actually achieved or long term strategy is prepared or even delivered.  It would have been better, if the conclusions (I think at least 1 was) were made public as well.  This detail isn’t wholly available to us mere mortals afaik.  Transparency?

It just goes to show, especially given the current status in the game between RFL and SL, there isn’t enough money allocated or a detailed, long term plan for development.  This is why, in another thread, I mentioned that development areas need to be discussed down to the fine details necessary, to identify the essential requirements and resources needed for a strategy and key, achievable benchmarks and monitoring processes.

 

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46 minutes ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

What does this strategic plan look like? It's mentioned a lot but up until now all I've seen is employer a development officer for 30 years.

You're being obtuse - you understand the point I'm making. Unless of course you think giving a million quid to 3 clubs that have since folded is money well spent?

Edited by RugbyLeagueGeek
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On 10/12/2021 at 08:02, Kirmonds pouch said:

You’ve made a classic error, you’re starting small with a business plan that might just work. So you’re a waste of space.

Had you carried on with the ridiculous travesty that was Toronto they would still love you. It’s all about vanity, so long as it’s a big city, preferably in a country 5000 miles away with zero interest in the sport they are not interested.

TBH I don’t think you’ll ever make SL but as a semi pro club I think you’ll do just fine and for once you’ll represent expansionism done the right way.

It’s not always about big clubs it’s about spreading the game at all levels. So we’ll done from me.

You've made a classic error, you've described a city as having "zero interest" in the sport when they got crowds of up to 9,000 in the second tier, about 10 times or more of the attendance of several other teams in that tier, and a better average crowd than at least half of super League, despite only being in tier 2. Presumably you think that all championship teams and half of super league have "zero interest" since they get less people in than Toronto managed.

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3 hours ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

You're being obtuse - you understand the point I'm making. Unless of course you think giving a million quid to 3 clubs that have since folded is money well spent?

Not at all, your critisising the efforts of expansion and suggesting central funding has been wasted due to nothing to show. There was entertaining rugby played during that time by those teams, just the same money and same entertainment as teams in the heartlands, so how was it wasted? And you did suggest paying a development officer for 30 years, reasonable to ask you how this would actually work without any other infastructure 

If it was a different extra pot of money you would have a point, but this wasn't an expansion pot of cash, it was yearly funding the same as the other teams. Keep dropping teams because they add nothing or little chance of long term SL ambitions will leave the other clubs with fewer teams to play. 

What is this great strategic plan everyone tells me about? I'm all ears, until then I'll support the efforts of those who actually trying to expand the game, I'd rather they try and fail rather than continually demand a strategic plan, yet do nothing. 

Edited by David Dockhouse Host
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7 hours ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

That is a fair question. But those other clubs are still going, whereas Hemel, All Golds and Oxford aren't. So there is zero tangible legacy from the financial outlay to those clubs.

 

Slate Hemel all you want but one of the massive advantages they had over the vast majority of L1 / Championship M62 clubs was a ground and cash generating facilities of their own , basic they may have been but they were theirs and theirs only .. sure the likes of Oldham Swinton Sheffield and London Broncos would love to be in that situation ..but hey whats does that matter Stags teams was not the best because of their geographical location .. seriously ????

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44 minutes ago, Rach said:

Slate Hemel all you want but one of the massive advantages they had over the vast majority of L1 / Championship M62 clubs was a ground and cash generating facilities of their own , basic they may have been but they were theirs and theirs only .. sure the likes of Oldham Swinton Sheffield and London Broncos would love to be in that situation ..but hey whats does that matter Stags teams was not the best because of their geographical location .. seriously ????

I'm not sure what point you're making. I haven't slated Hemel anywhere - they're a terrific community club and have been doing a great job for years. But their foray in to the pro game was a disaster with them ending up training in Dewsbury and Sheffield before fizzling out completely. Unless you think that the £350k that they received over the 5 years was money well spent?

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59 minutes ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

your critisising the efforts of expansion and suggesting central funding has been wasted due to nothing to show. There was entertaining rugby played during that time by those teams, just the same money and same entertainment as teams in the heartlands, so how was it wasted?

Presumably you think that million pounds provided good return on investment then? Given that two of those former clubs no longer exist, and Hemel are now back playing at community level again, I don't think it was worth it.

1 hour ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

And you did suggest paying a development officer for 30 years, reasonable to ask you how this would actually work without any other infastructure 

Given that there is zero tangible legacy from that million pounds investment, it's a low bar. If they only put on a schools tournament every year then it would provide better return on investment IMO.

1 hour ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

If it was a different extra pot of money you would have a point, but this wasn't an expansion pot of cash, it was yearly funding the same as the other teams. Keep dropping teams because they add nothing or little chance of long term SL ambitions will leave the other clubs with fewer teams to play. 

It was the RFL's money. They chose to spend it on expansion teams in Championship 1. They didn't have to choose to spend it on that.

1 hour ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

What is this great strategic plan everyone tells me about? I'm all ears, until then I'll support the efforts of those who actually trying to expand the game, I'd rather they try and fail rather than continually demand a strategic plan, yet do nothing. 

Surely it is possible to support development efforts and want a strategic plan? The 2 don't have to be mutually exclusive. 

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1 hour ago, Eddie said:

Going back to Cornwall, anyone know when they’ll have some merch for sale? 

The Hummel deal was only announced 2 days ago, the gear needs designing, signing off and producing and they need to set up a retail arm etc so I think your looking at an absolute minimum of a month, probably longer. The shirt will very likely be even later as they will want the sponsors on it and those haven't been announced yet.

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10 hours ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

Presumably you think that million pounds provided good return on investment then? Given that two of those former clubs no longer exist, and Hemel are now back playing at community level again, I don't think it was worth it.

Given that there is zero tangible legacy from that million pounds investment, it's a low bar. If they only put on a schools tournament every year then it would provide better return on investment IMO.

It was the RFL's money. They chose to spend it on expansion teams in Championship 1. They didn't have to choose to spend it on that.

Surely it is possible to support development efforts and want a strategic plan? The 2 don't have to be mutually exclusive. 

It wasn't extra investment money, it's a straw man argument when you present it that way. 

What is this strategic plan, honest question, it's easy to say after the event someone got it wrong but what is this strategic plan? Who funds it, where do you take money from to focus it elsewhere etc. Etc. 

30 years of a development officer wouldn't work without all other aspects being covered. How would you address this? Do you still believe this is good on its own? 

You haven't addressed these points but have criticized someone else's efforts, people trying to spread our great game need our support. Such as Cornwall, even if it doesn't work out I wish to enjoy it whilst it's here. 

Continually saying "Strategic plan" isn't addressing these points, all due respect but this just feels like avoidance by continually saying it, there's no substance.  

Fact is any new team is very difficult and expensive to develop in a new area, particularly when it's a new sport with a northern image. If we have people giving it a go I'm right behind them, it costing the RFL no more than any other team.

Personally I wouldn't have voted for a Cornwall team, due to running costs for other L1 clubs, but the person investing wanted it there and they are the ones funding it so I get behind it. 

Now teams in L1 get very very little money, there's little RFL investment, are you comfortable with this as the cost is minimal and therefore so is the 'wastage' should they collapse as a club? 

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27 minutes ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

It wasn't extra investment money, it's a straw man argument when you present it that way. 

It's not a straw man argument at all. It was the RFL's money - they chose to allocate it to new League 1 clubs with limited/non-existent foundations underpinning them. Nobody was forcing them to do this.

28 minutes ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

What is this strategic plan, honest question, it's easy to say after the event someone got it wrong but what is this strategic plan? Who funds it, where do you take money from to focus it elsewhere etc. Etc. 

This is a discussion forum. It is not my job to formulate a strategic plan for the RFL, or to humour yourself. I do not have the knowledge, time or inclination to do this. 

33 minutes ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

30 years of a development officer wouldn't work without all other aspects being covered. How would you address this? Do you still believe this is good on its own? 

No I do not believe it is good on its own. I never said I did. What I did say was that it would have been better than pouring a million pounds down the drain. I can only assume that you think spending a million pounds over 5 years on 3 clubs that have folded was money well spent and a risk worth taking, because you haven't said otherwise.

34 minutes ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

Continually saying "Strategic plan" isn't addressing these points, all due respect but this just feels like avoidance by continually saying it, there's no substance.  

As I've said, it isn't my job to do this. I don't work for the RFL. This is a discussion forum. Since when did wanting the RFL to devise a strategic plan for developing the game equate to me having to devise it?? That is a ludicrous viewpoint. Is your opinion that the RFL shouldn't have a strategic plan for developing the game??

36 minutes ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

Fact is any new team is very difficult and expensive to develop in a new area, particularly when it's a new sport with a northern image. If we have people giving it a go I'm right behind them, it costing the RFL no more than any other team.

I don't believe the other League 1 funding was well spent either, regardless of location of team. But as least those other League 1 clubs are still going.

38 minutes ago, David Dockhouse Host said:

Personally I wouldn't have voted for a Cornwall team, due to running costs for other L1 clubs, but the person investing wanted it there and they are the ones funding it so I get behind it. 

Now teams in L1 get very very little money, there's little RFL investment, are you comfortable with this as the cost is minimal and therefore so is the 'wastage' should they collapse as a club? 

I'm a lot more comfortable with it than when it was 70k. If clubs generate their own investment then it's absolutely fine for them to spend it how they like. That was how pro rugby league always used to operate.

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I would add the RFL were guilty of a massive governance fail in permitting Oxford to start season five.

I upset a few people at the club during season four by saying there was no point in continuing. The club was a busted flush playing at the wrong location. It was beyond the stage it could be turned around without unrealistic levels of money being thrown at it.

By this stage the central distribution was adding no long term value to the sport at all and would have been better used employing and funding a development officer.

As a simple fan sitting in the stand it was blindingly obvious. How did the RFL not spot it? The club were sending enough reports to the RFL and Brian Barwick lived a relatively short drive from Oxford...

The way TV and central funding has been used is questionable at all levels of the professional game. Speedway is in big trouble after losing its TV money, having blown the dosh on higher wages and not fixing the ceiling. RL is on a two year TV deal that seems to be declining in value. The RFL need to learn lessons from speedway and fast 

Edited by Ivarr the Boneless
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The argument here seems to be top-down vs bottom-up development. When in reality the optimal way to develop is an all-encompassing strategy, with a progressive professional club, underpinned by strong grassroots development - see Newcastle Thunder. The issue is that the money rarely stretches that far to be able to properly do justice to all areas

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2 minutes ago, DoubleD said:

The argument here seems to be top-down vs bottom-up development. When in reality the optimal way to develop is an all-encompassing strategy, with a progressive professional club, underpinned by strong grassroots development - see Newcastle Thunder. The issue is that the money rarely stretches that far to be able to properly do justice to all areas

I completely agree. Which is why I think the RFL would have been better targeting one specific area for expansion back in 2012/13, instead of admitting several new clubs and consequently spreading their limited resources and finance too thinly. 

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26 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

I completely agree. Which is why I think the RFL would have been better targeting one specific area for expansion back in 2012/13, instead of admitting several new clubs and consequently spreading their limited resources and finance too thinly. 

Well hindsight is a wonderful thing. The RFL wanted to spread the game to a national footprint professionally. Their issue was that the strategy was lacking and they relied too much on the owners of those clubs doing the hard yards in creating their own development pathways whilst also creating a new professional sporting club. So in the end it was made to look like an RFL vanity project. 

The difficulty with the strategy you propose, is they'd still be heavily reliant on private investment. Therefore, they need to partner with someone who is going to have a long term vision and put the necessary funds in to make a successful professional club. That's very difficult to judge - many so called owners with deep pockets have not lived up to promises and left a trail of destruction (Argyle, Koukash etc). So the RFL is then exposing itself to getting in bed with someone who is not a good partner. I think the new structure and investment that SL/RFL are now looking at is probably the most optimal solution but proof will be in the pudding as to how that is implemented

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