Friday, August 01, 2008

Grrrrr ....

Norm has posted on the relationship between Rugby League and Rugby Union. Thankfully, he admitted his ignorance of the administration of either sport and spotted the sting in the tail of the article he links to, otherwise I would not have been pleased.

What puzzles me about this is not the proposal of a single body to oversee both sports - an excellent idea, for all I know. It's the vision of 'ultimate amalgamation'. Can you achieve that without abolishing one or other of the existing forms of the game, or possibly both?

That is the whole point Norm. After a century of persecution by Union, they have now decided to try and patronise League to death. 'Poor Rugby League, now Union is professional they have no hope of surviving. They must come under the leadership of us superior Union types'.

League and Union are very different, though derived from the same root. I don't think that Norm would be as sanguine about a common governing body for cricket and baseball. League is a growing and compelling sport; it is alive, well and thriving. Give it another chance Norm. Much has changed since you last saw a live match. Most are for the better, except for one major tragedy – Swinton are no longer the champions.


Norm replies here. I have only one thing to add. This is not an 'imperialist plot by Union', but a reflection of deeply ingrained hostility going back to the great split. At player level this is negligible and co-operation is now the order of the day amongst most administrators (though not the old guard), it is now left to Union journalists and a press that still sees the North as vaguely barbarous to continue the old fight. Us fans? Well enmity is part of the fun after all.


Anonymous said...

Your wasting your time Pete. Norm says he's going to carry on watching kick and clap. His loss, I'm afraid. And to think, he could support another Australian super team from the wilds of deepest Didsbury. Or whereever. Maybe if Salford changed their name to Manchester United? (he's not a Mancunian so I guess he's allowed to support teams with that name. Ha ha.)

hakmao said...

Well the obvious problem with the oval codes in Britain is you need men to play them ...

M said...

Establishment attitudes to RL have left a long-term legacy; British games spread throughout the Empire through the armed forces and the civil services, that never happened for RL.

The limited penetration of RL into higher education for many decaded limited the audience to certain socio-demographic groups; tending to be people who don't run big business, don't have access to marketing and sponsorship budgets. Even more damaging the demographics of rugby league for a long-time weren't that valuable to the aforementioned in the same way that say chavball is.

Can't lay it all at the door of the establishement though, too many flatcapper fans who think rugby league is a local sport for local people. Too many small club chairmen happy to be big fish in very small ponds.

The future's bright (the future's not cherry and shite), the future's a disturbing mix of pastel colours that nobody in their right mind would put together!

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