Jump to content

London Broncos - Looking more positive now


Recommended Posts

At some point during the season we were faced with the threat of relegation and I really thought the club was dying a slow death, the fans we're losing hope. 

Since Mike Eccles has taken over the performances have improved considerably. They've not been perfect but standards have improved and the fans are now awaiting announcements of the club's plans for next season. That includes the decision as to whether Mike Eccles will become the permanent head coach and the backroom staff structure for 2023. What's of major importance now is that the club makes some good, ambitious signings, beefs up the pack and shows the fans that they mean business. 

The club has also recently appointed a new head of commercial Mark Kemp which is a good sign, the appointment shows ambition and adds expertise  into the back office. I hope we see the benefits of it next season coz there is some indication already of improvement in the way that the club is being run. 

Altogether the move to Wimbledon has worked out well but clearly the team, results and performances need to match the quality of the stadium, but generally speaking Plough Lane is a step up from what we've had in recent years it's been a much needed move. 

The great thing to hear as a fan is that the club has stated it's aim is to return to SL a huge relief when you consider how poorly the season started 

 

Edited by The Daddy
  • Like 14
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


I agree the sqaud needs investment but I can't possibly see how this season can be viewed as a success (unless we are talking about the women's team).

It was obvious to pretty much anyone at the start of the season that a L1 level squad with an unproven coach were going to struggle so Hughes's decision making leading into the season has to be seriously questioned. Who would have thought that having a substandard team playing in a new stadium with no promotion (OK a couple of badly timed Metro ads) was a winning formula ? It wasn't and you only get one chance to make a first impression. 

Hughes got lucky when the reluctant, supposed interim coach Eccles managed to bring in some better players and importantly motivate the team to rescue them from relegation. He's done a good job but performances have clearly dropped off since safety was ensured. If we are aiming for SL, is Eccles the best coach available ? I doubt it, though he absolutely should be retained in some form.

We moved to a bigger ground (that we didn't need) but are now spending money on 2 training facilities elsewhere. The club is fragmented again. Remember Hughes video telling us all the benefits of all being together at Trailfinders ? Another bridge burned. Add to that not actually being able to play at the ground for a long period over the summer. I thought those days were gone.

Hughes set a target of 5,000 fans in 3 years in the new ground. Fair enough, that is what is needed. But it wasn't long before the club would stop publishing attendances and no doubt because they are so dissapointing. Not surprising though because as we have learnt (or should have) through the years, with each move you risk losing fans unless a lot of hard work is put in to retain and grow the fan base. That work did not happen early season and the performances were sure not going to attract many back. There is no effort put into making a match day experience. Despite the cheap tickets available towards the end of the season crowds are still poor.

The club has certainly made some off the field improvements with communications being the prime example but much more needs to be done to grow the crowds and actually make use of the good facilities available. 

Hughes needs to ensure the funding and decision making match his stated ambition. The club has declined massively since he took sole control. What position does he want to leave it in ? Dead or viable ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, The Daddy said:

At some point during the season we were faced with the threat of relegation and I really thought the club was dying a slow death, the fans we're losing hope. 

Since Mike Eccles has taken over the performances have improved considerably. They've not been perfect but standards have improved and the fans are now awaiting announcements of the club's plans for next season. That includes the decision as to whether Mike Eccles will become the permanent head coach and the backroom staff structure for 2023. What's of major importance now is that the club makes some good, ambitious signings, beefs up the pack and shows the fans that they mean business. 

The club has also recently appointed a new head of commercial Mark Kemp which is a good sign, the appointment shows ambition and adds expertise  into the back office. I hope we see the benefits of it next season coz there is some indication already of improvement in the way that the club is being run. 

Altogether the move to Wimbledon has worked out well but clearly the team, results and performances need to match the quality of the stadium, but generally speaking Plough Lane is a step up from what we've had in recent years it's been a much needed move. 

The great thing to hear as a fan is that the club has stated it's aim is to return to SL a huge relief when you consider how poorly the season started 

 

You're right in that, from where things were, "marginally better than ceasing to exist" is an improvement.

But the reality is that "marginally better than ceasing to exist" is where we are.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

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)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, The Daddy said:

...

Altogether the move to Wimbledon has worked out well but clearly the team, results and performances need to match the quality of the stadium, but generally speaking Plough Lane is a step up from what we've had in recent years it's been a much needed move. 

...

I don't see this at all. The move to Plough Lane saw a couple of decent crowds when it had a novelty factor. Fast forward to now and the club uses one stand only, has very limited food offerings, and zero matchday entertainment outside the game. The one stand that is open houses a few hundred fans, many of whom are there for their first and only visit because it is free.

People have voted with their feet. How many have disappeared is unclear because the club won't reveal the attendances any longer.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Archie Gordon said:

I don't see this at all. The move to Plough Lane saw a couple of decent crowds when it had a novelty factor. Fast forward to now and the club uses one stand only, has very limited food offerings, and zero matchday entertainment outside the game. The one stand that is open houses a few hundred fans, many of whom are there for their first and only visit because it is free.

People have voted with their feet. How many have disappeared is unclear because the club won't reveal the attendances any longer.

Sadly Archie you are spot on i would describe the stadium as a Soulless shipping Container:( 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I posted the below on another thread in response to a leigh fan who took an age to get home from london at the weekend.  This thread seems much more suitable for.my comment.

 

"Its just london traffic in general. We had it both time we went down there earlier this season. 

Tidy little ground but in an absolute horrible part of london to get in and out of.  

Barnet was the best location by far from a travelling fans point of view. 

I wonder what London fans think has been their best location over the years.  Be interesting to know where most of their support base is located within the Capital"

Edited by Ragingbull
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, The Daddy said:

At some point during the season we were faced with the threat of relegation and I really thought the club was dying a slow death, the fans we're losing hope. 

Since Mike Eccles has taken over the performances have improved considerably. They've not been perfect but standards have improved and the fans are now awaiting announcements of the club's plans for next season. That includes the decision as to whether Mike Eccles will become the permanent head coach and the backroom staff structure for 2023. What's of major importance now is that the club makes some good, ambitious signings, beefs up the pack and shows the fans that they mean business. 

The club has also recently appointed a new head of commercial Mark Kemp which is a good sign, the appointment shows ambition and adds expertise  into the back office. I hope we see the benefits of it next season coz there is some indication already of improvement in the way that the club is being run. 

Altogether the move to Wimbledon has worked out well but clearly the team, results and performances need to match the quality of the stadium, but generally speaking Plough Lane is a step up from what we've had in recent years it's been a much needed move. 

The great thing to hear as a fan is that the club has stated it's aim is to return to SL a huge relief when you consider how poorly the season started 

 

My take on the season

1) The move has NOT worked, if so why are London not using any of the facilites,

  • where is the street food vendors,
  • where are the fan events and fan zone promised to the fans as part of the move,
  • why are three stands not being used, and the ground 90% empty
  • why no off the field activites
  • where are all the school kids and locals using the much vaunted community stands
  • why where London selling tickets for £6 for the last 5 games of the season
  • why did we get kicked out for 12 weeks in summer, and have to play 2 games in kent (this was Never communicated at the beginning of the season)

Basically we are paying 3 times as much for the same amount of fans, and we have to play 2 of our home games on a park in Kent. 

2) Finishing 10th at best is not anything to be proud of.  Yes Eccles has moved us forward from the depths of May, but still losing away at Haven, shows we are a long long long way from the playoffs let alone SL.

3) We still need a far better squad then we have now to get into 6th next year, let alone challenge. Playing in front of 1K fans in a super expensive stadium means that unless Hughes digs deep and funds again, we will still have a sub standard squad who at best my get into 7th or 8th next year, you think thats going to get the mythical 5k fans Hughes is deaming of, especially if we are turfed out to Kent for two months again next summer.

At least next year we should be getting rid of that awful wire kit, and going back to black.  Thats the one thing I am looking forward to next year

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, The Daddy said:

At some point during the season we were faced with the threat of relegation and I really thought the club was dying a slow death, the fans we're losing hope. 

Since Mike Eccles has taken over the performances have improved considerably. They've not been perfect but standards have improved and the fans are now awaiting announcements of the club's plans for next season. That includes the decision as to whether Mike Eccles will become the permanent head coach and the backroom staff structure for 2023. What's of major importance now is that the club makes some good, ambitious signings, beefs up the pack and shows the fans that they mean business. 

The club has also recently appointed a new head of commercial Mark Kemp which is a good sign, the appointment shows ambition and adds expertise  into the back office. I hope we see the benefits of it next season coz there is some indication already of improvement in the way that the club is being run. 

Altogether the move to Wimbledon has worked out well but clearly the team, results and performances need to match the quality of the stadium, but generally speaking Plough Lane is a step up from what we've had in recent years it's been a much needed move. 

The great thing to hear as a fan is that the club has stated it's aim is to return to SL a huge relief when you consider how poorly the season started 

 

Don't take this the wrong way , but why is the aim to return to SL ? , What's wrong with being a viable sustainable Championship club ? , That's what us fans of northern clubs keep being told we should be content with being ? 😉

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, Ragingbull said:

I posted the below on another thread in response to a leigh fan who took an age to get home from london at the weekend.  This thread seems much more suitable for.my comment.

 

"Its just london traffic in general. We had it both time we went down there earlier this season. 

Tidy little ground but in an absolute horrible part of london to get in and out of.  

Barnet was the best location by far from a travelling fans point of view. 

I wonder what London fans think has been their best location over the years.  Be interesting to know where most of their support base is located within the Capital"

I think part of it was the driver not doing any due diligence with regards looking at a map prior to going , the wife stated they drove past Stamford Bridge on the way down from Leigh , that would suggest they drove through the centre of London rather than going round the ' 25 ' and traveling ' up ' 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am failing to find any positives from 2022 other than the performances of the Broncos Ladies. Scrambling to avoid the drop to the 3rd tier, discounting tickets after just one home game, then offering the last month of the season at a fire sale price which will hugely impact on the ability to sell 2023 ST's, 12 weeks away from home during Summer and now the club trying to rinse existing fans of another £20 for an end of season "informal". 


I'm not sure of the original poster was on a wind up, but the 2022 London Broncos season performances on the pitch are the worst witnessed since 1996, whilst off the pitch, the lack of staff was underlined by the silence that met the CEO's pleas for volunteers to help with matchday.

Attendances have been shocking, to the extent where the club ceased to report them for fear of being called to task about the utter failure to boost either PAYING numbers through the gates or uptake of Corporate hospitality by Corporates. Hospitality started the season at £65.00, it was discounted to £35 after one home game and then £25.00 for the final few. The reported attendances I can find show an average of 1,100, with the gates v Leigh, Dewsbury and Workington all missing and no guestimates I've seen for these would be over 800, so in reality about a 950 average, which is what we had at Trainfinders and it is worth remembering, the 3,600 they got for the first 2 games included free tickets for Wimbledon FC supporters so it could be argued that we've had a sub 900 average

As I have said, the Ladies are the only glimmer of sunlight in what has been a very dark and dismal season following the Broncos. I felt bad in 2013 when they managed just one victory and went down, I felt truly sick to my core when it was announced that we'd be part time and moving to Wimbledon and I am now at the stage where forgiving David Hughes for these huge errors in judgement is becoming more and more difficult. It's his money, but it's painful to watch him waste it so.
 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

39 minutes ago, Londonbornirishbred said:

I am failing to find any positives from 2022 other than the performances of the Broncos Ladies. Scrambling to avoid the drop to the 3rd tier, discounting tickets after just one home game, then offering the last month of the season at a fire sale price which will hugely impact on the ability to sell 2023 ST's, 12 weeks away from home during Summer and now the club trying to rinse existing fans of another £20 for an end of season "informal". 


I'm not sure of the original poster was on a wind up, but the 2022 London Broncos season performances on the pitch are the worst witnessed since 1996, whilst off the pitch, the lack of staff was underlined by the silence that met the CEO's pleas for volunteers to help with matchday.

Attendances have been shocking, to the extent where the club ceased to report them for fear of being called to task about the utter failure to boost either PAYING numbers through the gates or uptake of Corporate hospitality by Corporates. Hospitality started the season at £65.00, it was discounted to £35 after one home game and then £25.00 for the final few. The reported attendances I can find show an average of 1,100, with the gates v Leigh, Dewsbury and Workington all missing and no guestimates I've seen for these would be over 800, so in reality about a 950 average, which is what we had at Trainfinders and it is worth remembering, the 3,600 they got for the first 2 games included free tickets for Wimbledon FC supporters so it could be argued that we've had a sub 900 average

As I have said, the Ladies are the only glimmer of sunlight in what has been a very dark and dismal season following the Broncos. I felt bad in 2013 when they managed just one victory and went down, I felt truly sick to my core when it was announced that we'd be part time and moving to Wimbledon and I am now at the stage where forgiving David Hughes for these huge errors in judgement is becoming more and more difficult. It's his money, but it's painful to watch him waste it so.
 

For me the key is to return to a full time playing environment. Now I know that's not gonna give the club a magic wand but it will help to improve standards. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, The Daddy said:

For me the key is to return to a full time playing environment. Now I know that's not gonna give the club a magic wand but it will help to improve standards. 

Who pays for it? I have read all season that the few fans that London has are not very happy with David Hughes 

Edited by Harry Stottle
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Jughead said:

Hughes aside, staying up was always going to be the goal for the year on the pitch. They’ve done that, which looked unlikely at one point. 

Staying up should never have been the goal with a target of getting to 5,000 fans in 3 years.  That makes no sense at all. The only way to have a chance of getting 5,000 fans for RL in London is to have a competitve SL side. That would have required a promotion push this season. Hughes rationale for the move and his actions were diametrically opposed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, GUBRATS said:

Don't take this the wrong way , but why is the aim to return to SL ? , What's wrong with being a viable sustainable Championship club ? , That's what us fans of northern clubs keep being told we should be content with being ? 😉

We could have stayed at Trailfinders to do that. Hughes wanted the shiny big stadium and to target 5,000 fans but went bargain basement on the squad. Go figure. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Londonbornirishbred said:

I am failing to find any positives from 2022 other than the performances of the Broncos Ladies. Scrambling to avoid the drop to the 3rd tier, discounting tickets after just one home game, then offering the last month of the season at a fire sale price which will hugely impact on the ability to sell 2023 ST's, 12 weeks away from home during Summer and now the club trying to rinse existing fans of another £20 for an end of season "informal". 

Charging £20 for this event is poor in my view. Should have been a thanks to the fans for putting up with the nonsense they have seen for much of this season. Especially for ST holders who probably have spent over the odds given the discounts offered. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, MonkeyGone said:

Charging £20 for this event is poor in my view. Should have been a thanks to the fans for putting up with the nonsense they have seen for much of this season. Especially for ST holders who probably have spent over the odds given the discounts offered. 

I can't even recall the pricing structure for this year, but I know a number of ST holders took the hit over Covid for very little return. The fact that the club felt the need to create an "OFFICIAL" supporters group in direct competition of the LBSA shows a total disconnect from the fanbase, with the new group all found wanting when the request went out for volunteers. Tickets were £6 each for the last 4 home games this season.....if a ST is more than £78 for 2023, why would you bother?


The £20 charge smacks of another disconnect, as well as an underlining of the weird need to try and fill the Silver and Gold Lounges, even with heavily discounted deals?


I said it a few times this year. The raison d'etre for this move to Wimbledon seems to have been miss-sold to Hughes. It's not that there wasn't enough money in profit from Commercial and Corporate, it was that e just weren't selling enough of them. The fact they asked for volunteers to help in the Silver and Gold bars on matchday shows how badly the season was planned and this £20.00 one-club farce shows they have learnt nothing from it

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, GUBRATS said:

I think part of it was the driver not doing any due diligence with regards looking at a map prior to going , the wife stated they drove past Stamford Bridge on the way down from Leigh , that would suggest they drove through the centre of London rather than going round the ' 25 ' and traveling ' up ' 

Yep we took the same route the first time we went.  Sounds like the driver followed the sat nav just as we did. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The move to Wimbledon has failed spectacularly to date.

We were promised fan zones, event themed matches and a well utilised community stand. We got one stand with basically no match day offering bar the rugby, whilst trying to attract newbies.

We were told the move would attract the corporate market. We had massively discounted corporate tickets, and reports of low take ups, inside a month.

We were promised a marketing campaign. We got a couple of badly times ads in Metro and adverts on trains at a time most people were working from home.

We were told it was our new permanent home. We got a two month gap in fixtures and two matches played in Kent.

The subsequent slashing of ticket prices to crazily low levels further alienated season ticket holders.

The sad thing is if you read back over the posts made before last season many long standing Broncos fans predicted this would happen. To be clear, this is London's fault, not Wimbledon's.

It's going to be extremely difficult to turn the off pitch shambles around now. I hope they succeed.

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Ivarr the Boneless said:

It's going to be extremely difficult to turn the off pitch shambles around now. I hope they succeed.

 

For me, it all starts with an on-the-pitch turnaround. 

London is effectively a brand new expansion market again, and that means 'doing a Toronto' or even 'doing a 2018 version of London' and investing in the sort of full-time team that can win against the top championship teams and be a viable promotion candidate. 

Do this, and the crowds and positive vibes WILL rise, and the club will start moving forward. 

Obviously that costs serious money and it's not for me to tell Hughes or anyone else to do it. 

But if they don't do it, the club won't go anywhere off the pitch. 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Toby Chopra said:

For me, it all starts with an on-the-pitch turnaround. 

London is effectively a brand new expansion market again, and that means 'doing a Toronto' or even 'doing a 2018 version of London' and investing in the sort of full-time team that can win against the top championship teams and be a viable promotion candidate. 

Do this, and the crowds and positive vibes WILL rise, and the club will start moving forward. 

Obviously that costs serious money and it's not for me to tell Hughes or anyone else to do it. 

But if they don't do it, the club won't go anywhere off the pitch. 

 

I disagree. London is a pretty mature RL market. Thousands of London & SE fans will be down at the Emirates in November, just as they were for the CCF at Tottenham. They mostly all know that London Broncos exist, they'll have been to see them over the years, with varying levels of commitment. The problem is that the club has passively and, in some recent cases, actively pushed them away. Another splurge on putting a good onfield side together will only get some back. It's the hard yards off the field that Hughes has always ignored because it's really just a vanity project for him. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Archie Gordon said:

I disagree. London is a pretty mature RL market. Thousands of London & SE fans will be down at the Emirates in November, just as they were for the CCF at Tottenham. They mostly all know that London Broncos exist, they'll have been to see them over the years, with varying levels of commitment. The problem is that the club has passively and, in some recent cases, actively pushed them away. Another splurge on putting a good onfield side together will only get some back. It's the hard yards off the field that Hughes has always ignored because it's really just a vanity project for him. 

Not sure I agree. How many people from London/SE have actually attended a Broncos match over the last decade or so? A fraction of those who attend internationals/CCF/watch SL on Sky in my view. 

The Broncos have never been the primary activity for the majority of RL fans in the south east - so there's plenty to go for, even amongst existing RL fans. And then there's the other 10 mln or so people.

I'm not saying the off the pitch shambles isn't important, we can all see the harm done by it. But without a winning team to attract latent and new fans even an off the field revolution will have limited affect in boosting the club. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

London need another Richard Branson,  a figure with an already known Brand which then adopts London as a way to extend that brand.  Thats the only way you get newbies in.

A smart play would be tying into one of the NFL clubs, after all NFL wants to play more and more games in London, have a RL club in the capital with the same colours and last name as the NFL club, and you would attract a market. Then make the squad competitive enough to get promotion and I can see a way to 5K fans.   You tie up with Denver and you don't even need to change the name or colours much (Orange and Black are Denver,  you just make London Black with an orange chevron)

Of course this is never going to happen, and London will probably go out of business when DH pulls the plug.  London fans all are very appreciative of what DH has done in terms of keeping the club alive, but his decisions over the last 10 years have been catastrophic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

45 minutes ago, crashmon said:

London need another Richard Branson,  a figure with an already known Brand which then adopts London as a way to extend that brand.  Thats the only way you get newbies in.

A smart play would be tying into one of the NFL clubs, after all NFL wants to play more and more games in London, have a RL club in the capital with the same colours and last name as the NFL club, and you would attract a market. Then make the squad competitive enough to get promotion and I can see a way to 5K fans.   You tie up with Denver and you don't even need to change the name or colours much (Orange and Black are Denver,  you just make London Black with an orange chevron)

Of course this is never going to happen, and London will probably go out of business when DH pulls the plug.  London fans all are very appreciative of what DH has done in terms of keeping the club alive, but his decisions over the last 10 years have been catastrophic.

Last thing London Broncos or RL in the capital need is an NFL tie in. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...