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Post Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:44 pm
j.c Silver RLFANS Member
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Has there ever been stadiums in Manchester and liverpool that are the right size for rugbyleague clubs to play in and grow
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Post Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:48 pm
shinymcshine Free-scoring winger
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The comparison is that whilst Manchester and Liverpool have 2 major football clubs each, smaller towns and cities can sustain both RL and football, so why can't these major cities with a greater overall population?
Post Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:13 pm
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shinymcshine wrote:
But historically, when RL was played at 3pm on a Sunday, in a time when shops were closed on a Sunday, then why didn't RL take off in Manchester & Liverpool ?

Historically RL was played on Saturday afternoons. It changed to Sunday's to try to save the game from competition with football.
Post Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:27 pm
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Manchester does have an RL side - it's called the Red Devils (in a small suburb called Salford).

OK, without being stupid, Salford Red Devils are essentially in greater Manchester with no competitor to fight against in terms of support, have a huge catchment area but us in the Championship get bigger crowds. If you renamed them Manchester, might that help? I doubt it. The problem is both these cities have 2 huge round ball clubs, the other cities don't.
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Post Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:31 pm
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Salford red all over wrote:
That's stretching it a bit you could add a city like Southampton on to Leeds's population if you want to stretch it to a million.


http://ukpopulation2016.com/population-of-leeds-in-2016.html

757K

and then there is the immediate surrounding area.
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Post Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:52 pm
the artist User avatar
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Mild mannered Janitor wrote:
http://ukpopulation2016.com/population-of-leeds-in-2016.html

757K

and then there is the immediate surrounding area.


city boundaries are confusing sometimes. the boundary of leeds (the city of leeds) is based on the metropolitan borough which includes the towns of otley, morley, rothwell, and wetherby among others. so the 750k already includes the outlying areas. if you go any further out from the metropolitan boundary you are into bradford in the west for example.
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Post Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:35 pm
wiganermike Cheeky half-back
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A general lack of success (they tended to be near the foot of the league) for the clubs within those cities and other nearby towns and the existence of more illustrious neighbours probably combined to kill off most. Go back to the period following 1895 and we had clubs during the next fifteen years in towns like Stockport, Runcorn, two in Salford, around half a dozen at one stage in Leeds and its vicinity, one in Birkenhead as well as places like Morecambe and Lancaster plus the original Liverpool City. There were also more clubs in towns within what we know as the heartlands in places like Tyldesley and Brighouse. Include junior clubs (what we would call community clubs now) and there were teams in places like Radcliffe and Walkden. With a need to attract and keep paying audiences to fund costs of paying players in order to keep going such support would gravitate to those with success. Hence successful Leeds and Hunslet outcompeted the other Leeds clubs (though Bramley somehow soldiered on), Wigan and Leigh saw off Tyldesley and so on.

The clubs close to Manchester had Salford and Broughton Rangers (the other club in Salford) to contend with on their doorstep and these were two of the more successful clubs in the early 1900s. There were also Oldham and Swinton to contend with, with both being strong too. In soccer which was a growing threat as a counter-attraction there was Bury who twice won the FA Cup as well as growing clubs like Newton Heath. The clubs that persisted tended to be those which had fairly regular success to sustain interest. Later attempts in Manchester such as Belle Vue Rangers (the relocated Broughton Rangers who had been outcompeted in Salford) and much later Trafford Borough had to try to make a dent ,with uncompetitive teams, to compete with the two soccer giants. By that stage even a successful RL club (trophy-wise) would probably have failed to make much impact against those two. Soccer due to its successful clubs was and is now too engrained in the cultural psyche for other sports to garner much interest.

Those close to Liverpool had Everton who were already famous and successful to compete with as well as Liverpool. Given that the soccer teams won things and the RL teams were cellar dwellers they never really had a chance to catch the populace's interest. By the time Liverpool Stanley had their brief success in the mid thirties the soccer clubs had had a fifty year head start. I think this also coincided with Dixie Dean's era which would have made them even more invisible in that city.
Post Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:45 am
ThePrinter Silver RLFANS Member
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WRT to Leeds also worth pointing out the dynamic when it comes to supporting the RL team and the football side in that city. Quite a lot of people from the likes of Castleford and Wakefield do support Leeds United because they don't have any major football club, but they obviously don't support Leeds Rhinos in favour of the Tigers & Trinity instead.

Know a few people who'll chant "we all hate Leeds scum" at Friday 8pm yet chant "we all love Leeds" at Saturday 3pm.
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Post Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:45 am
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Its one of the great quirks and frustrations of Rugby League, its been clear since the 90s that the only Cities in the North growing and getting investment are Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle, yet we are only strong in one of those and have instead continued to be based in small towns and cities like Bradford and Hull that have seen massive industrial decline.

To be fair Maurice Lynsey had the right idea when SL started, but mergers were too controversial. Had he instead proposed new 'city' teams to be created (with exisiting ones relegated) we might be in a stronger place by now, as i'm sure the fans of the small town clubs would have still attended. Some of the big football teams may have gone in for sharing a small stadium for their reserve teams too, there was a lot of public money about in the 90s/early 00s.

I still dont think its a lost cause though, starting a team in league1 where investment risks are lower is a good format to use, Manchester Rangers are ground sharing with Man City academy which seems a good move. Stadiums are an issue, but we have to explore ground shares with football reserve teams and RU.

I think we should focus our international games in Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle, they have big impressive stadiums and fit the brief of being close enough for heartland fans to get to and make the game profitable but also attract new fans. I was in favour of a game in London but the Olympic stadium hasnt worked, and I thought Coventry looked atmosphere less and the crowd very average for the double header last year.
Post Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:05 am
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the artist wrote:
city boundaries are confusing sometimes. the boundary of leeds (the city of leeds) is based on the metropolitan borough which includes the towns of otley, morley, rothwell, and wetherby among others. so the 750k already includes the outlying areas. if you go any further out from the metropolitan boundary you are into bradford in the west for example.


In fairness, I was rounding up from the wider boundary figure.

I'd also suggest that a club like Leeds does (or should) see some of the outlying areas as very much part of their target market. Thousands of Harrogate residents commute into Leeds every day - that's a market Leeds should be tapping into.
I wish everyone would read bramleyrhino's post two or three times just to get it through some thick skulls


Mr bramleyrhino speaks a lot of sense.


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