Sunday, 1 July 2012
This week I have been watching, recently departed RFL supremo Richard Lewis, giving interviews in his new role as Wimbledon CEO and have been reflecting on his time in office.
There is no doubt that he provided much needed stability when it was very much needed and RFL revenue has increased under him. Dickie Lewis has presided over the introduction of the licensing process which has resulted in improved facilities and increased professionalism at SL level. He will be remembered for an expansion of the international game throughout the northern hemisphere and I believe this will bear fruit in the future.
While the financial situation has improved at the RFL (although in my opinion it started from a very low base and needs to increase much more) we have witnessed the Crusaders debacle, the Stobart non-sponsorship and now the problems at the Bradford Bulls. London still play in front of very low crowds (3600 v Leeds yesterday) and they along with other clubs are struggling to keep up. Some of our most famous teams live hand to mouth below SL level and feel excluded by the licencing process. We have replaced Great Britain with England but still struggle to compete internationally against Australia and NZ. Sceptical supporters endure Magic Weekends and the Exiles concept but no Ashes series or Lions Tours.
Meanwhile, Dickie gets interviewed on SKY News with Wimbledon in the background but RL's media profile declines by the hour. We await news of his replacement
In Dickie's meadow is a north of England phrase which means to be in trouble.
It refers to King Richard III and his meadow was Bosworth Field