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Attendances (Multiple Merged Threads)


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9 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

Its not at all unreasonable to have different criteria applied to different clubs in different circumstances. Calling it hypocrisy might sound nice, but people, businesses and organisations rightly act in this way all the time. 

Treating everyone by the same standard helps nobody. Not Wakefield, not Toulouse, not Leeds Rhinos. I do not think that is a difficult concept to comprehend?

I've no issues with treating clubs differently. I'm cool with protection from relegation like Catalans had, and I've often championed ring fenced funding for expansion clubs for example, with additional support for them. 

But if your principle is that making decisions to maximise away fans is small time and backwards, but then you want to make decisions on maximising away fans, then I'm afraid your are exactly the same as those you criticise. 

There is no "ah but the bigger picture" high ground on that.

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9 hours ago, ShropshireBull said:

Playing at Ealing?  Wouldnt think so either.  We have all talked about the less than stellar job that has been done with broncos but London is clearly a bigger market from a commercial perspective than Leigh can be potentially.

Tho people in Leigh love their RL and people in London don’t. I know which club I’d rather sponsor. 

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Apparently there were over 1,000 watching Wales U16s v England Community Lions at Llanelli last weekend (stat courtesy of Dave Parkinson on his excellent Community Pro-Am podcast), that is massive. 

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18 hours ago, Scubby said:

Why don't you email and ask them if you believe this? You seem to have more knowledge of the clauses and details of the Sky contract than I do.

u2us@skysports.com

This is exactly my point; we are constantly told by many contributors on here that without clubs in major cities like Dublin, London, Barcelona etc., we have no future.  That our major sponsor/broadcaster will desert us if the likes of Featherstone or Leigh replace Toulose or London.  Their apathy towards the first french 'derby' suggests that this is not the case.  My take is that Sky want to be able to sell subscriptions and advertising and couldn't give two hoots where the clubs are situated, only that they make money from the agreement, no more, no less.

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18 hours ago, ShropshireBull said:

Who has said their only interested in World Clubs? Strawmanning there. Sky are interested in views and subscriptions. Games like St vs Pies, Hull Derby are marketable. We should be helping them turn Cat vs Toulouse into another marketable game. We need stronger teams because we haven´t replaced Bulls in its position in the UK market and that hurts , so we either need to find another, build one or have smaller crowds in more commercially appealing areas (London etc).

But history has proven that London is no more commercially appealing for RL than, say Warrington.  Commerce only works if interest is piqued.  This has never been sustained with an expansion club in the way it has been done so far.  London is commercially appealing for a product that is widely regarded.  RL is not that product, as has been shown over and over again.  We can say that the approach of the owners of every incarnation of London (or Paris, or Gateshead, or any other pin-in-a-map location) has been lacklustre and amateur, or consider the alternative that the appetite is very, very difficult to increase from a base of almost nothing.

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2 minutes ago, Tubby said:

This is exactly my point; we are constantly told by many contributors on here that without clubs in major cities like Dublin, London, Barcelona etc., we have no future.  That our major sponsor/broadcaster will desert us if the likes of Featherstone or Leigh replace Toulose or London.  Their apathy towards the first french 'derby' suggests that this is not the case.  My take is that Sky want to be able to sell subscriptions and advertising and couldn't give two hoots where the clubs are situated, only that they make money from the agreement, no more, no less.

I think this is broadly right. 

That isn't to say I see no value in expansion clubs, there is a very valid argument that the more big clubs we have, playing in front of big crowds, with more money to spend on better players, then that should translate into higher profile and viewing figures.

But I think that has to be driven by the sport and not the broadcaster. The best approach is the sport present a clear vision that benefits them and the broadcaster and getting them to help fund it - which let's be honest was what Nigel Wood did with his record TV deal. 

I think this is what IMG will be focusing on - getting a strategy that shows why Sky (or another) should invest in RL and not just pay minimum TV rights, which is probably where we sit now. 

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1 minute ago, Tubby said:

But history has proven that London is no more commercially appealing for RL than, say Warrington.  Commerce only works if interest is piqued.  This has never been sustained with an expansion club in the way it has been done so far.  London is commercially appealing for a product that is widely regarded.  RL is not that product, as has been shown over and over again.  We can say that the approach of the owners of every incarnation of London (or Paris, or Gateshead, or any other pin-in-a-map location) has been lacklustre and amateur, or consider the alternative that the appetite is very, very difficult to increase from a base of almost nothing.

I think this is the risk of when we name our Fantasy structure and Newcastle, London, York, Bradford are thrown in. 

The risk is that these are weak and bumble along at the bottom. The worst version of these clubs is 1.5k fans rattling around getting battered (probably Bulls as the exception). 

Of course potential should be factored in, but there is a challenge around turning that into reality, something that we haven't managed with London, and even Branson walked away from as a money pit. 

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Just now, Dave T said:

I think this is what IMG will be focusing on - getting a strategy that shows why Sky (or another) should invest in RL and not just pay minimum TV rights, which is probably where we sit now. 

Having thought about it, my personal view is that if IMG really are focusing on 'a Dublin, an Edinburgh (etc)' that it won't be to drop them into Super League but it would likely be an additional competition expected to have its own TV deal, corporate arrangements and new fans.

I base that on nothing more than it being completely ridiculous otherwise.

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1 minute ago, Dave T said:

I think this is broadly right. 

That isn't to say I see no value in expansion clubs, there is a very valid argument that the more big clubs we have, playing in front of big crowds, with more money to spend on better players, then that should translate into higher profile and viewing figures.

But I think that has to be driven by the sport and not the broadcaster. The best approach is the sport present a clear vision that benefits them and the broadcaster and getting them to help fund it - which let's be honest was what Nigel Wood did with his record TV deal. 

I think this is what IMG will be focusing on - getting a strategy that shows why Sky (or another) should invest in RL and not just pay minimum TV rights, which is probably where we sit now. 

Anyone who disagrees with the premis behind this has to be mad, but my view is that it never transpires.  When have we ever seen an entirely new club succeed in this way, building a big following from nothing?  My point is that with the right investment and right management, a relatively successful existing team such as Halifax, Batley, Bradford etc have a better chance of succes than Kent Invicta or Bridgend.  There are those on this forum obsessed with big city teams due to population of an arbitrary measurement, when in reality the surrounding area of any town is the catchment area, not just the named metropolitan centre.  Newcastle has no greater catchment than Widnes (I appreciate that there is only one 'pro' club in Newcastle, but there is more existing interest in the population around Widnes.  The bare population figure is one very limited metric in the potential of a club.

I agree entirely with your second and third paragraphs and obviously my original post was a clumsy attempt at sarcasm.

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5 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I think this is the risk of when we name our Fantasy structure and Newcastle, London, York, Bradford are thrown in. 

The risk is that these are weak and bumble along at the bottom. The worst version of these clubs is 1.5k fans rattling around getting battered (probably Bulls as the exception). 

Of course potential should be factored in, but there is a challenge around turning that into reality, something that we haven't managed with London, and even Branson walked away from as a money pit. 

I'm not sure that you and I disagree about much in this respect.

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2 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Having thought about it, my personal view is that if IMG really are focusing on 'a Dublin, an Edinburgh (etc)' that it won't be to drop them into Super League but it would likely be an additional competition expected to have its own TV deal, corporate arrangements and new fans.

I base that on nothing more than it being completely ridiculous otherwise.

Yes, and I suppose that has been touched on here with the comparisons between The Hundred and a 9s comp. 

Whilst I think 9s is a no no - there is a place, but not as a game changer - it would be interesting to see whether something like that could work. A series of Magic-style festivals with new regional teams taking over a city each weekend for a month could be interesting. 

I think the huge challenge is that yiu would probably be building on almost non-existent foundations. It also wouldn't have too much presence in the actual city (1 week a year) but would be more made for TV and a few events. 

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7 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Having thought about it, my personal view is that if IMG really are focusing on 'a Dublin, an Edinburgh (etc)' that it won't be to drop them into Super League but it would likely be an additional competition expected to have its own TV deal, corporate arrangements and new fans.

I base that on nothing more than it being completely ridiculous otherwise.

Has anyone from IMG actually mentioned Dublin and Edinburgh, or is it just the usual TRL Forum daydreamer stuff? 

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2 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Yes, and I suppose that has been touched on here with the comparisons between The Hundred and a 9s comp. 

Whilst I think 9s is a no no - there is a place, but not as a game changer - it would be interesting to see whether something like that could work. A series of Magic-style festivals with new regional teams taking over a city each weekend for a month could be interesting. 

I think the huge challenge is that yiu would probably be building on almost non-existent foundations. It also wouldn't have too much presence in the actual city (1 week a year) but would be more made for TV and a few events. 

I wouldn’t go to watch 9s any more than I’d go to watch a game of 5 a side football featuring the best players. It’s not proper rugby league and I can’t see it ever taking off. 

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5 minutes ago, Tubby said:

Anyone who disagrees with the premis behind this has to be mad, but my view is that it never transpires.  When have we ever seen an entirely new club succeed in this way, building a big following from nothing?  My point is that with the right investment and right management, a relatively successful existing team such as Halifax, Batley, Bradford etc have a better chance of succes than Kent Invicta or Bridgend.  There are those on this forum obsessed with big city teams due to population of an arbitrary measurement, when in reality the surrounding area of any town is the catchment area, not just the named metropolitan centre.  Newcastle has no greater catchment than Widnes (I appreciate that there is only one 'pro' club in Newcastle, but there is more existing interest in the population around Widnes.  The bare population figure is one very limited metric in the potential of a club.

I agree entirely with your second and third paragraphs and obviously my original post was a clumsy attempt at sarcasm.

I think we have done so poorly at expansion that it is difficult to write it off or say it can work. 

I think we've seen enough glimpses to see something, but in general the foundations are so shonky that they just can't survive any kind of shock, and that leads to our huge failures. 

I do think France with at least some foundations in place should be the main focus, while strengthening strategies around grassroots in major population centres. 

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1 minute ago, Eddie said:

I wouldn’t go to watch 9s any more than I’d go to watch a game of 5 a side football featuring the best players. It’s not proper rugby league and I can’t see it ever taking off. 

Each to their own, but I broadly agree (we will be told its not for us- but I see no market opportunity personally).

I think there is a place for it internationally, like the old World 7s where the opportunity of getting developing nations is great. 

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2 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I think we have done so poorly at expansion that it is difficult to write it off or say it can work. 

I think we've seen enough glimpses to see something, but in general the foundations are so shonky that they just can't survive any kind of shock, and that leads to our huge failures. 

I do think France with at least some foundations in place should be the main focus, while strengthening strategies around grassroots in major population centres. 

Again, I agree entirely; but as we know, the definition of stupidity is to constantly do the same thing over and over again and expect the result ot be different.

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6 minutes ago, Eddie said:

Has anyone from IMG actually mentioned Dublin and Edinburgh, or is it just the usual TRL Forum daydreamer stuff? 

It's been put forward by Gledhill, who is completely unreliable, and by Man of Kent who says Phil Caplan told him.

Other than that ...

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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, Eddie said:

I wouldn’t go to watch 9s any more than I’d go to watch a game of 5 a side football featuring the best players. It’s not proper rugby league and I can’t see it ever taking off. 

I've never understood 9's, there are only four fewer players on the pitch, which isn't enough difference to make the game vastly different to 13-a-side (we all remember games with 2 or three players binned/sent off from either side).

Union 7's works because there are so few people on the pitch, making it almost a different sport to 15-a-side and certainly tactically very different.

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18 minutes ago, Tubby said:

I've never understood 9's, there are only four fewer players on the pitch, which isn't enough difference to make the game vastly different to 13-a-side (we all remember games with 2 or three players binned/sent off from either side).

Union 7's works because there are so few people on the pitch, making it almost a different sport to 15-a-side and certainly tactically very different.

I agree however I think RL see nines as a way to get into Olympics as sevens is already union's.

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Just now, rlno1 said:

I agree however I think RL see nines as a way to get into Olympics as sevens is already union's.

Yeah, I think at international level it could be used like the old World 7s. Being able to mix top nations and emerging nations in one tournament has an appeal. 

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Yes the Game in France and Britain needs to be integrated.

A small step would be to at least be bilingual for marketing etc

Super League-Super Liga Europa

Then 

Embarquez !!😂

Je ne peux pas parler, connard sans fond, tête de con, je ne peux pas parler🙃

Même vieux même Salford✌️

Plafond salarial chez Wigan ? je ne comprends pas monsieur🤔

Cette année est l'année de Warrington🙂

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2 hours ago, Eddie said:

I wouldn’t go to watch 9s any more than I’d go to watch a game of 5 a side football featuring the best players. It’s not proper rugby league and I can’t see it ever taking off. 

Great like all new ventures you arent going to be the market though. 

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4 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

Great like all new ventures you arent going to be the market though. 

Existing customers would absolutely be expected to form part of the market. Of course that isn't to say its for everyone, and a key objective of something like this would need to be to attract new fans for it to make any sense. 

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3 hours ago, Tubby said:

But history has proven that London is no more commercially appealing for RL than, say Warrington.  Commerce only works if interest is piqued.  This has never been sustained with an expansion club in the way it has been done so far.  London is commercially appealing for a product that is widely regarded.  RL is not that product, as has been shown over and over again.  We can say that the approach of the owners of every incarnation of London (or Paris, or Gateshead, or any other pin-in-a-map location) has been lacklustre and amateur, or consider the alternative that the appetite is very, very difficult to increase from a base of almost nothing.

International RL is certainly commercially appealing in London. Not owning the infrastructure is a common theme of all those mentioned. But have been multiple seasons where London hovered around 4-5k mark.  That in the stadium they are in now would look decent and give the sport a viable presence in the capital.  

Noone is saying it is easy but many of the deepest wounds have been self inflicted and the alternative is a shrinking sport with less money every year.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Dave T said:

I think we have done so poorly at expansion that it is difficult to write it off or say it can work. 

I think we've seen enough glimpses to see something, but in general the foundations are so shonky that they just can't survive any kind of shock, and that leads to our huge failures. 

I do think France with at least some foundations in place should be the main focus, while strengthening strategies around grassroots in major population centres. 

Historically, the game over here seems to try to make it harder to be an expansion club than a heartlands club. In 1999 SL admitted Gateshead on 50% of the other SL clubs' central distribution, they tried to make Catalans pay a £500,000 bond for the Challenge Cup in 2019 and Toulouse are paying £500k towards other clubs' travel this year. Toronto got zilch in 2020 and the other clubs shared their central distribution between them.

In most other walks of life you go above and beyond if you are expanding your markets with additional allowances, grants, support staff etc. Aside from 2006 with Catalans I can't ever remember this being done.

Let's not forget we nearly lost Catalans in 2017 when in fact they had finished 10th of 12 clubs in SL. Toronto would probably also have been relegated in 2020 not for the pandemic. That swapping and changing and inconsistency is not a recipe for expansion success full stop.

Edited by Scubby
typo
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