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Why Expansion has failed


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My biggest criticism of the RFL is their failure to plan properly (and we all know the saying about failing to plan). This goes across everything whether it is expansion or the league structure or licencing or internationals it just goes on and on. What is the plan when they change a league structure? normally along the lines of give it a couple of years (not long enough) and then change it again. What about internationals? see who can be bothered to turn up next year... not have long term tours and plans. What about expansion? depends who has a pocket full of cash. 

Where expansion does succeed there is a plan, London had this in the early 2000s, Newcastle has it now. Its not an RFL plan necessarily but its a plan. What you then spot when that expansion then fails is that someone has abandoned the plan, or there is an issue within the plan (in London's case the RFL pull the DOs). Its the fact they cannot see the effect of these changes, plans take decades to work and to be self sustainable. I'm not saying you dont change a plan though, but it has to be replaced with another plan that makes sense which, in London's case it wasnt. What was the plan to help Sheffield or Gateshead after the mergers? nothing that was or the "new club" to work out, yet the new club had more important things to work out which is why the mergers happened, the RFL were in the position to help both Gateshead and Sheffield continue within the community but it just seemed a little too difficult (including letting Sheffield reform at a lower level).

The RFL tend to "plan" by letting someone else worry about it, but that means you are at the whim of one man/woman and his/her money. That is ok to an extent for the club, but all the things that underpin the club in the area must be the preserve of the RFL otherwise 1 it will never happen anyway (as it is not a profit centre, so you are now at the whim of the philanthropic nature of the owners) and 2 if an owner decides they've had enough any good that has been done is lost, it also helps to potentially find a new benefactor if they can see some real ground work and "ground swell" being built.

What is the RFL's plan for the next 10 years of the game... anyone? anyone at all?... no? worrying isnt it!

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