Llanelli move, club takeover and new name.
July 14 2017
The following was released and published last night by the WRL. "South Wales Ironmen Rugby League Club have new owners after the Rugby Football League approved a takeover by Andrew Thorne, the owner of West Wales Raiders RLFC, along with the board of the WRL Premier League club. The new ownership means that the club will move to Llanelli’s Stebonheath Park with immediate effect and will play three games in the Kingstone Press League 1 Shield at the stadium before playing there permanently from the start of the 2018 Season under the West Wales Raiders name."
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I am very grateful for the involvement of Mr Thorne,who appears to have put his own money,and time,into developing the community club and under age sides,and growing the sport from the grassroots gaining support from the public and businesses.Kudos to him.
Many years ago the thought crossed my mind as to how it would be possible to lessen the load for supporters who travel great distances to support their club.
I can't think of anything practical and people will point to those who travel from the length and breadth of this country,as well as to all points of the compass,to attend Old Trafford,the home of Manchester United soccer club.
With regard to takeovers,it was a so-called 'merger' which took a reasonably successful club,after one year of being parachuted into Super League,when Gateshead Thunder were removed lock,stock and barrel 135 miles away to Hull.
No consideration was given to commercial and private sponsors - nor supporters.
One year after Sheffield Eagles defied the odds and defeated Wigan Warriors,they were 'merged,with Huddersfield.
The sport has had its problems and decsision making hasn't pleased everyone.
The sport doesn't generate too much money.
There are not too many owners who have started clubs off still running the clubs.
Gary Hetherington formed Sheffield Eagles in 1984.Then in the 1990's he got together with Carrick,from the construction industry,and took over Leeds - who,apparently,were in debt at the time.
Tomorrows opponents,London Skolars,were formed by Hector McNeil
who is in the finance industry,apparently into hedge funds.
I hope Mr Thorne gets as much support as is humanly possible.I do like rugby league enthusiasts being involved with clubs.
People through the gates are vital.
I also hope we remain unbeaten at Stebonheath Park throughout the remainder of 2017 - so the players can have a hard working,but ease of mind,off-season to prepare for a successful 2018.
Please make every effort to get there - safe in the knowledge that you may be closer to each away game than I will be.
You may need a long journey home to come down from the highs of seeing home wins.
Keep the faith.