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After 40 years have we finally given up on cracking the London market?


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2 hours ago, Tides Of History said:

...

The signs so far are that they are just appealing to the 500 or so people that they have always been able to rely on. Do the Broncos have a plan for how they are going to reach their expected 5000 supporters in three years?

The club has actively alienated about half of the 500 or so hardcore since the move to Wimbledon was announced. And the target number of 5000 has just been plucked out of the air.

That said, they look like they've put some effort into the Widnes game. 

Enjoyed the article btw.

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Interesting article. I really hope they can be success, srarting off with a good crowd and a decent result on Sunday.

I admire them for taking the ambitious route and moving to Wimbledon's stadium, rather than staying at a venue that resembled that of a community club. 

Also, regarding away fans, I do believe they will get a lot more than last year. First reason being the new stadium. Second being the absence of Toulouse. In previous seasons, fans probably were split between London and Toulouse trips. Whereas this season, with only one long trip, I am sure more fans will get on board. 

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5 hours ago, Tides Of History said:

The move of London Broncos to AFC Wimbledon is obviously another opportunity to try and tap into a different London market. Structurally AFC are more similar to a rugby league club than a Premiership football team - but their success will be measured in how they get people through the gate. So far the promotion I've seen seems to be restricted to a few old fashioned style posters on trains with little attempt to generate a new type of supporter to the ground. 

More broadly, have we generally given up on cracking the London market? We once, as a game, put a serious amount of strategic importance on developing that London market to generate newspaper columns, extra investment etc. There was that sense that a London club could, in itself, change the stereotypes and image problems that the game has held. We no longer talk of them doing so.  Have we decided that it is a luxury we cannot afford? What are we doing to attract those who will attend the Challenge Cup final and the RLWC semis to Wimbledon? Is it going to be a club for ex-pat northerners or something for the people of Wimbledon? 

The lack of outcry over the move to part-time status is a signal - if it was needed - that they are no longer of strategic importance to the rest of the sport. Does the bring opportunities or is it the final nail in the coffin? Would love to hear the thoughts as the club moves into a new era 

Here are some thoughts I've put together on the last 40 years of the Broncos - a real pleasure to go back and look at the early days as Fulham and the opportunities that it created. I wish them all the best for the future 

https://thecritic.co.uk/southern-discomfort/

 

 

 

 

It's one of the worlds leading cities, in that sense its on our doorstep, its also our nations capital so yeah, we need a Club in London. We've got two 👍

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1 hour ago, Jughead said:

... London Skolars to be competitive in League One, with players who aren’t just an old boys club from their Head Coaches last spell as coach. 

I’m not a fan of many of Skolars recent signings 🙁 - some who would not get into the starting line up of the better London premier teams (West warriors/Hammersmith hill hoists/London Chatgers) let alone be of a standard to compete in league 1, but the switch to a part time Broncos who then took Skolars coach and better players has left them with little alternative in the short term. (not to mention the effect of the cut in central funding.) Skolars had a trial a week or so ago that attracted about 40 players, so it will be interesting to see if they can add enough to their squad to plug in the gaps & put in enough training sessions to gel as a team before the league 1 season starts.

Skolars immediate squad problems were made even made worse by Broncos further cannibalising Skolars by recruiting more of last years Skolars squad for the Broncos reserve team. This wouldn’t be such a problem if it was young players who might develop and progress, but it’s the older players and completely defeats the point of a reserve league.

 

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Between 2008 and 2012 there were 27 full time development offices employed by the RFL/SE in London.

Since then, according to Companies House, David Hughes has put £22m+ into London Broncos 

So no shortage of "development officers" or "investment" in  London

Curious that RL currently seems stronger in the Shires surrounding "London"

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3 hours ago, Jughead said:

Right now? A return to full time professionalism for London Broncos, with strong crowds of 1800+ and London Skolars to be competitive in League One, with players who aren’t just an old boys club from their Head Coaches last spell as coach. 

A championship RL club with crowds of 1,800 can’t be fully professional without a sugar daddy pumping money in that they know they’ll never see again. 

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10 minutes ago, Eddie said:

A championship RL club with crowds of 1,800 can’t be fully professional without a sugar daddy pumping money in that they know they’ll never see again. 

Yes, that is how owning any sports team works. 

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1 minute ago, Eddie said:

So your barometer of success is a club having a benefactor wasting millions on them? 

Most chairmen of nearly all sports clubs are “wasting” their money, then. 

Success (huge success, in fact) would be 1,800 as an average crowd at a new venue in Year One, when they were averaging at just over 1,000 in their last full Championship season with no crowd restrictions in 2019. 

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36 minutes ago, Hemel Rugby League said:

Between 2008 and 2012 there were 27 full time development offices employed by the RFL/SE in London.

Since then, according to Companies House, David Hughes has put £22m+ into London Broncos 

So no shortage of "development officers" or "investment" in  London

Curious that RL currently seems stronger in the Shires surrounding "London"

Not curious at all. NW London has no community club offering junior rugby. Skolars are the only one north of the river.

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41 minutes ago, Hemel Rugby League said:

Between 2008 and 2012 there were 27 full time development offices employed by the RFL/SE in London.

Since then, according to Companies House, David Hughes has put £22m+ into London Broncos 

So no shortage of "development officers" or "investment" in  London

Curious that RL currently seems stronger in the Shires surrounding "London"

How many are there now, out of curiosity? I have a feeling it’s not many/any at all. 

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This is a good starting point to address the issue of  the sport in 'London'

And don't overlook the Southetn Conference League

https://www.rugby-league.com/competitions/community-leagues/london-and-south-east/match-centre

But do try to to assess why so many development officers and cash investment in London has produced what we have today

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Private Equity outfits continue to circle world sports looking for investment opportunities. If Toulouse can kick on in the Super League and we can have two successful World Cups in England and France then we may see the idea of private equity revisited with Rugby League holding potentially a much stronger hand. If London can find themselves a home at a decent stadium and a bit of stability I imagine a sensible strategic plan for a London team would be a priority for any sort of private equity investor.

Edited by The Rocket
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 SL needs to improve it's image drasticly, but, I'm not sure  after the TW fiasco they think that way.  Would London be welcomed back to that comp?

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1 hour ago, Hemel Rugby League said:

This is a good starting point to address the issue of  the sport in 'London'

And don't overlook the Southetn Conference League

https://www.rugby-league.com/competitions/community-leagues/london-and-south-east/match-centre

But do try to to assess why so many development officers and cash investment in London has produced what we have today

This thread is about London and not the south of England as a whole. The city has 9 million people and by far the most potential to expand the profile of the sport.

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54 minutes ago, frank said:

 SL needs to improve it's image drasticly, but, I'm not sure  after the TW fiasco they think that way.  Would London be welcomed back to that comp?

Wouldn't have a choice to accept it if they won promotion.

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Just now, NW10LDN said:

Wouldn't have a choice to accept it if they won promotion.

They could close ranks and ruin them like they did to TWP, maybe refuse them their TV money and make them pay for everyone’s travel to London for example. 

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2 minutes ago, Eddie said:

They could close ranks and ruin them like they did to TWP, maybe refuse them their TV money and make them pay for everyone’s travel to London for example. 

Don't think they would. SL clubs would love to have a decent London club for marketing alone.

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4 minutes ago, NW10LDN said:

Don't think they would. SL clubs would love to have a decent London club for marketing alone.

I don’t think they would either, though I don’t think many SL clubs (except possibly Leeds, Saints and Wire) would actively welcome them in. 

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12 minutes ago, NW10LDN said:

This thread is about London and not the south of England as a whole. The city has 9 million people and by far the most potential to expand the profile of the sport.

The London Junior Rugby League and the Southern Conference League(East) covers London and the Home Counties - not the South of England which extends to Bristol etc. This is the catchment area for a pro club in London and has been hugely successful as a catchment area for talented Scholarship  and Academy players for Broncos.

You still ignore why having 27 fulltime  RL development officers in London for 4 years plus a cash investment of £22m+ in one club( excluding  Sky TV money) has got us to where we are today.

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Broncos is no longer a expansion club, its 8 years short of golden jubilee. The only problem is, it's been run, bought and owned by d...k heads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Hemel Rugby League said:

The London Junior Rugby League and the Southern Conference League(East) covers London and the Home Counties - not the South of England which extends to Bristol etc. This is the catchment area for a pro club in London and has been hugely successful as a catchment area for talented Scholarship  and Academy players for Broncos.

You still ignore why having 27 fulltime  RL development officers in London for 4 years plus a cash investment of £22m+ in one club( excluding  Sky TV money) has got us to where we are today.

I haven't ignored anything. What good is the 27 development officers and 22 million if most kids in London have no access to junior rugby either in school or through a club? I've already mentioned this to you and you didn't respond.

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I think the lack of success stems from a lack of profile for the sport altogether. For that, you can thank being hidden behind a paywall for decades. 

The continued calls for internationals to be the golden goose to grow the sport’s profile is misguided in my opinion. Certainly as a vehicle for participation. A packed Wembley for a fixture in October/November, isn’t the vehicle for new kids to get involved. Heck, there wouldn’t be any playing opportunities for them until April/May. That Wembley game will be long forgotten. Kids need to be exposed weekly to the elite of our sport. A weekly presence of SL on terrestrial television will do far more for translating enthusiasm into activity.

There have been moments where “we” have made a good go of making the sport a success in the capital. The unfortunate circumstance as I see it is that these moments have been short lived and never been attempted with all the stakeholders working on it at the same time. Instead disjointed attempts from the RFL and then by the Broncos and even Sky have all occurred at various intervals reasonably on their own, rather than as one strategy.

For example, when the sport had secured a record amount of Sport England funding, there would have been 20-25 full time staff (not including Quins RL management) dedicated to development of the sport in schools and clubs. The participation rates were challenging the numbers of established counties and the London Origin series was hands down the biggest and best representative/elite programme the for 12-18 year olds either code has seen in England.

Let’s romance a thought that this activity was taking place at the launch of SL where the sport arguably had its largest ever profile in London. When the Broncos were actually a well performing outfit, with successful business minds at the helm. Then imagine that coinciding with an experience as good the 2013 RLWC.

Irritably, the evidence points to short term thinking, where any “strategy” that did exist, was never the 20 year plan it needed and still needs to be.

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