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Why do merged clubs perform so poorly?

Messages
12,318
14 clubs have boards that argue about how to win games and premierships

we have a board that argues about how big the magpie on the sleeve should be

the dragons have a board that took the best part of a decade to realise head coach Mary was about as much use as a diabetic sheep

I hope this answers the question
 

Illawarra Tiger

Juniors
Messages
72
I follow Wests Tigers and apart from 2005 it’s been a mess. Although we made the finals in 2010 and 2011 they still didn’t have complete seasons.
Issues
Lack of identity
Don’t know what areas they represent
Poorly managed
Horrible junior retention
After 20 plus year the Balmain v Wests mentality is still there with supporters and boards
No real home ground to make a fortress
Both traditional home grounds never seem to receive any government funding for a decent upgrade.
The tigers probably have the most marketable colours and logo, their player strips are horrible most of the time (although 2020 was good)
Previously scared to have to much gold in away strip to upset former magpie fans
No long term vision or plan to build a dynasty
 

BunniesMan

Immortal
Messages
33,198
St Merge made the GF in their first year and were strong, regular finalists through to 2010, culminating in their first premiership. 2005 was probably the year when they or Para should’ve won the comp, but we all know the story.
Since, and this is from an outsider, management, recruitment, development and coaching have all been out of whack. They’ve got/had talented kids but let them go or stuck too long with fading stars or bought in big money recruits who don’t perform.

Wests Tigers were two dying clubs. If the NRL hadn’t done their criteria and forced the issue, both (along with Souths and perhaps a couple of others) would’ve withered on the vine and died. However internal machinations, divisions, a lack of a true identity, poor recruitment and retention policies and a merry go round of coaches, see WT languish. Like Para, Saints or Dogs, could be the hottest ticket or bigger brand in town if they sorted out their shit.

Both need to figure out their identities and who they represent. They need a single base and single home ground.

At the end of the day, both sets of fans/members deserve better.

Manly’s merger with Norths was never going to work or succeed. The merger was a momentarily blip in Manly’s history twenty years ago, to the point it’s just about forgotten. The only things it denied were Menzies being a one club player, a team based at Gosford and Norths existence at the top level ever again. Since, they’ve had the cyclical ups and downs for a standard club/team, though that doesn’t say they’ve been immune to the poor management/ coaching issue but look to have navigated that.
Well we know this is completely wrong. If the historic clubs could have hung on just a few more years until the era of the mega bucks TV deals they would have been set. At this point existing clubs are more or less bankruptcy proof. Imagine in the 90s the thought of every club getting an 8 figure cheque from NRL HQ every year on top of the much more large scale membership numbers. Basically any club that survived until 2007 when that first big deal came in would have been permanently safe.

It is a tragedy that we threw away the long history of 4 clubs (Dragons, Wests, Tigers and Bears) for plastic new entities. Manly's success after unmerging and Souths success after fighting tooth and nail to hang on in that 90s-00s period to survive until the rivers of gold started flowing shows that merger was completely unnecessary.
 

Perth Red

Immortal
Messages
44,821
Well we know this is completely wrong. If the historic clubs could have hung on just a few more years until the era of the mega bucks TV deals they would have been set. At this point existing clubs are more or less bankruptcy proof. Imagine in the 90s the thought of every club getting an 8 figure cheque from NRL HQ every year on top of the much more large scale membership numbers. Basically any club that survived until 2007 when that first big deal came in would have been permanently safe.

It is a tragedy that we threw away the long history of 3 clubs (Dragons, Wests, Tigers) for plastic new entities. Manly's success after unmerging and Souths success after fighting tooth and nail to hang on in that 90s-00s period to survive until the rivers of gold started flowing shows that merger was completely unnecessary.
Except the fact that two clubs recently had to be taken over by the NRL as they went bust! If Souths hadn't struck lotto with a Hollywood A lister fan would they still be here? I agree with a $13million grant clubs should be sustainable by now but it seems many of them live on the edge with just one main sponsor withdrawal pushing them into losses.
 

Tiger5150

Juniors
Messages
1,738
Well we know this is completely wrong. If the historic clubs could have hung on just a few more years until the era of the mega bucks TV deals they would have been set. At this point existing clubs are more or less bankruptcy proof. Imagine in the 90s the thought of every club getting an 8 figure cheque from NRL HQ every year on top of the much more large scale membership numbers. Basically any club that survived until 2007 when that first big deal came in would have been permanently safe.

It is a tragedy that we threw away the long history of 4 clubs (Dragons, Wests, Tigers and Bears) for plastic new entities. Manly's success after unmerging and Souths success after fighting tooth and nail to hang on in that 90s-00s period to survive until the rivers of gold started flowing shows that merger was completely unnecessary.

That is a touching, heartwarming, emotional story that tugs at the heartstrings. Complete fiction.

Balmain and Wests would have gone broke without the merger grant ( I was present at the members meetings regarding this) in EXACTLY the same way that Souffs went broke and had to be bought out.
 

Munky

Bench
Messages
4,775
That is a touching, heartwarming, emotional story that tugs at the heartstrings. Complete fiction.

Balmain and Wests would have gone broke without the merger grant ( I was present at the members meetings regarding this) in EXACTLY the same way that Souffs went broke and had to be bought out.

Not to mention four more Sydney teams in the competition.

Something would have to give eventually.
 

blaza88z

Coach
Messages
14,059
Well we know this is completely wrong. If the historic clubs could have hung on just a few more years until the era of the mega bucks TV deals they would have been set. At this point existing clubs are more or less bankruptcy proof. Imagine in the 90s the thought of every club getting an 8 figure cheque from NRL HQ every year on top of the much more large scale membership numbers. Basically any club that survived until 2007 when that first big deal came in would have been permanently safe.

It is a tragedy that we threw away the long history of 4 clubs (Dragons, Wests, Tigers and Bears) for plastic new entities. Manly's success after unmerging and Souths success after fighting tooth and nail to hang on in that 90s-00s period to survive until the rivers of gold started flowing shows that merger was completely unnecessary.

Add Redcliffe to that list.
 
Messages
843
@Ghostface Killah hate to agree with froggy here, but that 2010 premiership was stacked with Illawarra juniors.

Unfortunately our club hasn’t been able to develop our juniors properly in the last decade. That isn’t necessarily a problem with the catchment, especially when you have young guns like Jack Bird leaving the club and winning a premiership with an arch rival.

You seem like a decent bloke with your heart in the right place, so all I’ll say is I disagree.
 

anjado

Juniors
Messages
1,088
Basically, the wrong teams merged, Leichardt and Campbelltown are too far away from each other to make a coherent club, Wests should have merged with Canterbury since they were preparing to play out of Liverpool and Balmain should have either merged with the Roosters or Souths.

If the mergers were based on geography first then emotion it should have looked like this.

Wests + Canterbury = Locks up South West Sydney this was the biggest no brainer merger. Since Canterbury wanted to move closer.

Easts + Balmain = Leichardt to Bondi, this also makes sense, Balmain get to be a part of a successful side, the Roosters gain a larger following and junior base, Leichardt oval could still be used 3-4 times a season against lesser teams and the bigger games at the SFS which is only 8km from Leichardt Oval.

Souths + St George = this would be tougher but makes geographical sense they could represent the South of Sydney to Cronulla.

Cronulla + Illawarra = This team would be mainly based in Wollongong but they would be a self-sustainable club with a strong junior base and they would represent that area of Sydney down to Nowra.

Central Coast Bears - Move to the central coast playing 3 games at NSO a season.

Parramatta - A city in it's own right.

Penrith - Represents the outer western suburbs

Manly - Northern Beaches.

There you go you would have 6 full-time Sydney clubs representing all regions of the city plus two more part-time Sydney clubs.

Add Canberra and Newcastle you get 10 NSW + ACT clubs.

From there

Brisbane x2, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, North Queensland,

New Zealand X2

Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne

Most of the Sydney teams would be able to sustain themselves and become stronger, You could have focused on growing the game in Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide as well as other areas there may be a case where you could throw in a couple of more teams and it would still be a strong enough competition.

I fully believe this was the solution and would have helped the game grow eventually after some early hiccups. Everyone would have still had a team you wouldn't have had to kick Souths and Norths out of the competition and everyone would have a team to support even if not ideal.
 

LeagueXIII

First Grade
Messages
5,610
14 clubs have boards that argue about how to win games and premierships

we have a board that argues about how big the magpie on the sleeve should be

the dragons have a board that took the best part of a decade to realise head coach Mary was about as much use as a diabetic sheep

I hope this answers the question
Wests have really taken it over now and should become the magpies again...the goodwill would be massive. Stop worrying about having a Tiger so they can sell more merchandise its so typical RL.
 

LeagueXIII

First Grade
Messages
5,610
Basically, the wrong teams merged, Leichardt and Campbelltown are too far away from each other to make a coherent club, Wests should have merged with Canterbury since they were preparing to play out of Liverpool and Balmain should have either merged with the Roosters or Souths.

If the mergers were based on geography first then emotion it should have looked like this.

Wests + Canterbury = Locks up South West Sydney this was the biggest no brainer merger. Since Canterbury wanted to move closer.

Easts + Balmain = Leichardt to Bondi, this also makes sense, Balmain get to be a part of a successful side, the Roosters gain a larger following and junior base, Leichardt oval could still be used 3-4 times a season against lesser teams and the bigger games at the SFS which is only 8km from Leichardt Oval.

Souths + St George = this would be tougher but makes geographical sense they could represent the South of Sydney to Cronulla.

Cronulla + Illawarra = This team would be mainly based in Wollongong but they would be a self-sustainable club with a strong junior base and they would represent that area of Sydney down to Nowra.

Central Coast Bears - Move to the central coast playing 3 games at NSO a season.

Parramatta - A city in it's own right.

Penrith - Represents the outer western suburbs

Manly - Northern Beaches.

There you go you would have 6 full-time Sydney clubs representing all regions of the city plus two more part-time Sydney clubs.

Add Canberra and Newcastle you get 10 NSW + ACT clubs.

From there

Brisbane x2, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, North Queensland,

New Zealand X2

Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne

Most of the Sydney teams would be able to sustain themselves and become stronger, You could have focused on growing the game in Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide as well as other areas there may be a case where you could throw in a couple of more teams and it would still be a strong enough competition.

I fully believe this was the solution and would have helped the game grow eventually after some early hiccups. Everyone would have still had a team you wouldn't have had to kick Souths and Norths out of the competition and everyone would have a team to support even if not ideal.
Doesn't work in reality on paper yes but realistically you lose half the support of the game as has been proven.
People look at Sydney clubs at the nadir of the game in the mid 90s and want them kicked out or merged. For example Souths could have been lost to the game but are now a massive asset.
Things have changed the way clubs are managed way more professionally, evening of the player distribution, club grants from TV etc. There is no reason why Norths, Saints, Balmain could not be as strong today as Souths given their popularity and support.
Everything was way too rushed in the late 90s when clubs should have held their nerve.
 

Yosemite Sam

Juniors
Messages
596
If Norths and Balmain were still alive today I have no doubt they'd be one of the big Sydney clubs. Both had huge support and were very marketable brands. They had a similar supporter numbers to Souths.
 

Valheru

Coach
Messages
13,571
Looking at the entire history of the clubs, St George/Illawarra have been fine. They may be in the middle of their lowest ebb at the moment but they were mostly competitive from 1999-2015 winning a comp, making another GF, a couple of additional prelims and only missing the finals a few times. They are a point away from a prelim as recently as 2018. They will bounce back soon enough.

Wests have been a horror show. Their premiership in 2005 was well deserved but in the context of their history it was a complete aberration and seems a bit of a fluke. Their actual best team was the 2010/11 version which finished top 4 in both years and they were legit the 2nd best team in 2010.

The rest of Wests 22 year history is grim reading without any further finals appearances and none in the last 10 seasons where 50% of the teams make it. For context the next biggest finals drought is 5 years (Bulldogs). The way that joint is run, I can't see much changing in the foreseeable future.
 
Messages
12,318
Wests have really taken it over now and should become the magpies again...the goodwill would be massive. Stop worrying about having a Tiger so they can sell more merchandise its so typical RL.

call it whatever, I just think there are more pressing issues than squabbling over 2 sides that any fan under the age of 35 (and the bulk of the fans over) couldn’t give a shit about.
 

siv

First Grade
Messages
5,140
call it whatever, I just think there are more pressing issues than squabbling over 2 sides that any fan under the age of 35 (and the bulk of the fans over) couldn’t give a shit about.
You will find that those youngsters if they played junior footy

Played within one district or the other

So the idea of Balmain or Wests or St George or Illawarra is still strong
 

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