Staring into the abyss? : the state of UK rugby's Super League

WILSON, Robert, PLUMLEY, Daniel James and BARRETT, David (2016). Staring into the abyss? : the state of UK rugby's Super League. Managing Sport and Leisure, 20 (6), 293-310. (In Press)

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Link to published version:: 10.1080/23750472.2016.1141367


Rugby League's Super League was formed in 1995, due to unprecedented turmoil experienced in rugby league in Australia and a desire to run a season parallel to the Australian game during the British summer. The predicted outcomes of the Super League included greater uncertainty of outcome, increased attendances, and higher revenues for clubs, ultimately leading to the transformation of rugby league from a northern minority sport into a national/international sport. However, 20 years on, it appears that the Super League is running short of the objectives that it set itself. This paper analyses the financial health of Super League clubs alongside trends in attendance and participation. In summary, all three indicators of performance are poor in relation to the objectives set. These factors point to a bleak future for the sport and rugby league needs to produce a sustainable business model to keep both the clubs and the sport alive.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sport Industry Research Centre
Identification Number: 10.1080/23750472.2016.1141367
Depositing User: Rebecca Jones
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2016 11:46
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2016 21:33

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