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West Wales Raiders - laughing stock


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On the Championship and L1 preview show, Robert Hicks said that WWR had a good season last year. I know he should be putting a slight positive spin on things but that is just ridiculous. 

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11 hours ago, DEANO said:

The Toronto experiment failed as fun as it was. COVID was just an excuse. Fact is there were huge debts with non payment of players and suppliers

Such huge debts that they were asking to be able to pay MORE wages. Anyway, it is normal for big sporting clubs to have debts - look at the huge debts of Barcelona, a massive club.  And none of this is the point anyway, the fact is that a new team was set up very successfully a couple of thousand miles away and after just three years already had crowds in the Championship that embarassed most of your ideal lock-off-the-heartlands-from-civilisation world where your dream is non-expansion and steady overall decline of the sport. Others, including myself, welcomed those many thousands of new Toronto fans to the sport. And to say covid hasn't had an impact, blimey where do you start......

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5 minutes ago, newbe said:

Moment of truth, cut off point for signing players for this weekend. We will see what sort of numbers they have, all so other teams. Looking forward to watching a game.

By my count, they’ve announced nineteen players on their Twitter account so providing they’re all fit/available, they have a squad. What they don’t have 48 hours or so from the game is a Head Coach. 

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12 hours ago, Phil W said:

It can work and will work. As has been said below commitment dedication and long term vision and there will be ups and downs along the way. I really don't get the anti-expansionists in rugby league. I want to see traditional and expansion clubs thrive as it's good for the game. 

I don’t think there is any need for that sort of name calling at all. Never ever met anyone in the game who doesn’t want Rugby League to expand and thrive. True, there are comments from fans who are sceptical about “expansion” projects but just sticking that “expansion” label on every new club that comes along is wrong.

Toronto were funded by a multi-Billionaire, who is still a multi-Billionaire. Truth was he didn’t like losing, and never showed any intention of funding Canadian development. West wales are funded by a gentleman who is a lot less well off than Mr. Argyle  who probably enjoys having his own “professional” rugby league club, but whether there is any evidence his plan is to get Wales playing Rugby league in numbers (something Celtic Crusaders brilliantly did) I very much doubt unless he’s enrolled several development officers?

The ingredients of expansion do not start and end with some bloke rich enough to bankroll a pro or semi pro “club” for his own amusement, by dragging in some heartland players and Aussies. Expansion requires a very long term commitment in terms of adequate staff, both in admin and on the ground as development officers (and the extra money to fund this) to work towards more participation in the game and more spectators, and further local investment. This is clearly the sticking point, and I would guess few of those gentlemen who pick up or create a “pro” RL club  welcome the idea on RL websites that if they do this they are honour bound, and have a sacred duty to spend tens of thousands more to “expand the game” in their area?,

If you want to find “anti-expansionists” then you won’t find them on here………..Realists maybe…….

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1 hour ago, Hello said:

Such huge debts that they were asking to be able to pay MORE wages. Anyway, it is normal for big sporting clubs to have debts - look at the huge debts of Barcelona, a massive club.  And none of this is the point anyway, the fact is that a new team was set up very successfully a couple of thousand miles away and after just three years already had crowds in the Championship that embarassed most of your ideal lock-off-the-heartlands-from-civilisation world where your dream is non-expansion and steady overall decline of the sport. Others, including myself, welcomed those many thousands of new Toronto fans to the sport. And to say covid hasn't had an impact, blimey where do you start......

Seriously I was 100% behind Toronto but it was built on sand. The club ran up huge debts that the owner (who wasn't as rich as he said he was) couldnt pay. Covid just speeded up the process of him being found out. Everyone knows that now 

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25 minutes ago, OriginalMrC said:

Seriously I was 100% behind Toronto but it was built on sand. The club ran up huge debts that the owner (who wasn't as rich as he said he was) couldnt pay. Covid just speeded up the process of him being found out. Everyone knows that now 

Ok we'll have to agree to disagree. They never had the chance to exploit financially the publicity, merch, ticket sales, food and beer sales that they would have had for SL home games. Given their increasing popularity and already decent ticket sales, it surely would not have been long before they moved to a considerably bigger stadium with more potential for sales. Also I refer to my previous point re the fact that they were asking to increase the salary cap, and you are another who is playing down the impact of covid - it's finished hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide

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12 minutes ago, Hello said:

Ok we'll have to agree to disagree. They never had the chance to exploit financially the publicity, merch, ticket sales, food and beer sales that they would have had for SL home games. Given their increasing popularity and already decent ticket sales, it surely would not have been long before they moved to a considerably bigger stadium with more potential for sales. Also I refer to my previous point re the fact that they were asking to increase the salary cap, and you are another who is playing down the impact of covid - it's finished hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide

Not to mention the SL clubs’ shameful decision to keep Toronto’s share of the Sky money for themselves, despite Toronto generating more column inches in the national press and general public interest than the rest of them put together. Talk about an uneven playing field, Toronto was a gift to SL, a game changer, and they were too parochial to see it. 

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42 minutes ago, OriginalMrC said:

Seriously I was 100% behind Toronto but it was built on sand. The club ran up huge debts that the owner (who wasn't as rich as he said he was) couldnt pay. Covid just speeded up the process of him being found out. Everyone knows that now 

How many other clubs would have gone to the wall had it not been for the furlough scheme? I suspect a lot.

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Just now, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

How many other clubs would have gone to the wall had it not been for the furlough scheme? I suspect a lot.

Toronto were avoiding paying bills long before Covid.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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4 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Toronto were avoiding paying bills long before Covid.

Yes and player and staff wages also constantly paid late. Contractors were also frequently not paid. That does not suggest to me that it was a well run sustainable business. It's all if, buts and maybes now and a massive shame but it wasn't covid or lack of central funding that finished Toronto off. It was lack of governance, a poor business model, and an owner who didn't have the unlimited funds he appeared to have that done them in. 

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2 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

And no other pro clubs have ever done that

If you want me to agree that we have a worrying lack of stable of rugby league clubs then I'll agree with you.

It doesn't mean that Toronto were ever on a sound footing, ever above board about paying bills and players, or only ceased to exist because of covid.

The warning signs about, let's be polite, 'cashflow' were there from very early on in the project and they never went away.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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29 minutes ago, Hello said:

Ok we'll have to agree to disagree. They never had the chance to exploit financially the publicity, merch, ticket sales, food and beer sales that they would have had for SL home games. Given their increasing popularity and already decent ticket sales, it surely would not have been long before they moved to a considerably bigger stadium with more potential for sales. Also I refer to my previous point re the fact that they were asking to increase the salary cap, and you are another who is playing down the impact of covid - it's finished hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide

How come covid didn't finish off any of the MLR clubs? The MLR clubs at this present time can only dream of having the branding and interest the wolfpack generated. 

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1 minute ago, gingerjon said:

If you want me to agree that we have a worrying lack of stable of rugby league clubs then I'll agree with you.

That's exactly my point. The foundations of a lot of pro RL clubs are very precarious. It's easy for people to point fingers at Toronto (and rightly so) and other expansion clubs, but often the same criticisms can easily be levelled at a number of 'heartlands' clubs.

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3 hours ago, Eddie said:

On the Championship and L1 preview show, Robert Hicks said that WWR had a good season last year. I know he should be putting a slight positive spin on things but that is just ridiculous. 

They drew a game and got a point, it doesn’t get much better than that. West Wales Raiders get a lot of stick but they produce more of their own players than any other club at their level, something other expansion clubs are often criticised for not doing enough of. 

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3 hours ago, Eddie said:

On the Championship and L1 preview show, Robert Hicks said that WWR had a good season last year. I know he should be putting a slight positive spin on things but that is just ridiculous. 

Relatively speaking I think they were much better last year. Certainly more competitive in a lot of games. I thought they were making progress. Had they kept the coach followed up with some solid signings (instead of gimmicky ones) they would have improved further this year. Instead they sacked the coach for not reaching the playoffs and loads of last years squad left. 

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1 hour ago, Keith989 said:

How come covid didn't finish off any of the MLR clubs? The MLR clubs at this present time can only dream of having the branding and interest the wolfpack generated. 

 Because they weren't playing Transatlantic with no home games and no central funding?

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1 hour ago, OriginalMrC said:

Seriously I was 100% behind Toronto but it was built on sand. The club ran up huge debts that the owner (who wasn't as rich as he said he was) couldnt pay. Covid just speeded up the process of him being found out. Everyone knows that now 

David Argyle is, and remains a Billionaire.

He spent something like £30 Million on Toronto Wolfpack.

And all through the time he was spending this, and on to this day his Brazilian potash mines have been churning out produce and keeping him as rich as ever.

Covid had nothing to do with it at all........... Everyone certainly knows the truth now.😉

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1 minute ago, Tommygilf said:

 Because they weren't playing Transatlantic with no home games and no central funding?

I think it's also because MLR has some very weird private finance deal going on.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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1 hour ago, RugbyLeagueGeek said:

That's exactly my point. The foundations of a lot of pro RL clubs are very precarious. It's easy for people to point fingers at Toronto (and rightly so) and other expansion clubs, but often the same criticisms can easily be levelled at a number of 'heartlands' clubs.

Whilst it is true heartlands clubs who lose their owners usually find new owners from the same RL heartlands, there aren't the same number of prospective replacements away from the heartlands. In the case of Toronto however there WAS a prospective and wealthy "rich owner" who applied to take over the Wolfpack, and was rejected....

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Lets be honest, the whole system is set up to be as protectionist as possible towards the position of each already existing club. The culture is "bite and hold" onto any scrap of advantage you can get.

The worst excesses of this are naturally felt most by newcomers. 

Across the Sport, are they welcomed, encouraged and supported? Not generally, no. 

West Wales are expected to succeed on the same basis that Hunslet or Rochdale are.

Toronto or London are expected to be able to operate and succeed under the same financial constraints as Wigan or Castleford.

This has been the attitude for decades; Glasgow were rejected in the 50s iirc for example because it was "too far" to travel.

The sport is more open now to letting new teams in (though not inside the heartlands, Manchester Rangers), but seems completely incapable of proactively supporting that growth from then on. No measures, initiatives or otherwise are put in place to support new clubs. What a shock that the one time they ever have been (Catalans initial relegation exemption), we have seen the first example of the introduction successful new team into the top flight.

Even for heartland teams in Super League, are newly promoted clubs allowed to spend beyond what is openly acknowledged to be a too low salary cap to boost their chances of survival? No. So less attractive clubs have to spend more to attract better players but are then limited by the cap which weakens them.

The sport is ran by self interested parties who have no money anyway.

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