As a Rugby League supporter, your support should not be unconditional. Your time and entertainment budget is very valuable. You should never, ever forget that.
The London Broncos are a terrible joke at the moment. A franchise that is directionless, under funded, poorly managed and who does not belong anywhere near Super League.
Let me say right now that Super League NEEDS a presence in London. It needs a team in the biggest population center, the largest media center and the largest corporate base in the UK. Not having a team in London would be like the NRL not having a team in Sydney. It would be utterly ridiculous on many different levels.
London has quite a strong junior Rugby League scene that has been built over the years by a group of very dedicated people who love the game as much as anyone else in the UK. Rugby League in London is actually one of the very few success stories in Rugby League in the UK.
The London Broncos lack of success badly lets down all of those people. Any club in Super League should be able to make a success of the junior base that has been built in the London areas. That the London Broncos have been unable to do anything with all of that hard work and commitment over the years is a reflection of the clubs itself, not the people that love and support Rugby League in the nations capital.
Over the off season the London Broncos basically dissolved. All but a handful of players left the club. Many within the clubs front office left too. The club left their home ground at The Stoop and at one point, all the London Broncos could claim to be was a few players, a couple of officials, a logo, some colours…and thats about it. They were not a club.
First what feels like the fourth or fifth time, the London Broncos were cobbled together from the remains of what was left over.
The club will now be playing out of “The Hive”, a stadium used by Barnet FC. Barnet FC is a soccer club that is being held up as a saviour. One look into the club shows that Barnet FC has its own issues it is facing in terms of its long term survival.
The stadium, nicknamed “The Hive”, is very, very basic. It is actually meant to be a temporary home for Barnet FC that the club hopes it will not need to be playing at for more than a decade. The stadium only holds a little over 5,000 and even then it is designed to be scaled back when Barnet FC moves onto to a new home ground, something they have been struggling to make happen for a while now by the looks of things.
Hopefully Barnet FC’s plans pan out as it seems like the club has been through a lot over recent years.
That brings be back to the London Broncos…
The club has sold this partnership with Barnet FC as a move that will save the club. Personally I think that is not far on Barnet FC.
Barnet FC are know as “The Bee’s” and playing out of “The Hive” it all works well. The problem is that now there is talk that the London Broncos will change their name, colours and logo, AGAIN!
Keep in mind the London Broncos only just picked up their old name after calling themselves the London Harlequins for a few years in another ill fated link up with another club that didn’t need their problems.
This all makes me wonder why a London Broncos fan would bother any more. After seeing the club die again, then move, then try to dress up signing everyone elses’ dregs as worth spending your hard earned money to go and see, now all of those new Broncos jerseys you bought could be consigned to the dust bin as the club changes its name, colours and logo for no reason what so ever and without fan consultation.
If that happens, Rugby League fans in London should go and find a lower grade team to support and go and watch them play instead. This London Broncos ownership and management team have taken the clubs die hard fan base for granted for far too long. If they change their logo weeks out from the season, that should be that. No one should bother attending their games.
Don’t worry, that will have zero effect on Rugby League in London. As I said, clubs in the lower grades are in fairly rude health in the London area. These clubs get nothing at all from the London Broncos. The London Broncos are just a poorly run franchise with no connection at all to the rest of the game in London.
I believe the London Broncos need a new owner and new management. How many times will the RFL allow this club to be killed off by the same old people, forcing another off season of scrambled deals and cash injections, only for it all to happen a few years later?
Right now the London Broncos offer supporters a team that is probably one of the first Super League lineups I’ve seen that I believe is worse than some Championship lineups. Having embarrassed themselves by claiming they had signed Ben Ross, when they hadn’t, just makes me think this is a lost cause.
I believe with the right owner a London Super League club would be an outstanding success. Even if London just had a club that was a fringe playoff side, their crowds would be decent and they would attract players and sponsors.
As it stands the current club is a mess. If they decide to change their name and logo then London based Rugby League fans should save their money. Do something better with your cash. Spend it at real Rugby League clubs in London that are well run.
For more information about Rugby League in London CLICK HERE and find the club closest to you.
Your time and entertainment budget is a valuable asset. Spend it on something worthwhile. Don’t waste your time and money on a franchise that doesn’t give a stuff about you.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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