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London Welsh for the Celtic League??

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    London Welsh for the Celtic League??



    This one has been doing the wounds for a while but maybe here is a wee bit more substance to the story.






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    <DIV =sh>London Welsh keen on Celtic move </DIV></DIV></TD></TR>
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    <DIV =cap></DIV></DIV></TD></TR></T></TABLE><!- E IIMA -><!- S SF ->London Welsh have revealed an ambition to leave the English league to join the Celtic League as a fifth Welsh region.


    The National League One side have written to the Welsh Rugby Union asking for a meeting to discuss the viability of making such a radical move.


    The club told BBC Sport they would fund themselves for the first seasons and play their home games at Brentford FC.


    "I think we would bring a great deal to the Magners League," said London Welsh operations manager Peter Thomas. <!- E SF ->


    "Geographically, it would mean the league would have a team playing in each of the capital cities, which would be great.


    "In terms of bringing in potential sponsors, I think having a club based in London would help with that.


    "And if you look at what we could pull in in terms of crowds, we would end up with very healthy gates."


    A potential agreement between the English Premiership clubs and the Rugby Football Union has prompted London Welsh to consider their position in the English club system.


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    The deal would ring-fence England's top division by ending promotion from and relegation to League One in return for the England national side having greater access to the Premiership stars.


    London Welsh, who are members of the RFU and WRU, believe that such a deal would hinder the club's development and jeopardise its future.


    "We've got to be aware of the current change in the RFU and what they might bring in which enforces a natural change to our set-up," said London Welsh director of rugby Martin Jones.


    "If we could remain with the WRU that would be a major boost for Welsh rugby and London Welsh as a club."


    The WRU got rid of its fifth professional region, Celtic Warriors, in 2004, claiming they could only afford to sustain four sides.


    The existing four Welsh regions would be unlikely to support any expansion if it means their income from the WRU being split five ways.


    But London Welsh insist they would not expect any funds from the WRU for the first few seasons until they could prove that overall commercial income had risen.


    "We'd have to be in a position where we'd be self-funding until we've proved our worth," added Thomas.


    The other issue of concern to London Welsh is whether they should continue to play at their spiritual home at Old Deer Park in west London.


    The stadium is on Crown land and developing the site is unlikely to be given the go-ahead.


    Those restrictions have prompted the Exiles to start talks with near neighbours Brentford Football Club over a possible ground-share.


    "They've got a very nice facility," added Thomas. "A 12,500 capacity stadium, 7,000 of which are seated so it's an ideal venue for us."<!- E BO ->





    I'd probably back the idea, if for no other reason than to give an even number of teams in the league!</TD></TR></T></TABLE>

    #2
    Can't see it happening, an extra 2 games a year per team is not what the ML needs.

    Comment


      #3
      tbh, LW would need to spend huge amounts of money before they could compete.... I can't see it happening.

      Comment


        #4


        An extra team would bring the league back to 12 as it was in 04/05 when the Celtic Warriors were still in existence... but who is to say that the SRU will keep both the Borders and Glasgow as there has been a number of threats to them.


        Personally, I think LW may just be posturing and throwing this into the debate regarding ringfencing the GP.

        Comment


          #5


          I can't seehow them joining the ML would benefit other teams at all. The players don't need two extra games a season and judging by a quick look through their player profiles they would become the absolute whipping boys of the league. According to their site they've lost 11 of 14 matches in division 1. They would be absurdly out of their depth.


          I would think that this is for show and not a realistic possibility.

          Comment


            #6
            if they were a better team maybe. if say london irish got relegated this year and they ringfenced the premiership and stopped relegation then id consider them (and not because of the irish connection, just picking a high level club with celtic connection)
            "Some people don't know their easy lives... I wouldn't be so ungrateful" - Fiacre Ryan - #AutismAndMe

            Comment


              #7


              Well after the last two weeks i wouldn't want London Irish near the ML but hey ho.


              Presumably if LW joined the ML they would stregthen their squad. I hear what people are saying about two extra games per season, but sure each side gets two weeks off in the season anyway, they are probably a team sides could rest frontliners against anyway and try out fringe players plus it would give exiles in London (and there are tens of thousands many of whom are rugby fans) the opportunity to watch Celtic League rugby.


              1) They would need to stregthen their squad, this wouldn't happened overnight and would take a few years


              2) They would need to be self funding as the WRU couldn't afford to keep the Warriors so why would things have changed now?


              3) They'd need to build up a decent support, we don't want another team like the Borders, Connachtor Glasgow with less than 1,000 attending games. The fact they would be based in London should mean they would get decent support.


              4) We'd all need to agree that an extra two games a season is achievable, the Welsh regions may not agree with the EDF Cup a priority for them.


              Solve those problems and it could happen.

              Comment


                #8


                I think it would be an excellent move. I'm assuming that the WRU would start subsidising (and take part ownership of?) the clubas it does the regions. I also think it might be the end of the Dragons, who aren't really performing on or off the pitch and could be replaced.


                They would definitely get big crowds, both of London based Welshmen and of Irish and Scottish people coming to support their teams when they visit. In fact they'dgetmore visiting supporters to each game than any other team in the league.


                I think this is definitely something that London Scottish should talk to the SRU about. I think they couldbe more commercially successful than any of the other Scottish sides. For big games they used to getlarger crowds than any of the Scottish regions do now. It would also save themhaving to climb up from London 1 or wherever they are right now.

                Comment


                  #9


                  They could also make the league more attractive to potential sponsors.

                  Comment


                    #10


                    Munsterboy London Scottish don't exist anymore surely.


                    I don't think the idea behind LW is to replace any of the current regions that's why they'd fund themselves, at least from the outset. I think they'd attract Scottish and Irish exiles in London as well who want to watch some proper rugby...

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by blackadder


                      Munsterboy London Scottish don't exist anymore surely.


                      I don't think the idea behind LW is to replace any of the current regions that's why they'd fund themselves, at least from the outset. I think they'd attract Scottish and Irish exiles in London as well who want to watch some proper rugby...


                      London Scottish are now an amateur club and play in London Division 1 so they'd need to get promotion through 3 levels of national leagues before reaching the GP.


                      I live in West London and Brentford is quite handy so if LW joined the Magners, I'd certainly buy a season ticket!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        It wouldnt be that badm theyd get some pretty good gates from Exiles in London I'd imagine and a London team in the ML as stated would definitely increase the leagues marketability. They would definitely be whipping boys early on, but you never know, good attendances and TV rights might see them improve quickly. I doubt it will happen but i wouldnt be against it if it did

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Kerry-Exile
                          It wouldnt be that badm theyd get some pretty good
                          gates from Exiles in London I'd imagine and a London team in the ML as
                          stated would definitely increase the leagues marketability. They would
                          definitely be whipping boys early on, but you never know, good
                          attendances and TV rights might see them improve quickly. I doubt it
                          will happen but i wouldnt be against it if it did
                          I would love to see it happen, but they would need to have a decent
                          team for a year in div 1 as said above. They would be destroyed by
                          borders and connacht at the moment.

                          I have a feeling that many in English rugby still dont rate the ML.

                          Seven social sins: politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice



                          Comment


                            #14


                            Originally posted by scotscor
                            Originally posted by Kerry-Exile
                            It wouldnt be that badm theyd get some pretty good gates from Exiles in London I'd imagine and a London team in the ML as stated would definitely increase the leagues marketability. They would definitely be whipping boys early on, but you never know, good attendances and TV rights might see them improve quickly. I doubt it will happen but i wouldnt be against it if it did
                            I would love to see it happen, but they would need to have a decent team for a year in div 1 as said above. They would be destroyed by borders and connacht at the moment.
                            I have a feeling that many in English rugby still dont rate the ML.

                            Let them, it just means their own arrogance sees them fall time after time. The ML will provide at least three European quarter finalists IMO in Munster, Leinster and Llanelli and don't rule out The Ospreys. I'd love to say Ulster as well but probably not this year[img]smileys/sad.gif[/img].


                            I think if LW got into the ML they would invest in new players and strengthen to compete with the lower teams in the league and then hopefully progress from there.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              im all for it and agree with blackadder about
                              l irish-however a team i would rather see in the
                              ml, who already have an excellent fan base and a good team are the cornish pirates. to get 5000 a game against munster cardiff en all would be easy.



                              If the lessons of history teach us anything it is that nobody learns the lessons that history teaches us.

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