A 'London' postcode? I'm sorry, but if that isn't a marketing reason I don't know what one is. Frankly I think most people in the wasteland that constitutes the rest of the country would think that TW was a London postcode too. And I knew about the amateur side, no reason they couldn't have adopted a different name was there? There's a Hornets over this way, but Sudbury Wasps or Wasps Amateurs were possible names.
As to a different type of supporter, I think that may have been true in the past. But much as I dislike Quins they have done a fantastic job in building their supporter base, although I agree there is still, inevitably, an element of their old 'City' types in there. I remember going to see them once when there were, literally, more away supporters than home.
Well postcode does make a bit of difference as it shows whether you are located in London proper or a suburb. Would you consider Sale to be in Cheshire or Manchester for example?
Also I was not referring to the City of London connection re Harlequins. It has more to do with the atmosphere at both clubs. Most Wasps supporters go to watch the rugby and care about their team. The Stoop sadly suffers from an HQ mentality where a large section of the crowd seem to more concerned with munching on a burger, wandering around aimlessly or anything else other that what is happening on the pitch. Looks of the Quins supporters even complain about themselves!
Sale. Good question. I think that locally people would think Cheshire, but I don't think that's how the local government is set up. Then again they are currently in Stockport and if they do move to Salford they'll be in Lancashire!
I take your point about Quins. Although I have to say you get people at games at almost every club who stand around bleating away about almost anything and not even looking at the pitch. Quins used to be terrible, I agree. Not sure they are quite so bad now though. Mind you I was at a B**h game and the guy sitting next to me said "oh isn't that funny, that player's name is the same as the club's!". I had to point out to him that all the players had the word B**h on the back of their shirts. At half time I was told he was a season ticket holder and normally just spent all the time talking to his mate.
Glad to see a lot of people commenting on the need to KEEP relegation.... Believe me it has hurt us (Bristol) probably more than any other club..but... its wrong to ringfence the Prem...There are an awful lot of fine rugby clubs in the lower league(s) with great ambition... They need something to aim for.If you love your rugby you ll really enjoy visiting a lot of the Championship Clubs (should the worst happen).... Do away with the strict entry criteria to The Prem I say... Good luck for the rest of the season..
Sale is in Cheshire really, and they certainly get very tetchy about that sort of thing in Greater Manchester. Also I was under the impression that whether you came from north or south of the River Avon in Bristol was of quite a lot of importance. The difference between Somerset or Gloucestershire etc.
Harlequins are still pretty bad for walkabout syndrome. I go there every year and you have to get out of your sit at least 5 or 6 times a half. Annoying, very annoying. I would say that Bath are more quiet more than anything else and they have the advantage of terracing which means if you want to watch the rugby you stand up.
The main argument against any form of Licenses or franchises is who do you trust to set and administer the criteria fairly and openly?
Rugby administraitors are all dodgy and I wouldn't trust any of them to organise an orgy in a brothel, promotion and relegation is without administrative bias or at least it would be if PRL could stop their incessant interference and protectionism.
The PRL via the Professional Game Board. Something has to change unless you want professional rugby to continue to be a charity case.
In the Super League most of the problems have centred around geographic 'expansion' clubs. Also there were a few issues concerning Wakefield remaining in the competition instead of Halifax. Apart from that the feedback from Rugby League has been fairly positive.
PRL is owned by the clubs in it, it has a clear self interest to skew any licence or franchise system to the benefit of the existing members and the exclusion of the new.
Promotion and relegation is fair. If you are good enough you stay up and if you aren't you go down. The only problems with the current system are the PRL created barriers designed solely to keep lower leagues team out.
Sorry I forgot that Rob Andrew was the source of all evil within English. The reason why England's World Cup descended into an embarrassing failure was the responsibility of Martin Johnson. If anyone else had been in charge of a team that had descended to such a low level they would have not been allowed back in the country. The media did not want to blame their World Cup winning hero so they picked on only other person that they had all heard of, Rob Andrew. The simple truth was that Johnson was given a job that he was not qualified for and he was awful at it; really, really bad.
After 2007 World Cup Andrew advised the RFU Council to keep Brian Ashton and appoint an administrative manager who would deal with all the boring. Martyn Thomas had other ideas and used the backwoodsmen on the RFU Council to get Johnson appointed. The recent problems at the RFU were caused by Martyn Thomas welding the extensive powers of the Presidency in a manner that they were not intended. Anyone who got in his way he used his majority on the Council to crush them, even the Chief Executive that he had appointed only a few months before. The man was a menace who should have been chased out of the game years ago.
No it is just Rob Andrew got a lot of stick from the media who where looking for a scapegoat for England's World Cup debacle. They didn't want to go after Johnson because he was too popular so they went for Andrew because of his high profile. He recommended that Johnson should not be appointed but that was ignored by Martyn Thomas who was obsessed with Johnson, a man with no coaching experience, and the return of Clive Woodward. Thomas forced Francis Baron to retire early and then got his successor sacked when he disagreed with him.
Andrew might not be the most attractive personality but after his advice was ignored he had no responsibility for running the England team. That was Johnson's job. To be fair to Johnson he should never have been appointed in the first place and he was a decent man trying his best in job that he was not qualified to do.
The real villain in the mess that the RFU descended into was Martyn Thomas. He used the reserved powers of the non-executive presidency to get his own way by appealing to the lowest common denominator on the RFU Council. Obviously that caused massive problems when he started to disagree with the Chief Executive who had to run the Union on a day to day basis.
One thing to remember about any comparison between Wasps and Saints/Quins/Worcester is that those three own their own grounds and their support held up in the year they were in the Championship. Saints twice had the best crowd in Europe in that season and still turned a profit.
As has been noted earlier, Bristol have gone bust twice and been bailed out twice (although once by the skin of their teeth) while Leeds are bankrolled by the Rhinos and Leeds Met Uni.
At the moment Wasps aren't pulling in the crowds in the Premiership and are losing money hand over fist. The difference between the income you get in the Premiership compared to the Championship is massive - who will step in to make up the shortfall given that Steve Hayes has already put the club up for sale?
And this would apply to either L Irish or Saracens if they were in the same situation.
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