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Some things seem to remain constant in Super League. Hull FC are the perennial under achievers, Leeds season comes alive in the play-offs where as Warringtonís goes to pot, and then there are the trials and tribulations of the London Broncos.

Once more the talk about the Capitalís only professional Rugby League club has been unsurprisingly negative given the precarious position they have found themselves in over the close season. One in which their very existence was threatened like never before with no home ground or training facility to use, a threadbare playing roster and back room staff.

Somehow the Club have once again found a way through the latest in a long list of crisis that have seen London use various home grounds and guises during their 30 year history. This time though you feel the Broncos really are drinking in the last chance saloon as they seem to have exhausted all other feasible options.

The latest residence for the Club is The Hive, the new ground for Football Conference side Barnet FC. Their Chairman Tony Kleanthous was keen to talk about the two clubís growing together but havenít we heard all this before?

Arenít these the same statements that were made when London decided to jump into bed with Harlequins RU in 2006? We all know how that story ended and everybody connected with the Broncos and the sport of Rugby League as a whole will be desperate not to see a repeat performance.

How can this work for London? Well in an ideal world, a highly competitive Super League team on the pitch and a well run Club off the field is the ultimate goal. Thatís easier said than done, but in this instance building sound foundations on the administrative side of things is paramount. Hopefully this will then enable a strong playing side to be developed.

The big thing they have in their favour is that even though the Barnet deal was off as many times as it was on, Kleanthous and Co. do really seem to want a successful Broncos. Whether thatís for their own gains remains unseen as they will now benefit from the additional income that comes with hosting matches when their stadium would otherwise be unused.

However, I personally think that Barnet feel a flourishing Broncos is good for both parties. The only worry is the agreement to use the Hive is only for an initial period of two years

What is extremely vital with the move to Barnet is that London must treat it like home from day one, not just another stop off on the road to nowhere. To many times have the Club started to build an identity and links in a local community only to up sticks somewhere different. All the hard graft is rendered useless and they have to start over again.

The RFL have been very supportive with the Broncos plight although they are slightly culpable for the turmoil. A successful London team would of course do wonders for the game outside of its heartlands, so surely the way forward would be a Club run with even greater assistance from the governing body. Not so much in addition to the direct finance which London already receive, but additional personnel with expertise to work in areas that would help the Club grow in terms of fan base, attracting sponsors and marketing in a far more professional way than ever before.

After a turbulent few seasons not just for London but the sport as a whole, a successful World Cup and the premier Club competition back with a title sponsor shows that Rugby League is heading in the right direction.

A well run Super League Club for the exciting youngsters which London continue to produce like Kieran Dixon and Will Lovell would undoubtedly help continue the sports upward trend. Unfortunately, the abolishment of licenses and the re-introduction of promotion and relegation from 2015 give them little time to get things right, but if they finally buck the trend and donít repeat the mistakes of days gone by, their previously nomadic existence might be consigned well and truly to the past.

Follow Gareth on Twitter @garphied



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Posted by Gareth Davies on Wed 29th Jan 2014 10:20 PM | Views : 11213 | Replies : 33 | BACK TO STORIES
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