Just ahead of the new season…

Hello folks, well there have been plenty of talking points happening across the game from Cumbria to Northampton, from Wigan to Australia and as we stand on the edge of another Rugby League season certainly my appetite has been whetted.

The Talking Points podcasts will be returning next month and we go from one to two, talking about the Championships in their own show and Super League in their own show. I hope everyone will enjoy the new format when it eventually comes to fruition.

After that shameless self plug I thought I’d turn my attentions to some of the goings on.

First of all Batley must be a bit sick, having swept for the signature of Ben Fisher only for Catalan to cast their net and land the former Hull KR man. I suppose his loss for Batley is tempered somewhat by the recruitment of Gareth Moore who was very useful in his first stint with the club and offers plenty of direction at halfback which will also offset the loss of Paul Handforth to Batley.

Talking with Mick Nanyn ahead of Halifax’s game with Leigh last week and he was very disappointed to have picked up an injury that depending on treatment could see him sat out for quite a few weeks, this at a time when fellow centre Steve Tyrer is looking as dangerous as ever.

Over at Leigh, the Centurions continue to impress under the guidance of Paul Rowley and Neil Jukes and the club still awaits VISA confirmation or knockback over one of their overseas targets. Second Row Tommy Goulden could also be missing for a “worst case scenario – three months” according to Rowley.

In Super League it’s good to see teams have their media days and I believe Wigan, Wakefield, Castleford and Leeds all held theirs last week. I hope that in future these are all syndicated so that media people can attend them all and help raise the profile of the sport.

Speaking of raised profile and I see that Stobarts have been named as main sponsors of the Super League. Now whilst the exposure provided by having club logos and players on 100 40 foot trailers is a step in the right direction, two things spring to mind, first why has no other money changed hands? And secondly why only 100 trucks? Stobarts have over 2000 trucks so the advertising provided on 100 of them, whilst a positive, does not go far enough in my opinon. Whilst I also understand that times are hard, giving away the product doesn’t help (something I think Huddersfield and Bradford could later regret on season ticket sales).

This comes hot on the heels of also finding out that the Premier Sports TV deal is not bringing any additional funding to the sport. I find it really hard to understand this model. I wonder if any other sports offer their naming rights for absolutely zilch? Perhaps I should start preparing a sponsorship portfolio now. What do you reckon? The Parkinson Play-offs has a ring to it…

I will wait to see what the future holds regarding sponsorship, afterall we are promised a multi faceted deal so I’ll watch for one materialising.

I suppose the other big story was about the RFL actually buying Odsal and the fact that the governing body is implicating itself to ensure Bradford get a licence next time. On this issue I can’t agree with a lot of the doom mongerers, now whilst it’s an unusual situation, I actually applaud the RFL for stepping in to safeguard a clubs future and they are very proactive when it comes to this and do try and help where requested.

It is such a pity that we live in such testing economic times because redevelopment of the Odsal site is something numerous club officials and council men have talked about for years and it looks unlikely to happen in future. This means that a big proportion of the crowd will continue to get wet at Bradford and there will be a status quo.

If you want to comment or have a discussion point brought forward in a future blog, please let me know.

I’m over on Twitter @DParkyRL.

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