• Help Support The Rugby Forum :

Sweaties depart from reality en mass




Well despite being in serious debt and suffering from hemmoraging some of their top talent, the SRU would like:
  1. 35% increase of male players to 38,000 by 2012
  2. A quadrupling of Scottish referees to at least 1,000 by 2012
  3. Also, demand a minimum HEC quarter finals finish for both pro-clubs
  4. Finally, demand a minimum regular top five finish in rugby purgatory!
Is this possible within the SRU's incredibly limited means?
TBH their demands of the pro teams dont seem so unrealistic - (the way i interperated it) they want a HEC QF place in the next 5 years. (most Glasgow fans hope we will deal with that a week on friday) a regular top 5 finish? everyone involved in Glasgow expects us to be ***le challengers within a few years, making the SRU's expectations rather modest. and an increase in attendances? ours are rising steadilly at the moment (last couple are deceptive since there was NO travelling support).

however their goals for the club game are much more ambitious. somewhere in the region of 14 new senior players PER SEASON. many clubs would be doing well to increase their player base by that in all 5 seasons. (bearing in mind more are actually required to replace players hanging up their boots)

what worries me though is that, despite big ambitions (which i would hope for from our governing body) there is not even a peep about how they intend to go about it! yes, they want to increase attendances at Pro games, but the cheif executives of these teams have wanted to do that for years (unsucessfully) so how are the SRU going to succeed? and as for more players, where are they supposed to come from? the easy option is to target kids, but how is this going to happen when even schools in relativly wealthy areas like mine dont have a rugby team? (i only ever played rugby at school about 5 times!)

and not to mention officials, where the hell are they gonna find nearly 580 referees over 5 years? (thats nearly 120 a season!)

To their credit, they are talking a good game (for the first time in my memory) however i will reserve judgment until a see something that suggests they know how they are going to go about achieving their goals!
I think its got to be better to see the SRU setting heady targets, which we agree they will struggle to match, rather than setting low ones which are easy to achieve. By setting a high bar they are suggesting to all involved that they see big things for the near future of the game in Scotland.

But like Ecks has suggested, some means to achieving these stated aims are the biggest piece of the puzzle that needs to be resolved. However, a chicken and egg scenario is likely to occur.

Results on the field = more support from the fans
More support from the fans = increased participation rates
Increased participation rates = More referees

Another factor that will help this all is the recent agreement from the Celtic Unions to take the Magners League more seriously. The Irish desires to enter into the EDF Cup, and the subsequent down grading of this competion to a development comp will also lead to more Welsh and Irish interest in success in the Magners. As this comp grows in stature the crowds should increase back to what they were in the earlier Celtic League days (around the 4000 mark).

Stability in ownership and management is another important factor, as is getting Edinburgh into a more appropriate sized stadium. The possible addition of Aberdeen to the Magners might be another factor to increase Scottish interest in the sport.

The future for Scottish rugby is definitely looking better than it did 6months ago. Anyone remember the loss to Italy in the 6nations, the closure of the Borders and the debacle of the Edinburgh Gunners ownership rangle. The ship looks like it has been firmly directed in the right direction, here's hoping this trend continues and Scotland get close to achieving some of these targets!
It's a funny one really. It shows some ambition from the SRU, but maybe a little tooo much.

We need winning pro sides before we can start to attract the crowds in order to fund this expansion. However, it's a catch 22 here. Success breeds success, true....but our pro teams won't start winning games till there is more money put into them to strengthen squads etc and that money comes from punters going through the turnstilles.

A quarter final place isn't too much to ask for. If our pro sides can start getting the results away (I mean, Em'bra run Tolouse to the wire one week then get humped the next away to Leicster). We've done it before, Glasgow can't be far away either. The same goes for the top 5 finnish.

A 35% increase in players is down to the clubs but outwith the bigger Prem 1 clubs and clubs in areas where rugby is the main game it is, yet again, a question of money. That funding comes from the SRU, and if that is cut as it was 2 years ago (almost driving Currie bust), the vast majority of the clubs in Scotland would not be able to fund such an increase.
The increase will come from getting kids into rugby at a young age. Getting YDOs out and about into the community and primary schools and getting them interested. We should really be looking at free tickets for pro games (boosts attendences through parents aswell) and getting them into that and wanting to play the sport. The SRU really needs to be pushing schools, again through YDOs and clubs, to get kids playing rugby at school. Primary school its harder to do so, but at high school where genders are split for PE then that, esp 1st year, is a golden oppurtunity to get them into rugby (thats what happened with me and a couple of others).

The standard of refeering in this country is pretty disgracefull. Prem one refs are average at best, and anything outwith that is very VERY poor. Good referees are more important that the numbers.

I'm glad to see the SRU being ambitious and planning for the future. But we really, really need them to get behind these targets 100%. The SRU, Scottish government, schools, NHS scotland, the clubs, the pro-sides - EVERYONE involved with Scottish rugby in any shape or form needs to be committed to this. If it happens, then hopefully the sport will grow in this country and turn the part time rugby fans into full timers who go and watch the pro and club sides every week.
I defo agree about the free pro-team tickets for schools - ive been ranting about that all season. Riddoch is actually bringing a bus load of 50 to sundays game - from ABERDEEN!!! we need to taget local schools where kids can actually attend regularly.

The lack of rugby in schools is a real problem, and one that must be tackled for the game to thrive. I would love to have played rugby, but due to our school not fielding a team (after the local club told players "play for us or them, not both", thus loosing the required numbers) I was never given that oppertunity.

Its a strange one though, Rugby in many ways is the ideal sport to play in schools - how many times have you played football/hockey and the 2/3 really good players are the only ones given the chance to develop their skills? Rugby (in our school at least) was the one where most people were on a level pegging to begin with, and add to that the nature of the game dictates everyone will have an equal chance. Not only does it provide exercise, but also promotes teamwork, leadership and most of all, respect. These are not just qualities that are looked for by employers, in the case of respect its the cause of many of our countries problems. (ok, im not suggesting this would be a quick fix, but doesnt every move like that do its own wee bit to help?)

anyway, im gonna stop rabitting on now (ive your still reading - well done ;) ). For this to be a success EVERYONE involved has to do their bit. And, EG (and all other fellow scots), we too have a vital role to play in advertising the pro teams to our respective cities. (might be hard for you guys when we beat you at 'the castle' after christmas though! :D )
I don't think the SRU should have been as ambitious with their targets, especially with such limited funding, especially with such limited funding!

In this environment, it pays to be inventive and ingenious with limited means. The SRU are blessed with one of the better designed Union web portals for example. Something which they can develop on, along the lines of the RFU's "Play" campaign for example.

School tickets are a must. They should hold competitions for example with the winning school winning a trip to some dump outside of Glasgow- I mean to watch Glasgow Warriors play!

But one thing they need to figure out are places for their teams to play. In the long term, Edinburgh need to sort out this business with the city's athletics stadium while Glasgow need somewhere decent and isn't just another crumbling SPL ground smelling of urine with huge fences to protect the visiting Rangers fans from being killed by the locals. Maybe Glasgow Rangers could capture the new Commonwealth Games stadium when that gets built maybe?
new commonwealth games stadium? thats news to all glasweegians!

I believe they are just using Hampden, with Ibrox holding the main event and Parkhead taking the opening ceremony.

The were several suggestions about where the warriors were going over the summer, with Scotstoun Stadium being mentioned along with Burnbrae (WoS - but that required allot of work) and the favoured idea of building a purpose-built stadium north of bearsden. (if your familliar with that area, just past murray park)

i dont think Frihill is all that bad though - we still get good atmospheres but there is all ample room for more fans if we can attract them. (its also about to be redeveloped). The more pressing issue is where Edinburgh play! i was through at murrayfield for the ER - Ulster game and the atmosphere was, well, abysmal! (sorry EG) Im sure this must be putting many fans off returning to games after being introduced to them!
It is very poor at Murrayfield. What noise what we make is drowned out by the vast emptiness of the ground. Back in the spring there was a possibility that the Edinburgh city council were building a new 5,000 seater stadium for rugby and athletics at Sighthill. The plans were in the evening news, but the stadium was fugly and it promptly fell through. A purpose built stadium seems to be the best option for us right now.
well, rumour has it that some of the scafolding being put up for the London Olympics will be added to Parkhead (so it will actually look like it was there all along, warriors#1 ;) ) - does that count?

On a more serious note, Lineen was in the press yesterday calling for more support and (rightly) stating the players deserve to be playing infront of bigger crowds. But will we see some promotions to get people through the gates? not a hope! Some marketing? "whats that?"!

That said, the media exposure the teams are getting is now increasing: the Glasgow - Biarritz game was the first positive story about club rugby ive seen on BBC news for, well, in living memory!
Thoughts on possibility of Hearts making Murrayfield home next year?

A simple 2 year ground swap, despite any sentimental ruckus, could help out both sides in the short term.

Edinburgh playing at a 13,000 seat stadium, Hearts at a 67,000 seat ground with modern facilities.

edinburgh_gunner's comments on the atmospheric black hole of a massive stadium is more than backed up by Heart's bosses stating even they found the stadium lacking atmosphere with a crowd over 20,000. Let alone 2,000.

The obvious problem is the simple fact that a purpose build stadium costs money and the SRU aren't exactly flush at the moment.

At some stage they must surely be forced to again investigate the option of private ownership, albeit with more robust contractual arrangements. They quite simply need the money!

Did the Curruthers ever signal any plans for future hosting of Edinburgh Gunners games under their ownership? Or is this simply one of those glaring issues that are obvious but too big to tackle at present?
Go for it, Scotland. So pathetic to see the smartest rugby nation of all collapsing on its arse for the last ten years.
ok, after tonight i am immensly proud to be Scottish (and more so, Glasgow supporter)

Glasgow tonight showed they definatly have the quality required to beat the best there is - the guys played from the heart and were never lacking in the motivation to make takcle after tackle under their own posts. However, tonights performance only shows that the Warriors board have the product to sell, and they still have to figure out how they sell it. Surley club supporters in Glasgow must now be taking notice of what the Warriors are achieving? Can promotions not be offered to members to get them along to a game (prefferably with all imediate efforts placed on the Sarries game) and make them enjoy the experience?

The product is there for all to see, but unfortunatly the SRU dont know the meaning of the word 'marketing' - the hard truth is that had i not been aware of an unofficial fansite, i wouldnt actually know where the warrios were playing, let alone the location of said ground!

However, with success comes media exposure. for the first time in years the Warriors victory made the 6 O'Clock news in Scotland - as well as tabloids and the like - and it we can get a win in Viadana then filling Firhill for the Sarries showdown could be an awful lot easier!

Unfortunatly the job for Edinburgh would seem harder at the moment, but Glasgows success is surley of benifit to Edinburgh also, if it leads to increased interest in pro-rugby in general?
Ecks, from the other side of the world, the answer to your marketing dilemma comes from a somewhat twisted scenario.

In NZ, soccer struggles to gain media exposure, despite plenty of NZers playing the game. This wasn't helped by a period where NZ's only pro team were dismal at best on the pitch and where crowd attendances were pitiful.

The team went through 2 names (Kingz then Knights) before they were eventually scrapped all together.

The side was moved and renamed again (as the Pheonix) and NZ has suddenly seen a massive jump in both media awareness and fans.

What really helped the cause was the recent visit from the LA Galaxy and Mr David Beckham. A whirlwind of media hype was drummed up and the Pheonix had a massive spike in crowds and news headlines before and after the one off game.

For 2008 the NZRU were originally hoping to have another Grand Slam tour (with a game against Wales being added to the Scotish and Irish tests, along with the tacked on English test). However becuase the Welsh test clashes with Heineken Cup Pool play they will not be able to logistically fit in the grand slam.

Instead, the NZRU is planning on playing midweek club games (so far they have named Munster and Stade Fracais as starters) and taking a large tour squad to blood some new players, just like the old days!!

So, if you wanted to gain some media attention and fan support for rugby in Glasgow, I don't think you could go much further than a midweek game against the All Blacks.

These are the games where legends are born for any club (just think AB's versus Munster, Newport, Neath etc) and where people who don't really know much or care much for the game will come along to see what all the hype and big names are about (as was the case with Beckham and the Pheonix).

Whether it would be a worthwhile investment for the SRU remains to be seen. In the Pheonix example the club owner had to shell out a couple of million to get the Galaxy there. Which I guess again brings me to the point about private ownership benefits being hard to ignore.

But, if you want to get fans throught the turnstiles, then a midweek game The All Blacks vs The Glasgow Warriors shouldn't be too hard to promote. And the announcement that the AB's are considering this scenario should be all the invitation the SRU needs!

Also have to add that Edinburgh seem to be building quite nicely at the moment, after their recent success. The 3,500 strong crowd should hopefully grow again with the arrival of the Tigers in 2008.
was 3500 yesterday? because Edinburgh always seem to be able to get punters in for the HC (they got nearly 6,000 for Toulouse last year) but the problem is getting them to come every week.

And as for the AB's idea, i think that would be a great idea (even just for our young players even if it doesnt work as a marketing ploy) but IF the SRU were to organise a game like that it would be Edinburgh that got it. :(

However a short-term idea i have heard (after complaints about pricing) is to have a well-marketed reduction (thats he downfall) in prices and (assuming we beat Viadana away) promote in the media just what can be achieved in the saracens game. I know glasgow well enough to know most sporting fans are brought in by the prospect of success - so we need to capitalise on any success we get.

Latest posts