When do clubs need to develop?

Renegade

Renegade

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I fear for the Storm to be honest in the face of a) Dolphins' established base, HQ and programs and b) Bellamy is one year closer to the door. So, unless Robbo goes there as coach - they literally have nothing to stand on.

The Sharks realised this ages ago and sold a bunch of their land for development, built apartments etc. Similar to what Harbord Diggers did and a few other "by the coast" places. The Storm have nothing, at all. Not even a community centre of excellence - there was one announced in 2019 but nothing since. Do they even have a good relationship with the Government there?

Therefore, when do they need to develop to be self sustaining? The Storm made a $2M profit in 2020, $0 profit in 2019. They would have made a $2M loss (-v- Brisbane's 16M profit) if it wasnt for the $4M saving from the 'football department' (wonder if that was Cam leaving). 400k cash, no worthwhile assets ($4M of "right to use" assets -v- $20M of Brisbane's real assets).

I just honestly feel clubs in the 'top flight' should have core KPIs to adhere to for their continuing participation and if they cannot build infrastructure to sustain themselves over and above the NRL grant, you really could give that grant money to "any" club in that region and they'd be as useful.

I'm not sure Melbourne passes the sniff test for underpinning infrastructure/community development or feeder infrastructure. Gold Coast barely passes but gets up because of their pathways along with Canberra. Knights, Wests and St George have some wealthy helpers to push money where it needs to be.

To me, development is:

1. Clear pathways from Junior to NRL at that club
2. Clear community donations, assistance and integration with schools and other charities
3. Meaningful support to non-contact areas of the game. Those that like touch, still love watching their NRL club - why alienate them
4. Salary cap concession if that player was found through that clubs' listed pathway
5. Participation at all levels in local competition. Obviously you don't want Brisbane/Gold Coast/Dolphins having their own clubs in the QRL as thats unfair to the others, though
6. A home base, that isnt an oval you share with Collingwood
7. Central donation to a fund to help all other junior clubs that arent affiliated with your own or a competitors club

I suspect the Panthers and Rabbitohs pass most of those, with Brisbane/Bulldogs maybe 5-6 out of the 7. The rest of the clubs? Tough ride.
I would like your post but I use an ad blocker so I can't, so this post is an acknowledge of yours. I don't really have anything to add from a financial perspective (you added way more than I would've been bothered to), but just loosely, I don't really have an issue with supporting a team that isn't the most solvent financially if they give to the game in other areas.

Totally agree with your development criteria.
 
Big Pete

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I can understand the argument within the first 10 years of the Storm. It is logical to assume that there wasn't much in the way of infrastructure, pathways, administration, local partnerships etc etc, because we were expanding into new territory, not into an existing stronghold.

However, we are close to 25 years of them being in the competition. They have been wildly successful since their inception. They've had an ironclad immortal and legit claim to GOAT play his entire career there. They have, by metrics, the most winningest coach in the games history at the mantle and have had for 20 years. They attract reasonable crowds.

If we look at that 10 year period that was first mentioned from their inception 98 - 08. They won 2 grand finals and lost another 2 in that time. They had Smith, Cronk, Inglis, Folau, Slater all playing for them in that time. None of that inspires a young child to play the game? Why not?

So why can't they create juniors? And, if they can't create juniors now, through their absolute golden age, what hope is there in the future? Or do we simply keep them there, even though they are drain on everyone elses pathways, simply because well, you know, one day? WA makes a national comp too.
I'll cut to the chase, I believe it can be fixed if the NRL actually help develop the game down there and it's not left up to an NRL club who's sole focus is to be successful in the NRL like every other NRL club. I believe the support of the Rebels can help matters and I'm not surprised that the first born and bred player appeared after they were introduced into the Super Rugby competition.

Lately we've seen teams from Victoria and Western Australia included in the NSW junior competitions and while they've had mixed success inclusions in those competitions will strengthen their pathways.

Still a long way to go, but if the NRL pulls their finger out and does more than the absolute bare minimum to promote the game there we could see stronger pathways.

Ultimately Melbourne's inclusion in the competition wasn't about junior development but television rights and what the existence of Melbourne could add to the television rights. If we called them the North Brisbane Storm, or renamed them the Sunshine Coast Storm, it's not as valuable a package.
 
Big Pete

Big Pete

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That's exactly what we are arguing. Why are they even in Melbourne if they're not expanding the game in Melbourne?
Like I've said a few times now, because it adds to the television rights package. The Melbourne audience is lucrative, so having a team called 'Melbourne' has far more upside than the Sunshine Coast Storm.
 
Renegade

Renegade

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I'll cut to the chase, I believe it can be fixed if the NRL actually help develop the game down there and it's not left up to an NRL club who's sole focus is to be successful in the NRL like every other NRL club. I believe the support of the Rebels can help matters and I'm not surprised that the first born and bred player appeared after they were introduced into the Super Rugby competition.

Lately we've seen teams from Victoria and Western Australia included in the NSW junior competitions and while they've had mixed success inclusions in those competitions will strengthen their pathways.

Still a long way to go, but if the NRL pulls their finger out and does more than the absolute bare minimum to promote the game there we could see stronger pathways.

Ultimately Melbourne's inclusion in the competition wasn't about junior development but television rights and what the existence of Melbourne could add to the television rights. If we called them the North Brisbane Storm, or renamed them the Sunshine Coast Storm, it's not as valuable a package.
I don't believe it is entirely Melbourne's fault, but I don't believe that all other blame can be attributed to the NRL. The community is what you make it. I have no doubt they have community functions, engagements, I know they do cross code promotion... sorta (Smith was at a lot of AFL games but how much of the reverse was there?), but it again, all boils down - why can't they sell themselves as a sport? They can sell themselves as a TV product, or an event, which explains why they get good crowds, but no one really wants to play the game? Is that the NRL's fault, despite all the Storm's success, that ultimately people just don't really give too much of a shit about the game?

I absolutely acknowledge they were there for tv dollars first and hoping the game grew organically secondly, but I don't see any issue with calling it out as it stands at the moment. I'm asking you a question that I know you can't answer with any 100% certainty, but if you gave Perth the same investment, the same success, and the same timeframe, do you think they would be doing any worse than the Storm in terms of their development?
 
Sproj

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Like I've said a few times now, because it adds to the television rights package. The Melbourne audience is lucrative, so having a team called 'Melbourne' has far more upside than the Sunshine Coast Storm.

What are the stats out of Melbourne for NRL watching? I have no idea where to find this.
 
Big Pete

Big Pete

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I don't believe it is entirely Melbourne's fault, but I don't believe that all other blame can be attributed to the NRL. The community is what you make it. I have no doubt they have community functions, engagements, I know they do cross code promotion... sorta (Smith was at a lot of AFL games but how much of the reverse was there?), but it again, all boils down - why can't they sell themselves as a sport? They can sell themselves as a TV product, or an event, which explains why they get good crowds, but no one really wants to play the game? Is that the NRL's fault, despite all the Storm's success, that ultimately people just don't really give too much of a shit about the game?
Considering the NRL is having a difficult time convincing kids in NSW and Queensland to participate I'd say absolutely it's the NRL's fault. It's an issue across the game, it's just more pronounced in Victoria because Aussie Rules has existed far longer as a sport.
 
Renegade

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Considering the NRL is having a difficult time convincing kids in NSW and Queensland to participate I'd say absolutely it's the NRL's fault. It's an issue across the game, it's just more pronounced in Victoria because Aussie Rules has existed far longer as a sport.
Fair comment - but Melbourne has no share of the blame? That seems disingenuous.
 
Big Pete

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What are the stats out of Melbourne for NRL watching? I have no idea where to find this.
You'd have to go through TVTonight and TVWeek, otherwise LU may have kept track of it through one of their ratings threads.
 
Cult

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Like I've said a few times now, because it adds to the television rights package. The Melbourne audience is lucrative, so having a team called 'Melbourne' has far more upside than the Sunshine Coast Storm.
I do not care about half assed efforts by the NRL to gain new viewers when they fail to realize the sport is the main selling point in the first place and fail to promote the game at all outside of QLD and NSW. It's not a good enough argument to have them in the comp. The NRL is obviously to blame, but so are the Storm

How many viewers does the Storm actually bring to the game vs how many have they forced to not watch anymore? Audiences are plummeting in the millions, but the 37k viewers the Storm bring to the table, 17k of which watch non-Storm games too, are worth the salary cap cheating, drug use and forcing new rule changes to counteract their unsportsman-like moves that make the game far worse to watch? Nah, the Victorian audience isn't that lucrative.
 
Cult

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After hearing and seeing how the Storm have acted when they're not hidden away from the RL media in Melbourne it doesn't surprise me that they don't visit schools to be honest.
 
Big Pete

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Fair comment - but Melbourne has no share of the blame? That seems disingenuous.
Well they were basically one in the same until 2013.
 
Renegade

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Well they were basically one in the same until 2013.
So without putting words in your mouth here as you're a long termer etc, that response indicates that you think Melbourne aren't responsible for anything. I can't really continue the convo if that is your genuine response.
 
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1910

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So without putting words in your mouth here as you're a long termer etc, that response indicates that you think Melbourne aren't responsible for anything. I can't really continue the convo if that is your genuine response.

I think he's pointing out NRL and Storm were one in the same until 2013- owned by News.
 
Scorchie

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Interesting somewhat the positions that its harder for Melbourne too because the AFL are established. I doubt those words are ever used by the AFL (ever) in their battles in GWS/Swans or Lions' territories.

AFL for the Lions somewhat smart - where did they put their new training ground? Smack bang in the one area QRL/NRL are ignoring - Ipswich/Springfield.
 
Renegade

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I think he's pointing out NRL and Storm were one in the same until 2013- owned by News.
I'm not going to admit to know the inner workings of their relationship, but how does having a parent owner prevent them from fan/community engagement? Did they have to run everything past Lachlan before they did anything? (half tongue-in-cheek)
 
Big Pete

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So without putting words in your mouth here as you're a long termer etc, that response indicates that you think Melbourne aren't responsible for anything. I can't really continue the convo if that is your genuine response.
Since the co-owners of the NRL owned Melbourne, whatever the NRL wanted is what the Storm had to settle for. If News didn't want to invest the necessary money to actually develop a reasonable pathways system there isn't much Ribot or Johns could have done.

I guess they could have played a bunch of Victorian players in a throw-away game, do that for 25 years, you've got at least 25 players but that actually is disingenuous.
 
Renegade

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Since the co-owners of the NRL owned Melbourne, whatever the NRL wanted is what the Storm had to settle for. If News didn't want to invest the necessary money to actually develop a reasonable pathways system there isn't much Ribot or Johns could have done.

I guess they could have played a bunch of Victorian players in a throw-away game, do that for 25 years, you've got at least 25 players but that actually is disingenuous.
Even if we're going to go down this path, 2013 was 9 years ago. So if we assume that the NRL/News Limited were holding back the Storm, then it would be fair to suggest by this same logic, that we should see an influx of juniors soon, because Melbourne can now do what they wanted to do all this time but were hamstrung...

....right?
 
Big Pete

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I do not care about half assed efforts by the NRL to gain new viewers when they fail to realize the sport is the main selling point in the first place and fail to promote the game at all outside of QLD and NSW. It's not a good enough argument to have them in the comp. The NRL is obviously to blame, but so are the Storm

How many viewers does the Storm actually bring to the game vs how many have they forced to not watch anymore? Audiences are plummeting in the millions, but the 37k viewers the Storm bring to the table, 17k of which watch non-Storm games too, are worth the salary cap cheating, drug use and forcing new rule changes to counteract their unsportsman-like moves that make the game far worse to watch? Nah, the Victorian audience isn't that lucrative.
Where are you getting those figures from? I know the ratings slipped in the past two years but I'm willing to put that down to COVID and the rule changes before Melbourne. In fact, I remember the 2009 NRL Grand Final out-drew the AFL Grand Final, with Melbourne out-drawing Brisbane. I don't recall this being a fluke number either.

Again, if they were the North Brisbane Storm, I don't think a whole lot changes in history.
 

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