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ARU moves to kill off club player payments: A 3rd tier, club rugby and the $60k persuader

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Inside Shoulder

Nathan Sharpe (72)
RICH0509-20130909192232270992-300x0.jpg
Well no one could accuse the ARU of trying to hide the big announcements.
Lets take the biggest week of the premier club rugby year in Sydney to announce what sound like big changes to the rules, availability and maybe even eligibility.
It's surprising how much influence the Pulveriser thinks $60k can buy with the clubs - but it doesn't appear to have dawned on him that if the ARU can influence the clubs for such a small sum those clubs must be a tad under funded.
The other worrying sign is that he does not have his eyes on the ball in the photo - perhaps he is moonlighting as a skills coach for the Wobbs.

http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/u...off--club-player-payments-20130909-2tgca.html
It is very unclear to me how teams worthy of playing in this national club comp could expect to play in competitive fixtures in, for instance, the Shute Shield given that the "plan" recognizes that the national comp would need to use teams constituted from several club sides who would then compete with what sound like stand alone clubs from the Shute Shield and equivalents.
 
T

Train Without a Station

Guest
Developing a stronger tier below Super Rugby level can only help improve the quality of Aus Super Rugby, subsequently the Wallabies and ultimately rugby in Australia. Which would likely assist in increasing support, and long term improving participation.

Or we can think short term, worry about protecting our own interests at the detriment of the code. Each to their own I guess. Good to see that no matter what the ARU try to do in order to move forward there will be plenty of people to shout it down rather than consider supporting it.
 

Inside Shoulder

Nathan Sharpe (72)
Developing a stronger tier below Super Rugby level can only help improve the quality of Aus Super Rugby, subsequently the Wallabies and ultimately rugby in Australia. Which would likely assist in increasing support, and long term improving participation.

Or we can think short term, worry about protecting our own interests at the detriment of the code. Each to their own I guess. Good to see that no matter what the ARU try to do in order to move forward there will be plenty of people to shout it down rather than consider supporting it.

So who does the development in your world?
 

wamberal

Phil Kearns (64)
I am struggling to understand the logic in this. As always, it is useful to think of the unintended consequences, the most obvious of which is that there will be absolutely no way of policing the "no payments" restriction, short of setting up an audit function, which would cost as much as, or more than, the money that is saved. Players have been paid for many, many years, illegally or legally, it has, and presumably will, happen.

Would this mean, for example, that Gordon could no longer employ Fijian players to work in their licenced club (not sure that they still do, but they used to), or that Eastwood could no longer employ players to work as ground staff? And I will not even ponder the ways that our Camperdown clique will have to circumvent the intent of this diktat.

Secondly, how many players will we automatically lose to, or fail to attract from, other codes? Player payments at the club level are not big, but they must make some sort of difference at the margin.

I am absolutely, categorically, in favour of any sensible measures that will promote our game, particularly at the grassroots, and particularly if it means we can get some product onto FTA, or, failing that, on to Fox Sports.


But I just do not understand how killing off some of the district clubs is a particularly smart way forward. As Dave Begg rhetorically asks, what about the seven year olds in the district, who will give them a game, and a pathway?
 

Inside Shoulder

Nathan Sharpe (72)
But I just do not understand how killing off some of the district clubs is a particularly smart way forward. As Dave Begg rhetorically asks, what about the seven year olds in the district, who will give them a game, and a pathway?

As a matter of interest how far does the ARU's $60k go?
I would have thought it would be little more than a good start towards a season's costs for the grade club alone.
 

wamberal

Phil Kearns (64)
As a matter of interest how far does the ARU's $60k go?
I would have thought it would be little more than a good start towards a season's costs for the grade club alone.



I seem to remember seeing the figure of $500,000 quoted as the typical annual expenditure for a club.
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
I think the costs are a bit more than that wamberal. In the back of my mind is a figure of about $1m.

While it will vary from club to club, Inside Shoulder may be able to confirm a precise amount for at least one club. I recall that he posted a link to the Beasts Annual Financial Report last year.

The actual revenue requirement I am unsure of, but I think the point being made was that the SMH had (at that time) adjudged Easts to be one of the top 3 or 4 financially secure Shute Shield Clubs, but their financial statements indicated that they made a trading loss.
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Thanks IS,

Seems about right. wamberal suggesting that $500k not as annual expenditure, but annual expenditure on players (football programme), and my about $1m for annual expenditure on all "stuff" seem about ball park correct, allowing for variations between clubs.

$60k from big brother ARU is a lot of chook raffles and sausage sangers but is only about 8-10% of what a Shute Shield Club would need.
 

Jets

Paul McLean (56)
Staff member
It all depends on what you include in the budget. If you are just looking at Rugby related expenses or if the club has a bar or gaming.

Also if the Club is a senior club, a junior club or a combined club.

In Brisbane I would say a senior rugby program would run around $330K.
 

p.Tah

John Thornett (49)
From my understating club player payments have become a bit of an arms race. In most cases they are not large payments per player but they add up. Given the precarious financial situation of the clubs they would prefer not to pay players. But which brave club will be the first to stop if they currently rely on it as a means to attract and retain players? Everyone needs to be on board at the same time. A circuit breaker is required. This is an attempt at that.

$60k incentive isn't really the carrot by itself, combine that with player payment savings and it may go a long way to improving the financial position of the clubs. A goal all of us would agree with.

In some situations a few thousand dollars a year is important to players. They're not greedy it can be the difference between them keeping their head above water. I don't have a concern with players working in the licensed club (for example) if its a legitimate position and they actually work. However efforts need to be made to bring none financial benefits to players. Similar to what RUPA does at the professional level.

Assistance/advice with education and careers (for example) would probably be more beneficial to the players in the long run than player payments. Some clubs do this already, however perhaps the ARU/RUPA could implement a national program to help the senior amateur game in this manner. Perhaps I'm being too idealistic but id hope this would go a long way to keep players in the game than what game payments would.
 

I like to watch

David Codey (61)
Sounds great,but that's not how it works in the real world.
most sponsorships are provided by keen Club supporters.
In practice, you will see a reduction of sponsorships,with sponsors paying the stars directly.
Additionally, the time,effort and commitment required these days is significantly higher these days.
Banning player payments,but allowing rent assistance or paying tuition fees is just spin.
 

Inside Shoulder

Nathan Sharpe (72)
Dont forget that this "plan" involves the best clubs from Shute Shield playing up in the new national club championship.
Players in that tier will be paid, as I understand it.
So guess where the better players will congregate: at the SS standalone clubs. Who is to say whether the money they receive in the National comp is not partly, at least, attributable to the games they play in SS.
This will only lead to a more polarised comp - with the standalones acting as a magnet for ambitious players who, because they are paid, can put more time into the game than their amateur brothers at the also rans.
I'd be interested to hear from anyone who thinks that SS can survive this in anything like its current format. And assuming my pessimism is well placed what is the medium term vision for the club comp: that it wont include the standalone clubs who play in the National Comp?
How many weeks will the resultant National Club comp run for?
to make it a proper comp in the medium term it has to look a hell of a lot like the ARC.
 

I like to watch

David Codey (61)
It doesn't sound like this has even been kicked around over a coffee.
Pulver keeps floating ideas of a 3rd tier that have not been thought through.
He has suggested that the 3rdtier should be academy players from super franchises
Then it was a national universities competition.
And now we have this thought bubble.
Maybe the business plan is merely to release vague ideas of a possible 3rd tier every couple of months to placate the punters.
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
Does any one get the feeling that we may need the equivalent of a School Scholarhip Thread to cover the various enticements that may or may not be offered to induce certain players to cross club boundaries?

Why do I get visions/nightmares of parallels to the AAPS and QLD GPS arms race in this proposal?

A redux to the 80's when it was commonly known that if you wanted a rep jumper, then you needed to make your way to a Brook Street Coogee clubhouse.
 

wamberal

Phil Kearns (64)
Maybe if he keeps throwing out suggestions some bright individual will come up with a bright solution.

Some sort of elite national club (or franchise) competition is probably inevitable, if we are to make progress.

Allowing the Soup franchises to require all their squad to play in the local club competition is also pretty inevitable.

I am not clever enough to work out how we will make progress by cutting the funding of the district clubs. The idea of a genuinely amateur club competition is, frankly, ludicrous in this day and age. All we would be doing is turning our back on some important income sources (from targetted sponsorship of players) and making our game less attractive to emerging talent who are not good enough to get a Soup or Academy contract. So, some of them will go to the opposition. Who could blame them?
 
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