> it seems a few SL clubs are having a go at
> doing something about it such as Wigan (moving) Halifax (moved) Warrington
> (moving). They are the ones I know about, others may be doing things as
Cas were looking into having a ground at Whitwood, near the M62 junction, I
think. I believe Warrington were looking at moving to a site by Burtonwood
Air Force base, but I don't think they'd identified how it was going to be
> I know that makes them no different than some Div 1 clubs but the point I am
> trying to make is that the population base is the one criteria that is
> to meet for Div 1 clubs due to their location.
> It does also apply to a number of SL sides however so that IMO is where the
> unfairness may lie.
That's right. I guess if you are a fan of say Wakefield (current Div 1
leaders), it would be quite galling to be told you couldn't be promoted
because your population base was too small, when Castleford were already
> It was my understanding when franchises came about that all SL clubs would
> to apply as well as anyone else such as South Wales or Wakefield or any
> other Div 1 clubs.
> If that is still the case then the system is fair. If not than the 12 sides
> in there are very lucky.
> Does anyone know if existing clubs have to apply, if not this season but in
> future years?
I agree. If the criteria are openly available and apply to all clubs, then
no-one can have any complaints. There's probably some scope for argument
on some of them - how do you identify which parts of Leeds belong to Hunslet
for example, but it's not impossible.
> IMO it does seem as if the current 12 are safe (at least for the time being)
> and the criteria mentioned above are only going to be applied to new
> Whatever, I still don't see any other way to expand the game other than
> franchising of new clubs into SL.
Agreed. I'm a little bit concerned about the quality & location of the
bids that are in so far, though. I lived in Cardiff for a while and
although it's a reasonable size city (pop 300 000) and there's plenty of
potential players there, there is also a lot of other sport in town
- Cardiff RU, Cardiff City FC, Cardiff Devils Ice Hockey and Glamorgan CC
all of whom will overlap with the league season to some extent. Even with
a great team playing a great sport, it's not going to be the easiest
market to get into.
The Northampton bid probably suffered a bit of a credibility problem with
their last-minute withdrawal from the Southern Conference. It also has
a much smaller catchment area and again competition from a top RU side
and cricket in summer.
Gateshead probably looks the strongest, but it's still "oop north!"
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