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Why Not the Balmain Bears?

Posted: Tue 11 Apr, 2017 9:07 am
by stevied
I thought I'd introduce a new topic, one to get the attention off the recruitment circus for a moment...

I've always wondered why the Balmain Tigers didn't merge with the North Sydney Bears and how we would have gone if this was the marriage settled on. Before, I go any further, I want to apologize to all the slighted Wests supporters out there who might be offended by this discussion. Yes, I am a diehard Balmain Tigers supporter but I also have a genuine soft spot for the Magpies, especially after the pillaging they copped from Manly. I grew up in Avalon and went to Brookvale numerous times, only to quietly root for every other team that played the dreaded Silvertails!

The irony is that North Sydney tried to merger with Manly after a long history of despising each other but, surely, a union between the Tigers and the Bears would have made the most sense as they are two foundation clubs, with adjoining borders. As it stands now, the real boundaries between Wests and Balmain don't join and there is a huge territory between the Balmain district and the southwest of Sydney. Actually, Canterbury is in between. How would Canterbury, Wests, Balmain and North Sydney be going now if the mergers had been Canterbury/ Wests and Balmain/ Norths? I think I know some of the answers. Canterbury have always been financially strong and therefore didn't need to merge, whereas Wests and Balmain were both struggling and may have been given an ultimatum by the League.

To be honest, I struggle with the merger between St.George and Illawarra with Cronulla sitting right in the middle but, then again, the tribal element that comes with inter district battles is probably a thing of the past. The bottom line, a marriage between Balmain and Norths would have made a lot more sense!

Re: Why Not the Bamain Bears?

Posted: Tue 11 Apr, 2017 9:12 am
by Russell
We don't need to think about this at all.

We are supporters of the Mighty Wests Tigers!!!!!

Re: Why Not the Balmain Bears?

Posted: Tue 11 Apr, 2017 9:13 am
by stevied
You are right and I agree. Just being hypothetical Russell!

Re: Why Not the Balmain Bears?

Posted: Tue 11 Apr, 2017 9:15 am
by GNR4LIFE
The Dragons meeged with Illawarra to get their hands on the south coast.

Re: Why Not the Balmain Bears?

Posted: Tue 11 Apr, 2017 9:21 am
by stevied
Yes, and they had a history of Illawarra champions moving to the big smoke.

Re: Why Not the Balmain Bears?

Posted: Tue 11 Apr, 2017 9:27 am
by innsaneink
Red black and orange eh?

Re: Why Not the Balmain Bears?

Posted: Tue 11 Apr, 2017 9:33 am
by vlad
Norths Tigers

Re: Why Not the Balmain Bears?

Posted: Tue 11 Apr, 2017 9:41 am
by Geo.
Berala Bears..

Re: Why Not the Balmain Bears?

Posted: Tue 11 Apr, 2017 9:45 am
by Cultured Bogan
Meh, it would have been a disaster. Two regions where one is Rugby territory and the other where vapid NIMBY's have infiltrated.

It took me a while to get used to the JV but I am happy with where it is despite poor on-field performance.

Re: Why Not the Balmain Bears?

Posted: Tue 11 Apr, 2017 9:52 am
by Byron Bay Fan
stevied wrote:
Tue 11 Apr, 2017 9:07 am
I thought I'd introduce a new topic, one to get the attention off the recruitment circus for a moment...

I've always wondered why the Balmain Tigers didn't merge with the North Sydney Bears and how we would have gone if this was the marriage settled on. Before, I go any further, I want to apologize to all the slighted Wests supporters out there who might be offended by this discussion. Yes, I am a diehard Balmain Tigers supporter but I also have a genuine soft spot for the Magpies, especially after the pillaging they copped from Manly. I grew up in Avalon and went to Brookvale numerous times, only to quietly root for every other team that played the dreaded Silvertails!

The irony is that North Sydney tried to merger with Manly after a long history of despising each other but, surely, a union between the Tigers and the Bears would have made the most sense as they are two foundation clubs, with adjoining borders. As it stands now, the real boundaries between Wests and Balmain don't join and there is a huge territory between the Balmain district and the southwest of Sydney. Actually, Canterbury is in between. How would Canterbury, Wests, Balmain and North Sydney be going now if the mergers had been Canterbury/ Wests and Balmain/ Norths? I think I know some of the answers. Canterbury have always been financially strong and therefore didn't need to merge, whereas Wests and Balmain were both struggling and may have been given an ultimatum by the League.

To be honest, I struggle with the merger between St.George and Illawarra with Cronulla sitting right in the middle but, then again, the tribal element that comes with inter district battles is probably a thing of the past. The bottom line, a marriage between Balmain and Norths would have made a lot more sense!
I have no idea if there are formal boundary lines or disputed territory but what happened to Magpie territory in between of Lidcombe, Regents Park and all stations to Campbelltown via Liverpool - don't they connect the dots between Balmain and Campbelltown? Or at least they should giving the JV a big whacko of Sydney.

Re: Why Not the Balmain Bears?

Posted: Tue 11 Apr, 2017 9:53 am
by Byron Bay Fan
I suppose Bulldogs have Regents Park etc but Maggies should have Fairfield etc.

Re: Why Not the Balmain Bears?

Posted: Tue 11 Apr, 2017 10:13 am
by DonnyBrasco
Tasmania Tigers would be the best.
The old cronies who keep jibbering in the media would become extinct just like the club.

Re: Why Not the Balmain Bears?

Posted: Tue 11 Apr, 2017 10:35 am
by Tigertigertiger
At one stage Parramatta wanted to merge with Balmain for the logo and a 70/30 partnership.Parramatta also wanted the Bears logo and they too got knocked back from merger talks.

Balmain/Magpies was a 50/50 deal

Re: Why Not the Balmain Bears?

Posted: Tue 11 Apr, 2017 10:40 am
by Glennb
I was at the BDRLFC club meeting where we voted to merge with Wests and it was widely accepted it was the best fit. Not sure if you remember at the time that all the word was Balmain would merge (be swallowed up by) Parra.

At the time that the Balmain/Wests and Manly/Bears merges happened, Norths had either just gone broke or were on the verge of going broke. Manly were actually pretty smart because due tot he fact that Norths actually had nothing to contribute, it was effectively a takeover. Now you might then hypothesise then why didnt Balmain take over the Bears to be the dominant partner and take the same route as manly?

The fact is Balmain needed help. They needed a partner who could contribute and Wests were in exactly the same boat. It was the right (but painful) step and Wests/Balmain was the right partnership.

Any discussion about this cant be taken on face value. I was a voting member of BDLRLFC for those years and for probably 4-5 years pre the merger Balmain were struggling and probably would not have made it long term and definitely couldnt compete in the short term.

What nobody talks about is that BEFORE the Superleague war, the ARL were introducing pretty much the exact same criteria for acceptance into the competition. I was at a meeting at which Arthurson addressed the BDRLFC members and notified us that all clubs had been issued a notice that they had 3 years to meet certain criteria such as 10K average crowds, $10M annual turnover, certain corporate facilities at grounds etc...Clubs that didnt meet these criteria would not receive automatic qualification into the ARL competition. At the time Balmain didnt meet one of the criteria. This was the reason for the "Sydney Tigers" moving to Parra stadium and wearing that hideous jersey with the purple stripe.

Tough times, bad memories. All old supporters, Tigers & Magpies have those boards to thank for our existence today and we shouldnt forget that or make light of it.

Re: Why Not the Balmain Bears?

Posted: Tue 11 Apr, 2017 10:47 am
by Gary Bakerloo
A more pertinent question would be what would have happened had Balmain signed with Super League?

Can't say that for Wests.....both them and Souths were the only clubs not approached by Ribot and co.

Re: Why Not the Balmain Bears?

Posted: Tue 11 Apr, 2017 10:48 am
by Tigertigertiger
The nrl criteria was a dead set joke

I remember how the Rorters got crowds of 3,000 to home games and made out they were 13,000, telegraph even went to the length of counting out the crowd one day to show how much of a shambles that part of the criteria was.

Re: Why Not the Balmain Bears?

Posted: Tue 11 Apr, 2017 10:50 am
by Tigertigertiger
Gary Bakerloo wrote:
Tue 11 Apr, 2017 10:47 am
A more pertinent question would be what would have happened had Balmain signed with Super League?

Can't say that for Wests.....both them and Souths were the only clubs not approached by Ribot and co.
Glad Balmain never went to superleague, that mob destroyed the game and to be honest has never been the same since.

Re: Why Not the Balmain Bears?

Posted: Tue 11 Apr, 2017 10:56 am
by Spartan117
I and my family will only ever support the Tigers in Black and Orange.

I dont care about Balmain / Campbeltown, Nth Sydney etc