What about the Welsh regions. They changed names and it has worked out ok. Wasps are Wasps, not London Wasps.
Wasps fans support Wasps. They follow a team associated with the most annoying creatures on the planet.
We now follow Sharks. An AMAZING creature, powerful, potentially dangerous, but mainly shy. Endangered by ludicrous Chinese food traditions!
I go and watch Warrington. I have no affiliation to the town, its people or the team. The name doesn't matter. I like the team, the players, the style of play etc.
Same for Sharks.
Mind you it helps that the train station is 5 mins walk from the ground and has a decent pub right next to it (just get there early!) and the town center is a 7 min walk with pubs and restaurants....and you can get a bottle or two from Tesco to take home
I enjoy going to watch Warrigton in the summer....a few pints in town and a (sometimes) good game of running rugby followed by a BBQ back at my house with our neighbors who are all season ticket holders....
And there in lies the problem. Barton is in the middle of nowhere...and transport is a nightmare. Add in playing Friday nights and we lose a lot of the social aspect of watching rugby. It will end up being a quick pint or two before the game and then rushing to get home.
Saturdays would be a lot better as you wouldn't have to rush there and back....and you could meet up with friends for a few drinks away from the ground and linger after the game.
And then the want to get rid of Sale.
All I can say is if they don't play a winning/exciting brand of rugby then there will be absolutely no reason to turn up week after week/season after season....at least over the past few seasons of absolute dross we could drown our sorrows together before and after the game....
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and preserved piece BUT to slide across the line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, leaking oil, shouting
RIP Marco Simoncelli 20/01/87 - 23/10/2011