Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Kent Invicta Part One

On Wednesday 6th April 1983 Kent Invicta Rugby League Football Club was accepted as a member of the Rugby Football League and following a hectic few months of preparation played its first game in Division Two on  Sunday 21st August 1983.
The club was based at Maidstone United's London Road Stadium.

For the opening game the club had recruited a mixture of Southern based players and experienced Northern 'imports'.

There was no rugby league played in Kent and the nearest professional club was Fulham over forty miles away. However, despite the obvious difficulties of establishing a club in an area new to rugby league, many people in the sport were excited about the prospect of rugby league being played in Kent and thought that the club would be a success.

There will be more about what happened to Kent Invicta in Part Two

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Bridging the Gap Part Three

With a much greater loss than expected on its first season Mansfield Marksman responded by moving home games away from Field Mill. The club decided that hiring the soccer ground for home games with attendances in the hundreds was no longer cost effective.
In March 1986 the club moved operations to Alfreton Town FC, playing home games at the soccer club's North Street ground. Two years later the club moved to Kirkby in Ashfield to play at Sutton Town's ground. The final move for this nomadic club came in June 1989 when Nottingham's Harvey Hadden Stadium became their home ground. This move caused a boardroom split, the loss of sponsorship by Mansfield Brewery, and a change of name to Nottingham City.
For the next four years the club struggled both on and off the field. On the field Nottingham only won seven games over that period while attendances, at home games, were often less than 300. In the 1992/93 season Nottingham finished bottom of the Third Division. The Rugby Football League decided that it wanted to reduce the number of professional clubs and so Nottingham City, along with Blackpool Gladiators and Chorley Borough, were relegated to the National Conference League. After once season in the Conference Nottingham resigned from the League and went out of existence.

An article about Mansfield Marksman will appear in the November edition of Forty-20 Magazine

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Bridging the Gap Part Two

Mansfield Marksman in their application to the Rugby Football League presented what appeared to be reasonable projections on income and expenditure.

The club produced a balance sheet that seemed to address any concerns regarding the expected loss and how it would be dealt with.

The Directors make it clear, in the notes the accompany the balance sheet, that they were confident that the maximum loss would be no greater than £51,000 and that if the club had a successful season the 1984/85 deficit could be considerably less.

The first home game, on Sunday 9th September 1984 against Wakefield Trinity, produced an attendance of 2,291 but unfortunately, despite winning eight of their first nine games, attendances declined steadily. In the second half of the season there were often fewer than 500 spectators attending home games. The attendance against Rochdale Hornets was recorded as only 321.
Mansfield Marksman lost £90,000 in its first season, a much greater loss than had been predicted.

How did the club respond?

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Bridging the Gap Part One

The 1980s was a period of expansion for professional rugby league.
 Mansfield Marksman RLFC joined the professional ranks in 1984.

The Directors

The club had impressive plans

What happened to Mansfield Marksmen?