Very true. I don't know about this, maybe it is partly true but for the clubs and their fans that did come across to SL they didn't really lose any of their tradition (apart from their names, badges/logos and old uniforms). IMO the lack of fan support was more to do with the fact that most of the clubs that News manged to get to jump across were smaller clubs, News thought that if they bought out all the best players and most successful teams at the time, that all the casual fans (not fans like us that are highly fanatical) would abandon their preferred team in favor of supporting one of the more successful clubs full of all the superstars at the time. Obviously this wasn't the case, casual fans continued to follow their preferred teams and didn't swap to one of the more popular teams just because Laurie Daley, Alfie Langer or ET was playing for them, thus News's plan fell apart as they severely miss judged the priorities of the fans. Their plan might have worked better if they just went after all the best players and not the clubs, had they of cherry picked all the best player in the ARL, established a new competition with new clubs and evenly spread those stars out among these new clubs they would have left the ARL without any of their big names, potentially had a much more competitive competition then the ARL and not given the fans any reason not to pickup one of their new teams along with their old one until the ARL was overwhelmed. Of course this is all just speculation and I could be completely wrong. You have to remember that both the Mariners and the Rams weren't originally planned and were both thrown together as quickly as possible after the Knights, bears and Dragons all refused News's offers. Though I agree that once it was obvious that the Knights and their players weren't going to switch allegiances that they should have given up on Newcastle and looked to somewhere else to setup a team. You also have to remember that at the time Melbourne was seen as an impossible market for RL to crack, similar to how Adelaide is seen now. So even if there was no reason for it the idea of a club in Melbourne was seen as insane and doomed to fail at the time. At the time I thought that if we gave it a fair go that there was no reason why the people of Melbourne wouldn't come around to support a team eventually, just as I think the same of the situation in Adelaide at the moment, though I would never setup a team in Adelaide like they did the Storm in Melbourne without any grassroots support, IMO they were very lucky that the Storm were as success as they were as quickly as they were otherwise things probably would have gone very differently. It would have helped to have a larger number of fans starting out, but otherwise this was pretty much their Idea except with the most fashionable clubs of the time instead of the largest, their original plan was Bulldogs for the west, Bears for the north and Sharks for the South. Of course after the Bears wouldn't jump their next port of call was the Dragons which broke that original idea of north, south and west and also fell through, then they had run out of time and quickly threw together the Rams to make up the numbers. They didn't see this as a big set back because they had planned Adelaide to be one of the first two places that they would expand to (the other being presumably Melbourne), and just readjusted their plan to pickup the Bears later on as an expansion team when the SL was the enormous success that they envisioned it to be. It's also interesting to note that (as far as I know) the Rabbitohs were only club to actually make serious inquires about joining the the SL (unless you count the Broncos) and were not like the other clubs who were first contacted by News to see if they were interested. Though News did (repetitively) turn them down for whatever reasons (rumor has it because they saw the Rabbits as a symbol of everything they were trying to change and a doomed club) it is interesting none the less. It's Most likely that Rabbits saw all of the money that was getting thrown at the SL clubs and saw SL as a way to get some cash into the coffers and save themselves, as they were another club like the Raiders, Sharks, etc that was knocking on heavens doors.