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Attendances (Multiple Merged Threads)


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35 minutes ago, ShropshireBull said:

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.

My point is not that expansion cannot be successful, rather that the success is not dependant on the team being in a major city.  Population distribution is far more complex than 'Birmingham is a big city, so it would be better than Smethwick'.  In truth, both have a very similar catchment area.  Creating interest in that population is where we struggle.

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53 minutes ago, Scubby said:

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.

On the flip side there are some leagues that insist you pay a huge fee to join the party, so I'm not sure it's as black and white as giving them every advantage. 

 

Lbut we should be clear on our approach up frobtm

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7 minutes ago, Dave T said:

On the flip side there are some leagues that insist you pay a huge fee to join the party, so I'm not sure it's as black and white as giving them every advantage. 

 

Lbut we should be clear on our approach up frobtm

When it all comes down to it, most of our expansion has come from an interested club asking to join the league. The only time we have invited SL applications was in 1998 and 2006.

In 1999 Gateshead got 50% of central distribution and collapsed within a year. Catalans got a 2 year lead in and protection for 3 years. It is the only successful expansion of SL which has been driven from within the game. The reward for that is Catalans are now one of the biggest club in the game in terms of turnover and top NRL stars it can attract. 

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1 hour ago, ShropshireBull said:

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

I am though. I’m not into cricket but I’m sure most people going to the new cricket comps that they’ve invented to try to make it interesting are existing and not new fans. They may not have been regulars at four day county cricket games or whatever but they are at least interested in cricket. 

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7 minutes ago, Eddie said:

I am though. I’m not into cricket but I’m sure most people going to the new cricket comps that they’ve invented to try to make it interesting are existing and not new fans. They may not have been regulars at four day county cricket games or whatever but they are at least interested in cricket. 

Or drinking.

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45 minutes ago, Scubby said:

When it all comes down to it, most of our expansion has come from an interested club asking to join the league. The only time we have invited SL applications was in 1998 and 2006.

In 1999 Gateshead got 50% of central distribution and collapsed within a year. Catalans got a 2 year lead in and protection for 3 years. It is the only successful expansion of SL which has been driven from within the game. The reward for that is Catalans are now one of the biggest club in the game in terms of turnover and top NRL stars it can attract. 

Yup. It fes like we found a template, then forgot all about how we did it! 

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13 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Yup. It fes like we found a template, then forgot all about how we did it! 

There was that huge reset in 2001 when Richard Lewis came in and focussed on SL growth and International. The other guy before Neil (?) was a complete car crash and was part of the 2000 WC fiasco and the Gateshull stuff.

I am an optimistic person at heart and hope this link with IMG can ignite some growth and innovation but with the intention of stable growth. I guess we will find out soon.

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5 hours 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.

Your posts are bang on

It's a fact that Rugby League is entrenched  in South Lancashire and west Yorkshire. Guess where the rich owners mainly come from?. As I understand it even London's rich owner is from Oldham.

One of the best attempts at expansion was Sheffield Eagles. It was a zero Rugby League City, but it was taken on and developed over the years before famously walking out at Wembley and taking the challenge cup off the mighty Wigan. What more could any club owner and his charges do to expand the game, than  take on a new city based club close to the M62 for away fans to get to, and close enough to the player pool, and take home such a coveted trophy..............

.........But it didn't work. Despite the massive on field success Hetherington didn't see any real growth despite the magnificent cup feat and he eventually declared RL was simply not working in Sheffield.  The bottom line is if people want to invest in Rugby League please do so at one of the established clubs who can give a wealthy owner some sort of return. I've seen such as HKR and Leigh on their posteriors, and seen these clubs be built right back up again. I have seen how much Beaumont and Hudgell have enjoyed it, and I want that for Bradford, I want that for Widnes, I don't want to see valuable private investment being wasted on dream projects...

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4 minutes ago, steve oates said:

Your posts are bang on

It's a fact that Rugby League is entrenched  in South Lancashire and west Yorkshire. Guess where the rich owners mainly come from?. As I understand it even London's rich owner is from Oldham.

One of the best attempts at expansion was Sheffield Eagles. It was a zero Rugby League City, but it was taken on and developed over the years before famously walking out at Wembley and taking the challenge cup off the mighty Wigan. What more could any club owner and his charges do to expand the game, than  take on a new city based club close to the M62 for away fans to get to, and close enough to the player pool, and take home such a coveted trophy..............

.........But it didn't work. Despite the massive on field success Hetherington didn't see any real growth despite the magnificent cup feat and he eventually declared RL was simply not working in Sheffield.  The bottom line is if people want to invest in Rugby League please do so at one of the established clubs who can give a wealthy owner some sort of return. I've seen such as HKR and Leigh on their posteriors, and seen these clubs be built right back up again. I have seen how much Beaumont and Hudgell have enjoyed it, and I want that for Bradford, I want that for Widnes, I don't want to see valuable private investment being wasted on dream projects...

That's a lot of words to say you hate the idea of rugby league being popular.

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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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12 minutes ago, Scubby said:

There was that huge reset in 2001 when Richard Lewis came in and focussed on SL growth and International. The other guy before Neil (?) was a complete car crash and was part of the 2000 WC fiasco and the Gateshull stuff.

I am an optimistic person at heart and hope this link with IMG can ignite some growth and innovation but with the intention of stable growth. I guess we will find out soon.

I always bang on about the boring stuff, but that is what is needed. We need processes and governance (and a strategy) in place for all things. 

We constantly wing it when it comes to expansion, P&R, central funding, broadcasting etc. 

I've no issues with them doing stuff in a way different to what I'd do, but they absolutely should know what they are trying to do, and I don't think they do. At all. 

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2 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

That's a lot of words to say you hate the idea of rugby league being popular.

I'm not sure that's entirely fair. It may lack ambition, sexiness and be unrealistic, but the premise of investing in heartlands is not completely crazy.

But, I do disagree with Steve's post - people should be encouraged to invest in RL in whatever way, and whatever place they see fit. 

Sure we should nurture and direct that, but I want people investing in growing RL all over the country, both heartlands and beyond. 

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5 minutes ago, Dave T said:

I'm not sure that's entirely fair. It may lack ambition, sexiness and be unrealistic, but the premise of investing in heartlands is not completely crazy.

Investing in the heartlands to the exclusion of all else is crazy. It really is.

As well as lacking ambition and sexiness.

And being unrealistic.

Other than that though, it's definitely something we should explore.

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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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17 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

That's a lot of words to say you hate the idea of rugby league being popular.

In his defence, he isn’t saying that at all is he? 

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12 minutes ago, Eddie said:

In his defence, he isn’t saying that at all is he? 

To make it personal to you, he’s saying, as he always does, that there is no point offering any support to Anglian Vipers.

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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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34 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Investing in the heartlands to the exclusion of all else is crazy. It really is.

As well as lacking ambition and sexiness.

And being unrealistic.

Other than that though, it's definitely something we should explore.

I read it as the poster (without speaking for them) would rather see an investor route funds into say, Bradford, rather than say, Birmingham. 

I don't think that's too controversial, even if you and I don't agree with that approach. 

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22 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

To make it personal to you, he’s saying, as he always does, that there is no point offering any support to Anglian Vipers.

Yes he is, based on the evidence that he’s seen of countless failed expansion attempts. While I don’t agree with him there is merit to the argument tbf, discounting Cumbria I can’t think of a single expansion club who could be considered a success yet, if being a success is being say as big and successful as Leigh or Fev. 

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6 hours ago, Scubby said:

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.

Not giving equal funding , or requesting extra costs is appalling , even more so when that money is then given to the ' voters ' , but what that does tell you is where the problem lies , not with ' flat capped train dislikers ' but with SL club management 

So blame them in the future , not me 

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On 08/06/2022 at 13:08, ShropshireBull said:

Because it was on a bloody thursday night. Not regardless, people have work. Imagine having a once in a generation opportunity, almost willfully tanking it then blaming the teams involved. 

If Huddersfield played London on a Thursday night would the same be true?

No.

As @Dave Tsays, why is a Thursday night allowed for a relatively poor crowd in France but not in England?

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On 08/06/2022 at 14:21, Tubby said:

This flies in the face of the 'fact' that Sky want strong french teams in SL, though.  If that were the case, surely Sky would have chosen to show that game at a more helpful time over the same weekend?

Sky don't give a toss about rugby league, either in Australia, UK or France or anywhere else.

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13 hours ago, Eddie said:

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

Talking to someone high up in the negotiations with IMG this week, the working theory is that the game needs to be made stronger in the heartlands before we start plonking made up clubs in random cities.

It seems the heartlands are critical if the game is to succeed in the long term, and it appears some teams will be getting sacrificed to enable that.

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1 hour ago, meast said:

If Huddersfield played London on a Thursday night would the same be true?

No.

As @Dave Tsays, why is a Thursday night allowed for a relatively poor crowd in France but not in England?

Because it was the first ever all french derby and many people from across the southern belt of france and would have gone. Tanking your own product to then say "Ha! Told you it wouldnt work! " is what someone who worked as a double agent for the RFU would do,not someone who cared about the sport. 

If it was giants first ever game vs Leeds I wouldnt shove it thursday night.  When toulouse have 20 plus years in SL like Huddersfield and Wakey your disengenuous comparisons would be valid. But they havent so they arent. 

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11 hours ago, Tubby said:

My point is not that expansion cannot be successful, rather that the success is not dependant on the team being in a major city.  Population distribution is far more complex than 'Birmingham is a big city, so it would be better than Smethwick'.  In truth, both have a very similar catchment area.  Creating interest in that population is where we struggle.

I would say having meaningful and appropriate infrastructure has always been the problem.  Mentioned it before but bar Newcastle, no uk expansion team has had combination of infrastructure they can generate rev off and initial investment to be competitive.  

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For me to grow the profile of the game expansion has to happen. Now this is where I put my tin hat on.

At Newcastle we share facilities with Newcastle Falcons and are under the banner of Newcastle Rugby. 

If I was in the RFL I'd be speaking to Premiership Rugby clubs around would they be interested in having league teams. Steve Lansdowne for example has loads of money and Bristol would be a great location. Rugby league and union under the same umbrella gives year round income. This could also work the other way, what's to stop the RFU approaching say St Helens and seeing if they want to get into union, again year round income generator.

 

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7 hours ago, ShropshireBull said:

I would say having meaningful and appropriate infrastructure has always been the problem.  Mentioned it before but bar Newcastle, no uk expansion team has had combination of infrastructure they can generate rev off and initial investment to be competitive.  

My heart sank when I read Edinburgh had ambitions to be a pro team. I went to Sydney in the early 1980's and discovered that there were more than 400 grade 4 (their highest RL coaching qualification) coaches, coaching under-10 kids.

If Edinburgh push for entry into League One they are treading the same path as all the other follies of the last 50 or 60 years.

I just don't know why they would do it, or even dream given recent history, that it will work.

What we need, to make London a viable Super League club, is another 100 or so Hemel Hempstead's.  

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11 minutes ago, Phil W said:

For me to grow the profile of the game expansion has to happen. Now this is where I put my tin hat on.

At Newcastle we share facilities with Newcastle Falcons and are under the banner of Newcastle Rugby. 

If I was in the RFL I'd be speaking to Premiership Rugby clubs around would they be interested in having league teams. Steve Lansdowne for example has loads of money and Bristol would be a great location. Rugby league and union under the same umbrella gives year round income. This could also work the other way, what's to stop the RFU approaching say St Helens and seeing if they want to get into union, again year round income generator.

I do see a lot of merit in that, though I suspect only Leeds would be a club they would like the other way, and they've already done that.

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