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


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18 hours ago, whatmichaelsays said:

This is the core of the issue when it comes to any expansion effort really. 

I'll preface this by saying that cuts in Sport England funding hasn't helped here, but "we" don't really do a lot on this front. 

What tends to happen is a narrative of "we're expanding to...." or "we're investing in....." or "we've tried in ..... and it hasn't worked" is established when, in truth, the vast majority of these efforts have been delegated to the clubs in those regions and a small number of (very passionate and committed) owners like David Hughes - who have all of the existing day-to-day challenges of the heartland clubs, with this added burden of "growing the game" with very little support. 

It's why phrases like "the Catalans haven't done anything to improve the French team" are as unfair on the Catalans as it is to blame Hull KR for the fact that England can't beat Australia. Catalans are there to exist as a successful club in their own right and follow the same rules as everyone else to do that - their obligation isn't to the FFRXIII. We even seem to put the responsibility of selling media rights in France on the Catalans now, which just sums up how nobody at Red Hall / Manchester really wants to grasp this issue. 

Likewise with Magic Weekend - just rocking up and bringing the circus to town isn't really "expansion", but we still have claims like "we went to Cardiff all those years and we still don't have a club there!". 

The real issue here is that everybody sees expansion (certainly in the geographic sense, but arguably in other senses too) as "not their problem". The clubs don't want to do it, SLE clearly can't or won't do it and the RFL doesn't have the funding to do it. We then have this finger pointing going on - fans blaming the RFL for poor TV deals when it's really the fault of SLE, the clubs blaming the RFL for poor marketing when it's really the fault of the clubs, people blaming the Broncos for poor international crowds in London when it's the really the fault of the RFL..... and so it goes on. 

If either Super League Europe or the RFL is serious about geographic expansion, it has to take on that responsibility. It can't rely on delegating this to whichever "outpost" clubs we happen to have. 

This is so true, why should broncos carry the responsibility of all of the region and their successes (or not)be the only thing that is reported. The RFL and SLE need to invest in what the they truly want and if that is expansion in London then fund it appropriately 

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22 hours ago, The Rocket said:

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.

People have being says this sort of stuff for years and in the meantime the club has experienced a steady decline with a slight rise while at Trailfinders before and after they got promotion to SL. Those of us who have been going for a long time are probably wondering how long we will be at Wimbledon before we move yet again and this time where to! For me Trailfinders was perfect for where we are now and where we are likely to be for the next 10 years. Five hundred people rattling around in a 10,000 capacity stadium will create no atmosphere at all. That said I must be a masochist because I will be at Plough Lane  tomorrow!

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16 minutes ago, westlondonfan said:

That said I must be a masochist because I will be at Plough Lane  tomorrow!

That's the spirit!

Hiw many are likely to turn up tomorrow? Is 1500 a possibility? I hope it's a good day for London both on and off the field and the start of a bright new chapter in their history 🤞 

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Personally speaking for what its worth i think that the Broncos are missing a trick in who their target market really is.

Dulwich Hamlet hit the nail on the head.

 

* Anoraks

* Non League Football Groundhoppers

* Real ale fans

* People that just want a good day out 

My non league football team have targeted this market now and our gates have gone up from 100 to 3/400 hundred and for the first time ever the club is washing its face.

We sell the fact that for 20 pounds you get to watch some footy programme 2 pints and a burger (And a dam good one too:)

 

Paul

Ps/Banter behind the goal on match days includes a Broncos fan Giants and Hull FC 

 

 

 

Edited by ATLANTISMAN
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1 minute ago, ATLANTISMAN said:

Personally speaking for what its worth i think that the Broncos are missing a trick in who their target market really is.

Dulwich Hamlet hit the nail on the head.

 

* Anoraks

* Non League Football Groundhoppers

* Real ale fans

* People that just want a good day out 

My non league football team have targeted this market now and our gates have gone up from 100 to 3/400 hundred and for the first time ever the club is washing its face.

We sell the fact that for 20 pounds you get to watch some footy programme 2 pints and a burger (And a dam good one too:)

 

Paul

Ps/Banter behind the goal on match days includes a Broncos fan Giants and Hull FC and we are in SOFF LONDON:)

 

 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, langpark said:

That's the spirit!

Hiw many are likely to turn up tomorrow? Is 1500 a possibility? I hope it's a good day for London both on and off the field and the start of a bright new chapter in their history 🤞 

I don’t really know because I don’t know how many Widnes fans will be there or how much promotion the club has done in Wimbledon. however looking at where we are likely to be in the division and the fact that we are now a part time team I think once things settle down we are looking at some pretty low attendances for a lot of matches.

As someone else has already said the 5000 figure has just been plucked out of the air as far as I can see.

Edited by westlondonfan
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32 minutes ago, westlondonfan said:

People have being says this sort of stuff for years and in the meantime the club has experienced a steady decline with a slight rise while at Trailfinders before and after they got promotion to SL. Those of us who have been going for a long time are probably wondering how long we will be at Wimbledon before we move yet again and this time where to! For me Trailfinders was perfect for where we are now and where we are likely to be for the next 10 years. Five hundred people rattling around in a 10,000 capacity stadium will create no atmosphere at all. That said I must be a masochist because I will be at Plough Lane  tomorrow!

Look it is really interesting following this `London` debate from the other side of the world and I have to say for me the fact that a London team has survived in some guise for 50 years should be a cause for optimism and even celebration.

I like to compare it to a business and a business who perhaps through sheer persistence best days are ahead of it. There just appears to me so much up-side for a team in London just for the want of a bit of capital and a bit of stability. I just think if Rugby League was organised enough the possibility of taking big games or high profile games and I`m not just talking World Cup games to London could help that club considerably.

Personally I`d love to see Aussie club teams go over and play a game and regular tour fixtures held at London`s home ground to help grow the club, but that would probably make too much sense and heck how would having a successful team in one of the wealthiest cities in the world advantage the game overall.

 

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22 minutes ago, ATLANTISMAN said:

Personally speaking for what its worth i think that the Broncos are missing a trick in who their target market really is.

Dulwich Hamlet hit the nail on the head.

 

* Anoraks

* Non League Football Groundhoppers

* Real ale fans

* People that just want a good day out 

My non league football team have targeted this market now and our gates have gone up from 100 to 3/400 hundred and for the first time ever the club is washing its face.

We sell the fact that for 20 pounds you get to watch some footy programme 2 pints and a burger (And a dam good one too:)

 

Paul

Ps/Banter behind the goal on match days includes a Broncos fan Giants and Hull FC 

 

 

 

I think you are spot on. I’ve said this for a long time.  There’s a specific market we need to try to attract in London. 

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6 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

Look it is really interesting following this `London` debate from the other side of the world and I have to say for me the fact that a London team has survived in some guise for 50 years should be a cause for optimism and even celebration.

I like to compare it to a business and a business who perhaps through sheer persistence best days are ahead of it. There just appears to me so much up-side for a team in London just for the want of a bit of capital and a bit of stability. I just think if Rugby League was organised enough the possibility of taking big games or high profile games and I`m not just talking World Cup games to London could help that club considerably.

Personally I`d love to see Aussie club teams go over and play a game and regular tour fixtures held at London`s home ground to help grow the club, but that would probably make too much sense and heck how would having a successful team in one of the wealthiest cities in the world advantage the game overall.

 

I agree that the fact London has survived is an achievement but the current approach is not growing the club.  We do need capital and stability because the continual moving around can’t be helping the club at all. Expecting the football club to supply us with new fans is not going to work in my view. I am sure success is possible as Wigan played Catalan at Millwall football club’s ground a few year’s ago and that was a success. I also saw Australia versus New Zealand at a packed Stoop a few years ago too. I would of stayed at Trailfinders , put in place a plan to get into and stay in the SL and maybe employ some people who have already been successful at  developing a football or rugby club off the pitch. I am not in sports management but I guess like many things there is no substitute for hardwork and there is no shortcut to success. Having said that “expansion “ teams don’t succeed in the SL unless you count Catalan as an expansion team. Toronto’s story is an sad indication of that. You seem to have done it right with New Zealand  and Melbourne Storm though! 

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8 minutes ago, westlondonfan said:

I am sure success is possible as Wigan played Catalan at Millwall football club’s ground a few year’s ago and that was a success. I also saw Australia versus New Zealand at a packed Stoop a few years ago too.

The second game you mention is exactly the game I was thinking of as well and the first game you cite is exactly the sort of thing I was referring to a few pages back when I said that teams like Catalans and Toulouse would be so much easier to market for a London club because they have that element of the exotic or at least international that would be more likely to get people to come and have a look, you could throw your big clubs like Wigan et.al in their as well.

As far as the ground thing goes I don`t know anything about Trailfinders but the pictures I`ve seen of their new home ground look perfect to me, certainly as far as presentation goes, for a club that wants to present itself as a professional outfit. Oh for the want of a bit of money to build a competitive squad to put in that place.

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58 minutes ago, westlondonfan said:

I don’t really know because I don’t know how many Widnes fans will be there or how much promotion the club has done in Wimbledon. however looking at where we are likely to be in the division and the fact that we are now a part time team I think once things settle down we are looking at some pretty low attendances for a lot of matches.

I bought my tickets a couple of hours ago, and there looked to be approaching 2000 seats shown as sold on the ticketing website.

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1 hour ago, NW10LDN said:

What specific market would that be?

Exactly. I doubt the latté sipping, bohemian, vegetarians will have any interest in the rugged, muddy works of second division RL 😂

Edited by Sports Prophet
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Not sure why any place that has attracted 100,000 crowds for rugby league should be “given up on”.

"There has never been a Challenge Cup semifinal of 65,000 either individually or combined" - Damien

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8 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

Exactly. I doubt the latté sipping, bohemian, vegetarians will have any interest in the rugged, muddy works of second division RL 😂

The original post cited how non league football clubs have successfully improved their crowds in London. That demographic you’ve imagined seem to like watching very basic, non sanitised, warts & all sport. For example, at Dulwich Hamlet, the facilities are very basic but the craft beer tents, street food outlets pull punters in. 

People like an event/day out in London. Something more than just two hours of sport. 

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12 hours ago, JonM said:

I bought my tickets a couple of hours ago, and there looked to be approaching 2000 seats shown as sold on the ticketing website.

Wow, I hope that is accurate!! 2000 or more would be a great start, but the obvious challenge from today onwards will be to get them coming back for more. 

Also, how many of those would be Widnes fans? 500 perhaps? 

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Probably between 1500 - 2000 today, but a lot of that is £1 offers and community tickets (plus about 400 from widnes). So thats a good start. The trick is to get them to come back, and without gimmicks.  For that they need results on the pitch. So the acid test will be will this squad full of ex skolars and WWR players be able to punch above their weight and win more than they lose and be competitive. Today we will find out

Edited by crashmon
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4 minutes ago, langpark said:

Wow, I hope that is accurate!! 2000 or more would be a great start, but the obvious challenge from today onwards will be to get them coming back for more. 

Also, how many of those would be Widnes fans? 500 perhaps? 

500 sounds about right. I counted a little under 400 sales in the "away stand" but there are definitely Widnes fans who bought tickets in the main stand, because initially that was the only stand made available. 

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Plough Lane would have been ideal for Friday Night Lights, the night before the Challenge Cup Final. It is a shame they did not push for a game that night. Yes I realise Skolars play that night, but perhaps the two.clubs could have discussed it and worked something out. Perhaps Skolars could have played on the Sunday at 13:00 for a change. 

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1 minute ago, langpark said:

Plough Lane would have been ideal for Friday Night Lights, the night before the Challenge Cup Final. It is a shame they did not push for a game that night. Yes I realise Skolars play that night, but perhaps the two.clubs could have discussed it and worked something out. Perhaps Skolars could have played on the Sunday at 13:00 for a change. 

Why would they do any of that?

Wimbledon didn’t want their venue used by anyone else in front of fans before their fans got to go to the ground, so it wouldn’t have worked last year, anyway. The 2022 Final is in Tottenham, moving a game away from Tottenham the night before doesn’t make much sense and I’m not sure they could even afford to rent another venue, anyway. 

When I went in 2019, the Skolars had sent people to the supermarket on the high street to buy cans to stock their bar, which we learned, they own. The mark up on a set of 14 cans at £10 on a night where they get a bumper crowd (by their standards) is quite significant.

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4 minutes ago, Jughead said:

Why would they do any of that?

Wimbledon didn’t want their venue used by anyone else in front of fans before their fans got to go to the ground, so it wouldn’t have worked last year, anyway. The 2022 Final is in Tottenham, moving a game away from Tottenham the night before doesn’t make much sense and I’m not sure they could even afford to rent another venue, anyway. 

When I went in 2019, the Skolars had sent people to the supermarket on the high street to buy cans to stock their bar, which we learned, they own. The mark up on a set of 14 cans at £10 on a night where they get a bumper crowd (by their standards) is quite significant.

I think you may not have understood what I said.

I said that London Broncos, should have tried playing one of their regular season matches, the night before the Challenge Cup Final.

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Just now, langpark said:

I think you may not have understood what I said.

I said that London Broncos, should have tried playing one of their regular season matches, the night before the Challenge Cup Final.

So they’ve decimated London Skolars’ squad, now you want them to decimate their biggest earner? Absolutely not. I’d be disgusted if they muscled in and took the Friday slot.

Maybe they could play on the Sunday but the Sunday is when anyone who does stay in London for the final goes home and traipsing to furthest south in London, taking in three changes and then a load of walking, just doesn’t sound like its palatable or worth it. Maybe you’ll get a big away following travelling to London for the final and the Broncos game but enough to make it worthwhile, I don’t know. 

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21 minutes ago, Jughead said:

So they’ve decimated London Skolars’ squad, now you want them to decimate their biggest earner? Absolutely not. I’d be disgusted if they muscled in and took the Friday slot.

Yes, that is a fair concern, hence why I suggest both parties discuss it and find a solution that both parties can benefit from. 

Looking at it from an "overall London RL" point of view, if Skolars would get a +1000 higher gate on that day, but Broncos could get +3000 higher, then it makes sense for the event to go there. I would even be prepared to financially compensate the Skolars if I were the Broncos.

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