- This topic has 54 replies, 15 voices, and was last updated 30 Sep 20 @ 4:20 pm by sandgroper.
September 25, 2020 at 11:02 am #4616sandgroper
- Posts: 552
I sense that you, Frankg, have serious concerns regarding the long term future of our game, and I share them.
Everything atm is on a downward path, irrespective of TWP and its future. The way that lockdown elongates time makes weeks feel like months and the lack of RL competition at our level means that we have little to get excited about. Just how fans will react to a new season is hard to predict as it will probably coincide with a tentative return to something like normality.
Several posters have suggested that this time could usefully used to make a real effort to take a long hard look at where our game is going, both on the field and off it.
How could the game be better managed, better financed and, importantly, better marketed? Maybe involve representatives from a variety of clubs to share experiences and effective solutions to problems. This might, of necessity, be on a zoom link but it just might give us view of where we could be.
Despite assurances I just do not believe that Rimmer has enough vision to drag the game back to life and is too much in the thrall of SL and its unbounded finance. The magic bullet of a massive TV contract cannot be our only option and has too be discounted other than as a possible bonus.September 25, 2020 at 4:09 pm #4620Frankg
- Posts: 310
- First Teamer
Well after all the debate and discussion, SL have deferred a decision on TWP’s future for 4 weeks. Interestingly enough the SL statement says “The Canadian club’s prospective new owner Carlo Livolsi has been given more time by Super League to provide a clear direction for their future in the sport.”
Only in RL! Isn’t it about time that SL/RFL provided some clear direction for the NA expansion? They also say that “rigorous efforts that have gone into ensuring the viability and financial sustainability of Toronto Wolfpack before the Board decides whether to readmit the club to the competition in 2021.” They are also looking at the “value and viability of the growth of rugby league into the North American market”. So it is all about money.
Perhaps they should also be looking at the growth and viability of rugby league in the UK and be transparent with regard to their long term vision for clubs below SL and those not meeting the expansionist criteria. I fear that the SL/RFL in pursuing the dream of millions from a NA tv deal are quite prepared to do this at the expense of those clubs not part of the expansionist plan; and that, together with the impact of covid 19 will see the end of RL in the UK. I have no doubt that if ever a tv deal comes about it will benefit the NA clubs, who will take over the game.
Perhaps when people look back in 125years time, they will see that 202o was the year rugby league died in the UK.September 25, 2020 at 7:10 pm #4622sandgroper
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As you say it could be the end of RL in the UK, or it could force nonSL clubs to breakaway and organise their own league. Then the RFL would do their damdest to stop it, but it really could come to thatSeptember 26, 2020 at 12:48 am #4624Royston Vasey
- Posts: 33
- South Stander
I don’t think it will be the end of Rugby League, but it might well be the end of SL and possibly the end (for the foreseeable future) of the sport as a professional game.
Personally I am not sure that is a bad thing. It would be fantastic to see a game played be people who want to play the game watched by people who want to watch the game, just for the love of it.September 26, 2020 at 7:55 am #4626Frankg
- Posts: 310
- First Teamer
I don’t think it will be the end of Rugby League, but it might well be the end of SL and possibly the end (for the foreseeable future) of the sport as a professional game. Personally I am not sure that is a bad thing. It would be fantastic to see a game played be people who want to play the game watched by people who want to watch the game, just for the love of it.
I really hope you are right.
Maybe in 125 years time, the sport of League Ball has really taken off in Canada. The game is basically two teams – and sometimes 4 when tag league is played – with 20 a side and unlimited substitutions with no scrums, no stoppages of any kind even for injuries, no forward passes or knock-ons and few rules. Games are played in 10 minute tranches with five minute breaks for adverts. There is an unlimited time and the game ends when one team submits or surrenders. Players have to run around at top speed until they drop. Reporting from the Ralph Rimmer stadium, named after the founding member of league ball. Barrie McDermott jnr says, this is what my grandfather dreamed about. I can remember the family holidays we had in Canada. It is hoped that we can grow the game in the UK as part of our expansionist plans and a team called Wigan have applied to join league ball next year. Of course, they will not be allowed any central funding from our hoped for multi million pound NA tv deal, which is still within our grasp.September 26, 2020 at 8:18 am #4627sandgroper
- Posts: 552
LOL! Time for a tablet and a lie down!!!
Seriously, I hope that it doesn’t go down that path. I just count myself lucky that I was born when I was and was able to watch the game when it was probably at its best. I can recall thinking ‘I’ve got the GB stand-0ff welding our car park railings!’
Then it was played by lads who were employed in manual trades, hard men who played a hard ‘man’s’ game for pretty much for fun. True their rugby earnings made their lives more comfortable but they never thought that those earnings would see them set for life.
It maybe my age but the ‘all time stars’ quoted, even today, are so often from that era.
Today’s sporting scene is all too often about how much can be made out of it rather than how much you can put into it! Sponsored athletes, no amateurism in the Olympics etc. I can remember Derek Ibbotson used to train on a local park by the light of the street lights, Gordon Pirie sold paint so that he could have time to train etc.
Tim Sheens search for players who had fallen out of the SL scene and gone PT but still had something there to cultivate really struck a chord with me. Nearer to the old days maybe?September 26, 2020 at 11:15 am #4629Frankg
- Posts: 310
- First Teamer
Just me having a rant, but at least it is a vision of the future of the game. I really want to hear Rimmer’s long-term vision for the game outside SL. If he sees no future for smaller community clubs – on whose backs he got the Government loan – why can’t he be honest and say so. I have also asked for someone to explain exactly what this NA expansion has done for the game in the UK. I have heard nothing.
Like you, I have been fortunate to see real star players like Frank Myler, Vinty Karalius and Doug Laughton though to the likes of Martin Offiah and Kurt Sorensen and many more. I also watched Widnes when we had good solid players like Wally Hurstfield, Harry Dawson, the Bates brothers, George Kemel, Derek Heyes, Arthur Hughes, Ged Lowe, Tom Smith and many more who probably never made a lot of money out of the game, but turned up every week to play their all for the club. They might have liked a drink and a smoke, but you knew they put everything in – anecdotally Harry Dawson would occasionally come on to the pitch smoking a cigarette!! The fans would turn up every week in all weathers to support their team and also shout abuse with players (and refs) returning the compliments. I think the word “fun” sums it up. That appears to have gone out of the game.September 26, 2020 at 1:32 pm #4631sandgroper
- Posts: 552
Parallel tracks my friend, we saw the best years that’s for sure. Maybe we are greedy for more of the same but it does hurt to see a great game being managed so badly, and at great expense!
Here’s hoping that someone sees the light soon and does something about it. Though Degsy is a pain he isn’t afraid to say his piece and maybe that is what is required and as soon as possible!September 30, 2020 at 12:35 pm #4659Magnus
- Posts: 3
- New signing
Isn’t this simply a case of adopt or die.
There was a time when I would have been outraged of TWP retaining their place in SL after bringing the sport into disrepute – these days I’m a lot less concerned.
I guess that is due to my resignation that Widnes isn’t really an SL team. We ALWAYS balls it up.
Currently I don’t watch SL at all – I think of it as a distant cousin who has no impact on my life. If I were to watch any top-flight RL it would be NRL.
I started watching Widnes in the early 90’s. There have been some good times & some truly dreadful times but it’s been a fun roller-coaster of a ride but I’m now content with a level of mediocrity in Championship for the long haul.
RL to my mind needs to expand to remain relevant (The UK game doesn’t enjoy the same profile as that in Oz). It’ll probably all blow up eventually, but , if you’re drowning, you might as well at least attempt to swim for the shoreline.September 30, 2020 at 4:20 pm #4661sandgroper
- Posts: 552
I suppose that Widnes is probably a club at the balance point of sustainability in SL. We can just about manage but without a big backer we struggle to get through any glitches. A bad season and a drop in support and we would struggle etc. But that could indicate that maybe we tried to copy the big boys and overstaffed at times.
Tbh our twelve club SL with its loop fixtures and so on results in what is to me a boring same old same old game pattern which even for me is wearing thin. A bigger league with simple home and away fixtures provides more interest and more ‘must see’ games rather than yet another Wigan/ Saints ‘ third or fourth ‘big game’.
Championship clubs are still surviving, but how many could survive without a SL handout if they went for a bigger SL?
That is maybe the expansion area that the RFL needs to plough some effort into. Have any other clubs other than Leigh have VIQI style support for instance?
The Championship could be re- drafted into a seperate competition within itself. Its own Cup comp, rather than an uneven fight with SL. The winner or finalists could be included into the following year’s SL Challenge cup if you like. But any NA incomers should leapfrog straight into the SL under whatever rules they like!
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